James O'Brien stopped in his tracks by a powerful observation on British behaviour during crisis

22 May 2020, 14:25 | Updated: 22 May 2020, 17:07

By Fiona Jones

James O'Brien was stopped in his tracks by this caller who made a truly powerful observation about British behaviour during the coronavirus crisis.

Craig in Singapore told James that the country will be in lockdown until 1 June, which is eight weeks.

He said at this point in time, he feels very uneasy about British nationals coming to Singapore, having seen footage of packed UK beaches: "I have sacrificed eight weeks...of my liberty living a life like this to get my numbers down. We've had 20 deaths overall."

James asked: "How do we look from where you are?"

Craig responded that every Remembrance Day he goes to visit the British soldiers at a Singaporean cemetery and thanks the British soldiers for their sacrifice.

"They gave their today so you can have tomorrow and I think it's the least I can do to recognise what they did.

James O'Brien reeled from the deeply poignant point the caller made about British behaviour during the coronavirus crisis
James O'Brien reeled from the deeply poignant point the caller made about British behaviour during the coronavirus crisis. Picture: LBC/PA

"I think there's going to be fewer participants at those Poppy Day ceremonies at Whitehall where they're laying the wreaths. And it's because we didn't give up our today so that they could have a tomorrow."

James, sorrowful, referenced the pandemic in the care homes which, unlike in Singapore, were not locked down early.

Craig said that Singapore got it: "If you're going to get it and you're old and you've got symptoms, you're going to get it worse and we're going to protect you first. You're not last.

"How can these people go to a pub or beach knowing that? I don't get it."

James, reeling from the powerful point, reflected that people are doing this because they are being told to use their common sense during the crisis and have not received clear guidance.

"The idea of it being a moment at the Cenitaph that makes us realise how many people who could have been there aren't there. I hope you're wrong but I haven't got much to support the suggestion that you are, Craig, thank you."

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