The front pages of mainstream media outlets on 8 April claimed that ‘the nation’ had come together the previous night to show support for Boris Johnson. Some even suggested that the country had stopped to clap for the PM as he spent his second night in intensive care with coronavirus (Covid-19).
The actual response around the country, however, seemed to be very different.
Corporate media out of step with reality? Whatever next?
The Times said “Britain sends message of hope to battling Johnson”. The Daily Express, meanwhile, claimed “nation sends hearfelt wishes”. And the Sun asserted “nation united on stricken PM”, adding in another piece that “Brits #clapforBoris as country urges PM to get better soon”. This referred to calls from some to clap Johnson at 8pm “to mirror the way NHS workers battling Covid-19 are applauded each Thursday”, as the Evening Standard reported. The Mail also chipped in, insisting that “Britain prayed and clapped” for the PM.
But the country wasn’t exactly ‘united’ in clapping for Johnson. In fact, many people shared videos from their own neighbourhoods showing people united in silence instead:
Well that was a resounding success. No harm tae the man like, but if the media thought we were gonna #ClapForBoris they are just as deluded as they think the readers are. Ma bit at 8pm pic.twitter.com/zeWdvLE3Ds
— Janni T Thatsme (@GraanyJanni) April 7, 2020
— Conor (@conorbrn) April 7, 2020
— Miffy Buckley 🏳️🌈 (@miffythegamer) April 7, 2020
— michael (@Sisyphusa) April 7, 2020
— harry🌈 (@harryjonesxx) April 7, 2020
Others also highlighted the stillness that engulfed their communities:
What's that out my window? The beautiful sound of **silence**
I don't want the guy to die, but on no level does a man of his morals deserve a round of fucking applause. #ClapForBoris
— Jack Duncan🌹 (@JackDunc1) April 7, 2020
Not a single clap heard across our valley at 8pm tonight. Zero interest in clapping Boris here. 🏴❤️
— Kerry-Anne Mendoza (@TheMendozaWoman) April 7, 2020
Not s single person clapped for Johnson on my street. I'm so proud of my neighbours despite living in a Tory stronghold. Even the Tories don't care for Boris #ClapForBoris
— #SocialistSunday (@socialistsunday) April 7, 2020
Some, meanwhile, claimed that the Daily Express had actually used an image to represent #ClapForBoris that apparently came from a ‘clap for the NHS’ event:
Here is the proof… pic.twitter.com/8VskvxXeg1
— Sara Dunn #stayhomesavelives (@saradunn86) April 8, 2020
Coronavirus is horrific. But Johnson is no hero.
As The Canary has reported, some experts have called the Johnson government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic a “national scandal”. NHS workers in particular have expressed serious concerns about the lack of protective equipment.
With all of this in mind, people across Britain responded to calls to clap for Boris in different ways:
#ClapForBoris . The Boris that wanted to let this virus rip through the population saying we should “take it on the chin” 🤔 The Boris that told us to expect our loved ones to die 🤔 The Boris that did fuck all for weeks despite all the info and advice from the WHO🤔 That Boris🤔
— Mikey (@Fritz1875) April 8, 2020
— ian johnsen (@johnophonic) April 8, 2020
I was on the number 6 bus to Bonville yesterday and a young boy of about 7 stood up and declared “We should all #ClapForBoris tonight because he’s a hero and a great leader who deserves our love and devotion”.
The whole bus erupted in a paroxysm of laughter.
— Just Richard… 🕷#FBPE (@RichardAske) April 8, 2020
We should all genuinely hope that everyone who contracts coronavirus manages to beat it. It’s also more important than ever to praise and stand up for all of the health workers who are risking their lives at the moment to save as many as they can. But Boris Johnson’s party has decimated the NHS in the last decade, leaving it struggling to cope with this pandemic. So there’s no reason to be clapping either him or his Tory colleagues right now; because they contributed to this appalling destruction and have expressed little to no remorse for it. The corporate media’s out-of-touch response, meanwhile, shows yet again why we can’t rely on them to tell it like it is.
Featured image via screenshot, with additional content via Press Association
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