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.