It’s going to be hot next week. You may have seen the reports. You may have even seen that the Met Office has put out its first-ever red heat warning. With record-breaking temperatures, you might have thought this seemed a reasonable move. However, there are always those who disagree.
Most prominent amongst these is MP Christopher Chope, a relatively unknown face in a sea of forgettable Conservatives. If there’s one thing Chope can’t cope with, it’s weather warnings.
Apparently they are, he explained during an interview with LBC, an “erosion of our freedom.” Despite reading like something from a satirical article, these words genuinely escaped the mouth of one of our elected representatives. Never mind that the aptly named Meteorological Office’s sole duty is to report on the weather. Would it be safer if, when asked its opinion on how hot it might be in the next few days, the Met Office said “do your own research.”
“When we cede more control to the state then we are giving up more of our personal empire,” he waffled in the interview with perpetual contrarian Nick Ferrari. Ferrari, who apparently wanted to make it seem that this lunatic had some wisdom to offer, mused whether it was right that the government “continually warn us of any impending perils or dangers.” I was under the impression this was a primary function of the government.
A quick perusal of the comments section on right-leaning outrage outlet GB News confirmed that at least a handful of angry individuals seem to feel the same way. Lazy accusations of “nanny state” were thrown around as people lamented the decaying attributes of “personal responsibility.” Exactly how a reminder of impending scorching heat is a symptom of crumbling standards in society was not explained.
What has happened to us? Did the pandemic really make us this paranoid? Have people forgotten that we’re a nation more used to a cold weather? Since when did a well-meaning warning from the Met Office equate to the totalitarian freedom-throttling behaviour of a power-hungry dictator? I’m no fan of the government but sometimes when someone says “it’s going to be hot so watch out” that’s all there is to it.
Moreover, no one is being made to stay inside. To my knowledge, there won’t be fire engines charging around using high-pressure hoses to force people to take refuge in their living rooms. This isn’t a new lockdown but just helpful information provided to you so you can make an informed decision. Should you wish, you could elect to put on your winter woolies and sit in the sunniest part of your garden in defiance of the weather warnings – it’s up to you. Despite what some seem to be suggesting, you’re free to choose.