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:
Others also highlighted the stillness that engulfed their communities:
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:
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.
Over 7,000 people, meanwhile, have now died in the UK after contracting coronavirus. And that figure includes at least eight doctors and a number of nurses.
With all of this in mind, people across Britain responded to calls to clap for Boris in different ways:
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