The prime ministers’ decision is not borne of loyalty to his adviser – he just can’t get rid of his ideas man
Perhaps on Sunday you watched the entire nation being lectured on what constitutes fatherly responsibility by Boris Johnson, a man who won’t even say how many children he has, and leaves women to bring up an unspecified number of them. Perhaps on Monday you watched the Guardian’s Rowena Mason being lectured in journalism by Johnson, a man sacked from a newspaper for fabricating quotes from his own godfather, and who blithely discussed helping a friend to have another journalist beaten up. Perhaps today, you heard Michael Gove tell LBC he has “on occasion” driven a car to check his eyesight.
If you did see these things, I can only direct you to the slogan flyposted all over Paris during the 1968 civil unrest. “DO NOT ADJUST YOUR MIND – THERE IS A FAULT WITH REALITY.” The term “gaslighting” is much overused, but let’s break the glass on it for the events of the past few days. As for “indefensible”… well, I don’t think that word means what you thought it meant.
In 1939, Jules Konopinski escaped the Nazis “by the skin of my teeth” when he fled to the UK as a nine-year-old boy.
Like a lot of people, I have taken advantage of Covid-enforced home confinement to do a bit of online learning. After hearing me for so long lament the loss of so much of my German, my partner Fiona signed me up for a Goethe Institut course.
It turns out the unworkable app for following people around and telling them if they have been in close proximity to someone with coronavirus is unworkable. It works in South Korea, it was said, because people more-often-than-not do what the government tells them.
Before lockdown the emails that I received from kid’s school were usually about school dinners, lunchtime drum lessons or costume requirements – which I would ignore until 8.45am on the day they were needed and then swear about.
The multi Moon offending Mr Lanegan released some of the top albums of the noughties and early teenies. His last couple of LP have merely been very good and rather familiar sounding. Now just six months after his last LP, he has released one of his finest. It is 15 tracks inspired by his own life story and has been released along with his new memoir – Sing Backwards And Weep
Sonically it harks back to the balladry of his early solo LPs, but brilliantly adds in the electro of the Blues Funeral era. It also has a wonderful duet with his wife that is reminiscent of the time he leant his dulcet tones to the songs of Ms Isobel Campbell
To have one viral sensation, Oscar Wilde might have said, is unfortunate. But to have two smacks of carelessness. And that’s what we have. The first is Covid-19, about which much printer’s ink has already been spilled. The second is Plandemic, a 26-minute “documentary” video featuring Dr Judy Mikovits, a former research scientist and inveterate conspiracy theorist who blames the coronavirus outbreak on big pharma, Bill Gates and the World Health Organization. She also claims that the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (which is headed by Dr Anthony Fauci) buried her research showing vaccines weaken people’s immune systems and made them more vulnerable to Covid-19. Just to round off the accusations, Mikovits claims that wearing masks is dangerous because it “literally activates your own virus”. And, if proof were needed that the pharma-Gates-scientific-elite cabal were out to get her, the leading journal Science in 2011 retracted a paper by her on a supposed link between a retrovirus and chronic fatigue syndrome that it had accepted in 2009.
The video went online on 4 May when its maker, Mikki Willis, a hitherto little-known film producer, posted it to Facebook, YouTube, Vimeo and a separate website set up to share the video. For three days it built up a head of steam on Facebook pages dedicated to conspiracy theories, many of which linked to the video on YouTube. By 11 May it had been viewed more than 8m times on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and had generated countless other posts on websites and social media. Later that day YouTube, Vimeo and Facebook took down the video, and in theory it disappeared from the internet – only of course it hadn’t, in the time-honoured way of subversive material in the networked world. The cognitive pathogen had escaped into the wild and was spreading virally.
Conspiracy theory sites are the most powerful engines of disinformation around
While we’re at it, let’s extend the health surcharge to other parts of our lives. If your immigrant plumber shows up on time and fixes your radiator, charge him for having the cheek to keep his word
Read in the Independent
Miss Lawrence in London based, but from Warwickshire in Benighted Blighty. She was first brought to my attention via a God Is In The TV podcast in late 2019. This is her second LP, the first was released back in 2012 and in-between she has been one half of the of electro-pop duo Cash+David. The debut is described as lo-fi folk, but her latest is more modern Top Pop rock n’ roll.
Will re-opening some schools put children or their teachers at risk?