Authoritarianism, Failure and Veniality – the story of Covid in the UK

Two quotes from Boris Johnson today on the question of whether people should be travelling to “Amber list” countries:

If people do go to an ‘amber list’ country, they absolutely have to for some pressing family or urgent business reasons. If they go to an ‘amber’ list country, bear in mind they will have to self-isolate. You will have to take tests, do a passenger locator form, but you will also have to self-isolate for 10 days when you get back. That period of quarantine will be enforced with fines of up to £10,000. [1]


We are trying to move away from endlessly legislating for everything, and to rely on guidance, asking people to do the right thing [2]

Well. On the one hand a nasty threat about massive fines (well beyond the reach of most people) and on the other hand “we are trying to move away from endlessly legislating for everything“.

I wish the second one were true. But it is the first, endless, repressive, authoritarian legislation which has characterised this government’s response. It is almost as if they don’t trust the people. Why would that be? Not because they are themselves inherently untrustworthy by any chance?

And while they frighten holidaymakers and people visiting sick relatives with unpayable life-destroying fines they scoop up the profits from PPE contracts. Here [3] for example is the ‘Health’ (rather ‘death’) minister explaining away how he passed on a contact from a political contact to the civil servants commissioning PPE. It would be slightly more plausible if his friend had relevant experience. However his friend’s experience appears to be primarily in finance and he had simply partnered up with a dog food manufacturer. (The key point was probably a contact in China). But the question the media appear not to have asked the Minister for Health to explain is – if it was all so above board why did your chum go via you in the first place – why did he not just use the government website where people could register their willingness to supply directly? [3]

Meanwhile – a world beating death toll – tens of thousands of which were preventable by the simplest of measures – such as protecting old folks homes.



Author: justinwyllie

EFL Teacher and Photographer