Mark Steel points to the double standard surrounding Boris Johnson’s lockdown parties versus the Keir Starmer curry as Tories shrug off stories every time they come up against no good
Around 100 fines have now been imposed on government meetings that broke lockdown rules. Ministers are likely to appeal against them because technically there was only one party, lasting from the day the lockdown began in March 2020 until last Tuesday.
There might have been a moment or two when the number of people slammed in Downing Street’s garden dwindled to 150, but then it started up again so there should only be one fine.
In any case, Jacob Rees-Mogg assured us that the fines were a “non-story”, especially since the laws were “too restrictive”.
Maybe they can use that defense in whatever they do next?
Boris Johnson will say we shouldn’t make a fuss about Michael Gove stealing a steamroller and driving it through a retirement home because the rules against steamroller theft are far too restrictive.
Anyway, Michael has been working hard on his speech on Brexit opportunities and it’s his way of relaxing.
We should all be allowed to do that. We can say we parked in a bus lane for four months because the rules were too restrictive and we’ll be fine.
Putin will say that the rules we set up for shelling a city were too restrictive, so nobody can be blamed for relaxing after a hard day in the Kremlin by surrounding Kyiv with tanks.
Newspapers supporting the Prime Minister made headlines: “Don’t they know there’s a war on?!!!! Why is there all this fuss while Ukraine is under attack?” But now the story has taken a different turn and the same newspapers are shrieking, “KEIR STARMER HAS AN ONION BHAJI DURING LOCKDOWN!!!**???! !! Some people are still drooling over Ukraine but who cares when Starmer had a sip of LAGER!!%$££*!
Johnson supporters are like a football manager who complains: “Your player played a clear handball for which he should have been sent off. On the other hand, the incident where our goalkeeper released a panther that ate all of its defenders is not a story. The rules for lethal animals on the pitch were too restrictive anyway.”
Starmer has offered to resign if the police investigation results in a fine, prompting the front page of a conservative newspaper to read: “Starmer is pressuring the police.”
That’s typical of the villain. The police must be fed up with people putting pressure on them by saying they will accept the verdict in any case against them. When a bank robber says, “If I’m convicted, I agree to go to jail,” that puts an unfair burden on the police…as if they weren’t busy enough.
The standards of public life have been subverted by these people who resign when caught breaking the rules.
Instead, if they are caught ignoring the laws they insisted everyone else should obey, they should do the decent thing and tell everyone to shut up because they can do whatever they want .