Sunday, April 21, 2024
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Imagine no celebs, it’s easy if you try


THANK goodness there are so many celebrities to help us through this crisis.

I don’t recognise any of the tortured souls who recorded this version of Imagine but presumably they are celebrated ‘artistes’.

What exactly are they telling us to do?

Imagine there’s no heaven?

You mean live without a conscience? Imagine never worrying about the consequences of your actions, be they dodgy dossiers, bullied scientists or Gulf Wars. Moving on from that, imagine being a people trafficker and taking money from people desperate to flee from war zones created by other men without conscience.

How would that work out?

Their next piece of advice is to imagine no possessions.

Right, so all those medicines, antiseptics and face masks in the pharmacy don’t really belong to anyone. Neither do those boxes of Kleenex on the shelves of Tesco. Nor those packets of pasta you’re liberating from a shop you’d only ever enter through a broken window.

You might as well have them all, why take chances with your life? No need to pay for them either, they don’t belong to anyone.

This must be that luxury communism that celebrity comrade Ash Sarkar is always talking about.

Their next piece of advice is worrying too, at a time when we are looking to strong women and men who can provide some kind of co-ordinated leadership.

Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do.

Isn’t it? I’m finding it difficult. I’ve only ever known this system and I can’t picture what it’s like being able to wander at will across unregulated territory where the police won’t go, let alone the district nurses or Tesco home delivery.

Imagine nothing works. That’s literally communism, Ash. Without countries, there’d be no beginning or end to all the regulatory authorities that make public services work.

In practical terms, the bus timetables would be useless. The 127 from Purley to Tooting (which crosses several local authority borders) wouldn’t run, and I’d never get to Belmont. Come to think of it, there’d be no hospital there anyway, because it would be too hard to organise. The NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, in my experience as a patient, seem to regard each other with mutual suspicion. Imagine the CCG turf war that would break out if today’s clearly staked out territories were removed.

Hang on, are the Imaginistas being a bit hasty here?

I suspect there are even wider implications than the loss of the 127.

You can get a broader bolder perspective from the likes of Douglas Murray and Peter Hitchens, but neither qualifies as a celebrity so their opinions can safely be ignored.

What we need is a celebrity who dishes out no-nonsense practical advice.

Ant Middleton, anointed as a celebrity by Channel 4 for his work on reality show SAS: Who Dares Wins, is a man I’ve admired for some time. He was in the Parachute Regiment, the Royal Marines and the Special Boat Service. When he emerged as a star I instantly hero-worshipped him.

He was in the SBS, arguably the most fearsome and tactically astute of British special forces as they’ve kept a much lower profile than their SAS rivals. They have thick skins and a dark sense of humour. Sample SBS joke about interrogation: How do you make an SAS man talk? Take away his book deal.

And yet, and yet. I started to question some of Middleton’s wisdom when reading his thoughts on leadership.

Middleton claims the power of positive thinking can overcome anything. As a cancer combatant myself, I’m all for positive thinking: ‘morale in a box’ as a Royal Marines recruiting sergeant said on Channel 4.

But hang on, you can’t psych out a cancer cell. It’s the same with these coronaviruses. They’re hard to demoralise because they don’t have the same thought processes as us. Depriving them of sleep doesn’t hurt them at all. Take it from me, you can chemotherapy them into dormancy but they just keep coming back. In the meantime, my own immune system has taken heavy losses.

These corona microbes may look like muppets with puny little arms but when they’ve got their mates with them they’re hard to beat. I hate to admit this, but I’d lose in a fight with a virus. Whisper it: so would Ant Middleton.

So his Operation F*** Covid-19 video on social media was a bit disappointing, because I thought he was no authority on the subject of fighting infectious outbreaks. I’ve lost a bit of faith in his leadership skills, I must admit.

He’s taken his original Tik Tok video down now. I suspect his agent may have had something to do with it.

Hang on, there’s a thought. Who leads the celebrities? Agents. Maybe it’s time we turned to them for advice.

Meanwhile, anyone who sings Imagine is never going to cure corona. In fact, they’re showing a distinct lack of imagination.

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Nick Booth
Nick Booth
Nick Booth is a freelance writer.

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