A new video has emerged showing staffers at Tory HQ dancing their little black hearts out despite the pandemic measures their own party implemented.
While we’re all used to the sight of rule-breaking Tories revelling in their own piss-taking, one thing stands out. Some of those pictured have just received honours – despite the new partygate video. So, enter Michael Gove to defend them, and Laura Kuenssberg to, well, do what she always does.
Two of the Tory revellers will be getting gongs:
Gove: The people who were at the party have been disciplined.
Do they still work for the Conservative party?
Mallett is running a campaign for one of the Tory mayoral candidates in London.
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— Ed Wilson (@eddwilson) June 18, 2023
In response to the footage, so-called ‘levelling up’ secretary Gove has slithered out to defend these rule-breakers. He argued they should keep the honours which disgraced former prime minister Boris Johnson recently bestowed upon them.
Laura Kuenssberg, "Two people in this video were given honours by Boris Johnson, Ben Mallett and Shaun Bailey, should they be stripped of them?"
Michael Gove, "No, I don't think that."
Why are rule breakers being awarded honours? pic.twitter.com/AQeV7L40x2
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) June 18, 2023
The partygate-to-peer pipeline
The recently released partygate video features several Tory staffers partaking in what’s alleged to be ‘dancing’:
To quote the great Rik Mayall, except he was funny;
Utter, utter, utter, utter bastards. And that fucker Boris Johnson lied and lied and lied and lied saying that all the rules were followed.
No they fucking were not.
— Kay Challis 🏳️⚧️🏳️🌈 (@kay_c1773) June 17, 2023
This display would be sickening enough even if they weren’t sticking two fingers up to all those who followed the rules or had to let loved ones die alone – not to mention all those who died as a result of Tory pandemic fuck-ups.
Those honoured include former London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who we already knew had broken the rules from photographic evidence. According to the Independent, Bailey attended an “apparent lockdown Christmas party at Conservative Party headquarters in 2020”. With the release of this latest video, it really couldn’t be much more “apparent”.
Carol Vorderman drew attention to the other man receiving honours. Although it may be optimistic to think the right-leaning groups employing him have a sense of honour she can appeal to:
Mallet works for @TheMessinaGroup
Messina Group says it's trusted by world leaders!!!
Let's advise CEO Jim @Messina2012 what the UK thinks about Mallet?
Write yr thoughts here? RT… pic.twitter.com/HcucSWVFRu
— Carol Vorderman (@carolvorders) June 18, 2023
Gove: ‘I respect due process’
So why does Gove think it’s appropriate for these dishonourable partygate elites to retain their elite honours? According to the man himself:
I have to – and I do respect due process – so we’ll all have our personal feelings about who was on [the honours] list. The decision about who was on that list was Boris Johnson’s… that’s the nature of the process.
Rather than digging into this wishy-washy response, Kuenssberg said those five little words that every political interviewee wants to hear:
let’s talk about something else
Despite Kuenssberg’s famous instincts, it seems there’s actually quite a lot to talk about. Firstly, we can’t help but notice that Johnson, the man bestowing the honours, had to resign in disgrace as both PM and an MP. This is the guy who gets to decide who is and is not honourable?
Usually, when you get shit-canned for gross incompetence, you don’t get to retain one of your job’s greatest benefits. To be fair, however, being prime minister isn’t so much a ‘job’ as a ‘hobby’. One that keeps Oxbridge graduates busy for a few years between their various scandals – be they financial, sexual, partygate, or worse.
Secondly, the matter of ‘personal feelings’. While it’s true we all have feelings on the matter, what we don’t all have are seats in government. Are we supposed to believe there’s nothing anyone can do to block this “due process”? If so, where was the due process when these people were partying like it was Covid-1999? Are we to understand the only rules Tories can’t break are the ones which personally benefit them?
Oh, and speaking of due process, would you be surprised to learn that Gove won’t be voting on the Johnson partygate report?
— Anna 3.5% #ResistOrganise (@annyarej) June 18, 2023
You could argue he has every right not to vote. A more enlightened person, however, would argue he’s a slippery little shit who will say and do anything to get ahead. And the only ‘due processes’ he seems interested in are those in which he’s able to wrangle yet more undue power and influence:
"I'm a free speech fundamentalist," says Michael Gove, who supports big new restrictions on the right to protest, the right to strike and the blacklisting from official events of anyone who has publicly criticised the Government #bbclaurak pic.twitter.com/wijadGzUXh
— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) June 18, 2023
2016: Michael Gove says we need to Brexit so the leaders of our country are accountable to our country
2023: Michael Gove says he will not vote on the Privileges Committee report that found Boris Johnson lied to parliament pic.twitter.com/o5sXWjwRcV
— Farrukh (@implausibleblog) June 18, 2023
Gove. The man who put the stain in abstain. https://t.co/YK3aFkgKQS
— Noel Stevenson (@Bodysatnav) June 18, 2023
#Ridge – Has Boris Johnson been lobbying you on any weight loss drugs?
Michael Gove – When it comes to weight loss… the most important thing is to follow the advice of the experts#Ridge – Michael Gove now a fan of experts, who'd have thought it.#bbclaurak pic.twitter.com/e7Mju5s7Nd
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) June 18, 2023
The sick, the bad, and the incompetent
Arguably, Kuenssberg couldn’t have done more than she did to haul Gove’s feet over the coals on partygate. That isn’t to say anyone couldn’t have – a chimp with a hangover could have done a better job. It’s just that in reality, the BBC doesn’t exist to ask the government hard questions. They may hint at a harder question from time to time, but once the minister being questioned has bullshitted their way through, it’s time to – in Kuenssberg’s own words, “talk about something else”.
Featured image via BBC iPlayer – screengrabSupport us and go ad-free
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