BORIS Johnson has said there is now a ‘very good chance’ of ending coronavirus restrictions completely on June 21.
Hopes are high that after more than a year of lockdowns, pub closures, mask-wearing, hand-sanitising, social distancing and the rest, life can finally get back to normal. Well, we’ll all say amen to that.
But hang on a minute. An official advert spotted by Isabel Oakeshott should give everyone some very serious pause for thought about where all this might be going.
It seems Hertfordshire County Council is looking to employ 60 Covid marshals from July 1 this year to January 31, 2022 – a period of seven months after the restrictions are scheduled to be scrapped!
The authority has put a contract out to tender with a value of up to £3million to supply the marshals (or ‘marshalls’ as it is spelled in the advert).
It says these extra staff will ‘complement the county’s recovery from Covid’, provide practical support and encourage compliance. They will also raise awareness and understanding of regulations and disseminate Covid guidance ‘including where additional local restrictions are in place’.
Compliance? Local restrictions? Regulations? If we’re all well on the road to Johnson’s broad, sunlit uplands of freedom in June, surely we’ll have said goodbye to all that?
Another point – where’s the money coming from for what will be seen by many as just an unnecessary army of busybodies? Whatever happened to the word prudence? Has Rishi Sunak had it excised from the Post-Covid Political Dictionary?
Or is there something more worrying about all this? Is it an indication of what many lockdown sceptics predicted – that once those in charge enjoyed a taste of power with the Covid crisis, they’d be reluctant to let go of it?
Feel free to discuss this or anything else on your mind.