A Mad, Sad World

As we get further into the year, I can only shake my head in despair at the ineptitude and illogicality of our elected leaders – most of whom I would not trust to lead an under fourteen cricket eleven.

The first two lockdowns did not work and Coronabug continues to spread, so the immediate reaction is to blame the public for not following rules and lock us in again. We are mournfully told by our revered leader that this is only so that all we old folk and vulnerable people can be vaccinated but the initial rolling out of the vaccine has once again been characterised by ineptitude and confusion. Doses are being lost and even when Hapless Hancock visited a surgery this week – complete with photographer – to show us how efficient he is, he was left red faced – he ought to have blushed at any rate – when the promised shots were not delivered.

Thankfully the Army have now been called in to take over distribution of the vaccine so that should speed up the process, but in the meantime and while the NHS still tell us that they are short-staffed and desperately overstretched, many thousands of former health workers who have volunteered to lend a hand are ignored or find themselves confused and angered at the bureaucracy required before they can be called up. In Parliament last week, Bunter J assured Liam Fox – himself a non-practising doctor – that he would instruct the Health Secretary to speed things up, but Hapless Hancock has either chickened out of confronting the unions or is scared of being regarded as politically incorrect because nothing had changed since that parliamentary session.

And you know, I cannot see why these mass vaccinations should be so difficult. Why are things moving so slowly? We have six hundred and fifty constituencies in this country. Thirteen months ago we had a general election. In one single day thirty three million people went and voted in about ten voting centres per constituency. The votes were ready, the booths were ready. They even had the ballots and pencil stubs ready.

We are supposed to have a hundred million Oxford-AstraZeneca shots available. It takes about the same time to give a shot in the arm as to cast a vote. As mentioned, we even have the forty thousand qualified administerers available. So why do we apparently have months to wait? Why a few hundred thousand per day maximum? There is only one answer and that to my simple mind is gross incompetence. We can do it in a day to put Bunter J into Downing Street – so please let someone hurry up and sort this nonsense out.

Meanwhile once again, the police have appointed themselves to be ‘exercise monitors,’ taping up park benches, questioning people daring to walk around in a less than purposeful manner and even stopping people at stations to ask why they are travelling on a train.

The cops say they are adopting a ‘four E’ strategy to ensure that the public follow the rules. Engage with rule-breakers, Explain the restrictions, Encourage us to change our behaviour, and if we decline, Enforcement (penalties) follow. But every force in the UK has interpreted the government guidelines in their own way, some adopting a very heavy-handed approach, which surely is not needed.

So far, over thirty two thousand fines have been issued for breaking restrictions in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Thousands of cases have immediately been chucked out by magistrates who say that police are misinterpreting the law.

Whilst infections are soaring from the latest variant of the bug, the greatest number continue to be focused on the 20-30 year olds. Yes, the generation who were out partying over New Year, the people we saw hanging around streets outsides pubs and bars in the run up to Christmas. These are not the majority of the people dammit! Even as I write, I look out and see people walking across the Moor who are obviously sensible anorak wearers. People with dogs, parents with pushchairs and small children, excitedly carrying their sleds.

Yet now we are back to criminalising walking in the fresh air. Have these uniformed idiots – and I was a cop for almost half my life – nothing better to do? Every day we read stories of innocent walkers being fined in isolated beauty spots by numbers of uniformed coppers – they too claim to be short-handed – and it makes me despair of this modern society and the half-wits controlling our lives .

And as these inept uniform wearers – do they deserve to be classed as coppers any more – get tougher than ever during this lockdown, West Midlands Plod are advertising for a new ‘assistant director of fairness and belonging.’ The post pays £74,000 a year, three times the average wage of a police constable. This from a force that is always pleading poverty and has axed two thousand frontline officers and closed dozen of police stations in recent years. 

The successful candidate will have to ‘deliver a first-class diversity and inclusion function,’ whatever that means.

Meanwhile, presumably in the interests of ‘fairness and belonging,’ the West Midlands Police Commissioner is demanding more Covid-related powers. West Midlands have a woeful crime fighting record yet this turnip wants powers to enter houses without a warrant merely to see if residents are disobeying anti coronabug rules.

Elsewhere, the cops are already throwing their weight around, stopping cars to ask drivers where they are going and demanding to know if their passengers are from the same family.

Derbyshire Police, last seen sending up drones to spy on dog walkers in the Peak District, have declared war on families out sledging, in breach of Tier 4 rules. West Mercia cops feel that throwing snowballs after dark is a criminal offence!

How long before the Derbyshire lot fit machine guns to their drones and introduce a ‘shoot-to-kill’ policy I wonder?

I could not help smiling though when I read about the chap who has had coronavirus and responded to the NHS appeal for volunteers to donate plasma. Apparently, the blood of those – particularly men for some weird reason – who have recovered from the bug contains antibodies which can help others infected with it.

He was asked a series of questions over the phone to establish his suitability. After the usual drill – age, sex, ethnicity, etc – the lady on the other end said: ‘I hope you don’t mind, but I have to ask if you’ve had sex with another man during the past 30 days?’

The chap concerned had a sense of humour so he paused and asked the lass: ‘Could you hang on while I consult my diary?’

They both laughed and she apologised again. Not to worry, he reassured her, you are only doing your job.

Then she said: ‘Just one more question. Are you undergoing gender reassignment treatment?’

There’s no answer to that I am afraid, but I suppose there must be reasons why these questions are asked of potential donors.

Still, this chap confessed to being somewhat taken aback by the question. Gender reassignment surgery? You can’t even get a ruddy haircut right now.

We really are living in a mad, sad world and those who are controlling us all do seem to have collectively lost their marbles.

It is still only mid-morning and desperately cold but I feel the need for a stiff gin and tonic – or perhaps a warming sloe gin. Way back in the nineteen fifties, a book was written about the Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliani and entitled God Protect Me From My Friends.

All I can say is a variation on that theme – God protect me from my supposed rulers and the appointed officials just beneath them.

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