Rejoice! Today the incredible happened. For a short period of time, Boris Johnson wasn’t telling any lies! We had to wait until the very last day of campaigning, but it has actually happened. I know, I scarcely believe it either. Amazing isn’t it. Admittedly it only happened because he was hiding in a fridge at the time, but still.
Boris Johnson hid in a fridge while on a visit to a milk business in Yorkshire in order to avoid being interviewed by Piers Morgan. When the Prime Minister was approached by the Good Morning Britain producer Jonathan Swain who asked if Johnson would do the interview, Johnson’s press secretary Rob Oxley – formerly of the obscurely funded Taxpayers Alliance – was clearly heard telling him for fuck’s sake and then pushing him out of the way. “I’ll be with you in a second,” lied Johnson, who then went off to hide in a fridge. Jonathan Swain should at least be grateful that Boris Johnson didn’t steal his phone first.
Now it does have to be said that under normal circumstances, it would be perfectly normal, indeed laudable, for a normal human being to say fuck off and hide in a fridge in order to avoid Piers Morgan, but Boris Johnson is not a normal human being under normal circumstances. He’s an aspiring Prime Minister who avoids all attempts at serious scrutiny because that will expose his lies, his deceit, and his mendacity. He’s an oven-ready chicken hiding in a fridge. Suddenly the phrase nuke the fridge has taken on a whole new meaning. Perhaps Johnson thought he was channelling Indiana Jones, but he was really just starring in the shittiest version of Frozen ever seen. The light went out when he closed that fridge door. It went out across the whole UK and won’t come back on again as long as he’s anywhere near power.
Boris Johnson has always fancied himself as a modern day Churchill. I don’t think the UK’s wartime leader was ever known to say “We shall fight them in the crisper, we shall fight them in the ice cube compartment, never have so many owed so much to a probiotic yoghurt.” This is the guy who the Tories told us was fantastic with the media, a great performer, unbeatable in his ability to connect. And now it comes to this, hiding in a fridge in order to avoid Piers Morgan.
There are even headlines saying that Boris Johnson was “accused” of hiding in a fridge. There’s no accused about it. We saw him physically scurry into a fridge in order to avoid being held to account. We saw him do it, lying leg movement by lying leg movement. There’s a video. If you vote for a guy who hid in a fridge in order to avoid a toilet, you deserve everything that you’re going to get. The problem is that the rest of us will suffer the consequences too. Of course this incident, which is the perfect metaphor for all of Boris Johnson’s many and manifest character flaws, was the lead story on the BBC news. Hahaha. Sorry. Just pulling your leg there.
Of course that didn’t happen. The incident wasn’t mentioned at all. No one who watched the main news bulletin on the BBC at 6 pm will have learned that the man who wants to be Prime Minister is an oven ready chicken who hides in a fridge. And neither will they have learned that their political editor Laura Kuenssberg is trending on social media because people are calling for her to be investigated for an alleged breach of electoral law when she revealed live on TV information about the results of postal votes.
But then there’s a lot which hasn’t happened during this election campaign. The media never held Johnson to account, and never ensured that the consequences of him avoiding scrutiny were worse for him than doing the interviews and debates in the first place. Because that’s the only way to hold a power hungry sociopath to account. They legitimised his cowardice, and ensured that he’ll continue with the same tactics, because they colluded in making it a beneficial strategy for him.
What didn’t happen in this campaign was for Laura Kuenssberg and Robert Peston to reveal who it was who had lied to them about the punch that never happened. Unlike many, I am not going to blame them for tweeting that it was alleged that an aide of the health secretary Matt Hancock was punched by a left wing protestor. Because if that had indeed happened that would have been news. But it didn’t happen. It was fake news, fake news designed to distract from the real news that Tory health cuts had resulted in a very ill four year old boy being left lying on a pile of coats on a hospital floor. But what I do blame those senior broadcasters for is not revealing who it was who had lied to them. That simply means that those same people can continue to lie, can lie in future, and can do so without facing the consequences.
What didn’t happen was the media going to town on the incredible and unprecedented fact that a former Conservative Prime Minister, a former Conservative Deputy Prime Minister, and a former Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer have been urging voters not to vote Conservative because of the many and varied character flaws and lies of Boris Johnson and his pursuit of a damaging Brexit. This has never happened before, ever. In a normal media in a normal country this would have been a seismic event in an election campaign, as though George Bush had told voters to support a Democrat in a US presidential election. But it scarcely figured. As much if not more publicity was given by the media to some Labour party nonentities saying that they wouldn’t support Jeremy Corbyn.
What didn’t happen was any attempt by the UK media to acknowledge the fact that the UK is not England and that the UK doesn’t have a presidential system. It’s a product of the parochialism and monoglot English speaking nature of so much of the UK that their only model for election coverage is what they see in America. So we saw the largest party in Scotland being sidelined and ignored in TV debates, an inexusable move which is likely to have a direct effect on the election outcome in Scotland. But then that was the intention all along.
We’ve gone from die in a ditch to hide in a fridge. That’s the course of British politics in this election. God help us all if this creature is given a majority. In no small measure that lamentable outcome will be due to the failure of the British media to do its job properly. When it comes to the Conservatives, the British media are oven ready chickens hiding in a fridge.
This is the last post before voting starts. I’ll leave comments open, however please don’t do a Kuenssberg and post anything about how voting is going in your area or about the results of postal voting if you are at the count. While the polls are open it’s illegal to publish an exit poll or anything that could be construed as an exit poll.
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