Bristling Brock speaks out...


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COVID has created a multitude of varying opinions - from experts, pundits and populace - which have led us nowhere substantive in terms of managing and controlling this viral assault.

At a governmental level, we theoretically put our trust in the political entity that wins a democratic election; that is supported and counter-balanced by a parliamentary process that pits the Opposition against the government to assure the appropriate scrutiny of legislation before it lands upon the general public.   It's a well tried mechanism - until a crisis presses emergency powers to be invoked and Draconian legislation passed through the machinery.   Sometimes, such measures are necessary, popularly supported and common cause fought for.  With COVID, the assault has been such that extraordinary curtailments of movement, activity and socialisation have been launched against the country (and many others to boot) but there being no physical enemy to coalesce public support against this viral attack has split and divided our national perception of threat, of response and, of course, the best dynamic with which to whip this thing into a cage.

COVID, of course, cannot be caged.  It looks as though it will be with us for lifetimes to come.  So we have to live with it under as good a measure of control as our science and technology will permit.  There will always be a proportion of the population who just don't get it - the idiot interviewed on national TV boasting he'd travelled out of a Tier 3 area to a Tier 2 area so he could visit a betting shop and a pub, return back to his Tier 3 zone and then remark that 'rules are only for breaking, 'ain't they ?' is a clear example of the stupidity of some amongst us.  It nevertheless also represents the divisions of opinion about the best response to make, their likely level of success and the fairness to all sectors of the society.  How do we gauge healthcare and welfare against economic damage ?   How do we allocate a reasonable and proportionate response ?  How long can the State afford to support a restricted and only semi-active society ?  This is the dilemma of government - when doing the right thing is a calculated risk and a gamble with no certain outcomes other than social and economic damage along the way.  Nobody can be envious of those empowered to make such choices and decisions.  These are unimaginably torturing conflicts of action - do this and we damage that, do the other and we lose this...the right thing is so unclear as to be literally a gamble, a flick of a coin, opting for the lesser of all evils.  We should be under no illusions that those in government (any government) have a straightforward task in this.   We trust in the application of considered and informed facts and trends - but when the advice is as varied and contradictory as it is over COVID then our leaders have to make the most difficult choice of all - the 'who will we allow to die' choice.  And that is most decidedly unenviable.

As for Trump and Biden, there seems to be no clear benefit from either of them winning the Presidency - plus's and minus's everywhere, yet we seem to have our media on the edge of their seats in a state of obsessive rapture over the way this bizarre contest may run.  For us in Britain, there is little point in us getting hot around the collar, we have zero influence in this matter and we'll have to learn to live with the outcome.  There are far more pressing issues for Britain to engage its attention with than the outcome of a foreign election that will have only one principal tenet - Republican or Democrat - and that is that the outcome will be exclusively geared to the benefit of the US.  Don't be deceived by the clammy hand of friendship here - that's very much the Shylock grip - and we should all recognise it as such.

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