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Saturday 2 December 2023

Bozo Covid Grilling And The Press

And so, with the certainty of night following day, the appearance before the Covid Inquiry of disgraced former alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson draws near. He will be lightly grilled for two whole days next week, to the relief of those who thought it should have happened rather earlier. This gives his pals in our free and fearless press a problem.

The hearings are broadcast: editors and proprietors cannot stop their readers from tuning in, or seeing excerpts of Bozo fouling it up on TV, although his pals at Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) will do their best not to mention the grilling, or spin it in their new host’s favour. And they can all forget the tactic that has been used so far to distract the public.

That tactic has been to make sure they have a suitably large dead cat to sling on the table: last week’s stiff feline was elevating Omid Scobie’s book Endgame to the status of lead story, followed by righteous indignation at his discussing the Royals, which the press regards as their exclusive preserve. This was effective in heading off criticism of Michal “Oiky” Gove.

Gove’s testimony, and indeed that of Matt Hancock, was therefore mostly kept away from those who are still to change their votes to Labour, the Lib Dems and Greens in disgust at the Tories’ uselessness. But that dead cat has now been expended. The chance of securing another of that calibre are slim, even though papers like the Mail will even recycle press releases if need be.

Hence that paper thundering “Children as young as seven on pro-Palestinian rallies, reveals report … THOUSANDS SKIP SCHOOL TO GO ON GAZA MARCHES” this morning, having taken a report by right-wing lobby group Policy Exchange and dishonestly recycled it. But that won’t be enough when the Bozo grilling begins. People will tune in. They will see him louse up.

What, then, to do? Simples. An alternate reality has to be established before Bozo makes his appearance. This will avoid his wanting the bodies to pile high, erase any mention of Herd Immunity, and redefine those parties in Downing Street as excusable actions by people under the terrible stresses imposed by steering the country through the Pandemic.

Bozo will be presented as The Great Helmsman; readers will be reminded that avoiding even worse death figures was down to him. Whatever his flaws, only he was capable of such leadership, the kind of excuse given to a sceptical public in the last years of Francisco Franco and António de Oliveira Salazar (and no doubt Mrs T’s pal Augusto Pinochet, too).

You think I jest? The Murdoch Times has started out down that very road this morning with the headline “Johnson: My Covid decisions saved lives”. This heap of bullpucky is then tempered by a statement of the bleeding obvious: “But mistakes were made, ex-PM will tell Inquiry”. So what’s the story?

Boris Johnson will admit next week that he ‘unquestioningly made mistakes’ during the pandemic but insist that the decisions he took ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives … He will argue that he had a ‘basic confidence that things would turn out all right’ … He will insist that all three lockdowns came at the right time and in the process the Government saved tens if not hundreds of thousands of lives”. Of course he will.

This is, let us not drive it around the houses for too long, an exercise in mutual survival. Bozo met a host of editors and proprietors before a second lockdown did not happen. If his decisions are judged wrong, and they were influenced by those meetings, the press will also get it in the neck. Better to paint Bozo as the great modern Churchill, flawed but indispensable.

Our free and fearless press has its credibility on the line next week. As do Rupert Murdoch, the Barclay family, the Rothermeres, their CEOs and senior editors. On the face of it, it looks like covering for Bozo because he’s one of their own. But it’s also about exonerating them from influencing decisions that cost, as one estimate puts it, another 90,000 lives.

Bozo will appear before the Covid Inquiry not so much as a former PM, but more of cover for the Fourth Estate. And that’s not good enough.

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Anonymous said...

Pinochet wasn't just Thatcher's "pal".

It was Bliar/Brown's gang, particularly that odious little shit Straw, who let the mass murdering fascist scumbag off the hook after a courageous Spanish judge had him bang to rights.

Mass murderers stick together. All of them should be rotting in jail.

Arnold said...

He will be lightly grilled for two whole days next week
Lightly? A KC versus Bozo who can barely string two sentences together? Unlike PMQs, there won't be a baying mob of Tory MPs.

Steve Woods said...

A mere light grilling is expected for Johnson.

Be that as it may, the charlatan merits cremation.

Anonymous said...

A very long, slow, thorough grilling over Charcoal - Apache style. Watch out for uncontrollable fat fire though.

Burlington Bertie from Bow said...

I just hope that the Daily Dacre bases more of its front page 'exclusives' on Policy (Exxon) Exchange 'reports': yesterday's one on 7 yr old hate marchers truanting (on a Saturday!) while Hamas-linked extremists advise their parents on how to avoid the resultant school absence fines provided many laughs in the Bertie household.