Boris Johnson has announced the imminent removal of most COVID restrictions and asked the nation to ‘exercise its own judgement’. Given that the nation had elected him as Prime Minister, that may well be asking for trouble.
All of this sparks the old Johnson-is-a-libertarian discourse into life, which once again pumps spunk into the some of the stuff of legend that had propelled him into Number 10 in the first place – once he had got past some initial hurdles from behind a scented cloud of buffoonery.
You know, that One Nation Conservatism lark that fights injustices, champions the community, defends human rights, conserves our environment, empowers opportunity, and unlocks free enterprise.
Johnson is however a libertarian only in the sense that he takes liberties for his chums. His whole MO is about puffing out distraction smoke that allow him to accumulate ever more authoritarian clout.
At the very moment that we see the masks falling away, his own mask remains tightly secured: the anti-protest Policing Bill is merrily trundling along to its third reading in the House.
Far from being a chaotic, haphazard blunderer that his ad hoc gesturing suggests, he’s always stayed rigidly on a tight path to the centralisation of (his) power.
It’s a tribute to his inner conniving fiend that there are still people out there celebrating his permissive spirit, who have presumably forgotten that, as the Mayor of London, he was blowing mental money on a fleet of German water cannons.
And what a caper that was.
At a cost of £85,000, they were finally sold for scrap at £11,025 after faults and flaws had made them unusable, and that’s not to mention the restrictive purchasing clauses that made them unviable for use anywhere in a country that still prized democratic freedom.
In total, the whole exercise cost £322,834.71, which included a £32k bill from Johnson’s own congestion zone and a cool £1k on having them fitted with stereo systems. Presumably, so that crowd controllers might sarcastically blast ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ to the sopping wet dissenters in their path.
Talk about loose cannons.
The gang from Procurement dodged the bullet, though. From what we now know about PPE, it is almost certain that they ultimately landed themselves plum jobs in the Department for Health.
Nice work if you can get it, and they are all certainly getting it.
Is everybody else, though?