Sunday, 17 May 2020

Opinion

My blog isn't usually somewhere that I share my political opinions. I allude to them, certainly. I have talked about love. I've talked about empathy. I've referred to poverty. Yet I don't usually make clear statements about politics. Today that changes. 

I've read quite a few posts, memes and sentiment that we, the people, should be kind to the government. We should be kind to our ejected prime minister. We should, to a point, be kind to everyone. However we need to remember that politicians do not become politicians without choice. The people that represent us choose to do so. With that choice comes responsibility. Politicians who earn a pretty hefty salary and by in large, claim a large amount of expenses. They are not struggling to make ends meet. They are not suffering under the system, they shape it (albeit not alone and let's not overlook the power of big businesses like Amazon). 

Just because someone tells you something is safe, it does not mean that it is safe. There are a vast array of people who tell us all kinds of things, for all kinds of reasons and the truth might not have anything to do with it. It is vital that every single person questions the status quo. It's important that every single person considers why a group or a person says whatever it is that they are saying. In sociology, this is called Interest Groups. If I'm the PM and I'm under pressure to reignite the economy then I might tell people that they will be safe if they are careful. 

Whatever your political opinions, the current UK government have made a number of decisions that have cost people's lives. They are continuing to do this.

We should have closed our borders to people traveling from China and parts of the world that are close to China back in December. We should also have tested and quarantined travelers into the UK many months before now. 

PPE and ventilators should have been stockpiled months ago. 

In February the online 111 service told people who thought they may have Covid-19 that unless they had travelled to China or Thailand or had contact with someone who was known to have Covid-19, they did not need to do anything. Thinking about this logically or, as the current government tend to say, scientifically, this makes absolutely no sense. Yes the situation was evolving but it stands to reason that any person having contact with any other person might catch any virus, new or otherwise. 

Given that the government was slow and yes negligent, we should have made the UK lockdown stricter and we should have extended it. 

Finally I really hope that every person who reads these words will consider this famous quote 'quis custodiet ipsos custodes?' In English 'who will watch the watchmen?' The answer is, we will. 

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