During this pandemic, the government has worked tirelessly to keep us on our toes, catastrophising about the stability of every single aspect of our lives. But that ominously disappointing cohort of men who were all born in the 1960s? They’re fuming.
So, I thought it would be nice to point out for them some top British government mask-off (haha) moments that left Gen X white men in shock as the rest of the country waved goodbye timidly to the rest of our hope, like a goldfish going down the toilet.
- Herd Immunity projected to kill a quarter of a million
The first course of action by our Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock, was simply leaving it alone. The idea was to let the virus travel naturally through the population and let it fizzle out by itself, like Freshers’ Flu or Freshers’ Herpes. Unfortunately, not everybody is up for the adrenaline rush of going to shops and wondering if today is the day that ‘unexpected item in bagging area‘ takes on a whole new meaning.
- The Cobra Meetings to address the crisis
If you are or were a student, chances are you didn’t attend every single seminar you could have. Maybe you routinely didn’t go to any! You might feel guilty about ‘wasting your education’, but don’t worry, Boris backs you!
Michael Gove admitted that Boris Johnson didn’t attend 5 COBRA meetings that addressed the looming pandemic. Thankfully, he explained that it wasn’t the norm for the PM to attend those meetings and someone else would eventually pass on to him what happened. Remember the seminar numbers dwindle throughout the semester until the week before the assessment is due, then it’s a full house. These were those meetings. I’m all for being a disappointment, but in a pandemic? You biffed it, Boris, you biffed it.
- Dominic Cummings’s Highspeed Escapade
One of the PM’s top advisors, Dominic Cummings, not only got matching diseases with Johnson (like the best of friends), but entertained everybody with his story. Cummings carried the virus 260 miles from his London home to Durham without adequate eyesight. Johnson defended Cummings, saying that he was simply following ‘a father’s instinct.’ Boris, baby, we need to talk about optics!
I’m not saying that we should be too judgemental about the moral character of Boris Johnson solely based on his mysterious string of illegitimate children. All I’m saying is that if we look at Johnson’s parenting techniques, a father’s instinct is to leave.
- NHS Pay Rise (or lack thereof)
The colours of your soul are between you and the mirror, but your arse belongs to the people. This country is remarkably good at symbolism. Hero statuses and Thursday clapping. But hold on a second… aren’t the people condemning the NHS protests against the refusal to raise the wages of NHS workers the same ones who were out there every Thursday with their pots, pans, and conga lines? I’ve thought about this and I’ve concluded that the reason behind the government’s inaction and people’s stiff upper lip attitude is the same as when I got bullied at school: it’s character building.
But poor Mark, Steve, and Richard (call him Rich) who are scratching their heads at the prospect that the government does not care about its people. Tell them to look closely at all the women, LGBTQ+ people, ethnic minorities, disabled people, single mothers, the elderly, and poor people who have that certain glaze over their eyes, an otherworldly sombreness about them, a faint smile that points downwards in the corners.
This silent tranquillity is the sigh of exhaustion.