To whom are they listening?

Trying to predict what this (UK) government will do is a bit of a mug’s game, but I did predict that the “amber plus” policy on returns from France would probably change… about the time the first wave of British passport holders started to come back from their holidays.

We gambled, when we set out for France, that by the time we (hope) to come back, the sands will have shifted – probably several times – and hoped the shift would be in our favour.

There has been a certain amount of bet hedging. I have booked two return crossings: one that gives us time to quarantine and test-to-release, and one that gives us a few extra days over here. Last year, we were forced to return early. On the other hand, my recent experience with fit-to-travel tests and what I’d read on Twitter and in the news means that I have no faith whatsoever in the test-to-release scam.

It goes without saying that this is a government of none of the talents. This privately schooled and Oxbridge (*spits*) educated crowd don’t know what they’re doing and they rely on whoever is whispering in their ears or shouting the loudest from the sidelines for their guidance.

Experts aren’t usually convenient, and the problem with them is that they often contradict each other. So it’s no surprise that the “Experts say…” headlines are often in disagreement with the latest policy. There’s a lot of tappety-tap-tap opinion-having about Covid. I have to say, it’s probably been a bit of a secondary pandemic, the opinions-having. Still waiting for those transformations of cities, workplaces, etc. we were promised by the commentariat last year.

And this is the Conservative party, so obviously it’s their donors they listen to, the people with the bags of cash. And this is where it gets hilarious, because the bags of cash are in conflict with each other. On the one hand, the scam-mongering private health testing and chumocratic supply contracts. On the other, the travel and tourism industry. On the one foot, the vaccine producing pharmaceutical industry; on the other, the hospitality sector. They’ve all, to an extent, got an interest in opening up and lowering restrictions. But then there’s the rest of industry, who rely on the National Babysitting Service to provide free childcare for their hard-pressed employees. So if the government opens up and the vaccines don’t stop the hospitals filling up and the schools have to close again… it’s howls of protest all the way down.

As the news came through that France was “amber plus”, we had just boarded the Eurotunnel train.

A quick calculation, and I said, “We’re in the first wave of school holiday travellers: a lot of them will be going home in a couple of weeks, and then the moaning will start.” This became even more obvious when it became clear that the Beta variant of concern wasn’t really such a problem in mainland France, and it was just a question of a face-saving interval of time. Still, all those employees not going back to work right now because of having to quarantine, I’m sure telephone calls were made.

Here we are then, off the amber plus, but this is a bit like England scoring too quickly in the final. Another two weeks and England swings like a pendulum do.

And not in a good way.


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