ONCE again Boris Johnson and his administration are embroiled in a row about breaking rules. There is, of course, a public perception that politicians work on the principle of ‘Do as I say, not as I do’, but the rules which are being broken at the moment are claimed to be so important that we are forced to wonder whether they believe in the reasons behind the rules themselves.
To take a fairly recent example, COP26. The planet is heading for a fiery, carbon dioxide-induced death, we’re told, but 25,000 politicians, officials and campaigners converged, many by air, on Glasgow to tell the rest of us that we have to give up our cars and our central heating. Surely those campaigners, if they really believed in it, would have had their conference on Zoom? Their carbon dioxide must be as lethal to the planet as mine, but still they came. Conclusion? They don’t really believe in it.
The other big issue, of course, is Covid. Throughout the hysteria we’ve been exhorted to lock down, mask up, socially distance. Covid, we were told, posed an existential threat not just to individuals but to the nation and even the human race itself. We weren’t allowed to go to work, to get married, to attend funerals, even to be at the bedside of the dying. Unless you were in the government or one of its advisers, of course, in which case you could drive 250 miles to a tourist attraction to test your eyesight, or have your mistress travel across London to meet you, or kiss your secretary in your office.
I taught my children to look properly before they cross the road. It wasn’t just a rule which I made for them, it’s a rule I obey myself because I know that it protects me from danger. Despite being a former lorry driver with more than a million miles in artics behind me, a former policeman who has controlled the traffic and a former recovery driver who has walked about in live lanes on the M6, I still obey the rules for crossing the road which I taught my kids. So believing that there was A Horrible Virus on the loose, which unlike an approaching car you can’t even see, why would you meet your mistress when by doing so you could pass on the evil virus and possibly kill her? Why kiss your secretary? Why drive the length of the country? These were rules, so we were told, to protect us and others, but they broke them. Conclusion? They don’t really believe in it.
Tying the two issues together, at COP26 we saw the delegates standing together, smiling for the cameras, unmasked, undistanced, shaking hands, embracing each other, while the minions serving them with drinks and canapes moved around muzzled. The leaders of the free world, Biden, Johnson, and the rest were all there (the leaders of China and Russia, of course, had decided not to waste their time), so Covid could have ripped through them leaving the free world leaderless. Conclusion? They didn’t really believe in it.
Now we come to our Great and Glorious Leader. Having shown his lack of belief in CO2-created climate change by taking a private plane from COP26 to a dinner in London (at which he loaded his gun with the Paterson rounds which he later fired into his own foot), the latest in Boris Johnson’s cavalcade of woes relates to a party held at Number 10 at Christmas 2020 – when, it must be remembered, the prevalent version of Covid was supposedly much more dangerous than the Omicron variant on offer at the moment. If those attending the party believed in the dangers of the virus they wouldn’t have held it, or someone else would have brought it to the attention of the Prime Minister, who would have appeared amongst the party-goers like the Avenging Angel and thrown them out with instructions to appear in his office the following day (one at a time, of course) to be sacked. But they held their party, with its attendant risk of death, no one minded, and no one brought it to the attention of the Prime Minister, or if they did, he wasn’t bothered. Conclusion? None of them, including Johnson, believed in it.
The Dear Leader, of course, has been photographed many times throughout the Covid debacle not wearing his mask. If he truly believed that there was a nasty disease going round and that a mask would protect him from it, no power on Earth would make him take it off. But despite having supposedly contracted the disease himself early on, and presumably being in no great hurry to contract it again or give it to anybody else, he keeps not wearing his mask. It’s no more than a prop, a costume like the ill-fitting police uniform he wore on a raid a few days ago. Conclusion? He doesn’t really believe in it.
As I mentioned at the start, there’s a long tradition that politicians believe in ‘Do as I say, not as I do’. John Major’s ‘Back to Basics’ campaign failed when it was revealed that various prominent Tories had been committing indiscretions. We can look on these events almost with benign amusement, however, because the ‘Back to Basics’ campaign didn’t really affect us. It didn’t ruin lives, careers, businesses, even the whole economy and way of life of the country. No one threatened to make us have injections to stop us having affairs, or to carry a passport which would allow us into places where we might meet someone to have an affair with. Those who said we should get ‘Back to Basics’ and were subsequently found not to believe in it themselves were no more than objects of derision, and damaged nothing apart from their own careers and marriages.
Covid and NetZero, however, are different. They threaten to, indeed the Covid regulations already do, cause massive damage, in terms of health, wellbeing, prosperity, and way of life, to everyone in the country, including those as yet unborn. Why are we allowing them to happen when those pushing them clearly don’t even believe in them themselves?