Why does this matter? Because, at the time, Britain was under strict restrictions on social mixing. Park benches were taped off, funerals were subject to a maximum attendance of fewer people than seen in the photo, and outside gatherings were being broken up by law enforcement authorities. Parties in back gardens were streng verboten for all those who did not reside at the property concerned. It looks bad. Because it is bad.
So, in the circumstances, what would a Government on top of its game do for the morning media round? What would a sensible Government have done? What would Nietzsche have done? Sadly for Bozo and his coterie of ineptitude, these questions remained unanswered as Dominic “cash flow problem” Raab was dispatched to the TV studios.
Raab appeared to be arguing in his spare time. It could not, he declared, be a social gathering as all concerned were wearing suits (well, apart from Carrie, that is). It was work related; that there were no laptops, no tablets, no phones held to ears, this was a mere detail. No notepads, no meeting minutes, no credibility to Raab’s argument.
And it got worse. As one Tweeter pointed out, “Dominic Raab just stated on [Sky News] - ‘No 10 is a place of work & they were there HAVING DONE WORK..’ Therefore Raab has just confirmed that this was an AFTER WORK PARTY which was clearly illegal at the time. Over to you [Met Police], not exactly a 'lack of evidence' this time”. Well, quite.
As for how bad this looks, Labour’s Chris Bryant put it directly: “There are more people in this garden with wine, cheese and the prime minister’s wife and child than were allowed at a graveside funeral at the time. That’s why people are so angry”. And Raab’s performance was so bad, lawyer Adam Wagner actually changed his mind as a result.
Wagner yesterday mused “Outdoor gatherings were only banned in public places so that wouldn’t apply (since it was a private garden)”, but after Raab’s excuse making, concluded “Hearing how govt now describing this as a ‘drink after the formal business has ended’ ie *after* work I’m no longer convinced would fit into outside the home for ‘the need… to work’. So everyone not in their own garden potentially broke the law”. Oh dear!
So “Changed my mind on this. Even though the gatherings rules didn’t apply I think Raab may have made things quite a lot worse … Every lawyer has had that witness on their own side who you really want the ground to open up and swallow as they're giving evidence”. Henry Mance of the FT concluded “Downing Street’s claim that the wine was being drunk at a staff meeting would at least explain some of its decisions in the pandemic”. Ho ho ho.
Dominic Raab just took a bad situation and made it one heck of a lot worse. Which means the next set of Covid-19 restrictions will be that much harder to sell to the public.
Fill your cabinet with crawlers, increase the potential for stupidity. Way to go, Bozo.
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They just dont get it, do they? When are the Met going to actually do their job? After all, they had no problems when it came to Joe Public breaking the rules.
”Inspector Knacker has 'decided' not to proceed with this investigation as in is 'not in the public interest'” – Dame Cressida Dick, yesterday
No wonder raab's top lip is massive - it's to distance his nose from his gob, given the amount of shite that spews forth from it.
I also heard him say those present:'Had been working hard'... Yeah alright soft ollies. I'd love to see that prick 'on the hod'. He'd have his kecks around his ankles and be crying for his mam after a couple of trips up&down the ladder.
Talking about garden parties in the summer, there seems to be good news coming out of South Africa: Covid hospitalisations are low.
South Africa is of course in the southern hemisphere and it will soon be mid-summer’s day down there (on 22 December 2021). Does the fact that it is summer in the country have any effect on the spread of Covid?
If Cummings was involved, the excuse will be that they had to eat stuff in order to check if their arses were working.
Good to know that, in Raab, there's such a sharp legal mind in charge of the Justice department.
I think there’s a lot of exhausted people, and they, as people do in work, were having a drink after the formal business had been done.”
No. Not ever in my 40 year Civil Service career. Apart from Christmas parties and leaving do's of course.
it's a piss-up!
Influenza, including the new variants, has always been worse in winter.
Ed Balls claims the photo was taken from the balcony of Number 11 so I'm sure that, he he doesn’t have to investigate crimes that happened in the past, Inspector Knacker will be able to devote some of his copious free time to determining the ID of the photographer and/or the mole who leaked it to the media.
All those bottles explain the quality of government decision making we've grown used to.
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