Bristling Brock is an enthusiastic supporter of the principles of the Rule of Law, Sovereignty, Parliamentary democracy and freedom of thought as well as expression. That positions me, then.
That given, BB finds it bizarre that our media - both left, right and supposedly centre - find it necessary and appropriate to castigate virtually everything happening in government, not simply on an occasional issue but in an orchestrated and across the board and unrelenting way. Some would say this is because our governance is becoming authoritarian or badly managed, others might pursue the line of exploiting political advantage, some could comment that unless the media challenges government policy (the implication being that the Opposition are deficient in that task) then who else would or could, yet others might simply say we have the wrong people in the top jobs. BB is by no means a UK governmentphile (my own word invention of the day) and will criticise and berate as necessary if circumstances seem to warrant it. But our media is something else, at one time to be proud of, much, much less so nowadays.
Yet during the course of 2020 the world has been scourged by a pandemic that romps around our communities in ways that we have never seen with anything else before, it advances, recedes, switches tactics and hits hard where we are vulnerable. And it isn't going away. BB would challenge anyone to definitively say that the handling of the crisis could have been dealt with better. It's all very well in hindsight to say that this or that should have been done but at the coal face moment of decision, decisions were made in good faith. There have been no precedents to this, there have been no 'How To' manuals produced from which to glean remedies, there have been no concise and coordinated scientific viewpoints from anywhere. So just what did the British people wish their government to do in the invasive midst of this virulence ? The reality was that it acted when many were running around like headless chickens. Time has shown that some of those decisions weren't perfect, but nonetheless measures were taken with the sole object of protecting the population when nobody but Him himself knew the course this would take. We can make sport out of criticising the government, but the reality is that nobody would have made a better job of it. Nobody could, nobody knew the way through this and nobody could have anticipated its prolonged and continuing virulence and the effects upon the country as a whole. Yes, mistakes have been made and concise communication could have been so much better, but we elect governments to act in our interest. When the unknown is facing you on the battlefield, it's not that easy to take all the right decisions. So let's stop carping about the restrictions and the inconvenience of the virus - it's here, it's staying and it will continue yet for a while so let's show some support for a government that is patently trying to do the right thing - for us.
The second battlefront is, of course, Brexit. The tortuous legalities of international agreements are legendary and underline the old Shakespearean theme of the duplicity of lawyers and their convoluted arguments. We do, naturally, have two competing sides, the British and the EU. Fairness and level playing fields are frequently demanded, equality, mutuality and countless other platitudes bounce back and forth. But down in the dirt, what do we have ? The EU are probably the most duplicitous quasi-governmental entity ever - we want parity on state aid, we want tariffs to exist between Britain and Northern Ireland and we want the European Court of Justice to be the arbiter of disputes, they bleat endlessly. Britain is such an unfair player, 'n'est-ce pas ?' They conveniently overlook that they themselves constantly infringe these so called tenets of the free market and manipulate the regulations to suit their particular needs, not least in state aid to both public and private companies, witness the EU's largesse to Renault and Citroen. So, for the British government, their position is one of fighting for sovereignty, equality and constitutional integrity against a politically mired opponent. It's difficult terrain, it's uphill, it's fraught with Continental obfuscation and intractable definitions, it's Julius Caesar against Vercingetorix - a plodding mind-game of tactics, subterfuges and power plays. So just what do we think our government is doing wrong ? No doubt history will reveal that to us but in the here and now we have to rely upon the good faith and thrust of our governments negotiating. The incessant media penchant for vilifying government actions and choices does not befit our national interest being supported. In short, our taste for the current fashion of pointing waggy fingers at others to blame for all our woes is hugely misplaced. Let's get behind our government and move forward positively. For those who don't like it, vote for someone else at the proper time when an election is called, but stop whining and get on with things. It's called democracy.