For the moment, there is no politics. Not really, Sure, some are trying to say the current crisis means that capitalism is dead, blah, blah, blah, but no one is really listening. Almost everyone is hoping the government is doing the right thing, even we aren’t sure they are at times. There has been talk in some quarters about a government of national unity to help the country through the current crisis. If we’re at war, the logic of this follows.
Would be a good thing for Labour, I think, a GONU. Worked for Attlee. Harder to say you’re a bunch of people who are going to destroy the country when you’ve just played an active part in saving the country. But there I go, talking about politics again.
Sunak looks like a much more natural leader than Boris. But that isn’t saying a lot. While I hope the prime minister finds his moment to shine, if only for all of our sakes, he hasn’t looked great so far, has he? I don’t think daily press conferences are going to help him either. Yes, the country is still behind him, as they should be. But he looks tired and fed up – which to be fair, he has for most of his premiership thus far. He likes to be the life of the party, not the chap who has to tell the country their grans are going to die. He’s been thrust into a role he seems to feel deeply uncomfortable in.
It doesn’t help that Jeremy Hunt is on the telly all the time, announcing to everyone “Look, everybody, this is the guy you could have had leading the effort out of this crisis instead!” – which, let’s face it, all but the most ardent Boris-lovers have thought at least once this week already.
I sometimes wonder if the reason that there is so little testing of people in Britain to see whether they have CoVid or not is a conscious effort to keep the official tally of infected low. I know this sounds like a conspiracy theory, but hear me out. If the government were doing this – and I have no reason to believe they actually are, it’s just a completely unverified theory – I think there are grounds to justify it as a strategy. What if there really are tens of thousands of people walking around in this country with the virus? What if there are hundreds of thousands? We have an official number of less than 2,000 and still people are panicking like nothing I’ve ever seen. The country has sold out of toilet paper due to a virus that doesn’t even have gastro-intestinal symptoms. We just went out and bought a bunch of loo roll because we collectively lost our minds. Perhaps doing whatever we can to keep a lid on the panic isn’t the worst idea. Again, I don’t really know what is the right strategy here and don’t pretend to know.
Yes, politics is dead. Yet politics goes on. Long live politics. Stay safe, all.
In a few weeks time, I have another book coming out. It’s called “Politics is Murder” and follows the tale of a woman named Charlotte working at a failing think tank who has got ahead in her career in a novel way – she is a serial killer. One day, the police turn up at her door and tell her she is a suspect in a murder – only thing is, it is one she had nothing to do with. The plot takes in Conservative Party conference, a plot against the Foreign Secretary and some gangsters while Charlotte tries to find out who is trying to frame her for a murder she didn’t commit.
Also: there is a subplot around the government trying to built a stupid bridge.
It’s out on April 9th, but you can pre-order here: