It was already bad. The public were already disgusted. But somehow, the Conservative Party have managed to cause even more outrage over their continued lockdown breaches in 2020. According to ITV, as many as 100 people were invited to a Bring Your Own Booze event in Downing Street garden on 20th May by Boris Johnson’s principal private secretary, Martin Reynolds.
On the same day in 2020, cabinet minister Oliver Dowden was warning the public that we could only meet one person outside our household in an outdoor public place, staying 2 meters apart. Now, a grand total of nine events hosted at Downing Street are being investigated by senior civil servant Sue Gray for breaches of lockdown. Nine.
This morning, #BorisLiedPeopleDied was trending alongside #ToriesPartiedWhilePeopleDied. According to Google Trends, ‘Downing Street party email’ and ‘Garden party No 10’ are breakout search terms today.
Because, while more information is revealed about Tory lockdown breaches every day, people are struggling to fathom just how audacious our government could be. To attempt to hide a small team gathering over Christmas is already highly concerning, but to invite 100 people to a BYOB party in the height of lockdown while the rest of us were debating whether it was safe to sit on a park bench? The same day that 353 people died of Covid? Nine days after Johnson increased the fines for lockdown breaches and the night before ministers stood on their doorstep clapping for the NHS? There are no words for this level of obscene insolence.
In illustrating that imbalance, many have taken to Twitter to share the heart-breaking ordeals they were experiencing while the people voted to represent us blithely breached the rules they were preaching (allegedly).
These are comparisons from May 20th alone. Undoubtedly, during the other nine events that allegedly took place in 2020, there will be more stories of distraught families torn apart by the pandemic, grieving people isolated, terrified covid patients in hospital alone. In fact, every time a new event is leaked to the press, similar tweets to the above go viral. Because we all sacrificed so much during lockdown, it feels impossible to conceive how the same people imposing fines on us - and blaming us for the spread of covid - were disregarding our health so carelessly.
This isn't the first thread and it won't be the last.