When the British voted to leave the EU in 2016, what followed after that showed how rotten much of the political and media establishment truly is. We thought we had seen it all after the 31st of January 2020, when the referendum vote was finally carried out. However, the outbreak of COVID-19 has further exposed how rotten not just the political and media establishment is but of various sectors of society. Who would have thought that an outbreak would show the many true underbellies of the UK more than a seismic political event?
The Mainstream Media
The coverage since the beginning of the outbreak by the Mainstream Media, has been one of very selective reporting, bias, hysteria and negativity, lead mainly by the BBC. In my opinion, the coverage of this outbreak has been worse than the Brexit process. (Even though I have hardly watched any of the coverage because if I did, I would probably end up throwing things at the TV). Pure scaremongering has put the fear of almost anything into the minds of many people, who have in turn been too scared to go outside of their own homes. This will only store up more problems down the line, if we ever get back to normal.
The hysteria and negativity is mainly shown by the ‘gotcha’ styles questions used by some journalists of the broadcast media, has shown that they are more interested in point scoring, rather than genuinely asking serious questions. Thinking they are being very clever and inquisitive, they have actually put people off and opinions of the media, as of writing this, have fallen and are largely viewed in a negative light. Viewing figures for the television news has declined, as well as sales of certain newspapers.
The largest evidence of the political bias of the Mainstream Media, is the hateful, hysterical coverage of Dominic Cummings, dropping his young son off with his family, so he could be looked after, when he was ill. After seeing the disgraceful scenes outside his house, all whipped up by a hostile media, you can easily see why he drove all the way to County Durham, where it should be a lot quieter than Islington. The constant, wall to wall coverage of Cummings is contrasted by their near silence on the illegal migrant crossings in the English Channel, excellently covered by Nigel Farage. It is quite funny that a former politician is doing more investigative journalism than the professional journalists.
However, there have been some good commentators, during this outbreak, such as Peter Hitchens, who has been against the lockdown from the beginning, due to loss of civil liberties and becoming a police state, which is happening further everyday. Other commentators who have also been sound during this are Brendan O’Neill, Alison Pearson and James Delingpole.
The Civil Service
Connected to the hounding of Dominic Cummings, is his desire to reform/cut down on the Civil Service. This is what the coverage of him is really about, as well as trying to reverse the referendum decision. The Civil Service during this crisis have frankly been generally obstructive and ineffective. Is this deliberate though? Are they doing very little because they disagree with central government policy?
The one thing they haven’t been inefficient on is the desire to undermine negotiations between Britain and the EU. When Cummings was off ill, as well as Boris Johnson, the civil service secretly negotiated with the EU to extend the transition period, which is against central government policy of not extending the transition period and leaving, come what may at the end of 2020. In my very honest opinion, what they are doing is treason.
One civil servant tweeted on the official Civil Service Twitter account a negative comment about Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings, which was quickly deleted. This only goes to show how biased our supposed ‘neutral’ Civil Service is and that reform is absolutely necessary if Mr. Johnson wants to get policy enacted beyond parliament. If Mr. Cummings leaves, then Civil Service reform will be very hard, unless someone tougher than him comes in, which is unlikely.
The Public Sector
This may sound blasphemous but I think the performance of the public sector overall has been pretty poor. Apart from the frontline hospital staff in intensive care and the armed forces, who are now running logistics for the health service, the rest have either been denied doing normal work (doctors in hospitals doing ‘normal’ work such as cancer treatment) or have been more obstructive than usual (the police and local council decision makers).
The police in particular have been shambolic, petty and authoritarian. Videos of them shouting at people walking in the park, using drones to monitor dog walkers and fining people for sitting on a park bench are just a handful of the examples of how ridiculous the police have become. Before the lockdown happened, you would hardly see a police officer anywhere and they would refuse to investigate everyday crimes, such as burglary and theft, prioritising ‘hate crimes’ such as making mean comments on twitter and busy virtue signalling, whilst moaning about budget cuts. Now, they are almost all over the place, where have they been these last few years?
The worst of the lot however have been teaching unions and political activists, who pretend they are just ordinary public sector workers. They regularly appear on television, such as Panorama because they further the agenda of the broadcast media, which is to undermine the central government and reverse Brexit. Their goals in reality are mutual. The teaching unions are complaining that it would be unsafe to send children in schools, even though evidence shows the opposite. This in turn is preventing, many workers from returning to full time work, thus causing the economy and productivity to further decline, which will lead to a recession or even worse a depression.
Signs of Backlash
There are many signs though, that the public have had enough. Lockdown is slowly breaking down, with more cars on the road than at the beginning of lockdown. As mentioned before, viewing of television news has declined, such as Good Morning Britain, with Piers Morgan being one of the main reasons for that. As at the time of writing, the hashtag #scummedia has been trending on Twitter, remarkable seeing as it is usually more left wing and not sympathetic to Cummings, although the scrum outside his house and the press conference afterwards may have changed some opinions.
The divide between private sector workers, who are furloughed and workers who have had a pay cut or even worse been made redundant versus the public sectors workers, who are still on full pay, even though they may not be working, will lead to bitter divisions, which are already starting to happen.
To tackle the rot shown throughout this crisis, will take steel and determination, not seen since Margaret Thatcher was in power. Do the current incumbents in government have this? I’m not so sure. However if the slow rebellion to this lockdown shown by the public is anything to go by, the people will make sure a government who will tackle the rot, will be elected at the next general election.
© Churchills Shark 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file