I watched the French president Emmanuel Macron deliver his speech to the nation on Monday evening, as he announced the “lockdown”, with no one allowed outside without special permission.
It began with La Marseillaise and a sweeping view of the French parliament.
Then Macron gazed at the camera with such authority, and Frenchness, I expected him to carry on: “As this is France, I expect some of you will want to riot.
“This is fine, but I must ask all rioters to stand six feet apart from each other.
“Before you throw a petrol bomb, you must use a small splash of petrol to clean your ’ands, as the bomb could carry the virus. Now I will read a short poem I have written, about how, if you ‘ave the symptoms, you may need a ventilator, but most important you must feel the tingle of love and passion, running through the trees of your heart.”
Instead he ran through a series of measures to assure everyone their homes and jobs would be protected from the lockdown.
Rent and utility bills were suspended, and a state fund was set up to ensure no company would go bust. Unemployment pay would be increased, and no one could be dismissed from their job.
Similar rules were brought in across Europe.
But in Britain we were “advised” not to travel or go to work, leaving half the country terrified of losing jobs and homes, so they carried on as normal.
To be fair, this must have been impossible to see in advance.
Who could have known if you ask people to stay in, even though this might mean they’ll lose their job and their house and have nothing to eat, they might ignore you?
Maybe other countries had carried out experiments in secret labs.
They told 100 people to make a cup of tea. But 50 of them were told once they’d made the tea, they’d be laid off from work, and
the bank would demand their mortgage, and their gas would be cut off.
Astonishingly, those people were less inclined to even put the kettle on.
For example, I heard an 83-year-old man call a radio phone-in, to say: “I work at a market stall, but I can’t stay off work, I have to pay my rent.”
Then he said: “Anyway I’m fine, there’s nothing wrong with me at all.”
This suggests he’s not quite worked out how diseases work.
Generally, you are absolutely fine, right up until the moment you get the disease.
If this disease went round thinking, “There’s no point in attacking this person, as they’re fine”, it would be much less of a problem.
But he’d convinced himself to take the risk, because he was frightened of what would happen if he didn’t. Now our Government has found the money, just in time.
They must have shrieked: “IT’S OVER HERE.
“It’s in a back pocket I never normally use, 600 billion quid, thank God for that.”
And we’re approaching what scientists call the critical point, with no prospect of ruin by staying at home, so if you still ignore the instructions, you are simply a stupid heap of donkey mess.
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