Acting on parental instincts, Johnson? Do us a favour

A blurry stock photo of a road due to a car being driven at high speed.

Like most of the country, I’m the angriest I’ve ever been right now. Our Prime Minister has effectively just stuck two fingers up at us for adhering to the formerly-clear rules regarding lockdown.

Similarly, his advisor, Dominic Cummings, has given his version of events without the merest hint of an apology for breaking his own rules and shifted blame to the media in the process.

That’s right, it’s one set of guidelines for the government and another for the rest of us. Or is it? Our current PM seems to have suggested that, actually, it’s okay to act on our parental instincts in this crisis.

Which simultaneously suggests that those of us who obey the rules have somehow let our children down. I have a great many problems with this.

First of all, Johnson systematically refuses to confirm how many children he has fathered, but is dishing out parenting advice. And that’s a bit fucking rich.

My instincts are to spend as much time as possible with my family. He doesn’t appear to be fully involved in all of his kids’ lives. So the ‘every parent’ element of his claim is already wrong.

Secondly, there’s the fact that the actions of his aide were anything but instinctive. He had sat on committees with experts and helped come up with the public messaging.

Possibly right down to the precise wording of it – which, curiously, changed to omit the ‘stay at home’ call to action shortly before the scandal broke.

He was in a better position than any to make an educated guess as to the best course of action and knew exactly what he was doing as well as the risks involved.

It strikes me that he just assumed he was above the law and is doubling down after being caught out.

This next bit is almost beside the point, but I’ll mention it anyway: following your instincts isn’t always the best approach. Any attentive parent will tell you this.

None of us is perfect and we all make mistakes. I’ve made loads. But, as a result, I’ve learned that it sometimes pays to take a moment to assess a situation before doing something counterproductive.

Testing your faltering eyesight by going for a half-hour drive with a young child in the car isn’t good instinctive parenting. Not that I believe that – or, indeed, any of his half-arsed excuses.

So thanks but no thanks, Johnson, Cummings et al. You do not speak for me or my parental instincts. Playing the parent card in this situation is both abhorrent and fraudulent.

The public deserves a proper answer.

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