For one grotesquely overpaid columnist, the Coronavirus pandemic is all about Herself Personally Now - and one of her husband’s fellow MPs - but no other individual gets a mention. To no surprise at all, that columnist is Sarah “Vain” Vine, aka Mrs Michael “Oiky” Gove, telling Daily Mail readers yesterday “Boris Johnson's coronavirus battle has brought the nation together - and taught us all what compassion really means”.had her fingerprints all over the sudden volte face of her husband during the 2016 Tory leadership contest, which resulted in her alleged pal Boris being summarily knifed in the back. No, she is now His Number One Pal, especially when it helps her dash off another piss-poor column.
So what’s the focus of her attention this time? “In the space of just a few short hours - a feature, as we are starting to discover, with this wretched virus - the situation changed dramatically. That the Prime Minister has been so badly affected by this disease is, in many ways, symbolic of the huge challenge we all face”. What about all the dead?
“No one person’s life is more valuable than another’s, of course: Prime Minister or pauper, there can be no difference in value between human souls, and I do not for one second wish to diminish the suffering of others who have already succumbed to this horrible illness”. That’s your lot. No further mention of the undeserving poor for Ms Vine!
Instead, she only has eyes for Boris. “Boris has always been such a larger-than-life presence; such a bear of a man, personally and politically. I’ve seen him tear up a dance floor to Abba at a friend’s birthday party, watched him tackle David Cameron at football on the back lawn at Chequers (you’ve never witnessed competitiveness like it) and waved him off on his bicycle after many a lively dinner”. Of course you have.
“Theresa May, with her type 1 diabetes, yes; Jeremy Corbyn, of an age, maybe. But bouncing, Bordeaux-loving, bon viveur Boris? Never!” And there were all those Tories telling our free and fearless press that Johnson drank “moderately”. Well, well.
But enough. Apart from suggesting there are some out there who do not want the PM to be restored to full health - we all want him to get better, thanks, Ms Vine - it’s all about her, her family, and of course Boris. No mention of all those NHS workers who have not merely fallen ill, but have given their lives trying to combat the disease. Or the daily death toll.
Her article has had charts with daily deaths and numbers of infections added to it in the online version, but she mentions that not at all. 786 died from Coronavirus the day before her column was published; that number had increased yesterday to over 900. But she wants us all to know that her family is self-isolating, so they’re the real victims.
Anyone might think she’s trying to deflect from the effects of her hero’s hesitation. Hint.