I’m curious to get an outsiders view. What’s happening at the moment in Britain with people slipping back to old habits and Government ministers and advisors being accused of breaking the rules?
@ayque Sorry, I don't follow. I am - although a serious Anglophile - not British. I am not sure that I can offer much specifically on the situation in the UK. Here in the States we are in our Memorial Day weekend - customarily treated as the start of the summer vacation season. Various states opened up, in varying degrees, their recreational facilities, subject to various social distancing and other requirements, and the public - depending on the weather - came out.There has not been uniform adherence to the social distancing requirements - and there has been some comment in the media on this. However, file that under "Duh."Public officials can issue guidelines to their heart's content and, in general, people will abide by them but they are apt to be, being imperfect beings, sloppy and imperfect in their adherence to the rules. Plus there is a certain amount of frustration and a sense that officials are issuing rules capriciously and arbitrarily. (In addition, in the US, the rules vary from state to state and this adds a further degree of confusion.)Put it all together and you are getting about what you would expect. What is proposed in the abstract is less easily implemented in practice - and this aggravates a degree of public mistrust and impatience. My hunch then that this is just as true in the UK as the USA.
I think the U. K. public believe the relaxation is disproportionate. For example, families can now drive to parks, open spaces etc as a household but young people living on their own without cars are limited to meeting someone locally staying 2m apart. Yet in busy places, you could be 2m away or even less than 2m away from more than 1 stranger. And then I think there’s also a sense in the public that politicians are interpreting the rules how they like for themselves.
The politicians and advisors interpreting the rules how they like is becoming a big scandal in the UK now. There had been a few cases but in particular, the media, public and some Conservative MPs have been Accusing one of the PMs senior advisors of breaking lockdown rules. Most of the cabinet are defending him saying he followed the rules and saying some of the accusations in the media are untrue.
@ayque Well, it is the populist temper of the times. Similar accusations have been directed to politicians in the United States. Frankly, it is not a matter of great moment. It is not as if the politicians will singlehandedly spread the virus. However, in populist times, a certain whinny self-pity creeps in and that expresses itself in resentment and what Bagheot called "a diffuse distrust and an indiscriminate suspicion." Such distrust and suspicion being, as Bagheot also said, "characteristic of a semi-barbarous people."As to what the polls show, there is what the public says and then what it does. The polls show that Americans continue to support the lockdown - and then you see the teeming beaches weekend.There is not always an equivalence between the public says it believes and what its' actions show that it believes.
Interesting. What are a few of the high profile US cases where politicians have been accused of breaking the rules?
Another question is are global tensions and politics really as bad right now as the media make out?
@ayque As regards the first, Governor Cuomo of New York, Governor Whitmer of Michigan and the Mayor of Chicago have been accused. For what it is worth, it has not really been pursued that aggressively.As to the latter, that is a very broad question and not easily answered in such limited space. In general, tensions between the United States and China too seem to be intensifying and - indeed - the UK seems to be taking an even harder line. As far as being viewed through the prism of the media, first, it is always best to recall that conflict - usually short of outright war - is the general condition of the international arena. Human being are imperfect and conflict is par for the course.The media magnifies this - not necessarily intentionally though it sometimes does sensationalize - but by focusing on an issue, it creates the psychological illusion of intensity. By looking at a thing very closely, we tend to lose perspective and it appears to us larger.That said, there were tensions in the international arena before and there is no reason to belief that they are any less. As Theodore Roosevelt said, "World peace comes not from human kindness or moral restraint, but from balanced power; equilibriums of force restraining the selfish aims of nation-states."To the extent that you are referring to the domestic politics of various countries, obviously that will vary and each case must be judged on its own merits.
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And I've got a half collapsed lung too. Lol