Journal into the unknown…(7)
It is certainly reasonable to argue that the UK Virus episode started with a belated recognition that we were to be swept up in a Pandemic, which has rapidly progressed to a state, best described as Pandemonic. That is from a state where the virus was prevalent over a whole country or the world, to a state of tumult or chaos. In our case, both have happened.
One would be forgiven for doubting the UK Government’s oft proclaimed statement that they “Have been led by the science”, when it seems much more likely that they have been led by some strange kind of sense of tribal expediency, or at very least led by donkeys. They have seen the threat grow, from one they initially described as existential, to one later described as exponential. They are now claiming that they have it under control, as long as we all do as we are told.
Now, I suspect that they know that the man on the Clapham Omnibus, who formed the legal interpretation of what is reasonable for many years, wouldn’t have much of a clue about what existential, exponential, or many other fine technical sounding words mean, only that they sound pretty serious, and therefore deserve uncritical government support and extraordinary constraints on public freedoms. As it happens, the man on the bus is pretty much forbidden from travelling these days for anything other than essential work anyway, so who cares what he thinks?
Prime-Minister-in-Hiding, or where’s Boris?
The UK Prime-Minister-in-hiding, Mr Johnson, started off by doing a job that he has practiced for years, namely cowering whenever the going gets tough. This time rather than behind a fridge door, it was behind “A temperature”, but I guess it’s all a matter of degree when you think about it. After initial scepticism, when he was admitted to hospital things were clearly serious enough to wipe that all too familiar, schoolboy smirk from his face. Oh how he might have regretted his previous cavalier attitude to handshaking. This then developed into our very own mini TV series “The Johnson Saga” with minute–by-minute news bulletins on the Prime Ministers condition as he was put into intensive care: ironic really, some might say, given that this was a state that his bumbling ineptitude has caused the whole country to need.
But before you hyperventilate, let me remind you that these devices are in short supply, and whatever the outcome, life in Lockdown Britain does seem less objectionable without his pompous smirking bombast on our screens every day.
I was concerned about which of his inept, self-seekers from the Cabinet of Curiosities would stand in for him when things took a turn for the worse, but I shouldn’t have worried – they fudged that too. I had thought the old curiosity cabinet was full of what we used to call “chancers” when I was a lad, but I was clearly wrong. It is crammed with fakes, duds and no-chancers.
Everybody had their moment to showcase their total inability to grasp the nettle of leadership, and they did so without exception. I think our emperor and his lack of clothes is manifestly safe for another day.
Now that he is out, has he rushed to re-join the fray? Has he heck? The others have made such a Horlicks of things while he’s been away, I suspect he is happy in self isolation, playing the almost-martyr, whilst keeping himself as a “clean skin” to front “Our Glorious Victory” over this miniscule virus when the time is right.
Oh well! Only time will tell.
Meanwhile the Mexicans Dance round their hats!
There is much talk about “Flattening the peak” in one form or another. How the world abounds with colourful metaphors and soundbites!
What bothers me is an obvious falsehood being perpetrated by my favourite ministers, the Masters of Misinformation, Strainers of Every Sinew, including the Minister of Failing Health, good old Hapless Hancock, et al.
“Stay at home!”
Spread the peak!”
“It’s the only way we can get through this faster!”
Sounds like one of Kipling’s Just So stories – a bit like How the Leopard Changed its Spots
Well I’m afraid that this is a Just Isn’t So story. We do have to spread the peak, so that our resource-starved Health Service does not drown under the weight of virus cases that are piling in on top of their already impossible workload. What we can’t ignore is that flattening out the peak or spreading it out, is almost certain to make it go on for longer. The clue is in the words – spreading it out.
If we all do as we are told, it seems as though we can reduce the number of cases appearing at the same time, thus reducing the overwhelming pressure on our struggling services. But getting through it faster is certainly not the way I see it.
The UK Government has not seen fit to share any insights it may have to suggest that the measures taken at this late stage will do anything to reduce the total number of casualties. In fact it’s scientific advisory group SAGE seems to be operating under the cover of darkness, which is appropriate since Dominic Cummings is involved.
So, until they allow us to see them “following the science” I shall remain sceptical. If this is not the case, then I shall keep on believing that keeping a lid on the numbers will surely extend the lockdown.
Don’t blame the Mexicans!
So, to round off this little rant, it is not just Donald Trump who should be encouraged to be nicer to the Mexicans.
Even in the UK we understand from the old Allan Sherman song, from way back, that the Mexicans dance on their hats, but now we are also being exhorted to flatten the sombrero. Put simply, that doesn’t sound fair.
The cat is now out of the bag, these two-faced toe-rags intend that some of us will have to stay indoors under lockdown until the end of time itself. Or at least until the end of our time.
They are not proposing this exactly, at the moment, but they never propose anything really difficult, they will pretend that it is inevitable, the fault of “the science”, a result of people not pulling together, of not being good enough, and so on. They may even blame it on the Bossa Nova, but don’t be taken in. It’s all baloney!
When it eventually creeps out that people like me will effectively be incarcerated arbitrarily on the basis of age, without proper discussion, without a nuanced plan to end lockdown, without basic human rights, there will be a blow back. Why wouldn’t there be?
What are they going to do? Lock me up before I go, go?