Day Two: 'Time to be Churchill the politician, Boris, not the corporate nodding dog'

Contributor: Tony:

“As an address to the nation goes, you wouldn’t be playing Beethoven’s seventh symphony underneath what Boris Johnson told us last night.

Those of you who have seen Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech might get the reference.

Of course, I’ll live with the restrictions imposed and I implore all the readers of this to do the same.

I have imposed my own restrictions since 14th March and I want to live and I want others to live.

I have just lost a friend to this awful disease.  

But once again the prime minister who likes to think of himself as Churchill came over more like Neville Chamberlain rather than his hero. 

He implored us to stand together to support our NHS.

This was the NHS that just weeks ago he refused to categorically rule out would not be sold to Donald Trump (at the very least in part) in a trade deal post-Brexit. 

This is the NHS that austerity decreed had to be starved to beyond breaking point, and which is a major factor in the health crisis that we are now facing, and which could have, in my opinion, led to perhaps a poor initial diagnosing in the case of my now dead friend.  

The chancellor has shown in his recent ‘generosity’ that austerity was always a political rather than a financial one.

I knew that of course. 

So, I’ll live with and respect your restrictions, Mr Johnson, but your hypocrisy as well as the hypocrisy of your party is astounding.

On a practical level, food shopping is going to be a challenge for me. 

I don’t have a car and therefore I am restricted to what I can personally carry given that getting a shopping delivery is like waiting for Christmas; although I do hope I can actually get one before then. 

The prime minister said that we should only go out food shopping “infrequently”.

Once again, it shows how dangerously out of touch the man is. 

In my circumstances, my choices are limited and I’m afraid it means that I shall be shopping (not by my choice I can assure you) frequently. 

I expect to be challenged by the police for this, only I doubt this will be the case because the police are yet another victim of austerity and will not have the resources to tackle every instance of potential non-compliance. 

I bet that there was rejoicing in the offices of chief constables up and down the country when they were informed of one more job that their forces had been given to do. 

There again, perhaps there wasn’t.

But what really got to me, as it has every time I have heard Boris Johnson or his ministers recently, is how unwilling they are to tell business that they will enforce that it is actually not business as usual. 

Within a disgustingly short space of time after the prime minister had spoken, Mike Ashley who (amongst other things) owns SportsDirect announced that his non-essential chain of stores would not be closing as requested. 

Ashley has since made a U-turn through public opinion, but it does show how weak our government is seen in comparison to some others. 

And SportsDirect is just one example.

I reliably know of one local design company that is still telling its staff to come in. 

Is design crucial and essential business in the current situation?

I would suggest that it most certainly isn’t. 

I know that this government represents the interests of business and capital and I shall always regret that many working-class people had the wool pulled over their eyes just over three months ago to be made to think otherwise. 

But if Johnson really believes (I’m pulling a cynical face) that we are all in this together and that his measures need to be adopted everywhere he needs to stop behaving like a capitalist loving elitist and recognise that if we are all really going to get through this he needs to start really leading and not following the wants of his neo-liberal and big business mates and backers. 

Time to be Churchill the politician and not a copy of that advertising Churchill, the corporate nodding dog.” 

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