Covid: As Boris Johnson begins 'Freedom Day' in isolation, it seems Tesco cares more about public safety than he does – Vladimir McTavish

A fortnight today, I start my run at the Fringe. No-one is sure how busy this year’s festival will be, but we all hope that English tourists know how to behave while in Scotland.

Friday, 23rd July 2021, 4:45 pm
Boris Johnson wears a face mask during a visit to a PPE manufacturing facility (Picture: Scott Heppell/WPA pool/Getty Images)

As we know, Boris Johnson announced that July 19 would be “Freedom Day”, when all restrictions on face-masks and distancing in England came to an end.

We have become too familiar with this Orwellian turn of phrase from the Prime Minister. The people of England were not liberated from the Covid last Monday. They were set free from the measures put in place to protect them from catching the virus.

Many health experts had warned the PM not to move too fast – sound medical advice, given his physical condition. Any sudden movement could bring on a coronary.

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When challenged on the timing of the move, Health Secretary Sajid Javid replied “if not now, when?” He then promptly tested positive for coronavirus, thereby answering his own question.

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Readers' letters: ‘Freedom Day’ is coming too soon

Johnson and Rishi Sunak were identified as close contacts, so all three were forced to self-isolate. Leaving us with the glorious irony of the very people who proclaimed Freedom Day being locked up in the house on the day in question.

Transport for London and almost every major supermarket chain responded to a campaign from trade unions, and insisted that masks should still be worn on the Tube and in stores, to protect the staff who worked there.

We truly are living in some bizarre parallel universe when Tesco cares more about public health than the Prime Minister does. But then we have already witnessed the England football team exhibiting a more accurate moral compass than the UK government issues such as racism and child poverty.

From last Monday, what were previously laws and now “guidelines”, and it is up to the public’s “common sense” whether or not to follow them. Will this soon be rolled out to other areas of legislation, such as speed limits?

If so, I now have a clean driving licence. When I totted up those nine points, I was using my common sense to go above 70mph on the M8.

Vladimir McTavish’s Edinburgh Fringe show “2020 Re-Vision, a Comedy Review Of The Year That Was Cancelled” is at the Counting House from August 7 to 29. Tickets on Edfringe.com.

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