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Were we all hoodwinked over lockdowns?

DIB boss Frank Mckenna asks: Could a more common sense, less draconian approach to the pandemic have been adopted? Could the catastrophic impact on the economy, kids education and mental health have been avoided? Certainly, from what Sue Gray tells us, the staff at 10 Downing Street don’t appear to have seen COVID as the deadly virus they had us believe.

The #partygate scandal rumbles on, with the publication of the long-awaited Sue Gray report confirming what many of us have assumed for months. Parties were regularly held at Number ten, lockdown rules were not just broken, but flagrantly ignored, and the prime minister, despite his protestations to the contrary, knew what was going on, and alongside his senior civil servants encouraged this culture of law-breaking.

If you were among those who had to bury a loved one (like my family), miss out on celebrating a special anniversary or birthday, or were unable to visit and see loved ones, then you have every right to be pissed off. The anger and frustration around this aspect of the PM and his staffs behaviour has been well covered.

However, less attention has been paid to what is the even bigger scandal than the ‘one rule for them’ approach of Downing Street. When all of these parties were taking place, we were told that the measures we were following were essential to prevent the spread of the pandemic. The rules were in place to prevent transmission.

Every one of those party-goers was not only putting themselves at risk, but subsequently everyone they came into contact with- their immediate family, essential workers, and so on. That the PM had been in intensive care having been hit by the virus makes this cavalier attitude toward the rules even more remarkable.

Unless, of course, those making the rules didn’t really believe in the rules. Maybe they recognised that the ‘deadly’ virus was only deadly for specific vulnerable members in our community – largely though not exclusively the over-80s. Perhaps they knew that a common sense approach was enough to ensure that you didn’t get COVID – and that even if you did the impact on you was likely to be no worse than a serious bout of the flu. Indeed, I’d go as far as to say that they thought, and maybe still think, that whereby they were bright enough to adopt a more nuanced approach to the virus, us ‘plebs’ couldn’t be trusted to do so.

You think this gang think everyone is equal to them? Look at the report relating to their scandalous treatment of Downing Street cleaners and security staff.

I’m disappointed, if not surprised, by #partygate. I’m as angry and frustrated that my wife wasn’t able to give her Granddad the send off he deserved. I’m astonished that the PM hasn’t even thought about offering his resignation.

But most of all I’m concerned. Concerned that we have trashed our economy, impacted massively on our kids education, and created a mental health pandemic, by adopting draconian lockdown rules that I’m increasingly convinced were not actually necessary.

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