A dangerous masquerade

Meme by Sadie Parker

If England win tonight, you just know that Johnson will muscle (!) in to claim credit. I have a vision of him, having been woken up by a sharp poke in the ribs by Carrie, shambling towards the dais, hellbent on snatching the trophy from Kane’s hands. The worst foul you’ll ever see at Wembley.

Caroline Lucas asked if he’d take a knee and wear a rainbow armband. I say careful what you wish for. There’s nothing our PM likes more than to dress up Mr Benn-stylee for an adventure in a fantasy land of his own making.

And then there’s Patel – suddenly a passionate England supporter after dissing the team for their public demonstrations of support for anti-racism campaigns. She had no problem with fans booing. Nice. But then it appears she loathes all signs of humanity and tolerance. Can’t help thinking she’d criminalise anyone with a Samaritan’s impulse to help another given half a chance. She’s already made a start

Faking football fanaticism is one thing. Faking concern for public health and for the NHS is quite another. Just why did Johnson abandon the ‘data not dates’ mantra? What really comes first with him? Money or lives? Don’t forget that infamous Greenwich speech way back in February 2020 where Johnson pretty much said that there’s money to be made by not putting public health first.

And now we have so-called Freedom Day. To quote from this article on mask-wearing post 19 July:

Freedom Day! The day this government officially frees itself from all responsibility for the health, welfare and financial security of the people of this country and leaves everyone free to take their chances against a fast-spreading version of the virus. Free to choose not to wear a mask and risk the lives of others! Free to allow the next generation to be sacrificed at the altar of market forces and herd immunity! Free to be exploited by big pharma as it steps in to make more money from the conscientious, the vulnerable and the sick! Lovely-jubly and whoopie-doo!

Only it’s all going a bit Pete Tong for Johnson because ahead of his penchant for dressing-up is his predilection for messing up. In particular, messing up messaging. No surprise from a man so casual with the truth, so casual with the impact of his lies, so enamoured of saying whatever he thinks his fanbase wants to hear. Of course he glibly ignores his scientific advisors and claims that vaccination has severed the link between serious illness, hospitalisation and death! Watch vaccination minister Zahawi squirm, trying to get his carelessly mendacious leader off a hook of his own making:

And as for the messaging on masks? Talk about messed up! It’s not funny. It’s potentially fatal for some.

It seems the general public are more switched on than our government:

But you know what is going to happen on 19 July? Mask-wearing is going to be the new front on the ‘war on woke‘ , the new metric of division, the latest way to divide us and create conflict in the supermarket queue. We need to take a stand on this and protect retail staff, public transport staff, healthcare workers…everyone in the line of fire, not to mention the vulnerable in our communities.

Please sign this petition to extend compulsory mask-wearing indoors beyond 19 July.

Johnson and this government are not to be trusted. They’ll use the football as cover. Look out for suppression of covid data. Look out for increased moves to privatise the NHS. It’s no accident that Sajid Javid is making a thing of waiting lists. There’s his excuse right there. It’s as if the government’s own appalling record of underfunding the NHS has been zeroed, wiped from the memory. It’s their fault! They built Nightingale hospitals for the photo opportunities and now they’re closed. They are now letting the Johnson/Delta variant rip through the population, putting children’s and the unvaccinated and vulnerables’ lives at risk, not to mention heaping more stress and anguish on healthworkers. Vaccination rates have slumped. Herd Immunity is, once again, the strategy.

They are suggesting NHS workers should be ‘free’ from the obligation to isolate, for goodness sake! AND changing the NHS app to make it less sensitive! This is a government trying to pretend it has conquered Covid, just as it tried to pretend it had delivered the Brexit the Leave campaign promised.

So, if England win tonight (and for the sake of their glorious, diverse, forward-looking inclusive team ethos, I hope they do) watch for the high-jacking of a success which has happened in spite of Johnson and his xenophobic, authoritarian cabal and not because of it. Look out for what’s really going on behind the flag-waving and chest-thumping, behind the show, the masquerade. We are on the edge of darkness with this lot in charge.

Oh…and lest we forget: