ANYONE who in the past 20 years has worked in an office, attended a secondary school or been through university is familiar with the first rule of research: do not trust Wikipedia as a reliable source of information.
Now, Sage’s use of the online encyclopaedia to justify the most recent lockdown measures is one of the less destructive and more ridiculous untruths we have been told in recent months, but it is emblematic of the wider strategy this Government continues to pursue – that policy decisions can be justified with complete mistruths.
Watching the revolving door of Downing Street spit out the architects of these policies shows that the strategy is beginning to unravel. The public is getting wise to the fact that this cannot go on indefinitely, and support for the Government continues to fall. ‘O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!’
The most recent measures were pitched to England on the promise that come December 2 restrictions would be lifted and the nation could enjoy Christmas festivities. It has now been revealed that the vast majority of the UK is being plunged into yet more restrictions under the guise of a strengthened tiered approach. What has become evident from the first and second lockdown is that this cycle is not sustainable. Whatever economic measures and packages the Government dangles in front of us, with just three areas of the UK being placed into Tier 1 the hospitality industry will be devastated, millions are destined to lose their jobs and businesses will be forced to close down.
This flip-flop approach to lockdown, paired with the complete farce that is Test and Trace, is bringing chaos to every echelon of society. Businesses, already up against the wall, are facing another period of unsettling uncertainty. The unemployment rate continues to surge. School attendance is in chaos and with exams already cancelled for thousands, another generation is at risk of being ruined.
What has it all been for? Christmas certainly hasn’t been saved. It’s been announced that three households are being permitted to gather for a maximum of five days. We all know what that means: a return to lockdown for the grim month of January. This collective punishment, thought up by the doom and gloom merchants at Sage, loving their time in the limelight whilst the UK is shut down in darkness, is bordering on psychological abuse. There is no limit to the control Number Ten will exercise on our lives. Boris Johnson is tempting us with our rightful freedoms like a sadistic Christmas gift.
Some will have had their spirits raised in recent weeks with the news of various vaccines – is this the beginning of the end? Unlikely. Leaked reports have revealed the foundations of another Government disaster. Our leaders plan to have unexperienced volunteers administering these vaccines, which have been rushed through development and not properly tested . . . what could go wrong?
Forget the religious importance of Christmas; I am under no illusion that it has significance for everyone in the UK. But this time of year has been billed as the reward for almost ten months of exhausting, Draconian restrictions that have stretched every person in this country.
At a time when the public is craving normality and a bit of hope, the Government can’t even get its own house in order. Resignations here, firings there and condemnatory Whitehall investigations into bullying; perhaps the Prime Minister has his mind on things other than dealing with the biggest peacetime crisis in a century? With all the talk of Christmas, Downing Street is getting into the spirit and putting on its own bizarre pantomime.