Susan O’Keeffe: Reality intrudes on stage-managed political theatre

‘Hopeless Hancock’ and the Putin-Biden summit cut through the airbrushed, manicured, 24/7 performances that are now the mainstay of political discourse

17th June, 2021
Susan O’Keeffe: Reality intrudes on stage-managed political theatre
Dominic Cummings, left, former advisor to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, right: Cummings’ publishing of private messages between the pair about Health Secretary Matt Hancock has plunged UK politics into crisis

“Are you hopeless Mr Hancock?” will go do down in politics as the defining question of the Covid-19 pandemic in the UK.

On the face of it, throwing this question in the air at the Health Secretary Matt Hancock, driving away in a car, seems more like a stupid doorstep moment from a lazy journalist.

In reality, this short sentence was when the normal secrecy rules of political power emerged with a bang...

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