Another week of fact-checked and unmissable politics in videos, in case you missed it. Featuring Boris Johnson, Dominic Raab, Kirsten Gillibrand, James Cleverly and Dan Patrick.

First published in August 2019.

29 July 2019 — BBC News.

When Boris Johnson arrived in Scotland to meet with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, the new PM was welcomed with crowds booing him and shouting insults. Sturgeon later told journalists that she could not recall any other PM leaving Bute House by the back door, which is what Boris Johnson did to avoid the crowd again on his way back.

🗣 Crowd: “Lying a***hole!”

Boris Johnson in Scotland, 29 July 2019. / BBC News

30 July 2019 — ITV News.

When Daniel Hewitt challenged the new Foreign Secretary on his claim that the EU is inflexible and intransigent, Dominic Raab stumped by the simple question of what flexibility the Government has actually shown in the negotiations.

🗣 Dominic Raab: “There is a deal to be done if the EU show the pragmatism and flexibility that we’ve shown.”
🎙️ Daniel Hewitt: What flexibility have you shown?
🗣 D.R: (long pause) “... We’ve shown flexibility throughout the... the... the...”
🎙️ D.H: Give me an example of how this Government is flexible.
🗣 D.R: “Well, it’s only been in place, in fairness, in... err... for... err... less than a week... but we’ve gone back to the EU and explained... err... the... we need to see an end to the undemocratic backstop. And that we are ready to keep talking with them. So, the lines of communication, the arm of friendship is extended to the EU.
🎙️ D.H: “It seems to me that the Government is saying ‘get rid of the backstop’, the EU are saying ‘No’, and that’s it. There’s no sign of compromise on your side either.
🗣 D.R: “Oh no, there’s been plenty of room for pragmatism...”

Dominic Raab, 30 July 2019. / ITV News

31 July 2019 — CNN Democratic Presidential Debate.

When she was asked about institutional racism in the United States, Presidential Democratic candidate Senator Kirsten Gillibrand explained why she thought she was especially qualified to talk to Trump voters about racism.

🗣 Kirsten Gillibrand: “I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege is ... That when their son is walking down a street with a bag of M&M’s in his pocket wearing a hoodie, his whiteness is what protects him from not being shot... When their child has a car that breaks down and he knocks on someone’s door for help and the door opens, and help is given, it’s his whiteness that protects him from being shot...”

Kirsten Gillibrand, 31 July 2019. / CNN

1 August 2019 — BBC Newsnight.

When thousands of people were being evacuated from the town of Whaley Bridge in Derbyshire amid fears a 300-million-gallon reservoir could burst and swamp the entire town after the recent flash-flooding, Newsnight invited the government to explain the situation with the collapsing wall of the dam... nobody was available.

🎙️ Emma Barnett: “We did ask the government whether they could provide a minister to talk about the dam and this urgent situation. But they said none was available.

Emma Barnett, 1 August 2019. / BBC, Newsnight

Sorry, this is not good enough!

Shouldn’t the PM himself be on Newsnight on the night and explain what his plan is to help the residents in that moment of emergency and threat to their lives and town? Of course. But the Government has ‘other priorities’.

Boris Johnson eventually visited the town one day later.

2 August 2019 — BBC Radio 4, Today Programme.

When the new Chairman of the Conservative Party James Cleverly openly lied on the Today Programme, claiming that the European Union does not allow freeports in the UK, and only by leaving the EU could the UK finally have freeports – claim he shamelessly repeated (always unchallenged) on BBC Breakfast later too.

🗣 James Cleverly: “... use that opportunity of Brexit to do the kind of things that we have been precluded from doing for decades, including freeports, one of the things we are announcing today...”

James Cleverly MP, 2 August 2019. / BBC Radio 4, Today Programme

To be fair, this strange claim originally came from Boris Johnson who, during his Tory leadership bid last month, told an audience of Conservative members in Belfast that Britain’s EU membership prevented the country from having freeports or tax-free zones.

The truth is that the EU does permit freeports (there are more than 80 of them across the EU!), and the reason why the UK currently has no freeports is that David Cameron’s Coalition Government decided to stop having them in 2012 as they did not really bring anything. Until then, as a report from the House of Commons Library explained, there were freeport in Liverpool, Southampton, the Port of Tilbury, the Port of Sheerness and at Prestwick Airport.

4 August 2019 — Fox News, Fox & Friends.

When, after the mass-shooting in El Paso, the Texas Lieutenant Governor Republican Dan Patrick told Fox News that video games and the fact children don’t pray in schools anymore are two of the many reasons why such killing takes place in the United States, and warns that people (i.e. Democrats) should not politicise mass-shootings (i.e. by talking about white supremacists or firearms).

🗣 Dan Patrick: “How long are we gonna let, for example, and ignore at a federal level particularly whether they can do something about the video game industry ... I see a video game industry that teaches young people to kill ... On Sunday morning when most of your viewers, half of the country are getting ready to go to church. And yet, tomorrow, we won’t let our kids even pray in our schools... We have to look at ourselves as a Nation, there are many factors that go in this shootings, many factors... and it’s not a time to politicise...”

Dan Patrick, 4 August 2019. / Fox News

Except, other countries too have the very same violent video games such as Call of Duty or Resident Evil, where players must kill each other, and they don’t have regular mass-shootings like America has.

Indeed, Dr Mark Coulson, associate professor of psychology at Middlesex University, told the BBC in 2015, “I fully acknowledge that exposure to repeated violence may have short-term effects – you would be a fool to deny that – but the long-term consequences of crime and actual violent behaviour, there is just no evidence linking violent video games with that. If you play three hours of Call of Duty you might feel a little bit pumped, but you are not going to go out and mug someone.”

This year, researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, have found no relationship between aggressive behaviour in teenagers and the amount of time spent playing violent video games.

More unmissable politics next week...🔷

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[This is an original piece, first published by the author in on 4 August 2019. | The author writes in a personal capacity.]

(Cover: Pixabay.)