Students trapped in pay-for-plague rental prisons, Charles Moore seizing the BBC and Paul Dacre taking over Ofcom — welcome to Prison Ship Britain.

Happy Sunday. Start organising today. Things are serious.

In the writers’ room of 2020, head writer Charlie Brooker chuckles to himself at the subtle new plot twists he has introduced:

Welcome to Prison Ship Britain, a giant vessel floating in the grim grey stretches of a piece of ocean that no one else wants, led by bastards pretending to care about fishermen and running ‘the people’s government’ while they bow deeply to their true masters — hedge fund owners, oligarchs, and currency speculators — who have promised them plenty of loot once the grift of government is done.

And on the TVs and radios of the Prison Ship, in the pamphlets pretending to be newspapers, the voices we hear cry out in unison that it is the public who are to blame, that it is the BBC, it is charities, it is nurses, it is doctors, it is teachers who are to blame. A corrupt cabinet led by a chiselling clown act progressively to privatise everything in their own interests and the newspapers chase like a pack of adrenalised hounds after culture war stories, as though each ever-more ridiculous claim is wrapped in sausages.

Moves that would be condemned as the act of a demagogue if they were pulled by a President in some former-Soviet republic are waved through by columnists and political reporters who favour their comfort and access to the rich above all.

In Borismenisatan, the appointment of a regime cheerleader to oversee the national broadcaster and the installation of a swivelled-eyed right-wing hypocrite to the job of monitoring the media are both normal occurrences and the absence of any kind of real selection process is shrugged away. Job interviews are for plebs, the columnists and radio hosts mutter, having been installed in their own roles at the head nod of one bastard or another.

Britain has forever had a corrupt elite — that is the curse of any country that believes monarchy is justified as a component of its political system — but the Boris Party believes it can be corrupt in plain sight and get away with it. Sadly, it is correct. The media are toothless and the main opposition, a collection of people who stood under the frayed standard of the Labour Party, has metamorphosed like a shit Pokemon into the Manager’s Party, for whom ‘opposition’ means complaining mildly like a man who asked for boiled potatoes and not chips with his bargain meal at Wetherspoon’s.

Keir Starmer is forensically fucking up as he desperately hopes that nodding his head faster than a Churchill Insurance Dog on the parcel shelf of public debate will make him electable and give him the opportunity to pursue the same right-wing agenda, but in better suits and with the benefit of access to a hairbrush.

The newspapers this morning will tell you a different story. The prison ship sails on.

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