It turns out the unworkable app for following people around and telling them if they have been in close proximity to someone with coronavirus is unworkable. It works in South Korea, it was said, because people more-often-than-not do what the government tells them.
Before lockdown the emails that I received from kid’s school were usually about school dinners, lunchtime drum lessons or costume requirements – which I would ignore until 8.45am on the day they were needed and then swear about.
While we’re at it, let’s extend the health surcharge to other parts of our lives. If your immigrant plumber shows up on time and fixes your radiator, charge him for having the cheek to keep his word
Read in the Independent
Will re-opening some schools put children or their teachers at risk?
Boris Johnson may, formally, be prime minister of the United Kingdom – a title he plainly cherishes, words he must roll around his palate like a fine aged port – but it should be dawning on the rest of us that he is really only the pandemic prime minister of England.
Officially, the new strategy is “personal responsibility” and “good, solid British common sense”, as our prime minister colourfully describes it; unofficially, operation blame the public is well under way.
Is Vitamin D an under-appreciated weapon in the fight against Covid-19?
Instead of comparing ourselves to other countries, let’s try planets. Each day, Michael Gove can whip out a picture of Saturn and say: ‘It’s full of ice and gas, the UK is doing much better than that’
Read in the Independent
The prime minister is handling coronavirus so badly now, he makes even his most unpopular predecessors look public-spirited
Though it majors in killing, the coronavirus certainly enjoys a sideways glance at inequality. In April, we discovered that the British TV show Holby City owned only one fewer working ventilator than the African country Liberia. On Sunday, construction and manufacturing workers were told to get back to work by a man who skived off five consecutive Cobra meetings during a wildly mushrooming global epidemic. Five! Boris Johnson couldn’t even be bothered to turn up and grip the government’s crucial early response to a deadly virus – are we supposed to believe he’d be rushing back to finish a loft extension out of civic duty? He’s not even prime minister out of civic duty.
Still, that’s showbiz. You miss one universal credit meeting and your benefits are stopped; you miss five Cobra meetings and you get to address the nation on its working responsibilities from a drawing room so vast you’d need a hansom cab to traverse it. (When are we de-furloughing the hansom cabbies? I don’t care if they are dead and from the 19th century: that’s hardly a bar to this government assessing them as fit for work.)
It is mid-May. You now cannot optimise for both safety and the economy
Cormorants are hunting fish in the now clear waters of Venice. Wild boars roam the avenues of Barcelona and wild goats the streets of Llandudno. Above Los Angeles are blue skies. From smogless Delhi, you can once more glimpse the Himalayas.