Breaking Back: My Return to the UK

I'm not sure if I'm glad to be home.

After three months on the road in America giving our side a reason to gather and be reminded that America remains the greatest nation on the face of the planet, my heart finally decided it was time to make a break for Britain.

Each time a concerned-looking patriot asks me at my events, “When are you going home?” I tell them truthfully that I don’t know, that I throw myself to the wind without caution or a sell-by date and wait for my heart to decide.

I truly believe that our paths are already set out in front of us, and in order to walk in your truth every day you have to let go of the control of some of the big stuff that you are taught as a child to think important — like having a plan, or living in certainty.

(I sometimes wonder if those asking me “When are you going home?” are really asking me “When are you ever going to leave?”, like hosts whose guests have overstayed their welcome at a party. But I suspect I am overthinking somewhat.)

Of course, it’s no mean feat breaking back into a country you weren’t supposed to leave (it was illegal to leave the UK or travel to America when I left the country) and returning from a country you weren’t supposed to have been in (the USA still has a ban on Brits entering the country due to our very special kind of COVID).

Patriots at events would ask, “What’s going to happen to you when you return?” And in truth, I didn’t know. But I accepted it might not be pretty. I had an agreement with Frank Gaffney (of the Center for Security Policy) that if I were ever locked up at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in a British jail, he would co-ordinate with Mike Lindell to secure me a mattress topper for my bunk.

Given the plight of the 1/6ers and the threat to liberty facing all patriots under Biden and the Global Cabal of COVID Idiots, a prison line could be a big seller for MyPillow, I am sure of it.

However, there is a serious side to this joke. I explained to those asking that it didn’t really matter what would happen to me when I broke back into Blighty. If you strip away the nonsense of fabricated COVID laws and idiotic travel restrictions, I would be being punished for travelling to America to help make people feel better. The simple truth is that when you start making up bonkers rules, you end up having bonkers arguments. And I am more than willing to be the one who highlights the lunacy all around us.

Despite my disregard for all of the major laws and rules around COVID, I still need to jump through bureaucratic hoops to make these trips happen. I am just more skilled at hoop-jumping than most. Sometimes the hoops are incredibly small; sometimes they are whisked away and changed at the last minute. But I am a desperate dog. And dogs are damn good at jumping through hoops.

In order to get on a flight to the UK, I needed a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before my flight. I was texted by the provider at American Emergency Healthcare to pull up at the curb in my car, with the driver’s side closest to the curb.

I am car-less in America, so I pretended to sit at the curb, as if holding a steering wheel. The tester and I both laughed — not only at the madness of it all, but at my hangover. If COVID tests were sensitive to Merlot, I would not be getting the negative result I needed.

I also needed to complete a Passenger Locator Form and bring it, printed out, to the airport. This form could not be completed until 48 hours before landing in the UK.

You will understand, I am sure, that after three months on the road across the USA I was not travelling with a printer or full office suite. These are the kinds of facts that escape the bureaucrats who sit in their sweaty suits making these nonsense rules up over their morning latte and pain au chocolat.

Not only this, but your Passenger Locator Form needs to be filled in with the reference code of your day 2 and day 8 COVID tests, which you have to pre-purchase to complete for your ten days in isolation on arrival in the UK.

The day 2 and 8 testing kits can only be purchased online from a government-approved supplier and must be paid for in advance of travel. These cost $150. I paid for mine, got the reference numbers, inserted them into my form, and tried to save my endeavor – only to be told it was more than 48 hours before my arrival in the UK and I would need to resubmit all the details later.

There is a temptation at this point to grab your MacBook and launch it across the room while shouting something that sounds a bit like FOR CLUCK’S SAKE very loudly indeed. Or cry.

But instead, I make like a dog: tongue out, panting, looking at my sad little master with a challenge to find me another hoop, and make it harder, because I am sure as hell going to jump through that one as well.

The flight crew on British Airways are just the most darling souls to me. I remain maskless for the entire flight and no one says a word. A delightful steward with whom I now have a text relationship trots off to hunt for a cheap Merlot to keep me occupied, and when I reach Border Control the officer thanks me for all I do and waves me through; he knows that this madness is nothing to do with COVID and everything to do with culling the human spirit and curtailing anyone’s wish to travel.

Looking around me at the eyes flashing fear and disapproval above their tightly-fitted masks, and anticipating the prospect of ten days confined to my home address, I am not certain if I am glad to be home.

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