YOU’RE led to wonder how events would have proceeded had the Boris Johnson cabal been in charge at various other times of mortal peril for this sceptered isle.

During the Second World War, the UK’s working population cheerfully accepted a stripped-back existence, happy to play their part in the nationwide effort to defeat the forces of fascism. There was less in the way of food and those items of everyday life previously deemed to be necessities became occasional luxuries. The nation participated in a massive communal act of self-discipline.

Many who didn’t actually get to fight on the front line volunteered their services in all manner of relief projects. Women, with barely a few hours of training, drove ambulances and flew fighter planes from the factory to the airfield. Thousands joined the land army to maintain the food supply and worked in munitions factories at great risk to their health. Still more worked ceaselessly round the clock to tend to the wounded and the dying who had been stricken in the fields of France or in the deserts of Africa.

Men who were considered too old to fight formed the Home Guard to provide reassurance to small communities that they might have a degree of protection in the event of invasion. For six years almost every family lost sons and fathers, but set aside their grief to deal with the national emergency. Many were to lose their own lives in the firestorms that engulfed London, Clydebank, Coventry and several other major industrial centres.

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The self-sacrifice of millions of workers kept the nation’s head above water, especially during the early months of the war when Britain, it seemed, must be the next to succumb to Hitler’s rampaging armies. Despite almost a decade of warnings that this day would come, the political elites left Britain unprepared for war by a combination of ignorance, laziness and complacency.

Latterly, when they realised – almost too late – that Nazi Germany was poised to invade, many of them sought to barter with Hitler for their own safety by offering him the keys to the kingdom.

You shudder to think of what might have occurred in those war-time years if Johnson and his mafia Cabinet had been in charge. “What-ho chaps; let’s have a fireworks party on the front lawn; I’m sure Gerry won’t notice.

“By the way; we’ve opened a fast-track procurement process if any of our donors want to make a quick buck making Spitfire parts. And let’s not get too pernickety about quality and workmanship. I’m sure everything will be pukka.

“And could someone get me Adolf’s number. I’m sure we could offer him Scotland and parts of Wales if he could give us back Normandy, Gascony and Aquitaine when he’s rolled over the Frenchies. Ah, the spirit of Agincourt lives on.

“And no, we’re not having any of those Polish nationals trying to get in here through the back door by pretending to be fighter pilots.”

Eight decades later, as Britain fights another mortal foe, the political descendants of the class who almost handed Hitler victory are in power once more. The passing of generations hasn’t dimmed their wickedness. The citizens of the UK are presently being trolled by them.

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Just as the nation was caught off-guard in 1939, the UK found itself grievously ill-prepared to deal with the coronavirus in 2020. For several years those who were elected to protect and defend the nation ignored the warnings from scientists that a major pandemic was inevitable.

The 2016 Cygnus Pandemic Exercise was a simulation of a severe flu outbreak ordered by the UK Government. It took place over three days and involved almost 1000 government officials as well as most of the NHS and emergency agencies who’d be on the frontline following any outbreak. Its participants were asked to imagine a worst-case scenario affecting up to 50% of the population and resulting in 400,000 excess deaths.

THE report concluded: “The UK’s preparedness and response, in terms of its plans, policies and capability, is currently not sufficient to cope with the extreme demands of a severe pandemic that will have a nationwide impact across all sectors.”

In spite of this grave warning, the Tory government chose to ignore it and the report was concealed until it was published in the Guardian a few years later. Last year, David E Alexander, professor of risk and disaster reduction at University College London reflected: “The UK national risk register has been issued by the government in various editions at irregular intervals since 2008. Every edition has put pandemics at the top of the list of risks that the nation faces. How will the government justify having ignored its own warnings?”

Almost two years into the pandemic we now know the Tories’ strategy in the face of national outrage at its corporate malfeasance: never apologise; never explain. For this approach to succeed it needs large chunks of the media to look the other way and relies on an acquiescent opposition not to ask too many questions.

Last year’s Downing Street Christmas Party (one of several, it seems) was the most egregious example of the Tories’ insouciance about the number of people dying of Covid-19. Throughout this contagion the Prime Minister has personally undermined health messaging around masks by simply refusing to wear one, even during stage-managed hospital visits. The auction of PPE contracts to firms with no expertise in making these products risked the health of NHS frontline workers.

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The Prime Minister’s party, though, was something else again. For it told us that, quite literally, the rules didn’t apply to an anointed few. It seemed to say: “This pandemic is mainly killing working-class people because of their unhealthy lifestyles. Why should we be made to give up life’s little luxuries? We’re alright, Jack … as always.”

Perhaps the actual strategy for dealing with the fall-out from these scandals is simply to rely on the British people building up a kind of herd immunity to them. They eventually become routine and cease to be scandalous at all and we become anaesthetised to their magnitude and effect. And anyway, they soon get washed away in the daily churn of news about the EU’s latest perfidy and asylum seekers. All you have to do is point to these and say that they’re the chief threats to our way of life.

In England, too many people are still buying it: the Tories are still winning mid-term by-elections.

They are being governed by psychopaths and have been too doped up by Brexit; the royals; dodgy foreigners and military fetishism to do anything about it.