On The Collapse Of Our Civilisation, And More Cheerful Matters

So where are we today? (I did love the story the other day that NASA, I think, had detected activity in the outer atmosphere of Mars. A bit like the first chapter of HG Wells’ The War Of The Worlds. And a potential war between the nuclear-armed India and China. 2020 is truly the gift that keeps on giving, and we are less than half way through.)
Johnson has ended lockdown, effectively, because he thinks several hundred thousand more deaths will be less politically damaging than five or six million job losses.
Those job losses will be laid at his door because they would not have happened, thosee jobless will know, if he had not ended the lockdown. They will diminish that, to me, baffling popularity he enjoys among a proportion of the electorate who accept that bumbling, Billy  Bunteresque, fluffy haired persona he has constructed. (The reality is something much darker, as those who know him better than I do have written.) It will hit those people especially hardest in the former Labour constituencies that gifted him the last election.
Two hundred thousand deaths or potentially more can be spun away as an unavoidable sacrifice – “world-beating” efforts to combat the virus, the Olympic levels of lies and deceit we have seen so far. “Hundreds of thousands’” of tests each day. Demonstrably untrue. Just lies, in plain sight.
People want to believe Johnson because they do not want to accept they have taken in by the lies so far and been deceived. Confirmation bias, it is called.
Let’s move forward. Tory MPs know Johnson is leaking that baffling popularity that won him the last election like air from a deflating balloon. The Cummings affair only accelerated that. They will bin him when he is no longer able to win elections for them, they judge. Not long now.
No one wants to take over, even though, as I have suggested here, he might not want to continue. Get the next few months over, and let him and his advisers take the blame.
We face the twin effects of a virus-induced economic collapse, our national net worth down by a fifth as measured in terms of GDP already, and the aftermath of a No Deal Brexit, which looks like what will happen because madmen think it is a good idea and the hedge fund managers will benefit and make billions. Is this where you want to be, in a country run by the functionally insane and those who will become rich from your future misery? Answers on one side of the paper only.
Put those two together and think forward for a moment.
The consequences will be at best catastrophic. Five, six million unemployed, the end of whole industries, travel, hospitality, chunks of retail, commercial property now worthless, a disintegrating housing market, banks valueless as compulsory debt forgiveness destroys their net worth. This will happen.
That is the best case scenario. The worst is this. There comes a stage when the government can no longer print/create money because no one will take it. (Economists are divided on this one.)
Food shortages, leading to mass starvation as the poor, in inner cities especially, cannot buy what they need at prices they can afford.
A level of civil disorder that resembles a minor civil war.
The lack of basic pharmaceuticals as they are held up at our borders that means hundreds of thousands will die from a shortage of anything from asthma treatments through cancer drugs to antibiotics. (Try to work out how many of our antibiotics are sourced from abroad. Not easy.)
This is pretty much the collapse of our civilisation. It is all very well to say this kind of thing can never happen here. Not in this country. Except that we have already suffered enough from the myth of British exceptionalism.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s