Who couldn’t you see on December 18 last year? That’s the date of the contested Downing Street Christmas party.
The one which cost Boris Johnson’s adviser her job on Wednesday after a leaked video clip showed her laughing about it at a pretend press conference.
My world is awash with people recounting the things they had to forego this time last year in order to follow the rules, to protect their family and all those they love and care for.
If we were lucky, it was just the sugar and sprinkles of life. The nights out, the boozy lunches, the time to catch up with friends you couldn’t see all year. The theatre trips and school shows. The trips to the Christmas market or tea at grans.
If we were anything short of lucky, we were forced to make huge personal sacrifices.
Some people were unable to visit relatives in care homes or hospitals.
The deeply unlucky had to sacrifice saying goodbye.
People died alone. Breathless and scared. We aspire for a good death these days, the 146,000 people who’ve lost their lives on these shores to date from this god awful virus had anything but.
We made sacrifices because we had to and also because we wanted to.
We wanted to do right by those we love, by our community.
And we saw it as our duty, our service to each other.
I don’t believe many people did so just because the law told them to. They did so because their own moral compass told them it was the right and proper thing to do.
The walls of 10 Downing Street must be made of steel because the moral compass of those who govern us is broken beyond all repair.
Christmas party row is latest in a long line of Downing Street wrongdoing
The moral vacuum is endemic and prolific and the evidence of it has been mounting for weeks.
It starts and ends at the top with a Prime Minister who couldn’t muster a mask in a hospital.
It runs through all his political colleagues who sought to defend him and Owen Paterson throughout the lobbying and second jobs scandal.
Now it seeps into the staff who have been caught by ITV News red handed – role playing a press conference about a Christmas party that we’re expected to believe didn’t take place and even if it did, observed all the rules.
UK government spokeswoman Allegra Stratton resigns after she was seen in video joking about lockdown Christmas party in Downing Street https://t.co/Qjk1c65VXv
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) December 8, 2021
And so the history books may yet recall that this government’s downfall began started with a secret Santa.
That in of itself is a head-scratching abomination.
Not Grenfell. Not by hiking National Insurance for low paid workers. Not by releasing Covid patients into care homes, the billions wasted on track and trace or the contracts handed to Tory pub owners for PPE.
A secret sodding Santa.
Political anger is reaching new heights
We’ve been told there wasn’t a party. Just drinks, nibbles and games.
There wasn’t a party, just cheese and wine.
It wasn’t planned, but there was a secret Santa. Gotcha.
EXCLUSIVE: Video obtained by ITV News shows Downing Street staff joking about a Christmas party on 18th December last year.
No 10 has spent the past week denying any rules were broken. This new evidence calls that into question. pic.twitter.com/nKYK0tG0dQ
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) December 7, 2021
They’re lying to us because they started lying, from the top down, and they can’t stop.
Because if they do stop, they’ll fall like dominoes.
Plus the public think they’re liars anyway, so what’s the rub?
That’s the handling strategy. Ride it out.
Imagine it. The last vestiges of any moral authority lost on a bit of sweaty Camembert and some house plonk.
I can’t remember the last time I saw political anger quite like this.
It forced the resignation of Boris Johnson’s adviser Allegra Stratton, who was seen laughing at the podium in that leaked video, and an exceptionally rare apology from the Prime Minister himself at PMQs on Wednesday.
He said he was furious. Furious at how it looked.
Not that it happened of course, because it didn’t, remember?
Please do keep up.
Responsibility for curbing Omicron now rests with the rest of us
Now there will be an investigation into the party that didn’t happen.
If any there’s any evidence of wrongdoing, a fag in a discarded wine glass, a scrumpled up Ferrero Rocher wrapper under the tree, then there will be consequences.
Except there won’t, because it didn’t happen.
There’s talk in Westminster now that the only way out of this story is to create an even bigger one.
That this may be a reason for the government to choose to bring back tighter restrictions to protect us from the onslaught of Omicron.
Those great defenders of our liberty may now use it as a shield. How weak.
There’s plenty of evidence to say that trust in our leaders matters because without it, we won’t observe the rules or obey their orders.
It follows, therefore, that our ability to manage Omicron may be seriously damaged by this political ruckus.
I don’t fear that, despite being beyond disgusted by recent events, because I’ve seen the strength of our country’s citizens.
It lies in our desire to do right, our own duty and sacrifices.
This whole scandal cements the idea that there is one rule for them and one for the rest of us.
Thank god we outnumber them.