HEADING towards the 2019 general election, there was genuine (and justified) concern about the Marxist leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn, and his plans for the UK. Many feared that under Corbyn, the UK would become a Venezuela Mark 2, financially unstable and irrevocably scarred. The public handed his party the worst defeat in a hundred years, and they ejected him. Jeremy Corbyn’s socialism would never see the light of day.
How delighted he must be now, seeing many of his aims coming to pass. An opponent he loathes and despises is doing his work for him. Terrified that the health service could come crashing down under their watch and keen to keep those Labour voters who demolished the red wall on side, the ‘Conservative’ Party are writing their own version of Corbyn’s book. In fact, they’ve adopted George Orwell’s 1984 and brought it to the good people of Britain.
Business is terrified. Some enterprises will be fortunate enough to come out of the other side of this crisis (though they will find many problems when they do) but many won’t see that day.
The police, handed new powers since the lockdown, have become over-zealous in their duties with stories emerging about natural sites being tainted to keep visitors away and shopping baskets being raided to root out non-essential items. As they trawl the country, using vans, drones, whatever is at their disposal, they have set up hotlines for people to shop their neighbours.
So much for community spirit. Anyone who thought we’d rid ourselves of the age of the informer (from the old USSR to East Germany, McCarthyism and communist China) should think again. Social media makes it a damn sight easier to report your neighbour. How long will it be, for instance, before someone is named for not joining in with the grandstanding Thursday night clap-a-thon? Your concerned neighbour can do it anonymously so you’ll never know who snitched on you. I never thought we’d be living in an age where this was relevant again, and especially with a so called Conservative Party at the helm, but this is where we find ourselves now. Our relatively new leader is not much different from his predecessor.
The NHS, given deity status by Labour over the years, has been raised to new heights by the party in government. It is the Conservatives’ golden calf and its 1.5million employees could never have dreamed of being so high in the approval of both government and public. The propaganda is overwhelming and Labour, rather than feeling put out at the Tories stealing their baby, now spend most of the time backing the government on the health service.
Boris Johnson is spending money hand over fist to ensure the country doesn’t fall into another depression, something which Corbyn recognised (as a good thing, I might add) in one of his last speeches as Labour leader. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/coronavirus-corbyn-public-spending-funding-boris-johnson-ifs-a9429546.html
So here we are in April, still on lockdown as businesses and relationships crumble; liberties are trampled on; a police state takes drastic measures to ensure the lockdown is maintained and citizens spy on their neighbours for the government. Not only that but the health service is paraded before an adoring nation, invited to clap for it once a week.
And Corbyn? His dystopia, this 1984, has bared its teeth to an unsuspecting public who no doubt will be required, by the government, to pay for all this when the country restarts. In fact, neither party has an exit strategy that looks appealing. The Tories, I expect, will hike taxes and make the people who suffered their house arrest pay for it, and Labour would shift the burden to the next generation. Who has ever looked at the slogan ‘Buy Now, Pay Later’ and thought it was a good idea? With Labour, we won’t have to pay for the government’s measures but the next generation surely will.
One last thing: once this lockdown has ended, how many of these measures will remain? How much of the power the police have taken will stay in place? Will they keep their snoopers’ charter? How about the cohesion of communities, some of whom may have had their names given to the police?
This lockdown was the consequence of a panicked political class. Now panic has turned into paralysis as the omni-shambles of this unthought policy becomes daily more apparent. Jeremy Corbyn’s visions are turning into grim reality.