cultural peculiarities

NYT’s Charles Blow demands the removal of monuments to Washington and other “amoral monsters”
Niles Niemuth, WSWS Jul 1 2020

image-6Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge. (John Ward Dunsmore, 1907)

An opinion piece by NYT columnist Charles Blow appeared online Sunday under the headline, “Yes, Even George Washington,” calling for the removal of all public monuments to the first POTUS, whom Blow has judged to be among the “amoral monsters” who lead the American Revolution and helped found the country 244 years ago. Blow declares:

On the issue of American slavery, I am an absolutist: enslavers were amoral monsters.

His argument is an extension of that advanced in the NYT’s racialist 1619 Project, which claims that the aim of the American Revolution was to defend slavery against British plans for its abolition. Blow writes, with the special elegance that distinguishes his columns:

Some people who are opposed to taking down monuments ask, “If we start, where will we stop?” It might begin with Confederate generals, but all slave-owners could easily become targets. Even George Washington himself.” To that I say: “Abso-fricking-lutely!”

Early Monday morning, not long after Blow’s column was published, the monument arch in Washington Square Park in NYC commemorating the centenary of Washington’s inauguration was vandalized with red paint. The paint dripped down from the heads of two statues of Washington, one depicting him as the commander of the revolutionary Continental Army and the other as president. This latest assault on a monument to Washington follows the pulling down last month of Washington and Jefferson monuments in Portland, Oregon, and the toppling of a bust of Civil War General and Reconstruction President Ulysses S Grant in San Francisco. Monuments to Abraham Lincoln, who led the Second American revolution and destroyed slavery, as well as monuments to abolitionists such as Robert Gould Shaw and Hans Christian Heg, have come under attack as racist and “white supremacist.” The attack by the NYT on Washington is a part of the effort by the Demagog Party and its operatives to derail the popular multi-racial protests against police violence which erupted last month in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. Capitalizing on the historical ignorance which they have fostered, Blow and the NYT are working overtime to redirect popular opposition along racial lines and behind the Demagog Party.

There is nothing progressive in the destruction of statues and monuments which memorialize the leaders of the American Revolution and the Civil War. But for Blow, there is nothing to discuss about the contradictory yet progressive legacy of the men who led the first Revolution and set the ground for the annihilation of slavery less than nine decades later. If one accepts Blow’s definition of those who owned slaves as amoral monsters, beyond the pale, then even those who opposed slavery at the time, such as John Adams, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin cannot be judged innocent. After all, they collaborated with those evil beasts, Washington and Jefferson, in waging war against Great Britain and establishing a Constitution which protected slavery. The whole project to create “A government of laws and not of men,” a precept laid out by Adams, must be thrown out, having been tainted by the irredeemable sin of slavery.

If indeed the American Revolution was made by “amoral monsters,” how is it possible that these wicked creatures, beyond human compassion and unconstrained by any ethical considerations, came to produce such moral and epoch-shaping documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Pindo Constitution and the Bill of Rights? How was it possible that Thomas Jefferson could claim, in a world dominated by monarchies and feudal relations, where birth meant everything and hierarchy dominated, that it is self-evident that all men were created equal? Or advance the conception that the people had a right to revolution, to overthrow an oppressive government and establish their own? Prior to Jefferson the right to life, liberty and property had been clearly outlined, but in the Declaration of Independence he advanced a much more radical conception of the “right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.” Such a conception could only have been advanced at a time when questions were being raised about the very nature of property and what it meant to hold any form of property, particularly fellow human beings.

Despite Blow’s contention, even Washington’s relationship to slavery both in regards to the political as well as the personal was in fact quite complex and changed over time from a position of taking the institution as a given, having inherited his first slaves from his father while still a boy, to questioning the institution among his closest correspondents and ultimately freeing his slaves after his death. As with society at large, it was the American Revolution, with its declaration of fundamental human equality, which placed for the first time a question mark on Washington’s views on slavery. In 1774, he signed his name to the Fairfax Resolves, a document which included a denunciation of the trans-Atlantic slave trade as “wicked, cruel and unnatural,” and called for its immediate end. During the American Revolution nearly 5k blacks served under his command in the Continental Army, and Washington approved the formation of all-black battalions with the guarantee of emancipation for those slaves who fought for American independence. He wrote to a friend in 1786:

I have no intention of buying another slave, it being among my first wishes to see some plan adopted by which slavery in this Country may be abolished by slow, sure, & imperceptable degrees.

While he signed the first Fugitive Slave Act as president in 1793, allowing for masters to reclaim runaway slaves, Washington also signed the renewed North-West Ordinance in 1789 which banned slavery in the areas north of the Ohio river and east of the Mississippi and the 1794 Slave Trade Act, which prohibited citizens and residents from engaging in the international slave trade. Despite efforts to appease the slave interests, the growing divisions between Southern slave states and Northern free states which would erupt in the Civil War were already becoming clear at this early point in Pindo history. Revolutions are studied and celebrated, with all their blemishes, because they are key moments in history in which humanity pushed forward into the unknown. Such were the advances made by the American Revolution and the Civil War; the French Revolution and Haitian Revolution; and the Russian Revolution of 1917. The inconsistencies of the revolutionaries, and the setbacks that followed the advances, testify to the complexity and contradictory character of the historical process. But the failures do not discredit the advances made.

Blow is oblivious to history. Instead he advances a religious conception of history, in which man is fundamentally evil, having fallen from the graces of God. Anything which pays tribute to anyone or anything complicit in the sin of slavery must be condemned and expunged. This moral certitude, however, raises serious questions about this wrathful moralist’s employment at the New York Times. How can Blow account for the fact that he works for a newspaper that defended slavery before the Civil War, and which inveighed mercilessly and ruthlessly against the abolitionists who fiercely agitated for the end of slavery in the 1850s? An editorial published by the paper on May 11, 1859, “The Abolitionists Again,” denounced abolitionist writings as “trash” and slandered William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips as “stock actors of the troupe.” The paper also carried a report that relished in the attempted lynching of an abolitionist in Mississippi in Sep 1857, who had a rope placed around his neck and was whipped 238 times by a pro-slavery mob. Given the paper’s history of spewing anti-Abolitionist rhetoric, Blow is certainly obligated to resign from the NYT and call for its closure. Under Blow’s rubric, there can be no excuse that these articles were written more than 150 years ago.

The NYT certainly is rotten, not because of what was published in its pages in 1859 but because of what is published in its pages today in defense of capitalism (wage slavery) and imperialism. But it is doubtful that Blow will go that far. After all, his moral absolutes end at the point when they might adversely affect his own professional and financial interests. Writing in 1939, Leon Trotsky, the co-leader of the Russian Revolution and founder of the Fourth International, took the measure of the moralistic, hypocritical and cynical, approach to history taken by the likes of Blow and the NYT, writing:

These gentlemen forget with remarkable ease that man has been cutting his path from a semi-simian condition to a harmonious society without any guide; that the task is a difficult one, that for every step or two forward there follows half a step, a step, and sometimes even two steps back. They forget that the path is strewn with the greatest obstacles and that no one has invented or could have invented a secret method whereby an uninterrupted rise on the escalator of history would be rendered secure. Sad to say, Messrs Rationalists were not invited to a consultation when man was in process of creation and when the conditions of man’s development were first taking shape. But generally speaking, this matter is beyond repair. For argument’s sake, let us grant that all previous revolutionary history and, if you please, all history in general is nothing but a chain of mistakes. But what to do about present day reality? What about the colossal army of permanently unemployed, the pauperized farmers, the general decline of economic levels, the approaching war? The skeptical wiseacres promise us that sometime in the future they will catalogue all the banana peels on which the great revolutionary movements of the past have slipped. But will these gentlemen tell us what to do today, right now? We would wait in vain for an answer.

Anti-Russia war fever spreads on Capitol Hill
Patrick Martin, WSWS, Jul 1 2020

Groups of congression critturs have visited the White House over the past two days for briefings on allegations that the Russian military intelligence agency GRU offered bounties to Taliban fighters who killed Pindo soldiers in Afghanistan. They have emerged bristling with demands for retaliation, with one Thug senator declaring:

I want to hear their plan for Taliban and GRU agents in body bags.

In other words, he wants to hear the Ehite House’s plan for military action by Pindostan against Russia, possessor of the world’s second largest stockpile of nuclear weapons. The “Russian bounties” campaign is a fabrication by the Pindo military intelligence apparatus and its preferred mouthpiece, the NYT, which signaled the kick-off of the current campaign with a front-page article Saturday that provided no evidence either of bounties paid or Pindo soldiers killed, only reiterating endlessly that intel boxtops believed that Russia had carried out such an operation. Four days into the affair, there has still been no evidence produced. Not a single witness to the offering, payment or receipt of a “bounty” has been cited. Not a single one of the 31 Pindo military deaths in Afghanistan in 2019 and 2020 has been credibly linked to alleged Russian payments. The AP carried a report Monday that “Officials are focused in particular” on the death of three Marines, killed when a car bomb exploded outside of Bagram AFB in Apr 2019, but did not explain what reason there was for investigating that particular incident. The same article asserted that captured Taliban fighters had told interrogators about the alleged bounties, claiming:

Boxtops with knowledge of the matter told the AP that Taliban operatives from opposite ends of the country and from separate tribes offered similar accounts. The boxtops would not name the specific groups, or give specific locations in Afghanistan, or time-frames for when they were detained.

Aside from the absence of proof, there is a complete absence of motive. Why would the Russian government want to kill a handful of Pindo soldiers in Afghanistan? What purpose would that serve, in terms of Russian foreign policy? Why would they pay fighters of the Taliban, long branded as terrorists by Moscow? Why would fighters in the Taliban, a group whose origins lie in the Islamic fundamentalist guerrilla groups that fought Soviet troops in the 1980s, serve as Moscow’s mercenaries? And why, given that they have fought American imperialism to a stalemate in nearly 20 years of war, suffering massive casualties in the process, would Taliban fighters need a monetary incentive to kill Pindo soldiers? None of these questions is even raised in the Pindo corporate media, which reproduces the allegations of the intelligence agencies as though they were unchallengeable truths, no matter how stupid, uncorroborated and self-contradictory.

For official Faschingstein, the “Russian bounties” campaign is merely the latest chapter in the political warfare that has raged for the past four years, since the FBI and CIA began investigating alleged ties between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the Russian government. The Demagog Party has consistently lined up with the sections of the military intelligence apparatus that have viewed Trump as too soft on Russia and too inclined to abandon longstanding Pindo interventions in the Middle East and Central Asia, from Afghanistan to Syria. Frightened by the vast popular hostility directed against Trump’s attacks on democratic rights, his racist diatribes against immigrants and minorities, and his subordination of all government policy to the needs of Wall Street and big business, the Demagogs have sought to divert all opposition to Trump behind a right-wing campaign to brand him as a stooge of Putin, and create a political constituency for Pindo military confrontation with Russia that could lead to nuclear war. This was the content of the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian intervention in the 2016 elections, conducted for some two and a half years. This was followed by the campaign over Trump’s withholding of military aid to Ukraine while demanding an investigation into the business activities of Hunter Biden, the son of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, which led to Trump’s impeachment and Senate trial.

The congressional Demagogs and the Biden campaign have seized on the supposed expose by the NYT as another opportunity to revive the anti-Russia hysteria and wage an election campaign centered on portraying Trump as an agent of Putin, a virtual rerun of the 2016 campaign by Hillary Clinton that ended with Trump winning a surprise victory in the Electoral College. This would have two major purposes: enabling Biden to avoid addressing the massive social crisis demonstrated in the mounting COVID-19 death toll and the accompanying economic slump; and conditioning the Pindo sheeple to regard Russia with suspicion and hostility, in order to prepare the political climate for war. The Demagogs and their media allies have sought to focus attention, not on any evidence of Russian payment of bounties, but on claims that Trump failed to respond aggressively enough, or was too indolent even to notice when the intelligence agencies first raised the issue, in Feb 2020 by one account, a year earlier in other reports. The less said about the absence of evidence the better, as far as the CIA is concerned. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the top Demagog in Faschingstein, reiterated her “all roads lead to Russia” critique of Trump in an interview with CNN on Monday morning, saying:

It seems clear that the intelligence is real. The question is whether the President was briefed. If he was not briefed, why would he not be briefed? Were they afraid to approach him on the subject of Russia?

She speculated that the CIA did not tell Trump about the bounties for fear he would tell Putin. Among the group of ten Demagogs who visited the White House Tuesday morning were two freshmen representatives, newly elected in 2018, who would normally not have been considered for such a high-level mission. But these two, Elissa Slotkin of Michigan and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, are both former CIA officers, and thus personify the ever-closer alignment between the Demagog Party and the intelligence agencies. Another member of the “CIA Demagogs,” the group of nearly a dozen who entered Congress in 2018 from military intelligence backgrounds, Rep Max Rose of New York, a former combat commander in Afghanistan, said:

It’s sickening that American soldiers have been killed as a result of Russian bounties on their heads, and the Commander in Chief didn’t do a thing to stop it.

Biden used similar language at a press conference that followed his speech on coronavirus in Wilmington, Delaware. In response to media questions, he described Trump’s response to the alleged Russian bounties as “dereliction of duty,” using the same phrase three separate times, in an effort to play up Trump’s deficiencies as “commander-in-chief.” Some Thugs joined in the anti-Russia chorus, albeit without criticizing Trump’s response. This included Sen Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who made the comment about “Taliban and GRU body bags,” calling that a necessary “proportional response” to the alleged Russian action. Sen Todd Young of Indiana, a former Marine intelligence officer, said the alleged Russian operation “deserves a strong and immediate response from our government.” He called for Senate hearings and for Trump to rescind any invitation for Russia to rejoin the G7, and for personal financial sanctions on Putin. The only reluctance to enlist in the anti-Russia campaign came from the Pentagon, whose spox said late Monday:

There is no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports.

The NSA (a property of the Pentagon – RB), which monitors all telecommunications in the Afghanistan region, reportedly told CBS News:

The claim of Russian bounty-hunting does not match well-established and verifiable Taliban and Haqqani practices, and lacks sufficient reporting to corroborate any links.

But for the bulk of the intelligence establishment, the conventional wisdom was expressed in a commentary in the WaPo by David Ignatius, a columnist who is a frequent conduit for the national-security establishment. While admitting “there’s a lot we still don’t know about the Russian bounties in Afghanistan,” the understatement of the week, he concluded:

Trump is an obstacle to good policy. Either people don’t tell him the truth, or he doesn’t want to hear it. Whichever way, he’s defaulting on his most basic responsibility as commander in chief.

In other words, Trump should be removed, as the Demagogs have been arguing for years, not because of his right-wing policies and aspirations to establish an authoritarian regime, but because he is too unreliable in his role as the principal defender of the interests of Pindo imperialism all over the world.

Trump promises to VETO defense budget bill if military bases honoring Confederate officers are renamed
RT.com, Jul 1 2020

President Trump threatened to reject next year’s National Defense Authorization bill if congress critturs go ahead with Confederate name changes for army bases, including Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, and others. Trump tweeted:

His intervention is a swipe at a recent speech by Senator Warren in which she urged once again to proceed with name changes for military bases and in-base installations that pay homage to “the traitors who took up arms against Pindostan to defend slavery.” Warren, who dropped out of the Demagog Party presidential primary race in March, rolled out the amendment in question on Jun 9. Days later, senators voted in favor of the proposal telling the Pentagon to remove “all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia” tied to the Confederate military. There are 10 military bases still bearing the names of officers who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Many of them, or their families, were slave owners like Braxton Bragg, Henry Benning, and the Confederacy’s most decorated general, Robert E Lee. Trump has already expressed his opposition to the name changes, reaffirming earlier in June:

The Confederate legacy has long been a source of controversy, but the debate escalated in recent weeks after George Floyd died at the hands of police in Minneapolis Warren’s call to strip the military installations of the Confederate names comes after the Navy and Marine Corps, as well as NASCAR, moved to ban all public displays of the Confederate battle flag. (Mississipi is to remove it from their state flag, as of today – RB)

NYT columnist Paul Krugman wins internet’s ‘unhinged old crank’ award for remarks on Covid surge hitting Florida
RT.com, Jul 1 2020

Paul Krugman. Photo: Franck Robichon/AFP

NYT columnist Paul Krugman has been accused of exhibiting “symptoms of psychopathy” after seemingly cheering the possibility that a growing number of elderly Floridians could fall victim to coronavirus. The acclaimed wordsmith and economist had a rather unusual take on the rise in Covid-19 cases in Florida. In response to a Bloomberg report detailing how Florida’s elderly population was likely at increased risk of perishing from the virus, Krugman tweeted:

Krugman’s radical analysis received poor reviews from pundits and social media users.

Glenn Greenwald tweeted:

Even some of Krugman’s former fans said that the famed economist had crossed a line:

The provocative remark was possibly in reference to a viral video in which members of a Florida retirement community exchanged barbs with anti-Trump protesters. Driving in golf carts, one of the elderly counter-demonstrators can be heard shouting “White power.” The president shared the clip on Twitter but quickly deleted the post after being bombarded with condemnation. The White House claims that Trump didn’t hear the incendiary slogan. This is not the first time debate has raged over statements made by people who seemingly believe the coronavirus only targets those with politically incorrect viewpoints. Self-declared health experts have been sharply criticized for encouraging Black Lives Matter protests, while simultaneously condemning other demonstrations, especially those against lockdown measures.

Brits are FATTER than pigs: Farmyard animal carries 4% less body fat than 20 years ago, study reveals as figures show rise in number of obese adults
Joe Davies, Daily Mail (UK), Jun 21 2020

The British public are now fatter than pigs, according to a study which revealed the farmyard animals carry 4% less body fat than 20 years ago. It coincides with the new Government Health Survey of England, which shows 28% of people are now obese, up from 15% in 1993. Pigs now have an average of 16% body fat due to modern agricultural rearing methods. In comparison, the average middle-aged man in Britain has between 21% and 25% body fat, according to a study of 400k middle-aged UK adults. The average woman has between 33% and 38%, putting on 12lb on average according to the latest Government statistics. Meanwhile, the Health Survey of England shows the average weight of a middle-aged man has risen from 12st 6lb in 1993 to 13st 5lb. Susan Jebb, professor of diet and population health at Oxford University said:

If the average pig has 16% body fat then for sure that is lower than the average person in the UK.

Fredrik Karpe, professor of metabolic medicine at Oxford University, said:

Certainly the pigs have gone in one direction and the humans have gone in the other direction, and now the humans have overtaken the pigs in fat levels.

The trend in skinnier pigs has been put down to an increase in farmers marketing pork as a lean meat, despite an increased demand for fattier pork products. Christine Walsh of the Agriculture and Horticultural Development Board, which sponsored the pig research, told The Times:

Pigs have changed a lot since 1990 and are pretty lean compared to what people may think.

While British pork may be getting leaner, The National Pig Association, representing farmers, is worried a trade deal with Pindostan that might bring an influx of cheap Pindo pork. The All-Party Parliamentary Group on the Environment has warned British customers may fall victim to lax labelling on Pindo imports, including cattle fed with growth hormones or chlorinated chicken.

Times Radio launches with PM interview
InPublishing, Jun 30 2020

Yesterday morning, Times Radio went live with an exclusive broadcast interview with PM Boris Johnson. This was, says Times Radio, his first sit-down broadcast interview since the start of the coronavirus lockdown. The PM was interviewed by presenters Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell on the breakfast show, and he talked about his proposals for the British economy and announced a billion pound package for investment in education. Boris Johnson also told Times Radio he lost a lot of weight in intensive care with coronavirus and the UK will be “more resistant to diseases such as Covid if we can tackle obesity.” Times Radio is broadcasting live on DAB, online and via app and smart speakers. The station will be ad break-free, with commercial opportunities for sponsors across the schedule, say the publishers.

Stand aside, everyone: the Conservative cowboy builders are back on the job
Marina Hyde, Groan, Jun 30 2020

Boris Johnson delivers a speech during a visit to Dudley College of Technology,
Tuesday Jun 30 2020. Photo: Paul Ellis/AP

We will double down on levelling up … We will invest … to fuel the animal spirits … We will not just bounce back, we will bounce forward!

Thus gibbered Boris Johnson this morning, sounding exactly like Franklin D Roosevelt shortly after the latter’s massive intracerebral haemorrhage. Or, as the prime minister put it of his “new deal” spending plans to restart the UK economy after coronavirus, announced today in Dudley: “it sounds positively Rooseveltian.” I’m not sure that’s for you to say, old chap. Then again, Johnson is one of those falsely modest people who tells you what they’re like, rather than waiting for you to alight on the judgment yourself. You know the type. “I’m such a giver”; “I guess you’d call me Rooseveltian”; “I am so random, I can’t believe I just did that!”; “I work as a Chris Hemsworth lookalike. Covering the Uxbridge area, but I will travel to Hayes for the right job.” Johnson went on to pledge that his would be a government that “puts its arms around people at a time of crisis.” But which people? For much of the past week the papers have featured pictures of him with his arm around Richard Desmond. This is the business of Johnson’s housing secretary, Robert Jenrick, rushing through a decision on a £1bn property deal by Desmond to avoid the tycoon having to make a £40m payment under the community infrastructure levy (then having to quash the decision after he admitted it was unlawful). Quite where that fits into Michael Gove’s distaste for the benefits of growth being “increasingly concentrated in the hands of the already fortunate” is unclear. Although, according to the cabinet secretary, Mark Sedwill, who Johnson’s Downing Street cabal has just knifed, the prime minister “considers that this matter is closed.” And according to the health secretary, Matt Hancock, who Johnson’s Downing Street cabal will sooner or later knife, “the prime minister regards this matter as closed.” How closed? Look, stop asking questions. As closed as Leicester.

Even so, many people may be unsure if they want an arm put round them by Johnson, who increasingly looks like the photo snapped through a departing prison van window at the end of a particularly disturbing criminal trial. He is possibly the only person in the country who has relished the closure of hairdressers, providing him with the perfect cover for not having his affectation trimmed. As currently announced, Johnson’s “new deal” is just over 0.6% of the spend of Roosevelt’s New Deal, which is perhaps why he’s focused on upgrading the A15 in the Humber area rather than building the equivalent of the Lincoln Tunnel. He can’t build you a Hoover Dam, but he can probably run to a Hoover. Of course, one doesn’t expect accurate historical references from the prime minister, who is 0.6% as clever as he thinks he is. As you will know, the last leader lucky enough to be selected for association with Johnson was Winston Churchill, about whom he wrote a whole book. There was a quite majestic review of the work at the time by Sir Richard Evans, who was regius professor of history at Cambridge. Among many highlights was the line:

The Germans did not capture Stalingrad, though this book claims they did.

Anyway … “BUILD BUILD BUILD”, as Johnson’s podium this morning had it. Once again we find ourselves within the great cowboy builders cycle of Conservative rule, where the guys who basically caused the problem will now explain that only they can fix it. Having spent a decade starving your school of cash to the point of structural collapse, they now stand there tutting and going:

Yeah, you’re going to need to rebuild that … Whole lot wants pulling out. But yeah, I can do it for you. ( Pause.) A thank you would be nice. Gratitude doesn’t cost you anything, does it, luv?

Or, if you prefer – and who wouldn’t? – the experience is akin to being held in a remote location and nursed by someone with a very specific variant of Munchausen syndrome by proxy. They make you sick, so that they can make you better. Our medicine is lots of projects described as “shovel-ready” by Johnson, to whom it’s tempting to apply the same phrase. If these projects are anything like the “oven-ready” Brexit deal, we can expect a ribbon-cutting date on a £5b outside toilet some time in 2040. At least it can’t be any worse than the government’s “clear pathway” for the arts. To fall back on its favourite phrase, the three things in which the UK is genuinely “world-beating” are financial services, arms manufacture and the creative industries. I bet you’ll never guess which one the government is going to let burn. Then again, we are talking about the type of people for whom the answer to the inquiry “What would you most like to see at the theatre?” is “Richard Desmond building some luxury flats in it.” Either way, Johnson’s effort this morning should be your favourite construction-related speech since George Osborne, fresh from the moral, intellectual and strategic triumph of a £12b cut to in-work tax credits, stood up in 2015 and told the Conservative party:

We are the builders!

A reminder of the new things he built after that: Things Johnson hasn’t built include an airport on an island in the Thames, a garden bridge, another bridge across the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the UK mainland, and a functional relationship with the truth. Still, we all have to believe this time will be different. The one good thing about the mood music coming from Downing Street is the obvious conclusion: that the matter of coronavirus is now closed. Come on, it has to be. Otherwise why would the government open pubs for the first time in three months ON A SATURDAY? Talk about a midsummer night’s scream. You would have to have literally zero understanding about what people are like to do this, unless it was totally safe both in terms of disease transmission and public order. It must be said that anyone with eyes, particularly in urban areas, has over the past few weeks been increasingly able to see people regarding the matter of coronavirus as closed. Rules have been flouted, huge gatherings gathered, and a potentially deadly sense of licence is in the air. Who can blame people? After all, ever since Dominic Cummings broke lockdown to drive to Durham like an elitist who can’t handle his own childcare, polls have indicated that the scandal had unprecedented cut-through, with one polling firm describing it as being unmatched in its “extraordinary level of penetration.” We have yet to see the full ripple effects of this defining moment, but for so many, something broke with that story. And whatever he achieves with the A15, that may yet turn out to be the organ grinder’s legacy, no matter what his monkey is gibbering today.

4 Comments

  1. avram
    Posted July 1, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “NYT’s Charles Blow demands the removal of monuments to Washington and other “amoral monsters”
    Niles Niemuth, WSWS Jul 1 2020”

    might as well take all the statues in the world down starting with the Crucifix.

  2. niqnaq
    Posted July 1, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I for one would be delighted if they would remove the huge Christ the Redeemer statue which overlooks Rio de Janiero.

  3. Sarte
    Posted July 1, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    It is a continuation of the 1619 project. And then you have all these Black PhD’s commentators in the media, who are horrible to watch.

  4. Doug Colwell
    Posted July 1, 2020 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    A friend of mine once said “it’s a crucial fiction”

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