Boris Johnson’s virtual PMQs proves he has learned nothing from the year of Zoom
Video LoadingVideo UnavailableClick to playTap to playThe video will start in8CancelPlay now
Get US and UK politics insight with our free daily email briefing straight to your inbox
Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email
The first ever virtual Prime Minister's Questions proved Boris Johnson has learned nothing from lockdown.
Or at least, that he hasn't picked up the tips and tricks we've all learned for looking and sounding good on a Zoom call.
These days teenagers live stream half their lives on the internet, with borderline broadcast audio and video quality.
Yet the PM faced down a grilling from Keir Starmer on a grainy webcam, through a tinny microphone in front of a huge grey void.
Working from home due to an unfortunate face-to-face meeting with a Tory MP who has since tested positive, Johnson was dragged kicking and screaming into the digital future.
Boris Johnson shows no remorse over 'crony' Covid contracts – and refuses to say they'll end
Mirror Politics newsletter – the e-mail you need to navigate a crisis-hit UK
But the Prime Minister denied us the joy of poring over his bookshelves for biographies of Hitler, a secret Dan Brown fetish or a strategically placed 100m swimming certificate from 1974.
Instead he sat in front of a grey backdrop with a barely visible white Number 10 logo – giving the whole thing a 'world's most boring hostage video' vibe.
His voice sounded like it was being picked up on the internal microphone from a 1980s Casio calculator which had been socially distanced in the next room.
And despite testing negative for the virus since entering his big grey bunker, the harsh lighting in the room gave him a sickly pallor.
Test and Trace chief Dido Harding ordered to self-isolate by coronavirus app
Between that and his increasingly silvery mop, the PM disappeared into the backdrop to such an extent it occasionally appeared like the country was being run by an empty charcoal suit on a hanger.
What you could see of his face was mostly chin, having failed to learn rule one of looking good on Zoom: Put your laptop on top of a stack of books.
Millennials have known since the days of Myspace that a downward angle is much more flattering.
He dismissively calls Keir Starmer "Captain Hindsight" – but the PM would benefit from heeding the lessons we've all learned from a year of online quizzes, webcam meetings and digital chats with Gran.