He’s back – tedious as ever …
Here’s the ‘news’ we’ve all been waiting for: Barnier is back with his usual rhetoric, faithfully reproduced in our Remain MSM! We’ll take a look at that below. Meanwhile, ‘Our MSM’ seem to have become bored with all this COVID-19 stuff. They’re now gearing up to turning their massed journalistic firepower against Johnson and their bête noire, Cummings, providing us with proof if such were needed that ‘Our MSM’ are not about informing their readers but only about influencing them. Even the broadsheets which still live on their former reputation of separating the reporting of ‘news’ from ‘opinion’ have now fully subscribed to this perversion.
Let’s take a closer look at how ‘Our MSM’ are doing this. This is also a beautiful exercise in tracing how those who call themselves journalists are doing nothing more but copying from each other, writing with gasps of barely hidden outrage that Dominic Cummings attended those SAGE meetings.
The Guardian was first out of the blocks, publishing their piece yesterday evening at 18.27pm (link, if you must …). It’s a shock-horror piece, insinuating that Cummings must have influenced that debate simply by attending. He even asked questions, how dare he!
Next to pick up this Cummings ‘story’ was the DT at 10.00pm (link, not paywalled), again blaming government for not disclosing the names of all members of SAGE. Last week we were told it can’t be done because some of those members had received death threats. Doesn’t our police have units to check out those threats? Or are they now all out and about, chasing people off park benches? Anyway – here’s how to tell you what to think under the guise of ‘reporting’:
“The disclosure will spark concerns that the scientific advice being given by those attending the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (Sage) might be being subjected to political pressure. […] Mr Cummings is understood to have attended several of the meetings, including the one on March 23, the day Boris Johnson announced the lockdown following scientific advice on the need for stringent measures to limit deaths.” (link)
Blimey – has Cummings by his presence alone ‘influenced’ the advice of those SAGE scientists? Is it really unacceptable that the PM’s top adviser was attending crucial meetings of a group whose input was needed to make a very difficult political decision? Interesting, isn’t it, how ‘Our MSM’, now bored by all that ‘science’, are back using Cummings as stick to bash Johnson with.
Finally, The Times was last, publishing their article at 12.01 this morning. It apparently took them five hours to summarise the Guardian. Here’s their interpretation:
“Sources told The Guardian that Mr Cummings had attended meetings as far back as February, and had actively participated. This could lead to the impression that No 10 was trying, for political ends, to shape the scientific advice that it was receiving.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, being present and asking questions ‘shapes the scientific advice’ … words fail me. The Times’ next gasp of outrage, faithfully copied from the Guardian, tells you again what to think:
“Sir David King, a former chief scientific adviser, told the paper that he was “shocked” to discover that there were political advisers on the Sage committee. “[The] advice should be free of any political bias,” he said.” (link, paywalled)
Shocked, is he? Sir David King was Blair’s chief scientific adviser, responsible for the Foot-and-mouth disaster and for the swine-flu ‘advice’ on which government stockpiled drugs (‘Tamiflu’) which then had to be destroyed. His helper was a certain Professor Neil Ferguson … And as per usual, Guardian, DT and The Times hide the response from No10 at the bottom of their articles because it doesn’t fit the spin against Cummings:
“A No 10 spokesman said: “Mr Cummings and Dr Warner have attended some meetings and listen to some meetings now they are virtual . . . to understand better the debates [on] this emergency . . . Sage provides independent scientific advice. Political advisers have no role in this.” (link, paywalled)
It’s quite staggering that ‘Our MSM’ seem to think that a political adviser should not have access to committee debates on which he later advises the PM. Of course, we’re not told who the Guardian’s ‘source’ was, nor have all those busy journalists found out if a certain Sir Mark Sedwill was present …
Sir John Redwood however writes in his Diary today:
“Well done Dominic Cummings – I am pleased senior advisers go to hear the scientific advice at SAGE meetings and ask questions about it. Good policy advisers listen to specialist advice in order to use the wise bits of it in policy.” (link)
With Cummings back in the MSM’s crosshairs here’s the next line of attack being prepared. Just look at the headline of this opinion piece in The Times: “Ministers can’t keep hiding behind the science”. Crikey – this is serious stuff! It made me wonder about the aim of the author – a certain Matthew Parrish. After paragraphs of waffling, here, finally, is his message, right at the end, of course:
“Any path ministers choose comes with risks. They range from gravely wounding the economy by excessive caution on the lockdown, to aggravating the pandemic by lifting restrictions too early. This can be explained to us. We are grown-ups. It doesn’t need a “conversation”, just an honest statement of the truth. Science can’t help here. Courage among our politicians could. They’ve marched us up to the top of the hill and we’re scared now, perhaps too scared. Someone has to march us down again.” (link, paywalled)
Of course, the oh-so-insignificant ‘help’ from our “Fear&Hysteria”- producing MSM played no role at all in scaring us! Take note though: these are the opening bars of the next ‘Covid-19 Song’, starting in tomorrow’s TV shows: bash “government” for not being courageous while keeping open all avenues for criticising the PM for whichever decision about the Lockdown he’ll make.
And so to our own bête noire, Michel Barnier. This week’s Trade talks concluded yesterday and our Remain MSM are in full flow, giving dear Michel space to regurgitate his old, tired perorations (here, also link, paywalled). Remember that Mr Frost’s team warned about the EU trying to drag their feet so as to achieve that extension they crave? Now dear Michel says it’s us doing the heel-dragging:
“The UK cannot refuse to extend the position, and at the same time, slow down discussions on important areas,” Mr Barnier said in Brussels as he implied Britain was running down the clock on the talks.” (link)
RemainCentral also reports on Barnier’s ‘anger’:
“Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, showed his anger at what Brussels views as a deliberate policy to slow down talks that have already been delayed by his sickness from coronavirus. “The UK did not wish to commit seriously on a number of fundamental points,” he said. “The UK cannot refuse to extend the transition and at the same time slow down the progress of the negotiations in important areas.” (link, paywalled)
That, dear friends, is called ‘projection’: blaming an opponent for what one is doing oneself. It’s all about Fisheries where the EU seems incapable of accepting our position. Again, after having sacrificed millions of pixels describing the EU’s and Barnier’s outrage, we find this right at the bottom of RemainCentral’s article:
“Mr Frost tweeted last night: “We are ready to work to agree a fisheries agreement which reflects our rights under international law to control our own waters, and provides for annual negotiations over access based on scientific principles. We won’t agree to continuing the Common Fisheries Policy.” (link, paywalled)
The Express’ Brussels correspondent has split the ‘event’ into two articles, one reporting on Michel B’s threat (link) that ‘our’ intransigence may scupper the trade talks, the other reporting on Mr Frost’s robust response (link). There’s also an article reporting on what “EU sources” think – namely that we poor benighted Brits have understood nothing about Brexit, garnished with the usual tired accusations of ‘cherry-picking’ and the demand we stay under the boot of the ECJ (link).
However, take a look at this latest report by our friends at facts4eu, showing that Brits are buying less from EU countries. This should concentrate Brussels’ minds – though I’m not holding my breath.
Corona virus or not: Brussels has learned nothing and seems to believe that Johnson will go for an extension if put under sufficient pressure – not least by ‘Our MSM’ and the new Labour shadow cabinet, Remainers all. Perhaps they ought to read Asa Bennett’s opinion piece in the DT – sadly paywalled – concluding thus:
“But as the EU’s chief negotiator is finding to his frustration, British negotiators are prepared to stand their ground. Mr Frost and his team are not going to be swayed by huffy displays by Mr Barnier into doing his bidding. His latest outburst suggests he is painfully aware that his counterparts know how to play hardball.” (paywalled link)
Our Remain-Rejoin cabal meanwhile might do well to pay attention to the wannabe-Napoleon’s threat to Ms Merkel and the other ‘frugal’ Northern countries: “give us the money – what are a few trillions between friends – or the Single Market is dust”. I’m paraphrasing Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s article in the DT(paywalled link).
Going into yet another Lockdown weekend let’s all keep safe while enjoying the sunshine. Let’s not give an inch to the scaremongers in ‘Our MSM – be it about Brexit, be it about that virus. Let’s instead stay vigilant and let’s do what we do best:
Photo by European Parliament