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Letter: Forget Politics, Blame Those People Who Defied the Safety Rules

Published on: 20 Dec, 2020
Updated on: 20 Dec, 2020

From: Dave Middleton

In response to: Stuck in Tier 4, So Lib Dems Ask, Now What Government Help Do We Get?

The only people in the UK to blame for this situation are those who chose to ignore and defy the rules and guidance given from the start by the government and the scientists, updated as the situation evolved and more knowledge of the virus was gained.

The blame rests on people who, without good cause, chose not to wear a face covering, those who chose not to use the free hand sanitiser in shops and public buildings, those who congregated in large groups, had street and house parties, attended raves and marched in protests, for whatever cause.

People who can’t even manage to understand they need to keep their distance from others, these are the ones to blame for the situation we find ourselves in now.

Cheap political point-scoring, by any party in this situation, is not helpful and serves only to make me less likely to vote for them. I really don’t think any government of this country, of whatever political ideology, could have dealt with this situation any better.

What do you want to do ?

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test 4 Responses to Letter: Forget Politics, Blame Those People Who Defied the Safety Rules

  1. Paul Jarvis Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 8:38 am

    I think Mr Middleton has quite a selective memory. It was only in the summer where we were being paid to “Eat out to help out”, encouraged back to the office and forcing crowds in the street with the scientifically illiterate 10pm curfew.

    Each of these decisions was purely political and therefore it is absolutely correct to question the political leadership. It is far too easy to lay the blame at the rule-breakers but the rule makers do not absolve themselves of responsibility. SAGE themselves highlighted in September that adherence to self-isolation was 15-25%, largely because people could simply not afford to stay away from work and so better support was needed, it never came; the scientists gave the advice and the politicians ignored it.

    I would also suggest that many governments, of varying ideologies, have demonstrably dealt with both the health and economic side of the crisis significantly better than ours has.

    • Dave Middleton Reply

      December 23, 2020 at 8:18 pm

      I disagree. The summertime ‘Eat out to help out’ scheme, along with the encouraged return to work, along with the limited opening of pubs and bars was, I believe, intended to both help the country’s economy and help businesses in the hospitality sector, which has suffered dreadfully, to survive. Those decisions were economic, not political and, to a degree, an attempt to bring a little normality back into peoples’ lives after the first lockdown.

      The government was attempting a balancing act, between normality and restriction.

      As for crowds congregating in the streets after the various premises closed at 10.00pm, that shows the foolishness of the people concerned. Rather than hanging about in the street, they should have exercised a little personal responsibility and simply made their happy way home, keeping their distance from others. No-one compelled them to hang about in large groups, they chose to do so.

      As for government support, the government has been paying some 80% of a good number of peoples’ wages for almost a year now and this is set to continue into next spring at least. Businesses have been given, albeit too slowly, support in terms of business rate rebate where appropriate. It is a fact, that while sadly some businesses have been, and are, suffering, others are apparently thriving.

      As for the successes or failures of other country’s governments, in dealing with the pandemic, every country and its people are different. The compliance of their people, the degree of enforcement action, and how authoritarian those governments are will all make a difference, for better or worse.

      Despite the many faults in this country, I am generally happy with the typically light touch of governments of all persuasions, over the years.

    • Dorothy Allan Reply

      December 30, 2020 at 3:45 pm

      I agree. There is a family in Ripley who have ignored the rules from day one. Even though we are in Tier 4 their son and daughter have been regular visitors, without masks, keeping distance etc.

  2. David Roberts Reply

    December 21, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Mr Jarvis is right that this is not a matter of political ideology but of competence.

    On Wednesday, the PM was mocking the Leader of the Opposition for “wanting to cancel Christmas”, confirming the 5-day Christmas break.

    Just three days later, when that was sensibly scrapped, the Health Secretary attacked the public at St Pancras for being “totally irresponsible”. But how are people supposed to react to such ducking and weaving? Why couldn’t the promise of a Christmas relaxation have been made highly conditional in the first place, and the public put on their guard? Even without an NHS, many other countries are doing better.

    Perhaps we should rejoice that, now that “Global Britain” is a pariah nation, literally cut off from the rest of the world, the impact of a no-deal Brexit on January 1 may hardly be felt. Were mutant viruses and rogue algorithms part of Boris’s cunning plan all along?

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