AS I walked along my local high street at 3:30pm on a Saturday afternoon to witness the closed shops and restaurants and pondered my inability to purchase half a dozen eggs for my family, I thought, this is what it has come to then. This is Britain 2020, shut down, not because of Covid-19, but because of our Prime Minister Boris Johnson. This is not Churchill, I thought to myself, this is Johnson the dictator.
The radio tells me that the ‘economy could crash because of Covid-19.’ No, I shouted. The economy will crash because of decisions made by this Prime Minister. Covid-19 is not a sentient being – it is a virus that kills people. The Prime Minister on the other hand is the man who made the deliberate decision to destroy the economy, cancel the exams that hundreds of thousands of students had been working their entire school lives towards, and wreck the primary education of our children. Make no mistake – killing the economy will kill people too.
Remember this time, the time when Britain became a police state: ‘Police officers were mobilised last night to enforce the shutdown of bars, pubs, restaurants and gyms for public safety. Chief constables in every force in the country engaged civil contingencies designed to respond to events such as rioting and terrorism, allowing longer shifts and making more officers available.’
This will be Boris Johnson’s legacy – not saving ‘Our NHS’ but presiding over a police state, a crashed economy and the destruction of the future well-being of our children.
But the elderly and vulnerable people will die, you tell me. The truth is that with or without the Prime Minister’s new protectorate it’s the elderly, vulnerable, those with disabilities and mental health problems (including the young) and underlying health conditions, already the most isolated in society but also the most reliant on care, who are at most risk of Covid-19. Common sense dictates they self-isolate as much as possible, for themselves and others. It also dictates that testing of essential carers is a priority. Otherwise this four-month isolation policy for one and half million elderly makes no sense at all.
Would that it were simply a matter of choice between the baby boomer who can retreat to his four-bed house and garden and the five-year-old who must stay in a flat with no garden and is now at risk of becoming functionally illiterate because Boris Johnson closed the schools down. It is not. There is more than one way to kill someone’s future.
I am not worried about my family, although we rely on my self-employed husband who so far has been told to drop dead by Johnson. But I have said it before and I will say it now: what is going on here – this shut-down, this police state, is deeply immoral, wrong and unethical.
Boris Johnson is sacrificing the immediate economic, educational and social well-being of the entire ‘rising generation’. He has robbed them of their day-to-day purpose – their schooling, their exams, their Saturday jobs and their sports, which will turn out to be incredibly damaging for this generation, especially young men. And Johnson is torching the generation of children to come. They will not recover from this.
It is not the fault of those who will sacrifice both their day-to-day lives and future that the NHS does not have enough ventilators. It is not their fault that Boris Johnson did not close the borders when it because obvious this virus would spread. It is not their fault that there are not enough tests so people can self-isolate if they test positive or return to their lives if negative. None of this is their fault – it is the fault of this Johnson administration.
As I prepare to home-school my children, I say again: this is madness. The Johnson destruction of the very fabric of British social and economic life is wrong – deeply wrong and unforgivable.
To the rising generation and those yet to come I say: I’m sorry. I tried my best. It won’t be enough.