God, I’m confused now. After spending much of yesterday evening trying, and failing, to dissect Boris Johnson’s shambolic national address on the BBC, this morning foreign secretary and all round halfwit Dominic Raab tours the TV and radio studio making things worse. Johnson announces you can meet one friend outside your home as long as you stay two metres apart. Today Raab, after first saying to one media outlet you can’t see anyone from outside your household says on another that you can actually meet your parents, at the same time, if they are two metres apart. For me, this is fraught with problems.
The first problem is that both my parents lived apart from early 1960s onwards before divorcing, usually around 6000 miles apart. The second problem is that they are both dead. I suppose if I completely lost my mind, I could attempt to speak to them via a medium, via a world of spirit that doesn’t actually exist and hope that if they are both in heaven – again, unlikely because that doesn’t exist either – they could observe appropriate social distancing measures. If God existed, which of course he doesn’t, he’d rather insist on it. Sadly, Boris Johnson does exist and he doesn’t have a clue.
The idea from Johnson’s spin doctors, though obviously not proper doctors, is clearly that today we will get more detail added to Johnson’s half-arsed nonsense we were treated to last night. It will now be okay to stay at home and return to work at the exact same time. We will stop using our cars, as we are told to every day by Johnson’s ‘experts’ at the daily press conferences, by using our cars more because the last thing he wants is for us to use public transport, which is going to be ‘ramped up’ in order for people not to use it. This is going so well.
It’s funny, except that it isn’t funny. I can now play golf, either alone (I can live with that) or anyone else I live with, which narrows it down to my partner who has never played the game in her life and would probably prefer to walk on hot coals. Why I can’t play along with my friends, I don’t know. When my friends and I play, our lack of ability all but guarantees social distancing, as our golf balls are dotted all across the fairways and more often than not, off the fairways. We will eventually meet on the greens but again there’s no obvious reason we can’t stay at least two metres apart. But no. I can be told to go back to work in an indoor environment, which the most dangerous environment and I can’t play golf outdoors with friends in the most safe environment. Makes sense.
Given the vast number of horror stories emerging from the weekend, where many thousands of people, buoyed I suggest by the newspapers which indicated the lockdown had ended, concluded the Covid-19 pandemic was all over and it was perfectly fine to meet up with family and friends, get shit-faced and where inappropriate clog up A&E departments up and down the land with various injuries. I’m sure doctors and nurses were thrilled with this uptick in business on the frontline. There’s nothing much else going on, is there?
The best thing to do is pay close heed to Dominic Raab’s advice from this morning who says you must not meet up with other family members except when you want to meet up with other family members. In which case, it’s perfectly okay to do so and, by the way, fines for ignoring government rules are being increased. So do bear in mind that if you visit your parents, it’s okay to do so, but you may also get a substantial fine. “But officer, Dominic Raab said,” will not be an acceptable line of defence.
With all these things, there are bound to be exceptions. If you are a government minister, you can, like Robert Jenrick, make a 150 mile round trip to see your parents. Or like Stephen Kinnock MP, drive from South Wales to London to deliver your dad’s birthday present. If you are a footballer, you and your mate can have an orgy with two sex workers or have a kick about in the park and the worst thing that will happen is a minor warning from your employer. And if you are the prime minister you can bugger off to a luxury grace and favour house in the country to go on holiday and in the case of Johnson recuperate from the Covid-19 you probably caught when shaking hands with sick patients in hospital, despite your own government scientists telling everyone else you shouldn’t be shaking hands with anyone.
Anyway, it’s great that the lockdown has ended, except where it hasn’t. Life is back to normal, except where it isn’t. The government has a clear plan for the future, except that it doesn’t even have one for the present. It’s all good news, except that we still have something like 20,000 new cases of Covid-19 everyday, Britain still has the highest death toll in Europe, there are still enormous PPE shortages and in care homes the virus appears completely out of control.
Keep up, everyone. The truth is out there. In fact, there are plenty of different kinds of truth, not all of which are true. Welcome to the world of Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings. If you voted for this shit show of a government, you might now realise why the rest of us didn’t.