Brexit has made criticism of Boris Johnson and his government seem like “an act of disloyalty”, a national radio host has said.
James O’Brien, a presenter on LBC radio, argued a lack of oversight had caused Britain to become one of the worst-hit victims of Covid-19 around the world.
He said confusing messaging around what the public can and cannot do without contravening Covid rules has led to more infections and more death.
“We are in a country where the home secretary is arguing on live TV and radio that the British public is too sensible to do something that her government has passed a law specifically to allow,” he said.
O’Brien attempted to make sense of Priti Patel’s statement by reading a message from a caller named Stuart.
“‘You just don’t get it, do you? People are just fed up of you constantly having a go at Boris and the government.'”
“There is part of your answer,” O’Brien argued. “Why are so many people dying? It’s because it’s people like Stuart who are fed up of people like me pointing it out.
“I genuinely think he’s right. That is one of the reasons we have one of the highest death tolls and the worst economic forecast because, Brexit has turned us into a country where any form of criticism of Boris Johnson is seen as an act of disloyalty.
“Even as we bury people on a scale not seen in practically any other country on the planet, even in countries that are considerably poorer and considerably less well-equipped than we are.”
He said the “ultimate tragedy” of Brexit had been the very people who opposed to those “pointing out the truth” were “just as exposed to the dangers that are being described”.
He continued: “The poorer you are, the harder you’re going to be hit by Brexit and the more slavish you are in support of this government, it doesn’t give you immunity.
“Wearing a Conservative rosette is not a vaccine. It won’t protect you or your mum from a relaxation in behaviour that will increase infections, that will cause an unnecessary and unavoidable increase in deaths.”
David Powell praised O’Brien on Twitter for “saying it as it is”.
One user quipped: “Well I must be the most disloyal Brit in the country!”
@leftstance wrote: “I think it’s more a case of ‘if you are pro-Remain, you are anti-U.K. by default’. What hasn’t settled in yet with Leavers, is that by protecting the livelihoods and well-being of U.K. citizens from a disastrous Brexit – Remainers are pro-U.K. Boris has drawn division further.”
I think it’s more a case of “if you are pro-Remain, you are anti-U.K. by default”. What hasn’t settled in yet with Leavers, is that by protecting the livelihoods and well-being of U.K. citizens from a disastrous Brexit – Remainers are pro-U.K. Boris has drawn division further.
— Left Hook (@leftstance) December 17, 2020
Benjamin Elliott noted: “It’s everything before Brexit which got us here. You can’t act surprised now more than half the country has had enough of the other halfs [sic] lack of reason and willingness to madness.”
Others disagreed. One user posted: “Voted for Boris last December and would vote for him again tomorrow. Twitter is not real life and O’Brien’s show is all about winding up the anti Tory and anti Brexit loons.”