It is difficult to remember a time when so much was going on in the world and so much was wrong, from the destroying of economies for a pandemic that isn’t one, to the hijacking of a black man's death for a political movement that could not give a fig about black lives, to a climate change scam that has evolved from a protest about how we as humans have destroyed the planet into a movement headed by a young girl who has no idea what she is talking about but nations and particularly politicians listen to.
We can add the politicking going on here for years over Brexit, the left's abysmal response to Trump's winning in’16, the Gilets Jaunes in France hated by the ruling class, Italy riven by endless political groups who all turn out to be the same, Germany bowing to the Greens and shutting down all nuclear power plants and then when the lights started going out starting building coal-fired stations, China ignoring everyone over everything and Russia looking on probably in total amazement.
|Mad magazine's Alfred E Neuman|
|JC aka Steptoe,,,|
And as if this was not enough we have people arguing over statues, certain words in the English language, white supremacy, gender neutral toilets, gay marriage (David Cameron's only claim to fame), cultural appropriation (never have understood how someone using all that the West has provided can object to having an Indian war bonnet as a logo for a football team and think it demeaning), and whether we should call someone he/him she/her tu/vous you thee thou it they or just tell them to f*** off, though the last hasn’t got a box to tick; and yet words like ‘conflict of interest’ and 'consequences' and 'accountable' seem to have vanished as if by magic.
Christianity in many countries has no status any more. Even Bishops say nasty things about that which they preach and spout political statements from the pulpit. Meanwhile in Turkey power-mad Erdogan could not wait to get the Church of Saint Sofia changed back to a mosque so he could garner extra votes from the radicals and managed to pull in 350,000 people into Istanbul for the first religious service in its new guise there, and in the process caused a surge in the coronavirus which included his vice president who went down with it - schadenfreude on that one.
Back here the virus has spawned a whole new world of misinformation with government groups headed by discredited advisors using fear tactics set out in a SAGE document on ways to frighten the populace into obeying instructions on self-isolating, mask-wearing, whatever, and succeeding in actually frightening to death a large percentage of the population. Orwellian methods at best. All in the best interests of saving the NHS from itself while people with a whole range of diseases that kill you are denied treatment - in fact, the NHS has conveniently found a way post-virus of getting rid of the nuisance of patients by not treating any.
If you add in the draconian threats and actions to deal with very small outbreaks (as e.g. in New Zealand: population 5 million, 4 new cases) we really are at the beginning of a fascist state. Worse, the poor souls trapped in their bedsits had to endure videos of dancing nurses and kneeling policemen on Tik Tok as the preferred entertainment while over the pond the same entrapped souls could watch liberated groups ransacking stores - Nike trainers to the fore again as the preferred loot - and having looted, set up no-go areas so they could shoot one another unimpeded by such non necessities as a Police Force; police forces are so yesterday!
Meanwhile the MSM have a field day with such important ongoing events such as a black MP being stopped by police for a traffic violation, an excuse to say all police stops of black people in high crime areas should be halted because it ain't fair; after all, black on black violence is just a passing fad, ignore it, and anyway 'police should know who I am' even though the car had tinted windows.
I see some US States have a ruling that no one will be prosecuted for stealing anything under $900 from a shop! And there is an unwritten ruling in this country that the police are too busy to pursue shoplifters or charge them for anything under £200. So now you don’t have to loot, there really is free stuff out there.
In other areas such as the behaviour of some elements in the Muslim community the police, officials and the media are muzzled and hobbled by political correctness and woe betide any politician who breaks cover. In France hundreds of churches and other religious buildings have been burned or desecrated https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019/april/churches-desecrated-in-ongoing-attacks-across-europe (odd that arson was swiftly ruled out in the case of the Notre Dame blaze, when a year later the seat of the fire had still not been examined) while here mosques and Islamic centres of (imho) the most hideous designs go up all over the country (and people complain about Bauhaus brutalism!) - all of which fits in with the ever smaller nondescript boxes being ‘built’ and sold as houses these days.
With the police face-painting and refusing to come out to burglaries, the NHS reduced to a phone service with all the options available apart from treatment, we now have a government wanting to ban advertising for fast food as the obesity rate climbs yet gives £10 vouchers out to help the same food industry that provides fast food, a push for free school dinners is on the table and food banks are getting bigger, suggesting we have a problem on the calorie front or ever more people want free stuff.
Talking of free stuff, free speech has become, well, not so free. Many academics on the Left want words removed from dictionaries, words replaced with something more inclusive. and people that use these same words without realising the harm and hurt they cause banned altogether from speaking anywhere. Most universities and public bodies go along with this, including the police who spend a lot of time on the internet looking for these words and then apologising to everyone for the rare occasion of doing their job in other areas.
Other areas include riots, the current BLM protests engineered to erupt after a black criminal died at police hands mirrors on a bigger scale our own Tottenham riots after a career criminal was shot dead some years back; it appears the police failed to apologise for the latter but I am sure a few stop and search gaffes can fill the gap until the whole of the Police ’service’ is diverse (they are working on it), at which point the protestors will have a problem proving institutional racism; but I am sure when that day comes there will be another cause célèbre to latch onto ('free everything', probably.)
Returning to the US we have the unedifying sight of the Republicans managing to outdo our own Labour party by putting up for the Presidency of the most powerful nation on earth a man who forgets himself who then in turn chooses or pretends to choose a running mate that is a nasty version of our own national treasure (Miss Diane someone who has managed to elevate herself by horizontal means) to what could be the Presidency as surely Sleepy Joe cannot see out the tenure in the White House if he gets there.
It gets ever more puzzling as to what is required to become a people's representative. Equality and diversity seem to be the two most obvious boxes to tick; ability not so much, as seen with Bojo who doesn’t appear to a have clue about anything - Brexit is his last chance to make a mark, we wait with bated breath, many with total bewilderment. Opposite him, Max Headroom makes quiet noises about nothing surrounded by the remains of what was a Labour party many years ago but now is a shambles of Corbyn cast-offs and newbie noise makers.
At the same time Bojo stuffs the Lords, now 830 expenses-furnished souls, with his failure of a brother, an IRA sympathiser, the former PM's husband (for being her husband I presume), Ian Botham for his support of Brexit (in which case there are another 17½ million of us eligible for Lords status), and Evgeny Lebedev a Russian newspaper oligarch and donor; plus the usual titles for the retired MPs who need some extra cash to add to their gold-plated pensions.
Bercow didn’t get his peerage and everyone is pleased about that, but I guarantee that when he has done his time on the naughty step and time has mellowed opinion he will be elevated. Elevation in his case is a must, not unlike the predilection of the French to appoint vertically challenged leaders who stand on boxes for group photographs or sit on horses if they are Napoleon, and are also short-tempered. And why do we always seem to get the short straw in the looks stakes with women MPs? Nothing sexist, just an observation, I shall get slaughtered for this. Belusconi manages in his time to fill the Italian parliament with ex-showgirls, a porn star and other arm candy, France has some of the smartest-dressed and best-looking women in their parliament and we get:
I really don’t mind what anyone looks like if they are good at their job but in this case we don’t even get that and many more fill the same shoes. Might as well brighten the place up and have someone like this:
Frau Merkel despite everything is still the party leader over there and to all intents leads the EU as everything appears to have to go through her or be approved by her. The fact she is not a member of the EU Parliament or executive committee seems not to be a hurdle in getting what she wants for Germany ahead of everyone else (and I always thought thought the EU was a democratic body made up of various nations who decided things - where on earth did I get that idea?) Still, someone who said ‘multiculturalism has utterly failed’ and then opened the door to 1.1 million refugees is another to be listened to in times of need.
World wide groups have cottoned onto an area where there could be free money. After pulling a few statues down the same groups are demanding reparations from us the current citizens who have nothing to do with what went on 300 years ago. At this rate we should manage to get something for being under Roman rule for so long. Whereas we admire what the Romans left us with their skills in engineering and rule of law, the current protestors see no irony in protesting in a country that has given them everything they have or enabled them to do; of course their home countries having had a wonderful legacy left to them continue to blame us as they wreck everything we gave them including the ability to stand on their own two feet with the wealth of natural resources we opened up for them; no, it’s still our fault. Still, they have one abiding asset: corruption. Anyone who has been to Africa will have encountered corruption. They have turned it into an art form: monies just disappear into Swiss bank accounts, millions are stashed away in banks and properties world wide by politicians earning £20k a year but even that is our fault for encouraging them. At least we are following suit on all this: since the expenses scandal and the clamp down on our own MPs claiming for duck houses and bicycles and flipping homes, they have managed to circumvent that little problem by claiming even more - expenses are now way in excess of those in the scandal period and seemingly all above board! Quel surprise.
Even on a local level we have clowns dictating how our money should be spent. A local campaign is on its way to get speed cameras put up in our 20 mph zone street. The twenty zone is an almost complete failure and the pinch points and speed bumps result in in crashing skip lorries as they and builders' trailers go over the bumps, nob-head big-exhaust cars slowing because of their stupid body lowering and accelerating away from each one making more noise and pollution, and lunatic bikers (most of whom seem to have L plates) ignoring everything and the bigger bikes seeing it as challenge to see how fast they can go in a twenty zone; and for some strange reason it has got worse since the roads emptied after lock down.
I refuse to get involved this time as the whole thing has been stretched out with lies and general malfeasance for over six years with absolutely no progress. I have a folder of emails from all involved earlier; all lied then and will again. The police are against it, the County Council is against it, but the money is there and they won't let it be spent despite all wanting something done. The obvious way would to put the road back to a thirty zone so the police could not use the twenty zone get-out of 'it's only advisory', instal average speed cameras and get rid of the speed bumps (this last could surely be urged under our new environmental concerns re pollution.) I said all this right at the start but my pursuance resulted in the local district councillor (when I called him out over lying in his election manifesto) accusing me of harassment because I sent him three emails on the matter in a year. So they can all 'go and do one' this time. The same councillor who has represented the area for what appears decades has two outstanding achievements that I have been able to discern in that time in return for his increased expenses: (a) a new sign saying 'you are now entering a town' not a village as it was (this he said gives you more clout when asking for things - give me strength!) and (b) a new improved bus shelter. He and his local councillors meet monthly for this and send out an annual leaflet detailing their ‘achievements’.
Politicians today have little by little managed to have laws changed for themselves that shield them from scrutiny in many areas and now even from criticism, helped by a willing and ever more politicised justice system as e.g. here:
- and the ever more numerous cases of a two tier system that keep telling us there is no equal playing field where the law is concerned; the figure holding the scales of justice above the Old Bailey should weep, in the modern world her arms would not be on the same plane but more likely at 45 degrees.
How they would have coped in the days of Hogarth is not known:
To keep the globalisation juggernaut going we are expected to embrace new clean technologies in an effort to save the world, relying on the scientists' predictions and warnings, not one of which has come to fruition; but as it is for our own good (not the replacement at our expense of dying industries) that we should embrace the electric car and electric everything despite not having the energy capacity to fulfil this new technology (and not being likely to have for decades yet, despite being told, as with nuclear power when it was first introduced, that it 'could' end up being free!) We know it will turn out to be more expensive, it always does; the likelihood of a real shortage of the rare minerals needed for all these batteries and the fact such a stable country like the Congo is the main supplier of some is dismissed as fear-mongering by those who use the same kind of fear-mongering for their own purposes.
Our water companies having failed miserably to stop leakage are now in my own area asking how we should pay them for the building of future infrastructure, a word redundant in this country as all infrastructure is failing and no or little new infrastructure is built. The water companies are especially guilty in this respect: having taken over the nationalised water boards they sold off everything deemed surplus and have done, well, nothing other than distribute profits and dividends; now they warn we should be careful how we use water as there is not enough to go round with our increasing population and some people could go short and that would be our fault for using too much, not theirs for a total failure to invest, and now want us the customers to invest in advance for them - a company owned by a Canadian pension fund and Australian investment funds; foreign investment funds show in strength throughout the water industry .
Perhaps I have too much time on my hands, perhaps I look at the world through a jaundiced eye, there may well be a bit of that in there, yet there was a time when politicians of all sides and at all levels had a core of people who were as they say” giving something back” to the nation or the area they benefited from. Not today: all you see are grubby little paws voting for above average inflation salaries and expenses, rises we pay for, and a deterioration in all services.
The virus has at least highlighted one area of difference in the country: it has been calculated that for every one person who loses his job in the public sector because of the now recession two will lose theirs in the private sector - you know, the sector that pays for everything and I mean everything. Naturally wastage in the public sector will be front operatives, never those in the town hall with the gold-plated pensions.
Sometimes it looks as though the West has reached the end of its days, like the Roman Empire it has overstretched itself and events brought its downfall. Maybe that is the endgame today; eventually all Empires fade away, the British Empire has long gone but look at how quickly it happened! Hard to believe. For example we built 80% of the worlds ships in 1890; in 110 years that has gone to nothing and the same with many other areas in engineering and commerce. That is not a picture of a nation on the rise. In 1945 we were still the second richest nation on this planet by GDP; now we are sixth, and in the last six months of this epidemic we have lost 22% of our productivity, far more than our Western G7 neighbours. Why was that? I think we know: we don’t produce anything; we now rely on service industries and tourism and the latter has been obliterated with little sign of it returning to normal.
We have always been a resourceful nation and I am sure we can find some niche areas to explore such as the second hand inflatable market, after all they cost us nothing and Dover harbour I am told has hundreds of them with one owner certification and only 22 miles on the clock, there’s a start.
The virus has at least come up with a useful hint:
We are very vulnerable now to the state of the outside world: we longer control a large chunk of it and are in big debt, the recession has started, the outcome is as yet unknown or unfathomable and we are governed by idiots and worse.