Eagle-eyed viewers have claimed that a rogue librarian may have been responsible for selecting the books behind Boris Johnson today when he delivered his school speech, which appeared to have particularly pointed titles.
The Prime Minister told a room full of 7th grade students at a school in Leicestershire it was politically acceptable to sing Rule Britannia and ruled that Harry Potter was not sexist.
He was at Castle Rock School in Coalville today telling the confused schoolchildren the importance of getting them back to the classrooms in September.
But internet wags have spotted books with pointed titles behind him and suggest that a librarian took the opportunity to "troll" the beleaguered prime minister.
On the bookshelf were novels like Roald Dahl's The Twits, Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife and Betrayed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast.
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 – a dystopian novel about a future American society where books will be banned – stood prominently behind the Prime Minister's shoulder.
Did a disgruntled librarian take revenge on Boris Johnson today by showing books with politically sharp titles behind him during his livestream speech?
Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett, a novel about a secret brotherhood conspiracy to overthrow a corrupt patrician and install a puppet king, was also in sight.
Fifth on the bookshelf was Julie Bertagna's Exodus, a story about dispossessed migrants fleeing their island due to rising sea levels caused by global warming.
"Never Mess With A Librarian": Books Selected To Visit Boris During His Livestream Speech To The Nation
1. The subtle knife (Philip Pullman)
Philip Pullman's 1997 second novel in the His Dark Materials series continues the adventures of Lyra Belacqua as she examines the mysterious dust phenomenon.
2. Fahrenheit 451 (Ray Bradbury)
Fahrenheit 451 is Ray Bradbury's 1953 dystopian novel depicting a future US society in which books are banned and "firefighters" burn anything found.
3. Betrayed (PC and Kristin Cast)
The 2007 second novel in the vampire fantasy series House of Night, written by American authors PC and Kristin Cast, is betrayed.
4. The Resistance (Gemma Malley)
The Resistance is a children's novel by Gemma Malley published in 2008. Before the events of the novel, the world was overpopulated due to a drug that made people live forever.
5th Exodus (Julie Bertagna)
Julie Bertagna's Exodus from 2002 is about dispossessed migrants fleeing their island because of the rise in sea levels caused by global warming.
6. The Toll (Neal Shusterman)
Last year's The Toll by Neal Shusterman is the epic conclusion to the New York Times bestselling series "Arc of a Scythe" against the backdrop of a dictatorship that tests a constitution.
7. Hero.Com: Crisis Point (Andy Briggs)
Andy Briggs & # 39; Hero.Com: Crisis Point, released in 2011, takes place in a world of superheroes where the Hero Foundation is a shadow of its former selves and Lord Oeon plans to tear time apart.
8. Glass houses (Rachel Caine)
Rachel Caine's 2006 Glass Houses is an urban fantasy / vampire novel for young adults about Claire Danvers, a Texas Prairie University student, and her roommates in the vampire-controlled city of Morganville, Texas. While the Mayor of Morganville is human, the town is actually run in partnership with a group of vampires.
9. The Twits (Roald Dahl)
Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake's humorous book The Twits, published in 1980, is about a hideous, vengeful, vicious couple who live together in a brick house with no windows. They play nasty practical jokes with one another out of hatred.
Behind the Prime Minister was Hero.Com: Crisis Point, a novel in Andy Briggs & # 39; series in which & # 39; Superpowers bear super responsibility & # 39 ;.
Rachel Caine's vampire novel, Glass Houses, came second from right, and some suggested that this might be a reference to the adage "Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones" – itself a comment on the Prime Minister's criticism Ofqual.
And Charles Dickens & # 39; Oliver Twist – famous for his line & # 39; Please, sir, I want more – may have been placed to Mr Johnson's left to remind people of this administration's U-turn.
Twitter accounts lined up to praise those who picked the books – some believed it was the school librarian – for their "supreme trolling".
One social media user said, “Why are politicians so bad at this? You'd think they'd checked. They seem as bad at the little things as they are at the big things. & # 39;
& # 39; It was found that the subtle knife; Glass houses; The toll (via a monstrous dictator); and Guards Guards (via a seedy villain installing a puppet king) are also there. It looks like it has been carefully curated! & # 39; one posted.
Another said, "Some top trolling by the school librarian" while one account wrote, "Never mess with a librarian".
"Whichever librarian managed to get not just 'The Twits' but 'Betrayed'; 'Resistance' and 'Fahrenheit 451' in the setting behind Johnson have my admiration," said one social media user.
Another commented, “Must be the worst Politician Zoom bookshelf ever. Except what's that in the top right corner, "The Twits". School librarian has a sense of humor.
"If the librarian had managed to find space for The Plague and Paradise Lost, it would have been a full house," wrote another Twitter account.
Mr. Johnson's sweeping remarks came as he tried to achieve a credible tone after his administration's disastrous handling of the trials fiasco.
In a speech of less than seven minutes, the maskless prime minister apologized for the results of the A-Level and GCSE exams, which were influenced by a "mutant algorithm" that forced an embarrassing U-turn last week.
He said to the students: “From now on, after your return to school, the hours, days and weeks of this new semester, you will experience things with an intensity and clarity, believe me, that are seldom repeated in your life.
“You will remember those days, weeks and months, you really really will.
“What if you're struggling with something in the classroom or whatever, a concept you can't get, like the back trunk of confetti or nuclear fusion, or is Harry Potter sexist? Answer: No, by the way. Is it politically acceptable to sing Rule Britannia? Yes …
“When you struggle with complex questions or are concerned, someone, most likely a teacher, a brilliant teacher, will say something and a light will come on, the clouds will lift and you will never forget that moment. This moment is absolutely irreplaceable. It's priceless and can only happen in school. & # 39;
The Prime Minister today thanked the students for their efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus: “We have significantly reduced the number of deaths, we have significantly reduced the number of hospital admissions and it is thanks to you and your victim that we are the NHS have protected and literally saved tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of lives.
"No previous generation of students has ever done anything like this."
Now he said: "The risk to your health does not come from Covid, because statistically, your chances of suffering from this disease are very, very small."
"The biggest risk you face now is not going to school," he added.
Twitter accounts lined up to praise whoever picked the books – some believed it was the school librarian – for their "supreme trolling".
He was at Castle Rock School in Coalville, an academy school where students began induction and induction starting next week before class today
The second head rolls over the fiasco at the exams: Boris Johnson dismisses the head of education Jonathan Slater 24 hours after Ofqual boss Sally Collier "resigned" – but the happy Gavin Williamson stays while the prime minister uses the "mutant algorithm" for the cock blames up
Boris Johnson today fired the top officer in the Department of Education, saying "new official leadership" is needed following the A-level and GCSE exam fiasco.
Jonathan Slater has effectively been removed from his post and will be leaving on September 1, announced today, 24 hours after Ofqual managing director Sally Collier resigned after the U-turn.
This means that of the top people overseeing grading for exams not taken for coronavirus, only Secretary of Education Gavin Williamson remains in his post, despite having been asked to leave on multiple occasions.
Boris Johnson has resisted pressure to get rid of his awkward minister, suggesting that the former chief whip who campaigned for the leadership "knows where the bodies are buried".
Regarding the recent exam fiasco, he added, “I'm afraid your grades have almost been derailed by a mutated algorithm.
“I know how stressful this must have been for students across the country. I'm very, very happy that it was finally cleared up. & # 39;
But Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, accused the prime minister of trying to pull away the A-Level and GCSE results.
He said: “It is bold on the Prime Minister to idly shake off a disaster caused by his own government. Parents, students, teachers, and principals will be appalled when the leader of this country treats his own exam fiasco like a minor fad.
& # 39; The public will not easily forget the emotional roller coaster of this year's earnings season. It is certain that this will seriously damage the government's reputation for education. "
Teachers have warned the prime minister that his face masks could wreak havoc in schools as there are fears that students will harass each other for their choice of cover.
The government announced yesterday evening that face masks would be mandatory in the common areas of secondary schools in parts of England that are subject to local lockdowns.
The decision as to whether masks should be worn in schools outside the restricted area is left to the individual headmasters.
The change in policy came after days of Minister and Downing Street insisting there were no plans to change guidelines in England as masks were not required if all other hygiene measures were followed.
But Mr Johnson's hand seemed forced after Nicola Sturgeon said that secondary school students in Scotland must wear a mask between lessons.
The time of the U-turn has caused trouble – schools in England are slated to reopen next week – and teachers warn that wearing masks could lead to "chaos".
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