For the rapidly defeating Downing Street Winter Guardian, it was a few more days that caused paranoia. What about leaked images and leaked videos and account leak of various gatherings, we have to ask: is there a party this lot were not at? I’m just looking at a 1921 photo of the Fourth of July Ball at the Overlook Hotel and… why yes. Do you want to watch this. There’s Boris Johnson, right in the middle, with a half-wheel of Brie stuck in his mouth. And there’s Dominic Cummings behind one palm, tidying another wine tank while considering himself better than all that.
As with the final image of The Shining, the image of the “business meeting” in the Downing Street Garden during last year’s lockdown instead makes you question everything that has happened before. The stories of ordinary people around this time, many of which are shared on social media, are often quite heartbreaking. Against the mother who buried her 14-year-old son in a tiny funeral at the edge of a grave, without an alarm clock, there is something viscerally repulsive about the fact that cabinet ministers are calling this garden of cheese and wine perfectly understandable given that Downing Street staff work in “grueling conditions”.
Once again, we see the Johnson-era lieutenant’s truest belief: that no one works more than them. Talk about metropolitan elitism. But that’s not even a moral sermon, really – their own sense of debt to society is a big deal to them. Rather, it is an object lesson in professional efficiency. Why – WHY – were these people not even professionally interested enough to realize that as rule-makers for a deadly pandemic it was essential that they adhere to the rule at all times. letter and spirit of these? What a dazzling failure of the imagination. Maybe they just thought they’d never get caught. Either way, as we await the known unknowns of the Omicron Wave, it’s crazy that the staff at No 10 have done as much to undermine trust in vital public health messages as the crazed conspirators on YouTube. These Downing Street geniuses have once again dealt a heavy blow to long-term levels of trust in this country’s politicians and politicians – and with a few exceptions, they’re still working on it. Forgive me; they always work “for us”. Have they finally realized that reckless cheese and wine cost lives? I wouldn’t bet on it. Obviously, they didn’t learn the lesson even after they discovered car-based careless eye tests were costing lives.
Either way, speaking of business meetings, weak King Johnson is now reduced to holding cabinets longer than two hours in which the decision is yet to be made. Yesterday ex-Brexit Minister David Frost was missing from the table, who seems tired of trying to renegotiate his own terrible deal with the EU. To appease Johnson’s Flat Earth backbenchers – hey, they did their own internet research – the PM reportedly considered installing Iain Duncan Smith in Frost’s place
Incredible. Do you want someone to crackers with your cheese? It’s like asking the dumbest ending in the Marvel fandom which character they would most like to see given more to do. Duncan Smith is basically Star lord. As for Johnson, feeling that IDS could be a good idea to replace now has the same energy as the former England manager Graham Taylor goes: “We’re going to put Wrighty on, do you want to…?” It’s made for Wrighty to come in and score.
In the end, he opted for Liz Truss. But it all points to a vintage Christmas TV. On the BBC, I look forward to David Tennant’s Phileas Fogg; and on the 24-hour news channels, I’ll watch the Brexit revolution continue to devour its children. We’re also looking forward to Easter times, when leadership hopeful Truss will step down from the Foreign Office because Johnson’s Brexit isn’t hard enough for her. (Liz is a old remaining, sure, but five and a half years before the simplest affair in human history, who matters?)
Anyway. Let us return to the “working rally”, which took place on Friday, May 15, 2020. It was Dominic Raab who broke this line of “execrable conditions” in defense of the Prime Minister on Monday, even if it should be specified that he did not himself was not there. . (Raab checks his closures on Friday nights, adjusting the freezer dials if necessary.) I appreciate the layering of the photo. At the top of the table we have our infinitely self-proclaimed first-class minds including Dominic Cummings (history, Oxford) and the brilliant 4D strategist to whom he would lose a power struggle, Carrie Johnson (art history and studies theater, Warwick). In this snap, Cummings is basking with a tall glass of red, although exactly a week after taking it, he could have spent his Friday night reading the early reports of his trip out of lockdown to County Durham, this which – until all of these Downing Street holiday revelations emerged – was the biggest blow to the government’s own public health message during the entire pandemic. As you may know, Cummings has now been absurdly renamed as some sort of heroic Cassandra who always rushed around to try and get lower humans to listen to him.
Heading down to the patio, we have our business class seating, and out onto the lawn for a premium economy table which includes people who would be James Slack and Jess Seldon (government communications) and Dilyn the dog (wand, chew furniture, and management of the VIP channel of PPE contracts). Standing on the grass, saving / the hold, are a bunch would have understood Matt Hancock, who that very afternoon had explained to the nation that they were only allowed to meet one person outside their household, and only if they stood two feet away from the one another outside.
So that’s where we are at the time of writing. No – wait – I forgot about placeman cabinet secretary Simon Case, who took on the job of investigating a few other Downing Street parties, even knowing his own team hosted an event last Christmas with drinks and snacks, which he had “walked through”. It was only when this was discovered that Case recused himself. Small as it may sound to some, in some ways it is the greatest story of all. The head of the entire civil service agreed to “investigate” a subject on which he knew could be considered compromised. It is not so much that something is rotten in the state of Denmark, as absolutely everything is rotten in the state of Denmark.
Of course, the only thing we can be sure of is that Johnson will be infinitely more concerned with finding out which person or people are disclosing all of this information about how he and his people behave, rather than the behavior itself. He must be able to have fun in peace, right? Go on. All the work and no play makes Boris a boring boy.