An infinite deal of nothing

Live a little, cheer a little, comfort thyself a little

The good news is that the first batches of the coronavirus vaccine have arrived in the UK, been transported round the country and are being administered into the upper arms of those at the top of the list as I write.

The bad news is that the Prime Minister’s game of chicken with the EU may not be going quite as well as he promised the electorate it would.

The French, it seems, are playing hardball. Who knew? France, the nation who vetoed the UK’s entry to the Common Market way back when. Maybe this was always going to go down to the wire. The In/Out referendum was four and half years ago, which sounds eons ago when you think what else has happened in the meantime. In reality though, you could look at it as ‘just’ 54 months. In that time civil servants have received 54 payslips, two Prime Ministers their p45s and countless Ministers their new red Boxes. The hot air that has been spouted about this issue since then could probably power entire cities for the next decade and beyond. This was supposed to be the easiest deal in history. Hah.

The EU was always going to play hardball. Because it can. Because it believes that the UK needs it more than it needs the UK. We will only really truly know whether that is the case when we are years down the line. In the meantime, the rumblings about port delays and supply chain delays are starting. We’ve just been through a year of delays caused by lockdown and COVID-19. We really, really don’t want to have to deal – pun intended – with any more.

The Prime Minister has said that the “power of sweet reason” will prevail and there will be a deal. Boris, you’d better be right.

Anyhoo, back to that good news though. The first person to receive the vaccine in the UK was 91-year-old Margaret Keenan. The second, joy of joys, was William Shakespeare of Warwickshire. Cue a million jokes about him looking good for a 456yr old, and lots of puns:
To jab or not to jab;
By the pricking of my thumbs;
If you prick us, do we not bleed;
Two Gentlemen of Corona;
What is that light through yonder Perspex screen;
To take arms against a sea of troubles;
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee;
I go, and it is done; the bell invites me;
Such stuff as dreams are made on
Titus Astrazenicas
The taming of the flu
This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection

I could do this all day, but, you know, work beckons. Hopefully an EU deal does too.


ws bj
I suppose they do both have a way with words…….

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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