Yes, the former Murdoch hack who got the story about Chris Huhne getting his then wife Vicky Pryce to take his speeding points, but managed not to prevent Ms Pryce going to jail as a result (minor point, eh?), is seeking information about stuff that can then be used to hammer alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his pals.
What kind of approach she might be taking, though, given the stance she has already taken, suggests that this will be a campaign that develops not necessarily to her advantage. Take this from last weekend: “Can anyone explain the science behind Boris having to self-isolate even though he has already had the virus? Is it because he could still pass it on to others if has picked it up again, even though he wouldn't have symptoms again himself? Genuine question”. Re-infection with Covid-19 does happen.
That lack of understanding might not appeal to anyone wanting to get their story out there. Nor will claims like “Genuinely great stuff, but everything, literally everything, positive this government does is completely overshadowed by the day to day hell their response to the coronavirus is inflicting on so many people. Hip hip no hooray”.
Or, indeed, quoting her partner Richard Tice asserting “Lateral Flow Tests, agreed by PHE as 99.7% accurate, show 80% fewer cases in Liverpool v. Govt standard PCR tests. First major comparison, shows whole Govt strategy possibly based on flawed data (as many been saying for months) Urgent statement please [Matt Hancock]”, adding “Wow”.
The lateral flow tests are testing asymptomatic people, while the PCR ones test those with symptoms. That’s why there’s such a difference. So when she Tweeted “I would love to hear from any NHS or civil service whistleblowers about the handling of the pandemic. Material in the public interest on cock-ups, cover ups and abuses of taxpayers money. Anonymity guaranteed”, there was bound to be a little scepticism.
So she should have not been surprised to read Nick Beddows’ comment: “Given how you sold Vicky Pryce down the river when she confided in you, I'd advise any whistleblowers to be extremely cautious about giving you any info. You'd only use it to inflate your own profile, even if you did protect your sources”. Or in other words, OUCH!
Oscar Frankin was also sceptical. “Don't respond to this. She will use the material as anti-NHS, anti-civil service, anti-public spending propaganda. If you genuinely have stories to tell, contact a reputable journalist or the [Good Law Project]”. The chances of her joining forces with Jolyon Maugham are, most likely, not good at all.
Andy Grayson summed up her problem brutally: “I'd advise whistleblowers to contact a journalist instead”. Cruel. Cruel but fair. There is a significant trust and credibility issue.
It will be interesting to see the resulting article. If there is one.
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