'Let’s look on the bright side after a year of gloom'



On this Good Friday morning, let’s try to think of something good.

Glad tidings are slow to arrive. Five days of flawed freedom don’t make up for a year of living dangerously.

Fickle weather doesn’t help, switching from heatwave to Arctic blasts for the Easter holiday weekend.

But the virus figures are tumbling and the vaccination rate is rising fast. More than half the population now has antibodies protection against Covid and stay-at-home shielding for the four million most clinically vulnerable has ended after more than a year.

Young couples can marry with close family around them. Golfers have had their first game of the year, and kids’ football has restarted. Swimmers are back in public pools.

We’re back to the so-called rule of six for open-air meetings, but large gatherings are still unlawful and the police may order people to disperse.

This week has been, in Boris Johnson’s words “the first small step towards freedom” and a giant step for mankind, like the first astronaut on the moon? Trust him to echo a bigger historical figure.

Not everybody is pleased with our restored right to roam.

Seaside mayors are begging visitors to stay away in droves. National Park chiefs fear an invasion of wild campers and their rubbish.

That’s the downside of liberty. Litter louts have already trashed city parks in Leeds, Nottingham, Liverpool, London, Bristol and Birmingham.

Auntie Matt Hancock pleads with us to “enjoy the sun, but do it safely. We’ve come so far, don’t blow it now”.

There will always be a selfish minority who think the rules are for someone else, but by and large Brits are a law-abiding people and we have behaved ourselves.

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This has been a terrible ordeal and it’s not over yet by any means. There are still 80 days of gradually easing restrictions before Freedom Day dawns.

We can take it, having served nearly five times that sentence already.

Brexiteers want permanent exhibition of themselves

As if they haven’t had enough self-congratulation, jubilant Brexiteers want to make a permanent exhibition of themselves.

They’re raising funds from rich City backers for a Brexit Museum, immortalising their victory.

The Faragistas ask for £650,000 to buy and run a centre stuffed with campaign memorabilia. Presumably, pride of place will be the double-decker bus deceitfully promising £350million a week extra for the NHS.

Possible sites for Brexmuse include Dudley in the Black Country and Boston, Lincs, where the “Yes” vote peaked.

Cross-channel trade is down by as much as 40%, fishing and farming are in trouble. The UK is at political loggerheads with the EU.

And coach loads of Brexitrippers converging on your town are welcome? Er, non merci.

Roadrunners running amok

Road runners are running amok in leafy Rickmansworth, Herts. This isn’t an outdated April Fool joke.

They’re South American Rhea birds, five foot high and can do 35mph on the flat.

They escaped from a farm years ago and are now breeding in the wild. Police warn the public not to approach them. I should say so. Beep-beep!





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