As Omicron spreads rapidly through the UK and we face stricter restrictions, it is the worst time in history to have clowns in charge of the country. But have voters got what they deserve?
The past few weeks have seen a media frenzy ensue over Conservative Christmas parties that were held last year, a time when most of us complied with the Covid-19 restrictions. 2020 was a Christmas when we could not visit dying relatives, fathers had limited access to visit their newborn babies, and some NHS staff did not see their children.
One law for the Conservatives and another for the people
The Metropolitan Police ruled out an investigation, citing an “absence of evidence” of any criminal wrongdoing.
The BBC has listed the gatherings that are now public knowledge:
- 13 November 2020 (staff drinks)
- 13 November 2020 (Carrie Johnson allegedly entertained Downing Street staff)
- 27 November 2020 (people having drinks where the Prime Minister was present)
- 10 December 2020 (the Department for Education (clearly a misnomer) held an office party)
- 14 December 2020 (social gathering held by the former London Mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey, who has resigned as Chair of the Police and Crime Committee)
- 18 December 2020 (Downing Street Christmas party)
- Unknown date (Christmas quiz).
Meanwhile, it emerged that many people were fined for holding gatherings in the same period, which is vastly unfair.
It was announced that the Christmas gatherings are to be investigated and if there is criminal wrongdoing, it shall be reported to the police. However, the person doing the investigation, Simon Case, was found to have also attended an illicit Christmas party. His deputy, Sue Gray, has now taken over, and will report her findings to Case, who will in turn report to the prime minister, and then to the police. So don’t hold your breath. Trust in the police – mirroring the lack of trust in our key politicians – is also at an all-time low.
A convenient distraction from important issues
The denial about the parties, then the fall out, all seem to have been rolled out just on cue. As our rights and freedoms are stolen from us, we are talking about last Christmas, taking our eye off the current shenanigans of Johnson’s crew.
Of course, anyone involved should be investigated, but in reality they must know whether they attended a social gathering, unless they were so plastered they erased their memories or they consider drinking to fall in the definition of ‘work’. Those who attended these parties should simply do what is just: resign. But the focus on the parties means we are neglecting the current issues, which will cost lives and damage the UK.
Firstly, we urgently need another lockdown or very strict restrictions to protect human lives, but it is fair to say it is highly unlikely that Johnson – or any member of his cabinet – could command the public to comply. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told Johnson he lacked authority to enforce plan B. Without good leadership, the UK will continue being in a stop-start position where Covid-19 is concerned.
As we enter 2022, it looks bleak. The NHS is – once again – overstretched and the government appears to be relying on NHS staff to save lives, without putting in place the necessary planning and the resources that they require. Just last week, Johnson suddenly announced that the booster was available and encouraged people to take it, resulting in the NHS becoming overwhelmed through lack of planning.
Meanwhile, people are wearing masks if they want (rather than as required) and there is a distinct lack of social distancing, both of which would help to prevent the spread of the virus.
Removing our fundamental rights
Secondly, the Conservatives are removing fundamental human rights right from under our feet; Shona Jolly, QC has highlighted that current bills before parliament:
- Impair our right to meaningful protest
- Permit citizenship to be summarily removed without notice
- Violate the spirit and letter of our international legal obligations to asylum seekers
- Introduce a controversial Bill on voter ID
On the 26 November @UKHouseofLords tweeted: “Two House of Lords committees express concerns at growing government powers, worsened by Brexit and Covid, to create new laws without parliamentary scrutiny.”
As our laws are tweaked and rights reduced, alongside government powers being increased, I cannot help but think of the graphic that’s often shared, about the early warning signs of fascism:
All I want for Christmas is…
Following the results in the North Shropshire by-election, a former Tory stronghold for 200 years and now taken by the Lib Dems, it emerged that at least one Tory MP has submitted a letter of no confidence in the prime minister. Johnson’s time is ticking and what comes next – if the ‘leader’ is one of the current cabinet – will be a disaster, but I predict it will eventually lead to the end of Tory reign on the UK for some time.
Nevertheless, Labour must avoid political game playing and deliver what the country needs: proportional representation. Only through electoral reform can we achieve a stable government and consensus politics, by ensuring that no political party has complete hold on this country again.
I would love to wake up on New Year’s Day and discover that there is a cross-party government, headed by someone we can trust; wouldn’t you?