Ineptitude, Confusion and a Chink of Light

It is over forty years ago now, but I still remember the dreadful days when diminutive bishop, Abel Muzorewa and his team of pickpockets governed the short-lived country of Zimbabwe Rhodesia. At the time, I did not think there could ever have been or would be again a more farcical and corrupt governing body of a sovereign nation.

I was wrong though. Bunter J and his own team of turnips are proving every bit as useless and out of touch with the needs of the nation. They seem to care only about themselves.

By failing to make difficult decisions and refusing to set clear guidelines, Bunter himself has offloaded anxiety on to the general population. He models himself on Churchill who was an excellent war time leader but not much good at any other time. Really good leaders make choices for us so as to help our collective lives run more smoothly. In order to do this, they have to be psychologically strong enough to risk the possibility that people will not like it or that something might go wrong. They take the pain of the choice on our behalf. What they definitely do not do is affably pretend to be doing us a favour by shirking responsibility. This does not help a nation to relax over the festive season.

What this government seems to have forgotten is that many of us have become accustomed to the idea that things are a little different at the moment. We won’t throw a complete wobbly if you tell us to spend a bit more time at home. We are all old hands at this Coronabug nonsense damnit. Someone will come up with a silly national game we can all play at midday, and Queenie will do her broadcast and all will be well. An enforced ‘Crappy Christmas’ might even give us back some of the sense of shared purpose we had at the beginning of the pandemic, before our trust was eroded out of existence, fatigue set in, and we started making up our own guidelines in the absence of rules that made sense.

At this point in the pandemic, some clarity would be a welcome relief from having to figure out each social interaction, or even how the queuing system works in your local post office. Contradictory advice is causing people to give up trying altogether. How can you reconcile obediently sending your children to school right up till the end of term, keeping them in a Covid-secure environment for two weeks before a grandparental visit, and doing Christmas on the allocated dates? Of course you can’t! Obeying the rules may be impossible, disobeying them is irresponsible, and even obeying them may be considered morally dubious when Bunter himself seems to be telling us that they are not actually fit for purpose. With such a large-scale celebration on the horizon, it is actually anxiety-provoking to have personal enjoyment given preference over collective safety. After all, we have been fed on predicted doom since this nonsense started If Bunter J wants to be liked, he might achieve this better by being prepared to limit our enjoyment a little, thereby reducing the fear he has spent so many months stoking up.

You cannot curtail freedoms and remain popular Prime Minister, so please stop trying. You are driving us all potty.

And whether they are justified or not, the current rules are being taken in different ways by different people – particularly ‘celebrities’ or those who imagine themselves as being above it all.

I listened to former Foreign Office Minister, Tobias Ellwood being interviewed on Talk Radio the other day and he was piously entreating everyone ‘to obey the rules in order to defeat the pandemic.’

This is the same Tobias Ellwood who last Tuesday attended an event at the Cavalry and Guards Club in London, just hours before the capital moved into tier 3. Only a day earlier in parliament he had called on the government to review its plans to relax restrictions for Christmas to avoid a third wave in the new year.

The dinner, in Piccadilly, was held by the Iraq Britain Business Council and was initially described as a ‘Christmas party’ on its website before the reference was removed. It was also called a Christmas Party on the invitations handed out to the twenty seven attendees.

Ellwood, who is the MP for Bournemouth East, defended his actions, telling the media that it was a business meeting allowed under tier 2 restrictions that applied at the time. “I would not be attending a Christmas party, it was a business meeting,” he told reporters. “I went there to meet business people and that is what it was. The club went to extreme lengths so that as a business function it was absolutely Covid compliant.

‘I appreciate, given the current challenges, some will question the wisdom of my attendance. I am sorry that coverage of my well-intentioned attendance may have muddied the government’s clear message as we head towards Christmas. Whilst the event was fully Covid compliant – perceptions count. Something I will be more conscious of in conducting my portfolio duties during the difficult months ahead.”

What a mealy mouthed hypocrite the man is! Even Priti Patel has condemned his actions although that good lady has added to the general sense of confusion over Christmas. A couple of days ago, she urged us to consider cancelling Christmas plans that involve travelling to visit family or friends. But surely that was Bunter J’s big Christmas gift to the Nation, announced only a short while ago with cheesy enthusiasm and big smiles

The home secretary said that while, under law, people could mix in up to three households for five days over Christmas, people who had made plans to travel long distances should now not do this. “I would urge people to change,” Patel told Radio 4’s Today programme. “I won’t be seeing my parents this Christmas. My parents live in a different part of the country and I will not travel to see them.”

Very commendable Ma’am and we all agree that rules are rules – even though the way they are enforced depends on who you are rather than what you do. For it seems very unfair that Covid rule breakers Dominic Cummings; Tobias Elwood, Kay Burley and even the man who began this nonsense with his prophecies of doom, Neil Ferguson remain at liberty, while the love struck Romeo from Scotland who jet-skied to the Isle of Man to see his girlfriend has been sentenced to four weeks in jail.

Dale McLaughlan was banged up for making a four-and-a-half hour journey to visit his girlfriend – despite having never driven a water scooter before and being unable to swim. No one approves of rule breakers, but it is hard not to be swayed by the daft, drenching romance of it all.

Dale should not be in jail – he should probably be auditioning for the next James Bond film, even though he is neither female nor black. Or perhaps advertising Christmas boxes of Milk Tray at the very least.

Worst of all, his wee Scottish mum did not even know he had gone.

‘He could have killed himself,’ she said. If young Dale – mind you, he is twenty eight so should know better – thought he had problems before, wait until he gets home.

His is a heartening story though. He not only defied the daft Coronabug laws, but he also defied the mass pseudo logic that is being imposed on us all and tells us that we must avoid dying at all costs.

Well done Dale McLaughlin. You have brought a chink of light into some very dark times for this ineptly led nation.

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