AR Norman

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Why Haven’t our Points Landed and What Lies Behind the Hysteria?

by A.R. Norman Why haven’t our points landed and who or what is behind the hysteria that grips us? Is it the Government, the media, scientists or SAGE or some other malign agency? In his very persuasive essay, Dr David McGrogan claims that both the reason lockdown sceptics have failed to break through the hysteria surrounding COVID-19 and the source of the hysteria itself is the successful establishment of a ‘moral truth’ by the advocates of lockdown. In response, Guy de la Bedoyere argues that, against such truths, reason will never prevail – that emotion always has, does and will win the day. There are, however, some other factors worth considering. The first is context. In 2016, something happened that was not meant to happen. Having being given a referendum, the British people defied their political masters and voted for Brexit. This, from the perspective of the Establishment – the political and professional classes, together with the media that represent them and the businesses that fund them – was an absolute catastrophe, a catastrophe compounded when Donald Trump came to power in America. This was a disaster for the same political and professional classes whose identity politics and global-capitalist economic project was threatened by his overt nationalism and the protectionist policies he promised. Brexit and Trump were thus two enormous...

The Questions No One Dares Ask

A.R. Norman Why is no public commentator willing to tackle the single most important question the COVID-19 pandemic raises – the question of: ‘so what?’ Why does no one ask what it actually matters that people die from COVID-19, even if in their tens of thousands? Especially, what does it matter, given that, in the U.K. at least, the average age of death from Covid is around 82.4 years when our average life expectancy is around 81.4 years? After all, this is what people above the average age of life expectancy do: they tend not to join golf clubs, glee clubs or sailing clubs (even if a very few do). Instead, they die. Of course, if anyone were actually to suggest that it does not matter if tens of thousands die from COVID-19, they would be accused of callousness and worse. But why should this be? What is it about death and dying from this disease that is so awful that we deem it appropriate to beggar our children’s and our grandchildren’s future in order to keep our parents and grandparents alive until they can die of something else? In a world where there is neither divine justice nor divine mercy, where the best we can hope for when death exercises its inevitable dominion is that the atoms and molecules...

Postcard From the Isle of Wight

By A.R. Norman One of the particular joys of living in our island corner of England is the sight of sailing boats out on the Solent – occasionally those menacing black-winged speed yachts hurtling at unfeasible velocity in their bid for Americas Cup glory, occasionally too the square or gaff rigs of large classic yachts, but many more of the brightly billowing spinnakers of the various racing boats vying for silver over the treacherous tides to the north, east and west of Cowes. Most of all, though, is the delight inspired by the sight of those earnest little dinghies sailed by youngsters in their thousands during the summer months. But not this year. Cowes week was cancelled and now, with this second lockdown, 2021 is in the balance. As for the smaller sailing organisations, like our local club, though past stewards built up a cash reserve to keep us afloat during the economic downturns that trouble the finance committee from time to time, the club’s viability is now seriously threatened. No doubt it will survive, but it is unlikely to do so in its present form. For why? In a way the answer is obvious: it’s the economy, stupid. But there is another, more troubling answer, of which the economy is only part. Our sailing club is over a hundred...

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July 2024
Free Speech Union

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