The first part of this post can be read here.
The same narrative is being given space and airtime suggesting that should the Queen die, and Charles is, like it or not, the heir to the throne, the act of succession should be ignored, and the people’s choice should follow. Who would that be? Somebody picked at random from a TV breakfast show? There would be a long list of self-important celebrities to choose from for sure and, I wager, a long list of hopefuls from the BBC.
Talking of the BBC, why is it, with all these intellectual giants from the media asking questions of ministers at the Covid-19 updates, that the BBC hack is almost always the first to be chosen to ask a question? Can’t ministers trust any others to ask the first inane question?
Were the new coronavirus restrictions written by some of the same intellectual intake? There are enough vagaries and holes in ‘the guidance’ to make them unenforceable. Not that HM’s plods have been slow to try; coming out blinking in the daylight, mostly it seems for the first time, in beautifully clean yellow jackets and obviously told to appear friendly in case they upset the natives, so not wearing their usual bovver boots and paramilitary uniforms, as they heroically use drones to fly over open countryside and tell middle aged couples miles from anywhere to go home, or man roadblocks stopping and asking often shocked law-abiding people where they were going. This is like something not seen here since the 80s during the miners’ strike where any car with four men in it was stopped and the driver questioned as to where he was driving to and why – and threatened with arrest if he refused.
Things are different now though, we now have at one end of the spectrum a retired police officer suggesting that batons, pepper spray and tasers be used on people who refuse to disclose that actually they were just on their way back from the supermarket having nipped out alone to get a pack of ciggies, and at the other chief constables saying it’s OK, we are just advising people. Good luck with that then.
Anyone of course suggesting that plods stopping cars or standing in groups not keeping to the new norm of two metres social distance apart could actually be spreading the virus themselves, apart from bringing the ‘service’ into even lower disrepute, would probably be arrested.
Not that this is only seen in the UK. Several countries in the fast falling apart EU have gone even further; the latest is the Republic of Ireland, where residents are now prohibited from driving more than 2.5 kilometres from home even for shopping. I wonder if the Irish police are also getting 999 calls from members of the public here who are calling plod because their next-door neighbour has just gone out for a second run.
Not of course that any of this is happening in the leafy lanes of St. Mary on the Wold. The ‘local’ (note the word) police post is 13 miles away, so, keeping to their own guidelines as we all must of course and staying local when going out, they are unlikely to attend, which as many living here would tell you is not an unusual occurrence at any time.
So, we are where we are, diversity has not proven to be a strength, community cohesion seems to mean ‘clapping the NHS’ and for some reason asking for donations to buy gifts for NHS staff, volunteering to pick the spring harvest because we are short of pickers apparently (but note Covid-19 being the cause not Brexit which at least makes a change). I’d be more worried about the main harvest if I were government, or would that highlight that this emergency could go on for months and not until this April 14th date that seems to be cropping up all over the world.
As for all in it together and community spirit and all that, maybe the Minister for Communities (whoever that is now – we must have had a dozen in recent years), might like to look at why communities are looking on aghast as local government and the police struggle and succeed only in looking unprepared, or how the many self-employed people in their areas, along with people employed by small companies, will cope with a huge financial hit. Self-employed people told to apply for Universal Credit are finding that hundreds of thousands have already been told that their claim will take weeks, but to add insult to injury some have, it’s reliably reported, unbelievably been told, to get another job!
So we now know who matters to government and why they are, according to Rishi, all behind us. They are behind us because it doesn’t affect them, and as we all know at the first sign of disruption these people on almost a £100,000 a year plus expenses were handed another £10,000 to ‘help‘ during the emergency. Helpful indeed – many have other income as well. Meanwhile in the real world, self-employed people who get the bulk of their income from other sources are told they will get no assistance at all.
Any minister who thinks five million self-employed people, along with often quite poorly paid private sector workers, are going to fall for ‘we are right behind you’ nonsense, while watching their homes and livelihoods destroyed, seeing public sector employees ‘furloughed’ and swanning around on full pay, had better be ready for some, as the media says, ‘pushback’. They may also like to ask Rishi or Michael or Damian to tell us how all this is going to be paid for, because even the residents of Audi Avenue are starting to get more than a little worried about the future value of their savings and income; they have apparently already saved the NHS and saved the children, who, they may well ask, is going to save them?
Except for that cuckoo I think I heard the silence is deafening.