G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph condemns ‘Super Saturday’ as a ‘disaster’ in scathing attack on Tory government
Jeremy Joseph, the owner of London club G-A-Y, has branded overcrowding in Soho last night (July 4) as a disaster – and lashed out at the government for easing lockdown restrictions too early.
Jospeh was just one of many people who expressed concern last night when videos and photos circulated on social media showing huge crowds gathered in Soho, which is home to a number of queer venues.
In a statement posted to Facebook, Joseph said the easing of lockdown restrictions was “a complete disaster”.
G-A-Y owner Jeremy Joseph slammed the UK government for easing lockdown restrictions on a Saturday.
He spoke of his own discomfort at the photos and videos circulating online, and said Old Compton Street was “uncontrollable”.
“One can hope it was a one off, but inside venues was a different story,” he said. “It was seated, screens in between tables, limited numbers inside and background music.”
It should have been a soft opening on Monday.
He said it was “obvious” that the streets in London would be packed, and slammed the government for significantly easing lockdown restrictions on a Saturday.
“It should have been a soft opening on Monday,” he said.
Joseph said the only way bars can survive is if customers adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Meanwhile, others have suggested that the focus on Soho – an area popular among queer people – is unfair when other areas suffered overcrowding too.
Of course have common sense, it just doesn’t sit well with me that the media have gone straight to soho and not to predominantly straight areas of London… not that I’m surprised though 🤨
— Arrest The Cops Who Murdered Breonna Taylor (@BecauseImBilly) July 5, 2020
You know when there’s the second wave, it’ll be blamed on the LGBTQ+ community right? Thats why Soho is the focus of these photos. To allow people have an “other” to blame. Same happened in S Korea w/ Itaewon & the gay community being blamed.
— Emily Linka ♿️🏳️🌈 (@emilylinka) July 4, 2020
This criticism of people out last night isn't sitting quite right with me – it's one rule for some and a different one for others. Regardless of your thoughts on the government's easing, the focus on 'the gays in Soho' when this was happening all over the country is uncomfortable
— jack rem x (@jackremmington) July 5, 2020
These scenes in Soho are horrendous. The issue I have is that the media seems to be focusing on the gay area of London. Surely there are other areas just as bad. Kind of gives gay people a bad name? Or am I wrong?
— Craig Chapman-Greenwood (@CraigyBoy1982) July 4, 2020
It is ‘crystal clear’ that drunk people cannot or will not socially distance.
The controversy comes as pubs, hairdressers and other businesses were allowed to re-open yesterday (July 4) as a part of government easing of lockdown restrictions.
However, 31 per cent of pubs, bars and restaurants have chosen not to re-open this weekend, according to the Night-Time Industries Association.
BBC News reports that many pub and nightclub owners chose to keep their doors closed for the first weekend due to fears about maintaining social distancing.
The chairman of the Police Federation John Apter said it was “crystal clear” that pub-goers will not adhere to the one-metre social distancing rule.
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Apter was working in Southampton last night, where he observed “naked men, happy drunks, angry drunks, fights and more angry drunks”, according to The Guardian.
He said that drunk people “can’t/won’t” socially distance and said there had been issues in some areas where police officers were assaulted.