AS the media rushes to normalise another infantilising ‘system’ dreamt up in one of de Pfeffel’s daily afternoon sadomasochism sessions with the dominatrices of SAGE – in which the United Kingdom is the unwilling victim sans safe word – the internet is alive with guesses as what may lie within the new mysteries of the Travel Traffic Light System.
Perhaps Vanuatu will be amber? What about Kyrgyzstan? A possible semi-green, but I’d wager an amber too. Eswatini? Where the hell is that? Definitely red.
It’s all causing a lot of excitement and I am sure TCW readers share in it.
I maintain my hope that No10 Downing Street and the Palace of Westminster will be placed firmly in the deep-red, ‘hermetically sealed’ category, thereby sparing the nation from the spread of utterly insane ideas being boiled up in the power-mad minds of those lurking within those darkened halls of power.
Yet for the majority of British media, the chance of foreign travel is being interpreted solely as the resumption ofgoing on holiday. Depending on your preferred news source, the not-as-great-as-we-once-hoped British public yearn for little else than either ice-cold pints of Stella Artois on a stinking hot beach somewhere on the Costa-del-Something, or a couple of artisanal carafes of vino on an utterly delish city break.
These are, of course, perfectly respectable reasons to go abroad – I shame nobody in their desire to imbibe on foreign shores, for a hypocrite I am not – but perhaps they are not the whole picture.
According to pre-Covid figures, approximately five million Britishers were living overseas. Who knows how many came home after the Wuhan Sniffles made their way westwards, but no doubt a good many remain abroad. By now, a large number of these will have been cut off from their family and prevented from seeing loved ones for over a year.
Particularly in an era where families increasingly are mixed nationality, the ramifications of not being able to travel to a different country are huge and cannot be reduced to merely a few beach holidays. We are talking of mothers not able to see their children, husbands forbidden from seeing their wives, elderly parents missing their grandchildren.
Perhaps this is all very obvious and need not be said. Nevertheless, I find it galling when reading of the resumption of travel and it to be consistently equated to goin’ on me ’olidays.
It is not surprising that the talk now is all around ’olidays instead of families torn asunder. In framing the discussion such, the Government and its useful idiots in the media are able to have a far more palatable discussion, all the while ignoring the very real and very much overlooked human consequences of lockdown and long-term draconian restrictions on our freedom.
To discuss such things, of course, might require a modicum of courage and critical thinking – something resolutely lacking across all branches of the Establishment.
‘Don’t book a summer holiday yet,’ is still the official advice. For many of us, instead of worrying about missing out on a few ice creams by the seaside, this translates into the more serious: ‘Don’t count on seeing your family any time soon.’
And when they do eventually deign to let us travel, God only knows what combination of vaccine papers, nasal swabs and house arrest we’ll have to endure as part of the bargain.
As one of those Brits abroad, I sadly don’t know when I will be able to see my family again. Nevertheless, I still have a suggestion of where Johnson, Whitty et al can stick their endless Covid tests and totalitarian health passports.