The VJ Day remembrance ceremonies at The National Arboretum today were poignant and moving. It serves us all well to spare a thought as to what might have been but for that generation of young people 70-80 years ago standing in the way of tyranny. Times were, of course, very different then and there was a global threat that nobody had seen the like of before (even WW1 hadn't reached the breadth of geography that was engaged during WW2). Duty was highly revered - though not by all - and a preparedness to make sacrifices a widely accepted outcome to standing up for what we thought to be the right thing. There is something of a comparative scenario today as we sit amongst a global threat - this time a viral threat rather than a host of physical enemies. There are plenty of similarities with the mindset of the 1940's being shown but there is also the mindset of those who would wish to blame all their ills and misfortunes on 'the enemy' - '...but for them, I'd be all right, Jack !'
It seems somewhat incredible that there is anyone in Britain who imagines that the COVID pandemic won't be a significant change factor in their lives. The Britain that emerges from this period will be changed forever, the old 'normal' consigned to the history books and a new way of living and conducting our affairs developed. Brexit will emphasise the changes but the social habits and ways of the populace will be equally re-aligned as a result of pandemic behaviours - by governments and citizens alike - and the realisation by the majority that the virus won't have gone-away, rather it has just, perhaps, stepped back a pace. Today we are a risk-averse society, infinitely more the case than in previous generations, and the pandemic will underline the sensitivities in our society to adhere to a more cautious and socially controlled way of life. It won't suit everyone, but it will happen in subtle and eventually acceptable ways that we need to maintain 'caution & awareness' as the watchwords of this and future generations.
Whilst risk has been endemic in life since cavemen wandered the planet, The West of today is softer, less committed to the nation state and much more expectational of a safety net being provided beneath it. Today we worship ourselves, our image, our possessions and our ability to pretty much do what we like (or should that be 'get away with almost anything we like' ?). Bristling Brock's soap box subject of a decaying Rule of Law is evidenced by the plethora of social incidents that display little or no regard for societal rules, norms and accepted behaviours. If there was to be anyone out there who hasn't yet had some direct or indirect experience of this trend, BB would be most surprised. In short, our national mettle to stand-up to a physical tyranny is much more questionable now so we should all hope that there are none that'll come knocking on the door just yet.
But let's discuss Donald's hair-do. It seems he needs a vast downpour of shower water to cleanse his bizarre, flaxen locks and is prepared to change US water usage regulations to permit a huge increase in clean water consumption so that Americans can always look just 'perfect' - like Donald himself. The incredulous utterances of this man never cease to amaze but there is now a school of thought that his clumsy, ignorant and uninformed splutterings will, incredibly, resonate with his core redneck support base in the looming election. How so ? Depending upon what you might choose to believe (and it's a big stretch, BB admits), there are now 'experts' implying this delivery style to be deliberate and down-to-earth, a means to get down into the grass roots and empathise with the common man - and his vote. The farmers will look great with their coiffed hairdo's but the crops might be a tad short of water, but hey-ho. Phew ! Who'd be an expert....?