Obviously, the death of MP David Amess has dominated the conversation over the last 24 hours.
Opinion is split in the anti-lockdown/mask/vaxx/mandate enclaves.
On the one side is those who think that all MPs have, en masse, sold us down the river to forces of darkness. The very best of MP is just the sandwich with the least amount of dogshit in it. There’s no sobbing for Amess in this camp, though many have hesitated to express any gladness, which I think is fair enough.
On the other side we have people who have been moaning for 18 months about how evil the measures being taken are, how they cannot see their relatives and friends, cannot run their businesses, cannot receive the healthcare they paid for and cannot bury their dead with dignity, but object to any expression of cosmic justice at the death of one of those who voted for the evil that has upended every right we ever took for granted in England. The thing is evil, the people who voted for the evil thing are what?
And Amess did vote for the evil. Every single time he had the opportunity to vote in Parliament on what the government is doing vis. Covid, he voted with the government. There were scores of Tory MPs who sometimes or always voted against the totalitarian measures being taken by the government with respect to Covid. Amess was never one of them.
Amess is on record making the sort of noises that should assuage sceptics and anyone with misgivings about the extreme, technocratic and opportunist response to Covid that the UK government has pursued.
But, as the saying goes, fine words butter no parsnips. And it does seem like Amess was a man of very fine words – he had some that would please whosoever he happened to encounter, be they an immigrant on a raft or a Brexit diehard. So we shouldn’t be surprised that, in the end, they didn’t add up to a coherent position or a clarity of purpose, because they never came from a place of pure principle, but from the politics of a people-pleaser and party loyalist.
Amess had one simple set of tools at his disposal that we do not have. He could have voted against what has been done to us all over the last 20 months. Of course he could not have single-handledly stopped any of it, but if he had voted against the covid measures I could at least find it in my heart to lament the man.
And yes, if we look at his politics and voting record pre-2020, there are some encouraging things to be seen. Christian, Pro-life, pro-family, anti-EU. But it was a very mixed bag – he was also pro-immigration and pro-war. The top line message is that over his career, 98% of the time he voted with his party (who have been awful on almost everything since the 90s to this very day).
Yes he probably was one of the best of a bad bunch before Covid came along, and on the defining issue of our lifetimes, like a consummate politician he’s mollified angry constituents with all the right words, but his actions must speak far louder.
Covid is the only game in town now. The plain and open public records of the UK Parliament show that Amess was not, when the chips were down, on the side of the good and true.