To be fair, it could be worse. We could be in the Southern Hemisphere. We could be in New Zealand, listening to St Jacindra declare ‘Take all non-government information with a grain of salt…dismiss anything else. We will continue to be your single source of truth.’ Or we could be in Australia. You’ve got to feel some sympathy for the Aussies; they’ve had a rotten eighteen months of it. The terrible, devastating bushfires at the end of 2019 were bad enough; and barely had the country had time to recover before it was placed under house-arrest as the government pursued a ‘Zero Covid’ policy that turned the nation into a sealed-off police state – and as things stand, the situation is not getting any better. If cases rise again and one man in his 80s dies with coronavirus symptoms, a whole city can be plunged into fresh lockdown. In fact, even the police state label doesn’t entirely suffice now; perhaps a militarised zone would be a better description, with 300 troops dispatched to the streets of Sydney as five million people who’ve already been confined to quarters for five weeks face extended imprisonment, legally required to wear masks outdoors and unable to venture farther than three miles from their front doors. Who thought Australia would come full circle, eh? Once a penal colony…

We’re not there yet, but who knows? It often feels like the wildest nightmarish scenario one could envisage is not beyond the realms of possibility anymore. After all, democratically-elected governments across the Western world have belatedly realised their totalitarian potential and are having the time of their lives. Not so far from here, Napoleon Macron has pushed through Covid passports as a requirement to enter bars, cafés, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and (probably) brothels; Monsieur President also plans to extend this to shopping centres. It doesn’t take a great stretch of the imagination to picture certain overnight Francophiles gazing across the Channel with envious eyes and taking notes. ‘It’s a little bit of coaxing and cajoling,’ says the Cabinet’s resident Alpha Male, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, of the French approach to vaccine blackmail – with barely-concealed admiration.

Raab’s Cabinet colleague Michael Gove weighed-in this week with the kind of brazen comment that only those who’ve already gotten away with murder feel confident enough to say in public free from fear of comeback. And it even had a strangely moralistic tone to it. Receiving lectures on morality from a coke-snorting, wife-cheating, back-stabbing, self-serving little creep like Michael Gove is a bit like hiring Ian Brady and Myra Hindley as babysitters – I mean, you just wouldn’t, would you? Yes, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster branded those who have chosen not to submit to the vaccine as ‘selfish’. Sorry, wherever you stand on the vaccination issue, drawing the line at Gove as moral oracle should be a must for anyone with their head screwed on. It’s perhaps testament to his ego and chronic lack of awareness as to how disliked he is that he imagined airing such an opinion would somehow provoke a rush to the nearest vaccination centre rather than having the opposite effect. I’m reminded of the old Bill Hicks routine on celebrities telling the public not to take drugs. Yeah, the First Lady says ‘don’t do it’; what’s the first thing you want to do?

Besides, there’s no real need for ‘Govie’ to intervene; the authoritarian administration he proudly belongs to has effectively introduced Covid/vaccine passports through the back door, anyway, so he should be a happy man. The infamous NHS app has now had a ‘domestic’ section added to it, one that reads ‘You may need to show your NHS Covid Pass at places that have chosen to use the service’. This new addition to the mobile surveillance machine in your pocket enables businesses to use it as a means of finding out if anyone crossing their threshold is double-jabbed or unclean – a voluntary option at the moment, though the threat in the air is of mandatory use come the autumn, when it will be a necessity to gain access to nightclubs and the like. Health Secretary Sajid ‘Double-jabbed’ Javid – fresh from self-isolating, funnily enough – has gushed, ‘As we cautiously reopen society, vaccines will allow you to get back to the things you love and have missed during the pandemic.’ As long as you provide your papers, of course – which means we’re not going back to the things we love and missed during the pandemic.

Dominic Raab has issued the strongest hint yet that passports will be required as of September where certain venues are concerned. Who seriously thinks it will end there, though? In the latest phase of the shameless operation to coerce and bully some of society’s least-vulnerable-to-Covid citizens into being jabbed, Raab also hinted passports may be compulsory in order for students to attend in-person lectures and even reside in halls of residence. Lest we forget, very few students attended any in-person lectures at all last year, yet were still charged the full extortionate whack for receiving online tutorials they could’ve probably found on YouTube for nothing; and many halls of residence were transformed into effective prison camps during the first lockdown. The threat of taking all that away from them hardly serves as a great incentive to get vaccinated. At the same time, however, I’m surprised all students haven’t been jabbed by now, for the most dedicated mask-wearers and seemingly susceptible subjects of Project Fear to my eyes are that very demographic.

When Raab was asked if similar proposals would apply to the workplace, he’d already been pre-empted by the likes of Amazon, whose enlightened and benign treatment of their workforce is world-renowned. They’ll apparently be required to be vaccinated once all their warehouses are fully up and running again. Meanwhile, considering care homes were the major casualties of the Government’s initial botched approach to combating the coronavirus, perhaps it’s not surprising staff in such environments were the first to fall under the mandatory vaccine edict, even if it does feel a bit like locking the door of an empty stable. For months, Ministers have repeatedly emphasised passports for domestic use would not be introduced – and evidence via their screen-grabbed Tweets is a regular fixture of social media at the moment; but they’re led by a serial liar, so any statements of that nature mean jack shit.

If jabs become a compulsory requisite in all workplaces, it will sum up this post-lockdown faux-freedom in a nutshell; after being forced out of the workplace and left with little choice but to do their job from home (regardless of whether this was a conducive environment), many workers now being suddenly ordered back to a set-up they’ve become utterly detached from are informed that this joyous return will also come with a caveat. Yet, it seems one could be jabbed a dozen times a day every day till the end of time and that still wouldn’t prevent the pingdemic disrupting the workforce. The current noticeable gaps on the supermarket shelves uncomfortably reminiscent of the panic-buying phase of Lockdown I are apparently due to the rising number of workers self-isolating courtesy of being pinged into exile from polite society by the Covid NHS app – 600,000 alerts were aimed at users in just one week a fortnight ago.

Anti-vax 5G fruitcakes aside, fear of the vaccine can be viewed as an unforeseen side-effect of the panic propaganda that has been pumped into the collective bloodstream over the last year-and-a-half as much as all the opposite manifestations of illogical paranoia can be. But however ridiculous to opposing camps the other side’s fears may appear, those fears are real to those who feel them – and this is the legacy of the mess we’re in. Terrifying people into compliance and then adding to the myriad divisions that were already in place thanks to the likes of Brexit and Identity Politics may make running countries easier from the perspective of governments; but what all this is doing to a way of life that world wars were fought to preserve is incalculable.

© The Editor




Bisto KidsScent – that was what hit me yesterday. The scent of fruit and the scent of veg; the scent of freshly-baked buns and bread; the scent of girls walking past with their perfume reminding me what women smell like – indoor odours I haven’t inhaled on foreign soil for over a year. My sinuses weren’t even smacked by any unseemly B.O., which has long been a traditional and unfortunate by-product of venturing into a supermarket during a Great British heat-wave. To set foot in an interior outside of my home and not have the ability to smell my surroundings utterly constrained by a bloody mask was intoxicating as I became reacquainted with a sensation I’d been denied for too long; what a relief it was to expose this neglected sense to something other than my own breath. In fact, it’s frightening how quickly and effectively I had forgotten the aroma of freedom of choice; like the sudden restoration of so much we’ve been deprived of since the first lockdown, being reunited with such a simple gift it’s so easy to take for granted is something worthy of celebration – even if the awareness that this particular democratic right will probably be taken back with the same speed it was stolen in the first place remains uppermost amidst the celebration.

For me, being forced to cover my nose and mouth impacted more than any other Covid measure. Social distancing I could deal with, not being especially fond of crowds or being claustrophobically crammed into a confined space with other sardines; the initial queuing outside a shop I could deal with, as Brits have all had to queue somewhere at one time or another and are good at it; not being able to receive visitors or indulge in hugs I could deal with, as most of my friends being scattered across the country already negates playing regular host – and no longer being intimate enough with anybody anymore meant an embrace was but a memory, anyway. Add the difficulties I’ve long had breathing through my nose, and the prospect of having to hinder my breath via a suffocating cloth whenever I stepped into any indoor arena bar my home essentially stopped me going anywhere unless I absolutely had to. Yesterday, for one brief brilliant moment, monochrome Kansas was transformed into Technicolor Oz; that I could even utter such a statement about something so seemingly trivial perhaps shows just how deep the most apparently innocuous privation has cut over the last year.

Whipping off a mask as soon as I step out of a shop has been the usual routine since face coverings were imposed on shoppers, but smell dissipates in the great urban outdoors, where the black hole of traffic fumes swallows up individual odours. It’s different when you set foot in a supermarket, when smell has less escape routes; yes, it’s no great surprise viruses do better indoors when one thinks of all that breath circulating with nowhere to go. But the status of a mask as little more than a psychological comfort blanket is pretty well established now, so there was no way I was going to wear imaginary armour when it was no longer mandatory. I saw perhaps half-a-dozen fellow shoppers prepared to take the plunge, which was a relief. I almost felt a shared sense of kinship there, an unspoken, nodding recognition and admiration of their determination not to submit now they could no longer be fined for resisting. After all, I’d had silly images of walking into Sainsbury’s sans-masque and being chased straight out again by a pitchfork-carrying masked mob calling me a granny-killer.

Granny’s mouth remained covered, which was to be expected; but the vast majority of shoppers I saw were no older than 25 and very few of them were uncovered. Living in a large student area means visiting a supermarket on ‘Freedom Day’ is a good barometer of how the young are actually reacting to the loosening of restrictions. Despite the MSM stereotype of young ‘uns as irresponsible ravers partying like it’s 1989 even when the rest of the country is masked-up and socially distanced, what I witnessed yesterday were fully paid-up consumers of Project Fear not willing to risk it. Considering the latest Covid Passport U-turn by the Government, it’s no surprise. Youth – a demographic least susceptible to the lethal elements of the coronavirus – are now in their sights. After months of denial that such a corruption of a free society will ever be contemplated, Boris announced yesterday that ‘proof of a negative test will no longer be enough’; taking a leaf out of President Macron’s book, the PM said that once all over-18s have had the opportunity to be double jabbed, full vaccination will be required to gain entry into nightclubs and ‘other venues where large crowds gather’. Looks like Freedom Day was so called because it marked the day when freedom was outlawed as a right. Show me your papers indeed.

Compulsory vaccination is something I’m sure many would approve of, and even though the powers-that-be haven’t quite crossed that line, by preventing anyone from approximating a normal social existence without the jab they’re essentially forcing perpetual vaccines on everybody who isn’t a professional hermit. Under this prohibition of life, don’t be surprised if new ‘speakeasies’ begin to appear as what used to be the kind of freedoms the citizens of Eastern Bloc countries viewed with envious eyes go underground in the very nations that used to boast of them as a selling point. If a Covid Passport is produced as a physical object rather than a mere app, will we eventually see them being publicly set alight as happened with draft cards during anti-Vietnam War demonstrations? And will those caught on camera burning them be denounced and demonised as the ‘long-haired’ draft-dodgers were by the American MSM in the mid-60s, before Walter Cronkite’s damning indictment on the conflict in 1968 helped turn the tide of mainstream opinion in the direction of the anti-war movement?

Interestingly, the Liberal Democrats have stuck their necks on the line and come out against Covid Passports. Could this be another small step on the road returning the party to the role of a credible alternative? If the Lib Dems can successfully rein in their Woke elements (in a way the Labour Party seems incapable), perhaps. I personally hope so, because British politics desperately needs an alternative now more than at any other time I can ever remember; and if it has to be a party with a hell of a lot to answer for over the past ten years, so be it; not one of them can cover themselves in glory based on their record in the last decade, anyhow, and we don’t have much in the way of choice at the moment. It’s a shame there are such a small amount of Lib Dem MPs, as it means the likes of the chronically-annoying Layla Moran has a higher profile than she deserves; but name me a mainstream political party that doesn’t have its fair share of embarrassing aunts and uncles. Maybe we just notice the Lib Dems’ madwomen in the attic because there are so few Lib Dems to go round.

There are some who say it’s no big deal to have to wear a mask, just as there are some who feel it’s no big deal to be double jabbed; both things are seen as a transaction in the cost of freedom, a freedom that we have never previously had to pay for; also, the popular opinion lingers that this is a necessary sacrifice to be made at an unprecedented moment in recent history. But wartime restrictions should be scrapped when the war is over. Yes, Covid-19 is still with us, but it always will be; whether through natural immunity or regular vaccination, we shall have to live with it forever. There will never be a time now without coronavirus cases, and placing such heavy emphasis on them when deaths are dwindling is blatant fear-mongering to justify further curtailments of civil liberties. We cannot allow emergency restrictions such as the ones we’ve had to deal with for over a year to become the default government response to any crisis. Whichever side of the divide you reside in, we’re all entitled to be the Bisto Kids if we want to.

© The Editor




HellraiserMost new words that appear out of nowhere are as irritating and annoying as the people that constantly use them; others, however, may have a brief shelf-life but nevertheless sum up a moment with jaded genius. ‘Smombies’ was one such word that had its moment around five years ago, coined to perfectly describe the Smartphone junkies who can’t avert their gaze from their precious appendages even when strolling down the street. And now another new ‘un has materialised that splendidly sums up a phenomenon that is entirely contemporary and couldn’t have existed as recent as this time last year – ‘Vaxhole’. The accompanying definition reads ‘One who has been fully vaccinated for the Covid-19 virus and brags about it. Two weeks after that second shot and the Vaxhole is posting selfies from a Cancun bar.’ Whoever came up with Vaxhole – and I only saw it myself as a screen-grabbed post on a forum – I salute you. It’s a word that was badly needed.

The fad for people feeling the need to advertise their stint at doing something millions of other people have done, as though it’s something utterly unique and worthy of applause, is just the latest extension of commonplace trends that have long been prevalent across social media. It’s a mix of virtue-signalling and the self-important celebration of the mundane familiar to anyone who regularly uses Facebook or Twitter; whether temporarily adopting the flag of whatever happens to be the cause of the week (What’s it to be – the EU or Palestine?) as one’s FB profile picture or posting maps of one’s location if out for a meal (and an image of said meal), it’s basically pure ‘look at me’ narcissism. I’m sure there are already T-shirts and baseball caps on the market that say something along the lines of ‘I’ve Had the Vaccine’; the banal conceit of such a statement contains the same twee, infantile vacuity of those badges on children’s birthday cards that say ‘I am 7’, yet simultaneously throws down an aggressive gauntlet, challenging someone else to declare they haven’t had the Vaccine.

To paraphrase a tweet I saw a couple of days ago, when did vaccinations cease to be about protecting one’s self – which is surely their purpose – and instead become all about protecting others? If you haven’t had the vaccine, you’re to blame for every dead granny (rather than a government that flooded care homes with infected pensioners, of course); regardless of whether your own personal constitution actually requires vaccinating against Covid, to even contemplate your body as your property – which has always been the pro-abortion argument, for example – is somehow regarded as treasonous in some quarters. The politicisation of this coronavirus, which seemed to begin around a month before Lockdown I, is now so engrained that it almost feels as though it’s yet another string on the bow of the Culture Wars, another missile to be hurled across the barricades at the evil opposition; to proudly display one’s vaccine cattle branding is as political a gesture as demanding people be placed under house arrest was a year ago, just something else that acts as evidence of the good guys’ righteousness and virtue.

I guess, as with everything else that has been unnecessarily politicised during the post-2016 period, politicising the vaccine does no favours for either side of the argument; it gives over-exposure to the fanatics in both camps so that minority extremist opinions are portrayed as representing everyone either in favour of or opposed to mass vaccination, negating nuance and neutralising all debate in the process. Black & white heroes and villains make for better copy, I suppose. A Covid vaccine of some sort was undeniably required for those most vulnerable to the virus, whether that vulnerability stemmed from old age or (to borrow a once-overused term) those with ‘underlying health conditions’. It was a given that few would dispute. To those susceptible to the virus, Covid was (and remains) deadly. But now that the advertising campaign for the vaccine has been extended to include the world and his wife – regardless of however healthy, young and barely at-risk from Covid they might be – to question the real need for it beyond the vulnerable has almost acquired the medieval heretical status of denying the existence of God.

We are not yet at the stage whereby people who have decided they don’t need the vaccine are being physically forced to submit to it, but there is certainly immense subliminal pressure to conform being channelled through MSM and online outlets 24/7. Again, the decision whether or not to receive the vaccine is now no longer an act of autonomy based upon what the individual believes is personally best for him or her, but what is best for everyone else. That seems a fittingly collectivist attitude for a virus that was gifted to the world by a Communist super-power.

Project Fear has convinced many that anyone who happens to be vaccine-free should basically be exiled to a leper colony, prevented from interacting with anyone who has had the jab – even though anyone who’s had it should, in theory, be safe from being contaminated by somebody who hasn’t. Whether or not the vaccine-free actually have Covid or not is all-but academic to this mindset. Some of the fire & brimstone death wishes aimed at the vaccine-reluctant sound depressingly similar to the deranged curses placed upon Leavers by Remainers barely a couple of years ago, which shows how the coronavirus and its vaccine have been reduced to the latest chapter in an ongoing saga we’ve been living for five years now. The ‘vaccine passport’ is another symptom, another tool of pressure to force doubters into submission by preventing them from venturing anywhere farther afield than their local high-street if they dare to question perceived wisdom. It’s little more than glorified emotional blackmail.

Anyone travelling to countries in Latin America, Africa or Asia where malaria is rife naturally takes precautions against the disease via pre-journey shots; but receiving anti-malaria jabs if one won’t be visiting any of those countries would be rightly viewed as a pointless exercise. Similarly, when it comes to anyone whose work is undertaken in claustrophobic and crowded environments that are prime Petrie dishes for super-spreading, it probably makes as much sense for them to receive the Covid vaccine as it would for the elderly, the ill and the party animal whose social life entails close contact with hundreds of people. If none of those scenarios apply to an individual who is in general good health and is not routinely susceptible to influenza or the common cold, should he or she then be pressurised into receiving a vaccine they don’t necessarily need simply to satisfy the demands of wider society?

The latest variant, which we all knew would come along right at the very moment when restrictions were poised to be lifted, is being painted as the sole obstacle between freedom and backtracking towards lockdown; encouraging a close examination as to how the Indian Variant has been allowed to spread despite all the restrictions might expose a few uncomfortable truths, so the vaccine-resister is thrust into the firing line – the perfect patsy for all those understandably frustrated by the thought of going through it all over again. And anyone who dies courtesy of this variant will therefore have been killed by someone who decided their own physical health was robust enough to negate vaccination.

Whether or not a person chooses to take out a full-page ad on social media declaring they’ve had the vaccine or whether they’ve received it and decide to keep that fact to themselves should be up to them; having to nail one’s colours to one more mast – as was deemed essential during the Brexit Wars – just takes us back to divide & rule, pitting people against each other in angry little groups because it’s so much easier to manipulate them that way. A vaccine should not be a political or ideological weapon. It’s just a shame it now is.

© The Editor


DonkeySad but true: Cynicism is now so entrenched as the default response to each public utterance by a politician that we naturally expect them to go back on virtually every statement they make. If one week a Minister says ‘We will not be doing this’, we express little surprise when, come the following week, they do precisely what they’d told us they wouldn’t be doing the week before. This acceptance of how language is so casually abused inevitably enables those who abuse it to carry on abusing it as though to do so is perfectly normal and nothing to feel any shame about. Even when confronted by evidence of their current claim contradicting their previous one, the politician will simply abuse the language further by pretending what was said before actually equates with what is being said now. I don’t really want to quote Orwell yet again, because it’s almost become a pointless exercise on a par with highlighting the religious affiliation of the Pope or the toilet habits of bears in their natural habitat. It’s long been a given that politicians lie, but it’s now also a given that it’s perfectly acceptable and nobody gives a flying f**k anymore anyway. We anticipate nothing less from the political class.

It’s like emphasising to a child the wrongness of eating a chocolate biscuit on the eve of a meal, then standing back and watching as the child scoffs a Twix five minutes before dinner is served; we video the incident, play it back to the child, the child denies it ate the Twix and then repeats the action again before mealtime the following day. And we say nothing. We say nothing because we don’t believe saying something makes a difference. How many marched to stop the invasion of Iraq all those years ago? Opposition was recorded, yes; and the invasion went ahead anyway. I’ve a feeling the unprecedented scale of that protest may have galvanised a generation into direct action whilst simultaneously killing the belief that direct action achieves anything. In its own way, the 2003 Iraq march was as historically significant as the Aldermaston walkabout in 1958 – and just as ultimately futile.

We now have a tenant of No.10 who has made a career of contradicting himself, a Prime Minister surrounded by a cabal of contradictors similarly schooled in such linguistic bullshit. If one were to play devil’s advocate, one could attempt to place the unique circumstances confronting them in the context of a pretty freak scenario for which there are few post-war precedents, therefore justifying the shifting sands upon which they stand; however, at the same time, one could equally argue the pandemic has provided them with the excuse to say one thing one day and the contrary thing the next, free from forensic examination. Their inconsistencies can be bracketed alongside the constantly mutating virus itself, never standing still and presenting the public with an ever-changing position that mirrors the unstable nature of our times. That is somewhat letting them off lightly, though, just as it lets off Sir Keir Starmer as he unpicks a fresh set of splinters from his backside after a year of sitting on the fence.

The Leader of the Opposition – and Opposition is up there with the most abused words in the political lexicon of late – has recently stirred from his pusillanimous slumber to indicate there might actually be a Government policy he dares to disagree with. Let’s face it – it must be something bad for the plastic man to show something resembling a human spine; and it is. After months of repeatedly denying so-called ‘vaccine passports’ will play a part in the lifting of lockdown restrictions, the ruling party has obviously gone back on this and is now advocating presenting one’s papers not merely to actual passport officials at airports and seaports, but when seeking to be served in a pub or restaurant or gain access to a sporting or musical event once they resume. It goes without saying that additional instruments of Project Fear propaganda posing as opinion polls have already given a tacit thumbs-up to this latest U-turn, and I’ve no doubt a vast majority of the masses have greeted the news in the same way they greeted the imposition of masks as a mandatory measure – mildly annoying, but we’re all in this together, so let’s sacrifice personal civil liberties for the greater good, eh?

Scare a population half to death by exaggerating the dangers of a virus to which a minority of them are especially vulnerable, then subject them to a year of house arrest, and finally inform them their confinement can end on the condition they submit to the kind of permanent tracking and tracing that the Chinese Communist Party would wholeheartedly endorse. How do you think a weary populace desperate to return to a semblance of normality will respond to the enticing carrot on the end of Boris’s stick? Reports of blood clots as a particularly severe reaction to a vaccine that – lest we forget – didn’t even exist this time last year has now prompted the temporary withdrawal of it and the offer of an alternative to the under-30s; but one can’t help but wonder if under-30s really require a vaccine of any persuasion for actual health reasons or if it’s being administered in order that they’ll be able to function as members of the society that will eventually arise from the post-Covid ashes. Is this to be a two-tier society of ‘the clean’ and ‘the unclean’, a society of the voluntary and the involuntary?

It’s probably just as well that first-hand memories of life under Nazi occupation are rapidly fading, and even the generations raised on the second-hand TV and film reinterpretations are ageing; the old joke German accent demanding to see one’s papers is one largely unfamiliar to those preparing to inherit the Earth, so the prospect of having to show one’s papers in order to procure a pint or simply enter a tavern in the town won’t be accompanied by an impression of Freddie Starr’s impression of Adolph. Those who emigrated to Western democratic societies at a time when the Eastern Bloc was under the Bolshevik boot are also getting on and their offspring have inherited such reminiscences as nothing more than oral heritage for which there is no personal experience. Therefore, any opposition to vaccine passports based upon it being an illiberal, totalitarian abuse of liberties that should be a given in a democracy is, to put it bluntly, the pissing in the wind of a minority with an awareness of a history that is being wilfully erased a little more with every day that passes.

‘Covid status certification’ is the official name for the proposed vaccine passport, and – of course – this will only be a temporary measure, just as social distancing was, just as masks were, just as the lockdown was. Anyway, it’s no big deal, is it? Certainly not if it saves the NHS and keeps granny alive, something ‘Cockers’ would no doubt endorse. I refer there to our beloved Health Secretary. This nickname was reported to me via an old friend whose spouse has spent the past couple of years working in Whitehall; some of her meetings now reduced to Zoom calls have included ‘Cockers’ on the multi-wanker screen. Apparently, one of his chums addressed him as such during a conference, implying a degree of familiarity that reeks of prepubescent hair being spontaneously washed in public school lavatories as an impromptu jape. No doubt the spiffing chap who called Hancock ‘Cockers’ was awarded a million-pound contract to produce packaging for f***ing syringes or something vaguely Covid-related on the strength of this familiarity.

We’re the lucky ones, though. We can remember a time of what now seems increasingly like genuine freedom, not the paper-showing, mask-wearing, social-distancing, tracking-and-tracing, perma-vaccine brand of freedom that ‘Cockers’ proclaimed the Government would cry as soon as the vulnerable had endured their stint as guinea pigs for the jab. As we edge closer to that carrot, formative memories are being forged in nurseries and primary schools, memories deprived of the luxuries we took for granted. And we think we’ve got it bad.

© The Editor