I might have mentioned it before, but this country seems in desperate danger of surrendering everything to a handful of entitled and increasingly vocal snowflakes who feel that the rest of us owe them a living.
Take for example the fact that the plain-speaking boss of one of Britain’s biggest accounting firms has had to step down after giving his workforce a bracing pep talk. During a virtual meeting, Bill Michael, of KPMG, told five hundred of his highly paid, working-from-home staff to stop moaning about the cut in their bonuses – they had been paid in full since the pandemic started and had, he said, very little cause for complaint. Michael told them they were in ‘a very lucky sector’ and should not ‘sit there and moan.’
To most of us that would surely sound eminently reasonable.
Many industries have been decimated, the economy is on its knees and millions will lose their jobs before this Coronabug emergency is over. I can only agree with Mr Michael that KPMG accountants are among the fortunate ones and should be counting their blessings instead of whingeing about their lot. Yes, they had a cut in their bonuses but most folk are no longer receiving bonuses so why on earth are they complaining?
But they were dammit. These overpaid turnips were outraged by Michael telling them to buck up and shut up. And then further incensed by his belief that the notion of unconscious bias as ‘complete and utter c**p’ after several in-house training modules seemed to suggest it did not exist.
The howls of snowflake outrage could be heard on Mars and beyond. Now Mr Michael has had to back down, issuing a statement that said: ‘I am sorry for the words I used, which did not reflect what I believe in.’
Come on Fellow, do not allow yourself to be bullied by these politically correct, whingeing idiots. What a lot of companies need right now are strong leaders; a boss who will inspire the workers and lead from the front.
The accountants sitting pretty at KMPG do not want hard truths, just soft soap for their petty vanities.
Quite by chance, I watched our esteemed and petulantly useless Health Secretary doing his Attila the Hun – perhaps Hagar the Horrible is more appropriate – act in Parliament last Monday and like most thinking people, I could not really believe what I was hearing from the man.
Can you imagine anyone in this country being sentenced to jail for ten years because they told officials at Heathrow they had just come from Spain when they had actually been in Portugal?
Of course you can’t, even if Portugal is on the so-called ‘red list’ of countries where the virus may be a greater risk than it is here.
Ten years for raping a child? Yes of course, but ten years for failing to fill in a form properly? It will never happen and everyone knows it will never happen.
So why did Hancock threaten it this week? Perhaps he really believed it would act as a deterrent to any would-be rule breaker, but deterrents work only if they are credible. This one quite palpably is not.
The truth is that while ministers trumpet toughness on form-filling, they preside over an enfeebled justice system that has become the softest of touches. They proclaim their commitment to protect us from the virus, but miserably fail to protect us from crime. They want to see falsehoods about travel penalised by a decade behind bars but show no resolve to see the same penal vigour consistently imposed for sex assaults or violence or repeat burglaries.
In contradiction of Hancock’s authoritative pose, the enforcement of the law has been drastically weakened in recent years. From the police to the courts, agencies of the state have lost their moral compass, showing far more concern for the rights of offenders than their victims.
The negative impact of progressive ideology, which holds that crime is a symptom of an unequal society, has been reinforced by administrative incompetence, bureaucratic inertia and warped political priorities.
The outcomes of this are plain to see. Incredibly, just seven percent of all crimes in England now lead to a suspect being charged and that surely is an appalling statistic. Only this week, a major study showed that in the third quarter of last year, there was a seventy nine percent rise in legal proceedings that ended in no conviction at all because of delays in the courts – another shameful statistic I am afraid yet nobody in government turns a hair.
Evidence of judicial failure can be found on every front. A 2018 analysis by the Civitas think tank found half of repeat offenders with eleven to fourteen convictions avoided jail terms, while just a third of those found guilty of violence ended up in prison.
Soft drugs have effectively been legalised with seventy percent of cannabis users let off with meaningless ‘community resolutions’ – whatever they may be. Last year the Home Office admitted deportations of illegal migrants were at their ‘lowest since records began.’
Against that backdrop, the Government’s harsh new travel regime is nothing more than a PR stunt. It will never be fully implemented, not least because no court would dish out such a heavy sentence for a bit of documentary mendacity. It is the worst kind of empty gesture, designed to give the illusion of action rather than provide a practical solution.
But that is characteristic of modern politicians’ cynical approach. Far too many of them look on new laws as instruments of propaganda, not to tackle criminality.
In the minds of people like Mathew Hancock the answer to every high-profile incident is more legislation. So when a protester tried to set fire to a flag at the Cenotaph last summer, MPs queued up to demand a new law that would impose a mandatory ten year jail term for vandalising a war memorial.
But such a punishment is already available under Section 1 of the 1971 Criminal Damage Act. This is legislative incontinence I am afraid and should be curtailed. Over the past twenty years, there have been no fewer than two hundred and seventy three pieces of legislation with the term Criminal Justice in their titles, but public faith in the justice system has never been lower.
This inept and pathetic government should concentrate on governing instead of bringing out draconian and ultimately futile new laws in order to look tough.
Common sense was jettisoned again on Thursday. The Government announced it is reforming the NHS – again. These reforms will reverse the last reforms of ten years ago. Maybe they will work and maybe they will not but one certainty is that they will once again, cause massive disruption.
Did anyone in Whitehall point out that we are in the middle of the greatest health crisis in living memory? I bet the over-rewarded management consultants did not. They earn their considerable fees by peddling change. These so-called experts move cheerfully from biscuit factories to hospitals and tell everyone how things should be run That surely cannot work.
It is not that modern governments never get it right – even this somewhat pathetic one. We are reaping the benefits of a brilliant vaccination programme at the moment. But let us just remember that it is the scientists and researchers, chivvied into action by bog snorkelling Kate Bingham who made it possible.
And if you remember, the vaccination programme was brought out in a fanfare of government pronouncements that this was the answer to all our problems and life could soon get back to normal. Really? It seems that the scientists are still preaching caution while our revered leader stammers and stutters about following the science without saying anything to reassure an ever more anxious public.
I think it was Winston Churchill who once said of scientists, ‘They should be on tap but not on top.’ How right he was, but Bunter J has let them to get on top by allowing them to dictate government policy.
I am neither politician or scientist but this is getting right out of hand now and it needs to stop. Scientists are not politicians, they are not leaders and it is ingrained into their personalities to have a super-cautious, negative, downbeat view of the world.
Yes, Bunter has to listen to them occasionally, but he cannot let them believe they are running the country. Nor can he afford to be crippled by the kind of gloominess and defeatism that is typical of their ilk because his job is about more than Covid infections and deaths. He has the fairly terrifying task of getting this country back on the road to economic and social recovery.
And what on earth is the point of this vaccine rollout if we are still going to be living restricted lives for another year – perhaps forever?
The case rate is down by seventy percent, hospital admissions have gone back to early December levels and we are told vaccines will cut deaths by eighty eight percent. Things are changing at lightning speed yet these scientists are talking about restrictions till next Christmas.
Bunter assured us that these vaccines are our ticket for freedom. So why are we not making any progress? Has our Revered Leader – and I use the name sarcastically – suddenly discovered something nobody else is aware of?
We have vaccinated over fifteen million people – that’s a thousand vaccinations a minute dammit – yet restrictions are becoming ever more draconian. This week it was that inane threat of a ten year jail sentence for breaking Covid rules on travel. What will it be tomorrow?
The fact is the scientists currently steering Boris do not understand the economy or how it works. They do not understand that people are hanging onto their jobs, their lives, their houses, their sanity by a thread. And why would they? Their jobs are not on the line and they have been on full pay since the start. More restrictions won’t touch them but it will push millions who are already teetering on the brink right over the edge.
Scientists, who never consider the impact of what they are demanding, do not want normal life to be resumed until the coronabug has been wiped out but that is never going to happen because those same scientists told us the disease is now endemic and will come back every winter.
The fact is that once everyone over fifty and those with underlying conditions has been vaccinated the country should be opened up again and Bunter J should lead the charge back into normality minus masks and bloody social distancing.
Because the majority of us do not want to live in the kind of cowed, sterile, joyless world the scientists want us to inhabit. Nor do we want our liberties dispensed with at will by an increasingly authoritarian Government.
The Brexit vote was supposed to be about taking back control but there has never been a time when people have been less in control of their lives than they are right now.
I wonder if we could persuade Mrs Bingham, the bog snorkelling lady to sort out our inept cabinet office and its ministers as her next project? No, I do not suppose she would thank me for that suggestion, but we all need a ray of hope somewhere.