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The Walking (Brain) Dead

FOR MY sins, it seems, I’m in London, because it feels much more like I’ve stumbled onto the set of the pilot episode of The Walking Dead, A&E’s great American zombie apocalypse TV series.

And the first thing they killed was firetrucking irony.

And it won’t rise again and stumble around, waving its mangled arms and dragging a rotting leg.

On Monday, with 50,000-plus new cases every day of the Boris (formerly known as the delta) variant rampaging, and with daily deaths rising rapidly towards 500, and at probably the worst point so far of the pandemic, statistically… the brain-dead Vote Leave Enoch Powell Homage Tory government of England (dragging Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland behind it, like so many dead legs) actually – and, no lie, deliberately – lifted all covid19 safety precautions.

All.

Yes, just when the numbers of infections and deaths are at their highest.

You want to know how dead they killed irony?

They called Monday, “Freedom Day.”

And the zombies cheered.

And everyone who voted Leave in the Brexit referendum took off their masks and cheered.

And the powers-that-be-without-brains refused to abandon that oxymoronic-ironic title even as, one-by-one, the English Prime Minister, the English Chancellor of the Exchequer and – wait for it – the English Cabinet Secretary for HEALTH! – were all forced into self-isolation, lest they spread the virus.

You have to make the distinction between “English” and “British” in the opening up of the spread of the virus because, like the Brexit that ushered them in, the men holding the highest offices in No-Longer-So-Great Britain are all English. Welsh First Minister, Mark Drakeford, and his Scottish counterpart, Nicola Sturgeon, have distinguished themselves from their English fall-aparts by being both cautious and competent in opening up their portions of the United Kingdom.

More tragically, Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and Sajid Javid are all Little Englanders (who want no tie with Europe or the rest of the world, unless that tie is one of bondage, vassal to overlord).

As a precondition to being eligible for selection, everyone in the British (ie, English) Cabinet, swore blind fealty to the worst political idea of all time: the rushed, botched, ephemeral and economically suicidal leaving of the European Union. To achieve the weird unicorn of Brexit, the Vote Leave Enoch Powell Tribute Act Tory government elevated a vague, undefined – and undefinable and undeliverable – “sovereignty” above all else of all importance in the UK. Even peace in Northern Ireland was sacrificed at the altar of Brexit.

Today, a year-and-a-half after “getting Brexit done”, no one, not even Dominic Cummings, its architect, can declare a single benefit of Brexit.

And everyone can see plainly its many great burdens, including the creation of the red tape it was supposed to destroy. Brexit is such a gratuitous and unholy mess that the man charged with negotiating the disengagement with the European Union, Lord David Frost (a kind of dunce version of his late, no-relation journalist namesake), is now scampering to escape his own deal on Northern Ireland.

Five years ago, you could have supported Brexit out of ignorance of what it really entailed; but you can only go on supporting it out of a very English combination of pride and stupidity.

The same forces that have led, inexorably, to Freedom-to-super-spread-the-virus Day this week.

If you understand how Brexit came about – by persuading people to “feel” about issues they should have thought very carefully indeed about – you understand exactly what is happening in England today.

Which is the greatly increased possibility of the virus defeating the only weapon we have against it, as a species: vaccination. (Don’t let the anti-vaxxers fool you: yogurt and patchouli oil will not resuscitate your immune systems; but, if you smoke enough weed, you will think it makes sense.)

The only comfort to be taken in this, the first week of the first episode of the zombie apocalypse reality show, is that, so far, the English common man seems to be more sensible than his Eton-educated PM. Almost everyone is still wearing face masks and maintaining social distance indoors and on public transport.

But they are fighting the most powerful enemy in the land: their own government.

From midnight last Sunday, the Vote Leave Etc Etc government encouraged young people – the people most susceptible to the Boris variant – to jam nightclubs every night between now and September; when they will have to show proof of vaccination to enter nightclubs, in case they take the infections they will be spreading until then, into their universities!

So wish me luck in the Court of St James.

Here’s hoping it won’t soon be renamed the Courting of Firetrucking Disaster.

BC Pires is getting ready to bow before the Zombie Lizard Queen

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