Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house with ledgers and accounts while his workers struggle through adversity to act with humanity and solidarity. Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his cronies party in Downing St, while foodbanks collect for the hungry, nurses struggle to look after the ill, and some pensioners are cold and alone.
A low level of anxiety and insecurity permeates almost everything these days. Covid and a lying prime minister don’t help. I mean seriously, how are you expected to feel ok and secure when everything around you is uncertain. Will the kids stay in school, will I be in work, will I still have a job, is football going to continue, are the pubs staying open, can we have Xmas?
On top of this, there is the disruption to social life, enforced isolation and yes, depression for lots of people. For these reasons, I understand how and why people are pissed off with masks and lockdowns. Especially when we see the police and government protecting each other as they break the law they impose on everyone else. But this raises a couple of questions, the first is that rejection of masks and other safety measures is not about freedom, it’s not about individual rights, it’s exactly the same as Boris and his mates ignoring the rules, it’s selfishness and a lack of solidarity.
Compassion and solidarity where it has existed have been abused. You have the ‘claps for health workers and essential services’ while denying them decent pay rises. There is talk of a rebalancing of society to value low paid manual workers who keep us alive. The cleaners, binmen, waiters, post workers, drivers, shelf stackers, cashiers, care workers, teaching and nursing assistants, teachers and nurses. (obviously, teachers and nurses are not manual workers) The list goes on and on. But the compassion or solidarity of the government and media are fake. For things to change it will take a fight, I don’t know where or when or how, but this angst, anxiety, depression will have an outlet.
One outlet is the anti-mask, anti-science, anti-logic brigade, who through conspiracies and false rebellions with people like Farage and Fox are forming a loud and active part of society, their essential message is ‘I don’t care- I’m doing what I want- I don’t have to listen to anyone.’
The Sun, The Mail, The Express and their camp followers in the government and BBC will; use these people, like they did before, to blame the crowded doctors waiting rooms, large class sizes, and shitty jobs and wages on the Polish and Romanians. Not on Boris or his replacement. Next year you can bet your bottom dollar that blame for our problems will be put on ‘migrants’, ‘lazy workers’ ‘benefit cheats’ or ‘Europe’.
Scrooge is transformed by the end of the story, having seen the unhappiness of his selfish Christmas past, the cruelty of his penny-pinching Christmas present, and terrified of his lonely Christmas future – without solidarity and humanity- it is a future we all face, but like Scrooge, we have the power to change our future.
So have your family close – solidarity and humanity to all- have a Happy Xmas.
Buy my novel Under The Bridge 20% discount with the code Northodoxmas