A worthy sacrifice?

Pic from UK Gov website

Christmas 2020 was hard for millions of people in the UK.

So many were separated from their loved ones and were forced to find alternative ways to see family and friends.

One option was to call in via phone and video calls, others opted to meet at neutral points such as service stations to exchange gifts and festive wishes.

Yet, no matter which form their limited contact took, it was done so under social distancing guidelines.

No hugging or even handshakes would take place all because of the restrictions implemented by the Government in the days, weeks and months leading to Christmas.

We were told to stick to these plans to protect each other and that doing so would ensure the next Christmas, the one we are approaching now, would be back to ‘normal’.

The Government wanted us to trust them in how they were handling the pandemic.

The last shred of trust anyone in this country had in this government has surely been lost in the events of the last few days.

The video that was leaked to ITV showing Boris Johnson’s (now former) advisor laughing and joking when discussing a social gathering of Downing Street staff showed utter disregard to the millions of people who followed the rules and made huge sacrifices on the word of the very government that had members and representatives allegedly in attendance at these rumoured parties.

The other footage to be shared around the internet on this similar topic was that of Jacob Rees-Mogg giving a speech.

In this, he joked that the crowd was ‘socially distanced’ despite people standing visibly close to each other and that that party wouldn’t be investigated by the police. These two examples are members of the government, both elected and not, laughing at the prospect of not following the restrictions that the government have drilled into the public for over a year and a half.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was grilled in PMQs on Wednesday (Pic from NBC)

On how many occasions will this have happened behind closed doors? It is perhaps too difficult for many people, who made the sacrifices, to think about yet.

The anger on social media is completely normal and in many ways refreshing to see. The government have been seen to be taking the general public for a ride and has gone about setting rules for everyone else whilst not following them themselves.

The timing of Boris Johnson's Plan B announcement, in the wake of the party scandal breaking, comes across as incredibly arrogant from this government. It has been scrutinised in the public sphere that government officials have not followed their own rules at times during the last 18 months.

Now, immediately after the latest scandal, the government have imposed further restrictions.

Many people will make the argument of why should they follow the rules when the people setting the rules do not follow them?

This is an excellent point, and few would blame you for taking this stance, but the best argument for still following guidelines would be to not do it for the government, do it for those closest to you and who you care for the most.

There is anger, sadness and frustration across England and, to some extent, the wider UK, following the events of recent days.

However, these emotions show that millions of people across the country are fed up and feel this government does not have their best interest at heart.

Being angry at this government is the very least that can be expected. The sacrifices you and so many others have made in the last 18 months were done so under the belief that it would help us get back to ‘normal’.

Yet trust in this government has reached an all time low. The best way to make things right is to remember weeks like this one when you are next heading to a polling station.

If the parties which are speculated to have happened did take place, it will be an insult to not only the millions of people who are following the restrictions, but also to the 146,000 people who have died during the pandemic.

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I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. I’m a published author and journalist with several years experience

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Patrick Hollis

Patrick Hollis

I am a journalist with an honours degree from Coventry University. I’m a published author and journalist with several years experience

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