Not Bournemouth – just a generic ‘people flock to the beach’ photo
You’ve seen the pictures from the beaches at Bournemouth during yesterday’s heatwave. It only needed the ‘Independent’ to rise my ire with the headline “The scenes on Bournemouth beach make Britain look like the jackass of the world”, and even more so with the subtitle “It might be the case that those who flocked to Dorset yesterday represent a lumpen minority. Trouble is, that’s all it takes” (link). The tweet from the LibDem council leader labelling them ‘village idiots’ was just the cherry on top.
It’s of course absolutely unheard of that Brits flock to the beaches when there’s sunshine and high temperatures. That never happened before, ever! So it was totally unpredictable that people would try and enjoy a bit of sea and sun, especially after having been in Lockdown for three months. As for calling all those beach goers a ‘lumpen minority’: that’s precisely how the Westminster Bubble dwellers regard us peasants. The only point to add is that the reporter would surely have used a different description hart those beach visitors been BAME.
The true reason for this ‘outcry’ is that these ‘lumpen’ peasants, these village idiots, have shown the self-appointed ‘elite’ in Westminster that enough is enough, that there’s a limit to our patience. We accept the rules when they make sense but when they’ve turned into nothing but vehicles for national and local civil servants to ‘rule’ like tinpot dictators then we won’t. And btw – isn’t it strange that such criticism never was applied to those who ‘chase the police’ and riot. We’ve been taught that this would be racist – denigrating wypipo of course isn’t.
The DT quoted visitors to Bournemouth who described the scenes as ‘Armageddon’, immediately adding remarks from the usual suspects:
“In response to the scenes, Mr Hancock warned that he had the power to close beaches, adding: “The virus doesn’t respect that it’s a hot summer’s day.” Prof Whitty said: “If we do not follow social distancing guidance then cases will rise again. Naturally, people will want to enjoy the sun – but we need to do so in a way that is safe for all.” (link)
I wonder though if that council leader (LibDem) who declared this was a ‘major incident’ had herself lost the plot. Was this any different from a hot day out on the beach in previous summers? Perhaps all those CV-19 rule followers were shocked that their compatriots, lumpen or not, did what one does when one is on furlough, with no work, i.e. go out to enjoy the sunshine? Perhaps they were scandalised by this:
“On Bournemouth beach, crowds of topless men queued for pints at the bar, largely ignoring a sign asking them to keep two metres apart. Teenagers blasted music from sound systems. Police tended to a crying child who had lost his mother. Groups of young people splashed around in the sea, with little social distancing in sight. Police cars struggled to make it onto the beach because of illegally-parked cars. Virtually nobody was wearing a face mask – and those who did were regarded as something of an oddity. “If you’re that worried, you shouldn’t be out here,” one man said of a passer-by who had wrapped a T-shirt around his head.” (link)
Topless men drinking beer? Teenagers blasting music? People ‘splashing’ in the water? Illegally parked cars? And all that with no social distancing? Shocking, just shocking, my dear! Definitely, these must have been ‘lumpen village idiots’! Or were they? See this next:
“But some questioned whether the numbers who had travelled to Bournemouth were any different to those on a sunny summer Bank Holiday and wondered whether the council was making excuses for being unprepared. Steve Wood, 58, who spent most of the afternoon on the seafront with a pint of beer, admitted he had “never thought about” the possibility of day-trippers bringing in the virus. […] “I think the council’s been caught with their pants down.” [he said]. Married couple Walter and Ann, both in their early 80s, were surprised to hear they were sitting in the middle of a “major incident”. “I think it’s an overreaction,” said Walter. “What’s the solution – are we going to drive all these people off the beach?” (link)
I bet that’s what the local council really wanted: drive people off the beach! I bet that the Whitehall civil serpents are already working on new ‘measures’ those councils can use to stop all those CV-19-disregarding ‘village idiots’ from enjoying a day out. The actual reason for the outrage by our ‘rulers’ seems to be this:
“Meanwhile, police leaders warned of a “summer of discontent”, with violence, disorder and crime all expected to rise as Britain emerges from lockdown. There are fears the UK could face a “perfect storm” as freedoms are restored but the public faces the financial impact of the pandemic.” (link)
Is that a hint that drunken hordes with no money are expected to roam the streets and … loot? Are they thinking of the Tottenham riots in 2011? How extraordinary! Perhaps police chiefs believe the best way of keeping crime at bay is having all of us locked down …. just as the NHS managers seem to think that everything would be perfect without patients disturbing their ‘work’.
These warnings from police chiefs relate to the opening of pubs on July 4th. They seem to assume that the whole of the ‘lumpen village idiots’ will immediately flock to the pubs and get drunk. But – don’t pubs have to observe strict social distancing rules, locally enforced, I’m sure? Will people really ‘flock’ when they know that they must give name and address before being permitted inside, no place at the bar, table service only?
The next bit is worrying because it shows that the police who’re used to policing drunken weekends in our cities are now apparently less concerned with policing drunkenness than with enforcing ‘CV-19 rules’:
“Senior police officers fear the decision to “suddenly turn on the tap” at a weekend could have dire consequences. and all leave has now been cancelled in some areas to prepare. There is also mounting concern that a large portion of people are no longer willing to adhere to coronavirus rules, creating a headache for the police, councils and the NHS.” (link)
And there it is, in that last sentence: people must be forced to ‘adhere’ to CV-19 rules to prevent giving ‘Our NHS’ a headache. Perhaps police chiefs think that they can polish up their image, damaged by their running away from BAME rioters, when they ‘enforce’ CV -19 rules against pub goers and against those who go to the beaches or parks.
This ‘Bournemouth Event’ was yet another opportunity for the good people of mostly middle class England to signal their ‘virtue’, by wailing how horrible it was that these lumpen village idiots weren’t thinking of the NHS while people were ‘still dying’. However, there’s an amazing report on CV-19 deaths in The Times this morning:
“The death rate for coronavirus patients in English hospitals has fallen to a quarter of the level at the peak of the outbreak, which may mean that doctors are getting better at treating it. At the beginning of April, when there were 15,000 people in hospital with Covid-19, about 6 per cent died. Since then, the number in hospital has fallen by 2.4 per cent a day, meaning numbers have halved every 29 days. At the same time the number of deaths has reduced by 4.3 per cent a day, meaning that it has halved every 16 days. As a consequence, in the latest figures the hospital death rate has fallen to 1.5 per cent.” (link, paywalled)
Far more astounding is the following observation, with the comment from one of those statisticians creating a jaw-hit-table moment:
“Statisticians are struggling to explain the findings, which imply that patients are more likely to survive today than they were three months ago. Jason Oke, from the University of Oxford, is one of the statisticians behind the UK analysis. He said that they had initially held off from releasing the figures. “We sat on it. We had a good discussion about it to try and work out all the different ways we could be wrong,” he said. “Then we thought we should put it out there — it’s what we’ve observed. The caveat is, we don’t really understand why this is happening. But it’s happening.” (link, paywalled)
If statisticians are ‘struggling’ to explain these findings – wouldn’t it have been a good idea to talk to clinicians, that is: actual hospital doctors who treat these patients? Are statisticians now the only ‘CV-19 scientists’ permitted to explain what happened during the Lockdown months? Is it because any reports in learned journals by pathologists or clinicians on actual treatments are undermining the narrative of a terrifying, deadly virus from which we lumpen village idiots must be protected at all costs?
This raises the question if the government, if Hancock will prefer to follow police advice, just as he’d followed ‘Teh Science’, and cancel pub openings, close the beaches and the parks yet again rather than accept that the pandemic is petering out. Many of us have long suspected that all those rules are no longer about ‘saving lives’ and protecting ‘Our NHS’ but about denying us as many of our civil liberties as possible.
I think this ‘armageddon on the beaches’ was a very British way of showing the finger to government and the Westminster bubble dwellers who prefer cowering in their rabbit hutches while denying us our freedom, just to keep ‘project fear and hysteria’ going.
Having fun on a beach on the hottest days of the year? How very dare you! Having fun is not permitted in CV-19-land!
Photo by Jakob Wochang