Am I alone? I am feeling absolutely terrified for the future. Maybe I'll feel different tomorrow, or next week. I certainly hope so. I'm a natural optimist. Life has worked out pretty well for me thus far, but I have three children in the twenties and when I think about what the future holds for them, it fills me with dread. Not only that, but we are going into the Winter with fuel shortages at the pumps, the energy industry in crisis and massive gaps on shelves. My own business, which last week had recovered to normal levels, after 18 months of pandemic restrictions, has been plunged back into loss, as musicians cancel sessions, unable to get fuel to get their gear over. We've only just brought our staff back from furlough.
It becomes clearer every day that the whole fiasco that is #Brexit is ripping the economy apart. Those who foolishly claim that Brexit has nothing to do with the fuel crisis, they have had the rug pulled away as the govt has eased Brexit induced work restrictions on foreign HGV drivers. It is clear that there is an empty vessel in government when it comes to managing the logistics of running a major economy. No one has any idea whether Xmas will be a time of plenty or a mad scramble to find a few stocked shelves. Will those presents we've ordered arrive? If there is a cold winter, will there be enough energy to stay warm? We have no energy security and our supplies are controlled at the whim of Paris and Moscow. It might all work out fine, but no one should be surprised if Crimbo dinner is spaghetti and spam by candle light.
As to the longer term prospects. The free world is lead by Joe Biden. His only redeeming characteristic is that he's not Donald Trump. Trump is waiting in the wings for his next shot at the Presidency in three years time. He has stated that only a difficult call from his Doctor will stop him. There is a report about the dying days of his presidency in todays Daily Express. It is terrifying. If it is to be believed, his top general had to phone the Chinese to reassure them that the US wouldn't launch a pre-emptive strike. The implication was that the US military would prevent Trump launching an attack if he ordered one, technically an act of treason (albiet a very sensible one).
In Russia, we have a government that is happy to use nerve gas against opponents in the UK and we can do nothing about it. If that wasn't bad enough, they control our energy supplies. Afghanistan now has a regime that is in league with Al Qaida, an organisation that perpetrated the worst attack on the West in peacetime. It is surely only a matter of time before the terror camps open again.
Then there is our relationship with Europe. It is 100% clear that this has gone wrong. I am off to Portugal soon. Although I am double vaccinated, the Portuguese don't recognise the UK NHS certificate as proof, so I have to get a covid test. This will cost a minimum of £50. Just one little bit of the expense of 'taking back control'. My eldest daughter was lucky enough to study in Italy under the Erasmus scheme. Boris promised that this would be retained, but renaged on his word. If my daughter has a daughter, she will grow up in a very different world. She won't have Erasmus. She won't be able to work in Europe without jumping through huge hoops. Many of my studio customers are bands that used to survive by touring in Europe. I am not aware of any going any time soon. Of course some of this is down to covid, but they say there it is no longer economical.
Covid has cost the country trillions. Sooner or later, these bills will have to be paid. It is clear that the govt has no interest in getting the winners from covid (Amazon, Paypal, etc) to pay, so it will fall on the poorest (those getting a £20 cut in their benefits).
Try as I might, I can see little to be optimistic about. We have a government that has shown it couldn't run a whelk stall. The opposition is no better. Watching the Labour conference, with the opposition arguing about how to stack the deckchairs on the sinking dredger, rather than holding Boris Johnson to account for the mess he is making, it is clear they do not provide a credible alternative. What does Keir Starmer stand for, a free pot noodle for anyone who can tell me.
My Dad used to always say "Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die". I'm finding it pretty hard to be merry at the moment.
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