Beergate is cheap and cynical – and everyone knows it

I was wrong to very nearly predict that Beergate would not matter, but that is because I foolishly expected better of the political sphere, writes Marie Le Conte

Tuesday 10 May 2022 12:20
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<p>The Labour and Conservative leaderships did not behave in the same way during the pandemic</p>

The Labour and Conservative leaderships did not behave in the same way during the pandemic

Had this column been written last week, it would have started with something along the lines of: Beergate matters, but not for the reasons you think. The thesis I’d begun to assemble in my head went a bit like this: The Daily Mail and The Sun, two of the highest-selling newspapers in the country, have been screaming about Keir Starmer’s korma secret for days and still, no one cares.

I am not here to say whether the public should or should not care about his potential rule-breaking, I would have written, merely to point out that the increasing lack of influence of the press on public discourse is striking.

Has a new dawn broken? As it turns out, it has not. Durham Police has since reopened its investigation into the curry Starmer and his team had during one of the lockdowns and, according to YouGov, 54 per cent of Britons believe that he “definitely” or “probably” broke the rules.

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