The Greed and Capitalism of the Rt. Dishonourable Boris Johnson

Messy hair, don’t care

This week on Plague Island, we have been treated to a litany of Borisisms. The next phase of unlocking our most recent lockdown is upon us tomorrow (as the school’s Easter holidays approach, the ‘Rule of Six’ reapplies outside, and outdoor team sports restart). Our Beloved Leader would like us all to forget the past and what has led us to this point, and instead remember what a jolly decent bloke he is.

Except that last bit would be utter bullshit.

Where to begin? As we said in our last note, Eye of the Storm, the shit is flying thick and fast at us now. A few days ago, it was revealed that de Pfeffel had told members of the 1922 Committee that greed and capitalism were the reason for the success of the UK Covid vaccination programme (Guardian). 

We’re just surprised he hasn’t got us to do a doorstep clap on Thursday evenings for greed and capitalism.

Whilst you could argue that pharmaceutical companies will benefit financially from the vaccines, there is just something so utterly tasteless about what he said. And Johnson knows this because he tried to take back the comment.

Greed and capitalism are rather more responsible for our failed test, track and trace system and generally, our greedy and corrupt politicians who have handed Covid contracts to their mates rather than getting professionals in to do the job (please refer to our note, All Hail the Death Secretary). And going back a little further, greed and capitalism are to blame for the financial crash of 2008 that saw austerity adopted as a major economic policy by the Conservative Party, which in turn left us so desperately ill-prepared for this virus. It is greed and capitalism that led the government to wanting to prioritise the economy over people’s lives – it is imperative to bear that in mind.

Another thing that has come to our attention regarding Johnson’s complete lack of understanding of ordinary people, is that he thinks we’ve actually all been having a bit of a jolly whilst this lockdown business has been happening. He has said that we have been enjoying “days off” and should make a “pressing stab at getting back to the office” after June 21st (Mirror).

If only Boris would read this blog. We would be delighted to tell him that for most people, the last year has been hell. Some have been working from home (for those lucky enough to still have a job), possibly having to survive on 80% of their salary when for many people, having to live on 100% of their salary wasn’t enough. Others had to go work whilst a deadly virus was out of control, and some others were front-line workers. Many people had to balance a full-time job with educating their children at home. For children, their education and indeed their very childhood went interrupted, as well as being aware of suffering and death everywhere. 

In fact, we are going to say that for many people, this has been one of the most stressful times we could have ever imagined and lived through. We carry the scars of having our lives turned upside down, not seeing loved ones and literally fearing for our lives, and the lives of the ones we love.

And of course, there are those who lost loved ones to Covid-19. 

So how dare he imply that we’ve been having a good time. But we know what the subtext is: he is trying, one again, to set us against each other. He wants to implant that little thought in your head that lots of people have been having a laugh at home and have become lazy. So, when unions declare workplaces unsafe and that remote working should continue, the public can interpret that as those workers just wanting more time off.

A few years ago, there were Tory ministers who made similar claims about foodbanks making people lazy. Don’t believe their lies.

Another few lies that de Pfeffel has hit us with is that:

‘In just a few days’ time, I’m finally going to be able to go to the barbers. But more important than that, I’m going to be able to go down the street and cautiously, but irreversibly, I’m going to drink a pint of beer in the pub.’ (Guardian).

  1. Does he honestly think that we’re so stupid that we would believe that he couldn’t have had a hairdresser sneak through the back door – perhaps inside a large hamper box (please refer to our note, Boris Antoinette) – to cut that scraggy mop on his head? 

It’s nonsense. He’s only kept his hair in that bird’s nest style because the rest of us haven’t been able to see a hairdresser for three months. It’s him trying to convince us that we are all in this together, and shared the hardships and horrors.

2. ‘Cautiously drink a pint of beer in the pub.’ Again, this is to make him seem more like us. He isn’t. It’s the old Populist trick of shared experience and shared pain. He’s probably been drinking the finest champagne money can buy snuck in through the same back door of Downing Street. He lives in a different world to us 

3. ‘Irreversibly drink a pint of beer in the pub.’ The word ‘irreversibly’ leaves us feeling scared because it means, if a third wave appears, we are either going to lock down late again, or not at all. What ‘irreversibly’ really means is that this government have leaned nothing.

The news has broken tonight that there will be an inquiry into Johnson’s affair with businesswoman Jennifer Arcuri whilst he was Mayor of London. It appears he had the same disregard for public money back then, too. We would prefer there to be an inquiry into the 130,000 (and counting) Covid deaths we have had on Plague Island, but something is better than nothing, isn’t it?

That particular inquiry we want to see will eventually come. However, until that day arrives, we as citizens of Plague Island need to hold their every action to account. We must never forget how we got here: the reprehensible beginning, the devastating middle that led us to this point, as they are counting on us believing the success of the vaccine programme is down to them. When that inquiry does finally arrive, we feel pretty sure that one of the key findings will be that greed and capitalism fuelled this government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

~ L&A 28.3.21 ~

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