RICHARD LITTLEJOHN: We are the Self-Vaccination Society… so let’s grab The Italian Jab! 

No one should be surprised at the shameful behaviour of Eurocrats over the corona vaccine. They were always going to revert to type.

Some of us have been telling you for decades that the European Union is a corrupt, incompetent, anti-democratic protection racket. That’s partly why 17.4 million voted Leave in 2016.

After the EU’s outrageous attempts to ban vaccine exports to Britain, even once-devoted Remainers admit that, on balance, we’re better off out. 

The Brussels bureaucracy is the original Self-Preservation Society. Political posturing and saving face always takes precedence, even over protecting their own citizens.

Some of us have been telling you for decades that the European Union is a corrupt, incompetent, anti-democratic protection racket

Some of us have been telling you for decades that the European Union is a corrupt, incompetent, anti-democratic protection racket

Some of us have been telling you for decades that the European Union is a corrupt, incompetent, anti-democratic protection racket

They are wedded to ponderous, pettifogging processes designed to reinforce the sacred project of ever-closer union, not serve the individual needs of 27 different member countries.

So it was inevitable they would make a complete oreille de cochon of Covid-19. There’s no need for me to revisit every widely reported cough and spit of the European Commission’s monstrous mismanagement of this crisis.

As the Mail said yesterday, the EU is acting like a rogue state, not a family of nations. The Commission has been prepared to rip up international law and ride roughshod over commercial contracts.

In a fit of pique, which has blown up in their faces, European leaders cynically trashed the perfectly safe Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, scaring millions of their own people into refusing it. Heaven knows how many Covid victims will die unnecessarily as a direct consequence.

We are assured that despite Brussels¿ obstructionism, Britain will have more than adequate supplies of the AZ jab to complete the vaccination programme on schedule

We are assured that despite Brussels¿ obstructionism, Britain will have more than adequate supplies of the AZ jab to complete the vaccination programme on schedule

We are assured that despite Brussels’ obstructionism, Britain will have more than adequate supplies of the AZ jab to complete the vaccination programme on schedule

The leaders of the European Commission should be arrested, charged with conspiracy to commit corporate man- slaughter and put on trial in cages at the International Court in the Hague — like one of those famous Mafia showtrials in Sicily.

Throughout, they have tried to demonise post-Brexit Britain to distract attention from their own leaden-footed failure to secure enough vaccines for their own population.

First, they tried to shut the Irish border, in contravention of both the Brexit withdrawal deal and the Good Friday Agreement. When that backfired they moved to stop the export of millions of doses manufactured at a factory in Belgium, part-financed by Britain and set up with British expertise. They’re also seeking to halt exports from another plant in the Netherlands.

This week, Brussels ordered a smash-and-grab raid on a factory in Italy, which was suspected of sending AstraZeneca vaccines to the UK. It was reported that officers discovered 29 million doses ready to be shipped to Britain.

Turns out not a single vial was coming our way. It was all destined for other EU nations and parts of the Third World, under the international COVAX scheme, designed to expedite drugs to poorer countries.

But such is the level of anti-British paranoia in Brussels, the EU has gone on a vaccine war footing. The most ludicrous aspect of all this is that there are tens of millions of AstraZeneca jabs sitting in fridges across the EU, ready and waiting to be injected.

Yet because of the unwarranted scare campaign stirred up by their leaders, thousands of people across Europe are saying ‘thanks, but no thanks’ to the AZ vaccine. They’d rather take their chances.

Some desperate EU countries are already turning to Russia for supplies of the Sputnik vaccine. Good luck with that.

Russian technology isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The Sputnik jab shares its name with the first Russian space satellite, which orbited for three weeks before the batteries ran out and it plummeted back to Earth. Call me risk-averse, but I’d rather stick with the Oxford vaccine. If it’s good enough for Chief Inspector Morse, it’s good enough for me.

We have the expertise to recover the goods. We could send for Charlie Croker and his boys to intercept The Italian Jabs as they leave the factory

We have the expertise to recover the goods. We could send for Charlie Croker and his boys to intercept The Italian Jabs as they leave the factory

We have the expertise to recover the goods. We could send for Charlie Croker and his boys to intercept The Italian Jabs as they leave the factory

We are assured that despite Brussels’ obstructionism, Britain will have more than adequate supplies of the AZ jab to complete the vaccination programme on schedule.

But what if those Italian stockpiles had been bound for the UK? How would we beat the blockade?

Fortunately, there are some areas where Britain still leads the world. Daylight robbery, for instance.

We have the expertise to recover the goods. We could send for Charlie Croker and his boys to intercept The Italian Jabs as they leave the factory.

With a trio of red, white and blue Mini Coopers and a vintage Harrington Legionnaire coach, we could liberate what is rightfully ours from under the noses of the Italian carabinieri and the EU Cosa Nostra.

Provided the chaps remember that they are only supposed to blow the bloody doors off and take it easy on the bends, they could be back in Blighty before the bureaucrats in Brussels had finished their subsidised lobster suppers. 

Altogether now: We are the Self-Vaccination Society…

Computer says no chance 

All over-50s are being advised to book their first jab while they can, just in case some vaccine centres are forced to close because of a looming shortage of supplies.

The NHS website will stop taking appointments on Monday. Let’s hope they have more success than I’ve had so far trying to book my second.

Having had Astra jab one at the end of January, number two is due around April 15. But while the physical vaccine roll out by NHS staff and volunteers has been magnificent, I’m afraid the technology is struggling.

To be fair, I know people who have had no problem booking their second jab online. But for the past week, I’ve been banging my head against the NHS website. It keeps telling me I didn’t turn up for my second jab, even though it isn’t due and I hadn’t made an appointment. Then it offered me a slot at a pharmacy in Reading 40 miles from my home in North London.

Go figure. For the first shot, I had a choice of three centres no more than 20 minutes away.

I’ve since tried again, two or three times some days, only to be told there aren’t any available slots. Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

Still, I’ve fared better than my wife, who keeps being told by the website that she’s not eligible for a second jab, even though she had her Pfizer shot the day after me.

I’ve just had an idea. I’ve got a close friend the same age as me who lives near Reading. If they offer him an appointment in North London, we could always swap.

John Lewis has always been our first port of call when it comes to stuff for the home. So it is sad to learn that so many stores are closing. The High Street has been hit hard by Covid and the internet. Cutbacks were inevitable at traditional retailers. John Lewis has been expanding its online offering, but still has some way to go. This week, I went looking for a new footstool. 

John Lewis had just the job, but — a big but — said it wouldn’t be delivered for 16 weeks. That’s four months. Amazon had a selection of footstools available for overnight delivery. Frankly, I’d rather give my business to John Lewis. But if it is going to compete with the internet giants, it’s going to have to raise its game, fast. 

Angela Merkel is no friend of Britain. Never has been. Germany first, EU second. That’s an observation, not a criticism. 

I’ve never understood the Mutti-mania which infects some of our more rabid pro-Europeans. Her manipulation of the euro to suit Germany has ruined the economies of southern states such as Spain, Greece and Italy.

She single-handedly threw open Europe’s borders, causing the migration crisis. The only good news is, that piece of hubris precipitated the referendum and our long-overdue departure.

Germany has helped screw up Europe’s Covid response and Mrs Merkin championed useless Ursula von Undress, who has tried to ban exports of vaccine to Britain.

Let’s not forget that while Merkin presents as a Christian Democrat, she grew up in Soviet-era East Germany, where she said she enjoyed a ‘comfortable’ life under Communism. Coincidentally, the EU is increasingly coming to resemble the Soviet Union without the uniforms.

Merkin has never been particularly animated. But until now, I hadn’t noticed how much she resembles a ventriloquist’s dummy. 

Will we wake up one day to discover that for the past 16 years, she’s had Vladimir Putin’s hand up her skirt, pulling her strings? Gottle o’wodka!

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

Ventriloquist's dummy

Ventriloquist's dummy

Merkin has never been particularly animated. But until now, I hadn’t noticed how much she resembles a ventriloquist’s dummy.

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