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Thursday, 26 March 2020

Life after the Wuhan virus

The effects of the Wuhan virus on our freedoms and liberties has only just started. Even with a partial lifting of isolating restrictions in a 'stop - start' control regime, it now seems inevitable that we face food rationing. Ironically, the UK is self-sufficient in toilet roll manufacture but not in food. Professor Ashton introduces the unmentionable topic in the Telegraph. However, posts about rationing and the interesting effect this will have on the extent of the nation's food fads and imagined allergies are to come. This is a post about the future.

We will get the Wuhan virus under control, maybe this year, maybe next. And I have one prediction - that after an unprecedented intrusion into our freedoms and liberties, any hopes that the Central State has of permanently maintaining these controls will be dashed. On the contrary, the universal backlash against central State power will catalyse a hugely overdue Big Bang devolution of powers. We must just ensure that our most fundamental freedoms remain intact; universal suffrage, the secret ballot and the freedom to form and participate in political parties.

In addition to movement controls, we are likely to see food rationing, possibly even energy rationing and internet and phone restrictions, controls on internet shopping and deliveries, import controls, currency controls and unprecedented State use of mobile phone location and activity data to police and monitor public behaviour. These may all be used to ensure the greatest benefit for the greatest number whilst the crisis subsists. But paradoxically it will not be libertarians praying for the early development of a vaccine (which may also be compulsory - and sod the anti-vaxers. They will disappear along with the food faddists) but the central Statists; the longer and deeper the restrictions on our freedoms, the stronger and wider the public backlash, and the bigger the Big Bang demolition of the Central State to come.

There will be an interesting re-discovery of moral exactitude and an intolerance of moral relativity. We will get used to the idea of collectivist libertarianism. As a libertarian, I have long accepted that the freedoms I demand only extend so far as they cause no harm to any other. Libertarianism isn't the sort of me-generation selfishness that drives many of the objections to the lockdown measures, but the freedom to make your own decisions about your own life within an utterly essential collective, within a society and nation. And without ceding some freedoms to the collective, we cannot enjoy individual liberty.

But these are points for debate and discussion, not a didactic prescription. And that will be new for us. Perhaps not since the age of Huxley and Orwell will there have been such a national debate, will we engage in such dialogue over existential definitions, identity and morality. The paradox is that the Wuhan virus, from the heart of the most repressive nation on earth, may catalyse for us a freedom unknown for a century.  


Andrew Douglas said...

I hope and pray you are right. I have been heartened by Steve Baker's speech, and Boris Johnson's obvious reluctance.

Stephen J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen J said...

Funny that, I see the progress of events as described above as being out by about 180 degrees.

But then I am a conservative and not a member or supporter of the party that claims to be conservative.

As for your attack on the genuine allergies and intolerances, some genetic, but mostly caused by the over use of anti-biotic drugs, you should be ashamed of yourself.

The current virus, is a genuine concern, and we still do not know just how many casualties will be laid at its door, I suspect that the manipulation of statistics will end up playing a much bigger role on the subsequent (beginning today) increase in the erosion of liberty.

It is not often that the hard left is observed to be marching in lockstep with a Tory government, but there it is, in front of our eyes.

You seem to be basing much of today's, admittedly uncharacteristic commentary (with the exception of the recent general election), on the misinterpreted idea that there has been a general reassertion of nationalism across the world.

When has an almost global agreement on policy, amongst world governments, had any place in a world comprised of independent nation states? This unity is a sham, as the disdain for any genuine nationalist leaders neatly demonstrates.

Priceless Raedwald.

As Dellers pointed out yesterday, there are roughly two approaches to this exquisite little inconvenience, and you sir fall neatly into the first....

Quote: “I for one welcome our new insect overlords”

DeeDee99 said...

I agree that we area heading towards food rationing and state controls on use of the internet and energy etc, but I'm afraid I don't share your optimism that these changes will be temporary and the Establishment will comply with the demand for more freedom when the immediate crisis is over.

There will be no end of justifications why we cannot be allowed to return to the status quo ante, let alone be graciously given more autonomy/freedom. I am expecting this crisis to result in a massive power-grab that will become permanent. It'll be for our own good don'cha know.

IcyPurplepants said...

All of the worst regimes, seem to have started with enacting harsh laws and restrictions under the gise of fixing an emergency, or for public safety. Always under a benign and well-meaning government, which is then taken over by someone with a more nefarious endgame.

For example. At the end of all this, a tired and ready for change population vote Boris and the Tories out, one of Corbyn's acolytes takes over. Can you really see them rolling back the state?

Boris' libertarian worldview is about the only thing which could swing the return of freedoms, but I am not sure this would win out over the global deep state.

Ultimately, I am pessimistic. I think the cure is going to end up being very much worse than the illness.

Raedwald said...

Stephen - wind your neck in. Food faddists doesn't include those with actual medical conditions or epipen allegies - just those with self-imagined 'intolerances'.

Sobers said...

I too am hopeful. I think there will be less tolerance of the bossy brigade after all this is over. Especially the eco-freak types. Once you've been through something that could well have killed you in the here and now, and could well come back again in another form, you'll be less cared about a hundred years time. Green freakery flourishes when times are good, and people need something to be 'concerned' about. When the concern is 'Will I still be here in a months time?' or 'Where my next meal/salary cheque coming from?' they're less interested in turning the world up side down because of an imaginary hobgoblin.

JPM said...

To be clear, you are suggesting that there will be food rationing in the UK but not in the European Union?

And when the count of fatalities is made, perhaps there will be more here than in many other countries, as predicted by epidemiologists?

How do you expect those two facts to play with the people?

(I think that you are mistaken about the rationing, btw).

JPM said...

Yes, an "imaginary hobgoblin" such as all the obvious bollocks that they have been told about the European Union, Sobers.

Stephen J said...
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Mr Ecks said...

You have lost your fucking marbles Radders.

And over POS outbreak of Flu+.

Lots of us will not be complying with any of the shit you are peddling.


And Cheese--just fuck off--your precious EU pals can't wait to stab each other in the back.

Stephen J said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Raedwald said...

JPM - I think that things in the EU will be far, far worse.

Stephen J said...

Raedwald, thanks for the clarification, I suspect that there are a percentage of fashionable food faddists.

Shortly after submitting my comment this morning, I went for a shower and took a look in the mirror (in the bathroom), and was reminded of the nearly three feet of gut that has been removed by the twenty-four inch scar that marks where I have been opened up twice during the last twenty years. I was reminded of my grandfather and my mother, the first of whom had similar surgery in the 1930’s, only his operation was carried out for an unnamed but necessary reason, which by my time had been labelled as Crohn’s disease.

I am naturally somewhat touchy about my genetic affliction and my subsequent derisory view of much of the treatment that I have received from the communist NHS.

Mark said...

Boris's approach does seem to have a general public approval, or at least a short term acceptance.

People generally do prefer tyranny to chaos. Whether the recent "chaos" and the panic buying (made far worse by the actions of an immoral, selfish few) represent anything new is another argument however.

It remains to be seen what happens after this "lockdown". The EU has shown its utter impotence. Bit different for a national government of course, and Boris could come out of this smelling of Rose's but I'm guessing all sorts of questions are being asked at all sorts levels by everything from individuals up.

I've always struggled with conspiracy theories, mainly because of the manifest lacking among those to whom the conspiracy is ascribed. Generally it is the willingness of the conspired against to be led. Which they are if the downside falls on somebody else (see EU above).

We do indeed live in interestingly times.

Stephen J said...

Oh and BTW, I have just ordered a buckling spring keyboard to replace the standard Apple fare.

The combination of keyboard mistypes, along of course with some genuine erroneous revisions, are becoming too much to bear.

Nessimmersion said...

To throw a different interpretation in the mix. It is becoming increasingly apparent that initial hopes about Chloroquine in the states qere correct. Dr Fauci is carefully back tracking, never trumps are banning treatment and doctors in new york state are already declaring 100% success.
In the light of the above, as soon as we have sufficient supplies of the drug to treat any surge, we can go back to normal, stop trying to return the economy to the 1930's and get rid of all the controllers crap.

Stephen J said...

Well lordy lordy, see here:

I was alerted to this by a vlogger that I have never seen before, so naturally, Ichecked him out before posting.

I hope you are OK with this Raedwald, but it is highly relevant to our opposing views as published here.



Jack the dog said...

No I think this talk of food rationing is hysterical bollocks.

JPM said...

What it has shown is that the European Union has very little power to disrupt the lives of its people, in fact zero in the way that has happened of late.

That power lies fairly and squarely with the nations, like nearly all of the rest of their laws.

So that's another myth exploded.

People won't be able to believe the fuss that they made over little rings of stars on their number plates, or over the absence of tungsten light bulbs before very long.

Stephen J said...

Yes JPM, it would seem that the potential loss of the UK's money has led to this latest attempt to force its communitarian nightmare vision.

Span Ows said...

Stephen J, saw a screen shot of that at Guido's last night. Curiouser and curiouser...

Raedwald said...

I wouldn't put too much into the downgrading - it just means that with a fatality rate of ~1% and an R0 of 2.3, Covid-19 isn't in the same class as Ebola or Marburg.

If we had a pandemic of either of those 2, troops would be shooting on sight anyone attempting to break out of the M25 quarantine ring.

Span Ows said...

Raedwald, indeed most probable, but other criteria are:
"may not have effective prophylaxis or treatment"
"often difficult to recognise and detect rapidly"
"ability to spread in the community and within healthcare settings"

...aaaaand here's your answer:

jim said...

Not so sure I share your optimism Raedwald.

Governments love power and I fear the British people will be well cowed by mid 2021. We are facing huge economic damage and only have service industries and finance to get us out of this hole. The people will go along with anything that keeps a roof over their heads and a crust in their mouths.

Look forward to a good dose of inflation as Sunak seeks to balloon the debt away.

"We will get used to the idea of collectivist libertarianism" bothers me a bit. I hope you are thinking of the organic kind of collectivism rather than the state imposed kind. This gets close to a kind of socialism which some of your posts seem to move toward.

I remember from my early years the Co-Op insurance man used to call on a Friday. He was a socialist of a helping others kind. There were hard working women of the village who did visit the sick and the poor. Among the adults there was a camaraderie left over from WWII. Add in a residue of noblesse oblige from the landowners, country dancing, a real Maypole and a garage that charged up glass jar batteries.

All this went in the '60s. Inflation made the landowners and middle class meaner, the socialists got more hard edged. We young wanted to get on and leave this fuddy duddy life behind. Somehow the baby went out with the bathwater. But we did get rid of a lot of local deference and corruption.

My worry with what I think you mean by collectivist liberalism is that it involves a return to local busybodies, church commitees and local mayors lording it around. We swap one evil for another.

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits..

Chinese Woman SLAMS Communist Party For Wuhan Virus Cover-Up


Raedwald said...

Just try the sort of localism we have in Austria or Switzerland. Our council (2,500 citizens) is responsible for water, sewerage, roads, schools, planning & building control, licencing, refuse collection etc. Apart from the elected Burgermeister, there are 8 staff in the town hall, who all live locally. They work very hard to be as unbusybody like as possible - having even an exaggerted respect for privacy.

Of course petty corruption is the 'Burgermeister's Disease' but because of this they are watched very carefully, particularly for land or development deals or changing land use from agricultural to housing plots.

And I pay 1/3rd of the costs for these services I paid for a 3 bed terraced in Zone 2/3. No Wimmins Unit, no stop smoking team, no PR department or floors of busybody numpties, see.

Dave_G said...

"the European Union has very little power to disrupt the lives of its people"

Like opening all their borders to 'invaders' perhaps? Fuck wit.

I would hope that forcing the public to be more self-reliant works against their aims as we can get used to doing things by ourselves quite easily.

But we need to encourage talk of sovereignty again, this time in terms of a new currency that banks cannot control.

The Wuflu is becoming more transparently a ruse and the media-hysteria equally comical if not repulsive to sensibilities.

Let's discuss how WE need to react to impending control such that we aren't the ones under it but issuing it.

Stephen J said...


Interesting take regarding your last comment, however I would hesitate to associate the Austrian version with the Swiss version.

The first has it purely as a historical reference which is likely to persist, even though the Austrian state will become more and more irrelevant, particularly under a hail of globalist bullying as evidenced by the concept that we know love ;( as the European union. As you say, it covers a very limited set of competences.

The second has the benefit of a system of "citizen triggered and binding direct democracy" which though suffering from the bullying nature of the surrounding supranational government, still seems to be holding up quite well.

Unfortunately for most of the world, it and the 2nd US constitutional amendment, only has any effect in places where this kind of direct democracy has been applied.

Smoking Scot said...

Looking at video's of how China is doing things, it appears that the Internet will become far more important. They carry a lot of personal detail on their phones and that allows them to book things like museums and Panda breeding facilities, because they plus museums and art galleries have a daily limit on visitors.

So I don't fear for broadband rationing. Glacial maybe for a while, but if there's money to be made, the demand will be met.

Folk are essentially social by nature. We know life's better with strong family and community ties. Mums get baby sitters, protection and support - and males do suss out they're right for his sprogs.

Teens have exams, then that business of finding a life partner. Their window of opportunity is frighteningly narrow, so they must play the field - and that won't change.

So I don't see the social side of life going. They (mistakenly) think they're invulnerable, so everything from spotty boys on mopeds hanging out to impress chicks with his wheelie and stoppy skills, to clubs, pubs or even restaurants for those with a bit more cash.

I do see businesses cutting travel budgets. The workarounds they're using right now are good on a number of levels and some will stick with it. I might add the G20 are showing what state of the art teleconferencing is like.

I doubt there'll be any real change with public transport. Hopefully far better ventilation.

But all this depends on whether our sacrifice proves worthwhile. Today there's a report of younger people chucking bricks at old people being moved by bus to a care facility in their town.

Three week lockdowns turn to five, then months. I really can't blame younger people for being thoroughly frustrated at missing out on 2020, nor their attitude that it's all for the benefit of the old, sick, infirm and - to their minds - dead weight.

Just thoughts.

jim said...

Having idled away his time at Salerno and Monte, my Dad ambled his way up to Austria. Looking after an internment camp was his job. He greatly enjoyed his time there, learned to ski and a spot of mountain climbing. A lot of Burgemeisters were locked up, some having been a bit too enthusiastic, those were taken away for trial and a spot of chokey.

Back in the '60s my Dad paid his little town a visit to catch up on old friends. Not all were pleased to see him, many of his old prisoners were now Police Chief, Mayor and Burgemeister. Been to Austria many times lovely place and good people. Thankfully all is (almost) forgotten.

JPM said...

Dave, the European Union has no control over its external borders, nor immigration policy from third countries.

They are the responsibility of the member nations.

You show yourself to be the fool that you are by calling people names when you apparently don't even know the basics.

Mark said...

So what's the EU border force then you devastatingly handsome and intelligent philosopher king?

Dave_G said...

Seriously JPM???? When the EU specifically wish (have?) impose(d) economic sanctions on those countries that refuse to accept the gimmegrants?

You are utterly deluded you prick.

On topic - I keep hearing the BBC reporting "x-number of deaths today" but specifically NOT stating "from Corona virus". They know people die every single day so is that what we're being told? That 'death happens'?

Well, I NEVER knew.......

Dave_G said...

I'm getting more frustrated and concerned by the day. There are suggestions (with proof apparently) that a mix of Hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Z-pak offer a 100% cure (proven in Bahrain and Belgium amongst other places) so why are we now faced with punitive movement restrictions on people who walk ISOLATED across remote countryside??? Never mind them walking side-by-side in built-up areas we're not even allowed to stroll in remote locations.

This non-use of Hydroxychloroquine, zinc and Z-pak (HZZ) - or media reporting of it - increasingly stringent and draconian movement rules etc..... just WTF are (((they))) lining us up for?

Now we have Sunak offering financial assistance to the self-employed but starting JUNE!!!! Are we to be corralled PAST that date? WTF???

Screw this. There is something seriously amiss here.

We need to be told.

JPM said...

Just a general point.

There are many claiming that all these new viruses come from China.

They don't.

HIV came from Africa.

MERS came from camels in the Middle East.

Zika virus is South American.

Swine flu came from ...California.

Maybe we should have called it "American flu", Donald?

Span Ows said...

dave_G. Indeed, curiouser and curiouser by the day. Trashing the global economy...for what?

JPM reminds me of the 2009 pandemic "swine flu"...thank fuck pigs never got it! Just reading wiki and it si striking the differnces but more the similarities: apologies for the copy/paste:

"The 2009 flu pandemic or swine flu was an influenza pandemic that lasted from January 2009 to August 2010, and the second of the two pandemics involving H1N1 influenza virus (the first being the 1918–1920 Spanish flu pandemic), albeit a new strain. First described in April 2009, the virus appeared to be a new strain of H1N1, which resulted from a previous triple reassortment of bird, swine, and human flu viruses further combined with a Eurasian pig flu virus,[9] leading to the term "swine flu".[10] According to WHO, the confirmed death toll is more than 18,036[7], although some studies estimated that 11 to 21 percent of the global population at the time — or around 700 million to 1.4 billion people (out of a total of 6.8 billion) — contracted the illness. This was more than the number of people infected by the Spanish flu pandemic,[6][11] with about 150,000 to 575,000 fatalities.[12] A follow-up study done in September 2010 showed that the risk of serious illness resulting from the 2009 H1N1 flu was no higher than that of the yearly seasonal flu.[13] For comparison, the WHO estimates that 250,000 to 500,000 people die of seasonal flu annually.[8]"

Dave_G said...

More and more people are being drafted into the Government pay scheme and it wouldn't take much effort to convince those 'desperate' people to take a .Gov issued credit card that they can top up for you when you need it (or, more likely, deserve it).

One step closer to fully electronic-based currency system that we'll all be drafted into before the end of the year.

Goodbye to all ideas of saving, investing or spending your OWN money - it will all belong to the banksters before too long and taxed, priced and deflated according to THEIR rules. They'll OWN you.

John Brown said...

I can remember in the 1950s watching educational videos on how to survive a nuclear attack and how the government was prepared with underground bunkers etc..

Given that we could be subject to a biological or viral attack by a hostile state or a terrorist group I am surprised that our civil service/MOD/NHS seem to have been so totally unprepared for the Covid-19 outbreak.

DeeDee99 said...

Apparently, Boris believes that going for a walk in my local park or visiting a beach in the rural West Country is sufficient risk of spreading the corona-virus to justify lockdown. There are 24 identified cases in my postcode area out of a population of nearly 400,000!

But flying in more that 100,000 people every day from heavily infected countries, including Italy, and then allowing them immediate access to the London Undergound and other public transport doesn't risk importing and spreading the virus.

Government advice is that when they've completed their journeys around the UK, spreading the virus as they go, they should then self-isolate for 14 days.

The argument is so transparently idiotic it's a clear indication that we are being "played" by the Globalists, including Boris.

Yesterday, as well as Gordon Brown's call for a One-world Government response to the virus, we were treated to David Miliband lecturing the American people on the need for a universal healthcare system like the NHS in their country - and the necessity for richer countries (ie the UK) to fund healthcare provision in poor countries around the world.

The Globalists are using this virus for a massive power-grab and progression of a "one world government."

Dave_G said...

Where are the bodies? Where is the social media wailing? Where are these 'packed morques'?

The claimed figures for infected.... South Korea found just 4% of all tested were infected. Given the Government's figures of 11,600 and a similar 4% infection rate can someone convince me 290,000 have actually been tested?

Where are the names? The death certificates? The convoys of bodies? ANYTHING to show this is something other than a concerted media-led and promoted scam of epic proportions?

We are supposed to be only 6 steps away from 'anyone' yet I know of NO ONE that has tested positive let alone died of CV.

But because millions are now going to get a pay day without lifting a finger.... that's alright then.


Dave_G said...

News just in.....

Quote BBC :

"A man horrifically decapitated in a motorcycle accident is the latest person to have been diagnosed with Corona Virus and takes the total number of deaths due to this illness to unprecedented highs - more news at 11"

Unquote (/sarc - if you didn't guess)

Peter Spence D. said...

Zika virus originated in Uganda, which was not in South America the last time I looked. Fool.

Span Ows said...

@Peter Spence D. "Zika virus originated in Uganda, which was not in South America the last time I looked. Fool."

And the 'california'/Mexico swine flu originated in Asia!

Anonymous said...

JPM said @ 19:51 26 March 2020

Just a general point.

'There are many claiming that all these new viruses come from China.

They don't.'

Science Daily

'The novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that emerged in the city of Wuhan, China, last year and has since caused a large scale COVID-19 epidemic and spread to more than 70 other countries is the product of natural evolution, according to findings published today in the journal Nature Medicine.'

You Dick!