Coronavirus: We should have known Boris Johnson would let us down
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
Ah, the wisdom of Maya Angelou. If only we’d listened. Boris Johnson has been telling the whole world who he is for 55 years now, and it’s not a pretty picture. Whether it’s burning £50 notes in front of homeless people when he was at university; or getting sacked from his job as a journalist for making up quotes & historical ‘facts’; or the trail of ex-wives, mistresses and children he has left behind him; the British Prime Minister has repeatedly and consistently shown himself to be an untrustworthy and unpleasant person.
And yet we seem to love him here in Britain, because he acts like a clownish patriot, occasionally spouting Latin to remind us he’s so much cleverer than we are, while also acting like ‘one of us’ by exploiting racist sentiment and behaving like a total buffoon. Ha, ha, funny man make us laugh!
We can’t imagine being on the receiving end of his japes or harsh policies, until we are. But we’ve built up this mythological character of Boris Johnson that can do no wrong — so when we suffer at his hands we mentally brush it aside because it’s too painful to accept our hero is a self-serving piece of shit who couldn’t care less about any of us little people.
Even outside of the context of the current pandemic, Johnson warned us in a speech from 2006 that he doesn’t have the people’s interests at heart:
“The real hero of Jaws is the mayor. A gigantic fish is eating all your constituents and he decides to keep the beaches open. OK, in that instance he was actually wrong. But in principle, we need more politicians like the mayor — we are often the only obstacle against all the nonsense which is really a massive conspiracy against the taxpayer.”
Oh, yes, that massive conspiracy of ensuring that people don’t die. Thank goodness we have someone to stand up for the shark, who is the real victim in all this. He (or she) can’t even get a decent meal without being derided by those woolly-minded liberals and their Health And Safety Gone Mad!
Johnson said this in the context of his bid to become London Mayor, and these words are pretty disturbing whatever context they were made in. Like, he basically just said he doesn’t care if people die as long as we can drive down public expenditure. And we’ve bought into this idea that a small state is good — and we wonder why people keep dying unnecessarily. Never mind, good old Boris will say something to cheer us up!
But it gets worse. In a speech on 3rd February 2020, he made similar remarks related to the coronavirus pandemic.
“And when there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus would trigger a panic, and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational, to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage. Then, at that moment, humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing, at least, to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange. Some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion of the right of populations of the Earth to buy and sell freely among each other. And here in Greenwich in the first week of February 2020, I can tell you, in all humility, that the UK is ready for that role.”
Er, I don’t wish to cause undue alarm here, but that sounds an awful lot like prioritising the economy over human lives. And the UK was pretty slow to lockdown after the disease made it here, soooo it kinda looks like we should have paid attention then as well.
And we cannot forget the infamous herd immunity moment on This Morning:
“One of the theories, is, you know, that perhaps you could sort of take it on the chin, take it all in one, in one go, and allow the disease, as it were, to, to move through the population.”
Yeah, sounds like a great idea to let a highly infectious disease with a 1% mortality rate just run riot through the population. Of course, no-one thinks that they’ll be in the unlucky 1%.
Everything Johnson touches turns to shit, yet he still comes out of it every time wearing the crown. We have got to listen to what Johnson is actually saying, and we have to accept that what is good for the economy might not be good for us. We are being sacrificed to preserve the economy, when the economy should be serving us. And we have to recognise that Johnson is in it for himself. No matter what act he puts on, he doesn’t care about ordinary people.
I don’t want to have to repeat this in a week, or a month’s time. How much more evidence do we need that Johnson is the bad guy? Just because we voted for him, it doesn’t mean he’ll spare us. We’ve served our purpose now; he’s made it into power and we’ve spread that good old herd immunity around our hospitals, care homes and communities. He is not one of us. He doesn’t care if you live or die. Please can we figure it out before the next disaster?