Not the best of weeks this last week was it, since the Prime Ministerial broadcast last weekend which raised the blood pressure and temperature of a good many and reinforced the opinion of others that Boris has ‘lost the plot’ and seems to have been taken in by the death knell duo and their pretty coloured slides and horror stories.
For that, apparently, is what they were, bodies being piled up in ice-rinks for example. Question – do they actually have any idea of how many ice rinks are left in this country? Murmurs of discontent are now turning to a loud chorus by pundits and the public at large wanting to know what the hell is going on in Downing Street when, within minutes of the broadcast, much of the narrative, not just the statistics and methodology, had been destroyed and laid to waste by people who actually operate and work in the real world.
Most politicians seem to have been taken in by all the graphs, pie charts and ‘new speak’ of these mostly self-proclaimed experts. They seem not at all bothered about the strategies and decisions being taken on the back of – at best – dubious statistics and data often not only out of date, but not always available as the data apparently belong to either the NHS or the not-the-NHS Track and Trace organisation. Mind you as Track and Trace is led by Dido Harding she would, let’s face it, be a bit reticent about handing over data to anyone having presided over the biggest data loss in history when she was CEO of Talk Talk.
So, we are where we are. The mainstream media has got what it’s been agitating for since the summer, another national lockdown, rather than the supposedly ‘confusing’ regional and local tiered systems that as far as I can see had little scientific basis but certainly confused or terrified much of the public, presumably on purpose, and allowed devolved assemblies and local authorities to flex their muscles, create problems where none had existed and start a job creation scheme for more ‘busies’, as they say up north, to strut around giving orders – sorry advice – to anyone in their vicinity, and create an army of administrators, presumably working from home as here at least council office car parks remain two thirds empty.
That’s if, as in this area, they have not been taken over by another army of hi-viz wearing people at testing centres, often seen standing around looking bored as the expected hordes of people wanting to be tested for Covid for some reason fail to materialise. Maybe it’s something to do with a test that is apparently unreliable, often recording positives which later turn out to be negative and vice versa, or records positive tests for people that haven’t actually been tested.
We are living and paying for a little matter that seems not to bother many and certainly not those in the media, in a country in some sort of safe fools’ paradise where billions and billions of pounds can be found at the touch of a button, allowing the favoured to escape any financial reality and carry on with their comfortable and often smug middle-income public sector lives.
People who are quite happy to accept this fools’ gold could do well to look at some real-world economics so they won’t be surprised that when push comes to shove and the real world decides that enough is enough, money can also disappear at the touch of a button. Perhaps a little look at what happened in Cyprus could actually focus a few minds but I won’t be holding my breath.
Meanwhile, people in the private sector see thousands of jobs disappear overnight from industries which, according to some government ministers, don’t matter as they are not ‘fit for purpose’ in this wonderful new green utopia they envisage, and, to use their phrase which will allow us all to ‘build back better’.
I don’t hold out much hope of that happening, if the people leading the charge are of the same political and woke management class that we have witnessed over the last few years.
The only global class that this generation of would be’s and already have been’s are good at is obfuscation, downright lies and attending meetings on how to avoid personal responsibility for the myriad of cock-ups, failures and oversights that follow nearly every policy or strategy announcement.
Just consider what we have seen this year. Ministers and advisors, when it suits them, disregarding ‘guidance’ (that’s ‘laws’ to you and me) on everything you can think of – optional laws to them it seems regarding masks, travel bans, drinking curfews and anything else they think they can get away with but will be applied and enforced on the long-suffering public who then witness the spectacle of ministers scrambling in their dozens to say nothing at all about illegal immigration, criminal damage of national monuments, the bias of BBC reporting, illegal demonstrations at the height of the pandemic, and the draconian attack on civil liberties. Not to mention the amount of money thrown willy nilly at local government to spend on crackpot schemes purporting to be covid safety measures which included barriers and planters with trees and flowers later left to die, to beautify newly designated town centre pedestrian and bicycle lanes.
Measures which further reduced traffic and pedestrian footfall, which hit the remaining town centre traders hard, annoyed local people who found, without any consultation, routes had been changed causing tailbacks and congestion and at a cost of millions paid for by we the taxpayers, only for the minister responsible to declare much of it was wasted – and in the case of at least two schemes in shire towns of my acquaintance, resulted in damage to newly-laid road surfaces and pavements, schemes which caused such uproar they have now been quietly removed.
One thing national and local politicians are good at though is awarding contracts often worth millions, spending taxpayers money, creating whole departments of administrators and dreaming up ever more draconian measures to keep the peasants, which means everyone who is not in their clique, in their place and often, as we have seen this year, with suspect or negligible results.
Just consider the actions of the police “service” over the last few months, but be careful that you are not confused by ‘police service’. There was, the last time I looked, 43 ‘police services’ in England and Wales. The largest – and many would say the most out of touch and probably the most politically motivated and controlled – being the Metropolitan Police in London. The ‘Met,’ in the view of many, has set the standard this year for the most selective policing ever, especially at street demonstrations, which, if the mainstream media is to be believed – yes I know that is a huge ask – comprise of tinfoil hat, tree hugging, right wing activists selfishly ignoring laws.
These laws were designed by the ever-caring Priti Patel and somebody Hancock to keep us all safe and sound and prevent the virus from spreading to hospitals and care homes, which is fair enough if the guidance was logical and effective but there are so many confusing diktats now, they could be a speciality subject for a contestant on the TV quiz show Mastermind.
I’ve started so I’ll finish: why is it more dangerous to visit a car dealership than the local DIY store? Pass, next question: why is it safe to queue for admission to a supermarket, but not safe to stand for two minutes with others without being encouraged to move on at a Remembrance Day Service? Why is it safe to visit a store selling essential items but not visit a church for reflection or prayer? something that many would consider essential.
Most odd then that this time, having been decimated by the first lockdown, garden centres are now allowed to open, November being a critical trading period for garden centres as we all know with people in their thousands, if the one near St. Mary on the Wold is anything to go by. Visiting not to purchase gardening requisites but to order and purchase ‘real’ Christmas trees, often branches or small trees with the root balls removed and costing anything up to and over a hundred quid a throw. Not forgetting of course, the millions of pretty lights and Christmas ornaments, mostly made in developing countries and China in particular – which as we all know is not flavour of the month internationally this year for obvious reasons.
Part 2 of Out of sight, out of mind, will be published here tomorrow.