Those goalposts need shifting …
The 4th Week of Lockdown #3 starts today. Let’s look at the daily goal-post shifting by this covid government. One such is the re-opening of schools which apparently won’t happen until well after Easter. It struck me as decidedly odd though when I saw how ‘Our MSM’ reported on this issue this morning. Their headlines were accompanied by photos of happy kids playing in the snow which bedecked our country this weekend – as if this somehow alleviated the damage of school closures.
A serious goal-post shifting was reported over the weekend. We were informed that Hancock extended the powers of the local covid dictators, to keep pubs,shops, schools and open spaces closed ‘at will’ until Mid-July this year. Lockdown Sceptics leads this morning’s Newsletter with that report (link). Was Parliament consulted? Was it heck.
It’s all par for the course for this covid government. Their next ‘decision’ will be on ‘tough border controls’, with proposals to ‘bus arrivals to quarantine hotels’ (paywalled link). No, there’s no mention of when the HoC will be permitted to decide. Yes, some ministers are ‘concerned’, but since it’s now about keeping our country ‘free of deadly mutants’, who cares if the travel and airline industries also go to the wall, notwithstanding the obsession in Audi Avenue with planning the irsummer holidays.
And so to the next goal-post-shifting example: ministers, we’re informed, are now “considering” opening up ‘swathes’ of the economy – after Easter, or rather in June:
“A return to full normality will be delayed for at least 12 to 14 weeks to allow for all over-50s to have their second dose of the vaccine, according to a source familiar with the discussions. Ministers are keen to reopen hospitality venues in some capacity before the G7 summit in the second week of June, when the UK will host world leaders in Carbis Bay, Cornwall. National measures will be eased in advance of the summit, allowing pubs, restaurants and tourism to begin to trade again.” (paywalled link)
The goal is now to vaccinate all over-50s before restrictions will allegedly be eased. If you believe that, then you must still believe in the Tooth Fairy because I am as certain as can be that SAGE will find reasons to prevent this. However, presenting the G7 leaders and the accompanying world MSM with an image of ‘happy Brits’ gambolling in parks and pubs is clearly a propaganda goal of this covid government.
There’s a lovely little item about vaccination in the DT, illustrating that the old British spirit of fairness, of pulling together, has gone to the wall. Allegedly, staff at vaccine ‘hubs’ are giving spare doses to friends and family who are not in the designated vaccine cohorts:
“Senior NHS sources threatened to take disciplinary action against hospitals and GPs across the country offering leftover jabs to relatives and friends of staff despite being outside the top four priority cohorts.” (paywalled link)
They do it to prevent wasting the precious Pfizer vaccine which must be dumped once it’s thawed, unused. However, ‘queue-jumping’ must be prevented at all costs, especially when done by “younger people with a connection to NHS staff” (paywalled link). Well, that’s a praiseworthy goal of those ‘NHS sources’, I’m sure. Now though watch the next ‘player’ in the vaccination theatre entering from stage left: trade unions.
Having swallowed whole the SAGE pronouncement at the weekend that the Kent mutant is ‘more deadly’, Transport Unions now demand their workers being labelled ‘essential workers’. Who could disagree – but see what is being said:
“Union leaders are stepping up calls for transport workers to be classified as a priority group for the coronavirus vaccine amid claims of a “surge” in deaths among rail and other staff. The Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) said information from its members suggested deaths and illnesses due to coronavirus among rail workers have at least doubled since November.” (paywalled link)
Here’s another quote, showing that using woolly, imprecise expressions is not just the province of ‘sources’, of the mini-Hancocks chatting to the MSM:
“RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: “A more infectious and now it seems more deadly variant of the Covid-19 virus plus an increase in passengers numbers is a lethal cocktail threatening rail workers, with deaths and illness doubling since November.” (paywalled link)
Is he speaking about RTM members having died since November? Why haven’t we heard about this – surely a most important piece of information, no? Surely ‘Our MSM’ would have some numbers to support this claim! Or is he just talking generally? Next, here’s what this is really about:
“He added: “We are advising our members of their right to stop working if their safety is threatened and I will be seeking an urgent meeting with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps asking that he intervenes to take speedy action to address the new threat and also to prioritise transport workers for the vaccine.” (paywalled link)
Translated, this means: vaccinate us or we’ll strike. We know that the Teachers Unions were similarly rabid in insisting schools remain closed. I’m only surprised that the shopworkers’ trade unions aren’t making similar demands but that’ll surely come. The Kneeler is bound to pick this up for the Wednesday ghost circus that PMQs has become.
Meanwhile, it’s as if a return to something vaguely resembling ‘life as we knew it’ is going to be fought tooth and nail by all those – government, trade union bosses, local tinpot dictators – who have detected the unprecedented, unchecked power covid has presented them with. Sadly, it seems that they have the support of the covid-scared lemmings amongst us plebs. Lockdown Sceptics refers to a poll run for the Speccie:
“A new poll for Coffee House by Redfield and Wilton – with a sample size of 2,000 – saw the public quizzed on the current lockdown, restrictions and vaccines. For now, there appears to be majority support for the current Government restrictions with 62% saying the restrictions are more helpful than harmful to society, compared to 24% who think they are more harmful than helpful.” (link)
Clearly, those polled are disregarding the harm done to a generation of kids who are kept out of school, clearly they believe that the economy can easily be driven against the wall because Sunak can simply go on printing money. It makes me wonder how many people there actually are who are WFH while being paid their full whack: civil serpents, teachers, NHS admin …
It also makes me wonder why the opinion writers in ‘Our MSM’ are so reluctant to question the truly questionable goal-post-shifting of this government. They themselves must be sitting very comfortably. The Times this morning presents us with their latest stomach-churning ‘opinions. There’s one calling for cathedrals to be opened for worship, another is advising readers that a ‘stroll in a cemetery will lift our spirits’ (yes, words failed me!). Others are about ‘praise for those who work without fear or favour’ and on ‘the patience of seafarers’ which we now need. Sorry, I didn’t read any of them. I was too busy trying not to be sick.
The proverbial was being taken in the top opinion piece, proclaiming in the headline that “NHS heroes” deserve ‘real mental health help’. Nope, I didn’t read that one either – I was too angry because the one group which deserves ‘real mental health help’ more than any other are our kids. Lockdown Sceptics has a disturbing segment on this issue (link). Those Times writers have not just lost the plot, they obviously think that even the mental health of our kids and grandkids is a sacrifice worth paying, as long as “Our NHS Heroes” are well protected.
Let’s file all these ‘concerned covid warblings’ under ‘they knew or should’ve known but preferred not to look’. Let’s also never forget the supine attitude of our elected representatives who can only whimper while our democracy is trashed, with Parliament being superseded by what can only be described as ‘Regime by Politburo’.
I leave you with the most relevant quote from an essay by Douglas Murray in the DT, headlined: “Liberalism’s abandonment of individual freedom and scepticism of authority is now complete”. Murray explains the shift in the meaning of ‘liberal’, referring to the antisocial media, and then observes more generally:
“Before it became the most abused word in politics, the true liberal was a deeply recognisable type. The liberal mind – the liberal person – was discernible across party political boundaries. The tradition of David Hume and John Stuart Mill went deeper than day-to-day politics. It was informed by a belief in individual freedom and a scepticism of authority. It also produced an ideal: a certain type of inquiring, tolerant mind which had a faith in people as well as ideas. It had confidence in the notion that open debate was necessary to establish the truth, a truth that might be quite different to contemporary orthodoxy, and that in a fair battle between ideas that were bad and ideas which were good, the bad ideas could not hope to win out. How dead that instinct and the type of mind that had confidence in it now seems.” (paywalled link)
That last sentence is only too true as we surely have noticed during all those months ‘since covid’. Murray puts the finger on the problem when he observes:
“A liberal would ask whether history will judge what we have done since the pandemic began as the right course of action, or whether we might have made a mistake. That so few have asked these questions is indicative of how far our society has moved away from the philosophy of Mill and Hume. On both the Left and Right, many now evidently prize security, or safety, or fairness above anything else. Once the emergency is over and we discover how much of our old lives we are permitted to resume, we will also discover how much our society really cares about freedom.” (paywalled link)
Not a lot, seems to be the answer when we look at the polls showing that the majority of those polled think lockdowns are fine. They clearly believe that giving up our liberties in exchange to be protected from covid is great. They’ve rejected Benjamin Franklin’s words that a society which gives up essential liberties in exchange for temporary security doesn’t deserve either security or liberty. They are happy to trash not just our economy but our democracy.
‘Protect us from covid, oh mighty covid Politburo – ahem: covid cabinet’ is their daily prayer. Happy brave new covid world!
Photo by rbrwr