I’m only writing about this to get it out of the way.
The appropriate time for this video to have become public knowledge was December 15, 2020 – the day after it was shot.
Now it is just a distraction from current misuses of power by the Conservatives in government – and their Opposition counterparts. You’ll have to read other articles on This Site for details of those, though.
Here’s the video to which I refer, which has been obtained and released by the Mirror:
Then-London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, for whom the party was thrown, has been ennobled in Boris Johnson’s resignation honours list and will now sit in the House of Lords, having failed to be elected into any position of power democratically. This is cronyism – he simply has not done anything to deserve it.
And Ben Mallet, Bailey’s campaign manager who appears in the clip wearing white braces with red patterning, was given an OBE as a reward for his failure. He’s now running a campaign for Moz Hossain, who wants to be the Conservative candidate in next year’s London Mayoral election.
Earlier on December 14, 2020, then-Health Secretary Matt Hancock had given a speech at a Covid-19-related press conference, saying social distancing was the way to stop the disease from spreading:
Dec 14th 2020
Left: dancing and drinks at a party when restrictions were in place, two nominated for honours in Johnson's list (Ben Mallet & Shaun Bailey)
Right: Hancock, "Everyone should minimise their social contact, that's how we can control the spread of this disease." pic.twitter.com/EdXqZCUSXq
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) June 17, 2023
You can read the speech and see a full video of it here, on the government’s website.
Levelling-Up Secretary Michael Gove, reacting to the video clip on Sky‘s Sophie Ridge show, has apologised for it (although This Writer isn’t clear whether he’s sorry that the event happened or that the clip has become public knowledge), saying “the fact that this party went ahead is indefensible”.
He said, “I want to apologise to everyone who, looking at that, will think these people are flouting the rules designed to protect us all.” Notice the phrasing; he apologised to those of us who “will think” these people were flouting the rules. So he made no admission that any such flouting actually happened, even though it is right there in vivid colour.
But he doesn’t seem to think the Metropolitan Police should reopen investigations into such events.
And he certainly won’t support calls for Bailey and Mallet to be stripped of their honours, despite the facts: not only did they do nothing to earn such awards but they disgraced themselves by rubbing our faces in the fact that they could ignore the rules by which were were being forced to live – and get away with it.
“The decision to confer honours on people was one that was made by Boris Johnson as an outgoing prime minister. Outgoing prime ministers have that right,” said Gove.
Do they? Do they have the right to confer honours on lawbreakers? To put one of them into Parliament where he will be able to corrupt the law-making process? This party was a criminal act at the time, remember.
And these are just two of the questionable names on Boris Johnson’s honours list. It seems clear that the whole thing should be withdrawn and investigations launched into whether it is appropriate for any of the people he named to receive anything at all.
Saying outgoing prime ministers have the right to honour anybody they want is not an acceptable justification.
Now that I have made that clear, please return to Vox Political later in the day, when I’ll be publishing articles about events happening now, that this story may be an attempt to obscure.
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