“I love Boris,” said someone I don’t know on a social network a few years ago. She was, for all I know still is, a working class woman who still lives in the same council house she has always lived in. As a fellow working class person, who lives in a former council house on a former council estate, I assumed she meant Boris, the comic creation, the TV chat show host, the after dinner speaker and not Boris the politician. I wonder if she still calls him Boris, as so many still do, in a way that can only be described as affectionate? The disaster that is COVID-19 has been made far worse by Johnson and his shambolic government. I can think of far more appropriate words with which to describe him.
The worst death rate in Europe and the deepest recession should be a clue to working people, like me. And it should have long dawned on everyone that Boris Johnson cares about Boris Johnson and no one else.
Take, for example, the changes Johnson announced yesterday to the so called fight against the virus. It’s not so much what he did say but what he didn’t. He didn’t say that the experts had advised him to call for a short, sharp two week ‘circuit breaker’ last month because numbers were getting out of control. Johnson ignored them and instead told pubs to shut down at 10.00pm. Now, he introduces a new ‘three tiered’ approach which the chief medical officer Chris Whitty said might not necessary work. I am no scientist but my feeling is that Johnson has made the biggest error yet and has started a chain of events that will remove him from office, but far worse than that, kill tens of thousands of people.
I sense that people have now had enough of the government’s inept handling of the virus. In August, we were told to ‘eat out to help out’, go out on the piss and bring back the ‘bustle’ to the High Street. Schools and universities would be completely safe to reopen and we’d be back to normal by Christmas. All bullshit. Now, infections are dramatically on the rise and the likelihood is that Christmas will be a drab, socially distanced affair, with a rising infection and death toll as the nights grow ever longer and we all stay in.
Did you notice ‘Boris’, at yesterday’s press conference? He appeared bored and distracted and when he referred to the vaccine that would save us from more upheaval and misery like this, he was very downbeat. Today, we learn that even if the vaccines that are in the later stages of trials are safe and effective, they are unlikely to be rolled out at least until June next year. I repeat, if they are safe and effective. 18 years into SARS and there is still no vaccine for that.
If this is all right, holidays will not be back to normal in 2021. We won’t be going back to gigs straight away. We will still be wearing masks. We will still be socially distancing from everyone, including family and friends. The last thing we need now is Boris the man you’d like to have a pint with in a pub that’s been forced to close.
The reality is overwhelming Johnson. He over promises and under delivers. His false optimism has been exposed as empty rhetoric. He is the emperor with no clothes.
If we are still in this mess next June, the country will lie in ruins. Mass unemployment, thousands of failed businesses and worst of all tens of thousands of deaths. That will be Johnson’s perverse legacy. A failed state, isolated from the rest of the world, with civil disorder on an industrial scale.
I could be wrong, but that’s what it looks like from here. We are weary and worn down by COVID-19. The light of the tunnel is an oncoming express.
Of course, Johnson is not responsible for the virus but he is directly responsible for the mess this country is in. He has failed and in the coming months and years, it will become very clear just how badly. Installing a clown as prime minister might have seemed a good idea when he was lying his way around the country with his anti-EU bus. He made some people feel good because he was different from other politicians. Turns out, he was the biggest liar of them all and the least competent.
We’re on our way to hell in a handcart. And it feels we are no further forward than we were in the first lockdown in March. In many ways, we’ve gone backwards.