It’s always the same and it’s too disheartening. What’s the point in finding out how many more hundreds of people have died today? And I don’t need the Prime Minister telling me that I can’t go to see my family or friends, I already know that.
I don’t need to turn on the television to know that, at this unprecedented hour national emergency, that our nation is being led by a barbered chimpanzee who seems to be biologically inept of telling the truth.
And it may even be a rational psychological coping strategy to decide not to know how serious things are, or more precisely, how bad he is – it would even be tempting to label it as a national humiliation, like having the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe.
Stay alert, watch out, there’s a Boris about.
All his life Boris Johnson has fantasised about being the next Winston Churchill, the nation’s hero, but 75 years after Winston Churchill announced the end of the second world war in Europe, all Boris Johnson could manage to do in his pre-recorded television statement, was to divide the United Kingdom, with most of us seeking to distance ourselves from the Prime Minister’s central message even before it had been transmitted.
Forget the Churchill tribute act, these days Boris Johnson couldn’t even get a job as a Boris Johnson tribute act, and maybe it was never meant to be this way.
Boris Johnson was meant to be the man who could put a smile on the country’s face, the man who would get Brexit done with blind enthusiasm and a few white lies.
But this coronavirus has put pay to all that because it’s a virus that doggedly opposes any smooth-talking about taking back power, and deep down, Boris Johnson knows that he’s well out of his depth and that he’s just not up to the task.
You can see it in his eyes, which have shrunk to puffy pinpricks, and he’s lost the gift of language, at a time of crisis when a leader’s address is thought to be a source of motivation and reassurance.
Somehow all that Boris Johnson can manage to present now is a feeling of frenzy, but at least this time, Boris Johnson made an effort – sharp suit, brushed hair yet the speech was a mess.
A more worthy Prime Minister would have acknowledged that blunders had been made in the handling of the crisis, but Boris Johnson is deep down a coward and a man who runs from the first hint of personal accountability.
What we got was more waffle about following the science and being thankful that even more people had not yet died, and insinuation that the 65 more that had survived should be a tad more appreciative.
Not a word on why other countries were coping with the virus so much better than us. It must be a tremendous comfort to the families of those who have died that the government didn’t choose to follow the South Korean science.
No one could have prophesied the demand for more personal protective equipment in care homes unless they’d read the Exercise Cygnus report that foretold just that, and we would presently be carrying out hundreds of thousands of tests a day, yet Boris Johnson still clasps to the notion that just by saying something, he can make it come true.
Not only are we striving to attain a target of just 100K a day without some imaginative accounting, but we also don’t even have the means to process the results in under 10 days, and having got his excuses and disclaimers out of the way, Boris Johnson got down to the substance of his address, or rather the absence of substance.
So, meet the new messaging, or even the old messaging, which was even vaguer and more confusing, and following his fifteen minutes of TV fame was like watching someone have a breakdown in front of you.
And rather than saying this time ‘stay at home’, the new maxim was ‘stay alert’, which was less like a slogan and more like a piece of advice he would give to himself, given all the times he’s taken his eye off the ball over the past few months, and it was virtually as if what had been missing from the British war effort had been some blackout curtains and taking down road signs in an effort to distract and impede the growth of the coronavirus.
The best slogan that might have been more apt would have been ‘careless talk costs lives’ because Boris is a Zen master whose only goal is to get to the end of any one sentence, with no consideration for the outcomes for those that follow, and for Boris, there’s no past, no future and as things are, not much of a present.
What was most impressive was how little Boris Johnson had to say and his roadmap, or shape of a roadmap as he called it, making it sound disturbingly like a homoeopathic representation of a map, to a future which looked disturbingly like a map of the M25.
And there were five appealing colours of vigilance and the promise of a Captain Marvel bio-science centre, but the bottom line was it was still circular, with any number of still to be determined exit points, keeping alive the very real chance that we might find ourselves back at the beginning.
But much of what he said was the same, yet often conflicting advice.
Social distancing, staying at home wherever possible, going to work wherever possible but how people were supposed to get to work on public transport while staying 2 metres apart was not explained.
There would also be some easing of the lockdown by the end of June, aside from the bits that might come sooner, or later – it was all just a bit of a ramble and nothing on the questions that countless people wanted answers – at what stage might people be allowed to see their family and friends again?
This is our plan, Boris Johnson concluded, having forgotten he’d just said that he didn’t actually have a plan, other than to stay alert and keep buggering on, something that the rest of the country is increasingly wishing Boris Johnson might personally consider doing.
The only thing that I could really gather from his babbling bosh was that the Working classes, well, it was time for them to get back to work in precarious conditions, and the Prime Minister’s address must have been the most shameful performances ever to be viewed on TV.
Yes, let’s get all the working classes back to the factories and onto building sites – the first few moments of his address seemed moderately reasonable but the rest of it made me want to stab toothpicks under my toenails.
Boris Johnson’s address was more like a public danger announcement, and he was behaving more like a con man who’d just realised he’d been rumbled and no one was buying his routine anymore, but sadly there are some people around who will buy his snake oil wares regardless of how transparent his bunk is.
And his prose could not hide the hollowness of his words, and it was confusing and extremely conflicting, yet this was supposed to be an incredibly powerful address but after about five minutes I had no idea what the hell he was going on about, but funnily enough, I don’t think he did either!