Sunday 20 December 2020

Goodnews Johnson


From 2010 to 2015 the President of Nigeria was His Excellency Goodluck Johnson .  Presumably "Goodluck" is a literal translation of a first name common in Nigerian culture, just as my name, Peter, is a translation of Rock, and Irene means peace, and probably originally given in the hope that the child will be endowed with some of the finer aspects of the name.

Following that reasoning it would have been appropriate to give the name "Goodnews" to  our Prime Minster, Alexander* Johnson, since he has the undoubted  gift of proclaiming Good News in all sorts of circumstances ("word beating,"  "oven ready" et al) even when they turn out to be not good at all, or even moderately average.

 From his earliest days as prime minister Johnson has been very reluctant to announce bad news, even  when  it was highly desirable to do so promptly.  Hence our severance from the EU must  go ahead at the end of this year regardless of the pandemic; he could shake hands with hospital workers in spite of  of warnings not to; Goodwood and an international rugby union game and accompanying crowds could go ahead; the March lockdown was far too late and cost cost 20 000 lives; all would be back to normal  by Christmas.

In fact it is far from normal and has  seen seen to be so for some time, but Johnson hadn't the courage to decree that multi-family celebrations should be abandoned.  No, up to three families could still meet together for five full days.  When the "science" insisted that this was bound to cause pronounced increases in infections, hospitalisations and deaths, until yesterday this advice still remained in force.

Mr Johnson has all the characteristic of a supply teacher who has lost control of the class and appeals to their  better natures.  This is what you're allowed to do, but please don't do it.

At last, from yesterday,  travel and multi-family meetings are banned in a new Tier Four, and mixing in other area is reduced to just the one day.

Fortunately I believe "the British people" (a phrase of which Johnson is very fond) have more sense than an unruly class of adolescents, and the overwhelming majority of us  will  stick to "one family only" cerebrations,  a small sacrifice to make in order to enable more of us to survive to next Christmas and well beyond.


" Johnson has three given names, Alexander Boris de Pfeffel,   but I understand the first,  or its diminutive "Al," is the one the family and friends use.  "Boris" for public use is a curious pretension.



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