Only the USA may have made a bigger hash of the response to Coronavirus. Even in Spain and Italy, the exponential rise seems to be flattening. South Korea, Germany and several other states suggest it is not hindsight to see the UK strategy as mistaken.
One possible factor is the neoliberal agenda. The human body has been designed by evolution on the principle of redundancy, in case there is an ‘unforeseen’ emergency. Neoliberal philosophy sees efficiency as taking precedence. Could this account for the UK government not following its own advice?
Another partial explanation is that almost everyone underestimates the effect of the exponential principle. This weblog is based on that misapprehension being the cause of the apparently forgotten threat to the ecosphere. A pandemic was only a matter of time, as is the next one.
Another thing which seems to have been overlooked is that the pandemic has suddenly, but only temporarily solved a whole host of environmental problems. Unless checked, I fear the measures employed to combat the economic effects of the virus will go on to devastate the ecosphere. Unless expressly linked to the eco-crisis the basic income would be almost as bad, but not if the connection is made soon enough.
We (the world) are in for a difficult time anyway. A ‘wartime’ analogy should not be used too freely, but one respect in which I believe it would be fair game is in a drastic reduction in inequality.
It is not well known (because it was suppressed) that Lady Rhys Williams, a member of the Beveridge Commission, proposed a basic income as an alternative strategy to the 1942 Beveridge Report, which instead, post war, opted for the contributions based scheme. The employment situation now is completely different, but the similarity is that a crisis had just been survived, and the new situation called for some new ideas. ‘Normality’ is the last thing we must return to.
But the Johnson ‘landslide’ government may have a different agenda. The virus crisis has been used in Hungary to impose a comprehensive clamp down on civil liberties, and they are not time limited.
The ecological crisis dwarfs the virus crisis. It as always been apparent to me (but like Greta, I do not have a normal mind) that when the eco-crisis causes serious trouble, it will not be long before Martial Law is declared. A pretext to use Martial Law in advance of the big one might be useful. In Britain, some local police responses have interpreted guidance more strictly than others: useful practice?
I think incompetence is more likely in the UK, but incompetence and bad faith are not mutually exclusive