James O'Brien caller on why Brits "don't care" about the increasing Covid-19 death toll

5 June 2020, 13:23

By Fiona Jones

This James O'Brien caller gives his theory on why people have become apathetic to the mounting coronavirus death toll.

His call came after James's reflection that on 3 June the UK had more deaths than the 27 EU countries combined - yet on that same day the Prime Minister applauded the government's efforts in the Commons.

There's an element of "blind tribalism" for Conservative voters who are defending the government's coronavirus strategy despite the mounting death toll, said caller Ian.

Trying to rationalise the public's mindset during the crisis, he said a "big chunk of it is apathy...people lost faith not only in the government but in their fellow electorate."

Despite Jacob Rees-Mogg's suggestion on LBC that Grenfell victims should have used "common sense" and evacuated the burning building, and despite Boris Johnson's litany of discriminatory comments during his time as a columnist, they were still voted in, Ian said.

"People will probably forget about all that and vote them in in four years time," Ian said.

James O'Brien said people will "defend" the PM despite the death toll
James O'Brien said people will "defend" the PM despite the death toll. Picture: LBC/PA

James countered, "People won't just forget about it, they'll defend it...Johnson knew exactly what he was doing when he threw some red meat to the Islamophobes and the racists, but that wouldn't make you apathetic about a death toll, would it?"

Ian said many people did get angry about it but "what's the point? This chap still got a majority of 80."

He continued that Neil Kinnock allegedly lost an election for falling over on a beach and yet nowadays politicians can lie and get away with it.

James said, "If you've said to me they're so delighted with what they've been given, which is essentially lies and racism, that they won't even get angry...and lose faith when their countrymen and women on an unprecedented and entirely unavoidable scale. The more you think about it the more staggering it becomes."

He posited that maybe the state of the UK is so awful that people are looking the other way.

Ian said, "We need to not give up and I do worry with things like the Madeleine McCann story...they'll use this as a chance to bury bad news...the public are just pawns on a chessboard to these people."

"The only way back to normality is reality and coronavirus has given the most compelling evidence yet that they hate reality," said James.

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