Partygate proves the party is over for the mainstream media, they just don't get it, and I'm not sure they ever will, says Mark Dolan
It's my view, that you've been let down, over the last couple of years.
It's my view, that you've been let down, over the last couple of years. By a government who pursued a colossal and in my view failed scientific experiment - a two year long attempt to track, trace and control a respiratory virus. An experiment which has left us with a wrecked economy, a divided, poorer and angrier society, raging inflation and the cost of living crisis, which is in fact, the cost of lockdown crisis.
You've been let down by the leaders of the free world – European democracies, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and of course America, who all discarded western values, to lock people in their homes, print trillions of dollars worth of empty money and stifle any dissent, which called out this madness, either from members of the public or from broadcasters, journalists and leading scientists who were critical and sceptical about what we were doing.
You've been let down by corporations that continue to persist with Covid theatre, like perspex screens everywhere. Take a look at this horror show of plastic that greeted me at a major UK airport yesterday.
You've been let down by the NHS, not its staff, but by an organisation which downed tools for one disease. If it wasn't Covid, they didn't care. You've been let down by the opposition, who wanted even more lockdowns – longer, harder, faster. Don't forget, Sir Keir Starmer called freedom day reckless and wanted evidence who we shouldn’t cancel Christmas. But you know who you've really been let down by, that shocks me most? You’ve been let down by the media.
Very early in the pandemic, the vast majority of TV networks, radio stations and newspapers decided that fear sells. So they were quite happy to scare the bejesus out of you for two years, inflating an already huge mental health crisis, all for clicks, for viewers, for listeners, for readers, for profit. A nasty virus for a small minority it was, but the bubonic plague it was not. But that's how it was cast by so many outlets, most egregiously the BBC, to whom we have been paying a public tax, with which to brainwash us, with Covid hysteria.
At those hellish press conferences with Whitty and Valance, a more terrifying double act than Fred and Rose West, I don't recall a single journalist’s question, asking about the impact of Covid measures on the public or any concerned remarks about the long term economic impact, of these policies. These were questions only a tiny handful of my colleagues in the media, were asking. And we were the bad people. Remember? They didn't ask about lockdown impacts, because it's my view that the media just don't care about you. Why let compassion or the national interest, get in the way of a good story.
And they were happy filing their copy, and selling their fear porn, from the farrow and ball luxury of their north London homes. The story was “this is Armageddon” and most of the media were well and truly going to stick to the script. It’s my view covid was oversold by a profoundly unethical and heartless media and we are now paying the price, via a shattered economy, an NHS waiting list of up to twelve million, damaged kids and a broken, angry and divided society.
And now, as we face this truly spine-chilling cost of living crisis, which threatens to simply bankrupt a generation of Brits – not just the poorest, but millions who were previously optimistic about their future, and whose plans are now in doubt, where has the media’s focus been? Bloody partygate. Boris Johnson standing near sandwiches, the teetotal Rishi Sunak smiling for a photo at someone’s leaving do.
It's not exactly Watergate is it? But the media, who are supposedly answerable to you indulged in this Westminster soap opera and continue to do so, because they don't care about you. At this point, all they care about is engineering the departure of Boris Johnson, a democratically elected prime minister, who I hasten to add achieved an unprecedented political mandate in December 2019. I'll be damned if sky news, the Beeb, the Independent, the Guardian or anyone else for that matter are going to oust Boris Johnson.
I think you'll find that's up to you, at the next election. It will be hilarious if he wins again. It will annoy all the right people. This obsession with Downing Street parties is highly politically motivated, born out of hatred for Boris Johnson and of course the Brexit he delivered. The media can't even be trusted as a platform for debate any more, given the demonisation and cancelling of anybody that doesn't share their world view.
I work in the media and it's my business, but I've been horrified to watch how indulgent so many of my colleagues have been, how cruel and heartless, how petty and small minded and how trivial. And that's coming from me – I was throwing vegan bacon around the studio the other week. Horrible stuff – mainly sunflower oil and water.
But every time I come into work and meet with my brilliant team – Tom, Greg, Tatiana, James and many more, our focus is always the same. This show is about you. All my team ask every day is: are our audience interested in this? Does this matter to our viewers, and our listeners? I've only done a handful of big opinion monologues about partygate, mainly saying that I couldn't care less. Yes it's a disgrace – both Boris and
now likely Sir Keir Starmer - clearly ignoring the rules they inflicted on us. But you know my view. The rules themselves, were the real crime of the century, not the bending of them. I agree with the Telegraph’s star columnist Tim Stanley,
Who told Colin Brazier this week: “Partygate suggests there was something wrong about the rules. The nation doesn't want to yet confront the possibility, the pandemic was not as catastrophic, as it was made out to be”.
Made out to be, of course, by the media. Most of the media just don't get the British people any more. They didn't get the British people, when they effectively campaigned against Brexit beforehand and campaigned to cancel it, once we had voted to get out.
This obsession with partygate shows how out of touch the media have become, and all it does, is send traffic our way, because we speak what we see as the truth. We might be wrong, we might be right, but we're authentic, we're honest and we are here for you. We don't have to
fake it or confect it. It's who we are. I'll be wrong about plenty of things, ask Mrs Dolan, but I can sleep at night, and I can stand by every syllable, of what I have said on air, over the last two years. It comes from a place of conscience and I always mean it. And my focus, what always guides me is YOU.
Not something, that can be said for many of my colleagues in this profession, who want to play games and indulge in a political soap opera. Partygate once again proves, that the party is over, for the mainstream media. They just don't get it, and I'm not sure they ever will.