Former prime ministers and even Johnson’s own former cabinet officials are lining up to condemn his “Internal Market Bill”. Of course this bill is a distraction, allowing Johnson to resurrect the “popular” issue of Brexit, in the hope that this will divert attention from his mishandling of the pandemic.
Ironically the opposition to the bill is based on similar nationalist rhetoric, with the likes of Labour’s Ed Miliband claiming Johnson is "trashing the reputation of our country"and is "cavalier with international law, ... cavalier on our traditions". Yes, the “great” reputation of a Britain which already had one of the highest poverty levels and death rates from preventable disease among the rich countries, even before it started winning the sweepstakes in C-19 deaths.
Anyway, Johnson now poses as Churchill: fighting the EU on the beaches... of Northern Ireland... with a law against the “extraordinary threat”that would result in the "blockading (of) food and agricultural transport within our own country”.
In fact Johnson’s over-the-top hype, refers to the “border in the Irish sea” which he himself counterposed to May’s “backstop” last year, in his oven-ready Withdrawal Agreement.
At the time, Northern Irish Unionists complained, as it implied some checks on their goods bound for Britain. But they were told to keep quiet. The Johnson government would sort them out at a later date... And that date, is apparently, today, since it now suits Johnson’s Covid-damaged “reputation”!
In fact the issue of Brexit back in 2016 raised again the irrationality (and stupidity) of the border across Ireland, separating its northern (“British”) 6 counties from the southern Irish 26. The majority in Northern Ireland voted against Brexit, precisely because they preferred to stay within Ireland and the EU rather than outside, with Britain. Yet in this absurd current debate, nobody is even asking them what they want. That says it all about this country’s “rule of law”, doesn’t it?
This “best-in-the-world” government deserves to be laughed out of office
With the new spike in C-19 cases, the government has brought in its “rule of 6”. Matt Hancock claims this will simplify things, after all the criticism over the government’s confused “mixed-messaging”.
So now more than 6 people can't meet to socialise, indoors or outdoors... but that's just in England. In Wales, larger groups can gather outdoors. In England, children under 12 are included in the 6, but not Scotland, etc., etc... Very simple! Oh, and by the way, "grouse-hunting" by more than 6 is allowed!
Quite obviously, these nonsensical measures will have no impact whatsoever on the real cause of what is, in fact, already Britain's 2nd wave of C-19 infections. In the absence of any effective preventive measures put in place before the lifting of the lock-down, the virus is having a field day. It is spreading inside workplaces, buses, trains, schools, universities - and now it is back inside 43 care homes.
But never mind. Priti Patel and Kit Malthouse have told the public to call the police to report their neighbours (and get them fined £100-£3,200) if they spot more than 6 people together. Patel helpfully explained that“the reason we have fines is because we want to stop the spread of this disease”. So fines, but no "world-beating" testing, no enforced, proper mask-wearing (and no free masks distributed to every home, as in France). There is no attempt to explain why there have been outbreaks in places like hospitals where strict hygiene practices are meant to be followed.
Again this week Johnson and Education Secretary Williamson claimed that Britain has the “largest Covid-19 testing capacity in the world”. Yet another grandiose lie. But whatever the true capacity, it is certainly not in use where needed!
Critics have said this is all because of too much “centralisation” of testing. But true "centralisation" would mean mobilising all testing resources under one public body, collecting all the data and then having the qualified, competent staff allocating these resources where needed - without any private profit motive involved!
Instead, Johnson, gave contracts for these vital public health functions to diverse, incompetent, money-hungry private companies with little or no expertise. The private Lighthouse Labs whose total capacity is 250,000 tests a day, have a backlog of 185,000 tests! It’s reported that 200,000 tests were sent to Germany for processing at the weekend. The whole system is fragmented, disjointed and inflexible, with results so delayed that the aim of testing is negated.
But not to worry! Johnson has announced a "Moonshot" plan, promising 10m tests/day! No wonder his advisors warned him against using a word with "moon" in it. If C-19 was not a life and death matter, he and his whole “lunatic” gang would be a laughing stock.