Soon to be a rare sight in our streets?
On Thursday the government will decide: will the Lockdown be prolonged, will there be a lifting of restrictions, will there be a tightening? While the government advisers in that mysterious group ‘SAGE’ are modelling and debating before advising ministers, ‘Our MSM’ are doing their best to influence them – and us.
Helpfully, YouGov has polled us and found that ‘Britons would prefer a longer Lockdown’ (link) even though the majority fears for the economic future. This is in a stark contrast to some government advisers suggesting that Lockdown rules could be ‘relaxed’.
Then there are reports about EU countries starting to lift their restrictions like Spain (“recklessly”, according to this article) and Italy while France is going to keep the French locked in until May 11th. I’m sure our SAGE advisers will also wait for Ms Merkel’s decision tomorrow. Oh – and Ireland did everything so much better than our hapless government (link, paywalled). Not content with keeping their despicable ‘we have more deaths than they and it’s all Johnsons’ fault’ campaign going, ‘Our MSM’ seem to try to revive their Remain arguments, namely that we in the UK are too small, too incapable, too insignificant to do things our way and must learn from the mighty EU member states.
There were a handful of articles in the broadsheets this morning which I found alarming because they demonstrate how far society in our country has already changed. There is, for example, this astounding advice:
“Ministers have been told to abandon talk of a coronavirus “exit strategy” as they try to ease public fears about an eventual end to the lockdown by moving towards a gradual “unwinding” of social distancing rules. The Government has been so successful in convincing people of the need to stay at home that there are concerns it could prove difficult to persuade them it is safe to return to work once the decision is taken to ease current restrictions. […] However, senior sources said that before the lockdown can be eased, the public must first be convinced it is the right thing to do, in the same way that they accepted the need for social distancing to be imposed to begin with.” (link)
It seems that government believes we’re a bunch of fear-ridden idiots who need Nanny to hold our collective hands before we think of going out! Here’s an intriguing reason for government needing to ‘convince people’ not to be afraid should restrictions being lifted:
“Senior ministers are split, however, on whether to encourage people to return to the workplace if it is safe to do so and if they cannot work from home, as evidence of the economic, social and health costs of the lockdown mounts. Participation at work is lower than expected when the lockdown was designed, adding billions of pounds to the cost of the furlough scheme and other mitigation measures, and risking deeper damage to the economy.” (link, paywalled)
Doesn’t that look like an elegant way of describing our nation as a nation of skiving so-and-sos who are snatching up all the goodies Sunak has promised? There are other, worse hints on how our society has already been changed thanks to the Lockdown. This report send shivers down my spine:
“Police are advising the public to tell off people guilty of “one-off” breaches of the lockdown rules rather than report them to their force. The move follows claims that some forces have been inundated with calls and reports about people flouting the restrictions with many including minor breaches such as neighbours going on two runs in a day.“ (link)
This is not a localised effort. There is now a national database to which one police force is sending their sheep:
“Devon and Cornwall police, which deployed military police boats to patrol its beaches and deter visitors at the weekend, was yesterday directing members of the public with tip-offs to the Ask Police site. The site, a national database of questions and answers to help reduce the number of non-emergency calls, warned that forces “inundated” with reports might struggle to respond to them all immediately. “We therefore advise that in relation to one-off incidents, you initially speak to the people about your concerns (if you can do so safely and within the social distancing measures),” it said.” (link)
Anonymous snitching isn’t sufficient, we now have a free ticket for neighbourhood busybodies to ‘tell people off’! Isn’t this a bit like vigilantism, something we abhor, even if social distancing rules are adhered to? Imagine Mr X shouting at Missis Y across the road about her transgression so that the whole street can hear! Don’t think this is inconceivable – one friend told me that she’d been told off at the start of the Lockdown by a curtain-twitching neighbour for daring to walk her little dog three times a day!
There are other reports on aspects of economic damage which nobody in government has thought about. Farmers have to dump milk because the gastronomy industry is closed and they can no longer sell to restaurants and cafes – transforming bulk milk bottling to small bottles for shops isn’t happening because workers are self-isolating (link, paywalled).
Then there are reports that pubs are forced to ‘dispose’ (i.e. pour down the drain) of 50 million pints because beer in kegs does go off after a month or two (link, paywalled). Breweries, especially small ones, haven’t been able to continue brewing because of the Lockdown. How many pubs will be left once the Lockdown has been lifted?
Meanwhile, as Labour is still in turmoil, old class warfare arguments are being revived, according to The Times:
“Across the world there is a growing perception that the virus was initially spread by wealthy holidaymakers but is having a disproportionate impact on those with low incomes; that people on the lowest rungs of the socio-economic ladder are suffering more while the wealthy ride it out in better health and greater comfort; that those fighting the disease on the front line are among the most badly paid in society. In short, the economically disadvantaged and ethnic minorities are doing the most dangerous work, getting ill and dying faster than the rich, white and privileged.” (link, paywalled)
Isn’t it great to have a scapegoat: ‘rich white people’. Not one word about China. Note the phrase ‘across the world’. This is true because ‘across the world’ the MSM are singing from the same hymn sheet to a degree that is staggering. The reports, like in a ping-pong match, fly across the world, from the New York Times and amazon’s Mr Bezos “Washington Post” to the BBC and our broadsheets in such fashion that it’s instructive to check what they are reporting about and when.
It’s interesting that some news items are beneath the notice of the International MSM when it comes to China, but we can discern hints of a new ‘coronavirus battlefront’ going to be opened soon: ‘Russia bad’. Thus we read in the DT:
“China has reported its highest spike in coronavirus cases in six weeks, driven by a surge of Chinese people scrambling to return from Russia through the northern Heilongjiang province. On Sunday, China’s national health commission reported 108 new infections, up from 99 on Saturday, compounding fears that Heilongjiang could become a new Covid-19 battleground and the source of a second wave of infections as the country’s lockdown gradually eases.” (link).
What were these Chinese doing in Russia? And how many Chinese nationals are going back and forth between the West – for example Italy or New York – and China? Perhaps we’ll see a concerted effort in the next days to blame Russia and Putin and depict poor old China as victim:
“Meanwhile, Russia is emerging as a significant source of new cases of coronavirus in China. A flight from Russia to Shanghai carried at least 60 passengers with the virus.” (link, paywalled)
That quote is from an article which is a somewhat confused and confusing report on racism in China – yes, really:
“China has said it has “zero tolerance” for racism after Africans and black people were banned from hotels and restaurants, evicted from their lodgings and forced to have tests for coronavirus. The US consulate in Guangzhou advised African-Americans to stay away from the city, saying that police had told bars and restaurants to refuse to serve those who “appear to be of African origin”, and introduced mandatory tests and self-quarantine of anyone with “African contacts”. Its warning came as videos were posted online of notes from restaurants stating that “black people are not allowed to enter”, and others of African migrants being rounded up by police in the streets.” (link, paywalled)
How did ‘African migrants’ get to China? Never mind – the Chinese surely cannot be racist because they aren’t white, can they!
But let’s get back to the home front, to the effects the Lockdown has on the fabric of our society. Thanks to ‘Our MSM’ we’re being coerced into accepting a surveillance state where drones and apps won’t be needed because we’re doing that surveillance ourselves, on ourselves.
I think the banishment of the elderly ‘for their own good’ from society, from our streets and parks, never mind shops and supermarkets, will change the fabric of our country to an extent that is frightening. Imagine how the wonderful support neighbours are providing at the moment to their elderly neighbours is going to work when they’re all back at work while the old are still under house arrest for months, perhaps until next year, and perhaps being ‘reported’ by neighbourly busybodies – ‘for their own good’ – if they ‘transgress’.
The ‘Law of Unintended Consequences’ is already at work during these few weeks of Lockdown. Perhaps banishing the elderly from being visible in society, in public spaces, is unintentional as of yet. I’d hope so because I cannot but help being reminded of the banishment of another group of people from society in a certain country, eighty years ago. Is my imagination too grim? Let me know! Meanwhile all we can do is