When all this is over we’re going to look back and see who has had a good war and who has had a bad war; who called it right, who covered themselves in glory, who showed themselves to be an hysterical bedwetter, who placed too much trust in the wrong “experts”, and so on.
Piers Morgan, I think we can all agree, has not had a good war.
Definitely on the list of those who have had a good war is the excellent Sherelle Jacobs.
Her Telegraph piece today — ‘This virus is the West’s Berlin Wall moment’ — is bang on the nail.
“To put lockdown in the most cynical terms, the Government has decided to crash the economy rather than expose itself to political criticism.”
Yes. One of the lessons we’re going to learn in the aftermath of this crisis is that too many governments — including Britain’s — set far too much store by the dubious prognostications and dodgy models of their house scientific “experts”; and paid far too little attention to the economic and socio-political implications of what these overcautious, skin-saving, hidebound, model-dependent “experts” were advising us to do on the basis of their shaky scientific hypotheses.
We have all become victims of a giant junk-science experiment which threatens to cause far, far more harm than anything the coronavirus might ever have managed.
The sooner we realise this and start rowing back, the sooner we can go about retrieving what’s left of the global economy.
At least Donald Trump gets this. This, I believe, is the single most important thing any world statesman has said — or ever will say — about the coronavirus pandemic:
WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD, WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 23, 2020
And thank heavens he does get it. As America leads so the rest of the world follows. If Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama — or indeed Joe Biden — were U.S. president right now it would be a very different story.
This tweet from Biden tells you all you need to know:
Let me be very clear: No one is expendable. No matter your age, race, gender, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability.
No life is worth losing to add one more point to the Dow.
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) March 25, 2020
OK, so on one level it’s just a shameless, cynical attempt to position himself as the anti-Trump, so that he can hoover up any spare votes in the event of Trump’s response being found wanting, or in the event of lots of people dying.
But on another, it characterises everything that is wrong with the left’s thinking generally — but also with the thinking of all those people in the middle or on the right who have recently been championing leftist thinking in the belief that desperate times call for extraordinary measures.
I’d like to focus particularly on that weasel phrase “one more point to the Dow.” Biden is inviting us to believe that the Dow — i.e. the performance of the markets — is dispensable; he is playing on the notion, so prevalent among the deluded left, that the financial sector is purely the preserve of overprivileged one percenters with top hats and cigars.
This couldn’t be more wrong. When the Dow sneezes we all catch a cold — one which, in dark times like these, will have far greater impact and cause more damage than Covid-19.
The markets, after all, are merely an expression of the health of the global economy. And the health of the global economy means EVERYTHING.
I got quite cross about this on my recent podcast with Sven Hughes, who put it to me that there was something heartless, uncaring and not helpful to conservatism when I argued that we are overvaluing the lives of the mostly elderly or health-compromised people dying as a result of coronavirus and undervaluing the broader economy.
The new The Truth Trade @trade_truth interview is now up. The @BreitbartLondon and @spectator journalist James Delingpole @JamesDelingpole discusses influence and Coronavirus. https://t.co/CThEigAwvW pic.twitter.com/5rr1kJOvRg
— TheTruthTrade® (@trade_truth) March 23, 2020
The markets, I had forcibly to remind him, are what enable you to choose multiple different kinds of bread — from artisanal sourdough to prepackaged sliced — when you go to the shops; they are the pension which gives you a comfortable retirement; they’re the one or two holidays abroad you can afford to take each year; they are your kids’ job prospects; they are pretty much everything that makes your life and my life worth living.
We are still far too focused, to the point of morbid obsession, on the coronavirus; we’re not nearly as concerned as we ought to be about the economic damage our overreaction is doing.
This needs to change. And fast.
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