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Time to ditch the rhetoric, it’s going to be bumpy

As I sit typing, my smart newly downloaded Covid-19 app shows a “LOW” status for this area postcode.

I have to admit though, I’m not sure what happens next should things escalate. I don’t think I’m alone either. It’s no wonder that “pandemic fatigue” is becoming a thing.

Yet who can blame us? First we’re told that government policy is driven by science, then we learn that the underlying data is incomplete (who would have guessed?). To make matters worse, the technical excuses given for the mess-up sounded like someone complaining how a shovel doesn’t function well as a screwdriver.

I suppose we shouldn’t really expect anything better in terms to achievement when so much rests with the guy in Downing Street who promised “world-beating” testing arrangements and other “oven-ready” solutions.

While he continues to insist on talking in terms of repelling “alien invaders”, when what we actually need is something resembling a sense of strategy, then the law of unintended consequences will apply - and that won’t end well in any circumstances.

Until now, people have been largely willing to forego personal freedoms to ensure public safety. When they see politicians taking opposing positions over key measures such as local lockdowns then that consensus will quickly evaporate with possibly tragic results.

It’s very easy to portray officialdom as over-reacting but for all the criticism, there are precious few credible alternative approaches out there – and none that anyone can sell with confidence.

What we must do in any event is dump the “we will fight them on the beaches” baloney. Rhetoric has to give way to reality.

The same goes for the current posturing over Brexit negotiations. Things are already on a cliff-edge and we don’t need anyone in power pushing us off.

However, a worrying sign for me was the way the recent Conservative ‘virtual’ party conference was dominated by stern talk of an immigration crackdown and flying-pigs promises of future prosperity.

When parties in power resort to that kind of diversionary waffle then you definitely know the country is in trouble. So fasten your seatbelts and return your trays to the upright position. As the man said, it’s going to be bumpy.


Safe city venues get my seal of approval

Just to be clear, the basic stuff about washing your hands, wearing a mask and keeping your damned distance hasn’t changed.

I gave the same explicit advice to the lady who thought it was fine to squeeze past me in the supermarket in order to get to the hand sanitiser. I’ll readily confess it’s this kind of thoughtless behaviour which has stopped me from eating out, despite all the inducements on offer. That recently changed after my family took me to some recommended venues. I must say I’ve been quite impressed – and, yes, I actually do like the idea of someone taking my temperature before showing me to the table. So there! Therefore, in recognition of safe surroundings, not to mention some pretty exceptional cuisine, I’m delighted to announce that Rasoi Waterfront, the Bowen Arms and Gigi Gao’s restaurant have all so far been awarded my personal “Nervous Diner” Seal of Approval. The hospitality sector plays a sizeable role in the Swansea Bay economy. So I now plan on helping out during the runup to Christmas. My shortlist is growing.

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