During his address to the House of Commons on Tuesday, regarding the lowering of restrictions in public places and reducing of social distancing to one metre, Boris Johnson urged people to trust in the public's 'common sense'.
At several points on Tuesday, he highlighted the need for common sense to prevail in order to tackle coronavirus. Here are the three quotes from Johnson, as per GOV.UK:
From the outset, we have trusted in the common sense and perseverance of the British people and their response has more than justified our faith.
Later he said:
Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense in the full knowledge of the risks, remembering that the more we open up, the more vigilant we will need to be.
He concluded his speech by saying:
Today, we can say that our long national hibernation is beginning to come to an end and life is returning to our shops, streets and homes and a new, but cautious, optimism is palpable.
But it would be all too easy for that frost to return and that is why we will continue to trust in the common sense and the community spirit of the British people to follow this guidance, to carry us through and see us to victory over this virus.
This would all seem well and good and while many are eager to get back down the pub and drink a few pints, Johnson's faith in British common sense seems much more deep-seated than what most of the public has in each other.
If the coronavirus pandemic has proven anything it's that many of us do not possess much common sense at all and have pushed social distancing to its very limits and potentially increased the spread of Covid-19. Elsewhere, recent history has shown that the UK really struggles when it has to make decisions, causing commons sense to float out of the window and seemingly never return.
Here's some times that British people proved we've not got as much common sense as Boris seems to think we have...
Cramming on to beaches in the middle of a deadly pandemic
When trying to spot a British person, the one telltale sign is that whenever it gets even slightly hot, they will completely lose the plot, start parading around shorts and flip flops, get as drunk as possible and flock to the nearest park or beach. These scenes aren't usually worrying but during a pandemic where a virus can be easily spread between people it's probably best to stay away from these huge areas, especially when everybody else is heading down there. Sadly pictures from Bournemouth Beach on Tuesday, show that the great British public are not showing much common sense and would much rather get a tan and frolic in the sea than steer clear of coronavirus.
Good old British common sense. https://t.co/7cD0893pfJ
— Elizabeth of Warwick (@Elizabeth of Warwick)
See the difference UK Bournemouth versus France Arcachon. Which country is more likely to get a second wave? So muc… https://t.co/LefW90WQaA
— Kev- People before Profit; Generosity before Greed (@Kev- People before Profit; Generosity before Greed)
When people called the police because KFC didn't have any chicken
We now move slightly away from coronavirus to another crisis that rocked the nation in recent years; when KFC ran out of chicken for about a week in 2018. The crisis which was caused by a delivery problem was so catastrophic that people were actually calling the police to report KFC for what they must have thought was an offense. We really wish we were joking about this one.
Dropping litter everywhere during a pandemic
Now this isn't necessarily a problem just with British people but is an epidemic the world over that people have been trying to fix for decades but during a pandemic, when the deadly virus could literally be everywhere and on anything you touch, the least you could do is put whatever bits of rubbish you have in a bin or take it home with you and prevent someone from picking it up and potentially catching your germs. It really is just common sense.
#Bournemouth beach today.
People are c***s 😡😡😡 https://t.co/MwB0p0VH7w
Perhaps the only good thing about coronavirus is that it has improved all of our personal hygiene for the better. Whether you are washing your hands 15 times a day or have spent your life savings on hand sanitiser can only be a good thing, right? Well, it is possible to have too much of a good thing and as photos have shown us the fact that some public sanitising stations now come with warnings to stop people from drinking from them shows that common sense isn't prevailing in this particular area.
"Our principle is to trust the British public to use their common sense.” https://t.co/cZStwJ6S1V
Cast your mind back to 8th May, which may seem like a lifetime ago but it was actually when the UK decided it was a good idea to encourage everyone to hold street parties and celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day. These events included large gatherings of people meeting on the street to sing 'We'll Meet Again' and form a socially distanced conga line. Yes, that was actually something that happened in 2020. While, almost everyone looked on aghast, it was plastered across the television like nothing serious was happening despite it potentially contributing the spread of Covid-19 to those most vulnerable.
Government: “We trust the common sense of the British people”
The British people: https://t.co/wwp7viM1Hy
We use the term "football fans" lightly hear as we doubt many of these people are actually dedicated followers of the beautiful game. Although there haven't been any reports of fans showing up at stadiums since the Premier League returned, so to speak of, the scenes in Westminster of the 'Football Lads Alliance,' a group of far-right hooligans who descended on London, when they had no reason to be there, to protest against peaceful 'Black Lives Matter' only to get into a fight with the police, is another great example of the British public having no common sense and needlessly exposing themselves to coronavirus.
Boris Johnson: The common sense of the British people is going to get us through this
The British people: Let's ha… https://t.co/djO0gZYQfs
Of the many scandals that have emerged in Britain since coronavirus began, the outrage that Dominic Cummings caused by driving his family from one end of the country to the other after contracting coronavirus, when the rules were to stay at home was palpable. The government might have claimed that he used common sense in order to get some childcare, as he handed his children over to his parents but his commons sense came into doubt when he decided to drive 30 miles with his entire family in the car to 'test his eyesight' something which Michael Gove later claimed that he had also done to see if his peepers were still working.
Nick Ferrari - Would you go on a 60 mile road trip to test your eyesight?
Michael Gove - I have on occasions in th… https://t.co/KO8DX0KgXR
No real explanation needed here but if there is a better example of the British public not having much common sense then all of it is encapsulated in the absolute car wreck that was and still is Brexit...
Whichever way you voted, causing years of upheaval wasn't exactly the "common sense" approach, was it?
Much like Boris Johnson, we hope common sense can pull us through but the evidence would show that it is going to be an uphill struggle.
So there we have it: a comprehensive list of times British people showed we don't have as much common sense as our prime minister seems to think we have.
If the PM doesn't open his eyes soon, it feels like a second wave could be more than likely.