The Gist: The Story That Ate The World
Although the virus is now the context for everything happening, there are some actual events emerging.
Climate change. Very “not now!” as a topic. But it taught a lesson. If things unfold slowly enough, the world can doom itself by just not reacting. Now Covid-19 has proved the opposite- if a threat moves fast enough, anything will be done to stop it.
The Wheedle and the Damage Done
Boris Johnson took to the TV, looking like a pillowcase filled with porridge. The cause of this outing? As he spoke it seemed to be either that someone had finally shown him a chart showing the already assured death-toll consequences of his policy for the past three weeks, or it was a poll.
Either way, the UK’s PM was shook by what he’d learned. He’d spent the weekend having his proxies blame his advisor Dominic Cummings (a sort of Davros figure if, instead of Daleks, Davros had created a range of demotivating office posters).
He announced a series of strict restrictions on movement- including restricting everyone in the UK to one exercise outing a day. How the police would know, from the look of you, that this was your second jog of the afternoon (or, indeed, under what statute such a query was appropriate) was left to the imagination. The BBC later explained the police powers would flow from the power of persuasion.
Getting Welfare to work
The Irish Government challenged the DPC’s findings on their marquee electronic services project, the public services card. 4m cards have been issued already at a cost of approx €65m Mo and they were made a requirement to access services and payments.
As of yesterday, Welfare scrapped the whole requirement for that online ID system for their Jobseekers and Pandemic payments because it was getting in the way of the need for people to register for Pandemic payment assistance.
It’s hard to see it ever coming back when the scrappage seems like a vindication of the DPC’s position that the requirements for the card were neither necessary or proportionate.
As a final defiance of anything resembling institutional sanity, the Minister retweeted a reminder that hundreds of thousands of people would have to come to Post Office to pick up actual physical cash payments during a pandemic. This was presented as not being bonkers in the nut.
The Last Trump
We shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump. KJV1 Corinthians 15:52
The US hasn’t been completely changed yet, but the infection levels in New York as testing is rolled out suggest that the twinkling of an eye is approaching in a matter of days and, then at the last, approaching Trump.
In anticipation, the proxies of power have been advancing the argument that “if a few pensioners die, too bad.” This is presumably to have a rhetorical answer prepared for when those inevitable deaths start to rise.
And here we reach what climate change has taught us. You can sacrifice the young and their future for a profit now. But the death-squad here are proposing sacrificing the old, in the space of a few months, for profit. And that just isn’t as easy to sell.
If you want to put your Wolf in sheep’s clothing, you have to make the disguise fit the predator beneath, or not enough people will be taken in.