+The shift towards a cashless society has received a massive boost these last few weeks. Speaking for myself, I’ve hardly used any cash at all for two weeks, I’m using contactless card payments wherever I can. And since the more cash reliant demographic has the highest mortality rate, there’ll be less pressure to keep cash on the go. I’m wondering what the unforeseen consequences of this will be. One inevitable consequence will be that all our movements and transactions will be scrutinised ever more closely in future.
+You don’t have to be a fan of Alex Salmond (I’m not) to acknowledge that something a bit odd went down with his complete acquittal last week of all the sexual assault charges levelled against him. If one reads Craig Murray’s blog on the case (he followed it closely), it looks very much like there was, in Murray’s word a conspiracy to hang Salmond out to dry. Looking at the way the case has been treated in the mainstream media, one would be hard pressed not to come to the conclusion that Salmond was guilty, even after he was acquitted. One aspect I find interesting is that it has emerged that MI5 were (according to Murray, who hints at reliable sources) involved in trying to build a case against Salmond. If this is so it must stand as one of the most egregious cases of MI5’s abuses of power since the days of Spycatcher. Salmond was duly elected many times as an MP, an MSP, and a First Minister of Scotland. He has to my knowledge never challenged the constitutional order of this country through violent or extra-parliamentary means. If what Murray says is true, any evidence should be passed on to the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee for investigation. I realise there’s a flaw there. That’s the committee which will, according to the press be uselessly chaired by Chris Grayling when they get round to reforming it after last year’s election. No rush there then!
+Now I can see a use for Antony Gormley’s spaced out rusty hominid forms on Blackpool beach. They will come in handy as a distancing measure for the local constabulary when trying to tell congregating ignoramuses not to get too close to each other. Art doesn’t get more prescient than this! (And I thought all those old iron pilings were just guano gathering resting places for our feathered chip-eating friends.)
+The daily Downing Street press briefing is sounding more and more like a party political broadcast, in which we’re repeatedly told that the government is doing all that is necessary for its part to tackle Coronavirus. What you don’t get on a party political broadcast of course is a continual scolding about your own responsibility. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, with the delivery of a pre-programmed automaton yesterday saw all questions as mere prompts to repeat his core underlying message, which is to say ‘Don’t blame us if this all goes pear-shaped. It’ll be your fault for not doing what teacher told you.’ Are we really going to have to endure three months or more of this? I doubt that left wing news website Skwawbox gets invites to participate in these events. One pertinent question from a recent posting is ’When the government says it has obtained 23 million gloves for the NHS, did they mean 23 million gloves—or 23 million pairs of gloves?’ Even such a seemingly factual issue can pose problems for this government.