We’re not ashamed to admit we don’t understand how the graphic tweeted by Boris Johnson to congratulate president-elect Joe Biden came to faintly display “Trump” in the background.
Downing Street’s statement only added to our confusion. “As you’d expect, two statements were prepared in advance for the outcome of this closely contested election,” said an unnamed spokesperson. “A technical error meant parts of the alternative message were embedded in the background of the graphic.”
“Technical error”? “Embedded”? Don’t fob us off. Assuming this was a Photoshop job, the government had a chance here to appear human. The statement should have come directly from the junior staffer who put the graphic together. “Look, we only had the Trump one ready,” they could have confessed. “Sometimes I find it fun to drag the brush tool all over the text instead of just deleting it and this time I must have chosen soft round instead of hard.”
We know it’s not a big deal. We just get off on knowing the details of this stuff, especially what with all these conspiracists going about nowadays. But details we don’t have, so it’s hard to disprove that Laura Kuenssberg was on a late lunch that day, leaving the prime minister with only the option of leaking his grief through a sort of invisible ink cry for help: “Trump”. And that’s just heartbreaking.