Being kicked out of Tesco is a low point. One person per trolley and then my wife has to walk six paces behind me, which is positively mediaeval. The police have been dispatched in places to stop people going for walks even though we are encouraged to walk for exercise. These are fine days for bullies: an excuse to tell people what to do and make loud tutting noises at those who fail to match their own hypocritical standards.
One thing we have heard is of the authorities in Caernarfonshire and Derbyshire descending to close car parks in case anyone dares to breathe fresh air, just in case we walk too close to someone else on an empty, wind-scoured fell.
Genuinely people are afraid. It is not just stepping aside on the path but women have frozen in horror twenty feet from me and one threw a scarf tight around her face (which is not the normal female reaction to me).
Personal reactions are understandable. The authorities, at every level, are another matter. They must watch their own conduct. There are exceptional rules, but they must be exercised in a manner that accords with reason and principle. The rules are there for a reason, not for themselves. That reason must be the guiding principle behind every action. The new powers are extraordinary, repulsive to normal principle, and temporary. They must be temporary and brief before they become so widely flouted that they are worse then useless.
This was recognised from the beginning in the Chief Medical Officer’s analysis – stringency has its limits and to keep the population behaving in a way that moderates the spread, it must be regulation that is itself moderate. Tweaking the nose too much brings forth blood.
The rules may be released when the NHS will cope, as we have to reach that peak at some time, and best when the weather is clear. We have been squashing that sombrero, but as the days wear on our patience is wearing thin, and we who thrive on our freedom will break.
- What about those who are immune?
- Competitive panicking
- Praying for Boris
- In a sentence, Her Majesty defines us
- The necessity of normality
- A Journal of the Plague Year by Daniel Defoe
- Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World by Laura Spinney
- The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity by Douglas Murray
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds by Charles MacKay (1841)
- 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, by Jordan B Peterson
- Woke: A Guide to Social Justice by Titania McGrath
- The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes
- By Boris Johnson:
- By Aristotle:
- By Anthony Burgess: