Never prior to 2020 did the sands of sanity shift as they do now with unfathomable regularity.
Back in the loony bin of the UK’s Coronaresponse engine room, some faceless, but majestically twisted tit has fluffed up a concept hardon that will take some beating – a 5-day Christmas holiday from restrictions that the public will have to ‘pay back’ with 25 days of full lockdown in the New Year.
You couldn’t make it up. Which is just as well because it seems like they are – as they are going along.
But setting aside the arguments for and against lockdown, this is a Government that is acting against its own purported strategy (I know – we all know that there cannot be one, but just by playing along with that thought for a fleeting moment offers some hope). If lockdowns were the way to go on the grounds of health and science, then why would you knowingly reverse your gains (that came at a cost of gutting the economy) with a brief intensive period of close contact? And one that would involve some frantic zigzagging across the length and breadth of our fair isle?
If this were all about the health, you would not. But if you wanted to organise a 5-day super-spreader, this is the kind of beano you would sanction. This is a Government waist-high in a health-cum-economic catastrofuck of its own making. They are not even looking for a consolidated solution, just a stopgap to prevent the whole rotting corpse from submerging while the hyenas are still feeding off it.
And on the back of what fag packet did they come up with this ‘1 day of contact equals 5 days of lockdown’ buffoonery? The whole caper defies even their own warped logic. Even in the light of a decidedly dingbat decision, who thought of quantifying it with some shot-away schoolboy non sequitur?
More telling still is the propensity of this Government to leak out prospective policy via the press in order to gauge which way the wind blows before they take a plunge into the bubbling, gurgling cesspool. There is no leadership, just followship. No plan, just flinging out stuff in the hope that something meritorious might stick or catch a fortuitous gust of wind.
Even the announcement of the £16bn boon for naval shipbuilding (and for once not navel-gazing) is just some camouflaged state aid and a sticking plaster for a creaking Union. We can stick the cost of that onto the gargantuan tax bill for the next few generations.
However, scientific bunkum aside, this Christmas lark is little more than a slippery tactic to paper over some seismic, self-inflicted cracks. It will avert a rebellion that authorities would be woefully ill-equipped to address, suck readies into the dusty high-street coffers, and nurture a sense of gratitude and passivity for the inevitable lockdowns and bonkers tier-foolery of early 2021.
While this Government is an omnishambles, its ministers are as well-educated as the rest of us. Contrary to common belief, they do not reject science. They merely reject scientific discipline – and indeed any disciplined expertise – opting to cherry-pick the facts and details that they hope will resonate with the people who will then give them what they want. What is perceived to be anti-enlightenment is simply a short-term smash-and-grab by flat-footed career charlatans, ill-prepared for anything more onerous than sucking up to the big cheese.
As a Government, they now have nothing to lose, because perversely even getting re-elected might now be more trouble than it is worth. In the meantime, why not snag a few billion for their mates through profligate procurement and hope that it all turns out ok in the end?
Nice work if you can get it.