“You do know the deadline for Sunday’s article is approaching?” said the other half over breakfast this morning. Well obviously, “but what am I supposed to be writing about?” The only thing that mainstream readers and the broadcast media seem interested in at the moment is Mr. Bumble’s latest fumble about the furloughed going back to work and the daily controversy over whether to wear a mask or not wear a mask; albeit Harry and Meghan may well take over in the coming days.
The thing to do is look at social media and follow that (apparently BBC personnel spend more time with their followers on social media than actually going out and researching something or talking to people outside their own increasingly left-wing bubble).
Now ‘bubble’, that’s a word that hasn’t seen the light of day in the nation’s quality press since the United Kingdom was actually one nation and not four. The South Seas one burst in 1720 following all sorts of insider trading, wheeling and dealing and a connection to the slave trade. Look it up if you’re interested – there are similarities with some of what’s going on now.
Anyway here in 2020 we are looking at another financial crash, following on from the 2008 financial crash which now seems like a trial run, but as we all now know Gordon Brown saved the world and us that time, lessons were apparently not learned as this time the world’s economy has again been crashed together with the developing finance credit, economic housing and debt bubbles and all.
It’s not clear why the behavioural change PR people in Downing Street selected ‘bubble’, given the word’s chequered history but seemingly it was to make the forced lockdown more palatable, together with “we are all in this together” which first saw light of day during the ‘call me Dave’s term as Prime Minister and has recently been used by the head of the WHO. It struck me at the time as an odd turn of phrase for the head of the WHO to use. Perhaps it was to convey to a nervous public worldwide audience a sense of belonging and togetherness and of being looked after.
‘Bubble’ arrived first in ministerial announcements – probably something to do with being safe and secure and invoking childish associations with warm bubble baths and the song ‘I’m for ever blowing bubbles’ to blow away your fears and worries as our newly enthused nanny state looks after you. Much of the population obviously was quite happy to be treated like children and have readily adopted the word. Only last week a lady of a certain age asked if I would like to join her bubble as she has also bubbled with others. Not being totally sure of the meaning of this invitation and of a nervous disposition, I declined.
Like many people I assume, and let’s face it we all know the dangers of that assumption, but take it on face value for a moment, that many so-called adults have little sense of history, current events, behaviour and most importantly how to think, critically or otherwise (either would be nice), but along with many other things that define an adult, this ability has been lost in the last 20 years or so and has become painfully obvious this year. Examples of childish behaviour and thought can be witnessed on a daily basis. The advertising, marketing and media people were either schooled from the same mould or cleverly have noticed the trends. The latest Covid-19 virus information film from what used to be called the Ministry of Information, is a prime example, using childish cartoons and a voice-over from somebody who sounds like a student teacher talking to a class of seven-year-olds. I wonder what highly paid executive came up with: let’s all sing the birthday song while you wash your hands, as presumably big boys and girls or any other gender are incapable of working out how long 20 seconds is.
Childish cartoon characters are everywhere these days, supposedly to appeal to all ages, and assist people who may not grasp the meaning as English may not be their first language. Well maybe, in that case it’s time somebody said so and addressed the cause and stopped treating us all to this patronising and offensive garbage.
Social discourse these days is a minefield. One really has to mind one’s P’s and Q’s as the nation, now with mostly nothing better to do and being for the most part paid in full for it, is requiring a present day morally analytical approach to events that happened centuries ago and that we the descendants five or six generations later are supposedly responsible for, goodness knows why but there it is.
I do wonder what is going on in Downing Street or wherever it is that the Prime Minister of what was once the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland resides, because either he or his special advisors have lost touch with reality, which is quite possible given that meetings these days are often by electronic means, or they are following some plan which is so secret we, the public, have been deemed not important enough or adult enough for it to be shared with.
Share is another word in their world. Just look at the statements and mis-statements of the last month on everything from the easing of ‘lockdown’ restrictions. Personal liberties and the mask regulations, proposals to cut the size of the army, policing and all the rest. They are so varied and often so complex or idiotic that you could be forgiven for thinking that a special advisor to a special advisor who is in the first week of an internship had been tasked to write the policy.
Who, in their politically astute virtual world, thought that it was a good idea, as millions face redundancy and having thrown billions of pounds at ‘our’ NHS, to share the decision that public sector workers were to be given a pay rise on the word of an independent review body, having already received a pay rise earlier this year. You can imagine the conversation. “Prime Minister, we’ve got this announcement about the public sector pay increase to make. Shall we ask the Chancellor to make this announcement? The timing could be a little contentious given the situation with impending economic doom, modelled rising employment and company closures and everything. What do you think?” Reply from the PM’s special advisors’ special advisors: “Good idea. Bury it with some regulation about reducing the size of the army to save money or something. Nobody bothers about the army anyway until we need it, which is unlikely at the moment, so go ahead.”
There was the decision to be decisive and then indecisive with regards to the reopening of schools and colleges and universities, the abandonment presumably down to pressure by the unions. There was I, and many others, thinking that many schools were academies or trust schools and that local or other authorities had little or no influence on how schools recruit or pay their staff. Either way the discussion was immaterial because as we all know schools won’t re-open fully until September, if then.
Part 2 of All this talk; where’s the action? will be published here tomorrow.