Matthew Steeples suggests faux outrage over ‘The Mail on Sunday’s’ Angela Rayner ‘Sharon Stone moment’ article is simply another use of the ‘distraction technique’ by rotten-to-his-core Boris Johnson
The Mail on Sunday’s article about Angela Rayner allegedly pulling Sharon Stone-esque Basic Instinct moves to distract Boris Johnson was certainly distasteful. It was clearly a little bit April Fools’ Day-esque and smutty in tone, but equally the faux outrage is indicative of nothing but the use of the ‘distraction technique’ by a Prime Minister currently in an ever-expanding, volcano-like hole.
Whilst further angering ‘woke warriors’ everywhere this morning with their “No, Mister Speaker!” front page and “Sarah Vine’s Verdict” – which admittedly (probably given how truly ghastly she is) only made it to page 17 – this morning, the Mail’s “respectful reply” in “the name of a free press” to a summons of The Mail on Sunday’s editor to “appear” before the Commons Speaker, Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, was, in my view, perfectly reasonable.
Firstly, unless he is the one telling porky pies, as yet unnamed Conservative Party sources including Conservative Members of Parliament did give The Mail on Sunday’s political editor Glen Owen the now ever-so controversial Basic Instinct story that has come to dominate the media narrative.
Secondly – at a time when the plague of ‘PartyGate’ rumbles on (‘And On And On And Ariston’) – for Boris Johnson this little episode is actually helpful. It gives him a chance to show his authority and the chance to distract from the true issues at hand. In commenting that he would shower “the terrors of the earth” if identified on the Tory that was behind the “sexist, misogynist tripe,” it is clear that the buffoon-like puppet controlled by the woman formerly known as Carrie Symonds is yet again simply playing to the gallery.
Thirdly, is this story really that outrageous given that Ms Rayner herself brought up the comparison previously in January in a podcast with comedian Matt Forde? At the time, she “joked about a ‘mortifying’ Internet meme which compared her to Sharon Stone,” according to the Independent’s Adam Forrest this morning.
May we once again today remind readers of how the late Lord McAlpine defined the ‘distraction technique’ (in a business context, admittedly) in his 1999 book The New Machiavelli: The Art of Politics in Business:
“Another option is for the businessperson to learn the art of dealing with the media, using all the tricks that go with that trade – such as the false defeat: when a person seems to lose, in order to gain public sympathy, or the false triumph: where a person seems to win in order to appear strong – thus giving credibility to any number of dubious propositions that person may wish to make in the future. Neither of these ploys are examples of the use of true facts, rather of false facts given to the media to chew on, much as a dog chews on a bone.”
“Another useful ploy is the false accusation. First, create a situation where you are wrongly accused. Then, at a convenient moment, arrange for the false accusation to be shown to be false beyond all doubt. Those who have made accusations against both the company and its management become discredited. Further accusations will then be treated with great suspicion. Always remember that people’s memories are very frail, remembering only both the high spots and the lows of a person’s career, and then seldom remembering accurately. People believe in the facts that it suits them to believe.”
Described by Margaret Thatcher at the time of publication as a “shrewd commentary,” this is a book Boris Johnson clearly has consulted and is very much guided by. Angela Rayner might do well to take a gander now also and, if she has any sense, she’ll chuck it right back at the rotten-to-his-core ‘leader’ and the ragbag of rubbish that surround him.