The mask divide

It is one rule for the elite and another for those who serve them.

Fraser Myers

Fraser Myers
Deputy editor

Topics Covid-19 Politics UK

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We have all seen those photos of the great and the good hobnobbing and mingling while displaying their mask-free faces to the world.

There was Tom Cruise and David Beckham at the Euros final, Patrick Vallance and Jonathan Van Tam at Wimbledon, Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen at the G7 – all maskless and proud. But if you look closely enough, in the background you’ll see that the people serving them – topping up their drinks and canapés – have their faces covered.

When the mandatory mask laws are lifted next week, this mask divide will become even more obvious. In some cases, it will be formalised.

Take the House of Commons. MPs will be ‘encouraged’ to carry on wearing masks. But parliamentary staff will be ‘required’ to do so. It is quite literally one rule for them, and another for the rest. It marks out ‘the help’ as people who should be seen and not heard – whose faces, gestures and identities can be effaced to help their betters feel more safe.

The mask divide is a class divide.

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Covid-19 Politics UK


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