Andy Richardson: 'British public no longer in compliance mode'
The Daily Star can be relied upon to lighten the mood at a time of national crisis.
The snoozepaper regularly splashes on the evils of killer seagulls and once famously ran the headline: Gordon Ramsay Sex Dwarf Found Dead In Badger Sett. Poor badgers.
Now it has portrayed Health Secretary Matt Hancock and Day Tripper Dominic Cummings as the All New Chuckle Brothers: ‘To me, to you, to hell with everybody else…’
Hancock had laughed his way through an inquisition with Sky’s Kay Burley while Dom, well, we all know what Naughty Dom did, don’t we…
Quotations by Ghandi, rather than catchphrases by Barry and Paul Chuckle, might be in the minds of serious journalists. Ghandi famously said: ‘You will never imprison my mind.’ A host of journalists may have had that feeling when they were shut down by BoJo at a Downing Street Press Conference. Their crime? Daring to ask about BoJo’s favourite Day Tripping aide.
At a time when the Government is belatedly turning to track and trace – remember that? – it’s essential that the British public complies. Except the British public is no longer in compliance mode. Day Tripping Dom has made sure of that. In the Tory shires and Brexit-supporting working towns, people believe they’ve been taken for fools. A cursory scan of social media finds legions who won’t sign up to a Government app. Our streets and parks are full of people who’ve abandoned lockdown, perhaps they’re all testing their eyesight by going for a BBQ.
The initial success of lockdown was built on respect – and respect is a two-way street. So in the final analysis, it doesn’t matter whether BoJo shuts down journalists or Dom refuses to apologise; the nation will pay for Dom’s indiscretion with lives. Our R number remains close to one. The virus isn’t bored of transmission, even if the public is bored of the virus.
The effects of covid-19 are becoming clearer. The UK made just 197 cars in April – insert your own Dominic Cummings joke here – which amounts to 0.3 per cent of the normal total. And freelancers are wondering where their next pay cheque comes from as financial support ends.
Across the nation, public toilets have been closed. It’s just as well. The nation is mired in so much debt, it no longer has a penny to spend.