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HITCHENS: UK Gov’t Decision to Force Us to Wear Face Nappies Will Kill British High Street

As the UK public struggles with the latest State diktat requiring “face coverings” in retails stores, business are facing the prospect of another blow to street trade. Just as many local businesses were preparing for a comeback and hoping to capitalise on a positive second half of summer, the government has swooped in to crush their hopes with more draconian measures meant to “fight the virus” – even though COVID-19 has all but disappeared from hospitals nationwide.

Has government overplayed its hand again on managing this so-called ‘pandemic’?

Why is central government actively trying to crater the economy when the preponderance of evidence clearly shows that this coronavirus is not nearly as threatening as it was marketed as back in February and March?

Peter Hitchens from the Mail on Sunday writes…

The Government’s dedicated efforts to destroy our economy and an entire way of life have moved up a step. 

High streets had just begun to stir feebly back into life after months of enforced shutdown. Then the futile decree went out from Downing Street that customers must wear muzzles.

And what will happen? Why, more people will choose not to bother to go near shops at all. They will buy from the internet giants instead.

The Government has convinced itself that this idiotic measure will somehow increase confidence. Really? After deliberately terrifying us with horror stories about a huge and deadly plague poised to slay millions and to turn our hospitals into charnel houses?

This did not happen because it was never going to happen, as more and more studies (the latest from Toronto University) are showing. The Government panicked over the wrong advice.

This superstitious, anti-scientific rubbish was challenged repeatedly by distinguished experts of all kinds, ignored by Government and BBC alike. But it has worked only too well. Travellers on public transport, where the muzzle edict has been in force for weeks, could have told them.

Forcing passengers to don facial nappies has not led to more travelling by train or bus. I speak here from direct personal experience. Passenger numbers remain pitifully low.

People are still scared to travel. Or – and this is a major factor in our approaching national doom – they have worked out that by pretending to be afraid, they can continue to stay away from work while still getting paid.

In fact, Prime Minister Alexander Johnson (can we drop the matey ‘Boris’ for ever? He is not our mate) has in a few short weeks done more damage to Britain’s railways than the notorious axeman Dr Richard Beeching of despised memory did back in the 1960s.

Now Mr Johnson is destroying high streets too. This means the wreckage of lives and the impoverishment of life at the same time. As new figures clearly showed yesterday, his actions have already greatly boosted mail-order shopping at the expense of real shops.

If you think this does not matter, then do two things: find out about the working lives of those who toil in the vast computerised warehouses that so efficiently send you the goods you order with a click of your mouse; and imagine your own home town with most of its familiar traders closed down. Imagine what, if anything, will replace them, and the personal service and contact they provide.

This is just a small instance of the great hurricane of economic destruction that has been unleashed on us by a government that has no idea what it is doing. The free money cannot last much longer.

Closures, job cuts, inflation, tax rises and a slashing of public services are all on their way.

The price of gold, that great warning barometer of economic storms to come, is climbing almost daily. And what looks increasingly like a badly bungled exit from the EU will only add to our perils after Christmas.

The prophetic words of Rudyard Kipling return again and again to my mind ‘… we were promised abundance for all / By robbing selected Peter to pay for collective Paul / But, though we had plenty of money, there was nothing our money could buy / And the Gods of the Copybook Headings said: “If you don’t work, you die.” ’

I see the Prime Minister and his colleagues as a gaggle of Oxbridge undergraduates, full of their own brilliance, chattering wittily and slurping champagne beneath a parasol as their punt drifts down the pretty river.

But the river, smooth as it is, is not the quiet Cam or the gentle Isis – it is the Niagara, and that deep growl they hear in the distance when they pause in their banter is the catastrophe towards which they are steering, because they dare not admit to us or to themselves that they made a terrible mistake.

Read more of Peter Hitchens commentary on this topic at the Mail on Sunday

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