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PETER HITCHENS Can’t we put the Johnson Junta in a nice retirement home?

Months ago I predicted that we would all hate the narrow, turbulent new life that the government wants to force us to live. I was wrong.

Far too easily, most people have accepted the limits of their lives that the world’s tyrannies would ever have hesitated to impose on their citizens.

Well, have you had enough? Because the Johnson Junta only has one tool in the box. That tool is limitation.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is depicted on a visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford. Most people have, far too easily, accepted the limits of their lives that the world's tyrannies would have ever hesitated to impose on their citizens

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is depicted on a visit to the Jenner Institute in Oxford. Most people have, far too easily, accepted the limits of their lives that the world’s tyrannies would have ever hesitated to impose on their citizens

And it has only one goal, one that has never been achieved by any state in the history of the world: the total suppression of a coronavirus. Who would have thought that the reign of clowns would be so nonsensical?

But it now looks like this will go on forever unless we can somehow lead these people away to remote retirement homes where friendly nurses can live out their wild power fantasies with calming repeats of ‘Yes, honey’, cold compresses and cups. Ovaltine. It is certainly getting more and more dangerous for them to be out and about.

Take the Secretary of Health, Mr. Matthew Hancock. I know I’ve laughed at him in the past as some kind of crazy school principal who rages on his little students. But for God’s sake, the man is a cabinet minister and he has real power over us.

He can destroy your case, let you stay at home, separate you from your loved ones at the end of their lives, destroy your marriage plans, destroy your education, ruin your vacation, take away your job, turn the police on you for refusing to accept a Pro-government badge over half of your face. He can and he does.

Take the Secretary of Health, Mr. Matthew Hancock. I know I've laughed at him in the past as some kind of crazy school principal who rages on his little students. But for God's sake, the man is a cabinet minister and he has real power over us

Take the Secretary of Health, Mr. Matthew Hancock. I know I've laughed at him in the past as some kind of crazy school principal who rages on his little students. But for God's sake, the man is a cabinet minister and he has real power over us

Take the Secretary of Health, Mr. Matthew Hancock. I know I’ve laughed at him in the past as some kind of crazy school principal who rages on his little students. But for God’s sake, the man is a cabinet minister and he has real power over us

And he has said goodbye to the truth. On Friday morning, Mr. Hancock said the number of hospital admissions for Covid doubles every seven to eight days.

Now, ‘hospital admissions for Covid’ is a somewhat tricky figure. It may well be affected by the government’s endless futile, frantic hunt for signs of a disease that has largely disappeared among us and whose main symptom is that you are feeling fine, thank you.

Deaths, a figure that is very difficult to massage, are low and remain low after a long fall from their peak on April 8. People must be distracted from this fact at all costs.

I have to wonder what the hospital admissions numbers are, given the slickness of the government on this episode. Could it be that people who tested positive for Covid in one of Mr. Hancock’s huge drag nets, but who go to the hospital mainly for other reasons, are added to this total?

I wouldn’t be a bit surprised. Could it be that our hospitals are being encouraged to admit for observation mild cases that they would have sent home earlier? Who knows? I guess.

But then we come to the hospital admission figures. Yes, they have gone up a bit since mid-August. But keep in mind that in March they were regularly over 2,500 a day.

On August 1, the total of Covid hospital admissions in England was 50. On August 8 it was 78. On August 15 it was 38. On August 22 it was 25. On August 29 it was 52. On September 5 it was 94. On 12 September was 143. This is hardly a fixed pattern.

Now, I know, because the health department told me that if you took a different and much shorter date range (Aug. 24, 41; Aug. 31, 52; Sept. 7, Sept. 84; Sept. 14, 172) you – sort of – support their claim. I thought “every seven or eight days” was meant for a much longer period. “Any” is a powerful word.

But, as I said to the ministry spokesperson who manually tried to convince me that his boss’s claim that hospitalizations doubled every week had been fair, seems to me unscrupulous scare-mongering, which would put a banana republic to shame.

Wise Coventry, who refuses to be beaten or seduced by the slick, nasty e-scooter lobby.

These things are dangerous, especially for pedestrians, and pretending to be healthy (no movement) or green (battery power comes from power plants) is absurd.

Always remember the case of Isabelle Albertin, pianist at the Paris Opera for 30 years, who was unable to play after one of these joyful horrors struck her and broke two bones in her arm. Forbid the bad things.

The new ITV production of The Singapore Grip, starring Georgia Blizzard, above, is ¿like so many of these dramas ¿a moving museum

The new ITV production of The Singapore Grip, starring Georgia Blizzard, above, is ¿like so many of these dramas ¿a moving museum

The new ITV production of The Singapore Grip, starring Georgia Blizzard, above, is – like so many of these dramas – a moving museum

Glamorous Georgia … and another costume drama to scoff at

If we can have Shakespeare in modern clothing, then it is time we have the British imperial era in modern clothing.

The new ITV production of The Singapore Grip, starring Georgia Blizzard, is – like so many of these dramas – a moving museum.

It is a procession of double-breasted suits, double-breasted cars and flying boats. Its production must have used up about a ton of bright red lipstick and enough cigarettes to give cancer to a small town.

And of course there are swing bands, which play away like the Japanese are coming. So we can all scoff at the bigoted attitude of the distant, alien humans that float through this remote world.

In fact, they looked more or less like us: they followed the political fashions of the time as we did our own. And one day others will portray us with the same disdain.

Businessman Simon Dolan’s much-needed lawsuit against the government’s illegal rule by decree has again been postponed as one of the government’s lawyers is on vacation.

Yes really. I can only say it wouldn’t have happened to Gina Miller’s case.

Ax shows up in front of a dusty little Empire attic

Like most sensible Oxford residents, I’ve kept my mouth shut about what was, until recently, the most beautiful museum in the world, the Pitt Rivers. Half the crazy charm came from the fact that hardly anyone could find it during the short opening hours. On a quiet winter afternoon, it was a dimly lit feast for the imagination and an unbeatable evocation of the era of exploration and wonder. Is it ‘racist’? Only for racists.

A man-trap from a 19th-century English estate hardly proclaims the benefits of Western civilization. It’s really just an Empire attic. The great James Fenton wrote a witty poem about it, saying it was where “myths go when they die.”

We were worried that publicity – which has come to it in books and TV dramas lately – would doom it. And now this has happened. A new boss has gotten rid of the Shrunken Heads. Who knows how long the totem pole, man trap and spring gun will survive now?

2 meter farce gives us the measure of Boris

The quackery of the prescriptions imposed on us knows no bounds.

The British Weights and Measures Association, a beautiful body defending our trusted, human yards and pounds from the chilly, bureaucratic imposition of meters and pounds, has uncovered a fascinating detail of how the ‘two meter’ rule came about. The official guideline was that one meter (just over 3ft 3in) would be sufficient.

Expert Professor Robert Dingwall revealed in a little-publicized interview that a senior public health specialist explained to him, ‘We knew it was one meter, but we doubled it to two because we didn’t think the British people would understand what one meter was and we could didn’t trust them to observe it so we doubled it up just to be sure. ‘

I must emphasize that Prof Dingwall is quoting someone else here and is not the author of these derogatory words. I asked Prof Dingwall to identify the speaker, but he didn’t, although it is clear that someone is quite well known.

You can also see here the crabby government of Johnson’s reluctance to use traditional British measures – which Mr Johnson claims to appreciate.

Expert Professor Robert Dingwall revealed in a little-publicized interview that a senior public health specialist explained to him: ¿We knew it was a meter, but we doubled it to two because we didn't think the UK population would understand what a meter was and we could they don't trust to observe it so we doubled it up just to be sure '

Expert Professor Robert Dingwall revealed in a little-publicized interview that a senior public health specialist explained to him: ¿We knew it was a meter, but we doubled it to two because we didn't think the UK population would understand what a meter was and we could they don't trust to observe it so we doubled it up just to be sure '

Expert Professor Robert Dingwall revealed in a little-publicized interview that a senior public health specialist explained to him, ‘We knew it was one meter, but we doubled it to two because we didn’t think the British people would understand what one meter was and we could they don’t trust to observe it so we doubled it up just to be sure ‘

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