Our round-up of the best, most pertinent and amusing comments of the week that have caught our eye.
In response to Kathy Gyngell: The witch hunt is on for Cummings. Well, he lit the torch,
Anthony Webber wrote:
Good article. What is important is that this has shown how ludicrous this lockdown policy is, and it is the policy of Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson.
This lockdown policy is totally wrong and never been based on any medical evidence.
Just because Dominic Cummings and Boris Johnson did their bit to rid the UK of the EU does not give them a free immunity pass from any criticism of their disastrous lockdown policy.
Two choices: accept you broke the rules (or explain the exception) or agree lockdown is over. Better the latter imo.
Cod Liver Oil wrote:
Dominic Cummings is at the heart of the Govt which decided on the Stay Home policy, and he breached that policy with his drive to Durham.
It’s not a matter of whether any one of us agrees with the policy on the lockdowns, social distancing etc. It’s about the credibility of Govt policy in general, on economy, defence, health, education, foreign etc etc. Those who create and agree the policy have to adhere to it, otherwise it means nothing, and the public and/or those parts of the economy, society etc to whom it relates will have no faith that it means what it says.
Which is why those ministers, advisers etc who contradict the policy or undermine the policy through their words or actions have to go.
The Prez wrote:
The mere fact that we’re discussing the rights of a free Englishman to travel from one city to another as he chooses will be the miserable story of 2020.
In response to Jane Kelly: The Wimminisation of art is complete,
This trend has perhaps existed even longer in science with worthy women who provided support to men promoted and lauded above the actual pioneers.
The archetype of this is Ada Lovelace. She is lauded as the first computer programmer for publishing an algorithm for the calculation of Bernoulli numbers. The thing is that Charles Babbage created the concept of a programmable digital computer. Unsurprisingly if you think about it for more than a few seconds Babbage created many algorithms/computer programs for his concepts as part of its development. How could he create the design for a digital computer without the concept of programs/algorithms. Unsurprisingly his notes show that he created such programs 3 to 7 years before Ada Lovelace started corresponding with him and even more tellingly he sent her the algorithm which she then publicised.
The thing about this is Ada Lovelace who was at most a supporter and assistant to Babbage is more famous than he is. She is lauded as a major contributor to the analytical engine when it is clear she made no contribution at all, the first programmer which she was not and a mathematical genius despite her never contributing anything at all to the sum of mathematical knowledge. She should be a footnote of history, which is no small achievement in itself, more than I will achieve, but instead she is lauded as a ground-breaking figure obscuring the person who actually broke the new ground. The reason for her promenince is solely her sex. If she was man who had published someone else’s algorithm he would not even be a footnote in history but simply lost to obscurity.
In response to Caroline ffiske: Why do we pay Stonewall to strike fear into our children?
Hear, hear! Stonewall do not represent my values; indeed many of their values are antithetical and overtly hostile to my values and beliefs. They are an unelected activist group whose ideology is completely unrepresentative of the views of the nation yet their values are being forced upon me and my family through the irresistible force of government, and what is worse I am forced to ‘donate’ to this ‘charity’ through my taxes! This is a completely unacceptable abuse of political power in a liberal democracy!
Thank you also for giving voice to the families who suffer the fallout. They are invariably airbrushed out of the story. In the US there is a growing community of ‘Trans-widows’. Even being obliged to change the children’s schools and homes and churches so children may live part of their week with their deluded cross-dressing father and his male or female ‘partner’(s) by order of the family court.
In response to Andrew Cadman: Boris the Bottler: Just another Tory,
I used to like the bloke’s journalism before he became an MP the first time round. And I hoped he would one day be a candidate for ministerial office.
But once he got into parliament, I realised that his talk never translated into anything useful or remotely conservative. And I have had no cause to revise that opinion.
This crisis needed decisive and bold leadership, but all we have got is waffle and drift, with ruinous policies like the forthcoming UK quarantine (just when CV-19 is more or less gone!) just nodded through on the basis of approval by some stupid focus group or that they might please a few tabloid journalists.
Kathy was spot on. He is a bottler – and a very narcissistic one at that.
No amount of expensive education or quotes from the classics can obscure that fact.
In response to Karen Harradine: A mosque in Piccadilly Circus? Wrong, wrong, wrong!
Just when you think things can’t be more mental – this comes along.
How about a floating Mosque in the Channel ? They can be escorted there by the French Navy and picked up by the British. What’s not to like?
Nearly all current TV programmes, introduced by some half-witted ‘celebrity’ that you’ve never heard of, seem incapable of treating the viewer as anything but an infant in nursery school.
False smiles, arms waving like windmills, extraordinarily basic information imparted as though to an idiot with ‘that’ special type of childish jolly speech with the inflections in all the wrong places and the inevitable rising question mark at the end of every sentence that irritates the hell out of me. Beats me how they can actually speak and display a toothy ‘smile’ at the same time. Try it yourself and see how you look. There must be a special school somewhere that trains these people.
And do NOT get me started on weather ‘forecasters’ . . .
The last question of the piece is a good one. I have found it necessary to limit my listening to a bit of Today and a bit of the one at one o’clock, while whacking tennis balls for the dog, just to keep a flavour of what the BBC is up to.
This is a serious bit of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy; otherwise, the adverse effect on my mood is dreadful. CBT is an off-putting name; it means finding simple ways of avoiding things which are bad for you (eg. reconsider the motives of someone who has apparently insulted you; they may not be as bad as you think.) Anger can be quite addictive, so turning away is often an under-used option.
In response to Manish Sharma: The Brave New Post-Covid World,
We should emphatically reject and resist the idea of the New Normal. The takeaway from Neil Ferguson’s utterances is that we need to stay under ‘some form of lockdown’ until there’s a vaccine. Unsurprisingly, Gates is saying something similar. Boris’s pussyfooting approach looks like hanging things out until a vaccine appears and administering it while the public are still alarmed enough to accept it.
In response to Edward Spalton: The Great Stink of 2020,
An excellent article which leads, as so many issues of the day tend to, to two conclusions.
Firstly, the appalling state of education in this country. Every subject has been dumbed down. Possibly the worst of the crop is history. Dr David Starkey reminds us time and again that if we look at the past we can learn so much and can use this knowledge for positive good. The teaching of English history is virtually non-existent in schools today. The focus now is a weird combination of the slave trade and how wicked the British were and continue to be, and the evils of the Nazis.
This is just the schools. The university sector is not much better. We now have youngsters who are ‘credentialed’ rather than educated. This is not a trivial distinction.
Secondly, centralisation. This has caused harm in so many ways books could be written on it. From the closure of cottage hospitals to the never-ending creation of quangos. PHE clock up 5.1 MILLION air miles yet fail totally to do the job they are supposed to do.
This crisis has shown this country to be utterly incompetent at the most basic things for the protection and survival of the population. The incompetence runs from the very top right down to the front line in every publicly funded institution and is a disgrace and beyond a joke.
No one will be held to account. The system is constructed so as to protect itself and is impermeable to outside attack. Beyond the odd scalp here and there nothing changes. Those that believe that a change of government will help are utterly deluded. After all the same bunch of quangos run by the same low-grade mini-brains will still be running the machinery.
The real fallout from this crisis has not even registered with 80 per cent of the population yet. They are in for a very, very nasty rude awakening.