Andrew Neil: Meddling bosses won't stop interfering in our lives, even after Covid
You might have lost your job in the pandemic. But the boss class will never be out of work
We’ve got used to being bossed about during the pandemic, our freedoms curtailed as never before.
Mostly it was for our own good. But sometimes it seemed a bit heavy handed. What’s depressing is that, as the Covid threat fades and the restrictions it brought are lifted, the boss class is beavering away on multiple fronts looking for new areas in which to tell us what to do.
This morning it was reported that the government is being advised to keep face masks and social distancing when ordering at bars for months to come.
A key figure in Public Health England tells us that we may need to wear face masks and socially distance for years to come.
Not to be outdone a member of the influential SAGE committee has opined that social distancing should remain for ever.
But Covid clearly doesn’t offer the opportunities it did for telling us what to do. So the boss class is moving with relish into other areas.
Campaigners have called for smoking to be banned in pub gardens and outdoor restaurant seating areas in Wales.
Several councils in England want to stop outdoor smoking altogether.
The Government is banning TV commercials for food high in sugar, salt and fat before 9pm.
Police officers in Nottingham are already enforcing an alcohol ban in parks.
But the richest pickings for the boss class are related to climate. This opens a veritable cornucopia of bossiness.
Local politicians in the West Midlands think you should stay at home even post-pandemic to help with their “accelerated pathway” to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
This morning the government’s Climate Change Committee said we should be eating 20% less meat and dairy produce by 2030, 35% less by 2050. Vegans are urging that it should be 100% less.
The Committee is also keen you should continue working from home. And it wants to slap new taxes on flying, waste and other industries. Along with various agencies it’s also limbering up to tell you to rip out your gas boiler.
And the Environment Bill currently going through parliament could require households to Use four separate bins — one each for glass, metal, plastic, and paper and card.
Plus a further three for garden waste, food waste and non-recyclables.
You might have lost your job in the pandemic. But the boss class will never be out of work. When it comes to meddling in our lives, it’s only just begun.