In this brilliant thread on the government’s communication strategy, James O’Brien perfectly sums up the Brexit legacy and how the tories are unashamedly misleading the public and playing politics during the coronavirus pandemic.

First published in April 2020.

The tactics are clear:


Pretend that idiots wishing harm on the Prime Minister are representative of all government critics. (Ignore all examples of harm being wished on government critics.)


Orchestrate pliant MPs and client journalists in ‘quote tweet’ pile-ons against the most effective criticism.


Insist that the government has ‘followed the science’ without explaining what science.


If pushed on 3, argue that explaining the science will ‘embarrass our allies’.


Wibble about ‘national cycles’ when asked why the government failed to learn from stark foreign examples.


Repeat 5 when asked to explain unflattering comparisons with Germany, Ireland, etc.


Introduce pithy but vacuous slogans into public discourse so that blindly loyal forelock-tuggers at least have something to shout into the ether. See ‘population density’ and ‘herd immunity’.


Try to move the debate away from scrutiny of deeply flawed lockdown messaging towards one about when lockdown should end.


Blame the governement failures on doctors and nurses; WHO; Public Health England; civil service; China; the Boogie.


If all else fails, refuse all interviews.

Tweets posted on 13 April 2020 by @mrjamesob.

[This piece was first published as a Twitter thread and turned into the above article on 13 April 2020 with the purpose of reaching a larger audience. It has been minorly edited and corrected. | The author of the tweets writes in a personal capacity.]

Creative Commons License
(Cover: Flickr/Number 10. - Daily Briefing with Home Secretary Priti Patel. / Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.)

>>> Please think about the environment before printing this article.