Harry Potter and the Gobshite of Arslikhan
This phenomenon reached its nadir yesterday on BBC Any Questions, where the odious Quentin Letts (let’s not) demonstrated an ability to simultaneously argue in his spare time while being seriously economical with the actualité as the question was put: what should be done with those people who refuse to wear said face covering. What say Quent?
“I think we should respect them, and I think we should allow them to make their choice for themselves. I have a problem with masks, because to me … I’m not convinced by the science [speed limits, seatbelts, drink driving, using mobiles while driving, nah, it’s just not convincing so don’t bother, eh?] … my personal preference is not to wear these things”.
Do go on. “They set off my chest [no reliable citation, and nor will one be forthcoming] … but also, to me, they’ve become instruments of control [groans] and I find them slightly sinister [more groans] … I think there is something to do with thought control about this [more groans and a solitary clap] … I think there is an element of officialdom trying to put out a message by forcing us to wear a mask rather than the simple health science”.
That would be the simple health science that backs the wearing of said masks, then. But he wasn’t finished. “I’m not convinced by the science [maybe a fortnight on a Covid ward would be more persuasive?]. I think it’s got much more to do with sending a message, and I don’t like the message”. Thus the warped view of the entitled media class in one.
So, as Jon Stewart might have said, two things here. One, while Quent and his media pals are blubbering into their reassuringly expensive upmarket repasts, there really are instruments of control being prepared by the Government he, and many of they, so slavishly and shamelessly support, as the FT has reported. Priti Patel’s policing bill will expand stop and search, and all but criminalise peaceful protest.
But Quent is whining about having to wear a face covering, which is mandated by law. So he’s cool about breaking the law, but only if it allows him and his pals to please themselves. As with Julia Hartley Dooda, regulations and restrictions are for the little people and should not impinge upon the media class’ freedom to do as they please.
And Two, Quent’s pleading that wearing a face covering has an element of control does not seem to be echoed in countries like Spain and Portugal, where mask mandates are generally adhered to by the population without the mardy protests seen from our media class. But then, in both countries, there are enough people of A Certain Age who know what instruments of control are, because they remember them well. And masks aren’t.
Quentin Letts is merely the latest example of whining entitlement to indulge in a petulant display of victimhood. Wearing a face covering does not oppress him, or anyone else. It is nothing to do with control, and all to do with reducing transmission of a potentially deadly virus. His behaviour is grossly irresponsible. But you knew that anyway.
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