Tag Archives: TV

All Boris Johnson had to do to distract us from his latest Covid disaster was have a close-up

#HeadAndShoulders: Boris Johnson’s terrible turnout is a disgrace to the nation.

Who knew?

The UK’s prime minister managed to distract everyone from his new nonsense policy that won’t keep us safe from Covid-19, simply by looking what he is – a mess.

And now everybody’s talking about the fact that our prime minister can’t wash and dress himself properly:

This will set an unhygienic trend for the future.

I foresee times when Johnson will appear before the public with bad news – and also with no tie, or with his short untucked, or with his trousers at half-mast because he now knows that we’ll be so busy gossiping about the mess he‘s in…

… that we won’t realise he’s telling us the country is collapsing around us.

(Douglas Adams predicted this in The Hitch-Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy, with reference to bad language: “In today’s modern Galaxy there is of course very little still held to be unspeakable….So, for instance, when in a recent national speech the Financial Minister of the Royal World Estate of Quarlvista actually dared to say that due to one thing and another and the fact that no one had made any food for a while and the king seemed to have died and most of the population had been on holiday now for over three years, the economy was now in what he called “one whole joojooflop situation,” everyone was so pleased that he felt able to come out and say it that they quite failed to note that their entire five-thousand-year old civilization had just collapsed overnight.”

(What a shame he never lived to see his comedy become a reality.)

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Tory MPs are breaking Covid rules so quickly, Johnson is taking to TV to announce more

Tory ministers like Matt Hancock are breaking even the current complicated Covid-19 restrictions so fast that Boris Johnson is to announce a new, more complicated system in the hope of stopping them.

That’s how it seems to This Writer, anyway.

But then, I’ve lost interest in the restrictions. Instead of being a way of keeping safe, Johnson has turned them into an attempt to distract us from his failure to address the proliferation of the pandemic with threats of huge fines if we don’t do as we’re told!

That’s why he hasn’t been able to provide any evidence to support his edict that pubs must close at 10pm. There isn’t any. It’s just a way to divert attention.

If Matt Hancock knew that, it would certainly explain why he was (allegedly) in a Parliamentary bar until long after the curfew was imposed one night last week.

Alternatively, I think it’s possible that Johnson is trying to address the shortage of new TV material with an idea for a new game show format.

I’ll explain below but first, let’s consider what he’s expected to announce in his own TV appearance later today (Monday, October 12):

England’s three-tier system… will be called Local Covid Alert Levels with England placed into “medium”, “high” and “very high” alert levels.

There is no detail yet on which area of England will be placed in which tier.

Millions of people could be banned from travelling outside their areas or mixing indoors with other households.

According to The Guardian,

Areas with relatively low infection levels will be placed in what is being described as tier 1. Only national restrictions such as the rule of six, the 10pm curfew on restaurants and pubs and existing rules on masks and social distancing will apply.

The next tier is likely to include bans on home visits and indoor socialising with other households in bars or restaurants.

In areas under the toughest tier 3 restrictions – including Merseyside, Manchester and Newcastle – bars and pubs are expected to be forced to close.

None of the above will make a scrap of difference to infection and death rates, of course, because they do not propose lockdowns in education or in the workplace – the main drivers of the current wave of the disease.

But what about that new TV format I mentioned?

It’s simple: after Johnson announces the new “Local Covid Alert Levels”, I expect an enterprising producer to devise a new game show in which members of the public are contacted at random and asked to provide accurate details of the Covid-related restrictions currently in place where they live.

If they get it right, they get a prize; get it wrong and they get a stern talking-to!

Do you think it’ll catch on?

Source: Boris Johnson to give live TV address to unveil new coronavirus lockdown system – Mirror Online

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After his Mosley comments, who wants to watch Danny Dyer’s History Channel?

Danny Dyer: he’s holding a photo of “that melt” Oswald Mosley and his bunch of “fascist slags” the Black Shirts. Can someone in television please commission him to do a whole series like this?

A new career could be opening up for celebrated EastEnders actor Danny Dyer.

He’s just appeared on TV, talking about the Battle of Cable Street, and it was gold:

This is not the first time Dyer has spoken up about social issues. Consider this…

… and especially this:

This Writer thinks Dyer would be an excellent choice to front a new TV series on the social history of the UK, showing how the lives of the working classes have differed from those of the privileged throughout the centuries.

We’re sick of hearing about royals and their squabbles with their relatives in foreign lands. Let’s have the story of what was happening right here – from someone who’s got the good sense to tell it straight!

And Dyer’s own royal heritage – he has links to William the Conqueror and Edward III, according to another TV doco, Who Do You Think You Are? – would provide added credibility.

What about it, BBC? Or would you be afraid to do it if Boris Johnson has his way and puts his puppet Charles Moore in charge?

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#Whitty and #Vallance TV briefing shows incompetent Tories failed to contain #Covid19UK while causing maximum public inconvenience

[Image tweeted by The Brexit Comic.]

There’s no way around it: Boris Johnson and his gang of Tory nincompoops have really cocked up the Covid-19 crisis.

That’s the message This Writer took from the televised briefing by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance.

Here’s a summary of what they said, courtesy of that great critic of the Johnson government, Piers Morgan:

Those are the points I got from it too – and here’s my conclusion:

That’s right:

Here’s the rest of what I took from the briefing:

So what can we all expect in the future from Johnson?

More of the same.

He may impose more restrictions on our freedoms but he won’t tell us not to go to work again, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

His policies will be intended to keep hospital admissions within treatable levels – to prevent Covid-19 from overwhelming the UK’s doctors and nurses – as it always has been. But they won’t be about reducing levels of infection to zero because he has never been interested in that. Making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

Johnson may even try to justify his refusal to impose measures that would eradicate the disease by saying the effect on the economy would cause even more harm to public health. As I tweeted, that’s a political decision – he could legislate to ensure that any such harm is prevented. But he won’t, because making money for his friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

And that means many more people are going to die – your relatives and friends, perhaps. Maybe even you. Because making money for Johnson’s friends is more important to him than saving our lives.

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#SackWhitty and #SackVallance, people are saying – before they’ve even made their broadcast

Chris Whitty: the Chief Medical Officer is facing calls for his removal – before he has even had a chance to broadcast to the nation alongside Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.

New hashtags on social media are calling for the UK’s chief medical officer and chief scientific adviser to be sacked – before they’ve even had a chance to address the public on television.

The broadcast was scheduled for 11am today (September 21) but platforms like Twitter have already been filling up with attacks on Chris Whitty and – notably – Patrick Vallance.

The attacks don’t make much sense.

In fairness to the advisers, we don’t know what their advice to the government has been. Their meetings have taken place behind closed doors and when they have faced the public it has always been under the shroud of shared responsibility – a line has been taken by Johnson government ministers and the advisers are obliged to support it.

So comments like this…

… seem premature.

Worse still is the “blame game” that some people are playing:

“Bent science”? We don’t know that the gentlemen concerned have been bending science in any way at all.

We do know that the politicians have been as bent as the figure “8”, trying to delay lockdown to keep the economy going, trying to shorten lockdown to prevent the economy from being harmed more than it already has been… trying to continue making money for their party donors while people die (or suffer serious health consequences).

And it’s the politicians who have been misusing emergency procurement procedures to funnel vast amounts of public money into the hands of private firms – some running companies that have been dormant for years – that happen to be run by friends of theirs; the socialism of the very rich.

So This Site tends to come down on the side of those who have been standing up for the scientists:

So let’s give them the benefit of the doubt – for a little while, at least.

But let’s also remember…

… other scientific opinions are available.

#Whitty and #Vallance to appeal to the public over #Covid19 – because nobody trusts the Tories any more

Whitty takes over: the chief medical officer – with chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance – will be making a televised address to the nation because nobody trusts the Tories any more. From the state of this image, not even Whitty.

Trust in Conservative ministers has eroded so badly that they have been forced to hand over a televised update to the UK’s chief scientific and medical officers.

Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty – who was last seen shouting at performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson and his boss Dominic Cummings in a photograph published in The Spectator – will make an appeal to the public to stick to new rules on Monday (September 21).

Whitty and Vallance are likely to compare the UK with other European countries such as France and Spain, which have seen a sharp rise in cases translate – after a lag – into increasing hospitalisations and then deaths. The UK saw 3,899 new cases and 18 deaths on Sunday.

The scientists will set out the latest data on the spread of the disease, and urge people to exercise caution. Whitty is expected to warn: “We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”

Their intervention comes after ministers were accused of eroding trust, from failings and broken pledges on testing and tracing to scandals such as Dominic Cummings’ lockdown journeys.

Covid-19 is now on the rise across the UK, among people in all age groups. Cases are doubling each week.

The Tory ministers – like Johnson and Matt Hancock (also seen recoiling from Whitty in that Spectator shot) – are said to be hoping the scientists’ broadcast will help bring home the message that tough new restrictions will be unavoidable if the situation fails to improve.

So it is the Tory mailed fist behind the velvet glove: comply with restrictions, including the “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, or see stricter measures imposed.

Source: UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public | World news | The Guardian

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Johnson lies again: he said ‘huge numbers’ were returning to work to make a news headline

Contempt: every time Boris Johnson lies on the TV news, he is signalling the scorn in which he holds every ordinary citizen of the United Kingdom.

How does Boris know ‘huge numbers’ of people are returning to their workplaces and offices? He doesn’t.

But that’s what he said at a cabinet meeting yesterday (Tuesday) – and the only reason This Writer can find for it is that he wanted to get some optimistic words on the TV news so badly that he made them up.

It worked, too. Here‘s the BBC:

Mr Johnson was addressing ministerial colleagues at the start of the first Cabinet meeting since the Parliamentary summer break.

He said people were going back to the office “in huge numbers” and this ‘incredible country” was getting back on its feet.

Click on the link and you’ll see video as well. So much for Tim Davie’s demand for political impartiality!

Here’s the more logical view, courtesy of the Mirror:

Boris Johnson has claimed that people are “returning to the office across the country in huge numbers” – but isn’t able to give us any proof.

Mr Johnson made the unverified claim as his Cabinet met before Parliament was due to return on Tuesday afternoon following the summer recess.

But pressed on the details of this mass return to office blocks, Downing Street was unable to provide any evidence.

As far as Johnson is concerned, he has succeeded: job done.

Because there are plenty of Tory adherents up and down the UK who will swallow everything this serial liar feeds them.

Source: Boris Johnson claims ‘huge numbers’ of people are returning to offices with no evidence – Mirror Online

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Is the Torygraph being a snake-in-the-grass about over-75s’ TV licences?

I don’t trust the Daily Telegraph‘s advice to the elderly on the fact they’re being asked to pay for their TV licences again.

“The elderly should be in no rush to pay the BBC,” the Torygraph‘s headline proclaims – and the piece itself seems to go on in confrontational manner, making Auntie out to be the villain:

“TV Licensing will write to all licence holders aged over 75 with clear guidance about how to pay,” says the BBC, which is a polite way of saying, “We know where you live.”

Admittedly, I can’t see more than the first paragraph of Charles Moore’s article because, being published by a Tory paper, it’s behind a paywall.

But it seems to be pretending that the BBC is forcing over-75s to pay TV licences unnecessarily, and this is a lie.

The change is happening because George Osborne didn’t want the government to pay the subsidy for senior citizens that was brought in by New Labour.

He announced that the Tories would stop paying it and the BBC would have to decide what to do about it.

The choice was between asking pensioners to pay up again, or drastically reducing the BBC’s output.

Either way, there was going to be an outcry. But whatever the decision, the BBC is not to blame.

George Osborne is, along with his Tory government and its successors.

Don’t let the Torygraph fool you into believing anything else.

Source: The elderly should be in no rush to pay the BBC

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Blame shifting Tories accuse BBC over end of free licences for over-75s

This is stomach-turning hypocrisy from the party that hoodwinked the UK into giving it an 80-seat Parliamentary majority.

The Independent explains what’s going on:

The BBC is to end free TV licences for most over-75s from 1 August, after the plan was delayed by two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The broadcaster was due to introduce means-testing at the start of June.

The policy changes mean more than 3 million households will need to pay the £157.50 fee from August, according to the BBC.

That’s bad enough, and you might think it’s poor of the BBC to inflict the licence fee on senior citizens who’ve had TV for free for many years.

This hypocritical Tory certainly seems to think so:

Julian Knight, the Tory MP who chairs the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, also expressed his concerns about the decision.

“At what is already a very difficult time, this will be a body blow to millions of British pensioners,” he said.

“I had hoped that the previous delay announced would lead to the government and BBC coming together in order to thrash out a fresh deal. However, that has clearly not happened.”

He seems to have conveniently forgotten that the subsidy was ended by a Tory government, back when George Osborne was Chancellor of the Exchequer.

As This Site has previously stated, the subsidy that paid TV licence fees for people aged 75 and more was brought in by the New Labour government in 1999, when Gordon Brown promised to pay the BBC to provide the service.

Tory Chancellor George Osborne reversed that agreement in 2015 when he told the BBC the government would stop paying the subsidy by June 2020.

He did not say the BBC would be ordered to pay the subsidy instead of the Treasury; it was nothing to do with the BBC.

And before anybody tries to say that Julian Knight is misinformed and Boris Johnson wouldn’t accuse the BBC in the same way, let’s just remind ourselves of Johnson’s own words on the subject, from August 2019:

The BBC should “cough up” and pay for TV licences for all over-75s, the prime minister has said.

It comes after the BBC announced in June that it would restrict the benefit to those in low-income households.

Speaking to reporters at the G7 summit, Boris Johnson said the BBC’s funding settlement had been conditional on it continuing to fund the free licences – something the corporation disputes.

Mr Johnson told reporters at the summit in Biarritz, southern France: “The BBC received a settlement that was conditional upon their paying for TV licences for the over-75s.

“They should cough up.”

As This Writer put it at the time, it’s a typical Tory tactic.

They starved councils of funding, forcing them to cut services to the public. Who got the blame? The local authority.

They privatised huge swathes of the National Health Service, meaning that public funds were diverted into the profits of private firms and services suffered while the Tories were claiming to be increasing funding massively. Who got the blame? The NHS.

Now this.

Worse still, the Tories are using this as an opportunity to introduce means-testing for over-75s. They will demand to know how much money each household receives, in order to determine whether it should have a subsidised licence.

But the idea of means-testing by asking whether households are in receipt of pension credit is fatally flawed.

Many households don’t even know they qualify for the benefit because the Conservative government hasn’t bothered to tell them.

So let’s be honest.

Boris Johnson is lying about the fact that his Conservative government is forcing pensioners aged over 75 to pay the TV licence free – including those who should be exempt but don’t know it because his government hasn’t told them.

Source: BBC to end free licences for over-75s next month | The Independent

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Cummings’s arrogance and ignorance mean he should face criminal prosecution – for his driving

Dominic Cummings’s presumptuous decision to hold a press conference in Downing Street over his decision to break lockdown rules so he could visit his parents should lead to a prosecution for dangerous driving, it seems.

As part of his defence, he claimed that he had driven 30 miles to Barnard Castle because Covid-19 had affected his eyesight and he wanted to see if it was possible for him to drive back to London.

Incidentally:

(For those who can’t read images well, it says: “‘Barnard Castle‘ – a Durham dialect term for a coward. It derives from the Northern Rebellion… by the Catholic earls in 1569, when Sir George Bowes refused, despite many opportunities, to leave his fortified position in Barnard Castle to engage in battle. Hence also the expression come, come, that’s Barney Castle, meaning ‘that’s a pathetic excuse’.”)

Driving with impaired eyesight – meaning that a driver cannot look properly – indicates dangerous driving, which is an offence.

Indeed, the chairman of the Police Federation took to Twitter to express his concern that anyone hearing Cummings’s excuses should not assume that they can do as he said he did:

It’s a microcosm of the entire Cummings scandal – a public servant doing something forbidden to the rest of us because he thinks he is above the rules that govern us all.

If you need information here’s an easy-to-read map of Dominic’s Travels:

There was plenty more of it in his statement, and in his answers to journalists who were on the scene. I commented on a few of these transgressions:

(In a statement release half an hour before Cummings started his press conference, Durham police said: ““We can confirm that on April 1, an officer from Durham Constabulary spoke to the father of Dominic Cummings. Mr Cummings confirmed that his son, his son’s wife and child were present at the property. He told the officer that his son and son’s wife were displaying symptoms of coronavirus and were self-isolating in part of the property.” Some have claimed that, as “the property” includes three buildings, it was possible for Cummings and his wife to have stayed away from his parents – but unlikely. They would have had to meet up with them to gain access and hand over the child – who could have been a carrier of the disease, remember. Also, we only have Cummings’s word for any of this, and I wouldn’t trust him as far as I could throw his boss.)

There can be no doubt about the rules we were all told to follow – all of us, including Cummings:

Also:

and:

See for yourself:

There has been a large amount of humour:

But far more bitterness. Both can be summed up in the letter by Alan Kell, mentioned in this tweet:

https://twitter.com/TVRav/status/1265030603654729730

The letter says:

“Dear Dominic,

“I hope that you don’t mind my informal mode of address but since you were calling all the journalists by their first name I’m assuming that this is acceptable.

“I’d like to summarise my main take-aways from your extraordinary press conference in the garden of No.10 Downing Street. Please excuse me if the points are a bit random, but I think that this resonates rather well with your rambling statement.

“1. The PM’s time is very important, but not apparently anyone else’s. If just 10% of the population spent 30mn waiting for you to appear you’ve just wasted around three million hours of the nation’s time. What were you doing, having a crap?

“2. You don’t possess a smart short-sleeved shirt. I can recommend many charity shops where you can pick one up for less than a fiver.

“3. You tend to panic when your wife is unwell. In view of this, I hope you are in no way involved with national security.

“4. Your family, friends and neighbours in London all hate you.

“5. Your Dad owns a farm with many houses, but not all of them very luxurious.

“6. You have a young niece who is prepared to put her life on the line for you and your family.

“7. Your parents shout in the woods. (I hope I got that one right.)

“8. When you can’t see anything you go for a 30-mile drive to test your eyesight. This tends to make your son want to piss himself, which is quite understandable.

“9. Your wife is a fiction writer.

“10. Any confusion related to this matter is all the fault of the press which persists in reporting on things, most of which have proved to be true, which you refused to confirm or deny for two months.

“11. You had some sort of conversation with Boris but neither of you can remember when that was nor what was said. Let’s hope that’s not the norm for your conversation.

“12. You are a very very important person, critical to the future of this nation, and you wouldn’t dream of resigning. You really couldn’t let your fag Boris down in that way.

“I trust that I’ve captured all the key points. Please do let me know if I’ve missed out anything important.

“Finally, thanks very much for going in to work on a Bank Holiday, I do hope that they are paying you double time.

“Hope to see you up in Durham some time. My family is from that part of the world, but you wouldn’t know them – they mainly worked underground in the pits.”

The comment that Cummings won’t resign because he doesn’t want to let Boris Johnson down is ironic as this scandal has turned out to be ruinous for Johnson’s popularity and for any credibility that his woefully inadequate government has had in handling the Covid crisis.

As a result, it seems Johnson has lost 20 popularity percentage points in just the four days this scandal has been frothing:

Boris Johnson‘s approval rating has plunged by 20 points in four days, amid the ongoing Dominic Cummings scandal, according to new polling.

Overall government approval turned negative, to -2 per cent, according to data from polling group Savanta ComRes. That represents a drop of 16 points in just a single day.

Mr Johnson’s approval also turned negative as the scandal continued. it dropped from +19 per cent to -1 per cent since Friday, the same data showed.

Public opinion of individual ministers such as Matt Hancock, the health secretary, and chancellor Rishi Sunak also fell. Both ministers publicly backed Mr Cummings over the weekend.

But Cummings won’t face prosecution, nor will he resign. Johnson will do his best to ignore the fact that his advisor’s actions have made it irrevocably clear that they, the ministers who supported them, and the entire Tory government consider themselves to be above the law that they impose on the rest of us.

And you know what? I think people are right to be angry about that!

So I hope you will all be opening your windows at 8pm today (May 26) to give a resounding “Boo!” for Boris Johnson and all his creepy cronies:

POSTSCRIPT: Incidentally, even the act of holding a press conference was against the rules that apply to Cummings:

It seems he cannot do anything right.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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