Letter from Australia

We in Australia are watching the UK’s economic reopening with interest as it mirrors the one here, especially as pubs and second waves are concerned.

So while Leicester is once again isolated, Melbourne has locked down nine vertical cruise liners, sorry – tower blocks – to try and staunch yet another community outbreak; but this time to much criticism from opposition politicians and the fury of residents who had two hours notice of their five-day quarantine, regardless of whether they have a job or not…

And soon the border between Victoria and New South Wales will be closed for the first time in a hundred years to try and eradicate this stubborn virusy thing – but we already know that humanity has a short fuse when it comes to personal freedoms (hello Texans!) and corona virus is not going to disappear by magic (hello Donald!), so that many more Bournemouth beach incidents might occur over the next few months while scientists try and create then manufacture a vaccine.

Meantime, so many publicist demagogues (Donald again; Vladimir, Jair, Xi, Boris, Recep for starters) are unashamedly willing our economic resurgence even in the teeth of increasing infections…no matter that this is precisely the time to stay at home and let our governments become socialist missionaries as they subsidise all of us recently unemployed until we get out the other side, ready to restore our capitalist economies.

With the cost of borrowing just a tad over zero percent for governments, our currently vast national debts will be relatively easily paid off from even modest growth, once it resumes.

Albeit in a world significantly different to our pre-Covid version, with social distancing, track n trace, frequent lockdowns n quarantines – not to mention fewer international students and flights, ocean cruises, tourism generally, hugging n kissing and even mass gatherings… except maybe at the local, where the UK police aver social distancing and excess alcohol are mutually exclusive: even I coulda told ‘em that!!!

Justin Simpson 

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