It goes on and on. Dark times are coming…wait, no, come on now: they’re already here.
The video clip (watch it here before it vanishes forever), taken from today’s This Morning programme on ITV and splashed all over the internet, makes for compelling viewing. It begins as Phillip Schofield asks the prime minister if he’s heard the names…the names which need no introduction, as you know – the names which are currently all over the internet right now, seemingly merging together to form a very sinister picture of what happened in North Wales children’s homes during the transitional mess of the 70s and 80s which one hell of a lot of people would quite like to forget about. With the camera focussed firmly on a nervous-looking David Cameron, the Prime Minister then says that, yes, like everyone with an internet connection in the UK and an ounce of curiosity, surely, he’s heard a number of names bandied around. Oh dear, things are turning bad. He then asserts that what tends to happen following this is that everyone sits around and speculates about people, some of which are alive, some of which are dead. What a sleuth. At this point in the video, the Prime Minister is sparked by obvious irritation as Philip Schofield, off camera, tries to interrupt. Cameron then says, with the camera flicking to a full-screen image of the surprising face-off, that anyone with information on abusers of any status should voice their concerns to the police, whether the abusers are alive or dead.
You get the feeling, watching the video, that the ITV studio where this is taking place is either a fantastic place to be or a horrible place to be, depending on how much you love or hate David Cameron.
Then, out of nowhere, things get very interesting — fast, and This Morning suddenly becomes highly controversial (not to mention very horrifying, if you’re Cameron’s wife and you have a load of friends over and you’re all watching this together with mouths agape). Noting how it took him just 3 minutes to amass a list of names – former senior Conservative politicians names, that is, all of which have been repeated again and again in the last few weeks at various online sources – Phillip Schofield then calmly hands the Prime Minister a card with the names on and asks him if he knows the names (he does, somehow without even reading the card he’s just been given) and he’ll be speaking to those people (yes, he will, and some are going to have their Christmas bonuses docked). The camera now firmly back on David Cameron, his eyebrows are etched with concern, the likes of which is wholly transparent and, when applied to the world most of us live in, can be seen on the faces of drunks everywhere when they drop their chips in a puddle of vomit on the floor on any given Friday night. Frowning, the Prime Minister then lowers his voice, almost as if Philip Schofield were a very naughty boy in a headmaster’s office who had wandered in wearing a dress, and therefore was highly confusing to a man who couldn’t tell a gay from a lamp-post. A boy who he hadn’t expected might rally against him, also, and a boy who he couldn’t legally cane or very well slap, even if he was wearing a dress. At least, not without kidnapping him and transporting him covertly to any one of a number of off-shore torture chambers.
If you’ve seen the video, you already know what happens in the next part: first, David Cameron says that he’s concerned there’s a danger that this could turn into a witch-hunt, and secondly, he makes a further assertion – that particularly at risk could be people who are gay.
Now, I’m not sure if the Prime Minister’s been online for more than 2 minutes recently, or if someone might have messed with his internet settings so all he gets is pages saying nice things about Tory politicians and the world, but this has already turned into one enormous witch-hunt, and not just against people who are gay. Instead, it’s a witch-hunt on an epic scale, and nobody is safe, especially if they prefer not to pay tax and adore claiming expenses on numerous things. Especially not the Great British institutions. Politicians, high-ranking policemen and anyone else off their tits in the 1970s is sure to be fair game.
Next, David Cameron says he’s worried about what Philip Schofield is doing now – printing off a list of names taken from the internet and giving them to him. Presumably that’s not too much of a worry if you’re the Prime Minister, though. Unless he’s a) allergic to paper or b) thinking of doing his shopping at ALDI, Waitrose or Morrisons, I’d say it’s highly unlikely that anyone’s going to be thrusting a list of this kind anywhere near his hands. Putting that aside, if hysteria about abuse does come of this, at least we’re doing something to get at the truth. Schofield’s (alleged) surprise confrontation may have been crude, but anything’s better than nothing, surely?
The rest of the video is precisely what you’d expect. David Cameron saying everything he can to assure the nation that the place we live in is a thoroughly legal, democratic society where justice is administered fairly via a fair and sane police force and court system (and with a straight face!). Near the end, Holly Willoughby interrupts and is told to wait for 2 seconds — which shocked me, as she’s always smiling and happy and it just doesn’t seem right to tell her to shut up, even if you can because you’re the actual Prime Minister. Around the country, a million people presumably wonder:
What would it actually be like to punch David Cameron?
What dress is a very concerned-looking Holly Willoughby wearing?
What shall I have for dinner?
I wonder if I will have sex soon. Hmm.
What would it actually be like to punch David Cameron?
Was the Prime Minister genuinely surprised on air by one ballsy Phillip Schofield? Somehow it seems extraordinarily unlikely – surreal, even – given the strict guidelines the Prime Minister’s interview would be forced to work within, but there we have it. It does seem this was the case. Maybe. Only Phillip and Gordon The Gopher really know. And maybe Phillip’s wife, but she might not be talking to him right now, so that’s also questionable.
Then there’s the mysterious case of the card that Schofield handed over…could the names really be seen, unscrambled and accurately read off the TV screen? That’s what people are saying, and with Gordon the Gopher’s infamous albino-haired side-kick — in other words Phillip — later releasing an apologetic statement suggesting that the misjudging of a camera angle was to blame for the stunt — hmm… — it appears this is one possible explanation. Not that anyone can realistically justify getting their knickers in a twist over this, with freak-out merchants Ofcom included – if you want to see the names in question, a quick Google search will do it. Downing Street might be blaming Phillip Schofield for bringing these names to the attention of some people who still only have dial-up or think a mouse is a disease-spreading creature, but all he did was say what we’ve all been thinking. And there’s surely much more to come.