Government-inspired Fear, Doctors and The Beano

What is it about Bunter Johnson and the team of doom-mongering turnips who act as his advisers? Surely it is high time they were put in their rightful places. They are public servants dammit, not our lords and masters. Yet it seems that every day as the most successful vaccine programme of any major country moves towards completion, anxious voices are raised telling us we are still in grave danger.

I suppose there is no harm in caution, and overconfidence is probably foolish, but there is great harm in overstating risk and pointlessly keeping us all in confinement and under restriction.

Surely we have reached a point in this soggy little island where we really do need to recognise just how far we have come and to stop running in panic from every warning of a new variant of Covid. So far, once these variants have actually been investigated, they have turned out to be relatively minor new problems. The vaccine works well against them, and their ability to spread the virus is not hugely greater than before. And this is what we see in practice, with hospitalisations falling and deaths down to low levels.

Repeatedly crying ‘Wolf’ over such things does no good and a hell of a lot of harm but still it goes on. The new daft German ban on British visitors is surely a direct result of those loud voices in this country that made such a fuss about the Indian variant – which, in fact, is already widespread in Europe and by no means confined to Britain.

The vaccination copes well with it. Why talk ourselves into trouble in this way?

Fortunately – and it is to his credit – Bunter J fought off the latest attempt by doomsayers to get him to postpone the long-awaited reopening of much of the country on May 17. Now they will keep trying to get him to put off the even greater liberation planned for June 21. Surely, he must stand his ground again before we are all plunged into insolvency, mental instability and suicidal thoughts.

The vaccination is working dammit. The country longs to throw off its Coronabug chains and will benefit hugely from doing so. Only hard researched evidence, not panic-driven speculation, should be allowed to delay freedom.

The same mindset is also badly needed in the Government’s travel and holiday policy, where Bunter has not done so well. Why, when millions of people have had two vaccinations are we keeping so many holiday destinations off limits, even though we admit, by classifying them as ‘amber’ that there really is not much of a problem?

Imagine the absurd nonsense of travelling to an amber-list country – an expensive PCR test before you go. Another one before you return. Then five or even ten days’ self-isolation, punctuated by two or three more PCR tests. And of course, the likelihood of government-funded busybodies hammering on your door to check that you are behaving yourself.

First, there is the colossal profiteering cost of these tests, which the Government repeatedly promises to control and does not. For a normal family, it is close to being prohibitive. Next there is the bullying attitude that lies behind all this. And finally there is the complete lack of proportion. In a country where the vulnerable have long been vaccinated, what is the real likelihood of anyone either taking Covid abroad or bringing it back from, say, a Spanish or Greek island?

Like so many stupid things, it is quite funny as well as infuriating. A premier with a sense of humour should be able to realise this and end it once and for all but I fear that our revered leader has completely lost any sense of humour he might have had.

Britain needs a holiday dammit and so do government ministers if only to bring some common sense into their nonsensical thinking. I would not criticise any of them for taking well-earned breaks after more than a year of stress and hard work, preferably next to a sparkling blue southern seashore, with a glass of something crisp and refreshing close at hand. They should make this easy for themselves and for the rest of us, now.

The GP surgery in Yelverton with whom I am registered are reasonably efficient but booking an appointment to see a doctor nowadays is a laborious task. Yet a week or so ago, the GPs’ union passed a vote of no confidence in senior officials at NHS England, effectively rejecting calls to start seeing more patients face to face. Apparently, they are ‘incandescent with anger’ at the suggestion, accusing NHS England of ignoring ‘the needs of the profession.’ And there was me thinking the whole point of being a doctor was to serve the needs of the patient. 

As a boy, I loved reading the Beano yet now even that has succumbed to political correctness. Fatty from the Bash Street Kids has been re-christened Freddie by the magazine proprietors to ‘celebrate’ the fact that children come ‘in all shapes and sizes.’ That may be true, but the whole point of publications like the Beano is that they push the boundaries of what is acceptable. It is why children like them. Remove the subversion and you might as well just buy the ruddy Guardian.

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