Monday, 28 December 2020

It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world


Emily Ratajkowski, an American model, tells Vogue about her fear of bringing a white male into the world.


"I’m scared of having a son too, although not in the same way. I’ve known far too many white men who move through the world unaware of their privilege, and I’ve been traumatized by many of my experiences with them. And boys too; it’s shocking to realize how early young boys gain a sense of entitlement—to girls’ bodies and to the world in general....


"My friend who is the mother to a three-year-old boy tells me that she didn’t think she cared about gender until her doctor broke the news that she was having a son. She burst into tears in her office. “And then I continued to cry for a whole month,” she says matter-of-factly. After a difficult birth experience, she developed postpartum depression and decided that she resented her husband more than she’d ever imagined possible. She told me she particularly hated—and she made an actual, physical list that she kept in her journal, editing it daily—how peacefully he slept. “There is nothing worse than the undisturbed sleep of a white man in a patriarchal world.” She shakes her head. “It was hard to come to terms with the fact that I was bringing yet another white man into the world..."

This is Vogue, read by rich, snobby fashionistas who are interested in incredibly expensive shoes. If the right has lost the rich fashionistas what hope does it have?


Apparently the answer is manual workers.

Tuesday, 22 December 2020

Disaster

'Thick fog in Channel: Continent Cut Off' was something regularly announced on the BBC before the 1939-45 war. I'm sorry to hear a moment ago Sky News announce "Britain is cut off from Europe" and "marooned from much of the world".

France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Southern Ireland and six other European countries last night closed their borders to flights and most lorries, trains and boats from the UK. The ban could be extended to the entire European Union.

I don't think the UK will leave the EU without a trade deal but if we do we'll hardly notice. Sweet are the uses of adversity.

When I told my friend George Alberts that we had no reason to suppose a vaccine for Covid-19 would ever be found he said wisely that so many highly intelligent men and women were working to find one that one would certainly be found. He was right, though he died from Covid, alas, before the vaccine was created.

Now as was inevitable a new variant of the virus has appeared, possibly more virulent and possibly less lethal. This changes things.

It might be a good thing which will prevent deaths and it might if not for human intervention allow us to reach herd immunity without need for vaccines.

Instead it will be used to restrain the population. William Hague, a very clever man, who is wrong about almost everything, insists that it means lockdowns or something like them for months to come.

It now seems inevitable that we shall continue tight restrictions until people are vaccinated. This will cause huge problems for the world economy and for the poor.

Worst of all, lockdowns will be repeated in the future when the next viruses appear.

We live in a age without belief in God where human intelligence is expected to prevent changes in climate, enable people to change their sex and to prevent death.

We are moving from a world that was free, meaning capitalist, to one run by experts concerned above all to prolong life, except when they decide on euthenasia, to prevent inequality (something all conservatives should favour) and to stop global warming.

Janet Daley in the most recent issue of the Sunday Telegraph:

The decline of religious belief which suggested that death gave significance to life seems to have combined with a sense that governments should be directly responsible for the permanent welfare of everyone, to produce a perfect climate for this super-response to a spreading disease. State health systems, and public reliance on them, has created a new moral order in which the success of medicine gives it a civil dominion which cannot be questioned: hence, the insensitivity and authoritarianism of medical and scientific experts who pay lip service to the idea that only elected political leaders can decide policy but clearly feel that they should be in charge even of moral priorities.

Saturday, 12 December 2020

Africa is not a safe haven from Covid

Lots of people I speak to are talking about going to Africa for a few weeks to avoid Covid and the winter. 

It is, unfortunately, not true that Africa is escaping the virus. In Tanzania, which is on the way to becoming a dictatorship, all news of infections and deaths with the virus is suppressed by the government. People are buried in secret. As for Sudan, which I had been very tempted to explore, researchers at University College, London research have found that only 2% of Covid deaths in Khartoum were reported.

The pandemic is not as bad in Africa as in Europe, probably because Africans tend to die of other causes before they are old enough to die of Covid, but the African hospitals are no doubt worse than Romanian ones.

I say this without really knowing how bad Covid is in any country. Lots of people are dying, including a friend of mine, but lots of people die each year of flu. The data is very unclear even to experts and we are probably exaggerating the danger, but Covid-19 is highly infectious and dangerous. Five people in one family died in one month in Turkey, all but one aged less than 50, though this is very untypical. Best therefore to avoid holidays in Africa.

Thursday, 10 December 2020

I have seen the future

 



De Gaulle was right: Britain joining the EEC has been a calamity for everyone


Reluctantly, after the emotional roller-coaster of 2016 -20, I have to think again about Brexit, which now reaches its long delayed dénouement.

The Times today said Boris and Ursula had 'three hours of “frank” discussion' last night. 

"Free and frank" in the language of diplomacy is the ne plus ultra. It suggests the participants came close to blows. 

"Frank" might mean as unpleasant as possible, bearing in mind she is a lady of high birth married to a von.

A pity he didn't have dinner with Frau Merkel and M Macron who call the shots in Europe. Ursula can't depart from positions member states tell her to take.