Thatcher was dead, to begin with. First politically, when she was forced from office, then actually. They say her grave was deep enough to deliver her to Satan personally. Boris was there, saw the dirt thrown on the coffin. Old Thatcher was dead as a doornail.
So when the Ghost of Maggie Thatcher visited Boris Johnson this last Christmas eve, I can only presume it was to say “Well Done.” She must be so proud of his work this December. Not since Thatcher has there been a Prime Minister with such blatant, obvious and aggressive disregard for the working class. A group his policies have made larger with the erosion of the middle class.
If Bojo were visited by the three spirits, the Ghost of Covid past could show him all the missed opportunities of the recent months, starting with ‘Freedom Day.’ The day he threw all caution and restrictions to the wind so he could have his Churchill moment. He was, even before lifting restriction, ignoring the spike in covid numbers brought on by the World Cup and Olympics. (Two events that only happened because two of the richest and most corrupt entities in the world, FIFA and the IOC, demanded more money). New cases had risen from 9000 per day to 50,00 per day, while restrictions were still in place. Boris himself was isolating due to covid exposure.
He had the option, the opportunity, to keep mask mandates in place. Keeping that one thread of social responsibility, that iota of common sense might have kept the numbers and the spread under control. But that might have tainted Freedom Day, BoJo’s moment of triumph. So what the hell, let’s throw caution to the wind. It’ll probably all be fine.
But it wasn’t really fine. Covid number stayed consistently around 30,000 new cases per day, they were not under control. The best description would be ‘Managed Chaos.’ Bad, but for a time, not getting worse.
Until November. Until Omicron. Cue the second spirit, The Ghost of Covid Present.
The Omicron Variant was first announced on November 24 in South Africa, although it had been percolating its way through several southern African nations for a few weeks at that point. Data still isn’t in on the full scope of it’s differences from Delta, but a few thigs were clear early on. First, it was transmissible at a previously unimagined rate. Second, it easily broke through on fully (2 doses) vaccinated people. And third, it appeared to cause a less severe bout of illness.
In a surprisingly swift move, BoJo banned travel from Southern African countries on Nov. 25th, although it was very much closing the barn door after the horses had fled. By the time any new variant is identified, you have to assume it’s already out there. (Sidenote: that travel ban was lifted Dec.15).
Still, moving that fast must have exhausted him, as it took another two weeks for Boris to implement Plan B. Plan B requires mandatory masks in shops, piblic transport,theatres, cinemas and other indoor setting but NOT hospitality. It requires Covid passes at some indoor venues. It recommends Work-From-Home where possible. Those are the Pathetic, utterly anaemic restrictions that Boris Johnson and the Tory government had resisted implementing since SEPTEMBER. There was no official Plan C. Plan B is completely insufficient in the face of the Omicron Variant; the epitome of ‘Too little, Too late.’ BoJo hasn’t the slightest grasp of preventative measures (as evidenced by the number of his children).
Christmas week saw the UK hitting daily new cases of 90,000, 100,000, 120,000, and staying that high through the Christmas weekend. Even with Omicron being less severe, the sheer number of cases will but so much pressure on the already overtaxed NHS. Hospital admissions in London have gone up 50% in the last week, and the numbers are rising all over the country.
Stuck in the middle of all this are the people who can’t work from home, and can’t not work. Zero hours contracts mean no sick pay. These people won’t get tested for fear of being told to isolate. And if sick, they will work though it as much as possible.
Today, the government announced there would be no new restrictions before New Year. So we are all waiting for the Ghost of Covid yet to come.
It has been leaked several times through this pandemic that Boris Johnson’s preferred plan was to let the disease run it’s course, just rip through the population. Maybe this time he’s getting his wish. Again, I’m reminded of A Christmas Carol
“If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “They had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”
Maggie Thatcher would be proud.
Right on the target again.