Sir Howard Elston gives the lowdown on the background on Johnson’s big boo-boo.
Hot off the digi-press. This from the BBC:
Boris Johnson has apologised saying he “mis-spoke” when asked to clarify details of new tighter coronavirus restrictions in north-east England.
The rules, banning households from mixing in indoor settings, affect nearly two million people and are due to come into force at midnight.
However, confusion arose over whether this included outdoor settings such as pub beer gardens.
Mr Johnson was asked to clarify the rules after a junior minister was unable to do so.
Well, (harrumphs Sir Howard Elston, our diplomatic editor), in other words, he has no idea what he’s talking about. I mean, c’mon, “mis-bloody-spoke” is a cheap word which means lying, making a complete hash of things or lying. So now, the public thinks one thing, the PM kind of another thing and one of his junior acolytes simply has no idea. Misspoke, my big fat bum.
But it makes sense, in a funny way, as I am handed a secret hush-hush tape of his in-camera behind closed doors confidential cabinet meeting before he goofed. Here are excerpts which don’t include him trying to count up his kids, total up his wives or remember when he was fired from The Times for making up quotes:
Bojo (shuffling papers): Now, this covid thing. Matt, remind me, is it good to be positive or bad to be positive? Or the other way round?
Matt, health chief: Boss, if you test negative, you probably were not infected at the time your sample was collected.
Bojo: So, it’s a postive thing to be negative. Boy, they didn’t teach you that stuff at Oxford.
Dom Cummings, creepy chief advisor: It doesn’t matter…
Bojo: So, what are we telling the Geordies up there in Newcastle, most of whom are unemployable, wear t-shirts in the freezing cold and can’t conclude a declarative sentence?
Dom: It doesn’t matter…
Matt: Tell them not to go out to pubs past ten
A voice (not identified): Tell them to self isolate and not speak to neighbours
Amy Coney Barrett (who just dropped in from Podunk, Illinois): I’ll check the constitution to see what Trump thinks
Dom: Tell ’em what you want. No one cares about the North East. It’s up there somewhere. It doesn’t matter.
Matt: You’re from up there..
Dom: With a country estate and a tidy little place in Islington.
Bojo: I’ll tell them a load of bollocks. Nobody believe me anymore anyway.
Dom: It doesn’t matter…
Indistinct murmer followed by cheering and clinking of glasses