From today’s Twitter feed: an extract from a TV interview given by our Prime Minister: ‘My strategy is to litter my career with so many decoy mistakes that nobody knows which to attack...’
A few posts later is a cartoon of Pooh Bear talking to Piglet: ‘Will Boris make a good PM?’ asked Piglet. ‘Oh Piglet’ replied Pooh wearily ‘That walking clusterfuck is going to make every day seem like you’ve licked piss from a nettle’.
Is this government entirely sane? It is one thing for the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to talk about a puppet from a children’s TV show while addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations. “Kermit the Frog ... do you remember that one?” he said, looking round for approval: total silence... Well, he does have a track-record for clowning nonsense. Was the UN WiFi overloaded shortly afterwards with mystified delegates Googling Kermit? The context was ‘Green’ and the climate catastrophe; trust Johnson to make light of the most serious threat to our general wellbeing and way of life since the Black Death.
But when some genius came up with the idea, apparently quite seriously, to offer ‘foreign’ HGV drivers visas to work here for just three months (to 'save' Christmas?), I found myself wondering whether everyone in the executive had migrated to La La Land, and left the pixies in charge. A Polish lorry driver resident in Glasgow put it rather well on the BBC, and I paraphrase: “Dogs are not just for Christmas... Do they think they can turn foreign workers on and off like water from a tap, and when they’re done with them, they can just bugger off? It’s insulting!” Rather well put I thought.
It is not a word that springs readily to mind in the Britain of today. The newspaper headlines carry the government’s imprecation: ‘Buy fuel normally!’, and guess what? My local filling station has no fuel at all, and it is not one of the ones that was supposed to be in danger. We are reeling from the quadrupling of wholesale gas prices, and dreading what will happen in the winter—global warming notwithstanding. There is the on-going fallout from the Pandemic, and the thoughtless behaviour of many people regarding mask-wearing—around half of the people on the London Underground today were neither wearing masks nor practicing social distancing, despite constant announcements requesting them to do so.
And presiding over all of this is a cretinous, fornicating, charlatan, who seems to think that the whole thing is a jolly public-school jape, and who, among other things, finds it highly amusing to bait the leader of our closest neighbour. I wonder if he is aware that we purchased 10% of our electricity from France last month? A figure likely to increase since we are dependent on natural gas for close to 50% of our electricity production...
The point of all of this, in case anyone was wondering, is that I am in the member’s room of the British Library, an oasis of civilization in a crazy world. Am I hiding from reality? I don’t think so. It is possible to think here. And although I pay a small annual fee for use of the members’ room, the library itself is still completely free. Long may it be so.
Welcome to the Mirli Books blog written by Peter Maggs