When Super Dom arrived fashionably late to his very own Downing Street press conference, Britain shrugged and sighed. Five minutes later and Cliff Richard would have whipped out the mic and led us through a sing-a-long Congratulations.
Dom is a SPAD (that’s special advisor, rather than badly-spelled potato). He wilted during his moment in the sun. Was it really necessary to do a scientifically-unproven eye test on his wife’s birthday by making a 60-mile round-trip to a beauty spot? Who puts their kid in the car when their eyes are weird? Why didn’t his wife, who drives, take the wheel? So many questions, so much indifference. Should’ve gone to Specsavers.
As the internet changed the Government’s advice from ‘Stay Alert’ to ‘Stay Elite’, Super Dom did his best Edith Piaf impression with his version of Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien. And across the UK, people decided that perhaps they would make that trip to the beach after all. A 99, please, with extra strawberry sauce.
While it’s clearly in our best interest to physically distance, the nation’s willpower is shot. If Dom can do it, what’s to stop that BBQ, game of football, visit to the relatives or pint with friends? Our own sense of duty, that’s all. Though our leaders don’t lead by example, the British public is made of sterner stuff.
As we look forward to shops re-opening and wonder who’ll buy a new car during the greatest recession of our lives, we’re already into the next phase. Downing Street press conferences no longer connect, though they were enlivened last week when football pundit Robbie Savage appeared to ask about grassroots soccer.
BoJo ought to introduce a new strategy to keep us engaged, by booking special guests. How about Anton du Beke asking about the re-opening of dance schools, Marco Pierre White giving Matt Hancock a rocket over the continued closure of restaurants and Boycie cutting a ribbon when car showrooms are re-opened.
Post traumatic stress disorder is starting to kick in for medical staff as hospitals gradually quieten. They have seen more death during the past two months than they might across many years. It will take them time to recover.
We must not forget them as we take baby steps on the long road back to normal.