BY JIM WEBSTER
Don’t you know there is a war on? What does it take to get people to take things seriously? Do we need Chief Warden Hodges from Dad’s Army storming round Brussels shouting ‘Put that Light Out’?
There is a problem with people. They will continue to believe things even when they’re obviously not true. As an example of this, YouGov do a daily chat, they email it to tens of thousands of people. They will ask various questions on the chosen subject of the day, but the fascinating part is that you see the number of people who have agreed with which answer.
So when they asked what precautions people were taking against Covid, I took a screenshot of the answer. 47% of people said they were wearing a facemask. I have to ask where? In the comfort and safety of their own home? When they’re in bed? Because they’re certainly not wearing it outside. In the last fortnight I’ve travelled on mainline railways, the London under and over ground, I’ve been in shops and meetings all over the place. People wearing masks form, I would guess, no more than 1% of the population. So why on earth are people ticking the box saying they still wear a mask?
Is it they want the smug glow of being a caring and concerned person who thinks of others without actually having to go to the effort of being a caring and concerned person who thinks about others?
Note at this point I am not saying do or don’t wear a mask. That is entirely up to the individual and I’m not going to point the finger or mock somebody’s decision on this topic whatever they decide. I just want to know why such a large proportion of the population who obviously don’t wear masks claim they still do?
But this morning on the radio I heard an even more ridiculous example of an inability to accept the real world. Anybody who has been part of the EU will know that its bureaucracy can take years to catch up with reality. But the Ukrainian war has thrown this into high relief. Ignoring foot dragging by the leaders of wealthy countries who’re so in hock to Russian gas it’s an embarrassment to their citizens, just look at the borders.
In the UK we’re arguing about the Northern Ireland Protocol and the EU is threatening trade wars and all sorts of things. But on the Romanian frontier with Ukraine, a country they’re trying to help, farmers are trying to get Ukrainian grain out of the Ukraine. This is vital, it is almost ridiculously important. People will starve without that grain. More power to their elbow. Yet the EU is doing the equivalent of standing outside your house and clapping ineffectually.
One farmer has taken four loads (at 25 tons a load) across the border. The queue to get out of the Ukraine with your grain is 20km, the queue to get back into the Ukraine is 15km. He could spend six days in the queue. On the fourth trip, Romanian customs demanded paperwork that hadn’t been needed on the first three trips.
A picture taken by a Ukrainian farmer of the queue he was stuck in:
The Ukrainian farmers are running out of money, they’re running out of fuel. The EU is managing to do what even Putin couldn’t manage.
And anyway, what sort of utter muppet creates a 20km queue in a war zone where the Russians are targeting civilian infrastructure? How many dead do the EU want?
Jim Webster farms at the bottom end of South Cumbria. Jim was encouraged to collect together into a book some blog posts he’d written because of their insight into Cumbrian farming and rural life (rain, sheep, quad-bikes and dogs) It’s available here.