Opinion

2007 - 2022

Ambushed by Cake

Cold War Steve @Coldwar_Steve

Westminster today looks like a tableaux from Lewis Carroll or Cold War Steve: a grotesque hallucinogenic scene of mild debauchery and cold contempt. There are layers of revelry and sleaze with the icing on the proverbial cake being that they can waltz through the chaos with impunity.

It was touching that it was the Northern Ireland minister Conor Burns, who told Channel 4 News on Tuesday evening that:

“It was not a premeditated, organised party,” he said. “He was, in a sense, ambushed with a cake.”

It’s almost beyond belief that the Met are now investigating evidence of “the most serious and flagrant type of breach” in Downing Street. Politics has become surreal to an extent that it’s completely disorienting. A whole population are mesmerised by a state of constant scandal to an extent that the overwhelming feeling is just, impotence. Standards have dissolved before our eyes. The police are only acting now because they’ve been shamed into action. This is a PR exercise.

It’s an often repeated line that the Tories are ruthless in dealing with their leaders and regicide is just around the corner. Not here, not now. The brazen and buoyant performance by Boris Johnson today at PMQs (he couldn’t care a less) as the inexorable scandal dragged on and on was only matched by the rank sycophancy of his colleagues. The reality is that while the Tory government is immersed in scandal and daily revelations neither he nor his colleagues really care at all. Appealing to the PM to “do the decent thing” is a waste of breath. The fetid sewer that is the Conservative party is going to do nothing about their leader despite a lot of spin and blethers.

As Marina Hyde puts it: “A vast tide of something is flowing out of Downing Street, but it doesn’t smell like history.”

The Tories defence is threefold: ‘Look Ukraine!’ – ‘He got Brexit done!’ (sic) – and ‘Vaccines! – Freedom Day!’

They attempt to make Labour and the opposition look trivial banging on about cakes, and it kind of works.

The Conservatives are frantically defending their leader and now come the big guns of the Tory Press with the Daily Mail suggesting this is all a bit ‘out of proportion.’

The Mail had become more critical of Johnson under the editorship of Geordie Greig, when it was highly critical of the Downing Street flat refurbishment scandal and the Owen Paterson debacle. But Greig was replaced by Ted Verity, who has turned the paper back into a Johnson fan sheet, much to the glee of Paul Dacre. See here.

But let’s not pretend that this tsunamic of sleaze is some kind of vindication of a mighty media. The BBC has revealed NONE of this and much of the ‘revelations’ have been drip-fed and dropped into the MSMs hands.

As Mic Wright observes:

“Partygate is not a news story but a news event, a product of tactical leaks drawn out for the maximum possible effect.”

“What brought the stories to the media which ‘brought’ them to the public was leaking by disgruntled figures in government and out of it. The newspapers and broadcasters didn’t dig up the details but rather had them dropped into their laps.”

But, as I’ve said before – it’s really not all about Boris. Angela Rayner has it right when she said: “It’s not just the prime minister playing the British people for fools. The rest of the Cabinet have spent weeks defending the indefensible when in reality, like the rest of us, they could see through the lies and deceit. It’s not good enough for them to now say, “not me pal.” They had the chance to stand up for decency in public life. Instead, they appeared on the television day after day, more concerned with trying to save their jobs than doing the right thing.”

To be clear the prospects of Tories “standing up for decency in public life” are precisely zero.

Amid all of this, and almost missed in the chaos, on Monday Lord Agnew, the Minister for Counter Fraud resigned over the government’s decision to write off £4.3bn in fraudulent Covid loans saying:

“Given that I am the minister for counter-fraud, it would be somewhat dishonest to stay on in that role if I am incapable of doing it properly. It is for this reason that I have sadly decided to tender my resignation as a minister across the Treasury and Cabinet Office with immediate effect.”

How humiliating is it to be tied to this?

 

Comments (13)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. David Mapley says:

    Behold the Daily Mail a newspaper that long ago lost all sense of proportion….

    1. Tony Maries says:

      Did it ever? Wasn’t this the paper which supported Hitler and the Nazis in the 1930s and printed a headline ‘Hurrah for the Blackshirts!’

  2. Tom Ultuous says:

    At least they got Al Capone on a charge that warranted a prison sentence. When you think of his bulging Bitcoin wallet it’s sickening he’ll be able to walk off into the sunset.

  3. Wul says:

    Who’s effing fault is it we are all talking about cake?

    “They are cold? Hungry? Living in poverty?….Let them talk about cake”

  4. Squigglypen says:

    How humiliating is it to to be tied to this?…but not for long….

  5. Robbie says:

    The picture with “SLIMY” Mogg head back guffawing tell the story in full ,let’s get out of this pantomime Scotland.

  6. Derek says:

    D’you think he’ll be going the distance?

    1. @ Derek says:

      Depends on the Tory Party and its ongoing cost-benefit analysis of continuing with Boris as its leader. Boris will go when the party calculates that the cost outweighs the benefit in terms of its future electoral prospects. That’s how party politics works.

  7. William Smith says:

    It really is time for Scotland to get out of the Westminster shit show.

    1. Laurie Pocock says:

      On to the frying pan probably with regard to the massive borrowing Sturgeon has made during the pandemic.
      The economic runes for a Independent Scotland have never looked so bad.
      The SNP have got to address this problem BEFORE calling another referendum or the result will be a calamity.

      1. @ Laurie Pocock says:

        Does the Scottish government presently have borrowing powers?

        1. Tom Ultuous says:

          Trivial ones, yes. They’re allowed to borrow 450 million million a year and the running total can’t exceed 3 billion.
          All of the money they’ve received from Westminster has been the result of quantitative easing i.e. the BOE is printing the money. it’s not real borrowing and will probably never be repaid by Westminster.

          On the subject of Scotland’s debt read

          https://www.taxresearch.org.uk/Blog/2021/05/05/how-much-debt-would-scotland-owe-the-rest-of-the-uk-if-it-were-to-be-independent/

          1. @ Tom Ultuous says:

            So, it would be more correct for Laurie to speak of the ‘trivial’ borrowing Sturgeon has made during the pandemic.

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.