Parties, politics and puritanism


About what you’d expect, really: everyone losing their minds about the government’s Christmas parties last year and not bothering overmuch about their latest attack on democracy and human rights.

puritanismYes, fair enough, Partygate is probably the most blatant demonstration of their sheer contempt for the general public we’ve seen so far, but it’s a shame it’s fuelling a further outbreak of witless puritanism. People are actually beginning to whine for lockdowns to return despite the fact that Omicron seems really very likely to be the least dangerous variation of Covid yet.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, puritanism has been getting in the way of public health and wellbeing. It may have a bit to do with an almost subconscious superstition that if you punish yourself enough and sacrifice enough you will be safe – or saved – but it’s a mindset that does more harm than good. It’s all about ostentatious virtue-signalling rather than logic or practical considerations, and almost always lead people towards embracing the removal of other people’s liberty and autonomy in the name of the public good. The hair-shirts-and-handwringing elements of supposedly progressive organisations have always done their own side more harm than the opposition. Everything’s problematic, everything’s puritanismselfish, everything’s immoral if you enjoy it. Trouble is, if you come across as a set of bullying fun-sponges, you will never win many votes and one of the reasons Fucko the Clown remained popular for so long was that he was able to present himself as fun, jolly, not taking life too seriously, which appealed to a lot of people whose lives lacked laughs..

For the moment, if you have been vaccinated, wear your mask and take a quick test before meeting up with lots of other people, there is no public health reason to refrain from socialising. It’s not socialising that’s the problem, it’s a lack of financial support for people who need to quarantine – and that’s been the problem all along.

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