It’s rare that I write about politics, but the news of lockdown parties at No.10 Downing Street really caught my attention. My post is not super informed. I am no wise sage of politics and history. I just wanted to process some personal thoughts to look back on one day.
When this news trickled through, I kind of wanted to have more context of what was going on in my own world, and to better understand when the parties happened, related to Boris Johnson’s own hospitalized experience with Covid-19.
I don’t really feel surprised by Bojo ( Boris Johnson ) and crew. I feel in some ways thoroughly unsurprised - a bit more interested in the dance Boris Johnson is making to tackle his unfortunate series of revelations.
There is a formal enquiry being made. I am intrigued about the judgement it makes, but I will continue to be unsurprised if the prime minister suffers zero consequence, and even one day is re-elected.
Large numbers of people have been doing their best to stay put, not mingle, not attend family events, while No. 10 chilled in the garden with cheese and wine. Even the Queen sat in solitude for her husband’s funeral the day after one of these parties in 2021. I imagine her sadness about her husband eclipses any feelings of disappointment in Bojo. Her reign has endured many prime ministers. They come and go.
To me, this news story re-emphasizes that standards, and character have dropped in national and global leadership. Maybe as a child I just revered politcal leaders more, or maybe we just hear more about lack of standards these days.
What disappoints me most of all is that there are not many inspiring leaders these days - and I think in part because of that - we are in this viscious circle of lockdowns, with little imagination to break the patterns. I am pro-science, and tripple vaccinated ( and grateful ). But surely we can’t keep locking down for year on end.
I get it. We’re all human. All of us need connection. None of us can keep locked down forever. Especially when it is hard to escape the stress of work. It’s hard, but if they set rules, the government really should set an example of keeping them. I don’t get the feeling they really care.
One of the books that really made me think more about literature and politics was George Orwell’s Animal Farm. In the book, the farm animals, led by pigs, revolt to overthrow a terrible owner/farmer, but the pigs, in their privilege begin to evolve the rules in their favour, from ‘all animals are equal’ to ‘some animals are more equal than others’.
Here is a quote from the book of a pig speaking to the farm animals:
‘Comrades!’ he cried. ‘You do not imagine, I hope, that we pigs are doing this in a spirit of selfishness and privilege? Many of us actually dislike milk and apples. Milk and apples (this has been proved by Science, comrades) contain substances absolutely necessary to the well-being of a pig. We pigs are brainworkers. The whole management and organization of this farm depend on us. Day and night we are watching over your welfare. It is for your sake that we drink that milk and eat those apples.’
The book is 77 years old, and is a fable, reflecting a Russian Revolution that happened more than 100 years ago.
I’m suspecting the UK government is not very different from other governments in it’s lockdown habits. I feel we’ll hear more. Orwell kinda wrote his book in part to tell us that this is how the story goes.