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Monday 31 January 2022

Portugal - Far Right Shut Out

Whenever elections come round in the Netherlands, one outcome is certain: a coalition Government is formed, and the one party that never gets invited to the party is that led by Islamophobic bigot Geert Wilders. Yesterday, after Portugal had a snap general election - precipitated by the minority Government having its budget voted down last October - the result led to a Wilders moment there, too, as the far right was cold shouldered.

Portuguese Parliament in Lisbon

The centre-left PS (Socialist Party) had led a minority Government since 2015 under the leadership of former Lisbon Mayor António Costa, with the agreement of the CDU (alliance of the Communists and Greens) and the Left Bloc. Both the latter parties joined the centre-right, right-wing and others in voting down Costa’s budget. Both have suffered. Badly.

Although opinion polls suggested a resurgence from the centre-right PSD (Social Democratic Party), when the results were announced, they had actually lost three seats. The PS had gained nine - enough to claim a majority in the 230-seat assembly. At the news, PS supporters rejoiced; there was an impromptu rendition of Grândola. But the CDU lost half their seats, and the Left Bloc lost 14 of their 19, their worst result since 2002.

António Costa - a majority at the third attempt

The right-wing People’s Party fared yet worse: they were wiped out. So who else gained ground? The Liberal Initiative, which is libertarian rather than social liberal, gained seven seats. And Chega (which means “enough”) gained eleven, to become the third largest party in the Assembly. But Chega will not be getting a hearing from the PS.

As the BBC has reported, Chega’s leader André Ventura “hailed Sunday's result as marking the end of ‘soft’ opposition to the Socialists”. However, “[António] Costa said that if, as expected, Portugal's president now asks him to form a government, he will in future be open to dialogue with all political forces except Chega”. Why so?

André Ventura - big poll gains but ...

Because Chega, like Geert Wilders’ PVV, is, effectively, The Fash. Ventura has been described as “belligerent”; others would simply call him a gobshite. He’s a racist bigot. He’s called fora new dictatorship”, for Portugal’s Roma population to be put into camps, has called in Parliament for a black Deputada to be “returned to her country of origin”, and has even called for women who have abortions to have their ovaries removed.

The Man Who Would Be Salazar has now added a demand for sex offenders to be chemically castrated to his wish-list. He’s also criticised Portugal’s Covid-19 vaccine rollout, despite the country double-jabbing a higher percentage of its population well ahead of its neighbours - and, whisper it quietly, well ahead of the UK.

... will probably end up powerless - like him

But Ventura will not be able to wield influence - other than sounding off - if Costa decides not to listen to him. And the PS majority will likely increase further: four seats are yet to be called, these being two for citizens living elsewhere in Europe, and two for citizens living in the rest of the world. In 2019, the PS and PSD each scored two of the four.

So after the impromptu rendition of Grândola has died down, Portugal has a bittersweet result: the centre-left now has a majority and can provide stable Government for the next four years, but the parties that precipitated the poll have to regroup after serious losses.

Also, the country now has its own Geert Wilders. The Fash never really went away.

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Sunday 30 January 2022

Dan, Dan The Blame Shifting Man

The ever-worsening horror show that is Brexit, the stubbornly high toll of Covid infections, hospitalisations and deaths, an economy that is not the fastest growing in the G7, the looming spectre of inflation, skyrocketing energy prices, worsening pollution, and - whisper it quietly - the unappealing parade of politicians prepared to lie about any or all of it, should put anyone excusing the current Government to shame. But it doesn’t.

Because alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson can always count on someone out there in his less than stellar pantheon of support pulling the oldest trick in the inept politicians’ book - and blaming someone else. So it has come to pass as the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has given a platform to discredited Europhobe Dan, Dan The Oratory Man to play “Let’s Blame Anyone But Bozo”.

Our problems stem from a useless civil service, but we prefer to blame ministers” he begins, then saying the same thing but with different words: “Though the administrative state is plainly failing in its duties, nobody is being held to account, except our beleaguered politicians”. We should take Hannan on trust without any evidence. Er, no. But do go on.

No one pays attention to the failings of officials - except insofar as they can somehow be pinned on politicians”. That’s the same thing three times. Have another go. “The current rows over lockdown violations, for example, largely involve civil servants”. No, they largely involve Bozo and his pals breaking their own laws while the rest of us obeyed them.

But if at first you don’t succeed, then, well, suck some more seed. “Yet from the headlines you might think that the Prime Minister’s was the only name in the frame. The same is true of the kerfuffle about evacuating animals from Kabul”. Because Bozo’s paw prints are all over the evacuation of animals from Kabul. He made the decisions.

Would Sir like to take the biscuit in no style at all while riding his Private Healthcare hobbyhorse? “Keeping politicians in the wrong can require mental contortions. During the first lockdown, commentators raged about our inability to get enough protective equipment, ventilators or tests. These failures were largely the responsibility of Public Health England and the NHS”. Tory cronyism and dodgy contract awards? Nah, look over there!

Any more examples of Olympic standard whopper deployment? “We cling to the image of a Rolls-Royce civil service but, in truth, its best days are behind it … Contrast, to pluck a recent example, our failure on PPE and testing with our success on vaccine purchases. The difference was that, while the former was left to our lumbering official agencies, the latter was deliberately taken out of their hands and given to Kate Bingham from the private sector”. This is just Fantasy Island stuff. And it’s significantly dishonest.

But Dan wants us to know that the Civil Service has an ideology (no, don’t laugh). “Considerations such as merit, efficiency and value for money are downgraded as initiatives are instead measured by the gauge of what is called diversity - which, in Whitehall, means ‘people who look different but think the same’”. The culprit is found!

Yes, Diversity done it! Or “preferred pronouns”. Or LGBT quotas. As least Hannan has not followed the tabloid herd and shouted WOKE. But this is lame stuff: ministers make the decisions, and therefore carry the can. Including on lockdown busting. That is all.

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Saturday 29 January 2022

Partygate Cover-Up UNDERMINED

When the Metropolitan Police, which was recently described by the report of the Daniel Morgan Independent Panel as “institutionally corrupt”, decided that, after declining to investigate all those lockdown-busting gatherings in Downing Street and elsewhere by members of the Government, they would after all look into the matter, it was with the inevitability of night following day that they would louse it up royally.

The name's Dick. Just Dick

And so it came to pass: first, senior Civil Servant Sue Gray would be free to complete her enquiries and present her previously commissioned report. Then she wouldn’t: the “detail” of the parties would have to be omitted or redacted. The thought then entered that this would enable the can to be kicked down the road and allow alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson to at least fight another day, if not get off scot free.

Our free and fearless press would be pleased: after all, they had already begun to make excuses for the PM’s serial abuses of his own lockdown rules. But this morning we discovered that the press was not pleased at all. The Murdoch Times leads with “Anger at Met party inquiry … Criticism after intervention delays Gray’s report … Police move offers Johnson potential lifeline”. And the Mail is in thunderous righteousness mode.

As Boris is finally set to be handed heavily censored Partygate dossier … OUTRAGE AT POLICE OVER No10 PROBE SHAMBLES” is their headline, with Met Commissioner Cressida Dick’s intervention derided as “farcical”. Even the Guardian vented its displeasure, noting “Met sparks fury with bid to cut details from Gray report”.

But Bozo will be in the clear, right? Er, wrong: not while his old berth, the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph, is putting the boot into him, he won’t. The paper has demoted the Gray’n’Met saga to front page supporting act, sniffing “Yard contacts party ‘suspects’ after receiving Gray Dossier”. And it has followed this up with confirmation not only that Bozo had a birthday cake, but that whoever said he didn’t was lying.

The headline says it all: “Carrie Johnson offered to bring cake to Boris Johnson’s alleged lockdown-busting birthday party … Prime Minister’s wife asked official to organise gathering in Downing Street for her husband’s 56th birthday”. There is more.

The Telegraph can disclose that officials involved in the ‘partygate’ investigation are looking into an exchange between Mrs Johnson and at least one other senior member of staff ahead of the gathering in June 2020 … It is understood that in the exchange, Mrs Johnson asked the official to get staff together to celebrate Mr Johnson’s 56th birthday, while also confirming that she would personally organise a cake for him”.

You're going to need a bigger bucket

And here comes the pièce de résistance: “A spokesman for Mrs Johnson refused to comment when approached on Friday, but did not deny the exchange took place … The disclosure appears to undermine Downing Street’s previous denial that Mrs Johnson organised the gathering, which was reportedly attended by up to 30 people”. Do go on.

Downing Street refused to repeat Mr Johnson’s denial that he had been presented with a cake at the gathering. While Mr Johnson is understood to have told … there was no cake, reports … appeared to confirm that Mr Johnson was presented with a Union flag cake”. The Met can’t stop the press leaking. So can they save Bozo? Don’t bet on it.

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Friday 28 January 2022

I’m Liz Truss, Fly Me

Inflation is eating remorselessly into household budgets, especially for those families at the bottom of the pile. Universal Credit top-ups have been withdrawn. A tax increase for just about everyone in work is imminent. So, when it comes to those long distance trips by air, what would a sensible Government minister have done? What would someone showing that “we are all in this together” have done? What would Nietzsche have done?

Liz Truss ...

That nagging thought, that ministerial travel is paid for by We The People out of our taxes, might have eaten away at most citizens, but today’s Tory Party, led as it is by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, who appears unconcerned at spaffing the odd million or several up the wall, is different. And so we arrive at the recent globe-trotting exploits of Liz Truss, who has somehow become Foreign Secretary.

Ms Truss recently travelled to Australia. But she did not lower herself to slumming it with the Hoi Polloi on BA, Emirates or Qantas. Instead, she used the Government’s second “Brexit Jet”, an Airbus A321 which has been suitably re-liveried for the role. When news of this largesse emerged, the usual spin was deployed: it was necessary for security purposes, she and her team could sit together, and it was just sitting there at Stansted.

... not only used this A321 VIP aircraft ...

But then the story was examined in a little more detail, and it got worse: the A321 is not a long-haul design, and so would have to make at least two refuelling stops between the UK and Oz, which on the return journey were Kuala Lumpur and Dubai. The Government does not own the aircraft; it is wet leased from Titan Airways and is costing the taxpayer (that means you and I) a cool £75 million. For a lease claimed to be lasting just two years.

An A321 could be bought outright for £79 million, and would be available for all of its design life. Worse still, it seems there was no competition, as Andy Northwood (thread HERE) pointed out last August. “The Cabinet Office … used an existing contract with a Bradford-based travel agent called Corporate Travel Management (North) Ltd … Onto this they tacked a £75M(!) amendment to provide the VIP A321 for the next 2 years”.

... but also this privately chartered RJ-85

This temporary addition to the Government flight, though, is not the only exhibition of largesse from Trussair. The Foreign Secretary recently visited Northern Ireland, but somehow all those scheduled services weren’t good enough for her. No, she went by private charter, from Biggin Hill, on an Avro RJ-85 of Jota Aviation.

Who they? As one observant Tweeter pointed out, “Truss is flying by Jota Aviation which is owned by Simon Dolan, the keen anti-mask, anti-lockdown champion who bought the court action against lockdowns … A keen Brexiter who moved to Monaco and moved Jota to Europe”. So Trussair is keeping it all in the happy Brexiteer family.

Meanwhile, those browsing the websites of Ryanair and Easyjet for the least expensive options for their next trip to southern Spain or the Algarve might have something to say about such profligacy. The excuse deployed when an A330 was re-liveried for Government use was that it also served as a refuelling aircraft, so the £900k cost was not such bad value for money. That A321, and continuing use of private charters, may not be.

They party during lockdown, use taxpayer-funded cars, have Government residences in the country, fly on their own executive jets, and take us all for mugs. Same old Tories.

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Thursday 27 January 2022

Allister Heath Is Beyond Barking

Sometimes it is not an easy task to convince the public that the media class exists in a state utterly divorced from reality, that what appears in their newspapers should on occasion not be taken too seriously. Then, as happened so often in the past, that same media class comes riding to your rescue. In the case of Allister Heath, allegedly editor of the Sunday Telegraph, he has this morning come galloping over the horizon.

In one full strength column, Heath demonstrates his detachment from the real world, together with full-on but unintentional hilarity and a need to perhaps consider a long lie down in a suitably darkened room. “The Conservatives face 1997-style annihilation if they don’t stop this drift” is the headline, which is interesting as the Tories weren’t annihilated.

But that is merely a mild hors d’oeuvres. Heath swiftly moves on to the more pungent entrée: “Without drastic, urgent action, the party will be sucked into the kind of death spiral that sunk John Major’s government in the mid 1990s, and a Left-wing coalition led by Sir Keir Starmer and supported by the SNP, Welsh nationalists, Greens and other rabble-rousers may seize power in 2023 or 2024. Such an outcome would be calamitous, and result in a vicious class and cultural war from which the country would never recover”.

Aaaarrghh! Jibber!! JIBBER!!! Detachment from reality duly proven, and it gets worse. “There are now just two viable options if the party is to bounce back. The first is for Boris Johnson to remain in office, attempt to fix the immediate damage caused by Partygate, and then recant his worst policies and delegate huge amounts of power to a David Frost-like CEO in No 10”. Frost? FROST?!? The one who negotiated the dud Brexit deal?

That this is sheer fantasy is duly confirmed by Heath’s next utterance: “We would need the old Boris back: he would have to ditch the National Insurance increase, embrace a freeze on public spending and accept major shifts to his green agenda”. That would be “The old Boris” onto whom Heath and his fellow economic flat earthers can project their worldview.

And it’s a rum worldview: “There would need to be a clear-out of the Cabinet as well as advisers, with all the neo-socialists, green fanatics and pro-woke crowd exiting immediately”. Bonus points for not knowing what Woke means, and using the word as a dog-whistle pejorative. More bonus points for believing that the Tories house “neo-socialists” and “green fanatics”. So what would Sir prescribe for his brave new world?

Every policy would need to be judged on whether it makes Brexit Britain more competitive, and/or by how it improves the lives, and addresses the fears, of culturally conservative and aspirational Britain”. But Brexit Britain isn’t going to be more competitive any time soon. And what about those who aren’t part of his target audience?

The aim would be to ruthlessly target the 43.6 per cent of the electorate who voted Tory in 2019”. And stuff the other 56.4%, eh? Do go on. “But by following the broadly conservative approach these voters expected, rather than the weird blend of reheated neo-Brownite social democracy and green paternalism that was unleashed upon them instead”.

Heath has no idea what that 43.6% expected. And the implicit attack on “democracy” should concern those outside the media bubble. But good of him to let us know he needs to get out more. That is, after he’s had another of those long lie downs.

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Wednesday 26 January 2022

Rees Mogg Full Of Constitutional Crap

As the problems mount for alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, so the excuses deployed in his defence, the gaslighting, the deflection, the projection, and the forthright dishonesty become ever more desperate. And there is no more desperate an individual than the Member for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg.

Mogg has claimed that Bozo’s “mandate is personal rather than entirely party”, and so “a change of leader requires a general election”. This is a clear attempt to bully those MPs elected in 2019 to so-called “Red Wall” seats into line. The problem for Mogg is that this demonstrates that he does not know what he is talking about. I will explain.

A change of Prime Minister not only does not require a General Election to take place, but on the one occasion that this has happened during the past century, it turned out disastrously - albeit not for long - for the party calling the election, which happened to be the same one that Mogg represents. Let us consider the post-1900 roll call.

Henry Campbell Bannerman led the Liberals to a landslide victory in 1906: he then resigned due to ill-health two years later. His successor as Prime Minister, Henry Asquith, did not call an immediate General Election, but went to the country in 1910. But perhaps Mogg would prefer an example from his own party? So be it.

Stanley Baldwin retired from the office of Prime Minister in 1937, handing over to Neville Chamberlain. There was no General Election. Nor was there when Chamberlain stood down in 1940 and was succeeded by Winshton. But when Baldwin succeed Andrew Bonar Law in 1923, he called an immediate General Election, and lost.

After World War 2, the precedents come thick and fast: when Winshton finally handed over to Anthony Eden, the latter did not immediately call a General Election. When Eden resigned over the Suez fiasco and was succeeded by Harold Macmillan, there was no General Election for another two years. Nor was there one when Macmillan was succeeded by Alec Douglas Home in 1963. And so to Labour.

There was no General Election when Harold Wilson resigned in 1976, to be succeeded by Jim Callaghan. When the Tories finally tired of Mrs T., there was no General Election when she was succeeded by John Major. Nor was there a General Election when Tony Blair was succeeded by Gordon Brown. Nor was there one when David Cameron was succeeded by Theresa May. Nor, at first, when Theresa May was succeeded by Bozo.

As for Mogg’s suggest that the UK has somehow adopted a “presidential system”, this, too, is bunk: consider the occasions when the USA (for instance) has changed Presidents mid-term. FDR dying in office, JFK assassinated, Nixon dispatched in disgrace: none of those events necessitated a further Presidential poll. Mogg is not as clever as he thinks.

Many Tory MPs are in rebellious mood. They are not going to be persuaded out of that state by someone appealing to an authority he does not possess. Affecting a posh accent and patrician demeanour does not make Jacob Rees Mogg clever. It does not enable him to sniff and sneer recalcitrant Red Wall Tories back into their boxes.

But it does mean those MPs will join everyone else - in seeing Mogg as a fraud.

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Tuesday 25 January 2022

Don’t Tell Cabinet, Do Tell Guido

In a sure sign that panic is taking over behind the door of 10 Downing Street, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude have begun to disintegrate, and the first seriously sized fissures have opened up in the area of information passing. The desperation is such that those prioritised for receipt of that information are not the cabinet, nor the Metropolitan Police, and certainly not Sue Gray.

It was telling yesterday evening that when the story of two more lockdown-busting parties emerged, the one part of the media landscape that kept schtum was the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog. And so it remained until this morning, when The Great Guido suddenly, and miraculously, was gifted an exclusive.

At 0928 hours, the Fawkes blog told readersCressida Dick To Confirm Police Will Investigate Downing Street Parties”, concluding the post by adding “Downing Street has been informed of the planned change of stance”. At 1011 hours, they followed up with the confirmatory “Cressida Dick Confirms Met Investigation Into Downing Street Parties”.

Then came the real revelation: the Cabinet had been meeting, more or less at the same time that the Fawkes massive were congratulating themselves on their exclusive. But the news that had previously winged its way chez Fawkes somehow evaded all present in the Cabinet Room, the location where Bozo had been given his birthday surprise.

Sam Coates of Sky News had the confirmation of this latest highly selective dissemination: “Multiple sources confirm Boris Johnson didn’t tell his cabinet of the police investigation *despite knowing before cabinet started the announcement was imminent* … This has caused Cabinet incredulity, I understand … No10 says it was too ‘sensitive’ to share with cabinet”. It wasn’t too sensitive for someone to share it with The Great Guido, though.

Just to make sure his point got across, Coates emphasised “This means the cabinet were amongst the last people in Britain to find out about the police investigation into Downing Street”. They should have been the first to know. But don’t worry, because “Boris Johnson does not believe he broke the law, his spokesman said [belief over reality, eh?] … The spokesman wouldn’t repeat that all coronavirus rules were followed at all times”.

Paul Brand of ITV News, who had been first with the story of that double bill of lockdown-busting yesterday, mused on what Coates’ confirmation meant: “Cabinet currently leaving No 10 to discover the building they’ve just departed is now the subject of a police investigation”. Some maintained a discreet silence as they walked the Downing Street walk. Minister for times long past Jacob Rees Mogg attempted optimistic bluster.

And it convinced no-one: the scent of panic was palpable. How the news reached Staines and his pals first, and why it was kept from the Cabinet, may be a question for the Met’s investigation. But one fact is inescapable: as Peter Oborne put it when the Fawkes Twitter feed told “Cabinet members angry that they weren't informed of the news by PM”, “Translation: Downing Street told Guido before the Cabinet”.

When even the basics of passing information have broken down, it is beyond the point where the game is up. The retribution of former chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings is breaking Bozo’s régime apart. The final collapse can’t come soon enough.

Bozo Premiership Carried Away

For the remaining defenders of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, the moment of truth came suddenly but predictably: another lockdown anniversary celebrated by two more parties. Again, it was Paul Brand at ITV News who had the story first. But this time something was different: the Bozo boosters had largely given up

When the news broke, that Bozo’s 56th birthday was celebrated at 10 Downing Street by a gathering of as many as 30 people in the Cabinet Room, and that The Great Man had been surprised by then-fiancée Carrie Symonds, who had thoughtfully caused a birthday cake to be provided, one might have expected the denials to be reinvented as fact.

But even as Number 10 pushed the official line, that Bozo had been there, but only for 10 minutes, the first signs were not good: the perpetually thirsty Paul Staines and his rabble at the Guido Fawkes blog, Bozo cheerleaders one and all, fell silent. The Great Guido conspicuously failed to ride to the rescue of the man he had so shamelessly promoted.

Brand reminded his followers that the gathering occurred “despite rules forbidding social gatherings indoors”. Number 10 owned up, BUT. “A group of staff working in No 10 that day gathered briefly in the Cabinet Room after a meeting to wish the Prime Minister a happy birthday. He was there for less than ten minutes”. And then it got worse.

Paul Brand had found another attendee: “ITV News has learnt that Lulu Lytle - who was redecorating the Prime Minister's flat at the time - also came down to the party … It lasted for 20-30 mins we're told, Later that night ITV News understands family friends also celebrated upstairs in the PM's flat”. There were TWO illegal gatherings in one evening!

Then came the morning: every newspaper has featured the story, if only peripherally, on its front page. Even the Murdoch Sun, where former Fawkes alumnus and pretend journalist, the odious flannelled fool Master Harry Cole, has been made political editor, has admitted to readers who had probably already heard the news “New Partygate: PM’s Lockdown Bash For 30 … You can’t have your birthday cake … and eat it, Boris”.

Tom Peck of the Independent was in awe of Carrie’s part in the affair: “Carrie literally organised him an entirely illegal surprise(!) birthday party in the actual cabinet room. Must admit, Carrie being behind the plot to destroy her own husband is not the twist I expected … Carrie Symonds, doing the lord’s work from the inside all this time … What a finish … A child of The Independent as well, quite literally. What a proud, proud day”.

Over at the Mirror, even Pippa Crerar, who has known Bozo from his time as London’s very occasional Mayor, was taken aback at the scale of lockdown-busting: “When we first revealed Downing Street parties in November last year, one source told me there had been ‘many social gatherings’ in No 10 while the public faced restrictions. I’m not sure I quite realised how many they were meaning”. And there could be even worse to come.

Grahame Lucas has noted “Dominic Cummings says his most damaging revelations about Johnson are still to come”. The former chief Downing Street polecat has now given written evidence to Sue Gray ”so Boris Johnson does not have 'more chances to lie’”.

But Bozo won’t go of his own accord. His party will have to act. Hello Tory waverers.

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Monday 24 January 2022

Brillo Channel 4 Hypocrisy

After his ignominious departure from Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”), former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil faced a dilemma. Who would take him on, given his effective failure at GB News, and indeed his age? The suggestions, not all of them helpful, were not long in arriving. But one broadcaster, it seems, was a no-no.

And that broadcaster was Channel 4: Brillo wasn’t about to entertain that lot, and said so - more than once. As far back as 2013, he was passing severely adverse comment upon the channel’s output: “Looking at Channel 4 schedules has it just become one big freak show (bar excellent C4News)? Doesn't it have public service obligations?

By the following year, when someone on Channel 4’s Gogglebox called Brillo “a smug little twat”, he simply responded “What's Channel 4?” And when it came to the short-lived Andrew Neil Show on BBC2, this merely presented him with another opportunity to put the boot in. “Another 800,000+ for the Andrew Neil Show last night on BBC2, well over 100,000 more than Channel 4 News or Peston. But 1m would be better!

This was not an isolated occurrence. Two weeks after that last snark came “Another 900,000 for the Andrew Neil Show last night (not counting catch up, iPlayer) - a comfortable 300,000 ahead of Channel 4 News. But not happy till we break that 1m mark!” A few weeks later came “The Andrew Neil Show on BBC2 was watched by over 900,000 last Wednesday, well above any other current affairs show on any channel that night. And several hundred thousand ahead of Channel 4 News”. Then came accusations of bias.

After all, Channel 4 was just a hotbed of Rotten Lefties™, wasn’t it? So after former BBC man and career Tory Brexiteer Robbie Gibb had been given a platform by the Mail to sneer “To me, it came as no surprise that the Prime Minister decided not to give an interview to Matt Frei of Channel 4 News at the G7 Summit in Biarritz at the weekend” after someone at the broadcaster had deemed it acceptable to call Bozo a “known liar” (possibly because our alleged Prime Minister is a known liar), there was Brillo Tweeting it on.

As recently as August 2020, after one Tweeter asked The Great Man “would you not consider Channel 4, they do at least give the illusion of trying to hold people to account”, he was dismissiveness personified. “Channel 4 is basically the broadcast arm of the Guardian. Don’t think they’d have much interest in me”. So that’s that, is it?

Well, no it isn’t: Louisa Compton, who is Head of News and Current Affairs and Specialist Factual and Sport at Channel 4 (multitasking, much?) has this morning announced “Delighted to announce that [Andrew Neil] is fronting a new documentary investigating the current turmoil in the Conservative party. ‘Boris Johnson: Has He Run Out of Road?’ will air on [Channel 4] and [All 4] on January 30 at 7pm”. Well, well.

This is not Brillo’s first Channel 4 excursion - he grilled the infamous Jimmy Savile for the broadcaster in the mid-90s - but given his clear disdain for the channel, and the impression that he has suggested it to be biased to the mythical metropolitan left (“broadcast arm of the Guardian”), one would think he’d avoid it like the plague. If he had a choice.

Maybe it’s a case of Any Port In A Storm. I’ll just leave that one there.

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