‘All is not yet lost.’ So I have to keep reminding myself in order to cling on to my last remaining shreds of optimism. It’s becoming increasingly unsettling to live on Plague Island: the numbers of Covid infections that have been predicted are, frankly, horrific and frightening. It seems absurd to be so brazenly and wilfully exposing the
British English population to this.
There are so many unknowns about this senseless and bullish lifting of restrictions here: exactly how many unnecessary infections and deaths will there be? Why is it sensible to remove cheap, basic and effective protections, such as mask wearing and social distancing? How will this feed into a predicted bad ‘flu season? How will all of this and the potential of Long Covid impact on our under-18s, the clinically vulnerable and for those whose two vaccines fail, or who cannot have the vaccines?
But all is not yet lost, and here’s why:
- This ‘Big Bang’ approach is unsustainable. Johnson will inevitably have to u-turn – yet again – because the likelihood is that too many people will become ill and will need to self isolate over the summer; the economy will suffer anyway as a direct result of this latest batch of government stupidity.
- Many of us will still choose to wear face masks and socially distance. That is because a lot of us care about our fellow citizens and are the not brain-dead herd the government want to turn us into. We have empathy and compassion, things this mercenary government lack.
- These things in turn will demonstrate how ‘The Quad’ of Johnson, Javid, Sunak and Gove have misjudged the public mood. This is where it will really slide for them, as populists are only popular until their policies are not popular anymore. Without their popularity, these guys have nothing, and they are now running out of myths to sell. Without myths, all we have are facts, and facts are no good for populists.
- Johnson is facing increasing criticism, as his promises are always broken or somehow defective. The shapeshifter will inevitably fall because this is all so unsustainable, especially in life-or-death situations.
- If he falls, he won’t make it to the next election, never mind win one.
- There are a number of polls that show the voter gap is closing. I’d like to say this is because of Starmer, but it’s more likely to be because Johnson is so badly fucking things up and generally running out of tricks. If you’re old enough to remember British Variety acts up to around the 1980s, you might be able to envisage how Johnson is like the magician who first wows you with his sleight of hand – the crowd cheers, ‘More! More! MORE!’ Then, the more times you see the same act or variants of it being done, it’s becomes boring and passé. His star is waning.
Next, read our accompanying piece All is Not Yet Lost: Part II
~ L&A 13.7.21 ~
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