‘How dare Boris say “last gasp”!’

The PM has been criticised for making a private joke about ventilators. Some people need to get a grip.



You would have hoped that one of the things that would have gone out with the coronavirus crisis was media people feigning outrage at everything the PM says. You would hope that pretending to be offended by common turns of phrase or jokes would be felt too trivial in these serious times.

But you would be wrong. Just witness the nontroversy over Boris Johnson’s ‘last gasp’ joke. Yesterday, Politico reported that, on a conference call with business leaders about ventilators, the prime minister joked that the plan to up production could be called ‘Operation Last Gasp’.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with reporting this little aside. But others took it further. One Mirror journalist even used the opportunity of yesterday’s Downing Street press conference – in which the government announced more sweeping measures to protect the economy – to ask Johnson about the joke. ‘Is this appropriate language to be using in this kind of situation?’, she asked. Johnson rightly dodged it.

Apparently, even in these times of crisis, some journalists can’t switch off their scolding ways. They need to get a grip.

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Tim Wheeler

26th March 2020 at 1:43 pm

Yup – Absolute Hatred of your political opponents and a contempt for the principle of universal adult suffrage, electors, and the outcomes of democratic votes and elections if they don’t go your way. Complete intolerance for everyday language, humour, and natural human interactions if it someone you dislike.
Brilliant Idea – Can’t Wait for Orwell’s Ingsoc to seize power and put us all straight.

Gerry Mohan

22nd March 2020 at 4:35 am

Sure, no problem with this guy, only the minor lingering doubt…

…like, what sense of impotence and despair is it that induced sane working people to vote for Boris Johnson, a narcissistic idiot completely lacking in human empathy, as revealed yet again, this time by his joke about the deaths of mere insignificant others?
What could they possibly have in common with this empty suit, this hole in the air, this long streak of public school piss?
What price are the population of the UK prepared to pay for their continued subordination to the kakistocracy, “a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens”?
To put it in French (no insult intended), how long will the British public continue to allow scum to float on the top?
Must be some mistake somewhere…

Amanda Purdy

27th March 2020 at 9:21 pm

Oh Gerry, Gerry, Gerry, you need to take a deep breath. Could it be that a large section of the population is not actually stupid, has not lost its sense of humour or proportion or its ability to weigh up a persons sincerity and trustworthiness (which is why they did not vote for Corbyn in droves) and that they can assess the consequences from continuing to use failed policies and that it might be you who needs to reassess your stance.

Gordon Das Gopher

20th March 2020 at 3:46 pm

I think they need to breathe new life into journalism but don’t hold your breath. The stupidity of these people takes your breath away.

Just thought I’d get that off my chest.

Geoff W

18th March 2020 at 9:00 pm

A lot of so-called journalists need to be dumped in the dustbin.

Jim Lawrie

18th March 2020 at 8:22 pm

The sub head would have read better if instead of “Some people need to get a grip” it had said “Some people need to take a deep breath.”

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to comment. Log in or Register now.