[thread] on Tim Montgomerie https://twitter.com/montie/status/1254320810808029185
Now I gave a very short response to Tim's recommendation that this thread was worth my time

And I got a response from Tim
Now I follow Tim Montgomerie

And many other conservative and right wing accounts on Twitter

God I even follow Sean Hannity

I do so so as not to live in a "bubble" and so I make an effort to read the Spectator, Mail, MOS, Telegraph & others
And this from Tim I find sad

He can't play the ball

So plays me

Thatcher would be ashamed of him
So to make it clear as a disclaimer

I am a left of centre/centre voter who have voted for a range of parties across my lifetime at local council, scottish parliament, european parliament and UK parliamentary elections
I have lived in areas represented by parties whom I voted for and parties whom I didn't

And in all those occasions I want those parties to do well

I want those parties to govern to the best of their abilities and be clear in what and how evaluate and pursue policy wise
I want them to justify their policies

Not unlawfully prorogue parliament

Not make up assaults to spin news

Not hide in fridges

Not flee from Andrew Neil after your opponents haven't

Not make up Fact Check UK

Not invent "more" nurses to include retention of existing staff
Ironically as a left of centre voter - the two politicians I tend to quote most on Twitter

Are Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher
Maybe in my old age I am veering , drifting towards being right of centre

I don't know and that is exciting being open to change, being open to being persuaded to having my mind change
A bit like Liz Truss - after all if she can change her mind on brexit

Then surely she can use that skill to clearly explain how and why what changed her mind https://twitter.com/trussliz/status/745339549132464128?lang=en
So anyway back to Tim

Tim thinks that me writing a thread about something is of no value and I should go for a walk instead

I thank him for his advice on going for a walk - I always endeavor to make the most of my daily exercise session in what is rare sunshine
Now if he wishes to criticise my writing style, level or ability

Or the worth of what is gained by my writing it or by someone reading it

That is ok

Tim is entitled to have a view on it
Oh yes and I think I can just about spell Pinocchio so am not illiterate as Stanley Johnson would class me

And unlike him - I actually thought covid was serious well before Boris Johnson was infected, tested and hospitalised
I never made any claim to be a good writer - indeed by high school english teacher would vouch for that

I never made any claim that my writing would be widely read or have an wide impact

I prefer reading to writing
And I find that social media whether it be Facebook or Twitter a helpful tool

Both to read output from news organisations

AND also to see so many experts directly with their output
Anyway I have went off on a slight tangent

See told you I wasn't a good writer

I have already let the focus of this drift from its intent
Back to the blog post that Tim got upset at my response to

I read it and gave my short response

Tim didn't like my short response

So I thought I would to coin a phrase strain every sinew, ramp up my thoughts on that blog post - my thoughts mind - not my capacity for thoughts

We begin

Here https://twitter.com/Effiedeans/status/1252141581227999233
Now first of all "journalism is missing the mood of the country"

Which mood is that then?
So first of all why would you title this as attacking journalists?

From the very first you have title it solely and exclusively at one profession?
After all that was a general election where politicians and journalists were telling us brexit meant brexit and were out to crush the enemies of the people
I have no idea what the mood of the country is

Certainly in Scotland where our First Minister was "nudging" warnings over covid on mass gatherings, schools, business and lockdown ahead of Boris Johnson

I am thankful

Thankful at Scotland moving slightly ahead of the UK
But overall my mood is one of respect and concern:

for each and every person afflicted both by this disease

for each medical, carer, emergency or essential worker dealing with response to this disease

and by the broader socio-economic impacts of this disease
"Twitter is an interesting metaphor for infectious diseases."

Social media whether it be Facebook, Twitter or blog sites all I find are useful things

How they are used or consumed
Depends on the audience I guess

I certainly find all of them have their short comings and strengths

Some of those reside in how I choose to use it and consume or output onto it
Are they "infectious"

Perhaps they are in the sense their R number and what they carry

But that is also true of any communication mechanism

It it true of the printed word

It is true of radio

It is true of television

It is true of internet technologies
As to the "diseases"

Well I find that they can be used to carry light and dark and every shade in between

As with all things

It is down to how humanity use it
In terms of writing and competing for view - I agree with her

There are so many competing news feeds, channels, timelines, choices, lists, bubbles

And word of mouth to compare to the technical retweet or like is always a sign to a writer their words have been seen/appreciated
"We don't want blame"

I wasn't aware journalists were blaming anyone

Journalists are asking questions about how we got here, where we are and where we are going
"we don't want argument as if this were a General Election"

I would refer you to Boris Johnson in my previous tweets

He really didn't want an argument

He didn't want it so badly he cowered in a fridge
Oh yes and having waited until all his opponents had faced Andrew Neil

He chickened out

Imagine doing that

Worse - imagine defending that
"as if this were a general election"

I am sorry does the role of the 4th estate change dependant on whether it is a general election or not?

Does it change if a local election, euro election or Scottish/Welsh or NI devolved election?

Let me know how?
"we want a contribution to the national effort to get us out of this crisis"

Pray tell what do you mean by this

What should journalists write such that are supporting the national effort?
"In 1917 Senator Hiram Johnson made the since-famous observation that “The first casualty when war comes is truth.”
"The U.S. government passed a law that made it punishable by 20 years in jail to “utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the government of the United States.”
"One could go to jail for cursing or criticizing the government, even if what one said was true. A Congressman was jailed. Simultaneously, the government mounted a massive propaganda effort."
"An architect of that effort said, “Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms…. There is nothing in experience to tell us that one is always preferable to the other…. The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false” "
"The combination of rigid control and disregard for truth had dangerous consequences. Focusing on the shortest term, local officials almost universally told half-truths or outright lies to avoid damaging morale and the war effort. "
"They were assisted—not challenged—by the press, which although not censored in a technical sense cooperated fully with the government's propaganda machine."
So 27 January 2020

"we are well prepared and well equipped"

"The UK is one of the first countries in the world to have developed an accurate test"
Move on to the current age of ramping up to oh what was it oh yes 100,000 tests a day

No sorry the capacity for 100,000 tests a day

No sorry the Prime Minister with his 250,000 tests a day
"We want hope optimism and faith in our country. We need less negativity."

Well damn that Daily Telegraph for not being optimistic, having faith and being less negative.
Going back to that article on Spanish flu
"One lesson is clear: In handling any crisis, it is absolutely crucial to retain credibility. Giving false reassurance is the worst thing one can do.. almost as bad as outright lying is holding information so closely that people think officials know more than they say."
Now I do think there is a place to be had for optimism

But it has to be credible and you have to be prepared to answer to it
Like suggesting that 100,000 tests a day is not a promise on tests but a promise on capacity

Well... that's just spin

And it is easy to spot
A bit like trying to deflect from PPE shortages by

threatening whistleblowers

oh yes and accusing staff of misusing it

Anyone who sold that bullshit and then clapped for carers or the NHS

Well I can tell you where you can shove your claps
Congratulations on the RT ratio

I object

Not because I am hostile to the Government

Not because I voted remain

But because I expect better of them

I expect better of the "natural party of Government"

I expect them to discharge their duty of care to their citizens
With shielding family, with family locked down in care homes from BEFORE THE UK GOVERNMENT made a decision - care homes in scotland who listened to a Scottish First Minister and nudged their behaviour ahead of the UK

I am thankful for that
I want the government to manage a pandemic properly and competently

That is all

It is unlikely to change my vote at any election

But hey I don't want to die

And I don't want fellow citizens to die

Simple really
Oh we are back to repetition on the "mood" bullshit again

Covered it earlier

Like how you repeat it again for added effect of those who have been gulled by it so far
I never once thought a global pandemic was a general election

Not quite sure why anyone would correlate a deadly disease to a 5 year election

Bit of a meaningless comparison to be honest

But I get you are reinforcing that people critiquing it are hostile to the current Govt
"Brits have gone beyond politics"


That's weird given the political slurs and division trope garbage you have used to defame those who simply want the government to be competent and be able to defend its record
So morale, national unity and common purpose do all matter

I agree with you - see it is possible even though I am a "hostile" "remain voter"
However invoking them again in the name of expecting journalists to be propagandists is really quite pathetic - but then again thats the whole thrust of your piece so I understand your reinforcement of as many things as you can to achieve it
Describing Boris Johnson as a "fighter"

Can't say that I am particularly troubled by the use of that language

I know some did

And I can appreciate the subtleties in the choice of language https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-52216542
"A person or a people who believe they will win in the end is much more likely to do so."

Oh really
Boris Johnson prior to 23/6/2016

“Of course EU countries will continue trading with us on a tariff free basis - they would be damaging their own commercial interests if they didn’t. That’s why EU politicians would be banging down the door for a trade deal on Friday 24/6/16”
Perhaps he just didn't believe enough


Does that also apply to those many solutions to the NI border and Vote Leave said they had and what they finally resorted to to "get brexit done" ?
Maybe if he had given his plan to Theresa May

14/6/2016 Daily Telegraph

"To that end, Boris Johnson & Michael Gove, the 2 leading figures in the Leave campaign, have drawn up a blueprint for implementing a Brexit. Sensibly, it calls for flexibility and a period of reflection"
"This is why morale matters so much to armies."

Yup morale matters

You know what also matters having a leader who is honest, has integrity and can demonstrate in how he leads what his guiding principles are
A reminder that Jacob Rees Mogg when asked prior to the election of Boris Johnson as leader of his party could not answer yes to the question of whether he has a moral compass

Not a judgement on his morals

But simply if he has a compass
Jacob and so many others in his party simply viewed Boris Johnson as a useful buffoon

Somebody who would how shall we put oh yes - "get brexit done" https://twitter.com/PandaScottish/status/1201096472235847681
Oh yes and on the soldier reference

Here's a reminder of what Matt Hancock said in relation to someone proroguing Parliament - let alone unlawfully proroguing it
It would go against “everything that those men who waded on to those beaches fought and died for”, adding: “And I will not have it.”
Don't blame Matt

He was just following orders

Or to put it in German

Befehl ist Befehl
Again you turn everything in your article into an attack on journalists

Quite sad really how you will weaponise the prime minister's health to attack a profession that he himself was part of and demonstrated what a liar he was as he peddled for it
It's nice to see you have allowed yourself to be impressed by a "few" journalists

Even if the "most part" have disgraced themselves
I would of course say that the government and its scientific advisers should be the ones doing the explaining of the illness, the economic effects and the government strategy
I most of all look forward to Jacob Rees Mogg and his common sense or his use of horoscopes given his past 4 years of rubbishing economists
"skim a few journals and think they are qualified"

What you mean like super duper Dominic Cummings and his herd immunity garbage and his SAGE role ?
"24 hour news programmes are full of relentless negativity."

oh we are back to the negativity slur again + "relentless"

Again government simply has to put people up to attend these news programme
After all if you did believe that they were being negative
And you were capable of defending your record
You wouldn't be no-showing Radio 4 or Channel 4 or Newsnight or others

You would be turning up and making your case
"They pick up on one issue such as ventilators"

Oh they pick on one issue

You don't think this is an issue that should be focused on in detail?

What is the gap between what is "Too little" focus and "too much" ?
"Obsess about PPE"

Dear god the level of BS

The government said they were well prepared

Why can they not defend themselves on PPE?

Instead they threaten whistleblowers and accuse medical staff of misusing PPE

Again play the ball
"Comparison between countries"

What you don't like this?

That's weird

I thought open global Britain as it stands unshackled from the EU on the world stage, the lion resplendent would have no difficulties with comparisons of rest of world
If we were doing really well - then perhaps the rest of the world would be looking to the UK for lessons

But they aren't
Again preparedness - I will remind you of my earlier on a government that was warned of pandemic risks and CHOSE to reduce pandemic disaster stocks by 40%

Oh yes and see that Operation Cygnus that gave lessons of a simulation exercise

Why would a government suppress it?
"The worst of all is the daily press briefings."

I agree

They are the worst of it all

Badly structured deliberately by government to minimise questions being answered properly or follow up questions

And led by a cavalcade of useless ministers
"ignorant childish questions from journalists"

Ah again with such generalist BS slurs

I think the questions have been disappointing

They haven't been forensic or as ranging as I would like
See the link at the end of this thread where I compiled a small list of questions I would go for

I stopped in the mid 30s range

I was trying to get to 72 questions in honour of a novella title penned by one Boris Johnson
"journalists trying to score political points "

no they are simply trying to get answers

again why if the government did the right thing at the right time - should there even be the opportunity to score political points?
"trip up a minister"

I would suggest ministers be better prepared for the daily briefings then

if they are tripped up by simple questions then they should be better briefed
"There has never previously in the whole world been such a lockdown. The only insight from the Sunday Times was that hindsight is a wonderful thing."
Making a mistake is not the key thing

Admitting it and learning from it is

Instead we have a government who hide behind tropes

And who are using scapegoats of medics misusing PPE, China, Labour politicising covid oh yes and of course your article on journalists herein
What is interesting is your timeline here

As mid-end January is when Dr Fauci - you know he is right because you say you did a lot of reading around covid

Admits community transmission was confirmed then
Oh and that's without the president's intelligence warning on coronavirus that had he not been golfing or doing whatever the hell it is he does might have read and acted upon https://twitter.com/PandaScottish/status/1252967036399091713
And yes China has questions to answer on its transparency in the early stages of its outbreak

But perhaps you screaming for propaganda journalism is something that happened in China as well as local officials being too scared to report honestly up the chain
Or as an husband to an adviser to Donald J Trump puts it here

Blaming China doesn't excuse a focus on the entirety of the timeline https://twitter.com/gtconway3d/status/1250402299815645185
Oh shit you are back at journalists

Well lets be honest you never left it

Your entire blog an attempt to peddle and reinforce attacks on them
"Newspapers are going out of business. They deserve to. "

Which ones?

Please let me know a list of which newspapers

Or is it just specific staff at newspapers that need to be to pick a word "cleansed" of their disease ?
So to wrap up in conclusion

My simple one

Is irrespective of how you view the press and their coverage
If a government were able to lead, derive, explain and communicate their policy clearly and capably

Then they would have nothing to fear from the press

They would have no issue with how the press ask questions or what they ask
The fact that so many "Conservatives" and apologists for Boris Johnson and his rabble of lying cheating racists party *choose* to resort to such methods of attack

Rather than simply letting and encouraging a government play the ball

Is a sad reflection on them
The simplest exercise

Is take a blindfold

Put it on

Pretend Labour had managed to be in government and had managed covid like this

And were playing the spin game the current government is

Would you want propagandist journalists?
So that's my long answer to Tim Montgomerie as to why I didn't find the blog post useful

For those who retweeted or amplified it

Then thank you

Because you affirm just what garbage you will peddle to your followers, to your audience, to your base
I agree with Tim

I am not a great writer

I really lost interest halfway through in constructing a response to such a bullshit blog post
And on that note I am going out for a walk

Thank's Tim for the suggestion

And to those questioning what I would ask journalists to ask

I drew up a small thread (sic) below https://twitter.com/PandaScottish/status/1253997995244294145
You can follow @PandaScottish.
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