Throughout history, British Prime Ministers (and indeed any democratically elected world leader, but let’s keep it at home to make my point) have a defining moment during their time in power which even though it forms just a small part of the whole story will create their legacy and determine how history will judge them.
Even Churchill, whose entire life was a series of historical markers, has a reputation driven by the Second World War, for Eden it was Suez, Wilson the devaluation of the pound, Heath, the power crisis and subsquent three day week, Thatcher, take your pick but for time’s sake I’ll say The Falklands Conflict, Blair, not his part as Labour’s saviour with the 1997 elction victory but for WMD and the second invasion of Iraq, Cameron, misjudging the posibility that we might actually vote for Brexit (the pig’s head will be long forgotten) and Boris Johnson, not for the huge majority of 2019 but for the events of the following year which are only now becoming public knowledge through the Covid 19 inquiry.
Every day brings with it a new set of horrific soundbites which put extra nails into the coffins of an already dead political careers, although as Chancellor of the Exchequer at the time, Rishi Rich appears to be getting off scott free, even though he was involved in a particularly disturbing two-way discussion with the PM over the economy vs fatalities.
Even with much of it coming from real life Malcolm Tucker, Dominic Cummings (who is hardly the arbiter of standards when it comes to the coronavirus and has denied ever acting with “offence or mysogeny” in Downing Street to the inquiry – HA!) it is the revelations of this week that will ultimately define Boris’s premiership.
Free speech is facing an existential threat from acticist groups who are labelling anything they don’t agree with as “hate speech” and unless this is seen for what it is, an attempt at control, we may as well go back to the witch trials of centuries past.
The intelligentia are biting their tongues in fear of being cancelled for offending idiots who themselves are being told what they should and should not find offensive.
To quote Ricky Gervais, being offended doesn’t automatically make you right.
J K Rowling and comedy writer Graham Linehan have been vilified as “transphobic” simply for voicing their concerns out about women’s rights, fairness in sport, the infallability of chromosomes, gender self identifying and, in Linehan’s case, the difference between a transvestite and a transsexual and the long term health implications of putting confused youngsters on drugs to ward off puberty.
Yet they have been vilified and treated as pariahs even by some of the people who owe their celebrity and success to them for fear that they may find themselves cancelled by association.
Having an opinion and expressing it is everyone’s right and if you happen not to agree with it, well that’s fine – live with it.
Meanwhile, to the comics that are now disowning some of their own breakthrough skits and stand-up routines that used shock and edginess as a method to throw a spotlight on inequality and intolerance – own it and grow a pair!
Only the IOPC and the Metropolitan Police could have the brass neck to spend three years investigating the 2020 street search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos, supposedly for drugs and firearms as they parked outside their home, leading to last week’s sacking of the officers concerned for lying (the old “I can smell cannabis” excuse) yet still maintain that the incident wasn’t racially motivated.
Living in denial would be the nicest thing I could say about it, but taking the public for fools and treating the victims of this horrible episode with utter contempt is probably a closer description.
How can this be allowed to continue? Just last week we heard of a young black lad who had been surrounded by armed officers while innocently playing with a plastic water pistol with his younger sibling.
What’s the excuse there? I smelled water?
Crikey, the new series Time on BBC1 is grim.
Stupid TV quiz answer of the week
A couple of crackers from The Chase
Q: What Australian animal has a flat bill?
Q: All the spots we’ve got is slang for a roll of 12 in what dice game?