Lockdown Britain …
Another Lockdown weekend, another weekend with sunshine, birdsong, and people being threatened with ‘Plod-Action’. Another weekend where ‘Our MSM’ are attacking the government. Another weekend where people are dying, another weekend with sob stories ‘from the NHS Front’. Another weekend where some of our ‘liberal’ MSM are dropping their masks.
Johnson is still in hospital, being told by ‘experts’ (not his doctors) and his dad to take it easy and not rush back to work yet (link). Then there’s a report that the Military will join the Police to enforce our house arrests (link). Apparently they will together ‘patrol’ the South Coast. Will they be able to pick up more ‘refugees’ in their rubber dinghies crossing over from war-torn France and let them in unchecked? Perhaps they’ll only arrest Brits enjoying the sun in splendid self-isolation, keeping their social distance …
It’s quite extraordinary that ‘Our MSM’ so readily criticise government while equally readily accepting anything ‘scientific experts’ say and propose. Just as with Brexit it seems that, as far as ‘Our MSM’ are concerned, all those bumbling, incompetent politicians aren’t really needed – Whitehall Mandarins, Brussels Bureaucrats and now ‘scientific experts’ know best, and we all ought to accept their recommendations without hesitation, unquestioned.
Thus the astonishing headline of a report in the DT on a possible Lockdown Exit: “Social distancing measures may need to remain in place ‘indefinitely’, government experts believe” (link). We are being governed not by ministers but by ‘experts’, “government experts” even – who are not accountable to us. The following quote indicates what might be in store for us:
“Officials are considering a plan to lift the lockdown “in reverse” with schools the first to open potentially from the beginning of June, followed by all shops but larger social gatherings delayed until last. The elderly and vulnerable would be asked to stay at home for longer. However, it is understood that Britons will be asked to consider whether social interactions – such as going to an office or visiting relatives – are necessary as part of a plan to live with the virus for many months, or even years.” (link)
Take note of the date: they’re talking about the beginning of June and think of keeping especially the elderly and vulnerable in isolation ‘for longer’, for months and even years. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that is blatantly ageist. Replace ‘elderly and vulnerable’ with ‘BAME‘ – what outcry there would be: separating a group based on a characteristic which is not under their control.
Sacrificing our liberties in order to ‘protect the NHS’ is now acceptable. However, we’re already ‘protecting the NHS’ as cancer therapies are shelved ‘for the duration’, as visits to A&E, especially by patients with heart attacks and strokes, have been declining to an astonishing degree. The Times reports:
“Patients not suffering from coronavirus are either unable to receive treatments or, perhaps in many more cases, afraid to go to hospitals or GP surgeries in case they catch the virus.The reluctance to seek medical help for potentially serious conditions during the pandemic has become such a worry that a public health campaign is expected next week to spread the message: “The NHS is still open for business”. The advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi is understood to be working on the campaign without payment.” (link, paywalled)
Yay! Another campaign! Note that it’s our fault for ‘being reluctant’ to see our GP as we observe the Lockdown! I cannot reconcile the advice to stay home to ‘Protect the NHS’ with a campaign to please see your GP/ A&E anyway. More:
“This concern goes beyond cancer patients. The British Heart Foundation said that it feared thousands of people were putting themselves in danger from long-term heart damage by not seeking medical assistance during the pandemic. Data from hospitals across England has shown that the number of people seen in emergency departments with a suspected heart attack has been halved since the beginning of March, from about 300 a day at the beginning of the month to about 150 by last week.” (link, paywalled)
Confused? Yes, me also likewise! We’re told not to see our GP or go to A&E when not infected with ‘That Virus’, but we should see them when seriously ill with non-COVID-19 illnesses, illnesses we apparently must self-diagnose. Perhaps, as a nation, we weren’t really as sick as the pre-pandemic cries from ‘Our NHS’ indicated? Perhaps most people realise, in splendid isolation, that they can stick a sticking plaster on scraped knees without rushing to A&E? It also seems to dawn on ‘experts’ that perhaps keeping everybody In is not a useful long-term strategy:
“The public has already restricted movement and interactions by more than had been forecast with fewer people going out to work than experts had anticipated. The emerging exit strategy comes amid growing concerns within Whitehall over the devastating economic impacts of the lockdown. The Treasury is understood to believe that GDP will fall by more than 14 per cent in the next three months – which would lead to extreme levels of poverty developing which could ultimately lead to the premature deaths of more people than the virus.” (link)
Perhaps some ‘experts’ might start connecting the dots: a shrunken GDP means also less money for “Our NHS” – unless, of course, we accept that we all must do without because that National Sacred Cow must be fed, especially the top NHS managers with salaries higher than that of the PM.
Mind you – there’s a tiny light flickering at the end of the tunnel: work on a vaccine is going on. In an article in The Times we’re told that:
“A vaccine against coronavirus could be ready as soon as September, the British scientist leading one of the world’s most advanced efforts has said. Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at Oxford University, told The Times she was “80 per cent confident” that the vaccine being developed by her team would work, with human trials due to begin in the next fortnight. The government signalled that it would be willing to fund the manufacture of millions of doses in advance if results looked promising. This would allow it to be available immediately to the public if it were proven to work.” (link, paywalled)
Let’s hope this isn’t more ‘jam tomorrow’, like all those tests which were ‘imminent’. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that Professor Gilbert’s work will be successful – and let’s hope that this doesn’t mean that Lockdown might go on until the vaccine is available.
Next, something akin to a ‘twitter storm’, attacking people for what they say online, this time created byThe Times. They’ve noticed that ‘some academics’, professors even, are ‘sharing conspiracy theories online’ (link, paywalled). That cannot be countenanced because, as they write in their editorial:
“Real news outlets are reporting the state of medical knowledge and safeguarding public health. Their efforts are being undermined by dilettantes who lack specialist knowledge. Those who share conspiracy theories under the guise of academic affiliation are trading in falsehood. Their institutions should not turn a blind eye to baseless propaganda. These pseudoscientific notions are an affront to scholarship and a threat to life.” (link, paywalled)
This shows clearly where limiting Free Speech is going: only ‘experts’ (and who appointed them?) and ‘real news outlets’ are in possession of ‘Teh Truth’. Everybody else: shut up. Is this the country we want to live in? Is ‘saving lives’ now the only purpose of our society? Is staying in Lockdown to ‘save lives and protect Our NHS’ still not sufficient? Must we all now stop thinking and only step out of our front doors once a week to ‘clap for the NHS’?
Tomorrow is Easter Sunday and the churches are closed. The Archbishop of Canterbury, to ‘save lives’, has decreed that. Anyone who has been visiting a church these last years will know that keeping one’s social distance in church is definitely not a problem – but now even vicars are not allowed to celebrate in their churches, alone, by pain of disciplinary action. Some vicars aren’t taking it lying down. Rev’d James Paice, Rector at St Luke’s Wimbledon Park, told the DT:
“If people can go to Lidl and get food and stand less than two metres apart from others who are in a queue parallel to them, then why can’t clergy go into an empty building on their own? The advice that clergy should get shopping but not going into their buildings alone to minister online has elevated the humanistic and practical above the spiritual.” The vicar also accused the Archbishops of […]“fast eroding their own authority”. (link)
That authority has already been eroded so much that many Christians feel the Church of Justin Welby has left them years ago. Here though is a date for our Lockdown Calendar: Ramadan starts on the 23rd of April and ends on the 23rd of May. Will we see similar restrictions for that big holy event? Or will the Lockdown restrictions be lifted by the 23rd of May so that our muslim citizens can enjoy their holy days? We’ll have to wait and see …
At this Easter Weekend, we’re left to ponder if we’re seeing the emergence of a new, secular religious movement where our national goal is ‘to save lives’, enforced by restrictions on our own liberties, Free Speech included. Who can say if this Lockdown exercise won’t be extended – not just to “protect Our NHS” but, once there’s a vaccine, to ‘protect the planet’? The instruments of coercion are in place.
Take care, stay vigilant, enjoy the Easter weekend as best you can and