Those 20th century masters of societal foresight, Orwell and Huxley, must be smirking as they look down from their ‘cloud’. It’s hard to follow COVID-19 spread, let alone scope eventual global social, economic and political impacts. It’s difficult to grasp the likely global outcomes of this hyper-fast evolving pandemic. While we can see the health/economic impacts developing hourly, we need to think and prepare for the long-term global social and political implications. Just like for 9/11, our “scared new world” will never be the same again.
An extensive field of opportunists is already running in this race to gain profit and win the high ground in this global perfect-storm converging event. In no specific ranking or significance, I would like to highlight a range of them: -
- Boris Johnston (BOJO) himself, has been masterful in his switch from the now secondary Brexit issue to this rapidly developing pandemic - “Brexit-who-what?” His corralling of Treasury only weeks ago shows his politically insightful, wartime-like Churchillian command of the situation, when he put Chancellor (Treasurer) Javid in an intolerable position and effectively secured his resignation. It has delivered him a compliant Treasury willing to empty the coffers in order to save the Nation. Its massive wide-reaching second package can be reviewed at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/support-for-those-affected-by-covid-19 .
- BOJO’s recent private hospitals tactic is masterful and opportunistic. Private hospitals were losing business as pandemic-focused customers don’t need elective treatments so it was agreed that they would provide spare capacity to the NHS at cost. Private health also sees this mutual public and private sector support as a marketing exercise for future customers - “look at us and how good/supportive we are”. This is a prime opportunity for them to gain a commitment for future (profitable) outsourcing from the NHS, which anti-Trumpers have feared in the post Brexit world.
- The Australian universities were already in trouble with the failed, self-interested profiteering business model which swells their coffers and ruthlessly exploits full fee-paying international students. This now-empty gravy train needs replacing, and they are lobbying for an Australian-based government-funded subsidy. They should join the queue and use some of their bulging endowment funds before expecting special treatment from the taxpayer.
- The Climate Change Cultists (CCC), while it’s still too early for indoctrinated pro-climate-change academics to apply for grants and do research, they are already trolling social media with their CCC alarmist/opportunity stories. Examples include that expertise in global warming strategies will be invaluable in resolving the COVID-19 pandemic, that global warming is an important aspect of COVID-19 spread/impact while some are even spruiking that ‘climate-stress’ enabled the animal-to-human transfer of COVID-19.
- The media are having a field day, with hyperactive journos scrambling for who can find the best scare angle, to gain brownie points, promotion and a go at getting on the front page. OurABC’s mega-voice, “Stormin-Norman” Swan, is now Their ABC star player, as he broadcasts his alternative/contradictory views of their arch enemy, the Liberal ScoMo government advice from its expert panels.
- The panic-buying elements of our population hoarding toilet paper, sanitizer and masks etc, encouraged by media-fed hysteria, now expand their shopping lists to include fresh veggies, frozen food, rice, meat, canned food, bleach, cleaning products, etc. We are turning into “doomsday preppers”, as seen on those USA mid-west, white-extremist, paranoia documentaries.
- The World Health Organisation having been manipulated to run China’s propaganda for months, delayed declaring this pandemic. Yet, it now limply tries to regain credibility by saying how important China has been in managing the global response.
- Finally, “CHAI-NA’s” communist, but aspirational pseudo-capitalist government. As Wuhan factories are reportedly ramping-up again (if true), China is now spruiking propaganda such as: the New York Times promoted Trump ‘black-ops’ conspiracies; ‘humanitarian’ flights to support its Belt-and-Road-Initiative European socialist ‘partners’ such as Italy/Spain and; promotion of Trump’s assault on global unity, and withdrawal from being the world leader, inferring China is the new true global leader, despite setting the worst example through its secret mismanagement of this global shocking event.
The “CHAI-NA” gameplay on this will be won in the media and propaganda including who gets funding to “rewrite” the history of this event. Already 15-minute SkyNEWS UK summaries are summarising the event’s history, without mentioning China’s source role. Secrecy, suppression, imprisonment of whistle-blowers (5 relatively young, healthy doctors now dead from COVID-19), lack of scientific disclosure of the source and China’s non-regulation of their beloved ‘wet’, wild animal markets are the hallmarks of “Chai-na’s” role in the pandemic which will deliver an economic crisis globally for years to come.
President Trump is correct to push his “Chai-na” virus label. To argue racist/divisiveness is a mistake that China is happy to exploit, with key Western media slavishly spruiking China’s propaganda. This will enable China to escape/avoid its global accountability and be strengthened in its long-term global aspirations. China aspires to manipulate this China-virus pandemic opportunity to deliver an even bigger slice of the global economy for itself. If achieved, Trump’s unacceptable “Chai-na” virus words will be purged from the global digital records. The victor in war always writes the history!
While my expertise is soundly anchored in the study and management of water and the environment, I did spend intense weeks in the inner depths of the now long-forgotten/buried 1998 Sydney Water Crypto-sporidium/Giardia Crisis. The parallel social, political, health, media hysterical panic (within Government and the community) is spine-chillingly familiar. The impacts of that incident are still rippling round the world’s water industry.
While pondering this pandemic constrained in splendid self-imposed, socially-distant, home offices we should ponder this event’s outcomes. We must analyse, as opposed to reacting to, the tsunami of real, edited, partisan and fake news that is crossing the global “inter-web”. There is a strong field of competing opportunists already who desire a post-Scared New World where more power, influence and profit will be theirs, at our cost.
BOJO’s speech (Prime time evening speech to the UK ) to the nation last week re-enforces my view that he really is taking on a wartime patter, that Churchill would be proud of. Worth watching in full, as a benchmark for other world-leaders, Also, an example to other leaders in style, content and pitch.
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