Next time I get to “have a drink” – you know, “after a busy working day” – it’s going to be a bacchanalian orgy. Who’s up for it?
(Make sure you’re Covid-tested first, mind. The Tories might be incapable of keeping us safe from Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t safeguard ourselves.)
Clearly we deserve it, and there’s no moral authority that Johnson, his government or his police can exert on us because the first two have clearly been partying in defiance of their own rules since the start of the very first Covid-19 lockdown, and the cops – by refusing to investigate/arrest/prosecute them – have shown us they are in the pockets of the politicians.
We know the Tories have been partying it up since at least May 2020 because – after Johnson insisted that he had followed all his own rules, despite evidence of him participating in rule-busting parties last December – a photo has now emerged of him at a rule-busting party in May 2020 – seven months earlier.
Clearly he and the other Tories have been at it all the time.
The image in question is at the top of the article – I’m using a version that has been labelled with the names of some of the participants so we can all see that Johnson was there with his wife Carrie and son Wilfred, Dominic Cummings (this was before they fell out), Matt Hancock and James Slack (then an advisor to the prime minister and now deputy editor of The Sun).
Challenged to justify the scene in the image, Tory government figures couldn’t even get their story straight.
Johnson himself claimed, “Those were people at work, talking about work.”
If it was a work meeting, where were the laptop computers? Where were the notepads and pens? Can you see a whiteboard anywhere? I can’t!
I can see wine, cheese, Johnson’s wife and his baby son.
"It was a work meeting" says Number Ten, forgetting that the video of them laughing and saying that was the excuse they'd use if it ever became public has already been made public.
— Luke John Davies (@LJDLabour) December 20, 2021
But Dominic Raab had already claimed that the image was taken after any work had been done. He told BBC Breakfast: “Sometimes after a busy working day people have a drink – that was not against the regulations.”
"Drinks after work." Otherwise known as…a social occasion. https://t.co/xDKHdN1fTM
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) December 20, 2021
He was lying; it was. In that same lockdown a care worker who had just finished her shift was fined £200 for sitting alone in her car at a local beauty spot (according to Nadia Whittome).
There’s also this:
Remember those two women that got arrested for sitting on a bench drinking their coffees? Because technically stopping to eat or drink was a picnic ✌🏼
— Katie ✌🏻 (@katiexdawn) December 19, 2021
These two things happened on the 15th May 2020
1. A party in the No.10 garden with absolutely no social distancing.
2. Matt Hancock – "You can meet one other person from outside your household in an outdoor public place, but please keep 2 metres apart" pic.twitter.com/e4vGE83xZ8
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) December 20, 2021
And Adil Ray made mincemeat of Raab on ITV’s Good Morning Britain:
.@adilray and @CharlotteHawkns challenge Deputy PM @DominicRaab over the photo showing Boris Johnson alongside his wife Carrie and up to 17 staff relaxing and drinking in the Downing Street garden during lockdown in May last year.
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) December 20, 2021
Crucially, Johnson was in the wrong, no matter which story was right:
If this was an official government business meeting, then he had brought his wife – an unforgivable breach of the Official Secrets Act.
If it was a social gathering – in May 2020 – then it was a breach of the lockdown Johnson had imposed on the whole of the UK at that time.
Either way, Johnson and Raab both lied – Johnson about what was going on, Raab about the conditions under which it was happening:
Nobody in the right mind would believe that photo shows a 'staff meeting'. But the government decided to lie anyway. What utter contempt they must hold us in.
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) December 20, 2021
It would be entirely appropriate to humiliate Johnson and Raab (and all the other Tory liars and rule-breakers who have been endangering us all and laughing about it) with stories of people who have suffered and died while following the demands that they ignored:
May 2020. A then student nurse asked to work on a COVID HDU. I watched people younger than myself die. I watched my friends dad die. I remember my whole bay of patients died, a brand new nurse, seen more deaths than most see in 10 years. How was the party @BorisJohnson? pic.twitter.com/dNJXgbFs7A
— Gingerbread Han 🎄✨ (@Hanarghhhh) December 20, 2021
My mother died in May 2020. From covid. Alone. In a care home. In meltdown. They told me by email. #downingstreetparty
— Sonia Purnell (@soniapurnell) December 19, 2021
If a group of NHS staff were photographed having a glass of wine after their shift, we would have been crucified. We weren’t even allowed to make a tik tok during a break without cries of how very dare you. #OneRuleForThem #ToriesPartiedWhilePeopleDied #JohnsonOut
— Clara Bow #NHSPay15 💙💙💙 (@aladetteinsane) December 20, 2021
At the moment that photo of No 10 was taken, I was in a ward where 42% of us were dying. The PPE was not fit for purpose, some of it was 2nd hand and had blood on it. At the outset, I couldn't get tested anywhere. First half of 2020 was a govt-led crime.
— Michael Rosen 💙💙🎓🎓 (@MichaelRosenYes) December 20, 2021
Personally, I think a better humiliation is humour; we should be mocking these entitled Tories who think they’re better than us but whose behaviour falls so far below our own standard.
Dominic Raab now arguing that the photo of the Downing St garden party shows it isn't a party because everybody is wearing a suit.
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) December 20, 2021
Oh wait – that might have actually been a serious claim. Okay – try these:
Ordering in plenty of wine and spirits for a work meeting today.
— Paul Templeman #3point5percent #FBPE (@PaulTempleman6) December 20, 2021
BREAKING: Boris Johnson has apologised for not turning up to yesterday's Cobra meeting, but he confirmed the karaoke night in the conference room next door was fucking brilliant x
— Laura Kuenssberg Translator (@BBCLauraKT) December 20, 2021
— Bath Ordinary Left (@OrdLeftBath) December 20, 2021
BREAKING: Cabinet reportedly meeting this afternoon after Grant Shapps is spotted wheeling a karaoke machine into No 10.
— Have I Got News For You (@haveigotnews) December 20, 2021
Renoir's The Staff Meeting, 1881 pic.twitter.com/izobnH4gCD
— David__Osland (@David__Osland) December 20, 2021
Tory MP defends photo of PM & staff with wine in Downing Street garden May 2020 pic.twitter.com/BjeP3ka1Qm
— Rosie Holt (@RosieisaHolt) December 20, 2021
I will shortly be introducing Step 2 restrictions:
-only go into the office if wine is available
-no socialising without cheese
-if you must go to work, take your wife and baby
-hairdressers are open, but please comb your hair with a balloon instead#No10 #DowningStreetParties
— Parody Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson_MP) December 20, 2021
Getting back to the point I was making at the top of this article: while I’m not about to embark on any life-threatening binges, I feel sure many may.
Not entirely sure people will be paying attention to @BorisJohnson if he comes out & says households can’t mix.
So many I know have said they’ll be seeing their families on Xmas Day – regardless of what he orders.
This is what happens when you betray people & trust is broken.
— James Foster (@JamesEFoster) December 20, 2021
That’s right. Johnson has betrayed us and none of us – not even Tory voters! – can afford to give him even the slightest bit of trust.
He has to go.
And he needs to take his entire cabinet with him because they’re still backing him to the hilt and that means we can’t trust them either.
ONE MORE THING:
Don't forget that there are dozens of people in politics and the media who knew all about the lockdown-busting Tory parties at the time, but they deliberately kept it secret.
They're only releasing the details and the pictures now because it aligns with their purposes.
— Another Angry Voice (@Angry_Voice) December 20, 2021
This is absolutely right. James Slack from The Sun, for example. He was at the May 2020 Downing Street garden party and never mentioned it – the revelation had to come from another source.
People like him aren’t news reporters. Their function isn’t to tell you what’s being done by our leaders and how it affects you.
It is to keep you under control so they can carry on doing – well, what Johnson and his cronies were doing in that picture. It’s working well, too – after all, Johnson’s still prime minister, isn’t he?
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