‘Welcome to the ‘House of Fun’ sung the upbeat ska group Madness in 1982. Well, in the Britain of 2020 we haven’t got much fun but plenty of madness. Unfortunately though, its not of the musical variety.
Consider the utterly depressing new ‘guidance’ on weddings.
From 4th July, weddings and social partnerships can go ahead, but only with a maximum of 30 people, including the couple, staff, the photographer (s) and witnesses. There should be no food or drink consumed at the event and no singing, shouting or playing music ‘at a volume that means people have to raise their voice’. Weddings should be joyous occasions, the chance for a good-old knees up, in Covid-Cult Britain they’ll be as much fun as watching paint dry. If you do like to have a sing-a-long then you probably need to think about emigrating to Tanzania. Andrew Lloyd Webber has revealed that he has seen a ’working document’ being considered by government which suggests that theatres will only be allowed to re-open in a ‘Covid-secure’ way if there is no singing.
A musical without music? How exactly would that work?
Ok, I hear you say, at least the pubs are re-opening this weekend. But look at the conditions. As Latimer Alder tweeted on Friday
‘Just 8 Big Sleeps, folks, until you can sacrifice all your personal information to a guy dressed in a HamZat suit who may provide you with an over-priced lager as long as you do not talk to anyone or look like you're enjoying yourself. Are you excited about the return of the pub?
A pub when you’re not supposed to talk to anyone and have to make all your payments via an ‘App’ while being served at a ‘socially distanced’ table by a person in a mask? If that’s your idea of a fun night out, you’re welcome to it. I‘d rather stay home and read Edgar Allan Poe. That would be much less scary.
Football has already been back a couple of weeks, but without crowds in the stadium it’s been like watching practice matches. The commentators have done their best to try and make us interested, but it’s generally been dire. And as a lifetime racing fan, and horse-racing writer I have to admit I’m struggling with behind-closed doors racing too. The roar of the crowd adds so much to sport- if we didn’t know that before, we certainly know it now.
The enjoyment of almost everything we took for granted up to March 2020, has been destroyed.
Retail therapy? Going to shops under the ‘New Abnormal‘ is enough to give even the most laid-back person a nervous breakdown. I popped out a couple of weeks ago to get a new bathroom tap washer from Wickes. The ‘socially distanced’ queue for entry into the store went right around the building. If you are lucky enough to get into a shopping centre store, don’t think about browsing, or trying some things on. Changing rooms are closed, and if you want a pee, there’ll be no toilets. Oh, and if you go the ‘wrong’ way round, you could be in for a verbal blasting from a overzealous assistant.
Life hasn’t been this miserable in Britain since the days of Oliver Cromwell. Back then sports, theatres, and inns were closed or banned. Who’d have thought the year 2020 would have us hurtling back to the 1650s?
Now as then, there‘s the same puritanical anti-fun zealotry. Look at the vitriolic attacks on people for going to the beach on the hottest day of the year- and compare them to the very different response to those protesting in large numbers in London.
We need to fix this- ASAP pic.twitter.com/WQmIgdKjcp— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) June 1, 2020
Moving to see this powerful and peaceful demonstration of solidarity supporting #BlackLivesMatter outside Westminster right now.— Tobias Ellwood MP (@Tobias_Ellwood) June 3, 2020
Scenes like this are happening across the world.
Politicians must listen. pic.twitter.com/1XUgShonDh
The message is clear: we can breach social distancing if we want to protest (for certain causes), but not if we simply want to have some good old-fashioned fun at the seaside. Think too how race-goers at the Cheltenham Festival in March were blamed- without any compelling evidence- for the spread of Coronavirus. How dare these people be out there enjoying themselves!
Don’t say you weren’t warned. Back in May, the chillingly robotic Home Secretary Priti Patel expressly stated ’Social distancing is here to stay. Our lives are going to be very different’. For ‘very different’ read ‘crap’.
When Patel boasted she was going to end free movement, it was automatically assumed that she was referring to immigration. It’s clear now she was talking about the people of Britain. It was our free movement that was ending.
Your government has already ended free movement. For people living in England. It ended in March. https://t.co/546BC6WvgJ— Neil Clark (@NeilClark66) June 30, 2020
In similar control-freakery vein, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said that wearing face coverings would be the ‘new normal’ for ‘the foreseeable future’. In Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon has told people to get used to the ‘new normal‘- and that some Covid restrictions may stretch on for years.
It is striking that no mainstream political figure in Britain is talking about us ever returning to the ‘normal’ we enjoyed up March 2020, irregardless of what happens to the virus. The rule of the New Puritans- and they dominate all the major parties-and come under ‘left’ and ‘right’ banners- is meant to be permanent. This is clearly all about a radical anti-human ‘reset’, which reduces non-online social inter-action to a minimum on the grounds of ‘public health’. But what it will do to our collective and individual morale is too horrific to contemplate. The lockdown has already been devastating to mental health, the charity Mind has revealed. Another mental health charity, SANE, has said that calls to its helpline have increased 200% since lockdown began.
Is anyone surprised?
An entire nation under house arrest and forced to be anti-social - and it harms mental health? What a shock. https://t.co/npMxMbFW16— Luke Johnson (@LukeJohnsonRCP) June 30, 2020
The changes to our daily lives that have taken place in 2020 have been greater than any we have experienced for many centuries. Whether we had Labour or Conservative, or Liberal governments in the past, we could still escape the politics and have fun. Whatever we thought of their policies people could sing and dance at weddings, and go to football, racing and concerts under Harold Wilson, Ted Heath, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair. We could hold hands, hug, kiss and flirt- and do all the very human things that make life worth living. Including having a hair-cut.
How ironic that it was under the Premiership of ‘court jester’ Boris Johnson that the laughter finally stopped. The House of Fun that Madness sung about is sadly closed, and in its place we have a horrible, new, state-sponsored madness. To quote the title of another hit from the early 1980s-The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum.
Follow Neil Clark @NeilClark66 and @MightyMagyar
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The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.