Daily Express

Kelly’s Eye

- BY FERGUS KELLY Matthew Hancock · European Union

DUR­ING my fort­night away, we spent some time in New­cas­tle. It’s a crack­ing city and an ideal base from which to tour the beau­ti­ful north- east. What made it a par­tic­u­lar plea­sure this time was see­ing so many of its young peo­ple out en­joy­ing them­selves in the city’s bars and restau­rants.

Sim­i­lar scenes seem to be repli­cated across the coun­try.

Not con­tent with jeop­ar­dis­ing their en­tire fu­tures, the Gov­ern­ment leads the cho­rus that brands those young peo­ple “ir­re­spon­si­ble”, led by our pre­pos­ter­ous health com­mis­sar Matt Han­cock, who warns them not to “kill your gran”.

That must come as a bleak irony to any­one who has lost el­derly rel­a­tives to coro­n­avirus, as the over­whelm­ing ma­jor­ity of them died in the de­fence­less care homes where they were de­canted with the en­dorse­ment of Han­cock and his Cab­i­net col­leagues, on the novel grounds of per­suad­ing us that the NHS is so won­der­ful we shouldn’t use it.

Like a hope­fully grow­ing num­ber of oth­ers, the young have made their own risk as­sess­ment and con­cluded that we need to live with this virus, not hide from it.

Our politi­cians should be fol­low­ing their lead. In­stead we are ruled by dik­tat and de­cree based on the opin­ions of one small group of sci­en­tists – not “the science” as min­is­ters in­sist to de­mand our qui­es­cence. Our supine, ir­rel­e­vant Par­lia­ment doesn’t even ques­tion or scru­ti­nise the great­est cur­tail­ment of our lib­er­ties since wartime. What was the point of leav­ing the EU if only to re­place it with another set of un­elected rule mak­ers, just this time in white coats?

Mean­while, even his most de­voted me­dia cheer­lead­ers openly spec­u­late about how im­mi­nently our de­tached and de­feated- look­ing Prime Min­is­ter will step down. The clas­si­cal scholar has be­come his own Greek tragedy – mocked by the gods of un­fore­seen events at the mo­ment of his great­est tri­umph, and de­serted by his pre­vi­ously acute in­stincts, not least when they told him to pur­sue col­lec­tive im­mu­nity at the out­break’s start.

We should be pri­ori­tis­ing the care and pro­tec­tion of the most vul­ner­a­ble, as we con­spic­u­ously did not do at that time.

Then, like our much ma­ligned younger pop­u­la­tion, we need to get out and get on.

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