The perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) and the Murdoch goons at the Super Soaraway Currant Bun were in their element. They then failed to notice then Foreign Secretary Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson making a complete Horlicks of an answer to Eddie Mair soon afterwards.
Not that there was any sexism or racism to add to their blindly partisan agenda, you understand. Anyone else doing the same thing would be instantly, and similarly, castigated - except they wouldn’t, as vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi demonstrated this morning. He was appearing before the inquisition of Sky News’ Niall Ferguson, who posited “With all schools reopening on March 8th, the number of infections will increase”.
What say the minister? “All of that goes into the gradual cautious reopening of schools, and then gradually reopening the rest of the economy. As we vaccinate more people, it is not a coincidence that the 8th of March is the date that we have focused on because if you take the mid-April date when we will have given at least one dose to all over-50s … if you go three weeks after the middle of April, that takes you to the first week of March”.
Eh? “That Phase One is 99% of mortality [?], so it’s no coincidence that we are opening schools after three weeks of protecting the over-50s”. March is the new May! Perhaps Tory MPs who serve in Bozo’s Government have been prohibited from using the word “May”, so as to make his predecessor an Un-Person. Or maybe the heated stables double as a Tardis. But in the real world, Zahawi joins Priti Patel in the Basic Numbers Fail Club.
Worse, Zahawi then trotted out the same line on BBC Breakfast. Jonathan Lis watched the video and told his followers “Your regular reminder that Diane Abbott was subjected to torrents of abuse because she once jumbled up her figures on police numbers. Zahawi’s just affirmed the government is tackling Covid with time travel”. He was not alone.
After Peter Stefanovic observed “Vaccines Minister now on #BBCBreakfast saying ‘On 8 March which is 3 weeks after the middle of April where we will have offered the vaccine to all over 50s we will see schools reopening’. He said the same on #SkyNews”. Another Angry Woman added “Please imagine, for a moment, that Diane Abbott did this”.
Meenal Viz, who you can tell as she’s a doctor, was on the same page. “‘It's no coincidence that the 8th of March is three weeks after the middle of April’. Imagine if Diane Abbott said that…?” Mike Williams was there too. “Continued Tory incompetence is accepted and even embraced, while Diane Abbott still gets mocked years after making a calculation error”. And Labour Councillor Lynn Denham had the obvious conclusion.
“If Diane Abbott had said this it would be relentlessly replayed on every media channel”. So it would. As an example, The Great Guido is, instead, kicking Keir Starmer. Twice. Tory ineptitude is fine. For the entitled and partisan in and around our free and fearless press.
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