Waiting for the checkout to open at Morrisons, I let a man go in front of me. He had a small basket while I had a full trolley. It was 7:30 in the morning and I was still feeling in a good mood.
For some reason he started talking to the assistant about how the news was all about that party that had happened a year ago. There were many other things going on in the world and he was sick of hearing about it. He felt it was of no relevance.
I, however, was and still am of a different opinion. He was long gone by the time the contents of my trolley were on the conveyor belt and so I never got the chance to talk to him.
He may have been sick of hearing about it, I imagine many people are, but to think that it is unimportant is missing a huge point. The fact that the Prime Minister tries to dismiss it as trivial should also set alarm bells ringing.
Let’s get one thing straight though, it has nothing to do with the party but instead goes to the very heart of the law and its application.
At the time, London was in tier 3 of COVID restrictions which meant that parties were illegal. Hundreds of people were fined for holding or going to them. Weddings were raided and stopped. Yet, at the heart of government, gatherings were held which had all the makings of parties. Evidence has come to light that they did take place under the very nose of the Prime Minister, even though the Met Police say they lack the evidence to prosecute.
The issue is quite simple. Those who make the law, should abide by the law. Everyone in this country is supposed to be equal before the law yet the activities of some in government show that the law only applies to us outside the bubble. The job of the police is to investigate allegations of law breaking and bring lawbreakers to court. The Met has failed to do this.
The party, or rather parties, and the subsequent denials have reduced trust in the government, without which it cannot govern in a functioning democracy.
The Met should hold a full investigation into what happened and prosecute those who have been found to have broken the law.
It is not about the party but about trust in government, the law and the police.
By the way, that man was behind me in the queue this week.