#BringbackPiersMorgan also trends after he quits TV show
By Ricky Browne
Shoot the messenger, hug up the critic, seems to be the order of the day on social media today. On one hand, Twitter followers called for the sacking of medical adviser Chris Whitty and on the other hand they called for the reinstatement of TV celebrity Piers Morgan yesterday, showing a hardening of opinion across Great Britain.
The first major trend #SackChrisWhitty came as the United Kingdom starts to open up with students across the country going back to school. Many are optimistically looking forward to a return to normality and didn’t take kindly to Chief Medical Adviser Chris Whitty warning that the country could face yet another Covid-19 surge.
Whitty had dared to suggest that a lot more people will die if lockdown lifts too early– as many as 30,000 by next summer.
“A lot of people think this is all over It is very easy to forget how quickly things can turn bad” he said.
Appearing before the Science and Technology Select Committee, Prof Whitty said: “Under all the scenarios, if we unlock very suddenly, all the modelling suggests we would get a substantial surge while a lot of people are not protected.”
“The ratio of cases to deaths will go right down as a result of vaccination – but not right down to zero unfortunately,” he said.
But the response to his alarm – at least on Twitter – is that the messenger should be shot.
Trending on Twitter on Wednesday was the hash tag #SackChrisWhitty, with more than 26,200 tweets on the topic by 1:00 pm. The rational behind many of the tweets seemed to indicate that people were just tired of the pandemic and its lockdowns, and wanted to lash out against someone.
“Ah the old summer seasonal surge in Covid being used to keep us locked down. Remember last summer? Bodies everywhere. #SackChrisWhitty,” tweeted Burnside @BurnsideNotTosh, which earned him 1,300 likes.
“You’ve had your 12 months of fame. Crawl back under your rock now you f*cking aberration #SackChrisWhitty” tweeted Scotty @ScottyKBFW, receiving 600 likes.
“This person is a pathetic, weak, traitorous excuse for a human that now needs removing immediately. #SackChrisWhitty” tweeted Tyler Durden @Out_Of_Phase, receiving about 500 likes.
“For the love of God please let’s #sackchriswhitty,” tweeted Jamie Grayson @truthVSworld. He got 1500 likes for that.
But not all comments were negative.
“Why is #SackChrisWhitty trending? Just because you don’t agree with an expert doesn’t mean they should be sacked. Chris Whitty has worked very hard to protect us and our families, he deserves respect,” tweeted Freddie @FreddieBailey96, who got 700 likes.
His comment got some support, including a comment from Dan Mullen.
“Couldn’t agree more. I don’t understand why people would want the bloke to be sacked. He’s the expert, he is telling it the way he sees it. It’s up to the government whether they take his advice or not. He’s saying something that people don’t want to hear – deal with it!” Mullen tweeted.
“In WW2 the anti-lockdown #SackChrisWhitty brigade would have been raging against blackouts, rationing and military conscription. Let’s note that covid has killed around 3 times as many people as the Blitz. The #SackChrisWhitty brigade are the types who get other people killed,” tweeted Nick Reeves @nickreeves9876.
One of the most popular tweets was in support of Whitty, not against him.
“You can’t just sack experts because you don’t agree with them. Chris Whitty is being very responsible in voicing his concerns. (Don’t) #SackChrisWhitty” tweeted Dr Julia Grace Patterson @JujuliaGrace. She got 6200 likes for that.
Meanhwile, also trending on Twitter was the hashtag #BringbackPiersMorgan. The TV celebrity was the first fallout victim from the Sussex’s interview with Oprah — when he walked off the set of his morning TV show, Good Morning Britain, after being lambasted by his weatherman Alex Beresford for showing no sympathy for Meghan and calling her a liar. He later resigned.
His previous outburst earned him some 41,000 letters of complaint, plus an objection from the Duchess of Sussex herself. But he got much support on Twitter.
“On Monday, I said I didn’t believe Meghan Markle in her Oprah interview. I’ve had time to reflect on this opinion, and I still don’t. If you did, OK. Freedom of speech is a hill I’m happy to die on. Thanks for all the love, and hate. I’m off to spend more time with my opinions,” Morgan tweeted. He got more than 102,000 likes.
Morgan posted a photo of Winston Churchill with a quote on freedom of speech with his tweet.
“Some people’s idea of free speech is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage — Winston Churchill” read the quote.
So, Morgan would like to be identified with Winston Churchill, perhaps the greatest UK Prime Minister of the 20th Century, famous for standing up against the Nazi’s and helping to save the country from fascism.