Partygate – what advice?

We are expecting Sue Gray’s report today, so I thought you might like to be reminded of the advice we were being given by the Prime Minister during the pandemic.

For example, this was from the very early days of lockdown.

Ans this one was a few days before the party in the garden at Number 10.

And this one, just two days before a gathering at Number 10 to say farewell to two members of staff, which the Police have said did breach the rules.

Reinforced by the highly trusted Chris Whitty:

What’s that about house parties?

* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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One Comment

  • The debate on “Partygate” misses two key points.
    1 – Most of the rules that were broken weren’t discussed in detail by Parliament, so the details were never scrutinised in advance by those elected to do so. Government by statutory instrument is necessary for the highly centralised state we have become – but it is a direct cause of the widespread dissatisfaction with the political system that means a minority vote in local elections and also resulted in the vote to leave the EU.
    2. Talking of Brexit, “Partygate” also demonstrates the government’s disdain for the public as a whole. Not because they believe in the “one rule for us, another for you” (although they probably do), but because they can’t believe the public fell for their various lies during the Brexit referendum campaign; they consider us all to be idiots, and treat us as such. Nonsense such as “the rule of six” were used instead of advice to exercise caution and commonsense because the government didn’t believe the public has the ability to do either.

    It’s nothing new, of course. Blair’s government was equally cynical in its manipulation of the electorate. So, while it’s easy to focus on the individuals, Partygate really is a symptom of a systemic problem that has been building for years.

    Trust in government comes when government has the confidence to explain what it is trying to do, even when that is unpopular, rather than just to “bury bad news”.

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