Close the nightclubs, even though they’re not open yet! Hysteria as politicians in Northern Ireland panic in the face of rising Covid deaths in the province

Politicians do love to get themselves worked up over issues from time to time. It helps justify their wages and give them coverage in the press, I suppose. And in Northern Ireland at the moment, politicians and other public figures are going crazy over the prospect of nightclubs reopening this Halloween – yes, the same politicians who cleared it themselves a few weeks ago.

Covid cases in the province remain in four figures each day and have done for a few weeks now. Each day brings about more sad news of Covid-related deaths. So the reopening of nightclubs is something the Northern Ireland Executive wasn’t keen to do – the unspoken truth it was the fact the UK-wide furlough scheme has now ended which left them with no choice but to do so.

Vaccine passports are a reality in Scotland and Wales – even though the Welsh government uses a different name to pretend they’re not. England is keeping the option in reserve, but in Northern Ireland, the issue is bizarrely subject to a largely unionist and nationalist divide. In a nutshell, the likes of the DUP don’t want them, whereas nationalist Sinn Féin do.

Weird? To anyone looking from outside, yes. To anyone remotely familiar with Northern Ireland politics? Not in the least.

Dr Tom Black from the British Medical Association was wheeled out on BBC Radio Ulster the other day to create a state of panic in the geriatrics who listen to the station. He may very well be a reasonable man, but it’s hard to believe he came across as anything but a demented moron here. Look at what he said.

He described the relaxing of rules as “complete madness and stupidity” and also said “This is not the time to ease restrictions. This is the time to turn to those [young] people who aren’t vaccinated and say ’you’re letting us down, you’re betraying your friends, your relatives and your granny… people are landing into hospital and dying because our young folk won’t get vaccinated”.

The fact that granny was double vaccinated months ago and has most likely had a booster jab recently appears to have evaded Dr Black’s attention. Casting this aside, here’s a word of advice for the doctor.

If you want to increase the number of young people getting vaccinated against Covid-19 – and this blog happens to think that’s a very sensible idea – making nonsensical claims that they’re passing it onto their grandparents isn’t the best way of persuading them. It just makes you look like an idiot…