Shades of Gray

Edward Case
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Before the publication of the report into Covid lockdown and distancing rule breaking in Downing Street, Boris Johnson made it clear to the media that he considered senior civil servant Sue Gray’s reputation to be beyond reproach.

That report, when it was eventually released, contributed greatly to the then Prime Minister’s downfall which itself led to a period of utter chaos as premiers and senior ministers came and went in the blink of an eye.

So I don’t think anyone can be surprised at the Government’s reaction to her being offered a new job as chief of staff to the leader of the opposition.

Some Tories (well, two) see it as a chance to redeem their former leader while others are hoping a dollop of sleaze can wipe off onto Labour and maybe even draw attention away from the cost of living crisis and local elections.

Regardless of how the independent Advisory Committee on Business Appointments (Acoba) decides – and they could come to the conclusion that she can’t take the position for two weeks, two months or even two years – it’s not a good look for someone formerly over ethics to leave the civil service then a day later be announced as Smarmer’s new red right hand.

But what I don’t understand is how squeaky clean follow the rules Career Harmer didn’t see this coming. Or did he?

Smear Farmer has nothing to lose over this, depending, of course, on exactly when the job offer was made. Now that really would open up a whole new can of worms.

But if he’s in the clear (and let’s face it the guy is made of Teflon) he can just get another chief of staff in time for next year’s general election if he has to and forget it ever happened.

Sue Gray on the other hand is going to have her integrity permanently tarnished because she reached for the carrot he dangled in front of her nose.


The suggestion that we could all pledge our allegiance to King Charles from our living rooms on Saturday as he is crowned in Westminster Abbey is the sort of daft idea one would expect of some gimmicky right-on down with the kids vicar in Berks, not the Archbishop of Banterbury.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a Royalist of sorts. With some notable exceptions I like them for the most part. Charles, Ann, the Cambridges and the new Edinburghs do a decent job, even if some of their properties could be put to better use as affordable housing and cutting the firm down to seven seniors would make a lot of sense.

But I won’t be taking the knee at the weekend thanks all the same vicar.

Or calling Camilla the Queen now I come to think about it. She’s alright, but she’s not my Queen and never will be.


When my dear late father was Joe Biden’s age he tried to hold a telephone conversation with me while speaking into the TV remote he was holding in his other hand.

At the moment Biden appears to be the only person the Democrats have to go up against Trump and that should strike fear into the heart of everyone on the planet.


How is someone charged with 34 felony offences in the US allowed to leave the country and fly to Scotland for some golf?


The instant I saw that Paul Burrell was going to be part of I’m A Celebrity…South Africa, I knew it wasn’t for me. I would rather watch a bunch a Aussie idiots marry a complete stranger than that tripe.

Stupid TV quiz answer of the week

The Weakest Link

Q: Which former member of The Beatles headlined Glastonbury in 2022?

A: Queen


Edward Case