+Listening to ‘our’ prime minister yesterday you’d think that the whole Coronavirus problem was/is caused by boozers down at their local, the number of times pubs were mentioned. Now all the pubs are to be shut. The temperance brigade will be singing hallelujah. But the closure of pubs, announced in Johnson’s broadcast to the nation, shows that many people were simply not taking him seriously when he had earlier in the week suggested they voluntarily stay away. Johnson just doesn’t understand alcoholism does he?
+The slow ramping up of measures in the UK gives us a clue to the battles being fought inside No10. On the one hand there will be the One who says ‘let it run its natural course, crisis capitalism will take care of everything.’ Then there will be older conventional hands, not yet expunged or degenerated into weirdos who will be arguing for massive state intervention. It seems that the latter camp is winning, but it’s still early days.
+Conspiracy theorists have suggested that Coronavirus is some Chinese biological warfare bug that may have escaped—or even been released deliberately. Sheer nonsense of course, why release it on your own population , and why release something so indiscriminate? Aren’t we supposed to be living in an age of precision guided weaponry? My own theory is that Coronavirus came to earth on a small meteorite-like object, launched from an alien spaceship which came from another planet where pubs are banned. Or another theory which deserves serious attention is that it was started by Brexit ‘Remoaners,’ intent on derailing Brexit. If so, I hope it works.
+Now that we’re all to become locked-down, self-isolating unconsumers, it’s good to hear of the rise of ‘community spirit’ or even socialism. Will Coronavirus blunt the growth of the atomised society? Or was it ever the case that ‘there is no such thing as society?’ Now we are desperately hoping that the fabric of society is strong enough to stop things falling apart. I was pleased to see one small contribution to this spirit, coming from my old trade union, the CWU, representing postal workers. Posties are the only uniformed workers who pass every house in the UK six days a week and so are in a perfect position to keep an eye out for the vulnerable. The CWU has suggested that this role could be formally recognised and developed. And with the closure of schools, the children of postal workers are now classed as the offspring of essential workers. Against this background due recognition is perhaps at last being made that the role of Royal Mail is not to be just another delivery service, but part of our fabric and thus, as Labour pledged last year, needs nationalising.