On being careful what you wish for..
by Pseud O'Nym
I admit that yesterdays post was a bit cynical. It doesn’t make the central argument wrong though. And I’m still as certain as I was yesterday that Joe Wicks is a decent chap, and not, as someone so memorably said of Boris’s Johnson, the sort of man let drive your drunk daughter home after a party. No indeed.
But I am firmly of the view that anyone possessed by the belief that somehow the drastic measures imposed by governments worldwide to help combat the spread of the coronavirus, will, by the power of castle greyskull, act as a necessary corrective on global financial institutions and agreements is dangerously ignorant of financial history. The very idea that something as transient as global health crisis might somehow alter the trajectory of financiers concerns is patently absurd. It suggest a fundamental lack of awareness about the basis of capitalism, its historical role in the shaping of society, and the way in which it has enmeshed itself into the fabric of our lives, so much so, that even when people are offered something different, they reject it. Labour’s defeat at the last election, anyone?
But I don’t want to write about that. I’ll park that one for now. Instead I want to tell you about my morning. It started pleasantly enough, with LMS knocking on my bedroom door and asking if I wanted a cup of tea! After I got up, made her some porridge, we then discussed the thorny subject of Marge’s birthday. My take is that we should make a thing of it, for all our sakes, to have it as a landmark, something to look forward to as to help relive the stress we’re all under. LMS then had a stroke of genius by suggesting we should make it cornavirus themed event, to turn negative into a positive.
Immediately we set about thinking of what food and drinks to have.
It was all going so well. A nice, relaxing start to the day. Joe came down, we chatted, just idle banter, nothing of note, and then Marge arrived. After a few perfunctory comments it was straight into giving us details of a Sunday Times article deeply critical of Boris’s Johnson handling of the whole affair. And all I could think was ‘Am I better off for knowing any of this or is it going to stress me out? Can I alter events in any way?’
They used to say that being the England manager was the worst job there was, because everyone thinks they can do a better job of it than you. Imagine being the Prime Minister! Of course he’s going to get things wrong, but then so would we if we were in his shoes. It can’t be helpful, in the midst of a crisis of the most mind-bending complexity, to have people constantly second guessing and criticizing every decision you make, because they read something somewhere by someone and that somehow allows them to do so. Think how easy Churchill would’ve had it during the Second World War, if the internet and social media was available then. We’d all be speaking German, although not my partner. She wouldn’t have been born. Her Dad is Jewish.
It’s hardly a secret that I’m avoiding all news, principally because it increases stress and in so doing helps reduce one’s immune system, but also because the same thing happens in all pandemics. It happened with the ‘Black Death’ in medieval Europe. It happened with Influenza outbreak in 1920 and it’s happening now. The specifics are different, but the underlying factors are the same, incompetence doesn’t change, human nature doesn’t change and hindsight doesn’t either. Me knowing the specifics won’t change a thing, other than make me feel more pessimistic than I do right now. I don’t want this shit in my head. Soon the crisis will be over and if I’m alive, so much the better, and if I’m dead?
Well, we’re all going to die eventually and besides, I’ll be beyond caring.