We do of course live in the “New Normal”.
At first the Pandemic seemed like Science Fiction. Mysterious killer disease that started in Asia.
For the record, I had the worst flu I ever had (at times I could not breathe) in December 2019, a full three months before Covid 19 was announced.
I am of course more than two years older now. I have not (so far as I am aware) been infected by Covid. But my energy levels are very low. I spend too much time sleeping.
Do I have “long Covid?” To be honest, I do not want to know.
To be honest, it did not really affect my wife and myself. We are retired and elderly. We are not “social”. I certainly missed almost 18 months without my free travel and the one moment of genuine anger I had was in October 2019 when I deleted three years worth of “travel” Blogging site I had…..and it cannot be retrieved. That was the one week of genuine mental anguish.
We are an extended family of ten living in three houses. One son, wife and three children were on furlough. Their biggest sadness was the death of a much loved mother/grandmother. And only 15 people at the funeral. Our other son and wife are both key workers and as such, we gave day care to their son. We also interacted quite a lot with both families. We obeyed the law, kept mostly to the rules as long as they did not interfere (too much) with our family life.
So we are going thru the pandemic as three inter related “bubbles”. I think that is a reasonable approach. Famili es…our ONE family of ten and TWO families of five and three have different comfort levels. But we are getting thru it. One adult and two children have had Covid.
One thing I never believed was the mantra that “we are all in this together”. Nor did I feel heartened with children painting rainbows and displaying them to cheer up health workers. Nor did I feel “Baked Potato” would see us thru nearly two years of misery.
The corruption in the British government. The mendacity has been obvious from the early stages.
Somehow they have got away with it.
Until this last month or so.
Well what do you expect? They are after all Tories. To be honest, I can’t keep up with the Timeline but I do know this all came to light when the video of the rehearsal for a press conference came to light about six weeks ago.
Allegra Stratton said “I went home” and that means she went home to her hubby, the editor of the Spectator….did she not tell her hubby that there was a party in Number 10…is he annoyed at missing that scoop?.
And that party the night before the Dukey Embra funeral was for a departing PR man about to become Deputy Editor of The Sun…..wow that guy really missed a scoop, It could have been all over The Sun on Monday morning.
It seems really strange that as the news of PartyGate broke in December, journos in The Sun did not ask their Deputy Editor about the Downing Street culture.
It seems reasonable to think that a lot of journalists in broadcast and print journalism were always aware of these parties and just decided the general public had no need to know.
The nature of the Media is that it mediates between what is happening and what the public is told. Two reasons. One is political bias. One is the nature of the job that requires “access”.
As James Cagney used to say in gangster movies “Whaddya know?, Whaddya say?”
I suspect that the journos analysing the latest bombshell revelations are commenting on things they were aware of months ago.
The price Journalists pay for Access is Discretion, Secrecy. “Lobby terms” might well have a place but covering up potential criminality is not acceptable. It is not “lawyer-client” privelege.
You might say that Journalists have Ethics. But if you say that I would laugh….I would laugh loudly.
I almost feel sorry for the government ministers sent out on the media round to defend the latest indefensible revelation. Some like Nadhim Zadawi can appear very sincere. I do not know if he really believes the rubbish he is talking or whether he is like me…..a person who can fake sincerity. Others like Grant Shapps are not very good at sincerity….and of course it is amusing that other cabinet ministers (Truss, Sunak among them) with Prime Ministerial ambitions are appearing loyal while also distancing themselves from Boris Johnson….others are hopeful of a better cabinet post and others like our beloved Brandon Lewis and Nadine Dorries would be booted out. Jeremy Hunt and David Davies would be back in….”In again out again in again out again” (Lanigans Ball) or The Vicar of Bray that changes sides with every regime change.
But if I was a politician on early morning TV and interviewed by Beth Rigby and Kay Burley, I might be inclined to remind them of their own lockdown partying (and suspensions from our TV screens).
It must be horrendous to realise that Piers Morgan is on the high moral ground.
This Access versus News is not unique to “political journalism”. A decade ago the scandal about MPs expenses was largely ignored by political journalists. The revelations and public anger were driven by “news journalists”.
It is the same with Sports Journalists. The journos embedded with (say) Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal have Access and “sources”…official and otherwise. They are privy to the teams boozy nights out in Amsterdam and Copenhagen, The dressing room bust ups, the womanising …and its very much a case of suppressing some information. But its the “news journalists” who will spill the beans.
The Police and the Parties
I do not really understand the Police having difficulty in finding witnesses to crimes that they themselves witnessed. There are security gates with armed police. There is a policeman at the door, police inside, and probably one on the roof of every building in Whitehall.
There is CCTV and presumably a system for logging in and out every person who enters or leaves Downing Street. And presumably the privately educated, over privileged Tory advisers did not actually clean up after their parties. I daresay that the cleaning staff at Downing Street could be more helpful to Sue Grey and her crack team of investigators.
One of the odd things about the Rich and Powerful is that they do not even realise that ordinary people exist. Andrew Windsor said as much in his interview with Emily Maitlis. And one of the interesting parts of the trial of Ghislaine Maxwell was that servants were instructed not to look at Jeffrey Epstein and his rich and famous guests.
The answer to Downing Street probes is not to be found in emails and text messages sent by ministers and officials to each other. Take a look at the invisible people…the plebs.