Welcome To Zelo Street!

This is a blog of liberal stance and independent mind

Tuesday 19 May 2020

Air Bridge Story Is Total Crap

Even in a moment of national crisis, it is not long before the obscenely overpaid hacks and pundits of our free and fearless press allow their selfishness to surface, and so it has proved this morning. While the Murdoch Sun ran a column last week by pointless pundit Olivia Utley telling “young remainers” that they should be prepared to make do with holidaying in the UK, the more upmarket Times has no such reservations.
So it is that Rupe’s troops use a photo showing a cafe scene from central Milan - with the Duomo in the background - and tell readers “‘Air bridges’ plan revives hope of summer flights … Quarantine could allow low-risk travel from July … Smallest rise in deaths since lockdown”. Yeah, OK, it’s bad news that 20,000 old folks croaked in care homes, and all that, but fuck it, it’s summer and well, let’s just jet off somewhere nice, eh?

Besides, it’s not just Italy, as the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph has pointed out: “‘Air bridge’ plan to save holidays abroad … Quarantine-free travel will depend on virus status of countries including France and Spain”. Yay rich hacks and pundits! Spain back on! Gites in Provence! We can keep lording it over Johnny Foreigner! Just order up a few dozen face coverings and wait for Michael O’Leary to fire his planes back up!
And who is the unlikely hero of the hour? Oh hang on a minute, it’s the spiv. “Grant Shapps told MPs the government should consider allowing travel between the UK and countries with an R-number - a key measure of transmission - below one to try to boost confidence in aviation travel” told the Guardian. And there was more.

During transport questions in the Commons on Monday, Shapps said consideration should be given to relaxations for countries with low rates of infection. Shapps said: ‘It is the case we should indeed consider further improvements for example things like air bridges enabling people from other areas, other countries, who have themselves achieved lower levels of coronavirus infection to come to the country, so those are active discussions that go beyond what will initially be a blanket situation.’
Michael Green and Sebastian Fox are unanimous on this one

However, and here we encounter a significantly sized however, “The scientific rationale for such a move has been called into question, prompting increased calls to publish the advice provided to the government by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), the team of advisers informing the response to the crisis … Lucy Moreton, of the Immigration Services Union, said: ‘It appears to be all politics and no science.’

Which should come as no surprise, given the track record of the politician pitching it. And what both the Times and Telegraph seem to have missed in all the excitement is that “low risk” countries might not include the one with the world’s second-highest Coronavirus death toll - that would be the UK - and that all those other countries have to be prepared to let holidaymakers from the UK in first. Gaby Hinsliff was not convinced of that.
I get why we’d want ‘air bridges’ with low infection countries (ie travel without quarantine) but less clear why they would want to bridge with us? Given we’re *not* low risk”. But we’re British, dammit! And no longer an EU member state, with no place at the table.

Once again, the press plays Ron Hopeful with zero evidence to back it up. Same old.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at



Arnold said...

Air bridges? Bridges? This is Bozo's idea, isn't it?

Jonathan said...

In a healthy well functioning democracy, spivs, chancers & sociopaths that make up this incompetent government would all be all the dole, doing a pathetic jobsearch programme for the over privileged talentless Tim Nice but Dims.

Sadly our media,who are by and large very chummy with the Tory government e.g one female female journalist who is far too close to alleged PM Boris 'The Invisible PM' Johnson.

Our press would would tear a Labour government to shreds for this shambles but as it's the Blue sociopaths in charge, they turn a blind eye.

grim northerner said...

Next up, 'water road'.

Simon said...

It's just like the Brexit fanatics who don't realise that checks are going to apply the other way too.

Why any country in their right minds would lift restrictions on the virus capital of Europe is beyond me. We should of course restrict travel from the USA for the same reason but won't.

Anonymous said...

Air bridge?

Reminiscent of the Atlantic Bridge. And look what happened to THAT.*

*The German version still going, though.

Unknown said...

Ideal - the likes of Ms Utley et al can try walking across