We won't beat Covid by channelling Churchill

3 weeks ago

Boris Johnson’s Churchillian language does not impress Richard Teverson, while Katherine Arnott dismisses the prime minister’s appeal to people’s common sense. Plus letters from Patrick Cosgrove and David Boyd Haycock

I, like so many others, am slack-jawed at the incompetence of this government’s response to Covid. Our death rate is terrible and the continued mixed messages from “go to work as you are less likely to be sacked if you are in the office/don’t go to work” and “eat out to help out/don’t eat out, certainly not after 10pm” have exhausted the public and make compliance more unlikely.

And now Boris Johnson insinuates that we have a worse death rate than many countries in Europe because we are “freedom loving” (Follow new Covid restrictions, or risk a second lockdown, Johnson warns, 22 September). I would be so grateful if he could stop this faux Churchillian tub-thumping with pernicious Brexit undertones, hinting that we are better than all of Europe because we love freedom more (the inference being that that is why we have voted to leave all those rule adherents behind). Let’s see how “freedom loving” the prime minister thinks we all are when there are queues of 7,000 trucks in Kent in January as Michael Gove now warns.

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