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Showing posts from May, 2020

Reframing the narrative

Watching the ongoing Dominic Cummings car-crash unfold has been an extended exercise in watching norms be subverted in real time. It'd be laughable if it wasn't so worrying. From the initial blush-free rebuttals of "fake news" right up to the flimsy excuses about test drives it has, from start to finish, been one of the least edifying displays of political re-positioning since the Iraq War and the dodgy dossier. Worse, perhaps, in that this is lying without shame, with a smile on its lips, with a nudge and a wink. Denial becomes admission becomes it doesn't matter though in the blink of an eye. Johnson produces glasses at a Press Conference, claiming that sight loss is a COVID-19 symptom. It's theatre, it's easily proven that he's long needed them, it doesn't matter. Cummings demonstrably breaks guidelines, he admits to it, it doesn't matter. It is clear that Government strategy is the age old line-drawn-lets-move-on. And even if Cummings hasn&

Gaslighting an entire country

Exciting times at Westminster, as the current crop of people who we, for form's sake, must loosely term the cabinet have been wheeled out to spectacularly poor effect to defend the actions of Kooky Misfit Genius Dom Cummings.  A quick recap, fore those who have been doing something constructive with their day. The story broke this morning that the PM's chief adviser and third place winner at Butlin's Minehead Skeletor Lookylikey 1997, Dominic Cummings had, in contravention of all Gov guidelines, done a bunk to his parents on the off-chance he and his wife had coronavirus (they did, as it turns out, but that's not really the point). This, it doesn't need spelling out, was pretty terrible news for HMG. During a time when the PM was saying "If you're thinking of visiting your Mother this Mother's Day - don't" DC was doing precisely that. At a time when people were not even allowed to say goodbye to their dying relatives, the DomMeister was pootlin

The Telegraph stole my PPE

Cor, the media, eh? What a bunch of bastards. You may have seen the posts doing the rounds. Someone's probably shared a status, copied from somewhere else. Someone's commented on re-tweet. You know the ones. The faux reasonable ones telling the media to lay off the government. Saying that we need to pull together at a time like this and criticism isn't helpful. Saying that "they" got it worng about Brexit and "they" are wrong this time. You may have seen stuff that goers a bit further. The stuff that calls the media liars, says they're all the same. You may, Lord help you, even know someone who uses the term "fake news" or, even worse "MSM" with a straight face without asking themselves why they're cribbing the playbook of a creature who suggested just a few weeks ago that the way to combat coronavirus was to drink bleach. To which the only reasonable response is: what on Earth have you been reading? I'm not here t

Mise-en-place. (Chef shortcuts, part one)

(My apologies in advance to the late great Anthony Bourdain, who I have in part ripped off for this blog, the idea of breaking down a pro's mise en place was his, he did it in the excellent "Les Halles Cookbook" which, if you don't have, you should; but it seemed pretty apt for the time, and I can assure you that the words are very much mine) One of the common archetypes of a certain sort of fiction is the person who can't help but bring their work home with them, the workaholic who can't switch off. There's generally a moment of clarity about half way to two thirds through when their child or significant other yells some damning imprecation at them, and they learn the error of their ways. They loosen up, make more time for family, realise that there's more to life than work. Then, because you can't have a life lesson in this sort of fiction and then just get on with things, the person that taught them the life lesson dies in the penultimate chap