BORIS Johnson dubbing himself the head of a "wartime government"; Donald Trump, draft dodger, declaring himself a wartime president.

Would you want either of these two on your side in battle? It would be like charging into enemy territory facing howitzers flanked by a couple of giant Flumps.

The language of wartime crept early into the Covid-19 pandemic and Tweedledum and Tweedledumber are not the only ones to suffer from a lack of rhetorical imagination when trying to summarise the situation facing their countries.

Emmanuel Macron declared France "at war". The Queen, although far more subtle, drew on nostalgic feelings of wartime pluck during her address to the nation.

And now, weeks later, here we have her eldest son up to the same dodge.

Britain's fresh produce withers on the vine as there is no one left to pick it. We rely on tens of thousands of overseas workers to do our manual labour, back breaking, low paid, for us. Cue Prince Charles, emerging from the command centre, briefed by an aides-de-camp to stir up a bit of patriotic feeling to prompt us in to the fields.

Pick For Britain, the campaign is called. Remind you of anything? That's right, Dig For Britain. Yet what it lacks in subtlety it makes up for in, er, come back to me later.

"If we are to harvest British fruit and vegetables this year," the Duke of Rothesay says in a government advert for the scheme, "We need an army of people to help."

A Land Army, by any chance? Why yes. "The great movement of the Second World War - the Land Army - is being rediscovered in the newly-created Pick for Britain campaign." Of course, it was the Women's Land Army but now absolutely any gender will do, we just need this blimming fruit picked. Don't they know there's a war on?

In wartime one must have sides and, now the virus is retreating, at least slightly in our fear of it and in its daily death numbers, new enemies spring up. Enemies, perhaps, we might not have expected.

In England a hero vs villain narrative is building. Health workers are heroes, feted, applauded in a new national ritual.

Teachers, and who would have thought it, are the new foe to be vanquished. Medics are heroes, fighting on the front line, and teachers are cowering cowards, coming up with any old limp excuse not to go back into the classroom.

Of course, teachers, and their "militant unions" have perfectly valid reasons to urge caution about reopening schools just two weeks from now, concerned as they are for their safety and the safety of their pupils.

But gungo-ho war metaphors serve no useful purpose in public debate, leaving no room for nuance or the exploring of concerns. You are either for us or against us and that's the end of it.

Pick For Britain will appeal to a vague, warm sense of a country that clubs together for the sake of queen and flag, the same vague, warm feeling that has propelled a centenarian former army captain to a knighthood. It's pleasant, and well meaning, but go rooting around in it and you won't find much beneath the surface.

If you'll allow me to awkwardly extend that metaphor - the problem is that we don't have anyone willing to do any rooting. Or digging, or picking.

An initial call out for labourers attracted 50,000 people showing initial interest. Of those, 6000 made it to interview, 1000 turned down job offers and ultimately 150 people took up work. As useful as the lilies of the field, this lot.

For context, the current estimate is that we need 80,000 additional workers.

We are in a health crisis that will swiftly turn to an economic crisis. Youth unemployment is expected to rise to around one million people following the Covid-19 pandemic. Latest ONS figures show figures show the number of people claiming unemployment benefit has jumped by 856,500 to 2.1 million in April.

After two months on house arrest and with the promise of sunshine coming, we still can't persuade a sufficient proportion of the populace to till the fields.

Migrant labour harvesting our crops is a centuries long tradition in Britain. Just as traditional is the British trait of sneering at those who come to do the jobs we will not.

From the Irish to the Romanians and Bulgarians who come here to vanquish our asparagus yield, they are subject to xenophobia and racism.

Glasgow has the second highest Roma population in the UK, a population subject to relentless racist bullying on local social media pages. Some of the comments directed at the Roma during the Covid-19 lockdown have been horrifying, even as a proportion of the community packed their belongs to return to mainland Europe.

So many of the Roma people in Glasgow take on this under appreciated, invisible labour in lieu of British-born workers, as do so many newcomers to Britain.

Pre-lockdown, and when the rigours of Brexit were still dominating the news schedules, the dominant narrative was about how we keep people out and who we let in. Now a pandemic has done that job for us, sending people fleeing to their other homes and preventing others coming here looking for work.

Coronavirus has given us a taste of the endpoint that many people deemed desirable enough to vote for. Yet as people applaud the back of certain migrant groups, we are simultaneously having to fly workers in from Eastern Europe on specially chartered flights to assist with the harvest.

Might those with an unjustified suspicion of migrants pause to consider, finally, the value of their work. The pandemic has certainly shone illuminating light on what we consider essential and feeding the populace, no matter how low skilled the work, is vital.

If we really must insist on battle metaphors: only united fronts that win wars. You might divide along race lines but you will not conquer.

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