Tuesday, 5 January 2021

Back in Lockdown. Reactions to school closures. Travel restrictions. More side-effects of Brexit.

Here’s a quote from Newsthump, accompanying a photo of our dishevelled leader:-

“UK voters starting to wonder if leaving pandemic response to man who can’t use a comb was such a good idea.”

I have to confess that one of my first thoughts when Mr Johnson appeared on TV to address the nation yesterday evening was “Could he not at least have combed his hair?” Later, as he unclasped bis worried hands and began to gesticulate I found myself marvelling at his unnaturally long thumbs! Has anyone else noticed this about the Johnson hands? Our country is in strange hands!

Maybe I had such thoughts as I was distracted from what he had to say by the fact that much of it had already been leaked to the press earlier in the day. On the five o’clock Radio 4 PM programme they already seemed completely aware of what was going to be announced. It’s a pity nobody told Gavin Williamson who was assuring us yesterday morning or at least on Sunday evening that it was perfectly safe for primary school children to go back to school. Indeed the Prime Minister himself was assuring us of that over the weekend, when surely his advisers were already telling him it was no longer really the case. 

So all over the country small boys and girls went happily back to class. Our daughter tells us that her class of eight year olds were delighted to be back. So much so that some of them didn’t want to go home at the end of the afternoon. And our son tells us his almost seven year old was as pleased as punch to back with her friends. He has written an angry letter to his MP asking how he tells his little girl that she is to be stuck at home until the February half term at least. And our daughter and her colleagues are now frantically adjusting to teaching online again.

Might it not have been possible to delay the opening of all schools by two weeks, giving a long quarantine period since all the family mingling on Christmas Day? Might it not have been possible to tell the teachers in plenty of time so that they could get organised? Contrary to some people’s view of what teachers do, most of them spend a good part of their “holidays” preparing for the weeks ahead. Do MPs do that kind of preparation during their breaks from Parliament? Hmmm! 

And so here we are in Lockdown Mark 3. My brother-in-law is wondering whether he can justify driving from his bit of Greater Manchester to ours for exercise, aka to go on a Diggle Chippy Hike!

The radio news tells me that my favourite stationery store, Paperchase, is on the verge of closing down. Too many closures!

Meanwhile a German friend of mine has just discovered that even if there were flights she still might not be able to visit her aged mother as Germany won’t let her in at the moment. 

And a number of people have sent me this bit of information:- 

“I wonder how many British people realise that they are currently NOT ALLOWED to go to any EU country at all.

Till 14th January no-one from anywhere outside the EU is allowed to enter the EU unless they are an EU citizen or resident or a member of their family or must travel for essential work, study or some other specific but ESSENTIAL reason. 

People in Britain are probably not aware that this has been the case since March last year because the rule only came into force for Brits on Jan 1st this year. It has been extended monthly since March and the current monthly period ends on 14 Jan. Its not looking good for the rule to be lifted any time soon either. 

I find it sad but not surprising that the UK government has NOT explained this is one of those benefits of brexit they seem so keen to lie about.  After all, the UK never stopped anyone coming in from anywhere while the EU clamped down really tightly and closed the borders.

Until the rule changes - there might be no cheap holidays in the sun, no skiing for most people and so on. Each country in the EU, of course, CONTROLS ITS OWN BORDERS and can decide for itself who comes in (another LIE that brexiters told) - but from March till now they have basically all followed the same guidelines as it makes so much sense.”

Another unforeseen side-effect of Brexit. And all for sovereignty and controlling our own borders? 

And my brother-in-law has been telling me about Brooks England, a company which has been making bicycle saddles for almost 140 years. They still make saddles but on completion they are sent to their distribution centre in Italy and then shipped out to customers all over the world. This is because since 2002 they are owned by an Italian company, Selle Royale. Oops! An international company! And now, because of confused and confusing Brexit regulation they now cannot send orders to customers in the UK. 

Netherlands-based online bicycle parts retailer Dutch Bike Bits has also announced that the UK has become the only country in the world to which it will not ship goods.

Oh, dear! 

I’m rather glad we have done all our ordering of bits and pieces for our bicycles for the time being. We’ll deal with new problems as they arise.

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!

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