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:sunglasses: 87.5 % 🙏 12.5 %
By Malcolm Armsteen
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Political sketch writer at the Guardian, implacable foe of Johnson and his government.

Excels himself today with his PMQ sketch: ... PAM-aNjfvM

A sample:
It turns out that the simplest way to compromise Boris is merely by using his own words against him as evidence. Starmer started with a gentle warm-up. Two weeks ago, the prime minister had boasted of our apparent success in dealing with the coronavirus. What part of a death rate of more than 30,000 – the highest in Europe – did he consider a success? Johnson barely even attempted an answer, muttering that he hoped one day the international data might produce the conclusions he wanted. Besides, now was not the time for any kind of public inquiry. Or ever, if possible.

From there on it all went steadily downhill for Boris as Starmer observed it was the government’s own data that highlighted the UK’s unwanted top spot in European coronavirus deaths. Wasn’t it the fact that we had been too slow to lock down, to test, to trace and to provide personal protective equipment? Why had it taken 12 weeks to recognise the danger in care homes? When were we going to see a proper strategy as opposed to a few barely literate slogans?

Boris visibly wilted under the most gentle of onslaughts. Maybe he’s still not fully recovered from his illness. Maybe his time in intensive care has provided him with a conscience that had hitherto been absent. Or maybe he somehow realises the game is up. That he was essentially a prime minister for the Good Times, someone to lift spirits with delusional appeals to jingoism. All of which could take place in a moral vacuum of no consequences for him. Now, though, he knows he’s been found out. That his failures have left him with blood on his hands that no amount of washing for 20 seconds while singing Happy Birthday can get clean. He has become Lady Macbeth.
By Oblomov
Those final two lines are killer, better than anything Quentin Letts has ever written.
By Malcolm Armsteen
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JC on BJ's performance in the House: ... ght-before
But mostly Johnson wanted to make clear that the parts of Sunday’s televised speech that people had found confusing weren’t really as confusing as all that. Although it might appear that he was easing the lockdown, the reality was that nothing had changed. All he was doing was restating the regulations he had put in force back in March that rather too many people had interpreted too zealously.

When he had said that people should stay at home wherever possible, it had never occurred to him for a minute that people would take him at his word. So now he just wanted all those people whom he had always meant to carry on working to get back to work instead of staying at home.

Though, obviously, people should only go back to work if they could get there without taking public transport, if their employers had implemented proper social distancing measures in the workplace and they didn’t have any problems with childcare. The very reasons why most people had stopped going to work in the first place. And people could now go swimming in the sea and go for a drive because they were basically already doing that of their own accord.
By youngian
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That he was essentially a prime minister for the Good Times, someone to lift spirits with delusional appeals to jingoism. All of which could take place in a moral vacuum of no consequences for him. Now, though, he knows he’s been found out.

Crace isn’t the first person in the last 15 years to say Johnson’s been found out when he leaves a massive dump on the doorstep for others to clean up. But he never does and so far in this crisis shows Johnson would win a landslide tomorrow.
By Malcolm Armsteen
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Boris Johnson resorts to bluster under Starmer's cross-examination
Little cause for celebration as incompetent and unprepared PM crumbles at PMQs ... are_btn_tw
On Monday Boris Johnson was singing the praises of “good old-fashioned British common sense”. A higher order of common sense than French or German common sense, naturally. So it’s unfortunate that this is the very quality he seems to singularly lack. Because you’d have thought the one thing Boris might have learned from his first time up against Keir Starmer at prime minister’s questions last week was that it would be a help to come properly prepared.

But Boris has never done preparation for anything. It’s not in his nature. Preparation is for girly swots. He is a tabula rasa who treats every day as a new beginning. One free from the consequences of any past actions. He is the macho blagger who has always been able to wing it, fuelled by a few gags and some hasty last-minute revision. Something that might have been good enough, when backed up by a full chamber of braying Tory MPs, to see off Jeremy Corbyn, but that is proving hopelessly inadequate against a top QC in a near-silent courtroom. Things are now so bad that every time Boris opens his mouth, he only encourages the jury to convict him and the judge to increase his sentence.
I fully agree with this bit:
It’s also possible that Starmer has made the same mistake as many people in severely overestimating Boris’s intelligence. That the long words and the Latin phrases simply cover up the fact the prime minister isn’t particularly bright
Starmer moved on to the Office for National Statistics figures for deaths in care homes. Their report suggested there had been an excess death figure of 18,000 people, yet the government was certain that only 8,000 of them had died of the coronavirus. So what did he think the other 10,000 had died of? Boris shrugged. It was a huge mystery. Perhaps some were dying of happiness. Or of over-exertion in the gym during lockdown? Or perhaps they were dying of disappointment that the UK still had not technically left the EU?

“I’m baffled,” said Starmer. Baffled is QC speak for ‘Now I’ve got you nailed, you filthy lying toerag’.
I do wish we could know what Winegums thinks of this...
By Oblomov
Important that he notes the real Johnson is a deeply unpleasant person but I fear it won't be a deep cut, I'm reminder of an American woman the other day criticising Trump "for not hurting the right people". People are vindictive and petty and don't care if their guy is a scumbag so long as the people they don't like are collateral damage.
By Malcolm Armsteen
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Today's offering: ... rlough-him
Matt opened by talking about mental health awareness week. “It is OK to not be OK,” he said. These were the only true and heartfelt words he said throughout the hour. Because he was talking to himself as much as anyone following the briefing on TV. Matt is not OK. He hasn’t been OK for a while. He’s become snappier, more short-tempered. He’s aged visibly over the past few months. Lines have appeared on his shiny, prepubescent face. In time, we might see hints of acne. If anyone in the cabinet really cared about his mental health, they’d put Matt on a furlough scheme for several months.
The Red Arrow liked this
By Malcolm Armsteen
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John is cross. ... are_btn_tw
Boris Johnson is no more than Dominic Cummings’s sock-puppet. A fairly shabby one at that. The reality is that without Classic Dom, there could be no Boris. All that Boris really amounts to is a parasitical ball of compromised ambition fuelled by a viral overload of neediness and cowardice. There is no substance or dignity left within the prime minister. His only instinct is his own survival.
Not that Boris had actually wanted to front up the No 10 briefing. It was just that every other cabinet minister had phoned in to say they were self-isolating in their second homes. Or in Robert Jenrick’s case, his third home.

Right from the off, Boris had looked rattled. The self-styled great communicator has lost the power of language and can now only talk in staccato bursts of incomprehensible Morse code. Even more disastrously, he is the populist politician who has lost track of the mood of the people. His survival skills have deserted him. The country is spitting blood at the arrogance of one rule for the elite and another for the rest, and Boris is totally oblivious.

Breathless and pasty-faced, his eyes still bloodshot after his talking-to by Dom, Boris leapt to his boss’s defence. He hadn’t been able to throw a protective ring around care homes, but he sure as hell was going to throw one round Cummings. Classic Dom had done nothing wrong at all. In fact, he had done what any father would do and drive to his second home. Mostly because he was so short of friends that he had no one within a 260-mile radius who could leave food parcels for his child. Oddly, that was one of the few statements that sounded vaguely convincing.
He refused to answer any questions about whether he knew Dom had done a runner – just imagine Boris working from Downing Street imagining his host body was holed up in north London – or when he discovered that Dom was in Durham. Not because he didn’t know, but because he genuinely thought it didn’t matter. Boris is a true believer in his own exceptionalism, a trait that he graciously extends to those who are close to him. He genuinely doesn’t see a problem with not obeying a rule himself that he has asked the rest of the country to follow. So what if Dom and his family might have risked infecting a few dozen inconsequential little people? Sacrifice is what other, lesser people do. Nor was there even an attempt to answer the allegations about Dom’s other alleged extracurricular outings to Barnard Castle or the bluebell woods.

In saving Dom – for the time being at least – Boris had tossed away the credibility of his own government. He has been stripped bare and exposed as not very bright, lacking in judgment and completely amoral.
By Boiler
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Boris had tossed away the credibility of his own government. He has been stripped bare and exposed as not very bright, lacking in judgment and completely amoral.
Something that even 40 years ago would have deemed you unfit for office. And yet tonight I saw a whiny shit on another forum say how depressed this was making him as he voted for Johnson. In Scotland.
By Kreuzberger
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Crace, usually good for at least one one-liner, seems to be fucking livid. Rightly so.

In one sense, it is refreshing that he is no longer laughing at the clown. In another, it doesn't really amount to much. The fulcrum is what happens with the mail and M-o-L (both swithering) and, of course, Murdoch who might just be waiting for a moment to strike and manoeuvrer Gove in to position.
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