Bristling Brock speaks out...
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It’s a century or more since the age of pioneering, discovery and exploration reached its zenith, having peaked to a point where at that time, perhaps, all the great adventures of the world had been tackled and made part of everyday record. No longer were there hidden continents, jungles so dark and impenetrable, mountains to scale, rivers to find the source of. The human species had done pretty much most of it, or so they thought. Now, in the early 21st Century we have undiscovered new worlds to enter into. Not hidden in some far-away place that nobody before has ever heard of but the same world redefined, re-evaluated and being prepped for mankind to adapt into. It is our world, the same old global mass as before, but a world that will be different to that which we grew up in, modelled and configured in ways that are a reaction to pressing natural forces - those of environment and hidden predators like COVID-19.
Sometimes, in the midst of widespread change, there is often a blindness or lack of awareness that something fundamental is taking place that will alter our outlooks, values, habits, preferences and styles of living. Not just here in little old Britain, but universally across all countries of the world, a series of natural reactions that will have increasingly profound effects upon just about everything we do, think and believe in. In centuries past, old sage’s - and a good sprinkling of crazy folk - would pronounce these to be acts of God, punishments from the Divine upon a sinful mankind - but that was possibly more to do with a corrupted religion that sought power and influence over the masses than it was in any real belief in the Hand of God at work. Now Bristling Brock isn’t some sort of religious nut - as far as he’s aware - but it is increasingly difficult to square the impossible circle of rationalising physical world events as being coincidental to the burgeoning interferences of mankind. So now we actually are seeing the ‘Hand of God’ at work with environmental changes so widespread and unusual that it is impossible to believe that these aren’t events precipitated by man and counter-reacted to by the very earth we stand upon.
The incidence of disease on a global scale, pandemics that are creating knee-jerk human reactions and shifting the very basis of how we live our lives - be that capitalism, communism, socialism or any other ‘ism - tell us that we are standing upon shifting sands - fundamental shifts that are altering our outlooks, our future behaviours and methods of doing business and interacting with each other. All is changing and unlikely ever to quite return to that familiar system we lived by previously. Which brings BB to the local issue of Brexit and the reported likelihood that a no deal outcome is being anticipated by Boris and his government. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this may be - and it has been a right dogs dinner of a negotiation from start to near end - we might consider whether this is a micro-geopolitical reaction to the forces of change that seem to infest us all at this time, a desire for independence, self determination, to do things in that quaint British way that heartens our souls periodically. Are such sentiments really disconnected with how our host planet and its inhabitants behave, or are they a symptom of a base level, fundamental desire to change in concert with our abode in the galaxies ?
This all sounds fanciful stuff, doesn’t it, Bristling Brock gone bonkers and away with the fairies? But think about it a little. From a different angle. From an abstract alien position viewing us all down here from somewhere up there. We are all aware of environmental issues now, we legislate to accommodate them yet fail to control their ravages, disease is challenging our technologies and capabilities and governments across the world are on the cusp of wildly trying out ‘something’ just to see what happens in the case of both the naturally present issues that face us. Nobody has a realistic solution to combatting either environment or disease - it is the very essence of the force to change. Brexit is familiar to Britain and parts of Europe, but consider the unusual and radical governmental styles occurring in places like the US, Russia, North Korea, India, Iran, Brazil, China, the Middle East and many more which are taking place concurrently - a sort of blitz upon the affairs of humankind globally. A crazy person might even think there was something orchestrating all this perhaps, but crazy or not a thought provoking series of physical, human and inexplicable events that history has seldom seen the like of before.
Bristling Brock has no answers, only questions - which he’ll take to be testimony that he hasn’t become mad, religious or whimsical - but he does like to ponder on connections every now and again. Maybe you do too....
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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.
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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.
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