The Lockdown Files are important- nobody would deny that. Equally, we cannot lose sight of a broader, more terrifying picture in the swell of information from Hancock’s phone. The government continues to attack trans rights, demonise “small boat migrants”, platform ignorance and sow deeper division over Brexit. By all means pay attention to this story- but don’t forget about the rest.
No information in the “lockdown files” has shocked me. So Hancock leaned on the press not to report an influx of cases due to Sunak’s “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme- is anybody shocked that “people mingling during pandemic spread the virus” was a thing? Hancock should be arrested for industrial manslaughter- so should Sunak. Families who lost loved ones due to their hare brained schemes and self indulgent idiocy should be allowed to sue them. They should be castigated, reviled from high to low, never allowed to forget.
But these are not shocking revelations that I don’t think anybody ever expected: I mean, really, dear reader- is it absolutely mind blowing to you that Matt Hancock, a man shallower than a Wilco’s spoon pushed to look after his public image? I already knew the man was a seething moron because I had to listen to his waffling prestiges on the news every day. Are you particularly surprised that our Prime Minister Sunak would watch your nan choke on her pleural fluid if it meant an extra £12 in taxes collected? It’s about as surprising as finding out that, shock horror, Boris Johnson likes to shag a lot of people he’s not married to.
But the government’s behaviour prior to and during this pandemic has demonstrated exactly who they were, are- and will continue to be.
Rather than knuckle down, they buckle- refusing to review economic models that have been thrown into abject chaos with the double fisted throat punch of brexit and the pandemic. Instead of focusing on how to protect and enlighten the British public, to combat disinformation, to improve British lives- they sow culture war seeds then use the sweat of red faced nationalists to water them. If it’s not small boat migrants or trans people or “THE GAYS” it’s people of colour or women, all bothering everyone with our polite requests to be treated with a modicum of respect. The government and a compliant media relentlessly feed us with the idea that we need to pull ourselves up with our bootstraps, that it’s nobody’s fault but ours – unless its migrants or LGBT+ people or our mothers, sisters and daughters.
The most frustrating part of the Lockdown Files is that it’s predictably being used by the media to justify a narrative that we were forced to abide by inhumane conditions. Perhaps we were- but what alternative was there? Should we have all taken the risk, never followed any restrictions and just hoped that getting infected with covid multiple times wouldn’t kill or disable us or our loved ones?
Lockdowns were awful. I grieved for my mother in total isolation, couldn’t even hug my father or touch her coffin to say goodbye to her. I didn’t do it lightly. I did it because my mother’s death from cancer was not a simple passing into the afterlife- her body was failing and, much like covid, her lungs filled up with pleural fluid and she drowned in front of me. And if I knew that there was a one in a million chance of suffering that fate, much less passing it on to someone else, someone with a wife and kids, I’d never have done it. I don’t know how much the government misled us- I’d like to. But I don’t regret being in lockdown if it meant that I didn’t get covid more (I’ve had it twice and am currently trying to find out if I have permanent lung damage from last time) and that I didn’t play a part in making more deaths inevitable.
The tories are scum. I’ve no doubt they manipulated us- because that is the essence of the tories. But they didn’t need to do it by enforcing lockdowns… The sleepwalking public in the UK has allowed them to decimate our protest and strike rights, made barely a peep as they enforced harsh new voting laws which currently have an estimated 2 million people without ID, they have unleashed a hurricane of hatred towards minorities and vulnerable people. All of this in plain sight, all of this widely spoken about.
As the tories continue to firm up on their nonsense plans to “stop” the small boats “crisis” one has to roll their eyes. Today, Braverman was quoted as stating that she hopes to “break the business model of people smugglers” with harsh new directives aimed at punishing… the people they smuggle?
Firstly, if you aren’t going to do anything to the people smugglers one would assume they won’t care. Secondly- people smugglers. Not known to be the nicest of folk. They don’t and won’t care what happens to the people who get here- because they got paid already.
Thirdly- there are ways to easily deal with people crossing on small boats. Opening processing centres in key countries would mean that those seeking asylum could do so from abroad and be retrieved should they be successful.
But the government does not want to solve the “small boats” issue. Because if they did, who would they blame for their uselessness?
The moment the government actually makes a depreciation in small boat crossings it will be hailed as a victory but they will never actually try to solve the root issue- because these crossings make a convenient scapegoat.
The same with every other minority with whom the government is playing chess right now.
From transgender rights and equalities being the subject of casual debate now, to Badenoch, our “women and equalities” minister who ignores myriad studies about benefit schemes for those suffering menopause, who cheers the bravery of a woman who says she would vote against equality for lesbian, gay and bi people- this government is utterly bereft of policy, they are without direction and vision and rather than any attempt to do better, to help the British people – they unfurl new banners to rally behind in culture war after culture war. The conservatives themselves are the rot at the center of our society- Boris Johnson was the first prime minister found guilty of breaking the law in office, Sunak has now broken the law twice. Braverman has been warned her rhetoric is akin to that of Adolf Hitler and she “refuses to apologise for it”. Hancock mocked the British public, saying we needed to be ‘scared into compliance’- treating us as cattle, rather than human beings with whom he could reason.
The conservatives are not good for the British public- they are malignant, a stain on our country. They help nobody, stand for nobody, stand for nothing. They should rightly be punished for every scrap of information leaked in the lockdown files- but this is not their only transgression, their only crime. They have spent years letting us down, severing our ties to a better economy, a brighter future, deepening our immersion in fake news. They play to the basest crowd, ignoring the majority of the UK who are decent people wanting for better. So if we are to hoist them by their own petard, let that petard weigh heavy with the shrapnel of the tories in totality- not a mere sliver of their crimes, neglect and abuse.