On the great time sucker that is Twitter one of the viral videos of the febrile Covid-19 moment is a clip of the Prime Minister on the ITV This Morning show last Thursday talking, loosely maybe, about “taking it on the chin”. It has been viewed over 2 million times and shared by a list of people who should know better. Johnson’s rhetorical style maybe lets him down here but he was merely trying to illustrate what his government was not going to do.
The source of this clip is a chap called Miles Thompson. He is not some spotty oik in his Mum’s back bedroom. He is somebody who knows better, a professional clinical psychologist, a PhD, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of the West of England. He has clipped the TV show to make it look like the Prime Minister was saying the opposite of what he was wanting to convey.
In his Twitter bio Thompson calls himself a “leftie”, and certainly scrolling down his feed you get the impression of someone with a consistent, left of centre, probably far left to most people, point of view. Clearly his animus for Prime Minister Johnson has overcome his professional good sense that it is better not to spread untrue rumours when the country is facing a very large scale public health emergency.
Thompson is patient zero for this irresponsible and mendacious piece of work. I don’t know what his university employer, UWE Bristol, or his professional body, Health and Care Professions Council, thinks about this kind of behaviour but I think it stinks.