I can’t help but feel that a certain amount of politics these days is devolving into contrariness for the sheer sake of it. Forget about the constituents or public good or what have you. A kneejerk reaction to absolutely anything that happens is so very much simpler. It’s the ‘I’m rubber and you’re glue’ solution to increasingly sticky situations that this world has to offer.
These rebel Tories hear that the country is being gripped by the worst cold snap for a decade (I believe that’s how the beast from the east is being described). And so as a direct response to that, they feel that the most constructive way to proceed is with threatening a crisp February heatwave. Heaven alone knows how they’ll think to achieve it. Maybe they’re looking to hire out a million patio heaters or perhaps they have some bespoke deal with the Almighty to order to weather to their will.
It seems to me that all over the world there have been utter breakdowns in partisanship. The tribes are turning inwards and refusing to work with anyone outside the bounds of their very blinkered ideals. One day, we’ll realise that those with opposing opinions aren’t in fact our aggressors but fellow human beings and we’ll regret the lines that have divided us.
Of course, it will be far too late by then to do anything about it. We’ll have descended into the end of days scenario we all knew was bound to come (not a Mad Max style one, as we’ve been specifically promised by David Davis). Only one group will have emerged, making sure that uniformity of sensibility is achieved across the human race. However, splintering will occur, factions will rise up and the whole bloody process will repeat itself. We’ll be harking back to the days when backbenchers had dominion over the weather and no mistake.
Well, with all this weather that’s occurring relentlessly, the rail operators can hardly be expected to keep the trains running now can they? In order to keep those various revenue streams (from all the coffees, papers and other sundries on offer on the carriages that definitely won’t be heading wherever you might expect them to go. Also Wi-Fi, the internet doesn’t grow on trees you know) flowing in, the train franchises have had to diversify.
There were various pitches put forward. Someone wanted to expand the current entertainment range on offer. You can already listen to halves of compelling or otherwise conversations, witness arguments unfolding in front of your very eyes and if seat reservations are implemented but improperly enforced you only have to wait until the next stop for the possibility of a proper punch up.
However, others wanted to move away from such obvious exploitation. They were quickly shouted down but space was made for different arenas of penny pinching. On the larger trains, did the train manager really need an office of his very own (these might not actually exist and I’m misremembering something from the last time I used a Virgin train)? This could be leased out as a special super dooper business class (for when first is simply not premium enough). Or how about a travelling doctor’s surgery?
Genius! The commuters and assorted passengers are trapped on the carriage for an indeterminate amount of time already. Why not install portable healthcare? Of course, it would have to be of a kind where concerns were raised and thoroughly frightened patients were dispatched to costly clinics. They would then unload a shedload of money and grateful sponsorship partners would hoover up the profits. And the train folk get to bathe in the kudos of definitely taking ‘care’ of their customers.
May be forced? MAY be forced? If there’s snow, there will absolutely be chaos in this country. They flutter down from the sky, hand in hand, chuckling merrily to themselves just how many wonderful japes will follow in their wake. We can’t deal with snow, even though we seem to be subjected to it with rather greater frequency than we used to (in MY day, ’twas a rare thing indeed to have a day where the snow stopped you going to school).
We’re like overhyped children, flitting to the window every five minutes or so in anticipation of that white blankety covering sweeping down over the ground. What are the roads going to be like? Are we set up for proper home working? These are terribly boring adult questions that accompany a salary. But naturally, so much as a few frosty flakes are going to be enough to overwhelm the fragile system.
Supermarkets will be flooded with panicked buyers snatching up precious resources that will definitely help them endure the heavy snowfalls to come. The roads will get clogged with desperate motorists determined to beat the rush before the snows come. Once it’s fallen, no one will dare venture out, the surfaces will freeze and the morning’s commute will become a high stakes version of dodgems.
This is all of course to say nothing of the schools (which as a non parent I can’t really pretend to care all that much about. One day this will shift momentously and they will naturally become the centre of my increasingly tiny world). They’ll shut and the tiny tots will take to the streets to sledge and build snowmen and gum up the works of productivity. Public transport will grind to an unsteady halt, no one will be able to get anywhere and there’s a distinct danger we might be forced to talk to one another.
It would seem these days that there’s always a secret memo poised to drip its way out of the woodwork. I mean, it’s thrilling and everything but who actually writes memos any more? Or is my office sufficiently uninteresting that our ability to accomplish everything with post-its is actually risible?
Also, in the digital age it would seem that the shredder is no longer capable of dealing with the disposal of incriminating memos. It’s also possible that I don’t know what a memo is (I haven’t read the latest releases from the States). The word by this point has also gone ever so slightly funny on me. Memo definitely isn’t really a word and someone somewhere is delighting in the fact that they’ve managed to make me look incredibly foolish by harping on about memos for an embarrassing length of time.
Anyway, these momentous political times (it’s the sequel syndrome. What has gone before has altered the bar in one way or the other. Therefore, what comes after has to be that much more thrilling. So far this year we’ve already had sex scandals, power struggles and increasingly bad examples of negotiating and it’s only February – I think), surprising bedfellows can often emerge. Those who you wouldn’t previously have considered as potential allies team up in order to get stuff done.
Corbyn has been unveiled as a totally real actual factual spy. This means that he’s now off the leash to pull some sneaky stuff. He’s been in touch with all sorts of foreign powers (can’t say who but they’re definitely pretty exciting) and is putting the screws to May (or something less innuendo laden) to get her to release something or other. I forget what it was, the person relating the shady dealings had their mouth full of food. It was like a cement mixer. Society will crumble and all I’ll be able to picture is their lunch.
The paranoia was justified all along. Everything you’ve ever suspected about shadowy organisations and their desires to control and survey your life is true. They have all manner of ways and means and, to be honest, you’ve been a bit of a sucker for going along with their nefarious schemes. They’re putting stuff in the water in the name of keeping your teeth lovely and healthy. For all you know, they’re minuscule tracking robots.
So, the flu jab. That one’s a doozy. You’d have thought that such a delivery system would be an ideal method to secrete a tracker into you but that’s definitely not what it is. I can’t actually tell you what the sinister reason behind the jab (because I don’t want to and it’ll definitely drive you crazy…er) but it’s definitely well thought out.
It’s not even a big whole scheme, this specifically targeted you. You specifically are interesting and significant enough to merit this whole entire conspiracy. I hope you can appreciate the level of work that went in to dupe you in this fashion. Syringes had to be swapped, nurses bribed and for some reason it involved a torrid affair with a strapping young virologist at a promising point in his career. For it all to go down without you noticing required some careful orchestration.
So now you’re wandering around in your very own version of the Truman show, tiny cameras pumping their way through your bloodstream. Is it really so bad? Surely, with the invasion of social media and whatnot, privacy as we knew it has become a thing of the past? Everyone already knows what you ate for dinner, what films you’ve seen lately and that endlessly adorable way you breathe when you’re asleep. Is it such a big deal that your bowel movements are now being monitored?
So good things can actually still happen? That’s something of a relief. We’ve had yet more obfuscation regarding Brexit, another tragic school shooting in America and I briefly agreed with something Donald Trump said. He’s now shattered the illusion of having a not terrible idea by doubling down, offering batshit incentives and being generally awful but for a moment I was vaguely on board. If he manages to ban bump stocks that will be a demonstrably good development of his presidency.
As for his armed teachers plan, it does actually have one or two points in its favour. Don’t get me wrong, it’s far worse than just banning the weapons altogether but apparently that’s just not possible. It could be a deterrent, sure, and having armed individuals on the scene could help. But it’s also admitting that school shooters are irredeemable and therefore should be shot by their own educators.
Plus, it would seem (according to Jeremy Hunt, bastion of all unassailable fact) that there is no way forward to Brexit without swanning out of as many customs unions as possible. Bollocks. Still, no one seems to understand what Brexit means and how any potential success is going to be made of it. But to suggest we should just quietly leave everything the way it was would be akin to treason, obvs.
Fear not though, good news is on the horizon. You know that depressing documentary series about how all humans are awful and screwing up the environment for the rest of recorded time? Yeah, Blue Planet. Well, it’s actually had some of a positive impact in that there are rumblings about maybe banning plastic straws. That move will definitely reverse all the damage we’ve done, the temperatures will shoot back down to manageable levels and the clownfish will at long last be able to roam free.
Breaking news as medication is confirmed to in fact work. What a relief. Sure, that’s an incredibly glib response from someone who has never had cause to take them (well, there was that one time at university but clearly at the time I thought it better to not go to the doctor but instead to save the experience as fodder for an incredibly compelling one woman play I’ll never get round to writing) but it is nice to get some confirmation the medical profession kind of knows what it’s doing.
Mental health is a tricky area laden with landmines that anyone blundering into the fray might well set off. Especially if they’re wearing extremely heavy boots and not really looking where they’re going. At the end of the day, depression isn’t all that well understood.
You can cut a tumour out or flood it with poison. If there’s an infection you can pump the system full of antibiotics (and pray that the patient actually follows through with the course rather than sacking it off halfway through and contributing to the rampaging issue of superbugs that will eventually take over the world). Essentially, diseases of most kinds have been pretty well deciphered. But the brain is a tricky and complex mistress who defies common understanding (well, not really but it’s nice to pretend that there’s a reason why progress hasn’t happened).
At this point, I’ve mired myself in the middle of an area I don’t know very much about. Essentially though, there’s been a trend for people ditching their anti-depressants lately. Or maybe there hasn’t and I’m trying to correlate two unrelated events (I read a thing and then someone in my Facebook network announced they were going cold turkey). Talk to your physicians and take heart in the fact that the drugs do in fact work (hurrah?)?