Andy Richardson: 'The ‘do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ lockdown'

BoJo promised us a world-class test and trace scheme.

Grant Shapps
Grant Shapps

But blondes have more fun, and he didn’t tell us the date at which it would become world beating. Doh.

Having launched it this month, it’s running like a one-legged dog, rather than a four-legged greyhound. The civil servant in charge expects it to be fully operational by, ooh, September or October, about seven months into the crisis.

Our friends in South Korea and Germany have, of course, mastered their systems early on and now have some of the lowest rates in the developed world. Vorsprung Durch Technik, as they say – or, progress through technology.

There are murmurs of discontent and a doctor has quit the NHS over Dominic Cummings’ ‘do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ lockdown. Dr Dominic Primenta believes SuperDom’s behaviour will help to trigger a second wave of infection as people switch off from doing the right thing. He described Cummings’ 60-mile, eyesight-test drive to a beauty spot as a laughable fairytale, which is the view of four out of five Brits.

While the Government advisor makes headlines for all the wrong reasons, the Energiser Bunny that is Grant Shapps is focused on the Government’s ‘we did the right thing at the wrong time’ strategy with facemasks now required on public transport. The Government had previously said they’re not necessary – and got that wrong too. As of two weeks ago, 42 Transport for London workers had died after catching Covid-19 and masks could have saved some of them.

The Energiser Bunny appears to have been following SuperDom’s one rule for us, one rule for them to the letter. Earlier this week, he voted for MPs to return to Parliament, when Parliament had been working perfectly well without them. Then at his press conference, he told people they must work at home if they could – the opposite of what he’d voted for.

Timing is at the heart of the Government’s world-beating death rates and Priti Patel has fallen out with British Airways and others over a quarantine plan – just as countries bring down deaths to double figures. They’re not all as bad as us, Priti.

Happily, Downing Street Press Conferences are cancelled this weekend and Ministers will be working on new schemes. We’re banking on a Paint Your Own Spectacles scheme from SuperDom and a Build Your Own Routemaster Bus scheme from BoJo.

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