There was a time when the British were known for their stoicism, their ability to battle through hardship, no matter the odds. The so called ‘blitz spirit’ of eighty years ago, that saw the nation ‘pull together and carry on’, regardless of the Nazi bombardment of our cities, characterised a generation that had suffered two world wars yet could not be bowed.
During the Covid pandemic, however, this ‘blitz spirit’ has been noticeably absent. There has been certainly very little in the way of a nation pulling together; in its place, there has been just a lot of bickering, mud-slinging and name calling-among politicians, activists, and the increasingly fragmented populace.
Predictably, Covid-19 was quickly turned into a divisive political issue by many in the oppositional media. The assertion now — that anyone against face coverings, vaccines, or testing is assumed to be on the extreme right, while those obeying the safety rules, are on the left — is as simplistic as it is loopy. One might have imagined that a deadly pandemic would act as a great uniter, finally bringing an end to the squabbling that has characterised UK (and US) politics for the last few years. Instead, we have been baked in identity politicking, making an already turbulent time more turbulent than ever.
Some malcontents have taken their vitriol to new levels of malice, publicly hoping, for instance, that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson would not recover from the coronavirus. No pulling together there. No blitz spirit. No compassion. Just bitterness, feuding and ever-deepening separation.
The fertile, if airy, ‘soil’ of cyberspace has become the perfect breeding ground for radicals of every stripe to spread their doctrines of division amongst the young, politically ripe millennials during lockdown. Pitching everyone against everyone — left against right, young against old, black against white, women against men, trans (seemingly) against everyone — appears to be the aim. All of that successfully seems to be driving a wedge of seething resentment between communities.
It has become an almost daily occurrence to find news stories of parents being ‘called out’ by their newly politicised children for expressing on social media ‘wrong’, ‘unwoke’ views,