Pretentious? Who, moi?
To no surprise at all, the most high-profile toys-out-of-pram petulance display this morning came from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, who has clearly concluded that wearing a face covering for a small part of her day is an unwarranted affront to the freedom, and indeed wellbeing, of Herself Personally Now.
Hence her dedicating her show this morning to platforming the kind of guests who would agree with her that face coverings are unnecessary and ineffective. So off she ranted. “We're told it's just for three weeks, it's just a mask, what's the big deal? Prime Minister, forgive me if millions of us don't believe you anymore. You told us time and again we have to live with this virus, and every time we do, you don't let us do it”. Waaah! Not fair!!
Who would she invite on to sow doubt in her audience’s mind? No, not Mike Yeadon this time. “Face masks return to public transport and shops tomorrow but Prof Carl Heneghan doubts how effective they really are ‘Germany and Austria mandated medical grade masks. They're now bringing in complete restrictions to deal with the rise in cases’”. The Prof loves his selective analysis. And so does Ms Hartley Dooda.
Meanwhile, despite the freezing cold weather, she wants to know Why Won’t They Think Of The Tourists? “Arrivals from overseas must isolate until they get a negative PCR test from tomorrow, but travel expert Paul Charles warns quarantine will kill off in-bound tourism. ‘The Government has taken a safety first approach but it's not the best approach’”. And what, pray, is the best approach? Stats? Analysis? Nah.
Instead, Ms Hartley Dooda has got an MP to speak. Sadly for her, it is the irredeemably batshit Desmond Swayne. “Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne: ‘I've decided I'm exempt from wearing a mask due to my genetic predisposition to liberty. This is utter hysteria. Every time I ask for the evidence I'm told it's about sending a message. Well I don't like the message’”. Reduce virus transmission? Nah, Des doesn’t like that message.
And just to prove that there is no limit to her shameless spreading of hysteria, Ms Hartley Dooda goes completely OTT. “Some helpful information on mask exemptions for those who find it ‘severely distressing’ to be forced to wear a pointless piece of cloth over their face to go about their normal lives. Remember, they've never worn masks in No10 Downing Street. It's all just the theatre of safety”. Severely distressing? Shine a light.
Wibble, meet hatstand. But the cause of Ms Hartley Dooda’s mardy strop can be described very simply: this is an inconvenience to Herself and so must be challenged by all the means at her disposal. If wearing a face covering cuts down transmission of Covid to the extent that fewer people become severely ill (and worse) then it has done its job. Feeding the non-compliance lobby is grossly irresponsible, whoever does it.
But Ms Hartley Dooda only asks the question, so she’s in the clear. Not good enough.
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