Throwing a dead cat onto the table in any situation is bound to cause much attention and disgust. Even at the most serious of times, when the world seems to be plummeting into despair, chucking a dead cat on the table can ensure, even momentarily, that attention will be diverted. For Boris Johnson, it is a tactic he knows all too well. Straight from the election playbook of Australian election-guru, Lynton Crosby, the ‘Dead Cat Strategy’ has now become the go-to tactic for Boris Johnson – and indeed the entire Tory government.
The migrant crisis is the most recent dead cat to be tossed around the nation’s dining room. Except this time, it’s a dead refugee; their life cut short by the icy waters of the English Channel, as they desperately struggled to reach Dover’s white cliffs.
Naturally, Johnson’s government has no issue with slamming a couple of corpses on Britain’s dining table. After all, they have been doing so for years now, to the delight of many Brexiteers, who sadly still believe that leaving the EU will mean that finally we can stop refugee immigration.
Of course, any educated person will know this simply isn’t true. Even the government knows it isn’t true. But, they also realise that many aren’t educated, and so by telling people what they subconsciously want to hear (rather than what they need to hear) they can maximise the ‘dead cat’ strategy; minimising the actual issues that are really affecting Britain.
To the surprise of no one, Brexit has been one of these hushed-up issues; largely kept away from the public eye, with the occasional bombastic declaration of apparent success. When investigated however; the entire year has been a colossal waste. Still, there is no agreed trade deal with the EU, as David Frost continues to lock horns with Michel Barnier, who is simultaneously replying to the ERG’s insistent – and rather naïve – questions on the Brexit Declaration which they claimed to have ‘read’ and voted for last October. At this rate, a trade agreement with the EU looks less likely than Dominic Cummings sliding a resignation letter across the PM’s desk.
According to the former head of the WTO, Pascal Lamy, the UK faces relegation to the lesser leagues of global trade; leagues which five years ago were thought to be beneath Britain’s contempt. However, this harrowing reality has not quenched the enthusiasm of Liz ‘Trust’ (or lack thereof). In an attempt to secure a superior deal to that of the EU, the International Trade Secretary continues to shove as much blue cheese down Japan’s throat as she possibly can, as the UK hits another deadlock in international trade talks with the Land of the Rising Sun.
Nonetheless, neither Truss nor Johnson will admit that Brexit is fast becoming a complete failure. Instead, they will continue to the end; seeing the dreadful thing through to whatever embarrassing place it takes us.
In addition to this national censorship, the government’s COVID strategy has apparently disappeared; much like how the 1.3 million COVID tests have been quietly removed from the national database. There seems to be very little in the way of preparations to mitigate the infamous second wave, which is currently rolling its way into Europe and is beginning to show signs of re-infiltrating the UK, as national cases begin creeping above one thousand a day.
As if these government omissions weren’t enough, last week the national COVID death toll was reduced by 5000, after the implementation of a new counting system. Although a legitimate adjustment to make; to the untrained eye, it would appear as if the death toll has actually gone down…
But as the government continues to fail in protecting the public from COVID-19, they result yet again to digressionary tactics. This time, they have announced preparations to scrap the NHS executive agency, Public Health England (PHE), and replace it with the newly created National Institute for Health Protection (NIHP). Whilst the government are confident that this new agency will provide the “best possible response” to the coronavirus pandemic and future potential pandemics, is it currently a top priority? To scrap and replace PHE whilst in the middle of the worst global pandemic in a century, just to save face? Apparently so, according to this government.
The new Institute is to be headed by Baroness Dido Harding, head of the heavily criticised test-and-trace system, who was awarded life peerage in 2014 by David Cameron. This is the latest example of senior Tory members being handed executive roles within the health system, as Johnson continues to consolidate his party’s dominance over the NHS, much to the ignorance of the public.
This public apathy was also noted as it was announced last week that the UK had entered its deepest recession on record, with a second quarter contraction of 20.4%. Rather worryingly, it seems that many have developed a state of amnesia when it comes to remembering how the Tories handle recessions. Surely half a decade of crippling austerity – much of which the current Prime Minister oversaw from his previous position as London Mayor – is enough to gently jog anyone’s memory of what happens when a recession and a Tory government coalesce.
In a similar style to his quasi-fascist American counterpart, Johnson has gaslit the entire British electorate in ways not seen since the 2016 referendum. The migrant crisis is merely the latest re-hash. The incompetence of the government; the hazardous icebergs of Brexit, COVID and Austerity, cannot be seen through the thick veil that has been pulled across the national viewing platform.
Pay no heed to the blonde buffoon – and his incompetent ministers – behind the curtain. Instead, pay attention to the dinghies, full of dangerous migrants coming to steal your job, which are washing up on the shore.
Words by William Cooper.
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