So it was that the front page of this morning’s edition told readers “Johnson calls last orders for the North … pubs told to close their doors for a month from 5pm on Wednesday in affected areas”. See, it’s all the fault of those Oop North, all congregating together down the pub and infecting one another! At least there was no mention of whippets.
And although “There will be a Commons debate and vote on the plans later this week”, we already know who is going to get the blame: “six boroughs in [the] Liverpool [city region], covering 1.6 million people, are to be the first to be placed in the highest tier of the new restrictions, under which the city’s pubs, gyms, casinos, bookmakers and social clubs will be shut for a month - and up to six months”. Take that for not voting Tory, Scousers!
We also get the sly inference that those rotten northerners are taking other peoples’ money off them: “Manchester faces similar restrictions to Liverpool, but was resisting last night as council leaders threatened legal action unless the Government increased its financial aid … Liverpool council chiefs were also demanding more money”.
That this was being written from a Westminster media bubble perspective was confirmed by the implicit admission that the North West was being lined up to carry the can for several months of central Government ineptitude: “Council leaders in areas of high concern, including parts of the North East, West Yorkshire and the North West, held talks over the weekend to agree potential restrictions … ‘Mayors have been saying they have not been involved. They are now. With that comes greater responsibility. We are introducing localism. We want them to own it’ said a senior minister”.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham knew exactly what that meant. “You can almost hear the glee in the Telegraph’s voice in this headline. And also in the voice of a Senior Minister quoted as saying: ‘We want them (Mayors) to own it.’ By ‘own it’, I assume they mean the mess THEY have created. But at least we’re all clear about the strategy”.
When alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson eventually confirms all of that to the Commons, along with the rest of his sealed instructions from chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, it will mark the moment at which a motley convocation of political pygmies and cowards ended several months of failure, during which they have sprayed billions up the wall to no purpose, and dumped responsibility on someone else.
But not to worry, tomorrow’s headlines will dutifully reflect the Government line, the broadcast journalists who depend on access to the Polecat and his pals will do likewise, and so Dom will be able to declare that he is once again “Winning”. So that’s all right, then.
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