Crawling until we end Lockdown2, struggling, society dying. We can make it though through a week until it ends – but even then we are not free.
Actually, I have made this lockdown tolerable simply by ignoring it. Apart from the germ-sodden facenappy I am forced to clamp to my mouth when travelling and when entering less accommodating shops, it has been much as normal, apart from the absence of people in the open air, timid people anyway. I travel resentful, but when released from the train and I have coughed my guts up from the induced asphyxia, I am free again to ignore these paper rules.
Now the new Lockdown is coming to an end, the shops will reopen. Life will start to become normal, just a bit. Except that it will not: this is not a liberation – it is tiers before bedtime. The clampdown continues so that while venues can open, they must keep visitors six feet apart, which is not going to revive the cinemas or theatres or anything else really: pocket tyrants standing at the doors forcing you into a mile-long queue for an hour with no promise of being able to get in the door and no, I am not joining in. All these social and cultural venues will close and I have stopped caring about them because they are now a distant, forgotten world. I cannot see how they can come back when the world has moved on. They remaining shops will struggle to their feet again as there are always customers for frocks and whatnot, but art and culture must be our sacrifice for the new, horrid world we have created.
The cure has been far worse than the disease. Now we live with a strange new world of devastation following the plague as they did in the Middle Ages, but it was not the plague which devastated but the measures taken against it.
We can only thrive if we are free. Freedom brings endeavour and innovation. e are crawling towards it again. My worry is that some politicians are too fond of this unwonted power they now wield; “in the first place, I put for a generall inclination of all mankind, a perpetuall and restlesse desire of Power after power, that ceaseth onely in Death.” Maybe Boris is genuinely not comfortable with it, but that Matt Hancock, the most powerless become a great power, he always seem ready to tighten the noose around the neck. On the other side of the House, those even less powerful, have called for powers and restrictions, and commissars and whatever their cruel hearts imagine.
There is resistance. The push back for freedom has come entirely from the Conservative benches. If they are accused of living in the past, good for them, for we were free in the past.
The self-justification of power must be broken. Then we can be free to thrive.
- Competitive panicking
- Hobble Christmas and we starve
- Don’t make us resent this
- Does anyone understand the rules?
- I have measured out my life with coffee spoons
- You’ll never take me a-skive, copper
- The patient is dying. There is one cure
- Blaming China
- The Borisaurus: The Dictionary of Boris Johnson by Simon Walters
- 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
- 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