It was the eighth largest television audience ever in this country and like over twenty eight million other citizens, I sat down to watch our esteemed prime minister ‘address the nation’ on Sunday evening.
I now wish I had given it a miss.
Not only do I, like so many other folk feel more confused than before about what measures we are taking as a nation to beat this bug, but my faint – always very faint – hope that Bunter Johnson might prove himself to be a leader rather than a posh buffoon has been thrown right out of the window.
He huffed and he puffed but the only thing he succeeded in blowing down was his own precarious reputation.
Where on earth did he dig up the confusing nonsense he was spouting? We learn now that the speech was not approved by Cabinet beforehand, but why not damnit?! Surely that is what the Cabinet is for? Yes, I know that when he became the boss, Bunter threw out the big beasts who might have disputed his views and appointed a load of plastic stooges, but surely even they should have been entitled to their say.
It seems though that the director of communications in Downing Street is a man called Lee Cain, whose only claim to fame heretofore was to dress up as a bright yellow chicken when he was a Daily Mirror reporter and harangue senior Tories for dodging tough questions.
Yet now this nincompoop bans far more reputable hacks from questioning Bunter J about the current crisis and his lamentable handling of it.
Cain is obviously out of his depth and so too I fear is Johnson himself. He likes to think of himself as a mirror image of Winston Churchill, but he is far from that I’m afraid. Like him or loathe him, Churchill was a brave man who proved himself on the front line and as a war time leader. Bunter on the other hand hides behind a smokescreen of shambling braggadocio which doesn’t fool anyone.
Yesterday was the very first occasion that as the leader of this nation, he has addressed Parliament on the coronavirus situation. He hasn’t made a single Commons statement about the biggest crisis to hit this country since the second world war in the fifteen long weeks since the World Health Organisation announced that it was a global health emergency.
I know the man has been a victim of the bug himself, but if he was not in a fit state to lead, he should have resigned and made way for someone who could. A number of commentators have indeed wondered whether his illness is not the reason for his shambling performance on Sunday evening but I believe that for all his bluster, Bunter Johnson is completely out of his depth. Yes, I voted for his party but that was mainly due to the lamentable standard of Corbyn’s opposition and I am sure that goes for a number of voters around the country.
Even on Sunday, Bunter adopted a threatening tone at one stage and talked about doubling fines for non-compliance – with what I wondered – and in these circumstances, that is surely self-defeating. The British public have been wonderful in their compliance with the lockdown requirements and to threaten them at this stage was pathetic.
And of course, he prattled on about cycling and walking. Going back to Churchill, ‘Never in the field of human conflict have so many talked about exercise to so few.’ The right to bumble along the pavements and get in the way of other people is now dressed up as a key freedom. This exhortation to keep yourself fit in the middle of a pandemic is a peculiar form of denial, but again it is clearly about moving the narrative from collective to personal responsibility. And personal failure. We are told to ‘stay alert.’ For what damnit?! If alertness could conquer this virus, we would all be fine. The anxiety many of us are experiencing is actually because we are too damned alert. None of us can create an antiviral force-field around us and none of us can see the bug that is threatening us. How then can we be alert? Well, I suppose everyone being alert is cheaper than personal protective equipment, testing and all that faff – or so our revered Prime Minister seems to feel.
And what about the farce surrounding our airports? It is two months since my Sheepscombe friends came back from Australia and I expressed amazement that not only did they not have to be quarantined, but that checks at Heathrow had been non existent. Let’s face it, ninety percent of other countries – including Australia – have been imposing quarantine on incoming travellers since the middle of March.
We were told that the government was ‘following the science’ but now they seem to have changed their minds or perhaps lost faith in the scientists and will start imposing the necessary quarantines, but not until, the end of the month – still nearly three weeks away.
Isn’t there a proverb about horses and stable doors? Eighteen million people have landed in this country since March, many of them from countries where the coronabug is running rampant.
I’m afraid that Bunter J now wants us to ‘control the virus’ ourselves because he has lost control of this crisis.
Watching him on Sunday evening – I had lost interest by Monday – he looked to me like a big bumbling blustering rabbit in headlights who has no idea what to do next.
I feat that we, the people of Britain are on our own at the moment and can expect no guidance from our buffoon of a leader. I read a description of him last week as a ‘Churchill Tribute Act,’ but at the moment I don’t think he is even a Johnson Tribute Act.