Bristling Brock often poses the same unanswerable question to himself over the passing years - “Is it a peculiar British thing to endure a certain hardship and then lash out with finger pointing and blame accusations against just about everyone but themselves ?”
There is, of course, no absolute answer to this and it is almost certainly not unique to the British. Yet here we are, at the turning point of a crisis (we think) where stolid support for the direction of government and its institutions has been largely followed with an equanimity and good intent by the populace. Now, at this perceived change in the nature of the threat, there is a tangible expression of rebellion afoot.
The media has long been in the vanguard of this trend, always eager to criticise and demand answers that, in truth, nobody could give, but this is now being followed by a cohort of other ‘vested interest party’s’ such as the TUC, the alter-academic community, public bodies, quango’s, charities, individual social interest groups and, above all, we the public.
On the cusp of change we see the ranks of the disgruntled, aggrieved and downright virtuous gathering with their bony fingers wagging in prepared disapproval should anything be mandated that they don’t feel comfortable with. Risk elimination to the ‘n’th’ degree is what they seek to start with followed by gargantuan investment in their own particular sphere of interest. In Utopia, fine, in a Britain with an economy that needs everyone to wilfully participate in its recovery following a global crisis it is a non-starter and a naive posture to even contemplate taking. Whatever the speed of economic turnaround, the process will not happen quickly despite the plantif urgings of special interest groups demanding this assurance or that guarantee. In short, whilst we may (emphasis on ‘may’) be beginning to emerge from one crisis we are, in reality going to enter a new era of challenge in rebuilding our economic position. And if all these special interests imagine that there’s a magic wand inventing money to invest in their cause then they are, indeed, living in cuckoo land. There is still a hill to climb - a solitary crisis seldom leaves in its wake a nicely prepared way forward for the future, that only happens in fictional tales - and this will still require a concerted will by the British across the board to be proactive in ensuring that the summit is reached and a stronger economic base for doing other things emerges. But it will take time.
We all need to be pragmatic. Whatever decisions and choices have been made over this current corona saga, some will have been poorly judged, some will have been mistaken and some will have been well founded, yet in a completely new and unprecedented challenge this is hardly surprising. It is doubtful that any government or leadership would have been able to act to the satisfaction of those that constantly seek to undermine and condemn for they are the breed that are the first to bleat when the tide rolls against them. The finger waggers, like Macbethian witches, are eager to voice disapproval and seek ‘someone’ to blame. Blame is not what we should be focusing upon, for blame is a historical event rather than a future, rebuilding event - and right now it is the future that is important. We can leave the blame allocation game to the chroniclers of our time which future generations can read about at their leisure. Today, it serves no purpose.
As a whimsical aside to this tale, Bristling Brock was amused to see the reports and images of the VE Day military parade in Minsk with the Belorussian president there in all his bling and finery. Not only did this bizarre character - you might call him a ‘COVID-19 non-believer’ - look extraordinarily comical in his garish uniform and king-sized hat but also the coterie of lackeys behind him looking po-faced and equally out of place. There is some basis for BB to be a little contrite here, for we have never experienced the phenomenal wartime losses that the Soviet and now assorted Russia’s endured on both a military and civilian level - perhaps justification for the po-faces. Yet their leaders do look like something from Chaplin’s ‘The Great Dictator’.....