It’s a tactic often seen in parenting or the classroom: do as I say, not what I do.
Yep, as kids we were expected to follow the rules imposed – but not always demonstrated – by adults.
And oh look, here we are again. This time though it’s a bit more serious than ‘don’t chew with your mouth open’ or ‘only cross the street if it’s the green man’. It’s Boris Johnson allegedly flouting Covid-19 safety guidelines enforced by himself and his parliament.
According to press reports, the Prime Minister broke the ‘spirit of the rules’ by going for a bike ride at the Olympic Park in London – seven miles away from his home – on Sunday afternoon.
We’ve been told to stay home and, specifically, not to drive to beauty spots for exercise. It’s not known whether Boris was driven there or not – although he had his security detail with him – as Downing Street has refused to comment. In typical politician hedge speak all that’s being said (according to an Evening Standard source) is that he was ‘in line with Covid rules’.
But it will be sure raise some eyebrows, especially coming just after two women were issued fines (since retracted, but still) by police for driving five miles to go for a walk at a reservoir.
In response to that incident, by the way, Health Secretary Matt Hancock told broadcasters he ‘would absolutely back’ the officers imposing fines and emphasised that the rules are not ‘boundaries to be pushed’.
Now, I’m not saying I want to do the same thing. There’s no ‘woe is me why can’t I go on a cycle in the park?’ I do get why the rules are there. No, they’re not law but they’re for the safety of everyone.
To me it just seems hypocritical and, to be honest, down right stupid of Boris. Surely he at least glanced over the toughest lockdown rules yet before imposing them on the rest of us?
Seriously, Mr PM, get it together. Because now more than ever he should be setting an example to the rest of us.