Analysis comment

Watch Barry Gardiner show how it’s done at PMQs – just 21 seconds to demolish Raab’s ‘follow the science’ lie

Now-backbencher Gardiner shows what Labour is missing
Barry Gardiner in Wednesday’s online PMQs

Labour’s Barry Gardiner, now on the back benches, gave an object lesson in how to hold the Tories to account and expose their dishonesty, as the country desperately needs during this national crisis made worse by the dishonesty and wilful negligence of Boris Johnson and his henchmen.

The Conservatives hide daily behind the excuse that everything they do – which changes and conflicts constantly – is following scientific advice.

An excuse that Gardiner took just 21 seconds to demolish, by simply pointing out an undeniable example of them not ‘following the science’ – and in fact stubbornly ignoring it for weeks:

Stand-in PM Dominic Raab weaseled and bluffed – but in the end he could only avoid the question and pretend it didn’t make everything else he said sound ridiculous. Of course, Raab is not the only weasel – harried Health Secretary Matt Hancock blurted out last week (video) that the Tories only listen to scientists when it suits them.

How badly Labour and the country are missing Gardiner’s genuinely forensic questioning and courteously ruthless delivery,

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  1. Gardiner is obviously paying the price for doing his job to the best of his ability.This,as the leaked report tells us is unacceptable to the scum who are in charge of the party machine and now the leader’s office.Meanwhile ,that useless little creep Ashworth,who was utterly hopeless has kept his job,no doubt as a thank you for his wife’s efforts.

  2. Raab’s “We are starting to come through this peak” is pure desperation.
    Only the second time I’ve ever seen bullshit move at 100mph.

  3. I think I’d rather have seen Gardiner spend 42 or 84 seconds instead of 21 making his point and end with a “Why is the government still criminally failing to…” kind of a question.
    Brevity is good, curtness is well justified but too many viewers need things spelling out for them.

  4. Having watched BBC Newsnight last night & Ms Maitliss extolling the PM Questions performance of Keir Starmer, I then switched to Peston & listened to the ‘love in’ with Rabbi Sachs & then Liz Kendall. Being filled with horror & realising that I would be unable to sleep, I searched for a programme that would calm me down………..’The Papers’ BBC. Lance Price, ex Tony Blair Personal Advisor gave a personal summary of Starmer’s magnificent ‘Forensic’ performance “that many in the Labour Party had long been waiting for.” I didn’t manage to sleep too well last night.

    Interesting wiki on Lance Price who now works for the Guardian & Huff Post, but the BBC continue to only select ‘Blairites’ to ‘represent’ the Labour Party………..empirical fact. BBC & Guardian now happy.

    1. Steve – You’d have slept better if you’d watched the Ch4 unsensational examination of Covid-19 with a panel of actual scientists.

      1. Thank you RH for your concern over my lack of sleep, but I trust Channel 4 as much as its twin PSB sister aka BBC.

  5. Everything time I listen to Hancock or Rabbs responses I am overwhelmed by a violent urge to punch them. So I try to make a point of not listening for my own sanity.

  6. SAGE are refusing to publish minutes of meeting until “after the crisis is over” What data they have published (because they were forced to by the Science and technology committee) was incomplete and hasn’t been updated since March 24th. When you look at the “scientists” on the group they are mostly Mathematical modellers and behavioural scientists. All the medical advice like 14 days case isolation is adjusted by the statistical likelihood of compliance and getting R below 1 (that means only infecting 1 person). They’re not aiming to stop the virus they’re aiming to keep it at an “acceptable level” until a vaccine is found.

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