Plenty Of Shrugging

Over the last year I have found that the only way to get through is to shrug a lot and act as though nothing is really surprise. I think I’m managing to do this well. I am not mad, yet. I haven’t sat in the corner and cried. I’ve been largely quite positive about the whole thing. Let’s see what has happened so far this year.

The UK left the EU and is now following the rules of the EU without any say in those rules. This was to give the government time to get a trade deal organised added on to the three years they had previously had to get a deal sorted. As we march on to the 1st Jan 2021 this country still has no deal and could be plunged into utter chaos. The thing is no-one knows if there will be chaos. That’s the scary thing. If we knew it was going to be chaos we could plan for it. But we can’t because we don’t know. The government don’t want to say there will be chaos because that fucks up all their plans. They don’t want it all going to shit. Let’s say for now I am on the pessimistic side of reality on this matter. There are 10,000 trucks a day that cross the channel. On the 1st of January 2021 they will ALL have to be inspected if there is no free movement of goods. Those are the RULES. Trucks will need the correct paperwork and be ready for this. You would imagine that we had increased our Border Force, but I suspect we haven’t. When my son’s school sends home a Risk Assessment listing poor air quality (due to traffic) and shortage of food as potential outcomes you should realise you are fucked. This country voted “out” based on misinformation and Russian influence – fact.

We have been in pandemic conditions for most of 2020. The current crop of ineffective leaders seem to not understand that there is a two week delay to anything that they do. They haven’t managed this process at all. They are incompetent and my current fear is that in three years as we approach the next general election people will have forgotten the sheer ineptitude of the current government and vote them back in to continue destroying the NHS and everything I value about this country. If you start from the golden rule of “do no harm” and do everything you can to reach the best outcomes for all then you don’t end up with the racists and liars we currently have in power. I almost beg Johnson to try and sue me for calling him out as a racist and liar. He is.

I worked in the education industry. In fact it’s not an industry. It’s a service to the future. As a society we invest in the youth and educate them in the hope that they will contribute to society and keep the cycle going. We hope they will have the right ideals to do the best they can for themselves and those around them. I have seen my sector demoralised over the last twelve years with no real-terms pay rises as the tory government pushes through a policy of “austerity” and they constantly underinvest in our society and health. If you want to know how you get out of a massive depression then look at the 1930 and the New Deal. It is clear you have to spend your way out of a recession. You have to invest in society to improve the quality of life and in the long term these things will return and pay back. But long term is further than politicians can think.

This year the education sector has done everything that has been asked of it. We have placed ourselves at risk by looking after the vulnerable and children of key workers. We have tried our best to educate and keep looking out for those we care about. We have sacrificed our own health and well-being to ensure that we do a good job and try to keep going. Sure, there will be some who are shit at what they do, just as there is detritus in every part of society but the vast majority have done all they can to keep doing their jobs and what they believe is right. How do we get rewarded for this? No pay rise. Rules and policy sent out at the last minute. No money for schools. The response of the government has been a shambles and for the first time in my career I have looked thought about finding a way out.

If I tried to think about things too much, which is my default position, then I would be utterly depressed and horrified at everything that happened this year and how the so-called “leaders” of this country have acted. It’s almost as if a degree in PPE doesn’t equip you to be a decent leader and manager. I am surviving at the moment because my little world is OK. I’ve got a little house with things that I can spend time playing and doing. I’ve got lovely countryside around me and I’m fortunate to be able to run and exercise. I’m a lucky one. I really feel for all those struggling at the moment and life must be shit for so many. I hope we manage to do good in the end. But, I don’t hold out hope for that. This country seems to be filled with low level selfishness and racism and if I could live somewhere else I think I would.