METERMy all-time favorite political question came from Michael Crick, who greeted a certain New Labor figure with the greeting early in the morning: “Are you going to tell a LIE today, Mr. Mandelson?” It only takes a slight reuse to apply today to nearly all Conservative MPs, who really should spend Christmas being greeted by their spouse at the breakfast table with the question, “Good morning, dear. Are you lying to yourself today? “
The answer, like Peter Mandelson’s, is decided: yes. Yes a lot like that. This morning I will take me along the garden path and then I will take me for a walk this afternoon.
The sheer volume of nonsense Conservative MPs must feed on and swallow includes the idea that they will soon break out of level 3;
that will leave level 3 in February;
who will be leaving level 3 in March (wake up guys!);
that effectively there will not be a level 4 AND another national blockade;
that Rishi Sunak is extending the licensing scheme until the end of April, but the levels will only be a distant memory for April;
that this batch is not likely to significantly ruin the launch of the vaccine;
that any Brexit deal that Boris Johnson may or may not meet imminently is good;
that such agreement or non-agreement will address all of your concerns and demands;
that will address even ANY of your concerns and demands;
which is absolutely the best Britain can do;
that it’s absolutely the best Britain can do right now in the midst of all this;
and that Johnson throws a hundredth of a pitch on just one of them.
Let’s face it, it’s an incredibly busy schedule of self-deception to juggle. However, ultimately, you would have to think that some of the whole balls will be lost in the next few months. Even Boris Johnson, the nation’s leading liar, simply couldn’t maintain that level of full-spectrum mendacity for an entire winter without actually harvesting.
For now, the Conservative MPs have smaller fish to fry. The problem of “low-information voters” is much less acute than the problem of low-information politicians. Consider Michael Fabricant, who lavished the opening act of the Prime Minister’s Questions this week not to get to the bottom of any of the above, but to repeatedly touch some line on Keir Starmer as a “flattering lawyer.” While I can’t be inspired at all by the leader of the opposition, it feels somewhat unbearable to see everyone from the Home Secretary to the dumb MPs try to crawl up to Johnson repeating his favorite line of attack on Starmer, which amounts to “You are LAWYER. ”Partner, you are a JOURNALIST.
They all got hit with the shit stick here, okay? In fact, if you needed a third partner on equal terms in this rock-paper-scissors adult game, it would be … what? Lawyer, journalist, real estate agent? Serial sex killer? Animal pimp?
Anyway, 2020. Where are you with all this? I know a lot of people use the Christmas period to catch up on missing television, so if you’re only in “the news” until July, you’re at the point where Boris Johnson is sputtering that he’s back. “Virtual normality” for Christmas. And yet you’re not an idiot, you have foresight, so you won’t mind the spoiler that it really won’t end virtually by Christmas.
However, while you, I, several species of the animal kingdom and even a couple of rocks could see that a second wave of the coronavirus was logically going to hit in the winter, the government of Boris Johnson believed that one would be avoided. He did not think that “we will be in that position again”, disdainfully breeze back in July, even as their chief science officer was suggesting that we probably would. The quality of being constantly shocked by events is appealing in puppies, but increasingly mind-blowing in prime ministers.
See also “Christmas Travel Czars”. Do you know Sir Peter Hendy, perhaps the most doomed Tsar since Nicholas II? If not, don’t worry, it will be in a few days. Or like Sir Peter put it on this week: “I’m not imagining terrible scenes in train stations or elsewhere.”
As for other unpredictable scenarios, if only the government hadn’t lost its celebrated 4D chess grandmaster Dominic Cummings. Arguably the only benefit to Cummings was that he seemed to be able to silence Jacob Rees-Mogg. After the show of Rees-Mogg hanging all over the place during a crucial Brexit debate went viral last year, Jacob had to status on twitter that he had been forced by what he called “the powers that be” to withdraw from all the events he had booked to promote his abysmal book on the Victorians. This is the literary equivalent of standing outside of a playground with a sandwich board that says, “Ask me why I can’t get close to this playground.”
Then, shortly after last year’s election call, Rees-Mogg accuse the dead Grenfells of lacking “common sense” – only to be led to the same black spot where Chris Grayling and Iain Duncan Smith are detained by the Conservatives at the time, never heard from for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, there is no Cummings to silence him now, so this week he finds Rees-Mogg resurfacing after stating that UNICEF should be ‘ashamed of itself’ for donating funds to feed underprivileged children in the UK. “Unicef is a wonderful organization”, replied nutty left-hander Chris Patten – no wait, former Conservative party chairman Chris Patten – adding: “You shouldn’t report him if he’s a British minister because he actually finds it necessary to help out in this country.”
As we finish this last column of 2020, it must be said that the government’s commitment to hinder children remains intact. This week we learned that they would rather have students in school miss a week at the beginning of the next term, which any teacher will tell you is much more full and important than the last week of the current term, when infections are increasing rapidly. I’ve contemplated that one part of executive decision-making multiple times over the past few days, and it’s still not worthy of a more charitable analysis than “why are you like this?”
Still, there are certainly some brilliant lies MPs are telling themselves to answer that question. Throw another lie on the fire and we’ll see you on New Years Day.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.