The credibility of the Prime Minister is being called into question. For the second time during the period of the pandemic, evidence has come to light of people working with the Prime Minister playing fast and loose with the rules laid down for the general public. With Dominic Cummings, the matter was resolved because Dominic Cummings brazened it out. This time seems different. The full seriousness of the situation has been made clear by the person who is at the center of the scandal – Allegra Stratton.
In an emotional speech, Allegra Stratton offers her ‘profound apologies’ to those affected by her comments after footage emerged of her joking about a Downing Street Christmas party last year.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 8, 2021
Listening to these remarks, I hear the words of someone who seems to understand how the public sees this video. But the words are being read from a script and she spends half her speech”on message” about COP26.
This scandal is not just about “parties”, it’s about the misrepresentation of the truth to a public who are “played” through press conferences.
— Another UK Voice (@AnotherUKVoice) December 8, 2021
We are generally held to be responsible for what we do or say, which appears to be why Allegra Stratton’s resignation was accepted and why Boris Johnson seemed so outraged by this turn of events. But the public do not seem to be fooled.
As a touchstone for popular opinion, look no further than to Jo Cumbo
Focus should remain on the families who lost loved ones during the Covid lockdowns, and who could not say goodbye in person. Christmas is particularly hard for the bereaved but grief is now being compounded by revelations of Covid rule-breaking at the highest level of government.
— Josephine Cumbo (@JosephineCumbo) December 8, 2021
Jo Cumbo cares, I care and I suspect you care too.
The credibility of the Government is at stake – that ought to matter.
Over the days running up to Christmas, the Prime Minister will be held to account as to why his parliamentary advisers were messing around in this way, what parties were going on in his house and just what authority he had over what appears to be a free for all of festive frivolity.
There appear to be three separate parties under investigation and while the police don’t want to get involved, the general public certainly do.
But the video is more than just evidence of there being parties, it is evidence of the media circus that so perverts our proper understanding of the pandemic and undermines the credibility of the Prime Minister and his authority.
The credibility of the media is also at stake.
The news story is being broken in a number of ways, Allegra Stratton worked for ITV and that was the leg up into Downing Street.
When the general public gradually discover that Allegra Stratton worked, just 3 years ago, for the same ITV that ran the video of her and also worked previously for Robert Peston and Newsnight, they might begin to wonder what on earth goes on in London politics and media.
— John Anderson (@johnandpol) December 8, 2021
ITV have laid out the timeline of what has relevantly happened since November 2020 on this link
This news is arriving one year after the event, the public have to ask the question why it has been sat on for a year. Over the summer I heard rumors about this party and told that I was just the kind of person who shouldn’t know the detail. Frankly , I hear a lot of gossip and don’t use this blog as a gossip shop.
But I do think we should be asking some serious questions, not just of the Prime Minister , but of the people who serve us up our news stories. If people were talking about this party to me in a pub in Blackfriars in September, people knew about it in the Westminster Village. The release of this information is happening at precisely the time the Prime Minister was announcing Plan B. We are being played and we know it. There is little trust in Government and very little for the media.
Why should we take care ?
We all now know people who have had Covid, many of us have had it ourselves. We now need to take further precautions and many of us will not be having the kind of Christmas we expected.
Those who have made up their mind to defy the new restrictions will put themselves and others at risk, and they will be able to point to Allegra Stratton and most probably the Prime Minister and say “one law for them, another for us”.
The role of the media in this , suggests that we are being played by sections of the press and quite possibly by politicians who are working with the press. This is ugly and will get uglier.
Amazingly, in this whole circus, the only words that sounded authentic to me were Allegra Stratton’s. In her tearful address to the people who she worked with, she spoke the things the public think.
Allegra wept , but can we weep for her? Why should we? In the amoral world of Number 10 Downing Street, why should anyone care at all?