Boris Johnson ends Covid as a ‘me problem’ and makes it a ‘you problem’

The prime minister’s overriding imperative – you could tell by the very many times he said it – is to “move from universal government diktat to relying on people’s personal responsibility”. He’s basically had enough of making all the decisions, and wants someone else to have a go. Absent an obvious single candidate, he’s throwing it on to all of us.

Zoe Williams (extract)

In one way, it’s a relief, since his diktats were always so hit and miss; and yet it was a little unsettling to hear his rationale. “We must be honest: if we can’t reopen society in the next few weeks, we must ask ourselves, when will we be able to return to normal?” At least technically, it’s the middle of summer. We’re outdoors, schools will have their holiday “firebreak”, winter is when the virus is at its most powerful, so if not now, when? He sounds much more like a guy in B&Q, who’s just lost patience with looking for the right shade of white – what do you want him to do, go to Homebase? – than he does like a man carefully weighing up the intricate and often incomparable risks and benefits as have been produced for him by the nation’s finest minds. Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance, two of those very minds, flanked him with almost palpable reluctance.

One thought on “Boris Johnson ends Covid as a ‘me problem’ and makes it a ‘you problem’

  1. Fortunately, as recent history shows, the average Brit is not at all selfish or stupid and has a very highly-developed sense of social responsibility – so I am highly confident that Boris’ expectation that Brits will continue to wear masks in crowded situations in order to protect the health of others, even the anti-maskers, are well founded. This is clearly yet another of Boris’ well thought through decisions, and Covid infections will not increase as a consequence of this decision.

    Anyway, I am off to the moon now in order to sample their excellent Gorgonzola and Stilton cheeses.


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