Boris Johnson’s busy schedule has prevented him from doing any more than a single interview with the BBC’s Today program since becoming prime minister two and a half years ago.
So full credit to GB News’s The Saturday Session for managing to land the big exclusive and elusive sit down interview, an achievement that definitely overshadows the minor detail that its hosts, Esther McVey and Philip Davies are both Tory MPs.
The “saturday session” began, as it does each time, with the latest news at the top of the hour, which currently always involves the latest appalling massacres from Ukraine, which Russian state TVs continue to tell the most shambolic bald faced lies about. The current outrage, a rocket attack on a railways station in which at least 52 people were killed, hs already been described on Russia’s Channel One TV as Ukraine blowing up its own people for the crime of attempting flee to safety from their own Nazi government ( and its Jewish President).
But even they appear to have worked out that there are some things so ridiculous that you can’t even attempt them. They, for example, haven’t done a sit down exclusive interview with Putin conducted by two MPs from his own party. They still, one presumes, are clinging on to the hope that people are required to take them seriously, which very much stopped being a concern in the GB News gallery about an hour and a half after their launch last year, when its now ex presenter Simon McCoy had to issue a genuine on air plea for people to stop texting in comments for broadcast under the name “Hugh Janus”.
It was a tough session from the prime minister right from the outset, when Esther and Philip were very keen to know more about his heroic journey to St Thomas’s Hospital two years ago, when our brave leader so nearly gave the last full measure of devotion in brave service of his country.
Tell us more, they implored him, more about your not being able to get up the stairs, more about your own brave suffering and struggle, and Johnson duly obliged.
At this point there was a curious pirouette, by Davies, pressing Johnson into guaranteeing there would never be another lockdown, as is the ideological commitment of Davies’s wingnut wing of the Tory Party. It made for rather strange viewing.
Tell us about how you nearly died. And now tell us that you definitely won’t do what’s required to stop it happening to anyone else.
Davies, arguably to his credit, was disappointed that Johnson’s own brush with death has appeared to make him a convert to the “nanny state” cause. Why is he banning buy one get one free offers, telling supermarket managers where they can and can’t place certain products. To which Johnson responded with some terrifying statistics about how overweight the UK now is, followed up with a line for the ages: “I am no advertisement for willpower.” That much, there can be absolutely no doubt, is true.
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There was, after the prime minister’s personal struggles, there was still a few short seconds to discuss whether or not he had broken the law and then lied about it, as 99.9 per cent of the country believe him to have done it, because absolutely no other explanation is even remotely plausible.
“A lot of nonsense has been talked about,” he said, before explaining that he wasn’t going to say anything else on the subject. And on this, no one can doubt he’s absolutely correct. A lot of nonsense has been talked about.
Somebody even once said that there hadn’t even been any parties. Then he said that there had been but he hadn’t been at them. And then he said that, alright, maybe he had been at one or two of them but he either didn’t know they were parties, even while he was at them, or that everybody at the party was having a party apart from him, because he was working.
So it is arguably a relief that no more nonsense was talked about on that subject. But perhaps a disappointment and in equal parts a mystery that our fearless interrogators didn’t try to tease out just a little bit more on this subject, from their own boss.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.