In response to Laura Perrins: A police state will be Johnson’s legacy,
I’ve been telling everyone not to watch or listen to broadcast news, as worried voices transmit and amplify fear, perhaps our worst enemy. Just read to learn what’s happening. But in this case, Laura’s tone of writing also disturbs, which amazes me given her solid reasoning and great writing on most occasions. There are no convincing reasons to believe Boris will bequeath us a police state or that beating the coronavirus won’t happen. I advise Laura and others to focus on reasons to be cheerful, like the idea that borders, nation states and conservative leaders will all emerge strengthened from the current crisis. In these dark days, let’s concentrate on calm, but also on getting people to see the great revelation now deranging and striking down leftists everywhere: Orange Man Good, Yellow Man Bad.
Reformed Gentleman wrote:
Can we give the hysterical and entitled media in this country a special mention? How much has their incessant scaremongering and demanding total lockdown (while they, of course, must be free to walk about and mingle so they can keep pretending to provide solid news) influenced our ‘We’re being guided by the science’ dear PM?
Colonel Mustard wrote:
Watching the news channels last night I was struck by the utter doom and gloom almost to the point that they seemed to be relishing it all. And there was no shortage of bandwagon jumpers with those same doctors from the Doctors Association popping up again and again to voice their hostility towards Boris. ‘Shouldn’t they be too busy dealing with patients to spend so much time knocking Boris on behalf of the Labour party?’ thinks I. The ‘critical care doctor’ (that title suspiciously embroidered on his green overalls) seemed to be broadcasting from his home each time. He even got interviewed on Marr. Not much ‘critical care’ being delivered with all those TV performances.
With such strident criticisms of not just the article but Laura, I think she has got the balance wrong on this, but let’s not go crazy.
Yes, this virus has highlighted the woeful lack of preparedness of our NHS and government thinking, especially the insufficient capacity for testing, but we are where we are.
There is no doubt that if we had run a South Korea-style, information-led scheme to test, test and test again, isolate the infected and drill caution into the remainder we would not be punishing the economy and everyone to such an extreme.
But as I said, we are where we are, and I don’t want my healthy 93-year-old mother-in-law to be killed by this. Moreover at 69 I don’t want a huge struggle to survive, or not, either.
So we must press on from where we are, save as many lives as possible and remember the lessons that are now being learnt, ensuring that next time we are better prepared.
It seems that flights are still arriving here from areas hit by Covid-19.
The government is quoted as saying ‘There is no evidence that interventions like closing borders or travel bans would have any effect on the spread of infection.’
So banning flights from infected areas is useless but closing down local venues and forcing people to stay indoors works? It’s the logic of the madhouse. It’s like saying creating smokeless zones to prevent smog is pointless, but forcing everybody to sit indoors with a towel over their head is fine. It shows we cannot trust this administration to look after us.
LP is being a bit unfair on Johnson – I believe his temperament to be such that he genuinely does not want his legacy to be authoritarianism. But all those hating on LP are also being unfair – she has a point. Taking the economy back 100 years will have a much more deleterious effect on health and longevity even than giving the virus free rein.
During medieval plagues a lot of people died but, in a simple agrarian society, the economic infrastructure (land and tools) remained. This ultimately had a beneficial effect on the workers who survived, because their services were in greater demand. We risk doing it the other way around, with an exclusive emphasis on short-term mortality which does not look at the longer-term consequences. The modern economy is a house of cards built up over many decades and comprising a complex matrix of physical and financial transactions and interests worldwide. If we bring everything crashing down, it is not obvious how easy it will be to rebuild and restart it. And a society which has to focus more on the lower regions of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one with a lesser capacity for the healthcare we have come to take for granted.