NOTICE: Absurd notion Conservatives don’t have to wear face masks

9:30 a.m. on November 3, 2021

Reader Peter King says Conservative Party attitude to wearing face masks is at odds with most countries

The comedic idea that conviviality offers a surefire defense against the coronavirus must bring tears to the eyes of scientists whose advice the government is following so closely.

Jacob Rees-Mogg’s claim that Tory MPs don’t need to wear masks during busy debates because they know each other – and that the party’s ‘friendly and brotherly spirit’ means that they are acting under the guidelines of the Covid government – has a whiff of the absurd about it.

Nonetheless, the Commons Chief’s claim must provide a straw to cling to for clubbers and pub buffs, who can now enjoy their reunion with impunity – and that must be a relief for students who will conclude that the danger of mingling with their classmates can be ruled out. and that the prospect of school closures is definitely lost.

By taking the anti-mask stance, Conservative MPs ally themselves with spiel and vaccine deniers who believe they’ve got their hands on truths denied to “mainstream media” and who expose their conspiracy theories to anyone desperately looking for a stupid business .

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Yet politicians like to delude themselves that there is more wisdom to be found in the House of Commons than among the men and women on the streets outside.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s The Week In Westminster recently, MP Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown explained why he would definitely wear a mask at the supermarket, but not do it in the bedroom.

He said: “I would trust my coworkers that the moment they felt sick they would get tested, while I wouldn’t be so safe with everyone in the supermarket.”

However, his faith in his fellow politicians is belied by the follies they indulge in. When Sir Lindsay Hoyle became the new Speaker of the House of Commons, he vowed to end the confrontational ‘bear pit’ atmosphere in the chamber.

We like to believe that England is the mother of parliaments, but sometimes Westminster is more like a stupid menagerie, a human zoo where braying and whistling have drummed on the oratory.

Not only has the glimmer of dirty lucre tempted a series of ex-House members to come out on Strictly Come Dancing, but we now have a new Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports. – Nadine Dorries – who took up her £ 150,000-a-year job after a stint in the political wilderness when the jungle beckoned her and she signed up for the reality show, I’m a celebrity… Get me out of here.

The madness of refusing to wear masks has spread to world leaders – and not just those on the right of the political spectrum.

Alongside the maskless Donald Trump and Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who have taken monumental incompetence to new levels in their handling of the pandemic, have come Vladimir Putin from Russia, where death rates continue to skyrocket, and President Xi Jinping of China, where the virus was first reported.

These leaders may not realize that heroism is sometimes erased, as is the case with the masked freedom fighter in movie V for Vendetta, and that stealth can be the best part of valor. .

They also seem unaware that there may be more wisdom in the aisles of supermarkets, where a cross-section of the electorate is found, than in the halls of power.

If conviviality, fraternity and contiguity are the slogan of the masked deniers of the conservative party, they should return to a parallel slogan born of the French Revolution – liberty, equality and fraternity – and heed the warning of tears and the misfortune that this unleashed. .

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