Apocalypse October 2021
Rishi Sunak’s Age of Optimism
You may be impacted by our upcoming improvements. You’ve got food banks and you’ve got food rotting in fields, the emergency slaughter of 120,000 Great British pigs, quality produce gone to waste. European workers, they’re not queuing up, they’re not waiting around for a job to come up in Britain. It’s delusional. But I guess it means the hostile environment was a success, so there’s that. Mass unemployment: just go and get a job! Spin hardship into grit: Brits don’t need nice things. Priti Patel will not tolerate so-called eco-warriors, trampling over our way of life and draining police resources. There’s literal shit all over England pouring into all the rivers and the sea. It’s a mad time growing up while the very concept of future is eroding. When time itself is disarrayed, the forward path is retrograde. My generation doesn’t believe that your generation will commit anything more than lip service to the climate crisis, and so this apathy grows, this schism. I want to save the planet but…
Boris Johnson says if Labour were in power, we would be in lockdown. Care minister Gillian Keegan says it’s about personal choice, as we’re not the sort of country that tells people what to wear; it’s not for the government to mandate mask wearing. I travelled to England and encountered a national government running a scam on its whole electorate in the form of mandatory day-2 COVID testing. On gov.uk you’re told you must book this test before you travel, at minimum £40 a pop but the prices are all over the place, and it must be from a test centre that is government approved (wink-wink). If you will be in England for less than 2 days you still need to book and pay for a test, but you only need to take the test if you are still in England on day 2. Nobody cares what the results of these tests are, it’s about the selling more than any functional tracking of the virus. It’s just dishonourable; other countries could be running this scam, just because they can, but they aren’t.
The majority of trending subjects are driven by hatred rather than love, and even those trends driven by love will soon find those who hope to bend it to hate (1). I’m concerned about the (passive) transphobia being normalised in the media at the moment: hetero-mainstreamers pretending to be liberal then going in for this. Trans people are being monstered exactly as gay and bisexual people always were — as would-be sexual predators, recruiters of children, defiers of biological reality, sufferers of a mental condition, creepy fetishists, and so on (2). This is fundamental: these are real people, undermined and disbelieved, or objectified and exoticised, through probably all of history. This is not some capricious new fad. Statistically they aren’t that many (~0.6%) but are one of society’s most oppressed, shunned and misunderstood communities. You don’t have to relate to something to respect it. The hysteria and crude debate looks just like the homophobia that was widespread mainstream science, law and consensus in our parents’ generation, but was wrong, was hateful and violent and we like to think we’ve moved on but we’ve just moved the target. It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that: we are not that different.
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(1) Robin Ince
(2) Owen Jones