Well, there we are then, we are now nearer to next Christmas than last, exciting isn’t it? Personally, I can’t wait, particularly as the Prime Minister says he is hoping that Christmas will hopefully, possibly, should be, well, sort of normalish. By which he is relying on the ‘good sense’ of the public to renew the annual orgy of overspending on credit cards to buy cheap imported tat and buy enough food to last until the next planned pandemic. Not for me thanks, but that just me.
Judging by the hysterical panic still in evidence by much of the population, the near breakdown of government both national and local, law and order and more and more authoritarian ‘guidelines’ being imposed by the Health Secretary who for some reason has, in England, been allowed by the Prime Minister to become some sort of eminent force who rules by decree, making decisions that affect the health and livelihoods of millions. Evidence-based decisions on inaccurate information, out of date and incomplete records, guess work, models and conflicting opinions of experts who find it difficult to agree on the time of day but whose utterings are soon as usual gold plated by the few civil servants visibly still at work slavishly following the instructions of, well who knows?
What is clear is that central and local government increasingly appears out of touch with reality, incompetent and more interested in following trends on social media and scoring political points rather than actually working with business and communities to improve systems, communications and rebuild the public’s broken confidence and help rebuild the economy.
You would have thought that government departments would be working to reassure that things are in hand to support communities but what do we get? Apart from sweeping statements about pedestrianisation of town and city centres, spending on cycle lanes, pavements widened to attract a non-existent cafe culture and allow people to queue in socially distance line in order to spend their cash in shops which from later this month will only be accessible to the muzzled multitudes. A town near St. Mary on the Wold has declared a climate emergency and according to one councillor, climate change is more dangerous than the virus! That was this week though. Last week they were still preoccupied with their response to illegal street demonstrations.
Don’t authorities have more pressing things to worry about? Such as the covid ‘second wave’ which is apparently set to kill another 120,000 people this winter, or the fact that 600,000 people are now finding themselves unemployed as businesses small and large collapse. One small business owner I know recently advertised a Saturday job suitable for a school leaver and was amazed that in less than 24 hours he received more than 100 applications, not exclusively from young people but from people with professional qualifications and years of experience. Signs of things to come?
On the other hand, the elderly are apparently so terrified of leaving their homes they are what the government calls economically inactive.
So perhaps the comments about holidays and Christmas by the Prime Minister prompted the advertising and marketing campaigns aimed at the millions of people apparently happily working remotely from home and now finding they have money to bank and spend in abundance, or the nine million – yes that is correct – people on paid furlough, who, having in the main enjoyed the best spring and early summer in living memory, have little interest in returning to work until Boris, or Hancock or Gove assure them, via the BBC and the print media that it perfectly safe to do so. May be a good idea if someone in government actually gave some thought to the thousands of people furloughed on 80% of a low wage, with as yet little prospect of returning to work, finding the situation economically hard going and not frighten to death about returning to work, but actually frightened to death they won’t actually have a job to return to.
Let’s be fair about this. The media has done a superb job, presumably at the behest of the government’s behavioural change experts, in frightening huge numbers of the easily-led chattering classes into obsequious acceptance of the guidelines.
The problem is – and it’s going to be a big problem – the chattering classes of Audi Avenue and their friends at the Islington dinner parties, bending the ears of the media and political establishment and Boris in particular, have overplayed their hand. The warning given by the rest of the country at the last election, ignored by the BBC in particular and the rest of the media in general is about to backfire. This lockdown was, and is, a very British and middle class affair, mostly the so-called professionals, the establishment if you like, the ‘important people’ (well in their own eyes) in education, the civil service, local government, NHS administration, public quangos, the arts, the media, the totally unproductive sector that provide nice middle-class jobs with a comfortable environment for nice people that speak nicely and have all the answers on any subject you care to mention, who are more than happy to spend more time at home while looking down on the lower class workers who have, through the last three months done just that, work.
The people on the dustcarts, mending the roads, keeping the services running, driving the lorries, shelf stackers, cashiers and the delivery people, maintenance workers and so on have borne the brunt of this very ‘middle class’ pandemic, only now to be told by talking heads on various tv channels and in the ‘quality print media’ that they shouldn’t be visiting the pub, going for a Mackie , or in fact doing anything at all other than what the great brainwashed chattering virtue signalling class think they should.
Well, do I have news for you! The ordinary working people have had enough, of confusing information, ridiculous laws and regulations, and selective policing while they struggle, worry about mum and dad in a ‘care home’, worried that their children or partners won’t be able to see the consultant about their medical conditions and not particularly impressed to hear that should they need to visit an accident and emergency department, that they may have to ‘make an appointment’. For a government supposedly ‘behind us all’ their ears are certainly not in tune with the public mood, which is changing and changing fast.
The strain on people who were not gifted an extra £10,000 to ‘help’ with working from home, is starting to show and thousands if not tens of thousands who are facing real domestic financial hardship were no doubt delighted to hear at this time of national crisis that Parliament is about to recess for the summer holidays, could well be the last straw. Take a look around, just a few days to go before face coverings become compulsory and the public is not wearing them and increasingly is ignoring so called social distancing regulations.
Part 2 of The cracks are real and patience is running out will be published here tomorrow.