Opportunism is the ability to take advantage of a situation. You may not have created the situation. It may be an accident. But, you nonetheless exploit it for all it is worth.
We do not know the origins of Covid: lab or outside; deliberate or accident; handled sincerely or covered up at least at first? We probably will never know definitively.
What we do know are the consequences which include (in no particular order)…
excess deaths from multiple causes
a health delivery resource crisis
the shutting down of whole societies and economies
the decimation of GDP / GNP per capita both relatively and absolutely
a massive loss of liberty, freedom and choice whether temporary, permanent or both in different cases.
Thanks to Covid the world is poorer, less free and sadder. In fact, closer to China itself by comparison with the West.
Early ignorance and fear-base reactions probably made much of this inevitable and unavoidable…. but it’s continuation is not.
The West is playing right into China’s hands!
It is persisting in policies which keep it poorer, less free and sadder when the evidence is mounting that this is an over-reaction: we could be moving to policies of individual choice and responsibility – allowing people to assess their own risk and behave accordingly. We are not because SAGE will not see the bigger picture and Boris feels obliged to listen to them both because of his own rhetoric and because of the climate of fear created across the world. Boris is not, of course, alone but in lock-step with a Europe which does not seem to comprehend the long-term consequences of its authoritarian choices.
Allister Heath writes that China is now growing again economically.
They have lost little or no freedom and choice because they had much less in the first place.
So, whatever the precise origins, accident or not, China has used and is using the crisis to catch-up and overtake the West – to resume what the Chinese elite of whatever political hue see as their rightful place in the world.
The West’s leaders, particularly in Europe but pretty much across the board have fallen for it ‘hook line and sinker’ – with the honourable Swedish exception.
It is, of course still possible to ‘reverse the tanker’ but with every day that passes whilst failing to do so, we are the more damaged and the Chinese century comes closer at our expense – certainly relatively and probably absolutely.
I suspect history will not forgive the West, but I can say that we libertarians saw through it, offered an alternative and cannot be blamed.
We have done, and are doing, all we can and as events unroll, we will be able to say… ‘You brought much of it on yourselves’, ‘We told you so’, ‘Don’t blame us’, and ‘We gave you an alternative which you chose not to accept until, at minimum, much additional damage had been done’.
In order to be able to say that to the world, we libertarians must go on delivering our messages as loudly as we can even though – faced with the duplicity and hypocrisy of Starmer, the ineptness of Boris, and the implacable, sanctimonious dogma of SAGE (who the Government appoint and could therefore sack) – it sometimes feels as pointless as banging your head against a brick wall!
Nil desperandum, or perhaps nil illegitimi carborundum.
Tony Brown – Former political advisor to the EFDD.