Pulling Together


Time, times, and half a time, gentlemen, please!

Well, today’s the day. “Which day is that?” you may wonder if you're reading this on a later date. It is the 1290th day after the first Covid lockdown, the day I set a whimsical count making a semi-facetious reference to the 1290 days mentioned in two Biblical apocalyptic books. There was a vague point in the reference in that it was a light-hearted protest against the closing of churches (c.f. taking away the daily sacrifice as the Bible put it).

The count has now run its course and little obvious has happened. It would have been lovely, of course, if Covid had gone away and Putin had decided to end his war in Ukraine, or some other great event occurred to mark the day – wouldn’t I have felt smug? – but instead we have Baroness Hallett cheerfully reminding us the next pandemic is coming soon. I just hope we get the NHS ready and don’t think we can shut down everyone’s lives again. We didn’t do that in 1958, 1967, or 2009 and we shouldn’t think it’s the thing to do now. True, we didn’t have social media spreading panic in those earlier cases, but it’s the job of government to quell panic, not ramp it up into an unthinking frenzy.

So the count has run its course and come to an end. Tomorrow I will remove it as it’s pointless letting it go on counting when the target date has gone. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of the world’s troubles. They continue without regard for our conceptions of time. This page remains in the colours of a far-away flag. Will it ever go back to its olive green days, or something equally neutral? Only time will tell.

Rishi Sunak has belatedly adopted an SDP policy, just when we were considering it too late and were considering changing it. After all, the first part of HS2 has got so far it would be silly to scrap it now, but it is being scaled back and it’s clear what emerges will be far less than originally envisaged. Of course, the bits being scrapped are the more desirable ones. The bit serving London was built first, so once again London has benefited from a massive public overspend while the rest of the country goes without. It remains to be seen whether the rest of the money will be spent on improving infrastructure in the North, or anywhere outside London. Expect it to be swallowed up in a change of government or further spending cuts. It is high time for a change from the two existing parties to one driven by common sense.

It’s party conference season and the SDP will have ours in around 10 days’ time. I’m looking forward to it as the one day in the year the party generates a buzz and feels as if it could actually go somewhere. Now, we just need to carry that over to the other 365 days of the coming year. What a challenge that will be!

About the Author

K J Petrie has a Full Technological Certificate in Radio, TV and Electronics, an HNC in Digital Electronics and a BA(Hons) in Theological Studies.

His interests include Christian and societal unity, Diverse Diversity, and freedoms from want, from fear, of speech, and of association. He is a member of the Social Democratic Party.

The views expressed here are entirely personal and unconnected with any body to which he belongs.

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