Wind in Those Necks


In the context of the way in which a lot of people on social media are cranking up the projection of their own anxieties and frustrations about Covid-19 onto our leaders, especially Boris, I thought I would redirect readers to my last article on Country Squire Magazine.

Boris is being predictably assailed from the Left (BBC/Grauniad and Remainers/Rejoiners), but also from the Right (Melanie Phillips, Nigel Farage, Toby Young et al), all of whom seem to think variously that on the one hand he should tell us all what to do and how to behave, and on the other that he is trying to trample over our freedoms and civil liberties. It all boils down to a belief that the government is plotting to undermine ‘us’ through wilful incompetence and/or malice.

In the context of a pandemic about which little is still known, this tells us more about the critics than the leaders. Boris does not have a magic wand and is clearly doing his best to walk the tightrope between locking down for too long and easing it too soon, for example. This is a remarkably complex decision, and sniping from the side-lines is crass, unhelpful and begs the question as to what these know-it-all critics would have been doing?

Try answering this question without the benefit of hindsight, given that foresight is only really tenable when you are dealing with a known quantity. Yet it seems to me that everyone, myself included – especially the scientists – have been all over the place with regard to this virus, which remains invisible, foreign and deadly.

Of course the anti-Brexit Labour Left and their BBC/Ch4/Sky comrades see the virus as an opportunity to undermine and ultimately bring down the government, but then they long since gave up any pretence of respecting democracy if it does not go their way, just as they long gave up being journalists. Trying to make political capital out of a deadly virus is obviously despicable, but it is the only way they can envisage being able to overturn a thumping Tory majority, because they are unlikely to do it via the ballot box anytime soon.

Critics on the Right, however, do not seem to have a handle on how much they are playing into this anti-government agenda. It is all very well to criticise some of the government’s decision-making, but do not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Come clean and be honest about the fears that we all have about the virus, and stop projecting that onto Boris, who after all has first-hand experience of its dangers.

The winding in of churlish, ego-driven, critical necks would be a very good thing at this point and gaining insight into our own contradictory attitudes and postures would be far more constructive and welcome.

Guest Writer Gary McGhee is a semi-retired screenwriter, loving the outdoor life with his partner in the Norfolk countryside. Gary was ‘red-pilled’ before it became fashionable, and believes in liberty, freedom, modernism, and defying herd-mentalities.