Do the clouds have a silver lining?
Andrew Dismore AM, Barnet and Camden
- Credit: PA
After 100,000 Covid deaths with thousands more expected, we have a Conservative government and prime minister who prefer ideology ahead of scientific advice, deferring taking difficult public health decisions until it’s too late.
With their handbrake U-turns, it’s hard to find any good news – and that’s before I mention Brexit, unravelling (not that it was ever ravelled!) by the day – lorry drivers finding their packed lunches confiscated , fishermen seeing their catches rotting due to inadequate paperwork, musicians barred from performing in Europe, Northern Ireland shops cut off from mainland produce.
There’s still "no deal" on our main export earner: financial services. As yet we don’t have the clunky replacements for our previous EU policing and security arrangements, inevitably affecting our safety.
So do the clouds have a silver lining?
Good news 1: the roll out of Covid vaccines- if it can be sustained.
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Good news 2: for UK seaside hospitality businesses – if they’re allowed to reopen, that is! We’re told by government that we can’t holiday abroad due to Covid – not that it would be easy anyway with new EU border controls. So I’m looking forward to my break in Bridlington the jewel of the North Sea coast, rather than Naxos, the little known jewel of the Aegean. Pack a wet suit rather than swimming trunks.
Good news 3: England cricketers’ winning streak of six test matches in a row and Joe Root back on form – until they play India.
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Good news 4: Unequivocally the best of all, a grown up in the White House, the contrast immediately apparent. As Trump gracelessly and petulantly shambles off to Florida, gagged by twitter (at last!) so President Joe Biden has hit the ground running with an impressive raft of executive orders – real action on tackling Covid; rejoining the Paris Accord on climate change; requiring government appointees to sign an ethics pledge; ending the construction of the border wall. His long list goes on.
It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good, so I hope you have your own list for 2021 optimism.
- Andrew Dismore is the London Assembly member for Barnet and Camden.