Story: During PMQs on Tuesday, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw suggested that “the reason Germany and Italy have far lower COVID rates than us, with life continuing more or less normally, might be because they have locally and publicly-run test and trace services that actually work”.
Reasonable take: The answer is probably yes.
Brain rot: The answer is that Britain is a “freedom-loving country” and the fact is we have chosen death and there is not much we can do about that! – The Prime Minister.
Either through collective delusion or a tenacious will to ignore facts, it almost felt like things were getting back to normal in ol’ Blighty. Well, whatever “normal” we can stride for in the Year of Lucifer we refer to as “twenty-twenty”.
With a new football season kicking off (sans fans, but who cares when you the TV producers have a soundboard of crowd noises!), the schools reopening (we don’t fully know how kids are affected by the coronavirus, but who cares those annoying and small humans are out of the home!), and the pubs being full (41,862 deaths and counting, but who cares because we can have table service now – fancy!), we have attempted to plod on unfazed, as if the virus was a holiday from hell and now we are home, disappointed but grateful.
So, when Boris Johnson summoned Chris Whitty, who reappeared before us this week like a demon from a sleep paralysis nightmare, to inform us that we need to take the coronavirus “very seriously” for the next six months, it felt like a very wet slap of reality. Another devastating, soul-sapping lockdown is likely coming, and the government is still refusing to cop to the reality of the situation.
During PMQs on Tuesday, Labour MP Ben Bradshaw suggested to Johnson that “the reason Germany and Italy have far lower COVID rates than us, with life continuing more or less normally, might be because they have locally- and publicly-run test and trace services that actually work”.
After refuting the benefits of a functioning test and trace system, Johnson suggested that the real reason the infection rate is lower in Germany or Italy is because Britons love “freedom” more than other countries. He also pointed the finger at Bradshaw to suggest that the “continual attacks” on the “NHS Test and Trace system” was actually “undermining” the service and “unnecessary”.
The act of prefixing it as the “NHS” test and trace when it is a predominantly privatised service provided to the NHS is yet another act of shit-smearing and obfuscating that has become the main methodology of this government. Johnson knows he’s being disingenuous, but is more than willing to exploit the public’s goodwill towards the NHS to shield private companies from valid criticism.
Attempting to twist these obvious failings into “undermining” the NHS is such tedious politics. It’s akin to pointing out to your dad that he missed the turning off the M4, then him blaming you for “distracting him” by humming along to “Ventura Highway” on the radio.
“Actually, there is an important difference between our country and many other countries around the world,” Johnson said. “That is that our country is a freedom-loving country. If you look at the history of this country over the last 300 years, virtually every advance – from free speech to democracy – has come from this country. And it is very difficult to ask the British population uniformly to obey guidelines in the way that is necessary.“
Oh yes, I often feel when I’ve visited the hedonistic clubs of Berlin, or the relics of the ancient shaggers of Rome, that these places have been devoid of the freedoms afforded to the members of the local Conservative Club in Swindon.
Who couldn’t agree, as one of Her Majesty’s subjects, that we love our sovereignty more than anyone else? No one gets to tell us what to do (unless they are schooled at Eton)! We are historical crusaders of freedom! Just look at the last 300 years where we decided to persecute half the globe just so they could finally learn to appreciate their freedom.
First of all, Briton isn’t a “country”, it’s four countries, which is a peak start to any argument about “British” freedom. There’s no doubt that the British government loves freedom. They government loves freedom so much they’re currently pushing bills through Parliament that aim to allow MI5 agents to break the law and make prosecutions of British soldiers for war crimes more difficult. After all, arms of the state not being beholden to law is the ultimate freedom, some men in black shirts would argue.
It was also revealed this week that government Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, has a £600,000 stake in a pharma giant contracted, by the government, to develop a COVID-19 vaccine – something that could be called a major conflict of interest, if members our political class didn’t have the freedom to do whatever they fucking please.
Maybe “freedom” isn’t the reason people are going out and doing shit. Maybe it’s the ever-changing, nonsensical guidelines. Even during a turbulent week the Tories found time to update their “one rule for the posh, one rule for the plebs” legislation (now all car passengers are to wear face masks – unless they are “chauffeur-driven”, naturally).
As someone who has spent the last two days living like a shut-in because government dysfunction has rendered it impossible to book a coronavirus test, it seems pretty obvious that we’ve fucked it, will continue to fuck it, and will not stop fucking it in the future. Our priorities are so bent out of whack at this point that more effort has gone into making sure McDelivery is up and running than ensuring mass testing is in place for winter.
Has anything outlined clearer that this Government are a group of chancers with fuck-all ideas than their master plan to flatten the second wave amounts to closing the pubs an hour early? A cut-off time seemingly engineered in a lab to make British people feel they haven’t had their fill of socialising, but are licked enough partake in the “afters” at someone’s one-bedroom flat.
Sometimes it feels as if all you can do is it sit back and watch in horror at this British exceptionalism on steroids, as our Prime Minister basically says – in Parliament – that he cannot govern us. You know these cunts will never feel a shred accountability when they’re taking people’s very normal longing for a pint and a Madras as vindication for every single of their failings, and then telling us it’s an inevitable consequence of our peerless characteristics as a “freedom-loving” nation. Get to fuck.