Monday 19 July 2021

The dizzying policy pirouettes of Freedom Day

COVID has no respect

When the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid revealed Saturday that he had contracted COVID-19, it would have been easy to be uncharitable and consider it careless and reckless that within a month of taking on the role, he had become a victim of a situation he was supposed to help prevent the public from suffering. Yet, one must wish him a quick and speedy recovery.

If anything, it indicates glaringly that despite the vaccinations, no one is immune from being touched by the virus, even if you are the Health Secretary and as the pandemic is the most critical issue in our politics, it would hit the centre of government with the risk of crippling it.

Rules are for fools

As he had met the Prime Minister and the Chancellor very recently, the exorbitant Test and Trace app had pinged Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak respectively to self-isolate, they first indicated on Sunday that rather than self-isolate, they will participate in the pilot ‘workplace testing’ release programme that involved daily Coronavirus testing allowing them to remain at work, totally contrary to what they have required of the populace who were under severe risk of expensive and custodian sanctions if they breached quarantine rules.

In response to recriminations and protests, they soon reversed their decision, attempting to play it as being considerate of following the rules everyone else has been compelled to follow. Essentially, the government cannot admit they have been wrong even if it appears everything they do is as if done on a dare to see if they can get away with it.

Rudderless manoeuvring

The prompt U-turn would put a pirouetting ballerina into a dizzy spell, but nothing is beyond the incredulity of the Boris gang, they would create and foster embarrassment where it seems impossible, seize defeat from the jaws of victory like they lost the momentous advantage of the vaccination programme to return to infection levels last seen in January.

The questions the vaccines minister Nadhim Zahawi could not answer this morning included where the Prime Minister was when he was pinged by the app before he decided to self-isolate at Checkers and how many other people in the corridors of power had taken advantage of the pilot scheme which had been in the system since around January. I do not think any of the vaccines had that stretch of testing and pilots.

Beware of these gangsters

If it were a pilot, you also had to ask when it would be rolled out to the wider public because it had become obvious that pilot was a euphemism of inducing one rule for them apart from the rules, we were supposed to obey.

In any case, on our supposed Freedom Day, the muddled message of masks, self-isolation, social distancing, travel restrictions and much else leaves us celebrating the height of confusion with the prospect of more pandemic carnage before things get better, if they ever do at the cack-handed ineptitude of this Boris gang.

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