The pink ungoes after Boris
On the eve of the Iraq war President George W Bush gave a speech to the American nation. It was dreadful. He mumbled. He seemed unable to read the teleprompter. He was nervous. He may have been quite drunk.
The next day The New York Times ignored all of this and reported that a stoic President was leading from the front with a message of calm simplicity.
No one who saw the speech including the reporters could possibly have thought that. They didn’t need to lay on thick what we could all see, but they shouldn’t have made him sound heroic when he plainly was not.
Bush profited from two things. 1) Low expectations. If he didn’t actively drool, hey, not so bad, right? 2) The reluctance of newspapers at times of great national distress to say that the leader is incompetent.
Boris Johnson is benefitting from the same thing.
His response in the Houses of Parliament to the Sue Gray report wasn’t as bad as Bush’s speech, but no one could possibly say it was Churchillian. Unless they mean the nodding dog.
But the news reports were mostly dead straight.
The Times was typical. It reported the facts in a professional, entirely straightforward way, and left reflection’s on the PM’s performance to the Comment pages.
Interestingly, the FT, did not do that.
It put the boot in. The front-page lead was headlined “Johnson rejects calls to resign after scathing Sue Gray report”.
Scathing? Was it?
Paragraph two begins: “The prime minister’s stumbling response….”
Stumbling? Well, I thought he was hopeless. But I always think he’s hopeless and this didn’t even seem like his worst show.
Paragraph four begins: “It was awful…”, a quote from an unnamed “normally loyal” MP.
There was also a pull quote from the FT’s leader column on page 20 saying “Johnson’s bombastic performance in the debate was shameless and disingenuous”.
Stumbling, scathing and shameless. It’s almost as if the FT has got it in for Boris.
More than a third of office computers don’t have antivirus protection, says this from NordLocker.
“Without antivirus software, your computer system is open to various threats that circulate on the internet. Malware can slip into your device by an employee visiting dodgy websites, clicking on malicious links, downloading email attachments or illegal software and games, and using an unsecured Wi-Fi network,” we read.
Another reason to stay at home.