I had intended to rant about Britain’s petulant prince and his Yank this morning but decided that neither of them are worth the corresponding rise in my blood pressure. Their California antics of late really do reduce royalty to ridicule. They make us realise he’s just a silly, spoiled Prince who thinks he can have it all.
As he discovered yesterday, he can not. You are not a prince without a country, just a rich playboy with a Netflix contract. If he never comes back home, Britain will be a better place and now can we all just forget the pair of them?
Tomorrow of course is a big day for this country. It is when our Revered Leader will announce just how he intends to get us all out of lockdown and actually save lives for a change. Oh I do not mean the lives of old toppies like myself, but the lives of young people who are dying en masse of other causes, including suicide, cancer and despair.
Which Prime Minister will we see in action tomorrow I wonder? Will it be the one who as recently as last Wednesday was stressing that his approach would be ‘cautious and prudent’ and seemed fixated on listing everything that could possibly go wrong? Or will we see the swashbuckling libertarian, who defied all the political odds and watched as his popularity soared, even after getting stuck on a zip wire and barging a ten year-old Japanese boy to the ground during a scratch game of rugby?
For all our sakes – and sanity – we must fervently hope and pray it is the one-time blond cavalier Bunter who emerges and gives us all a little hope and good cheer to be going on with. I have my doubts though. His insistence on being guided by ‘data not dates’ is enough to give me genuine cause for concern. Mainly because this same data will be supplied to and, most importantly of all, analysed by the same bunch of experts and advisers who have appeared to hold Bunter Johnson in such a tight grip since day one.
Let’s face it, the British public have done their bit to an amazing extent and have met all the criteria we have been set to keep this pandemic under control.
Initially it was to ‘flatten the curve,’ then to ‘save the NHS.’ The majority of people faithfully complied with the restrictions imposed. We did our bit and it seemed to work remarkably well. Then we were told that we must get the ‘R number,’ or the rate of secondary infections, below one, which has also been achieved.
Then, it was the number of deaths which needed to fall, and mercifully that has happened. And then it was the number of cases that also had to decline and again, thankfully, that has also come to pass.
As Bunter J weighs up his options today, it is probably appropriate to take him back to the dark days of November. The full impact of the new wave was starting to be felt and along with the annual pressures that winter brings, it was feared the NHS was once again in jeopardy.
However, during one briefing that month we were suddenly informed of a vaccine that had been created at breakneck speed and urged to listen for ‘the bugle of the scientific cavalry coming over the hill.’
This was Bunter doing what he used to do best, inspiring and even amusing us in one of our undoubted darkest hours.
Now with just hours to go to his announcement, rumours and counter-rumours swirl. First, it is hinted that we will be permitted to eat outdoors in small groups in April, but that then swiftly gets knocked back to May. Or possibly July! Leisure and tourism could be back in part for the Easter holiday, but that is then moved, possibly to August!
The reasoning behind this madcap musical chairs of dates is the fear the virus will continue to mutate into different strains – but that is what all viruses do dammit! Follow that logic and we will stay locked down for another twenty years.
The game changer in all this nonsense has been the fantastic effort by the military, NHS staff and an army of volunteers in getting the vaccines into people’s arms. More than sixteen million – including myself – are already vaccinated and if it continues at the current rate all over fifties – the group most at risk – will have had at least one jab by the end of next month.
More lockdown will mean more economic devastation, more mental health problems and more unemployment. As a former public school boy and fan of the classics, he should understand this better than anyone: Bunter old chap, the time is right.
‘Carpe diem,’ seize the day and set this beleaguered nation free. If you continue to dither, more people will die and they will not only be we old toppies.