Claiming an “exclusive”, The Great Guido told readers “Woke Oxford Students Vote To Take Down ‘Colonial’ Queen’s Portrait … OXFORD COLLEGE SCRAPS QUEEN”. This, sad to say, was not true. Nor was the assertion “Guido can reveal an Oxford college has agreed to remove a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II”. But there was more.
“A committee of students from Magdalen’s Middle Common Room agreed by a substantial majority to take the portrait of Queen Elizabeth down from their wall … Stalin would be proud”. There was a suitably petulant response from former fireplace salesman Gavin “stupid boy” Williamson, who for some reason has been made Education Secretary.
The alleged “exclusive” in turn generated headlines combining the most righteous aspects of pearl-clutching and thunderous outrage by the Daily Mail (“OUTRAGE AS OXFORD STUDENTS VOTE TO AXE QUEEN”) and the Daily Brexit, still called the Express (“HOW DARE THEY! OXFORD STUDENTS CANCEL OUR QUEEN”).
So let’s take this nice and slowly, for the benefit of all those Gammonati who have been brought perilously close to spontaneous combustion by this non-story.
ONE, it’s not a “portrait”. It’s a print of a photograph. And it was only put up in 2013.
TWO, “Oxford College Scraps Queen” is a pack of lies. No college has done that.
THREE, nor has the college “agreed” to remove anything.
FOUR, as Dinah Rose QC, who is President of Magdalen College, has pointed out (thread HERE), “The Middle Common Room is an organisation of graduate students. They don't represent the College”.
FIVE, equating Stalin with a group taking a vote and abiding by the outcome is, as the late Labour leader John Smith might have put it, a bit rich.
SIX, Brenda has not been “cancelled”, “axed”, or “scrapped”. The print has been put into safe storage. It may return; it may not. That’s up to the Magdalen Middle Common Room.
SEVEN, the Fawkes rabble have claimed “The student group will now explore whether the painting can be auctioned”. This is doubly dishonest: again, the print (of a photograph - it’s not a painting) has been stored. So it’s not being auctioned. More Fawkes lying.
The Great Guido will no doubt be thrown a few biscuits by his press masters for his efforts. If only there were, in return, a commensurate increase in the quality and accuracy of the product being offered. But there isn’t. On either front. Another fine mess, once again.
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