There First Needed To Be a ‘Plan A’ For There To Be a ‘Plan B’ 

Way out in the lead again on Plague Island

So, Plague Island is living up to it’s name once again. It looks like we’re no.1 for the second time in a year. Cases have been high for a while since the insane Freedom Day, but it looks like the real winter increase on our mitigation-less, lost little island has begun. And it hasn’t even started to get cold in England quite yet.

We wrote an article named Abandon All Reason on the eve of Freedom Day in July; one of the more melancholy notes you’ll find amongst these pages. England is such a depressing place to live at the moment, especially when you’re someone who saw this coming from a mile away. I mean, how and why was removing cheap and effective mitigations, in the midst of a more transmissible variant in a deadly pandemic, a good idea? 

The simple answer is that the government, and Boris Johnson in particular, just couldn’t be bothered to deal with Covid and its effects anymore; they also didn’t want to have to financially help businesses and individuals. In the run-up to the vaccination roll-out, Johnson sold being ‘double-jabbed’ as the way out of this mess. The public mood started to sour when so many people had been double-jabbed, but didn’t feel any more free. This is his trick with everything, though: if we just do X, then Y will follow, and everything will be great! If he could deliver his oven-ready deal, Brexit will be done and we’ll be living in a new Golden Age; if we just get double-jabbed, Covid will be over. If we just close our eyes, we won’t see the bodies piling high.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Johnson is not like the popular myth of his hero Winston Churchill. He is more like Neville Chamberlain: he doesn’t tell us what we need to know, he tells us what he thinks we want to hear.

So, Johnson decided upon Freedom Day to keep up this double-jab pretence (it was the equivalent of writing good news on the side of a big, red bus). To be clear here, in our opinion being vaccinated is absolutely the right thing do. However, all of the credible information told us at the time that vaccination alone is one step in subduing the virus, it isn’t the only step. But that’s detail, and Boris doesn’t do detail.  This is how we got into this sorry state of being told to, ‘Just live with it! Try not to die or develop a chronic Covid-related lung condition! It only affects the elderly anyway!’ 

We feel like we’re living a never-ending Groundhog Day, where every day is mid-March 2020: the virus has just hit and the government is trying to work out how best to ignore combat it. ‘Wash your hands whist singing ‘Happy Birthday!’ ‘Europe has completely over-reacted. Did I mention my oven-ready Brexit deal?’ The building is evidently burning and has been doing so for a long time, but those in charge repeatedly, senselessly insist, ‘Everything is fine. Please remain seated. Only a few of you are going to burn to death, and that’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make.’

There never has been a plan to tackle this disease in the almost two years that Covid-19 has been here. We apparently have Plan A going on right now, which equates to pretending the pandemic is over. Johnson says there is a Plan B, but what that will mean in real terms is implementing some token measures, too late. Once again. To make it look like they care. To make it appear that this virus is under control here. Most importantly, when the measures inevitably fail, they can pin the blame on the public. Again.

We’ve been here before. Moreover, the truth is that we never left this point. We live this in this sado-populist circus every day and it is exhausting. See what we mean about the eternal Groundhog Day? 

To make matters worse (if that’s possible) there is also no real opposition in Westminster to the criminals we have in power either, which is another extremely dispiriting thing. Boris Johnson and his syndicate are literally getting away with social murder and no-one is really saying anything. It’s great that we have Marcus Rashford and Gary Neville, who are saying things that need to be said and are asking difficult questions – but they’re not elected representatives, so they’re fairly easy for Johnson and his cronies to dodge. Keir Starmer appears to be so wooden and ineffective against the caricature that is Boris. We need someone to call out EVERY STUPID DECISION JOHNSON MAKES THAT IS THE EQUIVALENT TO WRITING IN BIG, CAPITAL LETTERS. However, what we have is more like a meek whisper. After all this time, we just can’t fathom Starmer’s position. He makes token gestures and sometimes looks good in Prime Minister’s Questions, but who other than nerdy politics people like us pay attention to PMQs? Starmer doesn’t register where it matters, and seems to not strike the blows where and when he should. He also fails to make sustained attacks which could hammer Johnson into a corner.

We are on our own here and we need to endure again. The next few months through winter are not going to be easy. We all have to pull together, help those who need support and remember to always be kind. It may not feel like it very much, but Johnson won’t last forever. Surely, the majority will have to see through him any day now. 

Until then be well, and a little hope always.

~ L&A 20.10.21 ~


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