Tag Archives: TV

Matt Hancock to be on I’m a Celebrity? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

Here’s the story:

So: disgraced former Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who was removed from office after being caught on CCTV having a lockdown-busting snog with someone who wasn’t his wife, is to be a contestant on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

The problem is that he is still a sitting member of Parliament and, while he might insist that his office staff will continue to provide an adequate service to his West Suffolk constituents, he still won’t be in Parliament to take part in important votes during most of November.

It’s no wonder the Conservative Party has withdrawn its whip from him, then.

There’s a lot of commentary on this. Let’s have a couple of videos:

I love the comment about Hancock being “in a jungle, sucking on a worm”. Is his girlfriend also going to Australia, then?

And is it a justifiable criticism to suggest that Hancock is stealing his MP salary, because he is taking reality TV money as well?

Sorry everyone, but here’s Ann Widdecombe:

I’m willing to bet she does watch the show, in the end.

Her other points seem good, though. Hancock wants to raise his profile but, by doing so, he’s betraying the dignity of his office. He wants to raise awareness of a dyslexia campaign – but it will probably be edited out of televised episodes of the show.

But what do members of the public think?

I asked readers of the Vox Political Facebook page – and it’s fair to say the question attracted quite a few responses, in spite of the algorithm that restricts readership to only around 350 of the 42,000 people who follow the site there.

“I don’t usually vote for who does the trials, but this year I’m looking forward to voting, hope Hancock is ready,” wrote Rose Dixon. This may be an idea whose time has come.

Helen Selling seems to think so: “I’d be astonished if he didn’t get more votes to do foul tasks than all the others put together.” But she also stated: “ITV have probably given him at least twice the usual ‘celebrity’ fee because they know without a doubt they will rake in millions from all the people in the UK who will ring in because they have good reason to hate Hancock more than any other ‘celebrity’ ever.” That’s a depressing thought.

“He’s absent from work without any valid reason – that would be the sack in most places of employment,” pointed out Lisbeta Ingles. “Just suspending the whip isn’t enough.”

Fiona Dowdeswell Simmons may have commented for us all when she stated: “I’m hoping against hope that he gets lost in the jungle and at times there’ll be future random sightings of him waving a cobbled together spear while snarling.”

Andy Wrathbone may have been more realistic with this offering: “Just goes to show how desperate the media are for celebrities i guess. I hope the vile Tory mollusc chokes on a cockroach… (apologies to the cockroach)…Unless HE IS the Cockroach ,(perfectly feasible), In which case I retract my original Cockroach apology and hope he chokes on a Scorpion, (apologies to the Scorpion).”

Why is he going? Brian O’Reilly has a thought about that: “It might have something to do with him been responsible for the deaths of thousands of elderly people when he said we have put a ring around care homes and then sent people from hospital back into care homes without checking if they had Covid.”

Adding to this, here’s Andrew Turner: “Well somebody is keeping up the tradition of exporting criminals to Aussie..Hope he gets a one way ticket.”

But this leads us on to a new question – of public perception. Rob Allen makes the point well: “Disgrace. The man is appalling- yet watch the public ‘relate’ to him despite the tragic consequences of his tenure. People who had or have family in nursing homes know this well. What a nation of idiots we have become.”

Is this the plan – for Hancock to be rehabilitated in the eyes of the public, despite the many thousands of deaths for which he is principally responsible? If so, it’s our duty to make sure the attempt fails.

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Why are Irish broadcasters complaining about news coverage of the Queen’s funeral?

This being a bank holiday weekend, This Writer is either otherwise occupied or almost totally incapacitated, so I’m putting up material that has interested me – and I hope it interests you. Make of it what you will:

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Will Tories sanction the Russian-owned firm that created Downing Street TV studio?

The never-used government TV briefing room: it has seen some action with internal Downing Street meetings but let’s face it – the vacuum cleaner (that I clipped from this image) has seen more use.

This is well worth resurrecting:

It was alleged last year that the £2.6 million studio created for White House-style Downing Street TV briefings was kitted out by a Russian firm called Megahertz.

Work done by the company included installing computers, cameras, microphones and a control desk.

I seem to recall writing on This Site last year that we don’t know what software extras might have been built into this studio, for the benefit of very serious people in Moscow.

But the question for now is simply this:

Has full payment been made for this work? If not, will it be withheld?

And will the firm suffer sanctions and be denied future government work?

Source: Exclusive: Russian-Owned Firm Played Key Role In Downing Street Media Refit | HuffPost UK Politics

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TV Comedian shreds Starmer

Keir Starmer: he’s not doing here what Sophie Duker suggested in the clip – but the look on his face may suggest he has been in the recent past.

This was too good to leave as a throwaway tweet so I’ve taken video and put it on TikTok to test the possibilities of that platform (and as practice for myself).

It’s from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order, in which comedian Sophie Duker (not Dukes, as the software insisted on renaming her) passes judgement on Keir Starmer’s tenure (so far) as leader of the Labour Party.

It’s not good:

@voxpolitical

Sophie Dukes shreds Keir Starmer (from Frankie Boyle’s New World Order).

♬ original sound – VoxPolitical

(To be honest, the clip isn’t that good either – sorry! But I’m sure it’ll get better once I’ve ironed out a few things.)

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News media accept supermarket food shortages are due to Brexit – contrary to Johnson’s propaganda

Lorries without drivers: news outlets are finally admitting the shortage is due to Brexit. Boris Johnson won’t like that!

This is an important admission from The Independent, although it lags a considerable time behind some of us in the social media.

The newspaper’s article Brexit food shortages could ‘cancel Christmas’ and last into 2022 acknowledges – in its headline – that Brexit is responsible for the emptying of your local supermarket’s shelves – not Covid-19.

It states:

Britain’s post-Brexit supply chain crisis could “cancel Christmas” and continue to cause food shortages well into 2022, industry leaders have warned.

Boris Johnson’s government has been urged to ease immigration rules so some EU citizens who left the UK during Brexit can return and help fill major gaps in the workforce.

McDonald’s had run out of milkshakes, [and] chicken shortages caused Nando’s to temporarily shut 50 stores last week because of supply problems linked to Brexit.

The RHA [Road Haulage Association] estimates that up to 20,000 heavy goods vehicle (HGV) drivers from the EU left during Brexit.

Tom Southall, policy officer at the Cold Chain Federation, said Brexit was partly to blame for recruitment problems across the food sector – predicting that it would be 2022 before the nation begins to get to grips with the backlog of vacancies for drivers, pickers and processors.

Norfolk food firm Alfred G Pearce, which grows and processes vegetables, is also struggling with labour shortages, having seen its workforce reduced 20 per cent to 30 per cent down after EU employees returned home during the Brexit process.

Bryan Roberts, retail analyst at Shopfloor Insights, said it would take time to train new workers, even with a major recruitment drive. “Sadly I think things are only going to get worse in the run-up to Christmas and we’ve got a whole load more regulations coming in from Brexit in October,” he said.

Other news media have caught on and are starting to say the same:

It seems people in the UK are finally turning the corner and realising that the way to conquer our differences with the EU was to remain a member state and argue for change (in a rational way, not a David Cameron do-as-I-say-or-I’ll-have-a-strop ultimatum) and not to walk out and end all the trade agreements and border deals we had in our favour.

Of course, the shortage of lorry drivers would be over if Boris Johnson and his Tories would only make two decisions: first, they could swallow their misplaced pride and bring in drivers from the EU to cover the current shortfall; second, they should raise pay rates above subsistence level – otherwise there would be no reason for anybody to help out at all.

Some employers have seen the light and raised wages unilaterally…

… but Johnson and his gang won’t impose these changes nationally because they themselves are not suffering. They don’t care about you and they never did.

So you see now that Brexit was created to engineer the very shortages you are experiencing today, deliberately, by Johnson and his Brexiteer Tories.

Source: Brexit food shortages could ‘cancel Christmas’ and last into 2022, says industry | The Independent

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Tory Hunt’s argument to block refugees is WRONG. Will the Tories really use it to change the law?

Border Force: if it has to enforce a new law blocking legitimate ways for refugees to come into the UK, won’t it be creating a market for people-traffickers?

Take a look at the following clip, from the July 6 edition of BBC2’s Politics Live.

The antagonists are left-wing social media presenter Ash Sarkar and Tory MP Tom Hunt, and they’re discussing plans by the Johnson Tory government to block ways in which refugees can come to the UK.

She puts forward common sense points about the reasons people would want to come to the UK after leaving a home country where they may be in danger – and points out that cutting off legitimate ways of entry will send more folk to the people-traffickers.

He repeats the oft-debunked – untrue – claim that refugees must settle in the first safe country they enter – and blusters. A lot.

As I stated on Twitter: “You can sympathise with every adult woman trying to reason with a little boy having a tantrum, can’t you?”

The concern is that it is Hunt who is in a position to make a new UK law on refugees.

On this evidence, it will be prejudiced – if not downright racist.

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£2.6 million was spent on Downing Street TV studio for nothing as media briefings scrapped

The briefest of briefing rooms: your local parish council could have done a better job, and cheaper, but Boris Johnson gave the contract to a company based in a hostile state. Now it is being withdrawn from service. How many times was it used?

Boris Johnson has scrapped plans for White House-style press briefings from a new £2.6 million TV studio in Downing Street – meaning he spent all that public money for nothing.

Apparently the room will be used for internal government briefings by Johnson and his ministers instead. They could do that in any ordinary Whitehall office.

Most of us have been doing much the same from our own homes, using Zoom, Skype, or even Facebook Messenger.

The decision confirms what This Writer believed – that this was nothing but another hugely expensive vanity project for Johnson.

His overspending on fripperies like this, described by some as “spaffing cash up the wall”, has brought a new meaning to the phrase “quantitative easing” (which is what the Bank of England has been having to do in order to allow the nation to cover the cost).

Johnson was shamed into admitting the existence of the studio in February, after it was reported on the social media that, after the huge expense, the space was going unused.

Last month he announced that he would be using the studio after all – and we all warned that he doesn’t have the personality to pull it off.

And then we discovered that the studio had been fitted out by a tech firm based in Russia. Who knows what surveillance equipment was installed there?

(I suppose we’ll find out soon enough, if Johnson really intends to have private briefings there instead of public, press affairs; any really embarrassing secrets will soon get out if the place is full of bugs.)

The whole sorry saga has been a national embarrassment.

Our man-child of a prime minister wanted to play with a new toy that he thought would make him look good – and has wound up looking like a spoilt brat squatting in his own mess.

Source: Downing Street scraps plans for White House-style press briefings – BBC News

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Have the Tories been SHAMED into bringing their £2.6 million ‘briefing room’ out of mothballs?

£2.6m on a TV studio and it will look much like this: the flags will be there but probably not the fireplace, and Johnson is likely to be speaking from a podium. One thing that is likely to remain absent is a comb.

Funny how the Johnson government has announced it is planning to run daily press conferences from its £2.6m media briefing TV studio, shortly after the social media reported that the space was going unused and the money had been wasted, isn’t it?

This Site’s own story appeared on February 22 and you can read it here.

I said at the time that the spending on a Boris Johnson vanity project showcased his fascination with the United States presidency. Perhaps he wants to seem presidential?

If so, it won’t work because he simply doesn’t have the personality to pull it off. All that will happen is we will be able to identify his lies more quickly, without a layer of client-journalist interpretation to get in our way.

This in turn causes me to speculate on the selection of press representatives who will be allowed access to the briefings.

It seems unlikely that anybody without a Conservative Party membership card in their pocket is likely to get past the Downing Street gates.

With the briefings being televised, that may not matter. But how long will that last?

I can see live briefings turning into “selected highlights” as the novelty diminishes and ratings decline.

And who will select them?

Source: Downing Street: Millions spent on new media briefing room – BBC News

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£2.7m TV studio shows Johnson hasn’t only been wasting cash on Covid-19

Press briefing: Johnson spent millions of pounds of your money on a TV studio he hasn’t used once, despite an apparently endless succession of press briefings and ministerial broadcasts.

Sometimes the news is focused so heavily on the Coronavirus that it’s easy to forget that Boris Johnson’s government is incompetent in every other way, too.

Case in point: he spent £2.7 million on a television studio that has never been used.

Worse, there are doubts that it ever will be, as attitudes have changed since your money was used to pay for it.

I’d say the money could have been spent on personal protective equipment but I am reminded that Johnson’s government has spent £15 billion on PPE – and then lost the lot.

This is incompetence on a historic scale.

The TV studio was part of Johnson’s infatuation with the presidential system in the United States:

The room is believed to have been modelled on the press room in the West Wing at the White House in Washington.

It was intended to be used for on-camera briefings from press secretaries and ministers.

The plans for the briefings had to be delayed due to coronavirus lockdown restrictions preventing journalists from gathering.

But with the plans on hold, it isn’t clear when they may be back on the table.

They may never be revived. This studio – worth a fortune – may remain unused for years to come, until somebody remembers it and finds a better use for the space.

In the meantime it stands as a metaphor for the contents of our prime minister’s skull:

Dark and empty.

Source: Boris Johnson ‘spent £2,700,000 on a TV studio which hasn’t been used’ | Metro News

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Johnson’s Covid policies are killing his core voters but the mass media are hiding it

Get the message? You won’t see Boris Johnson actually sitting over a dying pensioner making rude gestures at them (and the rest of us), but he might as well. Until pensioners realise that his policies on Covid-19 add up to the same, he can carry on – aided by the papers and TV channels that keep the over-60s tranquillised – easy prey for the cull.

Simon Wren-Lewis makes an excellent point here:

The people most at risk from this pandemic are those who predominantly voted this government in.

The article points out that people aged over 60 are most at risk from Covid-19. There are 16 million of them and 60 per cent – 9.6 million – voted for Boris Johnson and his Conservatives.

Meanwhile, Johnson has made mistake – if you can call them that – after mistake and more than 70,000 people have died, according to official figures. Unofficial figures put the number much higher.

How can a government that lived through March 2020 not just repeat the same mistakes again, but make worse mistakes?

When a Prime Minister, supported by his ministers, ignores medical advice again and again, the responsibility rests entirely with him.

Now comes the really nasty bit: the mass media – your friendly daily paper; your cuddly favourite TV channel – has been misleading those at-risk over-60s by hiding the truth from them.

The newspapers they read are doing their best to hide the truth from them, the broadcast media with a few honorable exceptions chooses not to enlighten them, and recently it appears the government has resorted to trying to hide what is happening in hospitals.

So those over 60 will continue to vote for a government that through its failures is literally killing them.

How perverse.

READ: mainly macro: Why the UK’s COVID crisis should be personal for so many Tory voters

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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