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Sunday, 26 July 2020
Grant Shapps For Barnard Castle
The dreaded R-rate is creeping up once again - not in the UK, but in Spain, and especially on the Spanish mainland, with hotspots of Covid-19 infection reported in Catalunya and around Madrid. As a result, Dominic Raab, who claims to be Foreign Secretary, has slapped a 14-day quarantine on anyone travelling from Spain to the UK.
Shafted. By his own department
As the BBC has reported, “The foreign secretary has defended the ‘swift decision’ to require travellers arriving in the UK from Spain to quarantine for 14 days … Dominic Raab said he knows it will cause disruption for holidaymakers but the government ‘can't make apologies’”. Well, he certainly can’t. The Polecat has forbidden it. Predictably, “Labour's Jonathan Ashworth called the handling of the move ‘shambolic’”.
And while the Beeb collected tales of woe from holidaymakers and expats, they also made an interesting discovery. “Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has been caught up in his own department's rule change while on holiday in Spain. The cabinet minister travelled to the country with his family on Saturday morning for a summer break”. There was more.
“But just hours later, the Department for Transport confirmed all travellers returning to the UK from Spain would have to quarantine for 14 days, due to a spike in cases in the country. A DfT spokesman said Mr Shapps would continue with his holiday as planned. He will then isolate upon his return, in line with the new rules”. Along, no doubt, with Michael Green and Sebastian Fox. But where might he go to self-isolate?
After Steve Chambers made the obvious comparison with the Government’s advice - “Shapps was not alert enough when he decided to go to Spain in the middle of a pandemic” - Boothby Graffoe wondered what media reaction would be. “In order to make sure Grant Shapps follows new quarantine rules when he gets back from Spain journalists are already setting up camp outside Jeremy Corbyn's house”. No comment.
Perhaps he could pull the old alter ego trick once more, and thereby get round the 14-day quarantine? Keith Burge imagined the scenario: “‘Ah, no you see I shan’t need to isolate, as I’m Grant Shapps, whereas it was my friend Michael Green who went to Spain so, er, all good.’” But it was former prosecutor Nazir Afzal who then pointed the way.
“Minister Grant Shapps can presumably avoid having to quarantine on return from Spain by telling us, in PM’s Garden, that he was only in Spain: To get childcare, which he later found he didn’t need & To test his eye sight on his wife’s birthday & The rules just don’t apply to him”. Did he mean the old Barnard Castle ploy?
A Tweeter called Dave was already there. “Grant Shapps will *not* have to self quarantine on his return from Spain if he can find a travel corridor and make an air bridge to Barnard Castle”. But how? Andrew Parnall had the answer to that one. “Barnard Castle residents busily preparing airstrip to receive Grant Shapps' returning holiday flight”.
Could be a thing: nearby Tees-Side Airport has a runway long enough to accommodate an A320 or 737 sized aircraft. So it’s the Polecat Ploy for Spiv Shapps.
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