Personal responsibility, Covid and Bojo. MY rant.

People have got understandably upset over the thousands of Londoners* crowded into St Pancras last night trying to escape London. Yesterday, travel was banned for Christmas in the south of England with 8 hours notice. Previously, there were repeated promises that that definitely wouldn’t happen, so everyone made plans and promises and then had eight hours to fulfil those plans and promises, leading to scenes like the above picture.

https://www.mylondon.news/news/zone-1-news/london-tier-4-packed-st-19491286

With our new mutated virus, this could be catastrophic, and I’m seeing a lot of anger towards the people who travelled, but not enough with the people who caused all this. And since the virus started so much blame has been turned on individuals making stupid decisions, which hasn’t helped at all. The argument I keep seeing from anti-maskers is ‘It’s all about personal responsibility.’ ‘Stop telling me what to do, leave it up to personal responsibility.’ And then from the government ‘These people aren’t using personal responsibility, what’s wrong with them?’ For example:

‘The Government should allow us to take personal responsibility in the ongoing battle against Covid, not put us on the naughty step’

Julia Hartley Brewer from a Telegraph headline.

‘Health secretary Matt Hancock has warned that ministers will fail to get the new strain of coronavirus under control unless the public take personal responsibility for preventing its spread.’

From the Independent

And it’s bollocks. Utter utter bollocks.

Because these people in St Pancras ARE using personal responsibility, that is exactly the problem. Their personal responsibility is to their families, their mental health, their happiness. They’re trying to get home to fulfill their personal responsibilities, but in such a panic that it doesn’t occur to them that lots of other people would do the same or how disastrous that might be.

What these people need is group responsibility, social responsibility, and that isn’t (in our individualistic society) so easy to come by, especially in a crisis.

That’s why we need a government, to control society in times of trouble so that our individual needs don’t take over. We need them to make calm, logical, consistent decisions so we know what to do. Instead we’ve had vague, rambling, ever changing decisions that are so ludicrous it’s led to constant doubt that the virus even exists despite 1.6m deaths worldwide.

From the people I know who are trying to do the right thing, I keep hearing the same cry. They say, ‘I need someone to tell me what I’m supposed to do for the best,’ and more importantly, ‘I need someone to tell the people I’m letting down that it is for the best.’ Because this situation is complicated and unfamiliar and no one can agree about what’s going on we each cling to what makes sense to us personally. It’s the work of our government to think in terms of the country as a whole, we can’t do that.

But in order for our rulers to be capable of that, they have to have social responsibility. We need a prime minister who isn’t acting purely with selfish, panicked (or disaster capitalist) interests and can instead make decisions that benefit the people of the country he’s responsible for, no matter how difficult. That’s the role he chose to take on.

We need a leader, not Bojo the clown.

* Actually, they probably aren’t Londoners if they’re going North to get home for Christmas

22 thoughts on “Personal responsibility, Covid and Bojo. MY rant.

  1. Angry or scared (or both) you are so right, we have all become so used to making decisions based on what is best for ourselves, everybody has forgotten how to think about what is best for all of us. We do need guidance, but really we shouldn’t. We are dominoes: one falls and, ultimately, we all topple. We are all so good at judging others, less good at considering the implications of our own actions, less good at understanding the motivation of the actions of others. I don’t believe any of those people went out to pose a threat to others. I think they just wanted to get home. I think, like all of us, they didn’t necessarily think it through. We seldom do. ALL of us. We like to think we’re rational, but we’re really not. Forgive. Love one another. Be kind. And just try. Brilliant blog IB – no rant, much too considered – take care and have a safe and happy Christmas yourself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Colin! I love to get your insights 🙂
      You’ve raised a lot of the quandaries there. Because we have become a society where we each focus on ourselves, and those close to us. We no longer think as the herd.
      But then when people think only of the community, that gets exploited, and joy, even love get diverted into duty.
      Anyway, have a very happy Christmas too – wishing you a day of laughter, good food, whisky and hope 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yep, spot on, Petra. Can’t believe how incompetent, negligent and self interested Johnson and toadies are. They definitely have blood on their hands – on top of corruption and mendacity. Having read rules in detail, we cancelled a planned lunch at the last minute; our friends were polite but clearly thought we were big girls’ blouses. Just appalling mismanagement of an entire country.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Johnson has really exceeded my bad expectations of him, and I thought he’d be truly awful! Glad you made the safe decision though – they should have made Better Safe than Sorry their covid slogan, instead of whatever nonsense it is at the moment.

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  3. Very troubling times. These are serious decisions that should have nothing to do with partisanship. Yet we’re seeing incompetence because these decisions have much greater and very immediate ramifications on life and quality of life than any politicians had foisted on them in 2 or more generations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, very troubling. It’s showing up a lot of flaws in the system. It is exactly times like these that politicians should be prepared for, but they don’t have a clue.
      Stay safe, Jasper!

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  4. I honestly hate the term “personal responsibility,” because I notice it’s almost always used to shame those with the least amount of power (the impoverished and/or other marginalized) when their circumstances leads them to an unfortunate place. It is rarely if EVER used to shame those with the most. I completely agree with you about the government. It SHOULD be there to take charge when problems are big and complicated, but sadly too many of the people in those positions are there for their own gain. I don’t have a solution for how to solve that, but that doesn’t mean the issue shouldn’t be pointed out. I’m very worried for my UK friends with this mutated strain, which is now in the states because people only care about themselves. This virus has shown that in spades. People only care about themselves because we don’t live in a world where it’s entirely realized that we are all connected and a rising tide lifts all ships. I could rant for hours myself. I feel like we could have a good rant session. I hope you and yours are staying safe ♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We would rant like champions! Hopefully we’ll get that chance one day.
      Don’t give up on people though. yes, they can be distressingly selfish, but there are always those small acts of kindness going on. That’s the most tricky thing to understand about people for me, the same person can be so awful and such a sweetheart too.
      That said, I am now living on plague island and we have spread our new horror to the world through our sheer witlessness. Sorry!
      Have a beautiful healthy new year filled with joy and laughter. Hopefully the end of the world will be delayed for a bit longer!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know I know. I’m an INFJ so I both loathe yet want to help humanity all in the same breath. It’s…so confusing XD

        Ugh, don’t feel bad about it. You can’t control what thoughtless people do. I’m living in a state where the people are attacking our governor for trying not to spread the plague. Like literally comparing him to Hitler. It’s…madness.

        I have some cautious optimism for the future. Let’s toast to the new year. Even if it’s not as good as we’d like, at least we’ll be a bit tipsy!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. Bang on, Petra. There has needed to be far more clarity and precise rules for people to grasp. Boris has lost any credibility over this now, last straw was the schools fiasco. He just keeps wanting to promise things are bad but are sure to get better, fight the good fight, and all that, when we all know things are unlikely to get better for a year or more – and yes, with the new strain, it’s very serious and very scary. I’m just listening to the scientists now. To add the mess/madness, there are many people who have been influenced by the conspiracy theorists online and believe the vaccine to contain microscopic nanobots out to control us all and make people infertile, all to the grand design of a global take over by a powerful few – just like in some dystopian novel. There has been nothing on the BBC about this in depth and it needs to be addressed now that the vaccines are being ‘rolled out’ as they say. The chaos is only going to get worse. They need to ban all travel, and not allow TV travel adverts to go out, coining the sales pitch phrase ‘Jab and Go’!

    Oh well, we have nature, for a little longer, anyway! Take care, Petra

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    1. Yep, when everything is looking a little too disturbing, then going out amongst the trees gets me sane again 🙂 I reckon I’d be up for some nanobots in my blood 😉 I’ve never known so many calls for revolution mixed with fear that the other side will get their revolution in first. The news now is so much more exciting than telly. Dystopian, like you say.
      You take care too, keep away from the new mutant virus..

      Like

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