A brazen piece of cant from a brazen cant!

by Pseud O'Nym

Yesterday, like millions of other households, we received a ‘vital update from the government’, the purpose of which was ‘to update you on the steps we are taking to combat coronavirus’

He set the tone from the start, by claiming ‘From the start, we have sought to put in the right measures at the right time.’ The key word here was ‘sought’. Anyone can seek anything, but whether they find it or not is anyone’s guess. It continues, ‘We will not hesitate to go further if that is what the scientific and medical advice tells us we must do.’ Even to me, someone who has studiously avoided the news, I find that palpable nonsense. I read “Private Eye’ and it has been especially critical of the governments belated, confusing, and ultimately counter-productive advice.

The leaflet that accompanies this, with the ronseal inspired title,


is actually, in contrast with the letter, really rather good. It’s informative in an unambiguous way. Anyone with a rudimentary grasp of English could understand it.  Right from the get go, it’s off, ramming home the governments message,

The single most important action you can take is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

And to be fair to the government, having it emblazoned on the podiums used during press conferences, press conferences which are broadcast live and get prominence on news bulletins, their doing everything they can to get the key message out. No-one can possibly be ignorant of them by now, and by keeping it simple, with constant repetition, it’s working.

But it’s the ‘Reverse Meatloaf Principle ‘ inasmuch as he claimed that ‘two out of three ain’t bad’ and after the abject failure to connect with people of’ Strong and Stable’ and ‘Get Brexit Done’, at a time when we need it the most, the government has finally delivered.

It’s just that had this leaflet been sent out some weeks ago, had the government acted in…well a more governmental way, then where we are now could have been avoided.  It sets out what we need to do and what the government is doing to help us do it. However, the social contract we make with the government is that we accept we are a collection of individuals inhabiting the same land mass and in order to continue to do so, we subjugate some of our rights and freedoms to allow the government to act for the benefit of all. One of those benefits is protection. But if it is the very government charged with protecting us that isn’t, does it mean the social contract is null and void?

I end on a piece of such brazen cant written by a brazen cant.

Boris’s Johnson ends his letter ” I want o thank everyone who is working flat out to beat the virus, in particular the staff in our fantastic NHS and care sector across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.” That would be the NHS that has been systematically hollowed out and underfunded by this and previous governments on the altar of profit? That would be the care sector that is close to collapse because of an increasing demand yet funding cuts. “It has been truly inspirational to see our doctors, nurses and other carers rise magnificently to the needs of the hour.”  That would be the junior doctors who a previous Conservative Health minister was engaged in a long running and bitter dispute with over hours, pay, and working practices. And not content with rattling their cage, thought he’d try again with consultants. That would be the nurse who recently went on strike in Northern Ireland. And the carer’s who barely make minimum wage?

His thanks won’t pay their bills, they can’t be used at a supermarket checkout to buy food or be used as a means of exchange or barter. Basically, his thanks sum up his entire handling of the coronavirus crisis, totally useless.