A week today I will hopefully be leaving my local barber shop. Given that circa 70,000 people have so far died because of COVID-19, spending a few months resembling Worzel Gummidge on a bad day has not been something I have lost sleep about. Looking around Sainsbury’s this morning, I appeared to be the only man who had not had a hair cut. Indeed, to my uneducated eye, it looked suspiciously like many particularly young men had certainly employed the services of a professional hairdresser during our semi-lockdown.
I understand why some people can’t wait for a haircut. Single men in particular may wish to appear more attractive to someone of the opposite sex, or for that matter the same one. However, although since Dominic Cummings had his jolly at his second home in Durham, I have decided, like him, to interpret government rules in the way that best suited my own life. I still felt having a haircut was a step too far.
My only fear is that everyone will get so pissed next Saturday when the pubs reopen that everything will be locked down again next Sunday. We know that Cummings specifically chose Saturday 4th July because of the easy headlines for sympathetic media outlets. Expect plenty of ‘Independence Day’ and Super Saturday’ headlines, followed by large crowds and drunken disorder.
Priti ‘Vacant’ Patel will today announce a series of ‘air bridges’ with certain countries. It’s a fancy Dan way of saying we can go on holiday to other countries and they can come here. Quite why anyone from Spain, Greece and Italy would a) want to come here and b) allow us to go there given our still high infection and death numbers is a strange one. Greece in particular has done marvellously well in keeping down the numbers of COVID-19 cases whereas we have done disastrously. You can’t help but thinking there will be some grim stories within weeks of people being infected when going abroad or, more likely, Brits infecting Greeks.
The increasingly popular island of St Lucia in the West Indies is a case in point. They have a population of under 200,000 and have had a grand total of 19 cases and no deaths. Meanwhile, we have had circa 70,000 deaths, 150 people are still dying every day and there are believed to be 4000 new infections every single day.
These countries and islands still seem to want us to visit having decided to weigh up the risk factor between saving the economy and saving lives. Dominic Cummings has clearly come down on the side of the economy, even though his government’s handling of the virus has been catastrophic. Now we will have the worst of all worlds with the highest death toll in Europe and potentially the worst economic crash.
Speaking of Dominic Cummings, he has once again strengthened his powerbase in the government. Having engineered the dismissal of cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill, clearly Cummings has created an opening for himself to have a bonfire of the civil service.
Top of Cummings ‘to do’ list will be to ‘reform’ the MOD. In his blog he wrote about the procurement system: “The officials in charge of multi-billion processes are mostly mediocre, often appalling. In the MoD corruption adds to the problems.” And Cummings is literally in charge of the MOD reviews. The man who, more than anyone else, gave us Brexit, will now bring about uncomfortable change at breakneck pace. Do not believe, for one moment, that he will ease back.