Dave – the editor
After the vote in Parliament on Wednesday 30 September to extend the governments emergency coronavirus powers for another six months, we put up this post: We are where we are. In that post we listed just some of the ills that have been visited upon us as a result of lockdown and the emergence of the ‘new normal’ – here they are:
- Elderly people with COVID-19 plus other co-morbidities being shoved out of hospitals into already overstretched care homes with the inevitable tragic consequences.
- Elderly people in care homes, denied physical contacts with family and friends, going into a rapid mental decline.
- Many bereaved people unable to give their loved ones a decent send off because of the restrictions on numbers able to attend a funeral.
- Restrictions on physical contact at funerals where people in the depths of despair need a comforting hug or an arm round the shoulder.
- People unable to see friends and family for months on end leading to loneliness, depression and despair.
- The long term impact on people’s mental health of the constant messaging that we are to regard each other as potential threats.
- The constant messaging that any kind of physical contact – essentially what makes us human – is to be discouraged.
- The culture of snitching where the public are encouraged to report any breaches of the coronavirus restrictions – classic divide and rule tactics.
- Legitimate fears about rushed through vaccines where the manufacturers have indemnity from any claims should there be adverse side effects.
- The acceleration of the trend towards a cashless economy.
- The need to have a smartphone with the NHS tracking app installed to gain entry to a cafe, restaurant, pub, bar, football ground and many other venues – those that don’t have smartphones are the victims of the digital divide.
- All of this (and I’m only scratching the surface) driving people into depression and even towards thoughts of suicide because there seems to be no end in sight.
At the time of writing, here in England we’re in another lockdown with a promised ‘release’ date of 2 December to go back into what will most likely be a system of tiered alert levels with varying restrictions. What’s different from the time the article linked to above was written is that there is the ‘promise’ of a number of vaccines being dangled in front of us. Vaccines that to all intents and purposes appear to have been ‘developed’ at breakneck speed leading to a growing number of people starting to question their effectiveness and more importantly, their safety. Unsurprisingly, there has been a ratcheting up of the rhetoric from government and their mates in the high tech and pharmaceutical industries against anyone raising questions about the safety of any of these vaccines against COVID-19. We’re all ‘anti-vaxxers’ and ‘conspiracy theorists’ now…
Way back in June, we posted up this piece: An explainer on our (changing) position on the COVID-19 crisis. In it, we expressed our fears about the direction we were heading in, particularly with regard to routes out of lockdown that all involved various degrees of testing, tracking and surveillance. Suffice to say, we got a fair bit of stick for this. Writing this in November, there’s nothing we would have welcomed more than to have been proved utterly wrong in our predictions and be sitting here, red faced with embarrassment while wiping the egg from our faces. That would have been considerably more preferable than the de-humanised high tech dystopia we’re now being bundled into.
Here are just a couple of examples of how we’ll need what is effectively a digital certificate of health to be able to get back to going out to gigs and attending football matches. Firstly there’s this: How Ticketmaster Plans to Check Your Vaccine Status for Concerts: Exclusive and then this: Premier League’s coronavirus testing partner reveals new digital ‘health passport’ that could help fans return to stadiums. All digital and all requiring the possession of a smartphone. If you don’t have or can’t afford a smartphone, effectively, you will find yourself increasingly shut out of society and pushed to the margins: The World Economic Forum widening the digital divide.
For an unelected, unaccountable elite body, The World Economic Forum (WEF) has a lot of clout. A certain Klaus Schwab was a key mover in setting up the WEF. If you want an expose of the dystopian, technocratic, transhumanist future Schwab envisages for us, you really need to read this piece from Winter Oak: Klaus Schwab and his great fascist reset. Before you scream ‘conspiracy theorist’ it should be pointed out that Schwab has written extensively about his ‘vision’ of the future for us mere mortals. Along with Thierry Malleret, Schwab has co-authored this – Covid-19: The Great Reset. Basically, Schwab and his ilk are openly rubbing our faces in it!
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Rahm Emanuel – former White House Chief of Staff 2009-2010
Whatever you may think about the COVID-19 crisis, the likes of Schwab, the WEF, the high tech and pharmaceutical industries and everyone else who stands to gain wealth and/or power from the ‘Great Reset’ haven’t exactly been slow off the mark in using it to further their dystopian agenda. Meanwhile we’ve been sidetracked into arguing about who is and isn’t a conspiracy theorist with the consequences being more of us falling out with each other and what remains of our movement becoming even more of a shadow of its former self.
While we’ve been doing this, resistance to lockdown and the ‘new normal’ has been growing. That resistance spreads across the political spectrum and includes a fair number of folk who would prefer not to be placed anywhere on that spectrum. This resistance is varied and sometimes, quite contradictory. There are some aspects of it that are pretty dubious and others that are very inspirational. It’s a new political phenomena and one outside our experience. While there has been cautious curiosity about it from some anarchists, from others there has been derision. We get the impression that there are some anarchists who rather than make the effort to understand this new phenomena are simply sticking their fingers in their ears and desperately hoping it will fade away. In this lengthy and wide ranging piece we wrote back in October – Stirrings – we deal with how we should and could engage with this resistance from this point: Lockdown, the new ‘normal’ and techno-totalitarianism.
We haven’t got the luxury of being able to sit this one out on the sidelines if we want a future that’s worth living in. Now we’re not asking you to attend the next action the likes of StandUpX or Keep Britain Free organise although we still stand by our position of not condemning the majority of people who do attend because they have been left politically homeless. We are asking you to look at the long term implications of what’s being planned for us and develop whatever strategies of resistance you feel are appropriate for you and your crew. One example of this is the cropsNOTshops crew from Southend who, having taken note of the dystopian technocrats vision of a future of lab grown food, are encouraging people to start growing their own. Essentially, they’re building the new world they want in the shell of the dystopian one we’re currently being forced to endure.
Compared to the situation back in the spring, there’s a fair bit more in the way of healthy cynicism about and questioning of the narrative we’re being fed about the COVID-19 crisis, the lockdowns and the new ‘normal’. This may be our subjective impression but we get the feeling that a growing number of people are merely paying lip service to the restrictions and mask wearing mandates while trying to live as full a life as possible. The crowds out and about in London in places like Victoria Park and Richmond, chilling out and enjoying the fine weather on the first weekend of the second lockdown are testament to this. Not a protest or an action so a lot harder for the thugs of the Tactical Support Group to wade in and break up without adverse publicity. On the other hand, pissed off university students in Manchester who found fences were being erected around their accommodation blocks with no prior consultation took it upon themselves to tear them down. Could this be the spirit of 2010/11 re-emerging? We can but hope with the proviso that lessons from that experience have been learned.
The mood is changing. More people are questioning the narrative we’re being fed and the ‘vision’ of the future we’re being forced to accept. A growing number of people are getting closer to the end of their tethers. Our gut feeling is that things are getting more fractious and tense. Possibly at some point, things could start to get a bit ugly as people realise their futures are being robbed and they have little left to lose. We’re in a volatile situation where’s there’s everything to play for but if we don’t step up to the plate, there’s literally everything to lose. What choice are you going to make?