Andy Richardson: 'We’re being led by the King of Delusion'

We have to doff our cap to those who do it best.

Boris Johnson
Boris Johnson

The best line of the day goes to another columnist who, reporting on Boris’s press conference with Chris Witty, said this: “We should not have any illusions,” intoned Chris Whitty, standing beside a man who has spent his entire adult life lost in them.

Sad thing is, it’s true. We’re being led by the King of Delusion, a man whose idea of leading sticks the word ‘cheer’ in front of it.

While Boris has done everything but follow the science, ignoring recommendations to act some weeks hence, we appear to be inexorably heading towards a short, sharp lockdown.

Notwithstanding the Prime Minister’s apparent jokes about the delights of not seeing in-laws – totes droll, BoMan, tell us another, yaar yaar yaar – it’s going to be the toughest of winters. It seems the PM neither knows how to protect business nor public safety – his focus would appear to be pleasing the crowds. Hurrah, for the clown prince.

For all the mud slung at Sir Kier Starmer, his call for a half-term lockdown seems eminently sensible. Thousands of lives would be saved. The virus would be suppressed. Short term pain, long term gain. It’s not difficult.

Liverpool is showing us what happens if we leave Covid to fester. On Twitter, there are business owners who need to make £30,000 a week to break even. They’re taking £11,000. They’ll close and lose what they’ve worked decades to build up. Frightening. Saddening. Avoidable. And it’s coming to our towns, unless we act.

Hospitality seems to be bearing the brunt, which is odd, because hospitality is one of the most secure environments in the UK. While those in shops don’t provide track and trace, while those on buses don’t get free sanitiser with their condiments, hospitality takes details for all, socially distances and keeps things clean – while also keeping people in work, particularly the young. The Government seems not to recognise that.

Still, we’re not the planet’s only wonky country. China has insisted that a Genghis Khan exhibit should not use the words ‘Genghis Khan’. How about brutal Mongol killing invader? No. Erm, then Fearsome Slaughterer? Oh, we give up. Still, there’s £64 million for a doomed satellite project and the Europeans are laughing at Boris’s ever-changing final deadlines to fix Brexit. In the end, that’ll come down to fish. To secure a deal, we need a divine intervention from Cod.

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