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By Jason Michael
IN CASE YOU HAVE BEEN somewhere else these past few months, somewhere else like Mars, allow me to fill you in on what has been happening here on planet Earth. Owing to some of the sketchiest food hygiene regulations in the world – or lack thereof, a new kind of killer virus spawned on the blood-soaked floors of a Wuhan wet market and went on a globetrotting adventure, hopping from one human host to another, infecting well in excess of eleven million people. With a terrifying rate of infection and a death rate reaching as hight as eight and nine percent in the worst prepared countries, this microscopic master of mayhem has claimed the lives of some half a million people. Over the past four months, in a fire-break strategy of containing it, about four billion people have been put in lockdown by their governments and the global economy has plunged to levels, quite frankly, we weren’t expecting until the Second Coming.
It may sound far-fetched, but this isn’t a wind up. Google it! The British government, actually thinking its 1940s wartime nostalgia could face-down the threat, thought it could develop some kind of herd immunity and so did the state-wide equivalent of inviting the neighbour kids round for a chicken pox party. Only real problem with this big idea was that COVID-19 wasn’t quite like chicken pox. England’s emergency departments were filled, its intensive care capacity was overwhelmed, and the worst crisis management since forever resulted in people dropping like flies. It is estimated, once the London government’s attempts to massage the ‘official’ figures have been dealt with, that somewhere in the region of 70,000 people in England have lost their lives – most of them unnecessarily, making the United Kingdom the worst affected country in the whole world after Donald Trump’s bampot republic. Yes, all of this happened while you were away.
At today's WHO Information Session, the following Health Ministers and Representatives shared their countries'… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
World Health Organization (WHO) (@WHO) July 02, 2020
Furthermore, just to make matters worse, with over six hundred new cases still being reported daily, the British government has brought England out of lockdown. On Saturday morning – at 6am – English pubs were open and serving thirsty customers who hadn’t seen a drop of drink since the previous night. Pictures from central London draw a shocking image of streets packed with drunk revellers, crowded bars, and about as much social distancing as you’d expect to see in the bursting nets of a full catch pulled aboard the arse of a North Atlantic trawler.
Meanwhile, Ireland – which doesn’t even share a land border with England – has taken steps to ensure the protection of Irish people’s lives by introducing what amounts to a travel ban on traffic travelling between mainland Britain and Ireland. Anyone coming to Ireland from Britain is required to be quarantined for fourteen days, and no one comes to Ireland from England for a fourteen-day long weekend – so this is a travel ban without actually going to the trouble and risking the political fallout of closing the border. In fact, Ireland is not alone in taking this position towards people coming from the UK. Right now, Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, France, most German states, Greece, and Hungary have introduced legislation requiring visitors from the UK to undergo fourteen days quarantine. So, unless you are planning a month on the continent over the summer, you can just go ahead and assume these borders are closed – because they kinda are!
And for the avoidance of doubt, these countries are singling the UK out. Here’s how Politico describes the travel situation with France:
Do arrivals have to quarantine? No. Travelers from most EU countries, EFTA nations (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), as well as Monaco, San Marino, the Vatican and Andorra, are free to travel to France by land, air or sea without having to quarantine or needing to show certificates proving they are COVID-free. Travelers from the U.K. are asked to undertake a 14-day quarantine.
It’s not the case that these countries are picking on the UK. This, as we have described, is a global health emergency. Truth be told, it’s a crisis, and the London government has absolutely refused to take the threat of this disease seriously. So much so, in fact, that Wales – a part of the UK – has deployed its police force along its border with England to ensure only essential traffic is allowed to cross. The only other country with a land border with England, Scotland, has left its border open, and – quite understandably – this has worried many Scots. The Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has coped fantastically well in this crisis, and thanks to the efforts of the Scottish government the disease is being contained and suppressed. Some 2,488 people have died from COVID-19 since 13 March in the country, but no one died from it on Saturday, and no one died from it the day before. There were only eleven new confirmed cases of the virus on Saturday, compared with 185 in England.
Hey Ireland - are we expecting a review to quarantine rules anytime soon? Asking for a friend in the UK who wants to get home!—
Sarah Mulkerrins (@SarahMulkerrins) July 05, 2020
Saturday is important here because on Saturday a small group of concerned Scottish people went to the border and held up a banner to traffic coming north over the border reading: ‘STAYCATION – KEEP SCOTLAND COVID FREE.’ Not a word of a lie, this is true. It’s all over the internet. Look it up. And almost immediately members of the Scottish government – MSPs and MPs – reacted. And what a reaction! Scotland’s Justice Minister, Humza Yousaf, a man touted by many to be the next First Minister and leader of the Scottish National Party – Scotland’s pro-independence party, took himself to Twitter and blasted:
If you are a racist you are no friend of mine and no part of the movement I belong to. Horrible, reprehensible and vile. Luckily these morons don’t represent the Scotland I know and love.
Mother of sweet, divine God! (Note to self: Don’t, whatever you do, start swearing.) Where do we begin with this?! Humza Yousaf is a Scot of Pakistani and Kenyan heritage who, on account of this fact, has been the subject of disgraceful racist abuse and who has been right at the forefront of the fight against racism and discrimination in Scotland, so his opinion on this carries some amount of weight. Getting yourself branded a racist by someone with Humza’s credentials is like being told to pick up your litter by Greta Thunberg – it’s a big deal. But it’s also a massive steaming pile of … (Note: Please refer to the previous note). The closest we get to anything approaching racism is a rather jovial guy in a makeshift hazmat suit and a really cool tartan face mask saying to the camera: ‘Stay the fuck away (Note: That’s a quote. That’s allowed.)’ next to an old bed sheet with ‘KEEP SCOTLAND COVID FREE’ painted on it. It seems clear enough – it’s pretty much the same reste la baise loin the whole of the rest of Europe is saying to England right now!
But sure, it’s only when Scots decide to act like Europeans – like sensible and concerned people – that the cringe comes into operation. Somehow, and as if by magic, when Scottish people act to safeguard their nation’s health and wellbeing this reste la baise loin – which, let’s face it, had it been in France would have been accompanied by a convoy of tractors and a fleet of articulated trucks abandoned on every lane – becomes racism.
If you are a racist you are no friend of mine and no part of the movement I belong to. Horrible, reprehensible and… twitter.com/i/web/status/1…—
Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) July 04, 2020
This wasn’t racism. What this was, was a beautiful execution of nonviolent direct action by people who are living in fear of a deadly virus, and this fear has been contributed to by the failure of the Scottish government to shut our border with England – and please don’t give me that guff about ‘power.’ The Welsh are doing it! Maybe Humza Yousaf was on Mars and managed to miss the view from the ringside, maybe he didn’t see what this disease does to people. I have, and so have 2,488 bereaved families in Scotland. It is not a pretty sight – so this is for you Mr Yousaf: ‘KEEP SCOTLAND COVID FREE’ and ‘reste la baise loin’ are exactly the responses we need to this virus, and, if it’s the fear of being embarrassed by direct action that’s twisting your pants, then maybe you should listen to Martin Luther King Jr. – someone with a fair bit of experience of racism and direct action:
Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored.
Not only are the frightened people of Scotland being ignored by England – the drunkard of Europe, they are also being ignored by their own government in Edinburgh. People want the border controlled, and not for racist reasons, but for sound reasons of public health. Pointing at these people, calling them ‘racist,’ horrible,’ ‘reprehensible,’ and ‘vile’ ‘morons’ from social media platforms with in excess of 100 thousand followers is simply outrageous. You are mocking and humiliating women and men who are doing your job for you – a job the whole of the rest of Europe has done without a second thought. Maybe, if we’re going to be calling people ‘morons’ …
Mr Rogers reminded children of another generation to look for the helpers, and I think this is who I should really be addressing here – the women and men who went out in the wind and the rain to ‘create such a crisis’ and ‘dramatize’ the nation’s fears and concerns. So, this is for the guys and gals who did it:
You are amazing people, and I see you! At the very front of every movement there are brave women and men who stand out and who stand up, who courageously act and inspire action from others. When their governments and leaders play with their thumbs, they stand up and lead – and in time their leaders follow them. This, my friends, is charisma – in the truest sense of the word. Every real turning in the history of human civilisation requires the action and inspiration of charismatic people, and right now in Scotland – our country – this is you! Forget the bampot reactions from people too afraid of the opinions of those who seek Scotland’s harm. I thank you, and I wish – had I be allowed to travel to you – that I could have been there. I would have brought a truck.
Keep up the good work. You are mighty!
Johnson claim of ‘no border’ between England & Scotland is “absurd statement”