Monday 31 August 2020


Ah well - that’s the end of another August. It’s a rum month isn’t it? Doesn't appear to know exactly what role it plays in the seasonal cycle. High summer at one end, while at the other end the nights seem to draw in ever more rapidly with a few leaves already scattered across the lawn and early hints of autumn in the air.

Oh well – September is often pleasant and lots of birthdays seem to pop up in September. It’s a good month for walking too. Better than August.

Hooray For Vaccines

Naturally enough a recent post about the shapes of stories raises a question about the shapes of media stories. For example, many have the standard shape based around persuasion –

Good ----> Bad ----> Good

An obvious media story which fits that general shape is –

Obama Cool ----> Orange Man Bad ----> Comfy Joe Biden

Yet a very popular media story shape is often hidden within the drama of the story. For example a basic shape could be this –

Bad ----> Worse ----> Look at Me 

Examples of this basic shape in action might be  –

Smoking chimneys ----> Climate Change ----> My Solar Panels 
Your Dirty Car ----> Climate Change ----> My Electric Car 
Your Clothes ----> Sweatshops ----> My £300 Jeans 
Your Diet ----> Your Fat Kids ----> My Favourite Chef 

Another popular media story shape is –

Bad ----> Good ----> Feelgood Better

For example –

Unhappy Child ----> Give Money ----> Happy Child
Unhappy Celebrity ----> Give Money ----> Happy Celebrity
Coronavirus ----> Lockdown ----> Hooray Still Alive
Coronavirus ----> Lockdown ----> Hooray For Vaccines 

Sunday 30 August 2020

The Boris Tree


Quercus Johnsonii ? on Stanton Moor
Wherever the wind blows...

Saturday 29 August 2020

Yes the incompetence is insulting

Teachers' unions have reacted with dismay after the government published new COVID-19 guidelines for secondary schools last night - just days before millions of pupils in England are due to return to the classroom next week.

One leader said there was a sense of "weary inevitability" about the plan, while Labour said the "incompetence is insulting".

If there is a local lockdown in an area with significant numbers of infections, schools could have to bring in a rota system for students who would spend two weeks in the classroom and then a fortnight studying online at home.

Although any suggestion that Labour would have done better is also insulting. There are external influences in play which Labour is no more capable of resisting than the Conservatives. 

A more interesting possibility is that the insulting nature of the government coronavirus response is deliberate.

In an interview with The Times, Hancock said that a second wave of COVID-19 was “avoidable but it’s not easy” and that the return of children to schools next week presented challenges in stopping the spread.

“A second wave is clearly visible in other parts of the world,” he said.

“It is a very serious threat. But so far in the UK we are managing to keep the number of new cases flat through a combination of test and trace and local lockdowns.”

He added: “This is the reasonable worst-case scenario, that we have a bad flu and a growth in coronavirus as people spend more time indoors."

That last sentence doesn't even make sense. Lockdown is where people spend more time indoors and that is supposed to be a major factor in minimising the spread of the disease, not a contributory factor in spreading it. Hancock isn't even taking the trouble to be coherent here. 

Wednesday 26 August 2020

No coughs

We have been out and about for a while now and something we've noticed is a lack of coughs and sneezes emitted by those around us. Not so long ago it was not uncommon to encounter a sniffling cougher or sneezy sniffler in shops and cafes but Mrs H and I don't recall coming across one since... since March when a woman coughed in the Co-op and dirty looks caused her to flee.

Our local Sainsbury's was particularly good at attracting shoppers with persistent coughs, but we don't go there now we have learned all about online shopping. Mrs H and I agreed that if we had a persistent cough we'd be too embarrassed to be out in public anyway, but surely public coughers were never particularly sensitive. Maybe things have changed.

Tuesday 25 August 2020

Electric cars - not there yet

From Car and Driver -

According to Castrol's survey of 1000 consumers and fleet managers, the tipping point for the average U.S. buyer to jump into the EV pool is a vehicle that costs $36,000, has a range of 319 miles, and can charge in 30 minutes. All of these specs seem reasonable, although it'll probably be a few years before we see vehicles on the road that match these numbers—especially the price.

So about £27,000 in the UK, but to my mind there are still too many uncertainties with range and battery life and 30 minutes to recharge is still too slow. I like the idea of an electric car, but not the propaganda surrounding them.

Deniable Fascism

It is surely curious that much of the modern world is teaching itself to deny almost any aspect of reality. Originally built on pragmatic assessments of what works and what doesn’t, what has worked before and what has not, we seem intent on denying even our own history, achievements, arts, sciences and engineering capabilities.

One consequence of denying our own history is that the Chinese model of forcing its population to trade economic growth and consumer goodies for personal freedom is becoming a political model to be admired. Admired covertly perhaps, but nonetheless admired and seen to be worth emulating while denying that we are emulating it.

This much has been obvious for some time, but a fascist regime that is admired? They always were until they fell over. We know that free enterprise delivers the goods and communism delivers absolute political control so with hindsight it seems almost inevitable that we end up with a mix. Goodies in return for souls. Old Nick would have been pleased with that one.

It leads us into a kind of deniable fascism where the totalitarian aspect is far easier to deny than the old fashioned militaristic version because consumer goodies and intrusive welfare sweeten the pill. The goodies/welfare pill is offered as a compelling reason not to notice a wholly controlled lifestyle slipped into the deal. Numerous voters seem willing to swallow that without reading the ingredients and without noticing that it will certainly rot their democratic teeth. False ones are freely available though – all part of the service.

Deniable fascism has also been made much easier by discarding a few superficial trappings of old style fascism epitomised by Mussolini, while retaining his totalitarian enthusiasm. Fewer flags, no ranting leader in uniform, more inconspicuous security and a more restrained elite. Understated luxury, quiet privilege and discreet international socialising rather than gaudy palaces, acres of gold leaf and thuggish armed guards.

There are numerous familiar clues to the rise of deniable fascism, the latest being the coronavirus debacle. To a good approximation the coronavirus epidemic in the UK subsided as an epidemic round about the middle of June. That is not to claim that cases and deaths disappeared, merely that normal life could have resumed – not that it should ever have been suspended.

However it is obvious enough that the coronavirus epidemic was always going to be used as a lever to take the developed world further down the path of deniable fascism. Even a mild pandemic is grist to this particular mill. Moves such as enforced lockdown, social distancing and incessant propaganda were a suspicious over-reaction – almost a mass training session for something else.

Continued restrictions and propaganda long after the epidemic disappeared reinforce the obvious - the pandemic has been used as an opportunity. With even the most bleary hindsight that much is just too obvious.

Deniable fascism suits political parties of the traditional left, centre and to an increasing extent those on the traditional right. Green parties have been there since the beginning. It also suits the establishment and civil service. They are all attracted to deniable fascism because it offers numerous opportunities to expand remits, climb the greasy pole without talent and generally be seen doing something. Not only that, but a principal downside of deniable fascism is loss of voter freedom, an abstract loss which provides alluring opportunities for elites and can be denied anyway – that’s the point.

A second downside of deniable fascism is the shallowness it induces but with unlimited entertainment on tap, that too is deniable. In any event, entertainment appears to be an accepted substitute for political freedom and political maturity.

Sunday 23 August 2020

Your dinner's in the pond

Finalists revealed in competition to find homes of the future

The Home of 2030 competition encourages the design of environmentally friendly homes that support people in leading independent, fulfilling lives as our society ages. 

  • Six finalists announced in competition to find the leading design for the low-carbon, age-friendly homes of the future
  • Boost for low-carbon, modern home manufacturing as warranty providers work on shared standard for homes built using modern methods of construction
  • Announcement follows overhaul of the planning system to deliver tree-lined streets and environmentally sustainable homes.

One of the six expects us to feed ourselves via the local pond.

changebuilding with Perpendicular Architecture, 
Humblebee, ECOSystems Technologies and Arup: Homes that seek to reduce carbon emissions and social interaction, including through food grown in communal spaces and areas such as ponds to promote biodiversity.

Saturday 22 August 2020

Don't tell Matt

A mum-of-two claims she is feeling healthier than ever after ditching veganism in favour of a raw meat diet – washed down with 12 egg yolks a day.

Jo Tyler, 28, was suffering with a long list of ailments, including fatigue, acne and panic attacks.

She tried to alleviate her symptoms by becoming a vegan, after reading about it on social media – often eating nothing but fruit and vegetables.

But, when she saw no signs of her health improving after 18 months, at the beginning of 2020, the full-time mum had a drastic change of heart...

On an average day, Jo has raw oysters for breakfast, followed by uncooked chicken for lunch, and liver for dinner – wolfing down a whopping 12 raw eggs between meals.

Jo loves raw chicken hearts - served with "lots of delicious yellow fat".

She also indulges in what she calls a raw smoothie - with raw milk, eggs and honey - throughout the day.

Every two or three hours she also cracks open two eggs and swallows them whole, eating up to 12 a day.

Somehow the fire went out

Their motto was 'What I have I hold,' and while they remembered it they were great people. But when they stopped holding they went out like a candle, and the last of them is now living in St Malo and a Lancashire cotton-spinner owns the place....When we had to fight hard for our possessions all the time, and give flesh to the sons of dogs who were our clan, we were strong men and women. There was a Raden with Robert Bruce--he fell with Douglas in the pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulchre--and a Raden died beside the King at Flodden--and Radens were in everything that happened in the old days in Scotland and France. But civilisation killed them--they couldn't adapt themselves to it. Somehow the fire went out of the blood, and they became vegetables. Their only claim was the right of property, which is no right at all."

"That's what the Bolsheviks say," said the puzzled Sir Archie."

"Then I'm a Bolshevik. Nobody in the world to-day has a right to anything which he can't justify. That's not politics, it's the way nature works. Whatever you've got--rank or power or fame or money--you've got to justify it, and keep on justifying it, or go under. No law on earth can buttress up a thing which nature means to decay."

John Buchan - John Macnab (1925)

Stirring stuff - but of course it isn’t stirring today and there is a timeless lesson in that. Modern political narratives appeal to weakness not strength. Civilisations cannot thrive on weakness and ours may be that thing which nature means to decay.

Friday 21 August 2020

Hint of the day

Suppose social, political, and economic life is almost entirely dictated by billions of tiny hints passed from person to person in numerous ways and vast numbers. Suppose the general form of these micro-hints is - this is how I see it. Body language is some of it, while some is verbal but it’s a long, complex and well-trodden area of social life. It is cultural too, which is why multiculturalism is necessarily divisive.

The point to be made is that micro-hints are not strong assertions. They occupy a more exploratory level, allowing low level responses from a shrug to a nod to a facial expression which says such things as maybe, oh, hmm, snigger, okay, really? Micro-hints may even be ignored without causing too much social friction.

Many or even most real world social exchanges are probably of this type. In which case we must be seeing a significant contrast between discourse through micro-hints and the more or less concrete assertions we constantly receive from mainstream media. That’s why media folk seem to be mad most of the time – it’s the constant shouting. The hints, particularly the important ones go on behind the scenes.

The media want drama, tragedy, horror, outrage, stridency and all the other bombastic crud which kills the hints and stomps on the nuances of genuine discourse. That’s the point – they kill the crucial exploratory role of nuances, hints and suggestions.

We need those exploratory nuances to work out some kind of route to what is really going on. Often more than one route. In other words the mainstream media do not reflect the way constructive discourse actually evolves. They do not reflect the way real discourse feels its way step by step towards something better. The media do not reflect real life interests, concerns, or even political significance because that would be the end of talking down to us.

That’s my hint of the day.

Tuesday 18 August 2020

A call for evidence

UK government announces Automated Lane Keeping System call for evidence

Government launches consultation on an automated system capable of taking vehicle control to make driving safer and easier.

The UK is taking steps forward in automated technology in vehicles with the launch of a call for evidence today (18 August 2020) to help shape how innovative new systems could be used in future on GB roads.

The call for evidence will look at the Automated Lane Keeping System (ALKS) – an automated system that can take over control of the vehicle at low speeds, keeping it in lane on motorways.

Presumably this call for evidence will be more astutely conducted than the calls for coronavirus evidence, climate change evidence, HS2 evidence and a comparable list going back decades. 

Maybe evidence that governments know how to call for evidence would be a good place to begin. Evidence-based evidence calling for example.

Monday 17 August 2020

Democracy is no defence against totalitarians

The main thrust of modern political trends is to depersonalise ordinary people, which is everyone below the upper middle class. Gender, nationality, ethnic origin, family roots, culture and religion count for nothing in this totalitarian schema. It is not dissimilar to that more familiar totalitarian distinction where one is either a party member or a nobody.

Not dissimilar to party membership? Suppose we push that a little further. To be woke is to adopt the informal membership or affiliate membership of a political movement. The level of membership depends on social status. In the UK the woke movement has begun to absorb what are evolving into branches of the Woke Party – branches such as Conservative, Labour, Lib Dem and Green.

Much of what we see in the modern political world is an interplay of advantages where individuals and groups make moves in the game of maximum advantage. Group those advantages together and there is only one overarching game. Woke political movements are tending to do just that - bring the rackets under one roof or Big Tent as Tony Blair called it.

It seems unduly cynical to say so because there are still many political actors who are generally on the level but our political culture is old and principled robustness has worn away as age, moral weakness and easy options corrupt our democratic processes. A period of political consolidation was inevitable although those old familiar political brands will be retained even if the ingredients have been absorbed and standardised.

Gender, ethnicity, environment, energy, transport, education, perceived inequality, welfare, social justice, taxation and almost all aspects of government have become absorbed into woke political rackets. In some cases such as climate change we see a simple woke racket while in others the takeover is less complete.

Much of it stems from voting for perceived advantage rather than seeking to preserve the value of those political structures our ancestors strived for and bequeathed. This political bequest we are now squandering for illusory advantage we do not even need. Democracies have a terminal problem with political rackets - voters think they can play the game too. But only Woke Party members are eligible to play because they make the rules.

Sunday 16 August 2020

Strewth that's depressing

Almost nine in ten Britons would accept further future local lockdowns in the absence of a vaccine for Covid-19, a new study has found, with the majority willing to embrace aspects of the ‘new normal’ for the foreseeable future.

A new survey from King’s College London has revealed that if no treatment for coronavirus can be found, 87 per cent would accept local lockdowns, as currently seen in Leicester, areas of Yorkshire and the Greater Manchester region.

Tedium of the week

But he gradually perceived that the words she used had no meaning for her save, as it were, a symbolic one: they were like the mysterious price-marks with which dealers label their treasures.

Edith Wharton - Here and Beyond (1926)

Old news now but the most tedious story to emerge while we were on holiday was Dawn Butler’s apparent attempt to become Racism Pointer Pursuivant of the Labour party.

If harmonious race relations really are a core aim of mainstream political parties then major political actors have to take a lead and bring to an end the crude and frequently baseless political use of racism allegations. If mainstream political parties are serious about this, then party members who still use racism as a dishonest club with which to beat their opponents must face some kind of penalty such as having party membership rescinded.

Nothing else will ever work. Stop the race-based finger pointing or give it up and admit that the dishonesty of it is ineradicable even within supposedly woke political parties. Which of course it is as the Labour party continues to demonstrate.

National death shortage looms


Trump Derangement Syndrome


Dinesh D’Souza is right, there is something profoundly personal about Trump derangement syndrome. Aggressive conformists hate him because as President he is supposed to pretend to be one of them, on their side, believing what they believe and in tune with their feelings. 

Instead he laughs at them and that must sting - and must sting again every time they consider his millions of supporters. Delicious. 

Saturday 15 August 2020

Along came a virus…

Merely a personal anecdote this, but during lockdown and for obvious reasons we have been spending considerably less than usual. Only one holiday this year instead of the usual four, very few café visits until recently, no meals out, no alcohol, car mileage far lower than usual and hardly any clothes shopping.

Not an uncommon lockdown experience I imagine, but looking back a few decades, as the spending power of the general population increased so did the power of ordinary people to influence the growth of enormously powerful markets. Power in this sense is complex and it is usual to say the markets are powerful but in a political sense so are their customers. This illustrates a main plank of socialism – neutralise democracy by closing down or controlling markets thereby closing down the power of ordinary voters.

Then along came a virus…

It seems clear enough that an underlying pandemic objective has been for the suspiciously draconian political response to leave a lasting impact on popular habits of consumption. It may not work but this appears to be an opportunist objective – instil a sense that frugal is okay and modern frugality need not be limiting and excess is irresponsible anyway. Not a new message but a new opportunity to ram it home good and hard.

Politically it adds up yet I can’t say that the daily round is less rewarding than it was. Socially restrictive perhaps, but modern communication goes a long way towards mitigating that. Life is slightly more frugal but we grew up in the fifties so this version of frugal is wildly opulent in comparison. A positive note is that we have been reminded of our own resources and things we could have done but never did.

Life certainly has been restricted compared to a few months ago, but we’ve adjusted and it is not easy to claim it is somehow worse. Politically life is worse though, because we have been compelled to accept the threadbare reality of our supposed democracy, the erratic power of bureaucracies, their inability to attract sceptical expertise, the inadequacies of the NHS, state education and mass media.

The problem for the future is political in that a more frugal lifestyle has merit but is bound up with climate change nonsense, environmental hyperbole and the jackboot flavour of its totalitarian politics. It is also tied to some extremely dishonest people and institutions. This is a political ethos which has to be avoided if we are to pass on even frugal political freedoms to future generations.

Unfortunately the pandemic response suggests that there is no political intention to pass on any political freedoms to future generations. That ship has almost sailed – at least the virus has made that clear enough.

Friday 14 August 2020

Holiday impressions


My shopping kit

We are back from our holiday and very enjoyable it was too. Main impressions - packed beaches, viral silliness all over the place and many businesses must still be struggling. We didn't bother with places where track and trace was being pushed, but for many it was clearly optional and they were not pushing it. Even so, a cafe we visited every day only ever had a few customers in spite of a central location and thronged beaches. It's a mess.

Thursday 13 August 2020

Maybe the Puritans were right

One of the great corruptions of modern culture has been mass entertainment. The BBC should never have touched it. Entertainment necessarily plays on the emotions and cannot be dispassionate yet it permeates everything the corporation does. Even BBC news is contaminated with what is in effect told-you-so entertainment for prigs.

Had the BBC eschewed entertainment from the beginning it would obviously be radically different from what it has become. Far fewer viewers but radically cheaper too. Austerely dispassionate would have been far better than constantly being talked down to from dubious middle class vantage points, or lied to by furtive politicians, creepy celebrities and totalitarian lunatics.

It could have been a national reference frame perhaps, a reliable resource where the knowns and unknowns are clarified... 

Well one can dream. This is merely an ideal of course, but a worthwhile ideal for the national broadcaster would have been preferable to the fake ideal we ended up with.

Mass entertainment is corrupting. It sucks away the hours, usurps constructive possibilities, trivialises everything it touches, subverts genuine understanding, obscures the difference between trivial and non-trivial, fosters worthless celebrity culture, squanders resources, misinforms the susceptible, spins false narratives, generates unreal simplicity, distorts history, invents impossibilities, sanctions crude vulgarity, corrupts popular tastes, promotes superstition, limits understanding, misrepresents intelligence, misleads the attention, promotes unhealthy consensus, suppresses realistic debate, wastes the resources of the poor, corrupts family life, undermines motherhood and fatherhood, promotes false ideas of risk, damages self-reliance and corrodes any conception of personal honour.

Apart from that?

Monday 10 August 2020

Sunday 9 August 2020

Another art of the plausible

The idea of ownership may be worth adding to the previous post. It is not possible to own truth but it is possible to own untrue or dubious narratives in the same sense that it is possible to sustain an allegiance to false gods. The ownership aspect of implausible narratives is important in that it also conveys a sense of inclusion which truth cannot sustain.

In other words, governments find dubious narratives more useful and more powerful than truthful narratives ever could be. This seems to be an essential difference between the political and apolitical outlook in that the political outlook cannot be a truthful outlook. Truth doesn’t work well politically because it excludes political ownership and in excluding ownership it must forego all but the most casual and conditional allegiance.

This may be one reason why socialism manages to be both inherently atheist and inherently untruthful. It has to gravitate towards atheism because it cannot grapple effectively with owning the eternal which ownership of truth would at least suggest or imply. The alternative is to gravitate towards untruthful or dubious narratives simply because they are untruthful or dubious and political ownership of them becomes more feasible.

Saturday 8 August 2020

The art of the plausible

The most remarkable development I’ve seen since growing up in the fifties has been the increased spending power of the general population and a corresponding increase in the range of information available to ordinary people, especially since the growth of the internet and mobile phones. Of course available is not the same as demanded.

Politics is the art of the plausible - the manipulation of public information in favour of plausible official narratives. The development of the internet upset all that and has kicked off some extreme attempts to control public information by a much more energetic promotion of politically sponsored narratives.

Plausible is the key and the key to plausible is to construct narratives which dominate the public domain, are linked to personal welfare, simple to grasp and authoritative.

Achieve that and the narratives become plausible enough to pass muster with a large number of people.

Achieve that and the narratives swamp alternative interpretations.

Achieve that and the narratives swamp criticism.

Achieve that and the narratives choke off the free flow of information.

Achieve that and job done.

Friday 7 August 2020

The Unhealthy Healthy

The Institute of Blue Sky Anxieties has a fascinating new report out today. Titled The Unhealthy Healthy,  the report goes some way towards identifying the many health risks in being healthy. As the introduction makes clear –

For too long government bodies responsible for health have implicitly assumed that being healthy is in fact healthy. And yet if we consider this for a moment we may see that healthy people are more disposed towards a whole range of potentially unhealthy activities.

1. A marathon runner may cause permanent leg joint damage where the couch potato runs a much lower risk.

2. An amateur football play risks a wide range of injuries and unfortunately in a small number of cases these injuries may turn out to be permanent. The couch potato watching football on TV naturally runs a much lower risk.

3. Regular gym users risk a wide range of repetitive strain injuries where the couch potato runs little or no risk of these debilitating conditions.

Even healthy eating could result in an unhealthy interest in the diets of other people, even the diet of a complete stranger seen waddling down the street. This could result in a debilitating psychological condition known as Pseudo-Altruistic Anxiety, an increasingly common middle class problem. 

Overall this is a timely if chilling report and one the government should not brush under the carpet. For too long we have been bombarded with the idea that healthy is healthy when clearly the reality may be much more sinister. The Institute is calling for more funding into this neglected area of research.

Thursday 6 August 2020

Low-grade interview

Former US First Lady Michelle Obama has said she is suffering from "low-grade depression" because of the pandemic, racial injustice and the "hypocrisy" of the Trump administration...

"These are not, they are not fulfilling times, spiritually," Mrs Obama said. "I know that I am dealing with some form of low-grade depression.

"Not just because of the quarantine, but because of the racial strife, and just seeing this administration, watching the hypocrisy of it, day in and day out, is dispiriting."

Sounds like a low-grade interview too. It is not easy to understand public demand for vacuous celebrity chatter but Mrs Obama also creates an impression of deep and abiding political malice. Clearly there is public demand for that too.

Wednesday 5 August 2020

Serious stupidity spasm

According to the ONS, the last reported COVID-19 death in Scotland was for July 17th. But -

The city of Aberdeen was today put back into lockdown as pubs, cafes and restaurants were shut and its population of more than 200,000 people were banned from travelling more than five miles from their homes.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said 54 infections have now been reported in the local Covid-19 outbreak - double yesterday's figure - and all indoor and outdoor hospitality venues were ordered to close by 5pm today.

Speaking in Edinburgh this afternoon, Ms Sturgeon said the rise in cases heightens fears the Scottish Government is 'dealing with a significant outbreak in Aberdeen that may include some community transmission'.

Residents were told not to enter each other's houses - while extra police officers will be on the streets in the city to ensure residents comply with the reintroduced rules, with Police Scotland saying it will 'continue to engage, educate and encourage people' to follow the restrictions.

Tuesday 4 August 2020

Cheap but not cheerful

We visited an outdoor clothing store yesterday. Walking gear, rucksacks, jackets, boots and so on plus more casual outdoor wear. Cheap but worth a look if cheap is okay.


Because of the coronavirus debacle we hadn’t been there since March and after a brief wander around the place we won’t be rushing back. It hasn’t changed in the slightest but we have.

Pop music which now assaults the ear more than it ever did before, racks of cheap outdoor clothing which now look like racks of cheap outdoor clothing. The cheap and cheerful appeal has gone. We don’t need it. Probably never did but it wasn’t so obvious. 

Maybe their customers will return but maybe not. Habits don't fade easily and familiarity can return, but long term effects of the coronavirus mess have yet to assert themselves.  

The sincere lie

Oh, I felt that she was lying (though sincerely, for one can lie sincerely).

Fyodor Dostoevsky – The Raw Youth (1875)

Imagine an adult talking to a child about aspects of the child’s school syllabus which the adult knows to be dubious or even untrue. Yet the adult is naturally aware of an obligation to do everything possible to help the child grasp the essentials of the syllabus.  

Does our imaginary adult offer the slightest hint that aspects of the syllabus are not all they should be? Even a bright child could easily run into difficulties at school if the syllabus cannot be questioned safely. Any adult may prefer not to introduce those subversive hints if to do so would put obstacles in the way of achievement.

In other words even a responsible adult confronted with this situation may reluctantly decide to lie sincerely even if merely lying by omission. Which in turn suggests that allegiance towards the approved narrative avoids these dilemmas in the first place. Just read the Guardian, watch the BBC and become thoroughly woke. So much easier. Boris does it.

Sunday 2 August 2020

Or check the "Epidemic Ended Weeks Ago" graph

Millions of over 50s could be told to stay at home under a "nuclear" option to prevent a new nationwide lockdown if there is a second wave of coronavirus.

Boris Johnson is reportedly considering asking a greater number of people in England to take part in the shielding programme should there be a big spike in COVID-19 cases.

A Sunday Times report said people aged between 50 and 70 could be given personalised risk ratings, taking into account factors such as age and medical conditions.

Has the office of Prime Minister vanished?

Broadly similar global responses to the coronavirus debacle tell us that outline UK response policies were not the responsibility of the UK government. Boris and co merely followed global protocols and gave in to whatever external pressures, media hysteria and technical advice appeared to be politically compelling. They are still doing it even though it has been pointless for weeks.

In one sense it all suggests that Boris and co had no choice but it also suggests they hardly ever have a choice. The office of Prime Minister is merely a clearing house for pressure groups and vested interests and many of those pressures and interests are global. 

Saturday 1 August 2020

Lockdown Lunacy

J.B. Handley has a very useful post on the coronavirus debacle and reasons why we may regard the primary epidemic as over in many parts of the world. It seems to have been over in the UK for weeks.

If you’re hoping the COVID-19 pandemic will go on forever, this post may disappoint you. And, I get it. We have gone frothing-at-the-mouth nuts over a slightly above-normal virulence virus, with a unique and obvious age-distribution pattern that should have made containment easy and panic completely unnecessary.

The piece is written from a US perspective but is applicable to the UK. The probable consequences of a wildly misinformed public for example.

Americans over-estimated the TOTAL number of compatriots who have died from COVID-19 by 200-fold! When asked the question (in mid-July), “How many people in your country have died from the Coronavirus?”, Americans responded “9%,” which would be roughly 30,000,000 people, versus the actual number of 151,000. No wonder people are panicked (and wildly, wildly misinformed.)

Unfortunately here in the UK we probably have to face up to the existence of a political agenda driving pandemic policy rather than public health. A screw down the ordinary voter agenda deriving from a developing totalitarian ethos. There is nothing democratic behind all this.