You might have noticed a story being pushed by a number of dance music outlets at the moment that I haven’t mentioned yet. It originates from London’s Evening Standard newspaper and claims that clubs in England will reopen on July 19th with no social distancing, masks or any so-called vaccine passports in place.
They cite a quote by government minister Michael Gove that it would be “too much hassle” for nightclubs to enforce. Naturally, the dance music press have been going crazy over this. And they would. They have a disproportionate number of anti-vaxxers in their midsts – encouraged by those within the scene such as Hannah Wants, Solardo and CamelPhat – who are going to lap this right up.
More clicks equals more lovely advertising revenue for the likes of Mixmag, who have seen a number of advertising campaigns delayed following the previous delay of lifting lockdown rules.
There’s just one rather pesky problem amidst all this. Covid-19 cases are rising again. This time, it appears to be the highly infectious Delta variant – first seen in India – causing mich of the trouble. Nearly 28,000 new cases were confirmed yesterday, and most of these cases are in younger people. These same younger people who will be the first in line to get back into clubs when they reopen – do you see the problem yet?
It looks to me like Boris Johnson and the Tories are preparing to line up young people as their next human shield against criticism. When they re-enter clubs and infection rates inevitably spike over those first few weeks, the Tories can simply say that young people are being irresponsible. Newspapers and much of the media will accept that line with little question, and politically, it doesn’t harm them at all.
Why? In the 2019 general election, a YouGov poll for The Times newspaper found out that the age when someone was more likely to vote Tory than Labour was 39. Anyone younger than that is more likely to turn to Labour. And throughout the pandemic, it’s always been more fashionable to blame young people for its spread. The fact that the first wave and second largely affected older people is ignored, as are the lines of willing youngsters at vaccination clinics.
So there’s no political harm for the Tories at all. If anything, they gain brownie points from older voters. They also successfully deflect the blame and heap the opprobrium due to them on another group instead…