Apparently it’s been a quiet week as far as the mainstream broadcast and print media is concerned, presumably either nothing much has happened or the hacks employed by  the mainstream have been excluded from the thoughts of their ‘sources’ in the Department of This and That, or Downing Street, or somebody or other who has suddenly been chosen to write or talk about some subject that is of little interest to most people or will just fill what are known as ‘puff’ pieces in the trade.

Some of the descriptions of who said what to whom beggar belief. Apparently ‘Downing Street’ is a force to be reckoned with in the political bubble these hacks inhabit. Maybe it’s just me, but I find it intensely irritating to be told or read that ‘Downing Street,’ followed by some nugget of opinion or make believe that the writer wants the supposed multitude of readers to understand, is an ‘insight’ and only shared with them as exclusive readers of the Daily Bog Standard or the Daily Epistle or something.

I have no idea who came up with this rubbish about Downing Street, which is almost as irritating as ‘a Downing Street insider’, but irritating it is, if they can’t do any better than pretend that we all know that all these phrases mean nothing at all and that we all know that what most ‘insiders’ and ‘sources’ purport to know is kite-flying hogwash, just as uninteresting and pathetic as are  all these supposed leaks from Ministerial aids.

It’s about time that all these people stopped playing games with the public  and started to play with a straight bat, as we used to say when actually to be a Minister or a ministerial aid meant more than just planting ‘leaks’ in the ears of gullible journalists or coming up with stupid phrases such as ‘the short straights’ when talking about the crossing from Dover to France, or the one that takes some of the biscuit this week ‘granular information’ when talking about students and examinations. But the one that really gets the newspeak phrase of the week is that woman who is the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki who, when faced with a difficult question or phased by one, responds with ‘I’ll have to circle back to you on that.’

Perhaps she could get Downing Street to give her the information. It comes to something when inanimate objects such as streets and houses can apparently talk to each other. Maybe they do, it would certainly explain some of the statements and policies that have been reported recently. Not that the inhabitants of the fourth estate seem to be able to seek out stories or reliable comments or investigate anything these days. The mainstream here in Blighty seems to have lost the plot. I’ve lost count of the ‘stories’ that appear on Monday and then are regurgitated for the next few days with a new headline and by-line, or even worse to read something in one paper only to find out on paragraph four that what I had been reading was actually a copy of what somebody had actually written in the Daily Bog Standard or had been reported on the BBC.

No wonder the traditional print media is dying on its collective feet, reporting as it does opinion as fact and, worse still, selective and partisan reporting. Can you imagine the uproar in the press if, when in office, President Trump had authorised the bombing of targets in Syria? There would have been acres of comments from all our journalists, both print and broadcast, if such a thing had taken place.

So what actually happened this week after Biden bombed Syria? Very little comment or concern was voiced anywhere. Interesting that, as the US has no right to attack a sovereign country – but don’t let a little thing like that bother you. After all, isn’t the UK having a little local difficulty with the trading bloc known as the EU that thinks it’s a political and military super-power in the making and who are steadfastly refusing to treat the UK as an independent sovereign country? Seemingly then, in this ‘rules based international order’ that Theresa May was always banging on about, to coin a phrase, some sovereign nations are more sovereign than others.

Anyway, for the moment we need not worry about our sovereignty, as Lord Frost (recently promoted to a cabinet post) will soon put those perfidious bureaucrats in their place, apparently still unable to get the ‘trade agreement’ translated from English, an ‘official language’ of the EU, into their various languages so that MEPs can understand a document that they have no say over or ability to change.

But hey ho, not to worry. English is only the world’s most used and understood language (even the US version) and  is spoken in the EU bloc’s parliament for most of the time and is actually the most studied and translated language in Europe and taught  in schools to 85% of students.

That apart though, now that the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland has told Lord Frost to get working on the reset – you know, the one muted by Michael Gove earlier this month – maybe there will be some progress, not that I will be holding my breath. Given the obfuscation that Brussels produces most of the time, we could thank our lucky stars that Downing Street is not also talking to Paris or Berlin. In that case we would all probably have had to ‘circle back’ to make sense of anything said.

[To be continued tomorrow in Part 2]

Photo by Matt From London

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