IT’S blazing June. The sun gods have smiled on G7 world leaders. St Ives sparkles like St Tropez in a sapphire Cornish sea. We’re all ready for a summer holiday.
Or we were. A huge Boris-shaped cloud has cast a pall of depression over the British Isles.
What we are witnessing is a shocking failure of nerve.
The Prime Minister has fallen hostage to risk-averse “experts” who have set this country on the hopeless path to zero Covid.
“He is afraid of getting it wrong again,” says a disappointed Cabinet ally.
“The PM is haunted by claims he was too slow to lock down last time and waited too long to block travel from India.”
Lockdown could now limp on, piecemeal, until 2022.
Yet as we keep our doors shut, clod-hopping Brussels is poised to reopen Europe to all fully vaxxed travellers — except us Brits, of course.
Americans are already flying freely in and out of the US.
How did we get left so far behind?
Brits are among the most double-jabbed in the world.
All nine at-risk groups are safe. They’re at microscopic risk of spreading the bug.
Covid deaths are near zero and the average from ALL causes below average. Hospital intensive care units are almost empty.
Boris’s miracle vaccine campaign has worked.
The link between infection and death is broken. The NHS is unthreatened.
In such circumstances, no democratic government on earth would contemplate lockdown — unless they’d already got away with it three times.
Boris himself insists: “There is no credible route to a zero-Covid Britain.
“We cannot persist indefinitely with restrictions that debilitate our economy, our physical and mental wellbeing, and the life chances of our children.”
Yet here we are, trapped at home, landlocked for the foreseeable future.
Horrifyingly, school kids must start wearing facemasks in class again.
The PM has found himself hemmed in by Sage, by the worried well, by ultra-cautious Cabinet ministers like Michael Gove and Nervous Nellie Matt Hancock.
“There is no reason we would lock down the country when the death rate is actually below the five-year average,” says a Government insider.
Boris may also be influenced by polls showing more than half the public want lockdown to continue.
But who are these people? Have they considered the physical and mental health of their fellow citizens?
Do other people’s jobs count — or the survival of pubs, shops and cafes?
Prime suspects include six million public sector workers with guaranteed jobs, wages, holidays and pensions.
And the 1.5million on glorified dole schemes costing taxpayers £30billion.
Furlough was a life-saver when mass unemployment seemed possible.
Today, with hard-pressed firms screaming out for hired help, it is an inexcusable free holiday. Others will be happy with lockdown, settling comfortably into the spare room with their laptops, using the extra “me time” to enjoy their families.
For them, Freedom Day is already here. They can watch the Euros, shop online or Zoom from their armchairs when the sun is shining.
But there will be a price. If they can do their jobs away from the office, so can others at half the pay.
Every day lockdown continues, we are spending borrowed money by the billions.
Those gigantic debts will fall on our children.
We will see the impact on public services and in the social and economic fabric of our daily lives.
Most important of all, the long-suffering Great British public has had enough.
It must be galling for Boris to hear Theresa May winning applause for pointing this out last week. “One year on we are no further forward,” she told Tory MPs. “Indeed what we have is a devastated industry, jobs lost and global Britain shut for business. We’ve gone backwards.”
Covid rules are already being trashed. People are mingling and hugging in public.
With more than half the adult population double jabbed, immune and non-toxic — as they will be by June 21 — Freedom Day will be a fact of life.
Foot ‘n’ knee
NOBODY wants to see our national side booed, as England were at Wembley yesterday, even if cheers drowned out the jeers.
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