Another week. Another round of cinematic level entertainment, c/o Her Majesty’s PM and his counterpart leader of the opposition..
You know the story by now, surely? If not, the videos explain all. But should Boris APOLOGISE?
Parliamentary privilege only goes so far. It can withstand legal litmus tests. But it cannot transcend them.
Remember: LAW begins with STATUTE before case and judge are involved in its development.
Therefore: the Prime Minister ought personify the protection of codified principles.
So: Boris, say sorry? Yes or No? Bit of BOTH.
He ought apologise for the WAY he delivered his jibe. Because that was ‘damaging’. As in: those who heard it, now think less of Sir Keir Starmer, at least potentially so? Kinda defamatory, even if rooted in something akin to ‘fact’ and said in heat of parliamentary debate.
Prima facie, yes, ‘but for’ the comments being delivered and circulated as they were? The ‘Savile’ name would not have been associated with Keir, by a mob, who proceeded to ambush the poor opposition leader /former DPP.
Equally though? They might have been chasing Starmer, anyway? Cause and effect. Someone shouting ‘Savile’ need not mean their mob tactics were catalysed by some concern for lost prosecution opportunities past.
So, Boris is not really under any obligation to say sorry for WHAT he said.
Fact is: when Keir ran the CPS a case was mounting against serial abuser, Jimmy Savile. Starmer had final say in whether that go to full prosecution. He said no, in effect, with his being the final say of record/ procedure. Sorta.
But that is NOT the same as he got cold feet / thought ‘sod this, I wannabe an MP: not my problem’ or was warned off. No. Just that Starmer took, at its most literal limit, the most cautious of application of the criteria for a prosecution.
IE: Not enough evidence, too few witnesses, too many vulnerable people to cross examine without backup or guarantee of successful conviction. Due process. That sort of thing.
Now, once Savile died, a flood of supporting evidence emerged. Countless persons willing to tell stories of evil abuses. The vile monster and all his threats of fabricated but scary establishment backed protection: died with him.
Had Savile been alive with that additional evidence available and Starmer still been DPP then? I suspect that Keir would indeed have pressed ‘prosecute’ now/then.
Fact remains, nonetheless: Starmer took a command decision or at least, oversaw a conclusion RE Savile, on his ‘watch’ at the CPS. He even apologised for said outcome, albeit via a supportive and forensic enquiry process, circa 2013.
So Boris need not apologise for simply reminding everyone of that fact.
But: phrasing it as ‘prosecuting journalists and not Jimmy Savile’ (or words to that effect) was beneath even Johnson.
Rapid fire, dorm raid bully boy tactics that show a weakening grip rather than strong and tough resolve.
People compare that to Trump, except even that comparison ship sailed a while back when Boris tried being softer, greener and cooler.
This is just a mess. And it IS ‘damaging’ in so far as the manner in which the phrase came out, has reduced the potential perception of Starmer, in the public eye, with little context or supporting description. The framing of it as a persecutor of truth rather than prosecutor of evil.
It goes beyond mere idiom of combative political trade and theatrics. And it undermines rather than brings home any supporting, objective FACT about Starmer’s record. Though the ‘damage’ done here is to Boris, it seems. Backfire. Own Goal. Etc.
Apologise not for what was said, but HOW you said it, Prime Minister! And do it soon-ak. 😉
And yettttt: Starmer? YOU HAD ONE JOB, DUDE. OPPOSITION LEADER! YOU’RE A NICE GUY. BUT THAT DON’T CUT IT (cf: Christian Bale rant: Belated happy birthday Mr Bale, btw!) Angela Rayner has bigger drive, so far? And could take your job.
If you truly are the ‘forensic’ wizard claimed, Keir? HOW DID YOU MISS A CHANCE TO BITE BACK AT BORIS with reference to his OWN failings to protect freedom, truth and justice? Remember that lady who was jailed in Iran? Some might argue that Boris did not exactly help her case at the time and has FAILED to secure her release with any alacrity?
‘Ah..she was um..teaching journalism’? (paraphrase of a paraphrase of a Boris’ initial blunder..imho).
In any event? Once again. I suspect Boris endures this one, with or without apologies of any shade. Because he is many things. But never boring. Just don’t let that veer into the boorish.
Indeed: Boris would probably STILL win an election and his party know that. Same way Blair would still be in office had he not stood down. Because some people are just that entertaining. And, to quote John Campea: ‘winning cures EVERYTHING'(see; movie relevance!). Sort national insurance, cost of living /energy bills hike, Boris. Be your best self. #ONWARDS!
NB: Filed under ‘opinion. Nothing defamatory here. We live in an open, free, blog-o-sphere.