Midweek Matters-The Political And The Personal.

• Boris Johnson has loftily informed the bereaved families of the nearly 128,000 coronavirus victims that he doesn’t have the time for a public enquiry into his own government’s handling of the pandemic. However, he appears to have plenty of time to engage in a puerile briefing war with ex-spad cartoon supervillian Dominic Cummings, who is apparently responsible for the explosive news that Johnson (allegedly) said ‘no more fucking lockdowns, let the bodies pile high in their thousands.’ I cannot known for sure if he really said such a thing; I wasn’t in the room. I would like to believe that no one, let alone the Prime Minister, would say anything so vile but there’s certainly circumstantial evidence suggesting he did.

For a start, it’s been corroborated by multiple, so far anonymous, Tories. It’s inconceivable to me that they would do so unless it were true with the May local elections just around the corner. Secondly, the BBC is still running with the story despite an obvious on-the-record blanket denial from Johnson. This suggests they’re confident in their sources; the BBC is understandably terrified of this government who would take great pleasure in destroying the institution. Finally, and I admit this is entirely subjective, Michael Gove has stood up in the Commons and launched a robust defence of Johnson and I would sooner believe there are fairies at the bottom of my shithole of a garden than believe a word that duplicitous sycophant says. For an allegedly intelligent man Johnson is naive. Gove may side with Johnson whilst it benefits him, but he will stab him in the back the moment the tide turns, just as he’s done before.

• And so the row about Johnson’s refurbishment of the Prime Ministerial flat rumbles on. For some bizarre reason, he thought it was a good idea to send out walking charisma vacuum Therese Coffey to do the media rounds on his behalf. Apparently she’s the Work and Pensions secretary, although I know I’ve read that several times I seem to immediately forget about her existence the moment I finish the article. Anyway, according to Coffey the public simply don’t care about where the money to cover the £58,000 bill came from. Sadly she’s probably right. People simply don’t seem to give a shit how mired in sleaze and cronyism this government becomes according to the polling results, although they really should.

According to her, it will all be ‘tidied up in something called the annual accounts, which get published by departments every year.’ Really, secretary of state? Something annual is published yearly, you say? And they contain financial information do they? Just exactly how stupid does she think we all are? Johnson has spent £3000 on a table, £9800 on a sofa, £5900 on a rattan armchair and bought wallpaper costing £840 a roll. All this at a time when thousands have lost their jobs and businesses are folding at an alarming rate. He’s received a loan for all of this and electoral law states all loans must be declared within a month. He’s failed to do so, and he’s certainly got form because this is the eleventh time he’s not made such a declaration.

• Yet another individual out defending his boss to the media is the Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross. Whilst he insists Johnson said no such thing, he refused to say on three separate occasions that he believes the PM is a man of ‘honesty and integrity,’ instead opting for the tried-and-tested politician’s technique of waffling obfuscation. Hard to blame him really. Men of honesty and integrity don’t generally shag their mistresses in the marital home whilst their wives undergo cancer treatment, nor are they sacked from two separate jobs for lying.

Bright Spots

• My current favourite song is The Middle by Jimmy Eat World. Cheesy as it is, I’ve had a rough week and I’ve felt very bad about myself for most of it and this song really speaks to me. It’s a song of hope and of reassurance; reminding the listener that as long as they do their best and are true to themselves, it does not matter what anyone else thinks of them.

• I’m watching Ripper Street on Amazon Prime video and I’m hooked. I’m a huge fan of true crime, history and attractive men and this show has all three. It’s about Inspector Reid, who is policing Whitechapel in the immediate aftermath of the Jack the Ripper murders. The acting and cinematography are wonderful, and it captures the atmosphere of London’s East End in the late Victorian era beautifully.

• I’ve kept up a similar theme with my reading material and I’m presently enjoying Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane by Paul Thomas. I’ve read it before and it’s very good. It’s nonfiction and tells the story of the brutal murder of Jane Coulson, a maid-of-all-work in 1840s London and her alleged killer Edward Pook, the son of her employer. No spoilers of course, but I will warn that it goes on a bit in parts.

• To my delight, my little boy is making incredible progress with his reading and writing. I’m always proud of him of course, but to see him flourishing at school despite all the challenges his Reception year has presented warms my heart.

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