The reason Boris Johnson ‘gets away with it’ is because he is allowed to
The British media has already decided that the Ukraine war has 'saved' Johnson, long before the Metropolitan Police has even finished investigating Partygate.
There was a very telling moment in BBC Newsnight’s interview with Boris Johnson on Thursday.
The presenter Nick Watt told Johnson that he was a “very lucky general” because the Ukraine invasion was going to “save” his premiership.
“This war is going to save what was a very precarious premiership after all those claims about Partygate,” he told the Prime Minister.
“What does it say about your premiership, that it takes the most serious war in Europe since the Second World War, for you to escape?”
Johnson responded by using a carefully-placed piece of flattery, in order to avoid answering the question.
"I think what it says is that we're very lucky to live in a country where journalists can quite properly go hard on this sort of question and this sort of issue, because I can tell you, Nick, that is not what happens in Vladimir Putin's Russia.”
If his sleight of hand wasn’t clear enough, Johnson went on to add that: “if Vladimir Putin had Newsnight on his case, and people asking him really penetrating questions about what he really thought he was doing in Ukraine… I don't think he would have made the catastrophic mistake that he's made.”
Johnson’s political skills have sometimes been overstated. However, this exchange does show how well he understands the British media.
As a former journalist, Johnson is well-versed on the self-perpetuated myth that journalists are all brave truth-tellers who stand up to power and demand the answers to questions that the public wants to know.
Like all good myths there is at least an element of truth to it. Journalism at its best does do all of these things and this is why Putin has been so keen to suppress its continued existence in Russia.
However, there is another side to journalism which is not as widely discussed.
While there are many brave and independent journalists working in the UK there are also some who do not fit that description.
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