There was a time when press conferences were designed to reveal something new. Theresa May did a lot to pioneer the novel concept of the news-free conference, which featured a collection of well-worn and completely familiar facts.
Regardless of the Tory-on-Tory bloodshed, manifesto mistakes or the latest tragic scene at the negotiating table, he will continue to return to the stage with a polished expression. “Nothing has changed!”, She growls like a head on a warship.
Today, there was more than a touch of Talek about the Prime Minister. Are audio technologists not as clear on Matt Hankcock’s grip on reality, or did the aliens simply command the sound system? The Prime Minister’s voice echoed terribly, praising the “long and hard way back to normal”, although he did show this majestic throw with the occasional reminder of the Cameron era.
Atlantic Mogni Twang in his middle – “I want to say thank you” – Pure George Osborne.
It was the impetus to take the time-honored escape route from the Talek invasion: running upstairs. But with a deadline to meet, the Prime Minister had no choice but to listen and change the robot slogan. “Spread the virus, protect the NHS, save lives!”
The long-awaited “Roadmap for Freedom”, endless thanks to every hook you can imagine in the supply chain; Delivery drivers, warehouse operators, tube dancers, basket weavers, toilet monitors and more. All were ‘wonderful’ or ‘amazing’, especially the volunteers who dug the snow-covered medical center in Leeds last Saturday.
He took a child-glove approach to those on the naughty step – two million callers (“twice the population of Birmingham”) – who had not yet been vaccinated. Words like ‘deceptive’ or ‘irresponsible’ were carefully suppressed even though they were close to the surface. The Prime Minister’s conciliatory voice was witnessed elsewhere by decades of imprisonment, tooth-picking fines and the breaking of parliamentary protocol.
With a growing mic, Sir Patrick Valence’s voice sounded deeper and more terrifying than Mysteron. While thanking reduced hospital admission rates and friends and colleagues in the NHS, he also stressed the need for more caution and “extra data”.
The chief scientific adviser humanized the virus and talked about “variations” [it] I would like to have something like “increased exchange or intensity”.
“The virus isn’t going to be particularly interested in dates,” he replied, when asked about the estimated schedule for reopening, sad news for anyone looking forward to a single rose Valentine dinner with Kovit-19 this weekend.
Other journalists asked about the minister sending mixed messages during the summer holidays. As always, the Prime Minister insisted “very soon”.
“Urk, did not answer my question” Laura Queensberg, and after the waffle. Little did she know that she could still be heard, even though she had a bust mic, the second Mistron seemed to transcend the BBC’s sound system and (once) reflect the mood of the nation.
There has been some news about the latest ‘anxiety variant’, this time Made in Bristol. If nothing else, it is a reminder that Global Britain has not completely lost its domestic production potential. We may have relied heavily on China for our viruses, but there are still some useful mutations of our own.
Then a bad question from Oxbridge – James wanted to know if lateral flow tests would allow weddings to take place, as well as keep workplaces open. The Prime Minister is characteristically insecure.
Even in the grip of the new nature, how comforting it is that some things never change. So next week, I look forward to another non-news conference in which the Pope maintains his usual allegiance to the Catholic faith and wants a Sylvan habitat for their defecation needs.