I’ve been thinking about what I said back on Monday when the Prime Minister revealed his grand plan for getting life in England back to normal after nearly a year at present of varying restrictions. I’ve come to the conclusion that I was guilty of talking bollocks. Allow me to explain.
This government has managed to get so much stuff wrong during this pandemic, it simply defies belief.
For example, the lockdown last March was at least a week too late. Mass events like the Cheltenham Festival were still being allowed to go ahead at a time when much of Europe had banned such gatherings.
The PM himself even appeared on TV espousing herd immunity for a disease that we knew next to nothing about, only backing down when he realised it could mean half a million deaths in the first wave alone.
There was a national shortage of PPE for the NHS, care homes and the rest. The government responded by giving an awful lot of contracts out, a lot of them to their own friends, and it took most of the first wave to remedy the situation. After the first wave subsided, they loosened restrictions too quickly, allowing infection levels to rise steadily during the summer and then very substantially once schools reopened in September.
Then there was all that crap about Christmas mixing. Desperate not to be portrayed as Scrooge, Johnson talked about allowing three families to mix for five days – only backing down to one day when he realised the disaster that was impending. And cases still rose dramatically during January – so much so that a lockdown was ordered for England that’s still going on now.
Other parts of the UK initially followed Johnson’s plan almost to the letter. From around May last year, they’ve largely followed different paths. I think people are perfectly entitled to ask why.
I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t believe for one minute that nightclubs will be reopening on June 21st anywhere. I predict later in the summer at best, and I’m pretty confident that capacity limits of some type will remain in place.
There have been far too many mistakes made by the Johnson administration for me to believe anything else. I’m delighted that the vaccination programme is one of few things they’ve got right, but anyone who is now seriously convinced that this government has been overcome by the aroma of competence needs to take their medication.