June 11: Should social distancing be here to stay?

Mark ShentonInclude in homepage slide?, Thought of the dayLeave a Comment

Or should we just keep our distance from the Daily Mail, Telegraph and Andrew LLoyd Webber?

According to a lead story in The Guardian today,

It quotes Jim McManus, vice-president of the Association of Directors of Public Heath, saying that a complete lifting of measures risked cases and hospitalisations rising further, potentially leading to more variants that could undermine the vaccine rollout.He also suggested that social distancing and wearing face masks should stay in place for the foreseeable future.

He cautions:
“Relaxing our vigilance now, even after we have had the vaccine, could undo what we have all made huge sacrifices to achieve, patience now will pay off in the long run.”

Yet Boris Johnson is coming under sustained pressure from the libertarian wing of his party, not to mention the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph and last but no means by Andrew Lloyd Webber, to stick to the June 21 “Freedom Day” plan, as they’re calling it, so life can return to ‘normal’.

Wednesday’s Daily Mail sought to offer ‘proof’ below its masthead:

Pages and pages of coverage followed: headlined across a double page on pages 6-7 was ‘DON’T LOSE YOUR NEVER!, with page 7 offering “Here’s all the data you need to end the curbs, Boris”, while page 9 had a commentary piece by David Paton, professor of industrial economics, which claims, “The fact is No 1 is infected by its scaremongering propaganda.”

A bit like Fox News and its direct appeals to an audience of one, namely its most avid viewer Donald J Trump during his tenure in the White House, the Daily Mail is now targeting its coverage entirely, it seems, for the attentions of the Prime Minister. Self-interest is not a pretty thing, yet this is the same paper who for the previous few weeks seemed determined to undermine him with its constant round of damaging reports on Carrie Antoinette, as the Prime Minister’s then-consort, now wife, was quickly dubbed.

They tried the nasty route, now they’re trying to appeal to his emotional side instead.

We know there are no depths that tabloid journalism won’t sink to — as witness bugging the phone of a young murder victim, and her family — but that was one already lost life; immoral, yes, and beyond painful for her survivors. Now the Daily Mail is playing with ALL our lives.

It seems that business, above all, must come first; as the Telegraph’s business pages trumpeted yesterday:

Yes, we’ve been waiting a long time for “freedom day”. But this was never assured: it was, after all, only ever going to be confirmed a week out of when it is due to take effect. Now, as that day rapidly approaches, the question is whether Johnson will now seek to pacify the libertarians, Mail and Lloyd Webber at the expense, in every sense, of a great many potential lives. We already know he’s pretty cavalier about the lives his criminal negligence has led to being lost; pile ’em high, as Dominic Cummings alleges he heard him say, rather than have another lockdown.

Now, it seems, getting audiences in to see Cinderella at full capacity seems to the most important thing to Lloyd Webber, too