This shameless government's hypocrisy is literally killing people
Do as I say, not as I do.
It's the same old story. If in doubt, turn the people against themselves. Indulge them in cannibalistic name-calling and hate-of-other as sport. Make them feel as though any criticism of their elected officials is letting the real culprits off the hook - the people, the wretched careless public. Everyone else but you. They're to blame, not you and definitely not those in power. It's the young people with their raves and house parties, the office workers frequenting pubs and restaurants after work, and the Muslims that inexplicably feature in every image accompanying a news report of infection spikes. Whatever you do, do not blame the government and their spectacular collection of incompetent, careless and immoral ghouls.
It's a well-worn playbook and it works a treat, but things are a bit more complicated now. Spreading disharmony and discord is all well and good when you don't want the public to give a fuck about each other and instead behave as paranoid androids. You can shovel all the hateful manure you like down their grateful throats and wait for the other end to pebbledash their bogeyman of choice. But it makes it doubly hard to get them to conform and comply when the beneficiaries are other folk. The problem with engendering a culture of selfish fundamentalism is that working as a social collective becomes a foreign notion. So much so that there is a resentment and suspicion towards communal betterment of any sort.
Following months of complacency, numerous lies, countless fuck-ups and more unplanned u-turns than a Kwik Save shopping trolley, the government now demand we take them seriously. Coronavirus cases are spiking upwards around the country at an alarming rate and something needs to be done. Indeed it looks very much like winter's feared second wave is the one thing that Boris Johnson will manage to deliver ahead of time. So after guilting you into gluttony with their 'Eat Out To Help Out' campaign, labelling you a shirking slummock for working long hours at home instead of frequenting Pret a fucking Manger, and essentially suggesting you're a coward for not buying slave labour slacks from the high street, the old new normal is back again.
We're meant to stop gathering in groups of up to 30, as if anyone was aware of that limit in the first place. Instead six is the magic number and the prime minister is adamant that the flouting of this new ruling will not be tolerated. The new regulations will be strictly enforced by police and a crack commando team of 'Covid Marshalls' (with no formal powers beyond the ability to tut and look disappointed). Because, you know, this government has such an undying respect for the rule of law. Just in case they hadn't already lost all credibility with the public following Durham-gate and that infamous Barnard Castle eye-test, they are demanding we respect their authority whilst simultaneously threatening to break international law themselves.
This breathtaking hypocrisy is a handy reminder (if needed) that a very clear moral divide exists between us lowly plebs and our ruling patricians. They can do whatever the fuck they like, whereas we must dutifully curtsy and bow to their ever-changing whims. It's okay for Boris Johnson to renege on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement he himself signed a year ago, and casually toss his now acrid and blackened 'oven-ready' deal into the bin, because the rules don't apply to him. Never mind the fact that such actions fundamentally undermine any future negotiations with the EU and beyond because who the fuck is going to trust us now; the more pressing concern is how the British public will react to a lawless rogue state laying down the law.
We are still in the very midst of a deadly pandemic. It is gathering renewed momentum as we head towards the time of the year most conducive to its spread. This is allied with an incredibly fatigued public who are far more sceptical of facts, fearful of their livelihoods, and desperate to return to normality than earlier in the year. What is needed more than ever is strong definitive leadership with a clear message and the nation's absolute trust. What we have is a rabble of discredited opportunists hacking away at their own moral high ground. How can we expect young people, for instance, to take heed of garbled communications from a government who make a consistent virtue of rule-breaking? How do you trust an authority that has none?
This government's hypocrisy will inevitably cost lives, simply because people stop listening to any good advice from those they can't trust and don't respect. Indeed the prime minister's bare-faced contempt for common decency and international law has caused 'dozens of Tory MPs to prepare a new Brexit revolt' according to the Times. There is an irony in the fact that these rebels will now have to meet in numerous pockets of six to organise themselves. At the same time, we can only hope that the general public take concerns of a second wave seriously enough to self-police their own behaviour. If they do not, the consequences may well be catastrophic. Just remember whose ineptitude and amorality was the cause of mass non-compliance should it come to that.