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Boris confused Brits so much, they can’t see a return to freedom when it’s offered

Simon Rite
Simon Rite

is a writer based in London for RT, in charge of several projects including the political satire group #ICYMI. Follow him on Twitter @SiWrites

is a writer based in London for RT, in charge of several projects including the political satire group #ICYMI. Follow him on Twitter @SiWrites

Boris confused Brits so much, they can’t see a return to freedom when it’s offered
If politics is actually an art, then Boris Johnson’s work during the pandemic is of the abstract school. In other words his policy is weird, hard to fathom and open to interpretation. And actually I like it.

After days of teasing a super-spiffing, rather excellent, jolly, super-grand, oh-deary-me idea to get the country out of lockdown, to the entire nation’s surprise when that plan arrived, it was lacking in what might traditionally be called a plan.

What Boris actually produced was 100 percent in keeping with exactly where the government is in its Covid-19 policy at the moment. If anyone is confused about where that is, let me explain it to you, it’s actually very, very simple.

At first, BoJo wanted to keep the country running more or less as normal, putting his hopes in the ancient aristocratic belief that the mere act of being British would be enough to fend off a nasty foreign virus. 

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When the elderly (Tory voters) started dropping dead, he reversed position and told the population to stay home, scaring the sh*te out of everyone in the process. Now, he’s desperate to get everyone back out to prop up the economy because business owners (Tory voters) and investors (Tory voters) are being hit in the pocket.  

Problem is, Boris can’t actually tell people to go outside now because, having so scared and confused the nation, no one is willing to come out of the fetal position they’ve taken up in their bog-roll-packed bathrooms to peek out the front door.  

Quite the dilemma. 

So Boris stood before the nation and did the only thing that was left available to him, he bumbled his way through a speech which basically left the rules open to infinite interpretation. In a nutshell: If you can work at home, then do; if you can’t, then don’t. Travel, but try not to. Meet people, but not too many. Go out as much as you want, but try not to go out. Oh, and ride a bike. In other words, sort yourselves out like adults.

The general response in the media and social mediasphere was rage at the sheer incompetence, and the confusion caused. The general feeling was that his suggestions were too vague, but that was the point. Just be careful, and take your chances.  Granted, it’s not perfect as a policy slogan, but it’s really not that complex.

Anyone failing to understand is doing it on purpose, possibly for political reasons. It’s no coincidence that the continued lockdown argument has been taken on by the left, while the right has set up tents in the anti-lockdown camp.

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How did we get to the position so quickly, that so many people are enraged that the government is not telling us exactly what to do. Read between the lines! You have carte blanche to do what you want, apart of course from going to the pub. Even then, pubs are now doing takeaways and selling pints in paper cups, so even that is open to interpretation.

If my employers don’t mind me saying, this is actually a very Russian-style political nuance. The unspoken idea that on the one hand there are the rules, and on the other hand there are the rules that are actually followed. To get by, you need to understand the gray.

Somehow in a country that prides itself on its love of liberty and individualism, the between-the-lines nature of what Boris is offering has gone completely over people's heads. People of Britain, he is easing you into the next phase, you can take the opportunity of trying to restore normality now, or take your time. Make your own choices!

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

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