‘Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past’ - George Orwell
BRISBANE – ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’ was a acclaimed British television drama series written by the Liverpool, UK, playwright Alan Bleasdale.
It was initially screened during the Autumn of 1982 following a period of fomenting civil unrest that culminated in the notorious inner city riots within Liverpool’s Toxteth district.
Amidst the Thatcher-Reagan alliance with its rubric of trickle-down economics, profits were privatised and losses socialised.
The ensuing wealth unlike blame failed to reach the downtrodden in the lowest echelons and that infamous sophism from Thatcher, the illegitimate daughter of Satan, still resonates: ‘There is no such thing as society’.
The final episode of ‘Boys from the Blackstuff’, entitled ‘George’s Last Ride’ involves a surreal reunion of the cast at The Green Man pub in the low provenance Vauxhall district.
It depicts the emerging despair and anomie when society is manipulated solely by the market economy.
The subsequent bedlam includes an anxious confrontation between Shake Hands (Iggy Navarro), an enigmatic character with an immobilising handgrip, and the manic Yosser Hughes (Bernard Hill), which reinforces the maxim, ‘Violence typically suits those with nothing to lose’.
The distressed publican ekes out an existence on a volatile cocktail of antidepressants washed down with regular shots of Bells scotch whisky so he can cope with the prevailing madness.
Meanwhile, a deranged glass collector mine sweeps unfinished glasses containing dregs of beer contaminated with amphetamines.
A redundancy party from a nearby factory exacerbates the mayhem and mindlessly squanders their meagre severance pay during an afternoon session of drunken debauchery.
Amidst the chaos, a former waiter from the exclusive Adelphi Hotel in the city provided additional entertainment with whistling renditions of several renowned but often irritating music hall melodies.
The lost soul is eventually ejected through the pub window by several inebriated clients and lands outside on the adjacent pavement unharmed and assiduously continuing his limited repertoire.
The episode closes with the main cast aimlessly wandering through dilapidated litter strewn thoroughfares against a bleak backdrop of demolition crews with a wrecking ball flattening the former Tate and Lyle sugar refinery in nearby Love Lane.
The renowned psychologist and mystic Carl Gustav Jung once pronounced the city of Liverpool as The Pool of Life and his disillusionment with the concept of scientific rationalism is comprehensible.
Jung is featured on the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album cover along the top row adjacent to ‘Man you should have seen them kicking’, Edgar Allan Poe.
Another notable visionary was the former MP for Liverpool Exchange, the late Bessie Braddock, a forthright firebrand earned many national accolades during her relentless social housing and public health crusades and brought personal experiences of life in the Liverpool slums into the heart of Westminster.
This indefatigable suffragist is commemorated by a statue on the concourse of Liverpool’s Lime Street Station.
Her campaigns often involved inflammatory language and, like most visionaries, she was much maligned by adversaries and often scorned by the media.
Despite its popularity, the frequently reported exchange between her and a bibulous Winston Churchill was allegorical.
Churchill, the irreverent alcoholic, is often acclaimed as a great leader but was quite prepared to sacrifice Australia during World War II.
Many sycophants considered his finest hour was the infamous parliamentary peroration on 4 June 1940:
We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.”
Meanwhile deep within the bowels of Whitehall, the contemptuous piss tank was frantically plotting a clandestine escape to Canada.
During the Covid-1984 pandemic shaking hands is considered deeply transgressive or even criminal and a plethora of reactive public health and hygiene regulations with stentorian language emerged to control its spread or ‘flatten the curve’.
The discourse often contained mixed messages although 10,000 regulations on the statute destroy all respect for law.
Meanwhile, big data and algorithms enable the deep state to function simultaneously like an eagle and an insect, which is reminiscent of the reign of terror in Romania under Nicolae Ceauşescu.
A corporatised government establishes a macro-synopsis of society and concurrently mimics a burrowing termite, which acquires a clandestine microanalysis of the daily chores and activities of its suppressed subjects.
Suprasurveillance commenced long before emergence of the Covid-1984 pandemic, which merely acts as an accelerant.
Many cynics claim he pandemic was deliberately contrived to enable our corporatised federal and state governments to further extend power and control over citizens.
It is so, however, that the state will never waste a crisis and it merely seized an opportunity as it emerged. The real pandemic is politically created panic.
Most conspiracy theorists would much rather be victims of a sinister scheme than of chance because plots render the world somewhat pliable to human will whereas chance by definition is beyond human control.
However malign, any society manipulated by human will is far less frightening and much more comprehensible than an environment where events occur, events which human beings never intended to happen.
Following the pandemic, shaking hands generated an inordinate fear of contamination and this prevails across most countries. Many people believe simple daily routines will change forever and become denoted by the abbreviation BC (Before Covid).
Others place tremendous faith in the restorative powers of amnesia, especially following a traditional Liverpool or Glasgow Kiss.
Following his inauguration President Joe Biden authorised a truckload of executive mandates, which included compulsory wearing of facemasks in federal buildings.
The presidency commenced by joining an exclusive assortment of tyrants and pompous panjandrums that persistently flouts many of the impracticable rules they impose on others.
Later that evening Sleepy Joe appeared at the Lincoln Memorial without a facemask. A ditzy press secretary proclaimed President Bidentime was “participating in a rather historic event and had far more important issues to worry about at this moment in time”.
Facial expression is crucial in social interaction, especially amongst babies and infants, and many humans find facemasks are a potent symbol of mass hysteria and widespread fear.
Moreover, their compulsory wearing is dehumanising and a gross violation of fundamental human rights and can only ever be justified by compelling evidence of their efficacy in community protection.
Rather than protecting communities, facemasks have provided many politicians with delusions of omnipotence and even enabled several police officers in Melbourne to indulge in behaviour reminiscent of an episode of Walker Texas Ranger.
Indeed, the mandatory provisions are typically underpinned by fearmongering and have usurped a corpus of scientific evidence accumulated over many decades, also refuting the established but somewhat contentious occupational hygiene concept enshrined in most workplace health and safety statutes.
During March 2020, Dr Anthony Fauci told people not to walk around wearing facemasks and advised that it may make them feel somewhat safe and secure but cannot offer perfect protection.
However, in July 2020 he called for everyone to wear facemasks and concluded the original advice was intended to avoid a shortage of personal protective equipment and ensure sufficient supplies were readily available for healthcare workers.
In September 2020, he proclaimed compulsory use of facemasks would probably prove unsuccessful. Almost a month later on 23 October 2020 during a CNN interview he requested a nationwide universal mandate covering compulsory use of facemasks.
His family and close colleagues must hope he changes his underwear and socks with such regularity.
In the United States, random community trials covering the effectiveness of facemasks confirm the practice has a negligible effect on virus transmission.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 85% of affected Americans attested to regularly wearing facemasks several weeks before infection was diagnosed.
Facemasks may act as a psychological crutch against fear although the World Health Organisation has identified many limitations and deficiencies, which include generating a false sense of security and inadvertently encouraging precarious behaviour.
State directives in most countries are often influenced by bad science and littered with scientific illiteracy and there is no compelling evidence that families need to wear facemasks during an excursion to the nearby beach or local park.
A Wisconsin state agency ordered its employees to wear facemasks during Zoom teleconferences although many participants were alone at home. In Washington state, renowned for its damp weather, facemasks are a mandatory requirement for outdoor sporting activities even though a wet mask is useless.
Facemasks do not significantly reduce the associated risks and may even increase transmission by entrapping the virus and enhancing surface contamination.
This is verified by an extensive range of research although Gucci or Louis Vuitton et al are making an opportunity out of the crisis. Designer facemasks embroidered with distinctive logos are readily available on the shelves of most boutique fashion stores in the main thoroughfares of major cities and propagating through a wide range of online shopping networks.
This reinforces how well history does irony, although it has silenced the ban the burka movement.
Moreover, high street banks once feared masked robbers and installed signs demanding that motorcyclists to remove their helmets before entering the premises.
Meanwhile, initial shots have been fired in the vaccine wars and a geopolitical battle has emerged around vial diplomacy.
Rather than cooperating with one another during the complex deployment of vaccines, the major powers have engaged in a fierce and increasingly patriotic crusade, which is turning quite nasty.
Its impact on national security, industrial policy, immigration and travel will soon emerge and significant consequences are likely to persist over many years, which was reinforced by Jean-Paul Sartre, “When the rich make war it’s the poor who die”.
Evidence shows that the pandemic is a wicked problem requiring a transdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on the existential dialectic, which many critics claim is merely dancing on a pin head and typically becomes embroiled with many inconsistencies.
The scientific method with its evidence based facts and figures has hardly bathed itself in glory. It has generated many more questions than answers with plenty of bad science, bad pharma and blatant dishonesty.
The following maxim from Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’ resonates:
All this was inspired by the principle—which is quite true within itself—that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods.
The author wishes to thank Kate Andrews, Ramesh Thakur and Matthew Lynn for their recent articles in Spectator Australia and Anthony Daniels for a piece entitled Will We Ever Shake Hands Again from Quadrant