BORIS Johnson thinks ‘it’s time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history’.
So do I. I think it’s time we started cringing in embarrassment about our present.
Just months ago, Britain was a country which, for all its faults, was still fundamentally prosperous and, more importantly, free.
That Britain has all but disappeared under the premiership of Mr Johnson. The strange new Britain which we are expected to get used to is one where, on a whim, our ministers can place us all under house arrest and ban us from being with our loved ones, even in their dying moments.
When the public is finally eligible for parole, the new, all-powerful super-nanny state can still ruin your holiday, cancel your wedding and continue to find imaginative ways to destroy your education and livelihood.
If you are seriously ill, it can cancel your life-saving surgery and throw you out of the hospital, and if you are an elderly care home resident, it can decide that your life is not worth saving and issue a ‘do not resuscitate’ order.
If it is worried that you are not taking their rules seriously, the state will dissuade you from visiting your elderly relatives with terrifying warnings like ‘don’t kill Granny!’ – while it literally kills your granny. And once Granny has died a lonely, miserable death because of the lockdown measures, the state can dictate how many people will be allowed to attend her funeral, and where they must sit.
Of course, this is for your own protection.
So here we are, five months later, a nation of faceless zombies dwelling in semi-abandoned towns and cities, many of us still petrified of even the most innocuous human activities.
Why must we endure such unrelenting and pointless suffering? I will tell you why. Because, and let’s be blunt about this, our Prime Minister is a weakling who will do just about anything to avoid being accused of inaction by Labour and the SNP, not to mention the commentariat.
For all his grandiose Churchillian posturing, our Prime Minister is not interested in being the great leader in a national struggle, which is why he long ago abdicated his responsibilities to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), a rather dubious outfit that includes far-Left crackpots and weirdo behavioural psychologists, with a few angry Remoaners and climate-change fanatics thrown in for good measure. This is who Johnson and his equally clueless Health Secretary Matt Hancock mean when they justify their stupid, cruel policies as being ‘guided by the science’.
If you try to put specific questions to the Department of Health or your MP about the wisdom of the coronavirus restrictions, the usual response you will get is a reminder that the government bases its decisions on the advice from SAGE, as if to say: ‘Don’t worry, pleb, there’s this all-knowing infallible team of magic experts who tell the government what to do, you’re in safe hands, so let’s not bog ourselves down in the specifics, eh?’
Who are these advisers, and why must the government take everything they say as gospel while ignoring other experts who for months have been urging them to abandon all coronavirus restrictions?
Take, for instance, the distinguished Professor Carl Heneghan of the Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, who in April deemed the lockdown ‘unnecessary’ after his research showed that coronavirus deaths had peaked too early to be attributable to the lockdown and would have declined regardless of the measures.
Heneghan has repeatedly called for the government to end the restrictions, and last month exposed massive inflation of the official coronavirus death toll, forcing the government to reduce their figures by more than 10 per cent.
Why is he not an adviser to the government? If a general practitioner and epidemiologist who heads an academic research team at one of the world’s leading universities isn’t worthy of advising the government on public health, who is?
Apparently, one member of SAGE more worthy than Professor Heneghan is a psychologist named Susan Fiona Dorinthea Michie. She is not a GP or an epidemiologist, but don’t dismiss her just yet, for she is a member of the Communist Party of Britain and leads something called the ‘Human Behavioural Change Project’.
Although she is the grand-daughter of a baron, Ms Michie once referred to herself as being of ‘the working class’ while speaking in front of photos of the mass-murdering despot Fidel Castro and the equally grisly revolutionary Vladimir Lenin.
If that doesn’t reassure you that our government’s response is being guided by science, I don’t know what will.
It is worth bearing this in mind the next time Boris Johnson puts on a show of jingoistic patriotism. On this occasion, it was about the BBC’s decision to play only instrumental versions of Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory (almost immediately reversed under the new director-general Tim Davie).
Was the move motivated by political correctness, or the Covid-19 restrictions as the BBC later claimed? Whatever the reason, the decision was ridiculous.
But then, modern Britain is ridiculous, and can any British person, especially Boris Johnson, sincerely defend the singing of lyrics such as ‘Britons never, never, never shall be slaves’ after months of mass house arrest, compulsory muzzles, and social and economic destruction?
The Prime Minister, dressed up in an orange high-vis jacket to make himself look like an ordinary person (a PR technique introduced during the Cameron-Osborne years), did not defend the singing of patriotic lyrics to annoy anti-British Lefties, he did it to gull his supporters into thinking he is ‘on their side’ while destroying the country on the advice of anti-British Lefties.
Johnson’s outburst wasn’t dissimilar to that time when David Cameron channelled Hugh Grant’s ‘patriotic’ Love Actually speech in 2013, after a Russian official derided the UK as a ‘small island no one listens to’ (where’s the lie?). It was such a good attempt by the then Prime Minister at sounding patriotic that for a split second I forgot Mr Cameron was trying to get us to bomb Syria on behalf of Al Qaeda.
Land of Hope and Glory indeed.