Now, Piers Corbyn, whom the Guardian describes with much restraint as a “weather forecaster and climate change denier”, is so wacko he is off the scale. His appreciation of meteorology - the “weather forecaster” part of his skill set - is at the very least highly questionable. He appears prone to indulging the followers of conspiracy theories that should have any rational human being moving rapidly in the direction of away.
And yet, and yet: few who were not already in tune with the ideas he espouses, or indeed those favoured by David Icke, his co-host at the London event, will have been persuaded that dispensing with social distancing rules and the wearing of face coverings, and treating the Coronavirus pandemic as some kind of conspiracy in itself, a means for Government to exert control over the people and little else, will have been converted to his cause.
As the Guardian report tells, Corbyn was arrested at the end of the rally: “Corbyn said he was held for 10 hours by police and told officers he and other organisers had filled out all the necessary risk assessments and spent two weeks negotiating with Scotland Yard over the event. He said he planned to challenge the fixed penalty notice in court”.
Compare and contrast, as they say: someone else rather more prominent in the public gaze broke the law blatantly not so long ago, and although his was nothing to do with a mass gathering, the effect on public perception of how the pandemic was being handled was far, far more wide-reaching than Piers Corbyn last weekend.
That, of course, was chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings finding himself falling ill, believing his wife to also have Covid-19 symptoms, then packing themselves and their young child in his car and driving more than 250 miles north to Durham, potentially spreading the virus as they went. He didn’t even get a slap on the wrist.
Nor was he censured - other than in the court of public opinion - for then driving his family over to Barnard Castle to enjoy a day out, on the lame pretext that he was “testing his eyesight”. For the Polecat, there was even a press call in the Downing Street rose garden to con the pundits rotten. He was not fined £10,000: in fact, he was not fined at all.
Cummings’ actions, that no Police action was taken, and that he was not admonished by alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson, had a severely negative effect on public perception. Many who had obeyed lockdown rules were revulsed. Many others asked why they should follow the rules if the Polecat could flout them with impunity.
Yes, Piers Corbyn is a fool who deliberately flouted the law, and yes, he should have known that there were potential consequences for so doing. But what Dominic Cummings did, and got away with, has arguably caused more widespread damage.
It’s almost as if some people are above the law. And that’s not good enough.
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