Ten Grand

I was on the BBC this morning discussing, inter alia, the UK government’s decision to implement fines of up to £10,000 for people who fail to quarantine themselves when directed to do so.

It seemed to me that this is yet another example of the government attempting to be seen to be doing something while doing nothing at all. The overwhelmed police, already disgruntled from being told to check how far and for how long people had been walking or jogging last spring now find themselves ordered to snoop on whether people are conscientiously staying at home or not. They don’t have the manpower to solve the vast majority of muggings and burglaries, so how are they expected to achieve this?

Apparently the government want the public to start grassing up their neighbours. This is an intriguing suggestion predicated on a number of unlikelies, including: a) the idea that people know their neighbours; b) that they know where their neighbours have been holidaying or whether they received a message to quarantine; and c) their desire to grass up their neighbours.

Of those three, only the last seems remotely likely, and I still feel that most people are either disinclined or disinterested in reporting their neighbours’ activities. Furthermore, who spends their time twitching the curtains to monitor the rest of the street? Most of us have our own lives to live.

Anyhow, this kind of pointless nonsense is why the UK has suffered one of the worst COVID infection rates in the world. The government are too busy doing stupid shit badly to bother even attempting to do the right things (testing being the main one).

There’s more here, including what put me right out of my comfort zone this morning, if you’re interested. Archived programme available for the next month or so. UK listeners only, alas.