Mark Dolan: Boris, bin the scientists and run the country yourself
Your job is to unlock and unmask the country and put a smile back on the face of Britain
Political conference season this year has rarely been more important. Last week, Labour’s conference hall was full, Keir Starmer's speech made in person, with an opposition - I use the term lightly - gearing up potentially for a sooner than anticipated election. Possibly in spring 2023.
And tonight, Tory party delegates head to the great city of Manchester, in anticipation of the prime minister's keynote speech this Wednesday. So this is a watershed moment in our recent history. It's back to business as usual for our politicians, and it's time to hear what their vision is for the country going forward.
Any leader will tell you that their next conference speech, is always the most important of their career. But this is particularly true for the prime minister this week, and here he is on twitter getting warmed up for a big week.
The Prime Minister’s job now is to reboot Britain, to throw off the shackles and get his government, his party and the country focused on the future. And crucially the prime minister has to declare the end of the war on Covid.
There cannot be a return to this to the scientifically debatable, dystopian hell of mask mandates, arrows in supermarkets, devastating lockdowns, economic damage, NHS waiting lists and the already spiralling non-Covid death toll.
The threat of future measures, is almost as damaging as the measures themselves. The government are going to have to wean themselves off the habit of keeping the country in a state of perpetual fear - they love it of course because, it gives them power, it gives them control. But the public and businesses cannot continue to cower under the sword of Damocles that possible future Covid measures represent.
To truly restore confidence and to get the economy going again, to pay for all of those schools and hospitals and to tackle the 12 million long NHS waiting list, the Prime Minister must close the chapter on, what in my view, has been a failed scientific experiment to control a virus. Even if it was the right thing to do, you know my views on the matter, either way, it’s done now.
I will give the prime minister credit where it’s due, in the midst of rising inflation, ever growing national debt, a fuel crisis, increased energy costs and empty supermarket shelves, the Blond Bombshell remains stubbornly popular. Enough people in this country want to give Boris the benefit of the doubt. And it’s in our collective interests to do just that. But that political capital he enjoys is a valuable resource, even more precious to the prime minister than that real ale, of which he is so fond. He must use this political capital, the goodwill of much of the country and that 80 seat majority to break the spell of covid, and to snap us out of this hysteria around a virus non fatal to almost everyone.
Under the cult of what I call safety-ism, we have wrecked the economy, ignored other illnesses, many far worse than covid, and we have lost lives and wrecked lives. This obsession with Covid safety, appears to have made the country far more dangerous.
The University of Bristol predict that creating the biggest recession in 300 years, will ultimately cost half a million lives. Safety first, has in my view, been safety last. Now many of Boris's supporters will excuse his temporary suspension of libertarian values, because of the pandemic.
But I think it’s in a crisis that you show your values, not ditch them. And the public will not tolerate a continued assault on our freedoms and basic civil liberties when the pandemic is all but done and the fat lady is about to sing. In the last 18 months, the prime minister has been noticeably unconservative and has conducted an extra-marital affair with communism. He has delivered state control of peoples movements, shutting down the economy, paying people to stay at home, unprecedented government borrowing and a police state.
In the last year and a half Boris Johnson has shifted so hard to the left, he has made Jeremy Corbyn look like Margaret Thatcher. So it’s time to draw a line under all of this and get back to living, not just existing. There can't be endless daily Covid statistics, or those wretched government press conferences, where the PM is a stuck record with “alas this” and “alas that”.
It's time to move on and change the script and that starts this week in Manchester with the PM’s speech. There are two Boris Johnsons as far as I'm concerned. The swashbuckling, confident Boris, who got Brexit done and Covid Boris, cowering in fear, with haunted eyes and in the back pocket of the doomsday sage scientists. Don't get me started on that junk modelling.
The Spectator magazine have published further graphs showing how wide of the mark the modellers have been.
The modelling was wrong at the start of the pandemic, with a prediction of half a million deaths and it's wrong now, with plenty of Sage scientists having predicted that freedom day and reopening schools would produce a horrible surge. It didn't happen.
So Boris, we've had enough of the country being run by scientists, we've learned a hard lesson that if out of touch technocrats are in charge, it's a race to the bottom, the road to hell. It's time for you to bin the boffins and start leading the country yourself. That’s what you were elected to do. We didn’t vote for Chris Whitty or Patrick Vallance. I personally wouldn’t let them run a fruit stall.
And given that this government has now placed the highest tax burden of the British people since the 1940s, controlled peoples lives for a year and a half and deliberately wrecked the economy as a matter of policy, it's time for Boris to ditch communism and go back to conservatism.
It's time for the Conservative party, to be Conservative again. And if they can't do that, and if they stay wedded to horrific ideas like Covid passports, firing unvaccinated people from their jobs and jabbing small kids, then another genuinely freedom-loving party will come along and do it for them.
Reform UK, for example, and their leader Richard Tice made quite the splash up in Manchester this afternoon.
So Boris, you either believe in freedom, civil liberties and personal responsibility or you don’t. You either believe in a dynamic, competitive low tax economy and free markets, and in growth rather than state debt, or you don’t.
It's time for you to show conference and the country, what you actually stand for. And the threat of future Covid measures are a no go, Bojo.
Your job is to unlock and unmask the country and put a smile back on the face of Britain. And we can all drink to that PM.