Reports today suggest that Liverpool Council (and possibly some surrounding) will oppose the government push to start the first phase of reopening schools on 1st June. This is being led principally by Liverpool’s long standing mayor, Joe Anderson, a man not exactly allergic to pictures of himself on the front pages of newspapers.
This cynical move is the embodiment of the old adage ‘never let a good crisis go to waste’. Plus our mayor is the living embodiment of ‘stick a red rosette on a plant pot and it’ll be elected with a majority.’ I doubt very much that the mayor cares all that much about the outcomes of this move, more that this situation has set up a perfect opportunity to show him as the Scouse David standing tall against the mighty Goliath Johnson, staring him down with nought but a slingshot and a smooth set of byelaws and statutory guidance.
And what an opportunity it is. While the Prime Minister thrashes and flails his way through this crisis, he leaves space for ‘jobs for life’ politicians like Anderson to puff out their chests and virtue signal their way into the headlines. It won’t matter much that what he’s saying doesn’t make all that much sense, all that matters is that he can clothe himself in the glorious robes of ‘life vs economy’ nonsense and receive the gushing acclaim that inevitably follows. “I will save my people from the Evil Tories – nobody will go back until it is 100% safe and I shall not back down”.
I am no fan of the incumbent administration in No. 10 and I sincerely believe that they have made a catastrophic mistake in imposing lockdown. It will, in the future inquiry, be shown to have been an immense folly, driven by unnecessary panic and fear. Al Johnson has found himself way out of his depth and I wish this government had never been elected.
But now they are trying to get us out of the almighty mess they have created, and the naked politicking by the likes of Anderson isn’t going to help. Fine, if you have the power to do it Mr. Mayor, and you believe it to be the right thing, by all means stop children from going back to school, learning, playing with their friends, getting on with their young lives. But it is a serious mistake.
Not that you’ll ever pay for it of course – you wear a red rosette after all.