Lockdown is All a Carry On…

Today, on my social media feed, I came across Samuel Tucker’s post in regards to the UK governmental problem. I’m going to dub it the ‘People will moan’ piece. I’ll be writing my response going forward, but I just want to place a ‘waiver’, if you like, here.
I’m writing this for me, in the context of what I know and where possible, I will provide sources. I’m writing this knowing that, as someone unemployed, I’m probably not making the wisest choice in the world right now. To clarify, I’ve been unemployed since November 2019 when my father, who I left a 10 year career in teaching to care for, died.

To read ‘People Will Moan’ in its original form, please head HERE as from here on out, I’ll be placing my commentary all over it. For the ease of reading, I’ll be placing my responses into a different colour, which is why I’m publishing here and not on Facebook.


People Will Moan

I hear SO many people constantly moaning so here’s my thoughts. And just to be clear I didn’t actually vote for Boris Johnson.

  • I feel like if he’d have locked down sooner people would have moaned saying he panicked and caused a longer lockdown than was necessary.
  • If he ends the lockdown soon people will moan saying he’s putting people’s lives at risk.
  • If he keeps the lockdown going people will moan saying he’s wrecking the economy, the long term results of which will be worse than that of the virus (for example the vast number of lives lost during the Great Depression).

Yes, in one respect, people would have ‘moaned’ regardless. We’re British, we DO love a good ol’ moan. However, by making these ‘theoretical’ Ifs, we are removing any accountability to the government that, lets not mince words here, are paid lots of money to make these decisions. It also implies that people who believe Boris Johnson put us into lockdown too late are so mindless and driven by moaning, that they all would have automatically said it was wrong if we were place into lockdown sooner.

It also disregards context. Why is it that some public opinion insistent the UK went into lockdown too late? For a government that claimed to be ‘following the Science’, I’m not convinced that was the case. Covid-19 was declared a global concern on 30th January 2020 and a global pandemic on 11th March 2020 by WHO. Their intention of the declaration very clear: to allow health agencies and governments to step into action.

There are two events that happened within the UK that have come under criticism: Cheltenham and a match held at Anfield in Liverpool. You could argue that both of these events support Mr Tucker. After all, people did attend despite the knowledge of Covid so, for arguments sake, that’s your cohort of ‘too early’ moaners. However, is it that simple? Would the attendees have gotten a refund at Cheltenham? How much had individuals spent in preparation for the event? These are all questions that would have had an impact.

The Liverpool Vs Madrid game is a little more complex. The declaration of the pandemic comes to late to have an impact, however this is where common sense should have prevailed and Johnson should have made the hard decision he’s paid to make much earlier. It was not two national teams; it was Madrid. There had already been an outbreak and football matches were being played behind closed doors. Yet, supporters gained entry to the UK with no testing. There are investigations currently being conducted into the impact this has had in regards to the number of cases and deaths.

  • If he keeps the schools closed people will moan saying children are being denied their right to education and people can’t go back to work until the schools open.
  • If he opens the schools people will moan saying it’s not safe for children and teachers to go back.

The only people really claiming that children are being ‘denied’ their right to an education are the government. The education part isn’t the problem; teachers have really worked their arses off during this time. They’ve adapted, planned and given feedback. Its been there. I won’t deny, there are students who perhaps don’t have access to technology that would have made the endeavour easier. However, you then have to look at the diminishing budget for schools over the last decade.
In terms of schools reopening, its hard not to see this in the context of class. Eton school is not reopening this academic year. That is just one example of upper class differentiation. In Eton’s defence, they did close for the year on the 4th July and they are not State funded, therefore can legally make these decisions. However, its hard to not feel like its going against parental nature of protection.
The bit that is damaging for children, is the lack of social interaction. Something which isn’t really going to be improved by the safeguarding having to be implemented.

They managed to get a furlough scheme going in next to no time – 80% of your wages covered for sitting at home, so that companies didn’t have to get rid of staff. People moan that it’s not enough. Then you get rich companies / people around the world using it as a money saving exercise rather than a last resort to making someone redundant. 

I resent the ‘of your wages’. This implies that its almost like a Universal Income and that the government have done it out of the goodness of their hearts. We’re going to be paying for this for years to come. The over generalisation in this statement regarding furlough is dangerous as the voices that Mr Tucker believes are saying ‘not enough’, to my view, being misheard. It’s more ‘What about me?’ from those who changed jobs 24 hours before cut off and have, as a result been left in Universal Credit limbo, or those on zero hour contracts. It’s the ‘What about me?’ of the self-employed. Then it’s the ‘what about me?’ I want heard after self employed people insisted UC was not enough to live on and were given the option to apply for up to £2,000 a month. The government, in that one action, have admitted UC is not enough. before you say anything, yes there was an increase for us bottom dwellers and benefit scum. However, UC was due its yearly increase anyway and I don’t think we got that.

People say our lockdown was too draconian and a waste of time and to look at Sweden who didn’t implement a lockdown. Yet people also say our lockdown was too weak and to look at China who were literally spraying the streets with disinfectant and no-one could leave their house.

These are clearly not the same people. There always will be differing opinions.

People demanded an exit plan, so he gives an exit plan. So people moan and say it’s mixed messages and should have been released before the bank holiday. 

People? From what I saw from the daily briefings, it was the Media that asked if they HAD a plan and could they disclose any details. The governments response was unwavering until Wednesday 6th May: We don’t want to confuse the issue, we want people to stay at home.
This means the governments decision to inform us of a statement release was a calculated one. By giving as little detail as possible, it confused the issue and some people became complacent.

He says he’s following scientific advice, people dismiss the scientific advice saying it’s rubbish.

Just because he’s saying he’s following scientific advice, doesn’t mean he actually is. in fact, we do know of one instance when he most definitely did not follow the advice given; he continued to shake hands with people, in a hospital with known cases no less. I would argue his tone and actions demonstrated he dismisses that advice as rubbish, not the people.
The language used, not only by Boris but the rest of his cabinet, does not give a clear indication of what scientific advice they are even following, but more an ineffable entity ‘the Science’.

He says you can now have unlimited exercise as he appreciates how important it is for mental and physical well being, yet people moan saying they can now exercise but can’t see their family. 

He’s encouraged outdoor workers (construction, labouring etc) to go back to work as it’s a lot easier to maintain social distancing outside of an office. People moan saying that’s unfair. He’s encouraged people to not use public transport unless they need to. People moan saying that’s unfair.

Again a generalisation that ignores the nefarious implication of his ‘encouragement’. One might argue that it’s ‘easier’ to maintain social distance outside. However, construction and labour can require working with metals; the one substance in which this virus is believed to survive the longest. Many tasks require multiple people to complete; carrying heavy objects for example.
The discouragement for the use of public transport. It is unfair. Not only that, its potentially dangerous. why? Well, these people who work in the industries mentioned above may not have their own mode of transport. Okay, so they could walk or bike but lets consider what option workers are most likely to take. They’re more likely to take up the offer of a lift from someone they work with.
Again, its hard to see this as an isolated ‘moan’, as I can see the logical thought process here. ‘So, I can work with 9 people all from different household but I can’t see my [insert family member here]’.

I feel like if he’d quarantined everyone coming into the country people would have moaned saying it was against their basic human rights. Yet now he’s saying all new arrivals will be made to quarantine, the airlines are moaning saying it will destroy their industry.

I feel like one minute an ‘expert’ is coming out saying the lockdown is a complete waste of time and the next minute another ‘expert’ is coming out saying without a lockdown it would have resulted in five hundred thousand deaths.

I feel like people talk about setting up and supplying PPE, Track & Trace and swab tests for millions, like it’s as quick and easy as a stroll down the shops, without appreciating what a logistical nightmare it must actually be.

People do appreciate the logistics. What some people don’t appreciate is the lack of transparency coming from the government. Matt Hancock is an expert in the art of political gaslighting. Hancock, the man who claimed he denied contracts to UK manufacturers because ‘it didn’t meet standards’ and insisted that ‘no test is better than a bad test’ actually wasted £16,000,000 on antibody tests that didn’t work, blamed NHS staff for not using PPE correctly and proudly counted singular gloves in his daily totals for items delivered.
This poor show is without acknowledging that the government paid for a pandemic preparedness study only to fail to maintain the vital criteria that would have seen the UK in a better position in regards to PPE.

I feel like the unions and people will demand a safer environment (and so they should) and refuse to go back to work, but will also moan and cry about taxes going up as a result of the government having had to foot the bill for them being out of work for months.

Unions? That is their job. Again, generalisation that they all will moan and cry.Don’t forget, Hancock’s £16 million boo-boo will be put on all of us when it comes to those tax hikes.

I feel like people will happily point out we have one of the worst death counts in Europe but will fail to mention we are also one of the most densely populated. That people will happily pin every single death here on the government, as if this new horrific virus hasn’t caused hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.

No one is happily pointing out that we have one of the worst death rates in the world. This is not political point scoring. No one is rubbing their hands together thinking “That’s another nail in the Tory coffin.”
There’s no joy in attributing blame. I certainly don’t think its fair to say every life could have been saved if the government acted one way or another, however early reports from experts have identified direct and indirect deaths from the Liverpool V Madrid game being allowed to proceed.
It would also be foolish to not lay some accountability at the governments door in regards to medical and social care deaths. Again, a cause has been identified. The lack of PPE.
To label this public outrage as ‘moaning’ is as unjust as the deaths themselves.

I feel like people in this country JUST LOVE TO MOAN. And if Boris Johnson magicked a vaccine out of thin air tonight, people would start moaning about the weather saying that was his fault instead.
I feel like people forget the government are human beings. They are doing the best they can guided by the best scientific advice in this country. Better advice than Piers Morgan or some cheap journalist.
I feel like the real villains are the immoral media who are full of lies, deceit and hidden agendas. The multi millionaires and rich companies who use the furlough scheme as a money saving exercise rather than leaving it for the companies that actually NEED IT. The people that never pay a penny of tax or national insurance yet rinse the state for all it’s worth. Not forgetting the persons responsible for this deadly virus actually getting unleashed on mankind. They are the true villains, yet it’s all too easy to blame the government. 

For someone who is complaining about people who moan and point fingers, Mr Tucker is doing an awful lot himself. I have a lot to say about this personally and I could rant, much in the same w ay he has done himself. However, I leave it at this: the above ‘I feels’ are a demonstration of generalisation, xenophobia and ignorance. The only thing that stops it being outright racism is Mr Tucker’s passive aggressive use of ‘persons’.
The biggest agenda the press have is making money. I do wonder if Mr Tucker is aware of how newspapers work and that they have political bias. Gicven that he didn’t ‘vote for Boris’, I’d suggest a Tory paper that is in BoJo’s corner may stop him from moaning so much.
Piers Morgan has not once given advice in regards to Covid-19. What he has done is QUESTION the decisions, the stance and the words of members of the Conservative Party. He has also recounted past instructions, guidance and evidence when an interviewed member has appeared to have forgotten or disregarded something they’ve previously said.
While Piers Morgan has many opinions I’ve disagreed with, I am grateful for the challenge he provides. He is holding the government accountable.

I feel like whatever he does he CANNOT WIN.

You’re right. Whatever Boris Johnson does NOW is irrelevant. He’s lost. He’s lost credibility (although in my opinion that word has never applied to him), trust and any understanding some people may have had.
-He had hard choices make
-Would you do any better?
-Would Corbyn have done better?
-He was ill with the virus himself
-He couldn’t have predicted this
-He’s done his best
-He’s had a baby
None of these ‘what ifs’ matter, because this is the reality we are in and the biggest problem is; he’s in hiding. How many briefings has he done? Yes, he WAS ill but he is still shirking his responsibilities. Something he is paid very well for.


Before people start replying with stats and ‘how much worse it’s been handled over here’ – let me show you how easy it is to present stats to fit a certain narrative:

USA – tens of millions of people unemployed, no free healthcare, high number of deaths.
Italy – healthcare system completely overwhelmed, doctors forced to choose between who lives and dies. Similar number of deaths to the UK.
Spain – Population 30% smaller than the UK, with a death count 15% higher per million population, yet similar number of deaths.
France – Roughly same size population as the UK, on a landmass nearly 3 times bigger, yet similar number of deaths.

But, if you’re still hell bent on making comparisons then surely it makes sense to make them against countries on a similar footing to our own, not countries on the other side of the world who are operating under completely different circumstances!

Mr Tucker invalidates his own USA argument with ‘operating under completely different circumstances’ seeing as the lack of healthcare is an ongoing struggle in America. Also, what Mr Tucker is failing to acknowledge is that a lot of the damage caused here in the UK is a result of the government attempting to privatise our NHS.
The governments relationship with comparing countries is also fraught with controversy. One would be forgiven for thinking that it is one thing to compare when it makes the UK look good, but something that should be avoided when it, justifiably, questions the conduct of those in charge.

With regards the media – how many times has a government adviser announced a new bit of guidance, and how many times do one of the newspapers miraculously find a random ‘expert’ who just so happens to have the complete opposite opinion…

It is no miracle. It is Science. The very nature of it variable and there will be differing opinions. In the same regard, the media would not be doing its job if it didn’t perform its own investigations. What the public need to do, however, is take that information, complete their own research before deciding what they believe.
A possible reason why the media’s information holds so much weight is because the government isn’t trusted.

And the next time you watch one of the 5pm government briefings, listen closely to the questions the media ask and think to yourself how many of them are actually relevant / good solid questions and how many of them are designed with the sole purpose of tripping up those they are asking…

Oh I do, every day and I would say that the government are walking around with their shoelaces untied; they’re tripping all on their own and the reporters are just trying to get them to tie their laces.

For me, I’m afraid large parts of the media have become glorified gossip outlets with a plethora of could, if’s and maybe’s, when what we as a nation need during this difficult time is factual real time information.

Like this outpouring of ‘I feels’?!

One final thought (if you’ve made it this far without falling asleep I salute you ):

Every single death is a huge tragedy, and I don’t believe many people will be better off as a result of this virus. Our NHS, our care workers and our emergency services do an unbelievable job, they are hands down one of the best things about this country. Let’s not forget though, that the world is battling to hold this virus at bay, and these problems we face aren’t just happening in the UK, as our media will have you believe.

*******

P.S No I am not a ‘bot’ (whatever that means), no I didn’t steal this from elsewhere and no I definitely am not writing on behalf of the conservative government. I have a wife, a dog, a job, I love playing & watching numerous sports, I am just a normal working class 30 yr old man who decided to write down my views.

Feel free to comment, share the post or message me.


Finally… I think everyone should moan, I don’t think anyone should give BoJo or his lackies a break. They’re paid enough and its very clear the views of the public and the death figures are of no consequence to them.
Do what you need to in order to get through this mess. Except… don’t go driving to test your eyesight.

Websites

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/what-does-it-mean-to-declare-a-pandemic#Officials-pressure-president-to-declare-national-emergency

https://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/health-expert-fears-liverpool-coronavirus-18030825

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/21/did-the-uk-government-prepare-for-the-wrong-kind-of-pandemic

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/coronavirus-test-antibody-kit-uk-china-nhs-matt-hancock-a9449816.html

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