OUR round-up of the best, most pertinent and amusing comments of the week that have caught our eye – and a real treat at the end!
In response to Andrew Cadman: The very model of a Covid cock-up
Is public policy about stopping death or enabling the living to flourish? Death is inevitable, human flourishing is not.
Whilst it’s questionable whether our policies are doing the former, they certainly aren’t enabling the latter.
For decades after WWII the US acted as the policeman of the world, something which was enormously costly for the nation. Sometimes it worked, as with NATO in Europe, and sometimes it failed, as in Vietnam. Eventually they got tired of being lambasted for it and the old isolationist instinct gradually started to assert itself. America started the long process of withdrawing and letting the rest of us get on with it. Perhaps one day we may get to the stage where people start asking themselves whether the old Pax Americana wasn’t such a bad a thing after all? But then it will be too late.
In response to Gary Oliver: Sunak daren’t slay the furlough monster,
paul parmenter wrote:
There is an episode of the old Star Trek TV series titled The Doomsday Machine. The story is about a huge machine, resembling a kind of giant slug, that drifts through space, gobbling up everything it comes across and converting the material it eats into energy to keep itself going. But to no other discernible purpose. It has no recognisable life of its own, and no apparent aim or objective other than its own continued existence. That requires the mindless destruction of everything in its path while being all but indestructible itself. Its outer layer is impervious to whatever weaponry Captain Kirk and his crew unleash on it. It cannot be stopped or deflected: it rolls on, seeking out new targets, a terrifying nightmare. Nobody knows where it came from or who built it. The best guess is that it is a relic from some ancient war, created to destroy the enemy but that somehow escaped and has been roaming through the galaxy for thousands of years ever since, its original builders and purpose long since gone.
For some reason, it was while I was contemplating the nature of the British Establishment over my lifetime that the above thoughts came to mind. I can’t think why.
Poor Rishi, I am sure he understands what a car crash this is, but Boris, Gove, Handycock, Jenrick, etc, all want more lock-down.
In a rational world, we would fund this coronavirus by ending HS2, all the green scams, shutting down most quangos, ending 80 per cent of foreign aid, ending health tourism, stopping benefits being payable to those who have not paid in, closing down DfID, and sacking the entire procurement teams at the MoD/PHE/NHS etc, etc.
In response to Will Jones: Too many are dying in care homes, and not just from coronavirus,
This is worth reading.
By isolating healthy people you are turning off their immune systems. We need to mix in order to update our immune systems.
Malcolm Parkin wrote:
Care homes kill by inducing despair. The happy healthy upward looking smiling faces depicted in advertisements are a fiction.
Derek Reynolds replied:
My wife has worked in care homes and we have had both her parents (individually) spend time in care homes. Their efficiencies are wide-ranging. The smaller ones seem to behave like the last step before the mortuary, with folk slumped in chairs with a flat-screen TV blaring out nonsense which some of the more conscious will be fed with MSM ‘news’. There is seldom any conversation between residents – or as the system labels them, ‘service users’ – while often some staff spend more time on cigarette breaks outside or filling out drug reports inside. Residents’ calls for attention have frequently been replied to with: ‘You’ve just been dear, you don’t need to go again.’
The largest one (91 residents) was the most vibrant with in-house nursing staff and many immigrant (East European) helpers and carers, all of whom were friendly and showed much compassion to residents.
Anxiety, fear and depression interfere with the innate immune system such that it is lowered more than usual. During old age it also has to be noted that the immune system reduces. Combined with the constant cleaning and washing done in care homes (as in hospitals), any so-called ‘herd immunity’ is greatly reduced if not eliminated completely, all adding to the greater likelihood of contracting any kind of virus that comes along, ‘new’ ones especially so.
Having worked in both a larger and smaller care homes it all depends on the environment and management. While larger homes should be able to pool money better, a lot are about making money and stretch the staff very thinly.
Most staff ignore the residents. However those who are caring get bogged down with bureaucracy, as most caring now is about filling in the forms to show you have provided care rather than actually doing it.
This comes from centralised top-down society, which isn’t individually motivated so needs constant oversight to be asked to do basic jobs. Those who could provide more get dragged down by those who do as little as possible.
What I can say is that is I would choose death before a care home. I’ve experienced it more than once where I have been comforting a resident in distress and had other carers laugh at that person crying. It is humiliating living in these places.
Malcolm Parkin wrote:
Yes, it’s the fear and sense of rejection by family that lower the immune system and lead to death. You can see those who are still compos mentis just going downhill from despair.
In response to Andrew Mahon: Liberty is being sacrificed in pursuit of popularity,
‘Is Western democracy primarily concerned with liberty or with health?’
Because these lockdowns are not conducive to good health. There are (on average) 1,600 deaths each day in the UK anyway. Many people with serious conditions are not receiving the care they urgently need, either because they are not seeking help or because they cannot get help.
It used to be flippant to say ‘life is fatal’, but it is. We are not immortal. Living carries with it danger, living is ‘risky’. We don’t usually obsess over this though.
And those under 50 are not affected by this. So why are schools closed? (That’s a rhetorical question). This virus is not harmful for the majority that get it. Those in the ‘at risk’ categories can take the choice to self isolate.
Why do the rest of us have to put up with this? And we are being lied to about the numbers affected. Yes, LIED TO. Check the facts!
The UK has become a lunatic asylum.
In previous generations the few would willingly sacrifice themselves for the many, but in this supposed war, the many are ordered to sacrifice everything they have for the few. It’s a kind of tyranny of the minority.
It’s also a bizarre choice to favour one particular physical disease suffered (largely) by one particular group at the expense of worsening just about every other disease whether mental or physical. Add to that the destruction of economic prosperity for years to come and the ability to respond to any disease, and you wonder if there isn’t something else at play here.
In response to Kathy Gyngell: Bottler Johnson – a truly terrifying disappointment,
Andy Joyce wrote:
This crisis has really opened my eyes to just how supine the British have become. I’d have expected, as is generally the case, that it would be the English-speaking peoples who would be up in arms about the curtailing of civil liberties and yet it is here in Germany where you see the anti-lockdown demonstrations, acts of mass civil disobedience (Berlin last weekend) and even some courts ruling that it is unconstitutional for the state to use this crisis to ban people gathering in large groups to exercise their right to protest.
Today I’m in the office working as normal, had lunch in a local bakery, will be attending a housewarming shindig at the weekend, plan to have dinner at a restaurant tomorrow evening and had my hair cut yesterday. Sure, there are some restrictions still in place which an increasing number of Germans consider arbitrary and pointless, but it’s light years away from what my friends and family are having to endure in the UK (essentially house arrest).
That’s not to say that the German government have the best interests of the people at heart: no, the difference is that unlike Boris the politicos here in Germany don’t have the luxury of another five years in office, which is time enough for the voting public to ‘go back to sleep’ and forget what a monumental overreaction the lockdown has been.
The German government has realised that time is running out for them to rectify the catastrophic damage that they, and most other governments around the world, have inflicted in their effort to ‘be seen to do something’. The economic/financial consequences such as the devaluation of savings, long-term unemployment, home repossessions, large-scale bankruptcies and the inevitable depression that will follow will most likely coincide with an election year . . . look and learn, Boris!
Finally, we know the talents of our contributors are boundless and now we find this extends to their families. Katy Simpson, the wife of Pastor Peter Simpson, Minister of Penn Free Methodist Church in Buckinghamshire, knocked us out by singing Doin’ the Lambeth Walk in a live VE Day concert on Facebook.
Katy studied classical singing at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire and has been performing and teaching singing for 20 years. Her roles have included being Head of Music in a secondary school. She has recently been leading online singalongs to help lift the lockdown gloom and specialises in 1940s popular music and songs from the shows.
You can see her terrific performance here. Oi!