Delay unnecessary, unwanted delay. Polls suggest it is popular, but the effects will not be. Data demands a full opening up, to end the Lockdown, but it is not to be, at least not completely.
Why, we can guess. It is not following the data, but avoiding the blame in the unlikely event that anything goes wrong. It is not running a country by running scared.
A loud battle has been fought this month by rival press releases from lockers and from openers. It is blatant. The headline writers love it: an obscure medic somewhere wanting publicity can make dire predictions and be plastered over the front pages under a headline along the lines “Government must keep lockdown forever or millions will die”; the sort of hysterics that made the Remainiacs so laughable in previous years, and just as accurate. Then it is snapped back by someone facing bankruptcy unless his business is permitted to allow customers back in, and each story phrased as if it were an official announcement.
There is no sense to it any more. If before the first lockdown the figures for infections and hospitalisations had been those we are seeing today, then idea of locking us up and closing businesses would have seemed madness, for such a petty outbreak.
We are being shown today charts with a dotted line climbing and the question “if this rate continues…”, but it cannot continue, as the medical profession well knows, because the population has reached herd immunity, through vaccination and infection. The climbing figures will be found to be amongst those who have refused vaccination, who happen to be from the same cultural community most directly in touch with the Indian variant. That is a limited pool. They should be cared for and isolated as individuals. They are not going to take us back to the height of the epidemic though.
There is still an opportunity to rescue the nation from the damage of a delayed opening. They could just drop the whole nonsense and open up on 21 June as planned. They could leave a local lockdown in place in the most affected areas. They could remove most of the restrictions on Monday, and leave a few that they are most reluctant to let go. They could exempt from all rules those who have been double-vaccinated.
Continuing restrictions will be largely ineffective anyway, as we will largely ignore them. In the meantime as it drags into the holiday season, seasonal businesses (which make a profit only in July and August) will collapse, unnecessarily and all because of a minister’s cowardice.
The motive for continued restriction is not of principle nor science, but fear of personal criticism. That is a corrupt way to govern.
- Spinning doctors
- A cabal of its enemies
- Does anyone understand the rules?
- Getting back to competence
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes
- By Boris Johnson: