Friday, 3 April 2020

What remains?

In time will come the post-mortem; some are already conducting it while the patient is still alive and a few are forecasting it; the Daily mirror is stating that as many people could have died in the UK by Easter Sunday as have already died, to date, worldwide. At a time when people are abandoning print news in their hundreds of thousands, this is irresponsible and foolhardy. Sooner or later, even the most prurient grow tired of being fed bullshit, garnished with horse shit... and sprinkled with batshit.

But after the Covid-19 affair is over, counting the real cost will occupy the time, the lives, even, of many of us. We will hardly be slapping our backs in congratulations; in effect, all forms of physical contact may become verboten for some time. And I can see that, for some, hearing a simple cough or sneeze will summon up PTSD levels of fear and revulsion. Everybody is now a potential killer, or victim. And it’s not only the virus itself which will be responsible.

People will lose their lives to suicide over despair, to starvation and cold, due to loss of income and inability to pay. Many will become homeless and prey to the many illnesses which befall those who live precarious lives on the street. Those with delayed treatments may suffer a loss of life quality which could easily be deemed unnecessarily harsh punishment for something over which they had no control. And some will succumb to the perils of lockdown; domestic violence, indolence, drink… sheer stupidity. Not to mention the mental toll on those insufficiently robust to endure a few weeks of isolation and introspection.

But there will be wider and lasting casualties. Distrust in the mainstream media has possibly never been higher. Print media, already in decline, may not survive. The police, while performing an essential role, are coming in for unprecedented levels of distrust and certain ‘communities’, whatever the truth, will be held forever to have broken the lockdown rules, furthering the antipathy towards islam in the west. In short, trust will be hard to win back.

But perhaps the most despicable of all has been the behaviour of many Labour MPs, stoking up tensions and invoking fear, in the name of ‘holding the government to account’. Constant naysaying is not a valid form of opposition. Refusal to join with the government and support the measures being taken, however grudgingly, are not the actions of a responsible alternative party of government. And a refusal to slap down their misguided useful idiots, like Kevin Maguire, does little to demonstrate responsibility. We are no longer a two-party state.

The next ten years...

International relations, at a time when cooperation ought to be paramount, is at a low ebb. Never mind that nobody will trust China for a generation, the countries of Europe are aghast at the partisan behaviours of their neighbours. But maybe some good will come of this. What remains when nobody trusts anybody else is self-reliance. At an individual level this is something people have neglected, to their detriment. At a national level this is something that has been derided, to our shame. Post lockdown we have much work to do.