Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Susie Ferguson oblivious to Alastair Campbell's hypocrisy (May 27, 2020)

Blair's hatchet man railed against "hypocrisy" and "lying"yesterday,                                     but Susie Ferguson seemed oblivious to the irony.
RNZ National, Tuesday 26 May 2020, 7:58 a.m. 
The Dominic Cummings scandal has provoked disgust from people all over Britain and indeed much of the rest of the world. Just before the news yesterday morning, Suzie Fergusson was subjected to an extended rant on the matter from a man with a Lancashire accent….
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL: This stuff is just doing my BRAIN in. We're in the middle of a pandemic, we're one of the WORST affected countries in the world, we've got TENS of thousands of people have DIED. We've got BUSINESSES collapsing left, right and centre, we've got UNEMPLOYMENT skyrocketing, and the entire government today has been en-, has been enga-a-aged in NOTHING to do with that, and EVERYTHING to do with trying to protect this ri-DICULOUS character that, for some reason, Boris Johnson can't untie his shoelaces without. And, you know, to have a, to have a—I mean, I was an adviser, I was the Prime Minister's, Tony Blair's press secretary. The idea of an unelected adviser, in the MIDDLE of an event like this, doing a big press conference in the garden, back garden at Downing Street, and then Boris Johnson doing as it were the FOLLOW-UP press conference to try to move the agenda onto lockdown easing, and THIS is what is horrific, I mean phase one of this pandemic, because Boris Johnson is IDLE, and he went on not just one, but TWO holidays, because he when he did come back he basically, his basic message was Oh well everybody else is panicking, there's no problem, we'll send this virus packing with a bit of good old British vigour and resolve and a few Churchillian speeches. Telling people to go off to football matches and race meetings and not to worry, telling people that he was shaking hands with corona virus patients in hospital, so I would say he directly contributed to the deaths of many people, through the messaging. They then realized it was a total disaster, and they went into a completely different messaging which was very effective: Stay home, protect the National Health Service, Save Lives. And the vast m–, the vast majority of the country did that. And now, we discover that his own closest adviser completely broke those rules. And it's just, it's unleashed an absolute FURY in this country, the idea that there's one law for them and there's one law for everybody else. And I think that even though Johnson thinks he' dealt with it today by sticking Cummings out in front of the media and getting him to deal with it—
SUSIE FERGUSON: Boris Johnson's, uh, perhaps thought YESTERDAY he would have dealt with it in his press conference, but today Dominic Cummings has had to come out and speak to the media AGAIN. Has this been put to bed?
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL: It's not been put to bed at ALL, because there's so many unanswered questions. And also I think one of the WORST things about this is that the government is reduced to a laughing stock, I mean one of the most extraordinary moments was when he was aked, um, whether this home, this sort of GRAND country house where he was self, supposedly self-isolating, his parents' residence in County Durham, whether he went out from there, and he said yes he did because he'd not been feeling very well, and one of the problems he had was that his EYESIGHT wasn't very good and so he went for a drive to see whether his EYES were okay. 
SUSIE FERGUSON: Is that a good idea?
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL: So that he could decide, to see whether he could decide to drive the whole way to London. I mean, the guy has made himself a complete laughing stock, and then on the BACK of that, any of your listeners who follow any of our ridiculous cabinet on social media, ONE BY ONE, they've been putting out cut-and-paste tweets saying "Dominic Cummings has dealt with all the answers, let's move on and crack on with dealing with the crisis." And the thing is, I don't think the public, who frankly probably don't care two hoots about Dominic Cummings, who most of them until a week ago hadn't heard of, [clears throat] I don't think, I think they wouldn't WORRY too much about his lying and the hypocrisy and the rest of it if they thought the government was competent. And they're NOT. And so-o-o-o phase one they've screwed up, and now they're screwing up phase two, because frankly the lockdown which we still have in place to some extent, is breaking down anyway. I've seen SO many pieces today, there was a thing on, y'know, ENDLESS little films on social media, people saying Well if Boris Johnson can do it, I can do it.
SUSIE FERGUSON: Well this is the thing—
SUSIE FERGUSON: Does this then all break down? So how damaging is this not just for Dominic Cummings and for Boris Johnson but potentially for handling the pandemic?
ALASTAIR CAMPBELL: Well I think it is, and it's very interesting how several of the scientists who are on the government advisory committee have come out publicly and said this has fundamentally undermined the government's strategy. The government's chief scientist and medical officer, for instance, as we went into Downing Street today, we were told they were going to do the press conference with Boris Johnson and neither of them were there. I hope it means that they're just refusing to go along with this ridiculous charade any longer, I just don't know. But, look, you're talking to somebody here, don't ask me these questions as if you're talking to some sort of an objective commentator. I utterly DESPISE these people. I've despised them for a long time, because I've KNOWN them for a long time, and KNOW what sort of people they are. They are AMORAL, they do not CARE about people, they care about themSELVES, they got into power by pretending to be FOR the people against an elite, they ARE the elite. And honestly, YOUR prime minister is getting SUCH a lot of love in the U.K. because people have, y'know like everybody, people are following this around the world and seeing who's done it well and who's done it badly, and your prime minister's done incredibly WELL. And even the shot today of her in the earthquake and y'kknow if we-e-e-e could have a prime minister that has a little bit of empathy—what would SHE have done today if this had happened? She'd PROBABLY have sacked the adviser, probably. She might have said, Do you know what, they made a terrible mistake, I'm gonna MAKE them apologize and then move on. But THESE two—NO contrition, NO apology, no humility, nothing. 
SUSIE FERGUSON: That's Alistair CAMPBELL, former Director of Communications to Tony Blair.
"L'hypocrisie est un hommage que le vice rend à la vertu."                                                  — François de La Rochefoucauld 
More on Susie Ferguson…                                        

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