Bristling Brock speaks out...

 

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It possibly takes a pandemic or an environmental disaster to suddenly shine a light upon how - in our Western world - the relationship between the citizen and the institutions of governance show a different and often fractious level of synergy and understanding.   The divide between the two would appear to widen as the impact of the external pressure - pandemic or environment, for example - creates priorities and urgencies that differ to the point of civil disobedience and ultimately rebellion by one party in the face of instructions and limitations imposed in good faith by the other.   It's a very fine line is it not, that is drawn between the collaborative and obedient behaviour toward the national guidelines and that which pushes the citizenry that inch too far to create a push-back and resistance to institutional strategies.  Maybe that is what our long fought for freedoms are essentially all about, the acceptance of governance and guidance to a point, beyond which the co-operation and dutifulness starts to whither and the push-back begins.

Does this process work in other contexts, we may ask ?   Are there issues that impact upon government through minority pressure groups and lobbying influences which have directly moved the dynamic of public policy (unwittingly or wittingly we may ponder on) and about which citizen action, initially passive - for we Brits are essentially a passive breed - has begun to turn to a more concerted counter force as an expression of rejection and will by the majority ?  Bristling Brock would argue that such a counter force is beginning to swell on the subjects of 'wokeness' and political correctness, initially seen as being made up of moderately fair and reasonable tenets but subsequently pushed by excessiveness and politicisation over that fine dividing line to the point where there is now a noticeable body of public opinion railed against the very concept of those two emotive name tags.   Not least in this category stands a certain Mr Fox, a theatrical professional who has seen it necessary to create a political party that stands up for a sensible and measured look at our cultural heritage, our history and the logic of how we got to be where we are today as a nation.  The argument is quite simple.  We are who we are because of our heritage.  There is no merit in denying our often bloody and turbulent background, for from those times have come the building blocks that created our peerless concepts and practises of democracy, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, tolerance and patience with those less well imbued - the French, for example.  That those building blocks had to be re-arranged a few times along the way does not spoil or eradicate the process of heritage and culture becoming formed - and even within the embattled UK today, for the English, Scots, Welsh and Irish are a disparate collection of cultures in themselves, there is an underlying need and benefit from recognising and cherishing that background, history and base culture.   As a nation these are vital, structural and societal values that are vital to preserve. 

Wokeness or political correctness are phases of a disenchanted set of minorities who happen to have loud voices.  The time to push-back against these impositions is upon us.  Well done, Mr Fox.

Who do we Brits want to win the US presidential elections ?   Who do we believe most, or conversely, who do we think lies the least ?  It's a hard choice for a country like ours who has no say in the matter but who will be directly affected by the outcome.  Some argue for Trump as being a supporter of Britain, others think Biden, the infinitely quieter of the two contestants, whilst not an overt fan of Britain will recognise the values of partnership and trade as being mutually beneficial.  But, as the saying goes, nothing will be decided until the fat lady sings.  Bristling Brock has never had any illusions about the one-sidedness of the so-called special relationship - for it has never really existed other than for the benefit of the US - yet in a post-Brexit Britain it will be important for us to have a broadly scoped trade arrangement with as many nations around the world as possible (I'd nevertheless most decidedly exclude Russia and China from this list).  The outcome of the US election, for us, is therefore a matter of economics and commerce rather than of political unity.  Let us be under no misconceptions though - whatever deals are about will only happen if Uncle Sam is perceived by Uncle Sam as the principal beneficiary.  Friendship and democracy only go so far.

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It’s a century or more since the age of pioneering, discovery and exploration reached its zenith, having peaked to a point where at that time, perhaps, all the great adventures of the world had been tackled and made part of everyday record.  No longer were there hidden continents, jungles so dark and impenetrable, mountains to scale, rivers to find the source of.  The human species had done pretty much most of it, or so they thought.  Now, in the early 21st Century we have undiscovered new worlds to enter into.  Not hidden in some far-away place that nobody before has ever heard of but the same world redefined, re-evaluated and being prepped for mankind to adapt into.  It is our world, the same old global mass as before, but a world that will be different to that which we grew up in, modelled and configured in ways that are a reaction to pressing natural forces - those of environment and hidden predators like COVID-19.

Sometimes, in the midst of widespread change, there is often a blindness or lack of awareness that something fundamental is taking place that will alter our outlooks, values, habits, preferences and styles of living.  Not just here in little old Britain, but universally across all countries of the world, a series of natural reactions that will have increasingly profound effects upon just about everything we do, think and believe in.  In centuries past, old sage’s - and a good sprinkling of crazy folk - would pronounce these to be acts of God, punishments from the Divine upon a sinful mankind - but that was possibly more to do with a corrupted religion that sought power and influence over the masses than it was in any real belief in the Hand of God at work.  Now Bristling Brock isn’t some sort of religious nut - as far as he’s aware - but it is increasingly difficult to square the impossible circle of rationalising physical world events as being coincidental to the burgeoning interferences of mankind.  So now we actually are seeing the ‘Hand of God’ at work with environmental changes so widespread and unusual that it is impossible to believe that these aren’t events precipitated by man and counter-reacted to by the very earth we stand upon. 

The incidence of disease on a global scale, pandemics that are creating knee-jerk human reactions and shifting the very basis of how we live our lives - be that capitalism, communism, socialism or any other ‘ism - tell us that we are standing upon shifting sands - fundamental shifts that are altering our outlooks, our future behaviours and methods of doing business and interacting with each other.  All is changing and unlikely ever to quite return to that familiar system we lived by previously.  Which brings BB to the local issue of Brexit and the reported likelihood that a no deal outcome is being anticipated by Boris and his government. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this may be - and it has been a right dogs dinner of a negotiation from start to near end - we might consider whether this is a micro-geopolitical reaction to the forces of change that seem to infest us all at this time, a desire for independence, self determination, to do things in that quaint British way that heartens our souls periodically.  Are such sentiments really disconnected with how our host planet and its inhabitants behave, or are they a symptom of a base level, fundamental desire to change in concert with our abode in the galaxies ?

This all sounds fanciful stuff, doesn’t it, Bristling Brock gone bonkers and away with the fairies?   But think about it a little.  From a different angle.  From an abstract alien position viewing us all down here from somewhere up there.   We are all aware of environmental issues now, we legislate to accommodate them yet fail to control their ravages, disease is challenging our technologies and capabilities and governments across the world are on the cusp of wildly trying out ‘something’ just to see what happens in the case of both the naturally present issues that face us.  Nobody has a realistic solution to combatting either environment or disease - it is the very essence of the force to change.  Brexit is familiar to Britain and parts of Europe, but consider the unusual and radical governmental styles occurring in places like the US, Russia, North Korea, India, Iran, Brazil, China, the Middle East and many more which are taking place concurrently - a sort of blitz upon the affairs of humankind globally.  A crazy person might even think there was something orchestrating all this perhaps, but crazy or not a thought provoking series of physical, human and inexplicable events that history has seldom seen the like of before.

Bristling Brock has no answers, only questions - which he’ll take to be testimony that he hasn’t become mad, religious or whimsical - but he does like to ponder on connections every now and again.  Maybe you do too....

 

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The last month has seen COVID 19 make a strategic comeback.  And it came back just as many were believing it was on its way out and allowing a resumption of near normal life.   Unfortunately, life and pandemics don’t generally subscribe to that formula.  So here we are again, with localised lockdowns, curfews and a tight grip on the social mobility of the nation with the backdrop of an escalating infection rate nearly everywhere.

The media is full of folk with ideas on how this should be tackled.  Some claim to be experts, others proffer armchair wisdom whilst most just grunt along sitting astride the debate with a good many happy to complain to anyone who’ll listen whilst the remaining multitudes grin and carry on.  That’s the problem with democracy, we might think - if we’re democratic we let everyone have their say (not strictly true, but for the purposes of this commentary, let’s assume so), and the more people who have their say, the more the debate as to the best strategy gets confused and disproportionate.  The devil is in the detail, of course, for this is a pandemic with no precedent, no technological miracle cure, and, because of the proliferation of opinion, the response to it has no visible focus or sense of equitability.   Everybody is right and everybody is wrong simultaneously.  What a conundrum.

Democracy provides a platform for objection and legitimate resistance to the State’s edicts and courses of action, and recent history has shown how the State is often in the position of standing back from earlier decisions and choices in the face of so-called ‘public opinion’.  On the face of it, we might applaud the process of democracy at work.  Where there is a threat to this process is in the existence of growing militancy amongst protest groups or organisations that purport to be the voice of the silent masses.  The take-over or hi-jacking of once legitimate protest organisations to exploit a very different agenda can be seen across the globe with much likelihood that extreme political movements are behind the conversion to the far left of the political spectrum.  Is this coincidence that legitimate social protest can be so easily overrun by an extreme faction with the object of destroying the democracy that so irks it ?  The answer certainly seems to be that it is relatively easy for the non-democratic to seize control over the once democratic - and not just in the UK but around the world.  Perhaps this is just chaos theory at work but we should be minded to be conscious of the fact that when we hear the loud rancour of the far left, we should steel ourselves to protect that which is right, proportionate and just amongst the entire spectrum of our populations - and not just those with an agenda.

Donald is back from a very brief sojourn with COVID.  Bristling Brock can’t help but feel this was something of a theatrical bit of marketing and PR to shift attention away from his mindless blabberings in the run up to next months presidential elections.  Nothing would surprise most of us these days as to what he may be playing at, but to BB it all looks a bit phoney.  Flip the coin and take a look at Joe Biden and, regrettably, you don’t see a dynamic or impressive competitor in this much observed race to the White House.  Is this the best that America can field for such an important position, not just for the US, but for the strangely labelled ‘free-world’ ?  Again, we might be obliged to think this is that thing called democracy getting in the way again but for Americans, they must surely be wondering whether there can be a better way to elect a president.  And that may be the future legacy of the pandemic - the recognition that what exists now is not the best model for the new existence that will form shape for tomorrow.   This hidden threat may just be the catalyst that brings about significant changes in the manner and thrust of Western governments - we just need to ensure that the change does not include the destructive mindsets of the far left.