Rachel Platten (R) poses backstage with Jeremy Joseph and Jacob the dog before her performance on stage at G-A-Y Club Night at Heaven. (Jo Hale/Redferns)
Facing mounting pressure, British prime minister Boris Johnson delivered Monday a stringent set of guidelines to curb the surge of coronavirus cases in the UK, but a leading LGBT+ club owner has castigated the premier as a “c**t”.
Johnson’s initial coronavirus plan has been stampeded by the virus.
After opting to keep Britain open and drive a “herd immunity” approach, a chorus of scientists and public health experts flanked his administration’s comparatively relaxed measures – at odds with the gravity of the crisis bearing down on the country.
Lawmakers have for days grappled with how far the government should go in constricting people’s daily lives.
As a result, in a salvo of new tougher measures, Johnson implored the public not to visit spaces such as pubs, clubs and theatres.
But in doing so without officially closing such spaces, argued G-A-Y nightclub owner Jeremy Joseph, the premier is putting such businesses at risk.
@BorisJohnson – YOU ARE A CUNT
Telling People to avoid pubs, restaurants & theatres but not closing them, in other words, Unofficially closing venues but making sure Government isnt liable for staff To get sick pay
— Jeremy Joseph G-A-Y (@JeremyJoseph) March 16, 2020
Leading gay nightclub owner says: ‘Boris Johnson, you are a c**nt.’
In a sharply toned Twitter post, Joseph, who owns a handful of queer clubs in London and Manchester, wrote: “Boris Johnson, you are a c**nt.
“Telling People to avoid pubs, restaurants and theatres but not closing them, in other words, unofficially closing venues but making sure government isn’t liable for staff to get sick pay.”
Indeed, Johnson’s tact contrasted with his counterparts across the world, where some world leaders have directly ordered the shuttering of club and other entertainment spaces’ doors.
While such policy is harsher, many have provided padded relief efforts and vowed “no company of any size will be allowed to go bankrupt”.
A vow of safety that Johnson has not provided, business leaders say.
Closing theatres may save lives.
Good. So @BorisJohnson just Say The Words, close them, & save thousands of livelihoods too.
You’ve told people to stay away from our industry
But not shut it down
No shutdown no insurance
No insurance no survival
Give us a fighting chance, dammit https://t.co/PtWeaWSEsL
— James Graham (@mrJamesGraham) March 16, 2020
Boris Johnson advising people not go to pubs & clubs, but saying that they can remain open forces venues to shut their doors themselves, meaning that they are liable, thus voiding any insurance claims & government subsidies. This is not accidental, it’s Tory rule at its finest.
— Sophie 🏳️🌈 #IndyRef2 🏴♥️ (@OnceUponASophie) March 16, 2020
Treasury chief Rishi Sunak announced last week some threadbare support schemes for businesses. Nevertheless, such support will prove ineffective if insurance does not apply when bankruptcy looms, business owners suggest.
The atmosphere in Britain changed dramatically after Johnson’s announcement.
Pubs hopped into the night and club-goers crammed sweaty basements throughout the weekend, even as shoppers wearily packed supermarkets last weekend.
Now, the futures of countless bars and clubs remain unknown.
Moreover, the Conservative party leader’s lockdown announcement all comes after cases of the coronavirus – vastly held down for weeks – have since rocketed. Rising to more than 1,500 on Monday.
Delicate and bristled with spikes, the coronavirus strain that is choking the world first emerged in December 2019 and was tracked down to Wuhan’s busy seafood and livestock market.