Tuesday, 17 March 2020
A civil society is a very fragile thing. It doesn’t take much to knock it: any smeary fear-mongering power-crazy guy can do that, if he’s rich enough. Any inhalation of a respiratory droplet.
The economy, Johnson says, will come ‘roaring back’. Meanwhile he wants industry to make more ventilators. The manufacturers who have been contributing to the economy by making bombs to sell to the air forces which drive millions into the refugee camps among which the virus will be uncontainable? Go for it. Let’s make ventilators. And then go back to bombs?
The UK is the fifth richest country in the world. It has the resources to afford housing and healthcare to every one of its citizens, but has chosen not to. And has responded today to thousands losing their jobs, losing their already strained capacity to pay for food and rent, by offering LOANS to businesses. The no-longer waiters, cleaners of offices, shelf stackers, shop people, etc, as well as the much much smaller number of people working in assistant roles in the arts, now know their place; they did already, but now they are being told it, officially. They are being told, go hang.
My Twitter feed (I’m a booky guy) has folk offering online poems and home delivery of books for the self-isolating, and that’s kind, and kindness we need. Kindness is often a response to difficulty. Without downplaying the kindness, we could try tackling the difficulty? Vulnerability to COVID-19 has been unknowingly and also deliberately – yes, you can do both together, if you are stupid, which is what this system delivers – created, and I’m fucking furious.