To what shall I liken the government’s decision partially to ease the current restrictions concerning lockdown, house-arrest and solitary confinement? It is as if the Mother Superior had solemnly assembled all her nuns and, with great severity, told them: “And remember, you must all remain virgins – except on Saturdays.”
Government policy from the day it was realised the country was under threat from the coronavirus has been so variable that it barely exists. First, they declared there was no need for wholesale restrictions on the ordinary traffic of public life and interaction. Instead, they were banking on herd immunity. Then, to use the vile and slovenly jargon employed by the media, the government “came under pressure” and introduced the draconian measures which virtually abolished our freedom.
After a few weeks, the public got sick of this so the government again “came under pressure” and this time it was the pressure of the demand to ease the restrictions. So they did. And they will continue to change the rules each and every time they “come under pressure.” At the moment the pressure is from the millions thrown out of work, from dying businesses and the need to come to the aid of “the economy.” And of course, the dismal economists are telling the government that it cannot go on printing toytown money indefinitely. So, to change the analogy, the government is like a man who puts a bet on a horse, then halfway though the race moves his money in favour of another horse. He keeps on doing this until the race is over, the horse has been unsaddled, the jockey has weighed in and the result announced. Then the gambler says, “See, I was right all the time! Give me my winnings, please.”
Of course. the government dare not be seen to be operating such a scam, so they risk boring the people to death, more certainly than any virus might do, by subjecting us to a homily every evening at five o’clock in which they repeat that everything they are doing is “guided by the science.” This is a lie. If the great C.H. Sisson were still alive, he would tell us the truth: that every decision made by politicians is a political decision. Bluntly: which policy will lose our party the fewest votes?
And it is a necessary part of this sham persistently to give the impression that the government is “doing something.” Does the NHS urgently require more protective clothing? Very well, we have ordered 100,000 – or millions, if you like – PPE items from Turkey. Result? The people are reassured for about five minutes. Then it is discovered that the protective clothing is no good. Of course it’s no good. It’s from Turkey! You might as well buy your face masks from Wuhan.
The only rational appraisal of all this time-serving vacillation is that the government has swindled the people. And the swindle continues day by day. Only the marked cards are perpetually reshuffled. This swindle will not end until the virus has abated. Then, like the dishonest gambler who kept changing his bets, the government will proudly announce: “There you are you see: our policy worked!”
The dog returns to its vomit.