IN THE NEWS
CONSERVATIVE CORONAVIRUS NEGLIGENCE
This is a bit of a different blog post for me. I tend to focus on researching subjects, but today I felt an overwhelming urge to offload about the current state of affairs from my own point of view. It’s a ramble and a rant for which I make no apology.
I hold my hands up! I admit that when I began hearing odd snippets about some virus from Wuhan in China, I was as sceptical as Prince William. It all seemed a little odd, a bit contrived and overblown. But then things suddenly began to change and when images from Italy began to saturate social media, and the moment I watched that first press conference given by Boris Johnson, I realised we were facing a real threat and that the government had decided each one of us were going to become disposable, a statistic, just collateral damage. I couldn’t believe my ears or eyes. I even doubted my own sanity and checked online to see if I had interpreted his message incorrectly. I hadn’t.
Boris looked into the camera, explained herd immunity and told us all to accept our loved ones were going to die and life was about to change. And that, ladies and gents, was my turning point. That was the point that I, as a parent, decided that I wouldn’t partake in their experiment and I decided to pull my children out of school.
Unsurprisingly, I came up against no opposition from the schools, who ordinarily think nothing of sending a patronising letter or email whenever a child is off sick. I knew then that they knew it was inevitable they would be closing anyway, which begs the question – why did the government delay school closures? When the workers were being told to stay at home, their kids were being told to still go to school. It’s nothing short of preposterous and completely nonsensical, unless you conclude that the children were going to be used as part of the herd immunity. Not mine.
So, on a personal front, I found the government’s handling inept at the very least. The longer this has continued, the more desperate their behaviour has become. The foot-dragging decisions, apathetic announcements and half-truths told at press conferences, their lack of accountability and inability to answer simple questions posed by the press, these were the people we were meant to listen to, follow their example, believe they were “following scientific advice” although it quickly became questionable as to which scientific advice they were heeding. They’ve made some appalling decisions. Their claims of being ‘well prepared’ have turned out to be untrue. Despite watching the devastation unfold in Italy, our government turned a blind eye and decided not to partake in a European scheme to provide ventilators, and so when it became apparent we would need more ventilators urgently, they put out an appeal for manufacturers to help. It would have been pathetic if it wasn’t so careless and dangerous.
The nation began asking where the testing kits were. We were told that there was a delay but frontline staff would be the first to receive them. Then came the punchline – in a true Chris Grayling stylee, Matt Hancock had spent millions on tests that didn’t work, and the ones that did work were suddenly being used to test people like Boris Johnson, Prince Charles… and Michael Gove’s daughter, who was given ‘special permission’ by the government’s softly-spoken spokesman on health, Chris Witty. Meanwhile, frontline staff were beginning to contract the virus and lose their lives, but no explanation about Gove’s extra-special teacher’s pet treatment was forthcoming. We were just to accept that they were more deserving.
The Prime Minister boasted about how, despite the spectre of COVID-19 looming above us all, he was proud to have shaken hands with many people just weeks before, whilst his father appeared on television and announced that he would continue to go to the pub, like it was a big joke. The flippant comments and jokes backfired when Boris apparently contracted the disease and ended up in hospital. Easter weekend brought us a miracle – for our leader stared into the eyes of death, but rose again. Within days, he was out of intensive care, out of hospital and self-isolating at his huge grace and favour second/third/fourth home, Chequers, in the countryside, having made the most miraculous recovery. He hasn’t been heard from since – probably pursuing his hobby of making buses out of wine crates, I’d imagine. Likewise his puppet-master, the evil-looking Dominic Cummings who was around when all the decisions were being made, but who hasn’t been seen since he was caught on camera fleeing Number 10 when the Prime Minister tested positive for Coronavirus. He’s eerily quiet for someone so keen to keep his angry little fingers in every pie.
Chris Witty was next to fall ill, followed swiftly by Matt Hancock, who made a quick recovery before attending the opening of the new temporary Nightingale Hospital at London eXcel Centre (normally reserved for the annual arms fair), where he coughed and spluttered and wiped his face whilst surrounded by workers telling us all to self-isolate if we had any symptoms and not touch our faces… And the masses continued to watch, unquestioning, refusing to believe that someone in his position would be so careless, denying what was happening in front of their own eyes.
And suddenly all those “unskilled workers“, as the smug Priti Patel referred to them, have finally been recognised as being the real heroes of this awful situation. The front line staff whose salaries the government voted to freeze with their guffaws and cheers in the Commons have suddenly been recognised as essential to our needs. And yet, due to government ineptitude of gargantuan proportions, not only has PPE now run out in many hospitals, but government advice to medical staff is to ‘reuse’ equipment.
So we stand outside our (now, exceptionally clean and tidy) homes every Thursday evening at 8pm and we clap for those unsung heroes. We smile and wave at our neighbours and stick rainbows in our windows – community spirit has been revived! We clap out of admiration, and of thanks – and even sympathy – as we know the NHS staff are being poorly treated. Joining the likes of UK clothing manufacturers such as Barbour and Burberry, there are people sat in front of their sewing machines at home making scrubs for NHS staff – reminiscent of the wartime sewing and knitting bees. A man of 99-years old has just raised over £23 million for the NHS which should already be well funded by tax payers, but due to government cutbacks, they’re running on empty. Society is trying its best to compensate for the failings of the government and it’s heartwarming to see, but should not be necessary, and definitely not forgotten.
The press – even those who ordinarily side with the government – suddenly began to turn. Not even they could pretend that the government was showing strong leadership any longer. Strong and stable became weak and wobbly and so, with an attempt to tap into the nation’s love for the NHS, Matt Hancock (who had been promoted from Deputy Head Boy to Temporary Head Boy), decided to ‘announce’ that the government had created a ‘new’ badge for carers. Well, ok, not new as such,it’s true that they were revealed a year ago but hey, why let facts get in the way of a PR attempt…? As the nation stared at their tv screens through their fingers, you could hear the collective groans of a society who just couldn’t take any more bullshit from this government. As one care worker said – the badges cost £8.99 EACH, and as she only earns £8.60 an hour, she wouldn’t be buying herself one.
The Murdoch press starting putting appeals out on social media, begging people to buy newspapers because otherwise they were going to go out of business. If one brilliant thing can be gained from this awful situation, it’d be to see the demise of shit rags like The Scum and Daily Fail (themselves a cause of society dumbass brain virus) suddenly disappearing from newsagents shelves forevermore.
But all is not lost, everyone. Nope, there is a shining light at the end of the tunnel. With their incredible powers of perception, the palace decided to use the situation to their own advantage. Princess Beatrice (who was robbed of a big fanfare wedding because daddy had inconveniently been caught up in child sex trafficking allegations) had been dealing with the upset of cancelling her ‘intimate’ wedding due to current restrictions. BUT, as only the palace can, it read the room (wrongly) and announced that Beatrice had good news… her wedding would be rescheduled for next year and would be a bigger and better event in order to ‘cheer everyone up’. The nation dragged their chins back up off the floor and responded as only we know how – by taking to Twitter and telling her that the only thing that would cheer us up is if her father, Randy Andy, did the honourable thing and spoke with the FBI over his connection to predatory paedophile, Jeffrey Epstein. We haven’t forgotten, you know!
I make no bones about the fact I dislike the Tories. I believe they make it socially acceptable to be greedy – they’re self-serving with no concept of the real life of the working classes. BUT, this isn’t about me bashing the Tories because I dislike them, or using this situation as an excuse to do so, this is me as a parent, as a person who like millions of others, watches the daily shitshow unfold with incredulity and who has become more angry by each passing day. So, once all this is over, when we’ve mourned our dead, when we pick up the pieces of our lives and our days return to some kind of normality, it is absolutely imperative that we painfully count the cost of the decisions (or lack of, in some cases) and hold the government to account for its appalling lack of judgement. An inquiry into the decisions, handling and behaviour displayed before, during and after is essential. I don’t care what side of the political divide you’re on, you know this has been shambolic and too many have paid the ultimate price. Don’t allow their deaths to be in vain. Lessons must be learnt and people must be held accountable.
I never intended to offload as much as I have, but these things need saying. The opposition parties aren’t speaking out – the only person holding the government to account right now is Piers bloody Morgan of all people! I dislike the man, but fair play to him, he’s the only one who is sticking his neck out and asking difficult questions. NOTE TO PIERS – It would help if you allowed people to answer some of the questions you ask because sometimes your anger and frustration makes your mouth move too much!
It’s important to document the way the government has behaved and I probably should have done this weeks ago, but even someone as sceptical me holds out hope that they may just remove their heads from their arseholes and start doing the right thing, but it’s become inherently clear that they’ve lurched from making terrible decisions to now attempting an Arse Covering Exercise and we’re paying the ultimate price.
But just for now, focus on looking after yourselves and each other and fill your time. Show your appreciation for the NHS and support them where you can. Donate to Cpt Moore rather than buy a record some z-lister has recorded in a vain attempt to stay relevant by using the achievement for their self-promotion, stay indoors, wash your hands, thank your postal worker, refuse collectors, teachers, police (except the ones who clearly don’t have ability to use common sense over lockdown regulations), fire fighters, shop workers, wave to your neighbours every Thursday evening, stick funny posters in your windows to spread cheer, do those jobs around the home you’ve been ignoring for years, indulge in things you enjoy, revive the art of board and card games, build card towers, learn to cook, wind up people on Twitter, ask Google/Alexa to tell you a joke, start writing rambling blogs like this one, test your patience by attempting to book an online shopping slot and set yourself a challenge to buy bananas and self-raising flour (I bet you can’t 😉 ), listen to podcasts, watch shit films, binge-watch a series, read a book, line your cat litter trays with the Evening Standard and smugly imagine it’s George Osborne, stay in bed all day and eat chocolate, do whatever you need to in order to get through this time, but most importantly, reach out if you need help. x