Yesterday was Freedom Day in Britain -- and Boris Johnson was self-isolating. Polly Toynbee writes:
The prime minister’s glory day was such a disappointment. He had planned an event to declare his own VE Day – virus victory – “by summoning the spirit of Churchill with appropriately stirring rhetoric” at “an historic venue associated with the wartime leader”, according to a government source. In a rare wise move, Downing Street quietly cancelled it.
His advisers panicked over soaring Covid case numbers, predicted to rise to 100,000 or even 200,000 daily, the third-worst level in the world. What political idiocy, that the PM and chancellor thought they could skive off self-isolation on a nonexistent VIP “pilot scheme” – the same one Michael Gove had invoked to avoid quarantine after taking his son to the Champions League final in Portugal. Far too late, Downing Street announced that No 10 and the Cabinet Office had pulled out of this “pilot”, refusing to publish its results.
BoJo is Britain's Donald Trump. He screws up everything he touches:
Now get set to watch the public frustration and friction over swaggering macho men and defiant anti-vaxxers refusing masks, putting other passengers and shoppers at risk. Churchillian Johnson might have said, “Never in the field of human viruses was so much infection due to such an irresponsible few.” Polls this week have again shown that the public understands the precautionary principle better than their leader does.
“The warning light on the NHS dashboard is not flashing amber, it’s flashing red,” the health committee chair Jeremy Hunt told the Today programme on Saturday. There’s no better alarm signal than the double-jabbed new health secretary immediately contracting Covid, with unknowable long Covid effects, risking its spread through a care home he visited and pinging half the cabinet after close contact with them. That’s the story: the virus is everywhere, disease-inducing and still deadly to VIPs and little people alike.
“Please, please, please be careful,” Boris Johnson urged in full U-turn, but that’s not what his lot practise. His “irreversible” pledge has vanished because, right here and now, disaster has already struck an exhausted NHS all over again.
We are cursed with leaders who simply don't know what they're doing.
Image: The Guardian