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Coronavirus response: not a conspiracy, more a syndicate.


SADLY, FOR THE true believers, there is no co-ordinated conspiracy between governments and global business to usher in a New World Order, according to some agreed agenda, whatever that is. But there is clearly a remarkable congruity in establishment responses to coronavirus around the world (with rare exceptions). The alacrity with which governments copied each other in implementing lockdown is an example of this, as has been their unquestioning adoption of advice from the WHO — even down to flip-flopping over the usefulness of face masks, a volte-face blatantly performed for political, not medical, reasons.

It is tempting to see this congruence as evidence of a vast conspiracy, but it would be misguided to do so. This is something less epically grandiose and more sordidly grubby. What we are witnessing and suffering from is an exercise in shameless opportunism by numerous groups of people who constitute those elites Christopher Lasch described in his prescient work, The Revolt of the Elites, in 1995. In this case it’s billionaires like Bill Gates pushing for a vaccine, the WHO advocating a continuous state of abnormality conjoined with a fantasy about combating global warming, teachers’s unions being obstructive in getting pupils back to school, scientific experts and advisors dreaming up new terrors for us, ministers fervidly consulting with their civil servants to concoct more unworkable and inhuman regulations to constrict our lives, the media relentlessly parroting the government’s panic agenda and refusing to provide context or criticism; and recently, of course, the re-emergence of openly ideological groups such as Black Lives Matter and Extinction Rebellion visiting their hypocrisy and destruction on our deserted streets.

What all of these elites are doing is simply exploiting panic to engineer more prominence for themselves. More cash for some, definitely, and more publicity for all.

What all of these elites, and others, are doing is simply exploiting panic to engineer more prominence for themselves. More cash for some, definitely, and more publicity for all. More influence, certainly, for those groups with the ear of the media and the well-educated but socially illiterate governing classes of all parties, and definitely more power for those unelected commissars in transnational bodies such as the World Health Organisation who can issue edicts from on high like emperor gods. For other martinets much lower down the scale there’s the opportunity to flex their power by implementing restrictions on their staff with impunity. If you want to impress the powers that be with your absolute indispensability then now is your time.

For a lot of people there has never been a better time to boost their career, their reputation and their bank balance.

What unites all these elites, though not in a tightly dogmatic way, is their ideology, and this is what gives them so much clout. Generally it’s that loose, fashionable, social justice type of leftism bundled with an obsession with open borders, mass immigration and the environment. That loose and rather squidgy politicking, though, should not be underestimated. It barely masks the vicious authoritarianism underneath. All these people are united in their firm belief that the state should control every aspect of our lives and that they are the anointed ones who should be running things. The corporate elites are happy to go along with this as long as they get the kudos and profits. So, disparate these elites may be, but there is immense overlap and interconnection between them. They’re more like a syndicate than a unified company or cabal. They don’t have to sit down all together to discuss their evil plans and rub their hands in anticipation. They don’t need to. They all share the same basic mindset and that is what guides their actions.

Throw into this fœtid mix the inherent incompetence, arrogance, cowardice and vanity of politicians and you end up with a collapsing economy, mass unemployment, a looming country-wide health crisis, a servile but increasingly surly populace, a growing discontent with all establishment institutions and a society that is beginning to buckle under the pressure of being deprived of its normal human interactions.

The truth usually turns out to be simpler, less sensational and more shabby than people imagine. The poltroons prolonging the chaos of the covid panic may flatter themselves they have humanitarian hearts of gold but their intentions are nakedly selfish. The only conspiracy at work here is that of opportunist roguery.

suxcoverCurrente Calamo columnist, poet and writer Michael Blackburn lives in Lincolnshire. A Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Lincoln University (2005 – 2008), his poetry has appeared in numerous publications and anthologies over the years, including Being Alive (Bloodaxe) and Something Happens, Sometimes Here (Five Leaves Press). His most recent book is Albion Days (perennisperegrinator press). Sucks to Your Revolution is a collection of his Fortnightly columns.

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