Patrick Harvie is seriously mistaken if he imagines that Boris Johnson is “ignorant of the political fallout from his actions”. Or should we say inactions? He understands the implications perfectly well. Or, if he doesn’t, he has people around him who do. One might credibly suppose the moment of epiphany for Johnson came during the ghastly zip-wire incident. Ghastly for him, at least. Hilarious for the rest of us. That may have been the moment when he realised that it is better to do nothing than make a total arse of anything.
Do nothing, and there’s nothing for the media to latch on to. There’s only so many ways you can say nothing happened. If the media aren’t shoving it in the public’s face every twenty minutes then it isn’t happening. Pretty soon, it never happened. Do nothing and you skip straight to the ‘never happened’ bit.
Boris Johnson has a record for doing and saying things which get him entirely the wrong kind of attention. It makes sense, therefore, that his advisers would encourage him to do and say as little as possible. The basic rule is that if it has the slightest potential to become a YouTube sensation, leave it out. Boris’s propensity for inadvertent slapstick is such that, even with the best efforts of his minders, we still get episodes such as the great hiding in a fridge incident. But at least he didn’t get roasted by Andrew Neil.
It works! The tactic is effective. If it’s a bit awkward, dismiss it! Discount it! Disregard it! Treat it with disdain. The proof of the pudding is that the pudding is now Prime Minister.
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