Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. Picture: REUTERS/DAN KITWOOD
Britain's prime minister Boris Johnson. Picture: REUTERS/DAN KITWOOD

At the stroke of midnight on Sunday, a bunch of UK clubs opened their doors to welcome the good-looking, the young, the brave and the stupid who danced and bellowed and drank the night away in their fulsome, spittle-flying joy.

The occasion was "Freedom Day", UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s over-amped signal that as far is he and his government are concerned, the coronavirus is as beaten as the Luftwaffe was in England’s summer skies in 1940.

Never mind that the Luftwaffe was far from beaten and carried on killing British soldiers and their allies until May 1945. Apparently Johnson had planned a Churchillian speech to mark the moment, so desperate is he to be compared to the greatest leader the island has ever had in a time of crisis. Sadly, the speech was not to be, and not only because the prime minister appears not to have that critical ingredient required for great leadership — the people’s trust.

No, the speech was canned because Johnson has gone into isolation at Chequers, the ministerial country residence, after his very own health secretary, with whom he had necessarily been spending time, tested positive for the coronavirus.

This comes as the government abandons all restrictions that have so far kept people safe, such as mandatory mask-wearing on public transport and social distancing in pubs — you know, common-sense things for a nation which used to be proud of being sensible.

A poll shows two-thirds of UK adults are horrified. An independent health-care expert estimates that the country will soon bear witness to 100,000 new Covid cases a day — and possibly double that — as the Delta variant makes hay while the sun shines.

What to say, except look out for the thumbs-up emoji on the UK government’s Facebook page and the words "coronavirus likes this".

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