Tag: New Zealand

Australia is Falling Apart

by Guy de la Bédoyère Steve Waterson’s latest piece in the Daily Sceptic provoked me to finish an essay I’ve been putting together for a while. As an historian, what really strikes me now is how brief the Covid crisis has been so far. Yes, I know it seems like 500 years since we were last able to travel freely and not hear about the pandemic on the nightly news. But in historical terms this is nothing. What will define the era is the social, political, and economic fallout and, trust me, that’s barely started. Governments are going to fall, millions of people are going to be ruined while others make fortunes, and some countries are going to disintegrate. But when, where or how is yet to be seen. This will take years – decades – but I think you can see the signs of fragmentation and epic change already – almost all self-inflicted as a result of the hysteria that has consumed us since early 2020. Let me make it clear from the outset: I love Australia. I’ve been there several times and travelled long distances. My maternal grandfather, whom I never met, died in Sydney. Two of his brothers died out there. I have lots of relatives in Australia and many close friends in places as far apart ...

Walkabout

by George Santayana *Spoiler alert*: There is a moment in one of the Mad Max films where Max and his band of tagalongs have successfully escaped from their pursuers and are striking out through the post-apocalyptic Outback in search of The Safe Place, a haven of security where they hope to live out their lives in peace. After much struggle, they crest the top of an enormous dune only to see an endless desert stretching out beyond the horizon. It is as this point that the true nature of their predicament becomes clear; do they continue on alone into the unending sea of sand in what may be the forlorn hope of reaching The Safe Place, or do they stay where they are until their pursuers inevitably catch up with them, or do they turn around and head back into danger but to somewhere where they know there is water and shelter? In many ways, this is an apt metaphor for the situation Australia and New Zealand now find themselves in with respect to Covid. Having apparently successfully escaped from the pandemic, what should they do now? Do they plough on in the hope of reaching some kind of Safe Place, which may or may not exist, or do they instead attempt to re-join the rest of the world? A ...

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