James O'Brien's powerful reaction to government's face mask contradiction

13 July 2020, 12:46

By Fiona Jones

This was James O'Brien's powerful reaction to the Government's contradictory comments on the wearing of face masks in England.

Wearing face coverings in shops and other public enclosed spaces in England may become mandatory, the Prime Minister suggested on Friday.

Mr Johnson, who was seen wearing a face mask for the first time, said "stricter rules were being looked at" to prevent a second peak of coronavirus.

However two days later Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said he did not believe their use should be made mandatory because he believed in “people’s good sense”.

James reflected that he would not put it past the Government to confuse the public deliberately so "when the proverbial hits the fan they can both throw their hands up in the air and say well it wasn't me, we said black and white so you can't blame us when things go wrong."

"It is quite incredible now, the madness that engulfs us, and once again I don't understand why being a passionate supporter of Brexit also makes you likely to be a passionate enemy of face masks," he said, citing former UKIP supporter Suzanne Evans who "strongly suspected" a face mask gave her herpes.

"Is it just faith versus facts again? Is it this idea that you can win a referendum with exceptionalism and nonsense, so the idea persists that you can also somehow win a battle with a global pandemic with fact-free faith based nonsense?" James asked.

He reflected that "the loudest enemies of face masks were the loudest champions of Brexit."

"As all of this falls apart about their ears that they might sit down for a while when it comes to public health having actually inflicted the single biggest episode of voluntary self-harm upon a country that the world has ever seen.

"You think that the people responsible for that would perhaps observe a period of silence when it comes to poo-pooing public health experts."