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13 Mar, 2020 14:28

‘Not a glorious episode!’ UK PM Johnson sparks war-analogy battle with his ‘Digital Dunkirk’ Covid-19 rally cry to tech giants

‘Not a glorious episode!’ UK PM Johnson sparks war-analogy battle with his ‘Digital Dunkirk’ Covid-19 rally cry to tech giants

UK premier Boris Johnson attracted some lessons in British history after a ‘rousing speech’ to leading tech firms, described by an attendee as “digital Dunkirk,” saw him urge them to help in the fight against the global pandemic.

The meeting on Wednesday night in Downing Street saw around 30 different big tech firms in attendance, including Google, Microsoft, Apple and Amazon. Johnson reportedly used his speech – described as Churchillian by one guest – to try to encourage the tech industry in the UK to provide useful resources to contain the outbreak.

The description of Johnson’s summit as a “digital Dunkirk” riled many on Twitter, who took issue with yet another war analogy to characterize the prime minister’s approach to a major issue. 

One frustrated person tweeted: “How can lots of little boats rescuing soldiers from across the Channel be relevant?” Some suggested that Dunkirk during World War II was “a disaster,” adding: “not exactly a glorious episode!” There were also sarcastic takes on the attendee evoking the War.

Other critics of the PM’s meeting also took a swipe at reports that Dominic Cummings – Johnson’s chief adviser – asked tech bosses what they could commit to in the fight against the deadly virus. “Have they tried all paying their taxes?”another cheekily asked.

It comes after Johnson emerged from a COBRA meeting to tell reporters assembled at No 10 on Wednesday afternoon that the Covid-19 pandemic is “the worst public health crisis for a generation” and warned Britain that the worst of the crisis is still weeks away.

“I have to level with you: more families, many more families are going to lose loved ones before their time,” the UK PM said, adding that, for the UK, the “most dangerous period is still some weeks away.”

Also on rt.com ‘Worst public health crisis in a generation’: Boris Johnson warns UK worst is yet to come in Covid-19 crisis

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