Sunday 18 June 2023

Party People

Apart from the Venga Boys, do you know who likes to party? The Conservatives. So much in fact that these brave souls ignored the law of the land to gather in Tory central office for festive hijinks and drunken patter while Covid restrictions were in force in December 2020. But this is old news. We knew that these party animals partied like animals because the photos of their shindig have long been in circulation. Despite this, the Met took no action. Apparently photos like the above did not contradict the story put out by attendees, and so no charges followed. Funny that.

And now that video has emerged. The one with the CCHQ party goers in the same garb they were snapped wearing dancing, drinking, and having a supah time. Once again, the Met's unerring inability to investigate the crimes of the powerful and favoured have not disappointed. But it is interesting how this has taken so long to come out. You would not suppose The Mirror have sat on this for two-and-a-half years, especially when its use earlier, particularly around the time of Boris Johnson's appearance at the Privileges Committee, would have had more impact. Nor will it be too hard for the party goers to identify who was brandishing their mobile and filming their revelry, so one can only suppose some scores are getting settled. Annoyed that failed mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey and propertied hanger-on and part-time campaigner Ben Mallet are getting peerages? Are they annoyed their pick for London mayor didn't make it to the Tory short list? Or did the paper open its purse and make our chronicler an offer they couldn't refuse?

Whatever the case, it's more fuel on the partygate fire. And while some might suggest this is a case of typical Tories, one rule for them, etc. etc., the disregard for propriety and the law typifies Westminster insider behaviour. The "bubble" is often talked about, because one undoubtedly exists. It's the high pressure milieu bounded by the 24 hour news cycle, events breaking on Twitter, and as a consequence is detached from everyday life. Its stakes and preoccupations are not the same as everyone else's. When the real world impinges it's always through public opinion filtered by pollsters and editorials. As such it's easy to ignore inconveniences, like Boris Johnson's unpopularity and the impact of economic strategies that sink the boat. What we see in the CCHQ vid is a glimpse into that world. A place where the rules don't matter because the pandemic was happening to the people out there. It was as if the privileges they enjoyed close to government granted them actual immunity, as well as dispensation from social and legal obligations. And this is something we see in the Labour Party too, from the top downwards. They know best, and because they're terribly important and indispensable they are above the expectations placed on everyone else.

The CCHQ party footage is not good news for Rishi Sunak and reminds everyone that his party did not take the national emergency particularly seriously. With four by-elections on the horizon, it's a callback he could do without. But for the rest of us it shows how out of touch and socially insulated core personnel of the British state are. And it's a distance that enables them to push the most disgusting, most inhuman policies without as much as half an hour's lost sleep.

1 comment:

Dipper said...

As a Tory, I'm quite, no very, annoyed by this behaviour.

Obviously Lockdown was way overdone. What could have been satisfactorily achieved by advice was turned into a Communist-style state sledge hammer. And clearly anyone not obese and under fifty was pretty safe. But this was the law and I don't understand why these folks didn't understand that.