TOmany people in Boris Johnson’s life have discovered that there is a point where he has simply broken too many things for the relationship to work again. Are you currently with the British public, or even with the Conservative party?
Many are smelling a really confusing Humpty Dumpty smell from the latest revelations, that the prime minister himself attended a “mass gathering” in the Downing Street garden during the first shutdown. This May 2020 BYOB drink party, which More than 100 people were invited, it started just 55 minutes after the cabinet minister appointed that day gave a national press conference insisting that people in England could only meet one person from another household in the open air, so … what was the theme of the party? What do they eat cheese and wine? Come like the last scene in Animal Farm?
Bewitching, Johnson yesterday refused to even admit he had been to the drinking party, his smile twitched and his eyes rolled as he crouched at some vaccination center and babbled, “All of that, as you know, is the subject of a proper investigation by Sue Gray.” Had he been interviewed by Sue Gray? “This is all a topic for Sue Gray’s research.”
I’m afraid the only sensible answer to this is: what ?! What are you talking about? Did you or did you not go to a big party in your garden, smiling fiberglass toby jug? Or do you also have to wait for some veteran official to tell you whether or not your pants were on properly this morning? Honestly mate, just MAN UP. Johnson’s turn as “prime minister” appears to have passed the sarcastic quote phase. This looks a lot like the government of the crazy face emoji, the tongue hanging out and one mind blowing eye bigger than the other. Any Tory MP who voted for this galactic-class liar to become leader should remember that he made a mistake on probably the most important decision of his career, and consider resigning before the next election to go to work for a charity / drug dealer. weapons.
Speaking of staffing, I wonder if the organizers managed to find ladies to attend this May 20 party. I mean, I’m not saying that the people who do well with Johnson are mainly guys who spent a significant chunk of the last decade jerking off to Game of Thrones. No, wait, I am. But one of my favorite things about the only Downing Street cheese and wine “business meeting” that we have a real photo of is that the only two women I can see in it are Carrie Johnson and Gina Coladangelo. Remember, girls: if you want to work in the heart of government, you must be a man or have a relationship with a man who does. If you can dream it you can do it!
Coming back to the BYOB party though, sorry, I know you need cards to keep your rule-breaking pandemic Downing Street parties in order, which was hosted by Johnson’s top private secretary, Martin Reynolds. Apparently Reynolds now wants to return to the diplomatic service, and perhaps the Middle East, and there is talk that he will be appointed ambassador. You know, like when you or I break the rules and make a spectacular mistake at work, and they make us ambassadors.
Two days after May’s BYOB party, the story of Dominic Cummings’ rule-breaking trips to Durham and Barnard Castle came to light, which you’d think would have given these folks an unforgettable lifelong lesson on how Incandescent was the public on the elite rule. break. (And yet, given all the Downing Street parties that followed that Christmas, they somehow forgot.) But in May 2020, who could have predicted that a potential gathering of 100 people could anger the general public? Who could have predicted that people who watched their relatives die on an iPad and then buried them with only a permitted number of mourners at graveside funerals would have a problem with that? Apparently no one at the party. In which case, each of them is in the wrong job and should quit and go work for a group of experts / be our man in Havana.
Unbelievably, even the Met finally “In touch” with the Cabinet Office on the latest reveal of the match. So sit down for another episode of this charade, which could be titled NO RUSH, PLOD. Once again, we have to ask: where were the multiple police officers who were stationed in and around the Downing Street complex when this BYOB party was taking place? Did you realize that at least 30 people were drinking, three hours after the official social media account of your force was published? reminding people of the rules? If not, maybe they could consider their jobs / get sick for two years and then retire at age 53 with a full pension.
Smartphones mean that most people can review photos to see what they were up to on May 20 of that year. I note that this party occurred quite shortly after a Met officer told me to stop playing cricket in the park with my children, on the grounds that cricket is “sport but not exercise.” It is true that I am not interested in singles (I look like Chris Gayle from Kensington Gardens), but let’s not forget how informal the police forces were at the time.
What so many hundreds of thousands of us will never forget, sadly, are our own darkest stories: funerals by the graves; Zoom funerals; funerals after which no assemblies were permitted by law. Just weeks before May 20, a 13-year-old boy had died alone in a London hospital, separated from his family, who were also unable to attend his funeral because they were adhering to the rules of isolation. Every person at the Downing Street party would have known that story.
But I’m afraid this goes beyond shame and deception. It is increasingly unforgivable that these serial exhibitions of Culture No. 10 are taking place in a context of growing conspiracy in this country. A significant number of people turned to misinformation online about the pandemic, and a host of previously soft conspiracies are now calcifying into deeply disturbing ways. More are being sucked into those rabbit holes all the time.
I say aspirated; but each revelation of a rule for them amounts to a shove. After all, when people repeatedly see the duplicity and double standards of those in charge, is conspiracy really such an irrational response? The tragedy is that we will all end up paying for the breach of trust, both in ways that are already obvious, such as increased anti-vaccine sentiment, and in ways that we cannot yet predict. But they are coming, and Boris Johnson’s way of doing business has rushed them. How can we counteract the conviction of some people that “The Man” is lying to them, when so often the man is shown to be lying?
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism