It’s never a good idea to be so convinced in your opinions that you stop listening to alternatives. You can however continue to choose your facial expression as you read the latest gurgling’s of a man at the deep end without his inflatable arm bands on.
On Monday, Boris Johnson warned that the UK must guard against complacency as the nation faces a “perilous moment” in the pandemic. By Jove, he is right. What on earth were you thinking of, British public?!
The Oxford Dictionary defines complacency as ‘smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one’s achievements.’ This might be the best sub heading to the unauthorised biography of Boris Johnson that I have yet seen.
We’re living in a generation politically defined by polarised opinions, in-fighting between factions and fury raging on both sides of the spectrum. I think I’ve been holding my megaphone the wrong way round. This state isn’t an accident, it’s the result of investment in media outlets by the social class with assets to protect. The hypocrite with the megaphone won’t remind you of their contradictions.
In the past year, Johnson undersold the dangers until it was too late, smirked his way through his Churchillian moment, undermined restrictions by backing Cummings’ breach and has found himself on all three steps of the podium for locking down too late.
Johnson and his cronies have been playing ‘pin the blame’ on the public for their entire political careers, yet throughout this crisis it has seemed as though each new smoking gun must surely be the one to backfire.
Johnson’s warning against complacency came the day after he sparked controversy for riding his bike seven miles from Downing Street in Stratford. The police have confirmed he didn’t break the law and I’m glad he got some fresh air. I hope he did a big skid. What is revealing is his apparent shock and anger at how many people were also enjoying the park that day.
Confused by his own rules, Johnson is almost impressive in his lack of empathy or self-reflection; proudly mimicking the pirouetting U-turns and team spirit of Tonya Harding. Where is the thin ice when you need it, huh?
Petty stories like a seven-mile bike ride sparking fury are almost endearing. Yet Johnson and his colleagues have time and again featured in headlines worthy of a parody of the most Conservative peasant bashing Etonian. Stupendously damning headlines emerge only to be downplayed by the cash strapped right-wing media. This sends a renewed middle finger to anyone so boldly left as to believe that people don’t become homeless out of laziness. Money talks and it just so happens to speak with the derision of someone born with a silver spoon in their mouth and platinum visor over their eyes.
If outbidding any semblance of opposition wasn’t enough, populists like Trump and the xenophobic cesspit that surrounded the Brexit campaign encouraged a new put down for those angry at the status quo; Cry me a river, snowflake!
This is a term that has come to generically refer to young people who don’t know how good they’ve got it. If we park house prices, student debt, job opportunities, cuts to community projects, education, mental health resources, the pressure from a constant barrage of social media and advertising questioning your self-worth and a disenfranchisement from politics, you can start to see more clearly just what they mean.
It’s very true that most young people today did not live through the war. However, unless you’re part of the 4.5% of Britons over the age of 75, neither did you Janet. Telling students to stop moaning about fees is not policy, it’s a belittling suggestion to shove it up their proverbial. Student loans in England are not designed to be paid off. The government knows that the majority will never be paid off. Unless you earn well above the national average, the interest rates will outstrip repayments rendering the current system a tax in all but name for those foolish enough to be born after 1993.
A source of considerable public shaming of the government this year from opposition MPs and Premier League forwards has been the treatment of children of school age. You can imagine what snowflakes this lot are. Pictures have surfaced this week of the latest food packages deemed as a replacement for the free school meals program. £30 worth of shopping valued by onlookers at less than £6 from a typical supermarket.
I assume the other £24 went on negotiations with a Saudi oil barren on whether or not they considered a tomato to be a fruit or a vegetable.
You can imagine the conversations that went on in the meetings leading to this arrangement. A £30 voucher would of course have been spent on drink and drugs by the reckless and feral lower classes. Luckily, we can trust the Tories with our money. Dominic Cummings deserved the £40k pay rise because he had clearly begun to work 2 nurses harder than he had been before.
Luckily for the Tories, the stoic health secretary, Matt Hancock was on hand to set the record straight. He expertly rebuffed embarrassment by refusing to admit he’d done anything wrong by voting down a bill to feed hungry kids on Good Morning Britain. Someone needs to fetch some bubble wrap and fragile tape for this man’s poor ego. Humility should not be an unattainable standard for leadership, but it will stay that way as long as our leaders serve themselves first.
People aren’t more easily offended, they’re more empowered to make their voices heard. If skin got thinner, the Tories would cut funding for the national skin thickening scheme. National priorities have been laid out for the world to see. Put down the megaphones and pick up the torches.