Category Archives: Gossip

Starmer ‘rule breach’ looks like Tory mud-slinging ahead of local vote

Keir and the beer: but isn’t the real question what the person who took the image thought they were doing? VoyeurGate, anybody?

Did Keir Starmer have a bottle of beer in a Durham MP’s constituency office last year?

Yes.

Was it against the rules at the time?

Probably not. There isn’t really enough information to be sure.

Skwawkbox has provided a handy list of the rules here – and that site considers Starmer to have broken the rules.

But the BBC takes a more nuanced view.

Labour itself says Starmer was at the office of City of Durham MP Mary Foy for an online event ahead of the Hartlepool by-election – a neighbouring constituency. As pubs were closed, getting take-out food was the logical course of action.

Rules in force at the time said people should work from home if they could. It could be argued that this was an occasion in which working from home was not possible – and there was an exemption for “work purposes”. There were no specific rules for meals at work events or for socialising at them.

Durham police have investigated and said they were satisfied that no rules were broken.

That wasn’t enough for North West Durham Tory MP Richard Holden. He argued that “this location was not the usual workplace” of Sir Keir, and there was “no necessity” for him to attend the event.

Really? If it was billed as an online rally with Keir Starmer and Mary Foy, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend, and if it was organised by Ms Foy’s constituency party, then it was probably reasonable for him to attend it there.

And now there’s a question about Labour Deputy Leader Angela Rayner attending – which, again, is probably neither here nor there, considering the restrictions described above.

So on balance, This Site tends to agree (for possibly the first time!) with Starmer: “We’re a few days away from local elections, and Conservative MPs are trying to throw as much mud as possible.”

There isn’t any correspondence with the so-called Partygate scandal because the Downing Street gatherings were social events. Boris Johnson was fined for attending a party, not a work event.

So this issue is nothing more than a distraction – and a shot in the foot for the Tories.

That’s because, by concentrating on alleged lockdown rule-breaking, the Tories are focusing attention on their own wrongdoing more than anybody else’s. Their prime minister has been caught breaking those rules; Starmer is only accused.

And the simple there are far worse failings in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party that the Tories could be exploiting.

What surprises This Writer is that either party is anywhere at all in the polls. Other political organisations should be walking all over them while they squabble about this.

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Why is it headline news that a minor public servant’s wife is pregnant?

Reality Check: Boris Johnson having another baby? He’s still a baby himself!

Apparently Boris Johnson’s latest wife is pregnant again.

The announcement came from her and is therefore more likely to be true than if it came from him – although we can’t really be sure until we get confirmation from a doctor.

But the BBC has made this headline news. Why?

He is a minor politician – a public servant of very little accomplishment; he’s not the Queen.

And her only achievement (such as it is) is being attached to him.

They do not merit this level of attention.

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No, health secretary: YOU may ‘cower’ from Covid but the rest of us take reasonable care

Convalescent unHealth Secretary Sajid ‘Covid’ Javid may be regretting his decision to announce his recovery. Clearly his mind has yet to reach full strength.

Why else would he insult those of us who have taken reasonable care – throughout the Covid crisis – to protect ourselves and others?

That’s what he has done with this tweet:

(Yes, Mr Javid. I know you deleted it. Anybody on Twitter can delete their tweets. But anybody can take screenshots too.)

“Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

To whom does this refer?

If he means himself, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak – all of whom ran like rabbits into self-isolation at the mere suggestion that they might have the virus, then he’s probably right.

He reckons he is fully recovered from the virus after just a week, due to “amazing vaccines”.

Catching and recovering from Covid makes for nice headlines – especially for a government that is desperate to shore up its crumbling claim that vaccinations are protecting us from the virus in the face of increasing infections and deaths due to the rise of vaccine-dodging variants.

But it also means unscrupulous (Tory) ministers may use such incidents to ‘nudge’ the population into misplaced optimism – especially when England has just removed all of its state-imposed social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

And now one of them has come back and insulted the people of the UK because the alternative interpretation of his words is that we “cower” from the virus.

Of course he has caused widespread offence.

Does he think the – at least – 160,000 who died, because his thoughtless government did not understand the seriousness of the pandemic and tried to ignore it, did so because they chose to “cower”?

Does he think the millions who are ignoring his government’s ‘Freedom Day’ flapgabble, continuing to mask up in public and keeping social distancing, are also cowering?

If so, let him make a statement to that effect, loud and clear, so we know that he is definitely trying to browbeat us into abandoning the reasonable procedures that have kept us safe.

When the infection and death rates skyrocket, probably from the beginning of August, we’ll be able to pin the blame directly on him.

As it is, it seems likely that plenty of people will blame him in any event – and not just the politicians who attacked him in the BBC article but ordinary people too:

Yes, Sajid Javid should apologise.

But instead it seems he has deleted his tweet and may try to pretend that it never happened.

That is not good enough and neither is he.

ADDITIONAL: No sooner said than done:

Fair play for the apology but I don’t believe a word of the explanation. He was trying to push his government’s political slogan – that we must “learn to live with” Covid-19 – and did it in a clumsy and insensitive way.

We are living with Covid-19. Even the suggestion that we “cower” from it is toxic.

Source: Sajid Javid criticised for ‘cower’ Covid remark – BBC News

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