I AM a Mass-going Roman Catholic and I have tried to persevere during the Covid-19 restrictions. But the experience is so utterly unpleasant and, as the obligation to attend Mass has been lifted pro tem, I attend only once a month.
As Liz Hodgkinson wrote in yesterday’s TCW, going to church has become a chore. Before entering you must don a face mask, beep your test and trace, get doused in hand gel and pick up a card to be completed at your pew with the number of your seat and a range of personal details.
You are escorted to your pew and must sit where indicated. Once it is over you must wait to be told when you may leave. And don’t forget to drop off your completed card on the way out. I was less regimented when I served in the British Army.
We are supposed to be grateful for the small mercy of being able to attend church at all and to practise our religion, but I now realise that I have adopted the wrong religion. Christian worship may be conducted only under strict and completely unnecessary restrictions. On the other hand, you may attend a heavy metal concert without restrictions, and this happened over the weekend at Castle Donington in Leicestershire.
Pictures of rock concert goers crammed together, shouting and singing and making the ‘sign of the horns’, a Satanic gesture of raising the index and little finger, make you wonder about the priorities of the present government and its team of medical meddlers.
Tried organising a church wedding recently? Again, you are following the wrong religion. In the Guardian article on the heavy metal festival there was a moving report of a couple for whom the event was ‘a particularly special occasion’: apparently Jamie and Lauren McAloon, from Glasgow, had a humanist wedding ceremony in front of the main stage. How sweet!
It is hard not to conclude that our government are deliberately persecuting some sections of the population with one set of rules while allowing others to operate under a separate set of rules. Enough has been said about the G7 summit in Cornwall but the rank hypocrisy of the back-slappers, hand-shakers and huggers amongst the international leaders did not go unnoticed.
I am ever more convinced that the British government is waging a war on the British people and on core British values and institutions. Laura Dodsworth’s excellent book A State of Fear published last month provides ample examples of how this war is being waged at the psychological level. Confusing and contradictory messages issued by government and health officials maintain the state of fear without which, for example, the vaccination campaign may falter.
Is the tide turning? Having reported in these pages the loss of friends, relatives and colleagues and the opprobrium that I have received on social media, I now sense that support for the restrictions may be waning. People who were ‘on message’ regarding Covid-19 months ago are now expressing frustration that we continue to have our freedoms curtailed. Many admit to flouting the regulations and an increasing number seem to have no idea what the regulations are, long ago having stopped listening to the government briefings. The people are beginning to see sense. We can only wait until the government catches up with us.