DAN WOOTTON: Enough is enough, we need to get our lives back


So far as I am concerned June 21st is Liberation Day, whether the Government wants to accept it or not.

The talk coming from ministers of continued social distancing and mask enforcement in the middle of summer in an almost fully vaccinated country would not just be scientific madness, it would rip to shreds the fabric of British society.

And it’s up to us to claim back our God-given freedoms.

Until now, we have largely followed the rules, despite knowing many of them are cruel and make absolutely no practical sense.

June 21 is Liberation Day, whether the Government choose to accept it or not, writes DAN WOOTTON. Pictured is Boris Johnson campaigning on behalf of Conservative Party candidate Jill Mortimer in Hartlepool

We have reluctantly agreed to a lockdown lifting at snail’s pace, because the Government claimed it would all be over next month and then be irreversible.

We have had to watch as comparable democracies like the US get back to normal life, with its economy starting to fire, travel reopened, and social distancing and mask mandates axed altogether for those who have been jabbed.

Many of us have even reluctantly accepted there may well be an attempt to reintroduce some restrictions and even another lockdown over winter.

But on June 21, no matter what political party you support, the time has come to say loud and clear: No more!

Boris Johnson’s de facto deputy started to lay the groundwork for yet another Government U-turn on giving back our freedoms during a worrying appearance on Andrew Marr’s BBC show yesterday.

   

More from Dan Wootton for MailOnline…

Dominic Raab said: ‘We want to get to the position at the end of June when we can get life back as close to normal as possible, but there will still need to be some safeguards in place.’

Asked what that meant, he added: ‘I think it will be around distancing – maybe there will be something around masks.’

Such hysteria, not backed up by any scientific evidence, must be instantly questioned and challenged.

It’s as if our scientists want to dismiss their greatest achievement of this pandemic: The speedy development of a super-effective vaccine.

And there are real-world consequences for keeping distancing and mask rules in place. For example, it would wipe out the hospitality and entertainment industry in one fell swoop.

I agree with Emma McLarkin, the chief executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, who seethed: ‘The British public clearly understood, as did the pub sector, that June 21 is freedom day. We were promised the restrictions would fall away.’

We are currently a nation of red tape loving, clipboard carrying bores – and I’m now very concerned that state of mind could become permanent.

The Times reported today that even after June 21, theatre and cinema audiences will be forced to wear masks. Further, pubs and restaurants will keep in place tedious one-way systems, screens and mask requirements.

After much enthusiasm about a full Wembley Stadium for the Euros final earlier in the year, the Government is now wanting to limit the venue to 50 per cent capacity.

Mr Johnson’s de facto deputy, Dominic Raab, started to lay the groundwork for yet another Government U-turn on giving back our freedoms during a worrying appearance on Andrew Marr’s BBC show yesterday

Mr Johnson’s de facto deputy, Dominic Raab, started to lay the groundwork for yet another Government U-turn on giving back our freedoms during a worrying appearance on Andrew Marr’s BBC show yesterday

And in another illustration of how desperate our MPs seem to be to avoid liberation, 60 of them on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus have today demanded the Government should ‘discourage all international leisure travel’ going forward.

Alarmingly Boris seemed to have sympathy with that when he warned against sparking an influx of the disease this morning.

That’s why, rather than relying on a toothless Prime Minister or Cabinet to step in, I believe it’s only our own actions that can stop this never-ending insanity.

And I see some reason for hope on that front.

A quiet and stoic defiance in London, where I live, has noticeably started to build over the last month.

That kind of resilience is usually referred to positively as the Blitz Spirit, but this time is predictably being ignored by most of our pro-lockdown broadcast media, just like the freedom marches were.

A quiet and stoic defiance in London, where I live, has noticeably started to build over the last month writes DAN WOOTTON (pic)

A quiet and stoic defiance in London, where I live, has noticeably started to build over the last month writes DAN WOOTTON (pic) 

But it’s significant all the same. I’ve noticed very few folk are still silly enough to wear masks outside, for example, well aware of the limited effectiveness and no longer feeling the need to virtue signal.

Don’t tell Hancock, Whitty and Vallance, but socialising and – shock horror – spontaneous acts of happiness in groups have started to return all around, with most people prepared to defy the freezing temperatures to get that taste of normal life that is so critical to our mental health.

There are barbecues being hosted, despite Arctic conditions.

And many folk are choosing to brave increasingly-crowded train carriages in order to join their colleagues in the office.

That should set alarm bells ringing in the minds of the sinister behavioural scientists who have loved scaring Brits into enforced isolation these past 405 days.

Their advice to Boris Johnson is particularly important because, if the Government realises the public is turning against its draconian controls, they will be forced to remove them.

I strongly believe the emphasis must now be put on individual choice.

If you want to wear a mask, of course go right ahead.

If you don’t want to hug your loved ones in fear of picking up germs, that’s your call. I’ll only judge you a little bit.

If you don’t want to go out to dinner, fine. Keep ordering curries from UberEats but let the rest of us get on with it.

But to enforce these choices by law is no longer justified, given the evidence that this crisis in the UK is now over, thanks to the high take up of vaccines.

Boris said the Government would be guided by data. Well, that couldn’t be any more overwhelming.

If you don't want to go out to dinner, fine. Keep ordering curries from UberEats but let the rest of us get on with it, writes DAN WOOTTON. Pictured is a pub in Windsor yesterday

If you don’t want to go out to dinner, fine. Keep ordering curries from UberEats but let the rest of us get on with it, writes DAN WOOTTON. Pictured is a pub in Windsor yesterday 

The country’s 15 million most vulnerable – the over-70s and those with underlying conditions – have now had both jabs. Another 35 million have had their first injection.

Just 1,671 tested positive for coronavirus yesterday and there were 14 deaths. The rolling average of fatalities is down a whopping 31 per cent in a week, making Covid no more deadly at the moment than seasonal flu.

There’s two other key areas where the sensible British public will say No with actions rather than their words.

The first is the test and trace regime, which is largely being dismissed.

The second is the ongoing lateral-flow test nightmare.

A sadistic woman dressed in a high-vis vest literally stuck one of those disturbingly long nose swabs up into what felt like my brain the other day before I was allowed access to a venue for work.

I’ve had copious Covid tests over the past year with no issues, but I could see she was enjoying causing unnecessary discomfort.

So when she went to go into the second nostril, I physically pulled the swab out of my nose and said: ‘No, you’ve got quite enough already, thank you very much.’

The time has come for us to start saying no a lot more these next few weeks.

It might not seem like it, but ending these debilitating restrictions and clawing back our freedom in full on June 21 before it’s too late really is in our hands. 

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