Beergate and Starmer’s pledge to quit shouldn’t surprise anyone – it’s all pure politics

It is surprising how many people who take a passing interest in politics think they’re making some kind of interesting point by pointing out that politics is politically motivated

Tom Peck
Monday 09 May 2022 18:54
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<p>Of course Durham Police has been harangued by Tory MPs and their gleefully pliant newspapers into reopening an investigation into Keir Starmer</p>

Of course Durham Police has been harangued by Tory MPs and their gleefully pliant newspapers into reopening an investigation into Keir Starmer

Now that Keir Starmer has promised to resign if he’s found to have done something he knows he hasn’t done or he wouldn’t have promised to resign, could this be considered an opportune time to point out that every aspect of this months-long saga is, for want of a better word, complete b******s?

Yes, of course, Durham Police has been harangued by Tory MPs and their gleefully pliant newspapers into reopening an investigation into Keir Starmer, in the desperate hope that Johnson might be saved through making his rival look almost as bad as he is.

Of course it’s politically motivated. It is surprising how many people who take a passing interest in politics think they’re making some kind of interesting point by pointing out that politics is politically motivated.

There has been fully four months now of outrage about the law-breaking parties in Downing Street. And that outrage is entirely justified. But that too is politically motivated.

Has it been entirely forgotten who is behind it all? You know, that guy with the blog, Dominic Cummings, the one sitting in his basement desperately trying to take down the prime minister, his great galaxy brain still not quite large enough to compute that the only thing he’s any good at is breaking things?

Four months of Keir Starmer and co, going on about integrity and trust in politics, gleefully firing off ammunition handed to them by the guy who knew about all this stuff from day one, but only decided to do anything about it once he’d lost his job and decided he had a personal vendetta to settle?

Yes, the man behind this four-month Integrity and Trust rolling horror show really is the same guy that masterminded a referendum campaign whose highlights included launching a football prediction competition in order to get his hands on the data of the people he felt would be most susceptible to his outright lies.

And – and this really will shock you – he’s also the guy who broke lockdown rules himself and then lied about it on television.

I know this doesn’t matter – this is this country, after all – but he’s also the guy that likes nothing more than to publicly perform about how tedious it all is, all this politics as media entertainment service, the banality of it all, when if it had all been left up to him the government would only need two members of staff (of which hopefully only one would have to be sacked for being a secret eugenicist) and we’d all be mining the asteroids for bitcoin by now, and “picking up trillion dollar bills off the pavement” (at this point, you have to forget that it was all up to him for a little while, and he was found laughably, hopelessly wanting).

All of which means there is precious little point in pointing out that, for example, when Boris Johnson was found to have broken the law, the Daily Mail declared on its front page, “Don’t They Know There’s A War On”, to borrow an old phrase that became popular when the UK actually fought one, 80 years ago, but isn’t now.

And since then the Mail has been counting up the days in which it has put what it itself has declared to be a non-story on its front page. Today’s clearly states “Beergate: Day 12” – a literal running total of the consecutive days on which, by its own logic, it carries on its own ruthless bombardment of the intelligence of its own readers.

Because this is politics. This is what it’s like. And where we are on Beergate Day 12 and Partygate Day 155, where this merry campaign has led us, is with at least 55 people in Downing Street found to have broken the law, including the prime minister and the chancellor, but neither deeming fit to resign.

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And with it is Keir Starmer, yet again able to make yet another very high profile statement about how he believes in integrity in politics, that he is a decent person, and that Boris Johnson is not. If he is found to have done nothing wrong, Johnson will look even more egregious than before.

And if he is found to have done something wrong then, well, then, two years before a general election, the Labour Party will have rid itself of a leader stupid enough to promise to resign if he’s found to have done something that he knows he’s done.

By this point, the main question on all this that normal members of the public seem to find themselves asking is for how long are they going to be expected to carry on caring about all this stuff? They’re trying to move on from the pandemic, as Johnson’s government desperately wants them to, not least as no one is likely to declare it to have been their finest hour.

Partygate has dragged them very deep into their own excrement, yet they seem not to have worked out that the best way to make that mess go away is not to start picking it up and flinging it at their opponents. Not least as they’ve clearly missed.

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