Tag Archives: corona virus

Former Chief Justice Jonathan Sumption on the UK’S Corona Lockdown

Earlier this evening, I listened to a fascinating interview with the former Chief Justice Jonathan Sumption.

Much of Sumption’s interview is taken up with an exposition of his view that the UK’s Corona virus lockdown is “despotic”. Whether one agrees with his analysis or not, Sumption’s interview is well worth listening to for anyone concerned with civil liberties.

Many libertarians have (albeit reluctantly) accepted the lockdown, but Sumption remains of the view that it should be of a voluntary nature. Whether one accepts Sumption’s perspective or one rejects it, he raises profound questions about the liberty of the individual and the proper limits of state power.

For the interview please visit, https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08fjy9j.

(Note: in contrast to Jonathan Sumption, the UK Libertarian Party has expressed qualified support for the UK’s lockdown. See, for example this link, https://libertarianparty.co.uk/2020/03/23/statement-on-coronavirus-lockdown/. Sumption is not, to the best of my knowledge a member of any political party, and he mentions during the interview that he has voted for different parties at election time).

Crackpot Conspiracy Theories Have Consequences

On Wednesday evening, I received a telephone call from an acquaintence. Having asked how I was, she proceeded to relate how she’d watched a video which explained that COVID-19 (the Corona Virus) is a hoax and is, in point of fact caused by radiation generated from mobile telephone masts.

I responded that the persons promulgating such theories are “nutters” and conspiracy theorists and that such ideas are highly dangerous as they mislead people into believing fraudulent claims and by so doing actually help to spread not only the Corona Virus, but also the virus of misinformation. Eventually the conversation ended leaving me seething inwardly.

Lies/conspiracy theories have consequences as exemplified by the attacks which have taken place not only on mobile telephone masts but also on engineers tasked with maintaining them. See, for example this article in “Wired”, https://www.wired.co.uk/article/5g-coronavirus-conspiracy-theory-attacks.

One of the instances sighted in the “Wired” article concerns an engineer who was spat upon by a conspiracy theorist. The engineer subsequently developed Corona as a consequence of the incident.

I am not, of course arguing that all followers of the (wholly eroneous) theory that 5G is responsible for Corona destroy masts or attack individuals. Most people holding such crackpot views do not engage in criminal activity. However anyone who perpetuates such myths is helping to spread untruths and thereby contributing to a climate of unreason in which attacks on masts (and individuals) are made more likely.

The conspiracy theory that 5G is the cause of the current epidemic (rather than the Corona Virus), lies in a long line of dangerous ideas. Back in medieval times it was believed that Jews poisoned wells and horrific acts of cruelty where committed against them owing to this wholly irrational belief, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Well_poisoning#Medieval_accusations_against_Jews).

Antisemitic conspiracy theories manifested themselves in their most extreme form in the Nazi “Final Solution” (the Third Reich’s attempt to exterminate European jewry, (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Final_Solution).

I am not suggesting that those who believe the present conspiracy theory regarding 5G are antisemitic (although some of them may well be). Rather I am arguing that (as with antisemitism) the present crackpot theory is based on unreason and is highly dangerous. So next time you receive a message on Watsap (or via some other form of social media) regarding an outlandish theory, please think very carefully before forwarding it on to others.

Kevin

Share Your Poems

I recently blogged regarding an opportunity for poets to have their poems aired, https://kmorrispoet.com/2020/04/08/an-opportunity-for-poets-to-have-their-work-aired/.

The organiser, David Vickery, has created a Facebook page to promote the sharing of poems concerning COVID-19, which can be found here, https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100049345031282.

You can find David’s Youtube where he reads poems on Corona/Covid-19 which have been submitted to him here, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCERRl7-EinGfUMCKePVlD3A.
As of today (17 April), David has uploaded 1 poem, which can be found here, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8S6YZQjCzw.

If you are interested in contacting David and having your poem read, please follow the above links

Kevin

An Opportunity for Poets to Have their Work Aired

I have received the below notification regarding an opportunity for poets to have their work aired:

“Dear friends and fellow poets,

We are sending you all our very best wishes for your good health and continued safety and would like to invite you to join in a brand new adventure while
all of us are in confinement of one kind or another.

We have had the following interesting idea shared with us and we want to invite you all to contribute.  

If you have written, or would like to write, about your present situation or want to reflect on the experiences of people around you in these strange Coronavirus
times then read on – start writing – and send your poems directly to David Vickery.  

kindest thoughts to you all

Caroline and Angela x

YourPoemaDay 

I’m no poet but I can read poetry and with my track record as an actor, announcer and voice-over artist in broadcast and non-broadcast work over the past
40 years, I know I can sit in front of a camera and read other people’s verse.

So, if you, or your friends would like to write a poem in response to Coronavirus, the lockdown, or any aspect of the current situation that is of interest
to them, then I’d like to read it out on a Facebook site I am setting up.  One thing – I am looking for poems that will cheer us up, not take us down.
Think positive.

The site will be promoted via Twitter and Instagram and I anticipate there will be an early  boost to numbers coming to the site as I have a television
entertainment friend in San Francisco who says he’ll happily talk about this on-air.

I can’t guarantee a poem EVERY  single day but certainly most days – and I obviously can’t GUARANTEE  to read out every poem sent to me but will try! Also
the inclusion of a little bit of background information about the poet to add some colour and texture to the content would be appreciated. There is no
set length to the poem or any other parameters beyond those stated.  The “on-air” environment will reflect a certain cheekiness. We have to smile our way
through these days.

One final thing – a small legal bit. There needs to be confirmation from anyone who submits a poem that they grant me usage to show and distribute their
poem. And that’s about it.

I have a busy working week ahead at the BBC, so my guess is that this will be up and running by the end of next week (15/16 April?). Enough time to write
a poem, or two?

Replies should be to 
davidvickery@me.com 

Here’s where you can find out about me 
http://www.davidvickery.co.uk
 .  Although I find them embarrassing to watch these days there are plenty of TVS Late Night Late videos to be found on YouTube from 30 years ago 

 but my approach will be somewhat similar. 

For anyone who is interested, THANK YOU so much! Let’s have some fun.

Best Wishes from South London

David”.

At A Time of Lockdown

At a time of lockdown
Some drown
Their sorrows, in beer or gin.
Yet alcohol is not
The only form of sin.

True, some may lose themselves in art.
But others grow hot.
Drink and art
Can not suffice.
Thoughts turn to vice.

Anticipation of pleasure,
For the coming warm weather
Will bring
(In summer and spring)
Roses into bloom.
And, despite the lockdown
Some men will not resist the perfume
Of roses.

The poet composes
And thinks “the woodland path
Along which I pass
Has no flowers in bloom,
But soon
Their scent will delight
Both day and night.
And I shall pass by
With a sigh.

Yet the woodland path
Is not wide
And when, on each side
There are such sweet blooms,
‘Tis not easy to pass,
And some may stray
From the narrow way …”.

He Stood to the Side of the Path

He stood to the side of the path
So that I might in safety pass.
I turned my face away
On a beautiful, spring day.
But thanked him with a smile, while
Pondering on what constitutes a safe distance,
And the persistence
Of common courtesy.
And what did he
Think of me
As I turned my face away?
I can not say,
But suspect he understood
As we did pass
Along that tranquil, woodland path.

Oh Creature of Night

Oh creature of night,
Who flits, in dark
And by moonlight,
Why did you cry,
In the park
On a sunlit afternoon in Spring?

‘Twas a strange thing
To hear.
Yet I
felt no fear,
But pondered on your incongruous cry,
And a virus, invisible to the eye.