Victory in Europe?
Special Guest Feature
For “balance”, and in order to understand huges swathes of UK view, a great friend of mine has indulged in a birthday present to himelf – a subscription to the Daily Telegraph. He has created this collage of actual headlines – well done Sir! Sarcasm at its very finest. Featuring – Downplay, Eurobashing, Culture Wars, Jingoism and The Bizarre.
No Cause for Celebration?
Week One: Lessons are are not learnt. The British government suspiciously squirms to separate announcements of two grim milestones; 1) the highest number of Covid deaths in Europe, 2) rising above 30,000 deaths.
On 7th May many papers jump the gun and headline the yet-to-be-announced easing of lockdown regulations, like celebrating Victory in Europe Day.
Other publications are less joyful. The Guardian points to global press opinion……….
The Guardian 7th MayFrom Italy to Australia, critics have accused a “complacent” British government of “massively underestimating” the gravity of the crisis after the UK reported the highest death toll in Europe.
Beppe Severgnini, an opinion writer on Corriere della Sera, said it seemed clear Britain had “lost the advantage that fate and Italy gave it – for example, the first two weeks of the outbreak in Italy when it was obvious the virus was spreading”.
The British government “did not pay enough attention to what was happening here, while Germany responded very well”, Severgnini said. “The two great British virtues – understatement and grace under fire – have turned out to not be a blessing.”
He said the UK was served neither by “a very weak cabinet” nor Johnson’s character: “He’s not Trump, though there is something similar in their approaches, but in this kind of challenge you need to really work hard on details. He’s not a details person.”
Beyond Italy – where the Covid-19 death toll, which does not include suspected cases, is just over 29,000 – German commentators were also critical. Britain has emerged as Europe’s “problem child” of the Covid-19 crisis, the DPA news agency’s London correspondent Christoph Meyer wrote.
Meanwhile back in Blighty, on the day before VE Day bank holiday, there’s a palpable change in atmosphere; perhaps in joyous anticipation of Boris delivering freedom ‘Churchillain fashion’ next Sunday. The roads are busier than ever. People flock to the replenished supermarkets, taking scant precaution. I am one of only a handful wearing a mask in the shop. The nice girl on the til tells me she also works in a care home and that they just got their supply of PPE last week – which was the end of April.
And by the time VE Day comes round, even The Daily Telegraph pitches in on the PPE scandal
Could Do Better
A friend points me to a scientifically based research website tracking the virus. https://www.endcoronavirus.org/countries In ways it is refreshing to study good progress being made in a lot of countries. Mighty concerning for other nations – including USA and UK. screenshots May 10th in this month’s gallery below……
With Bated Breath
On Sunday 10th May the nation eagerly tunes in to the prime minster to reveal next step policy and plans to tackle the corona virus. We are not disappointed.
By mid May the mixed emotions of the last three months turn for me to one of resignation to fate. That is not to belittle what is going on, nor stop feeling for the plight of those less fortunate, however one has to move on and cope.
But not presently – this thing ain’t “over” just yet. The UK government’s new guidelines add more confusion, particularly the first tentative (premature) steps to ending lockdown.
Enormous amounts of extra money are pledged across all sectors where fires burn. The furlough scheme is extended through to October. The chancellor admits the UK contracted by 2% first quarter alone; that with lockdown being introduced just 9 days before the end. He declares it highly likely we move into recession by end of second quarter. …..No shit Sherlock!
I discover a new COVID tracker with projections. This is highly interesting, plotting the situation in countries where “reliable” and enough data is present. The pivotable ways of viewing are fascinating. Best assumptions point to the virus petering out by August in many regions – this as of Mid May.
With that, dear reader, I am shutting the May section of the blog on this, the 14th. I’ve actually got work piling up. I’ll return in June, hopefully with a different slant and generally less political in nature! At least the May sunshine has been lovely.
Coorg Album of the Month