James Allan

A Postcard From London

by James Allan Trafalgar Square: Almost completely deserted As a convinced lockdown sceptic since near on the start of this pandemic (see my Spectator Australia columns this past year), in November of last year I put my money where my mouth is. My wife and I hadn’t seen our two adult kids in a year. Both of them live and work in London. If we could, we were going to leave Australia (which has so few COVID-19 deaths, still under one thousand, that the virus is statistically an insignificant cause of death for the population at large) and head to London, epicentre of what the Boris Government portrays as this scary, dangerous virus of plague-like lethality. Some friends thought we were crazy, others crazy brave. The first thing readers need to know is that Australia’s supposedly right-of-centre Government has become so heavy-handed, dismissive of civil liberties and authoritarian that it doesn’t allow citizens – yes, Australian citizens – to leave the country without special permission. You have to apply to some officious bureaucrat and beg to be allowed to leave. (Unless you’re an important politician of course. ‘We’re all in it together’ is false on every level, including who is and is not actually forced to stay in Australia.) Still, when needs must I can grovel with the best of...

August 2022
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