• Nam Honestus Sacrificium.

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    A female journalist being interviewed on the BBC in the now customary home to studio video link opined her dislike of the use of war terminology employed by the politicians and the commentariat generally.

    I did not take a note of this young woman’s name or the publication she worked for, suffice it to say I heartily disagree with her as I am firmly of the opinion that war terminology is entirely appropriate to the gravity of the situation.

    It may very well be the case that there are not squadrons of He-111s flying over London dropping unguided HE GP bombs and incendiaries but the emergency measures restricting and regulating the civilian population are indeed redolent of WW2. Where our parents, grandparents and great grandparents had officious Air Raid Wardens shouting, “Put that light out!”, we now have officious police officers telling people seated on public benches to get up and to be on their way, preferably in the direction of their homes.

    Meanwhile in what in the truest sense of the phrase which is indeed “the front line”, the medical staff employed in the National Health Service are “taking casualties” to use the modern NATO parlance for troops that are killed on active service.

    Whilst it is very much the case that the nation’s doctors and nurses are not falling to bullets and shrapnel injuries, they are very much being injured and killed by COVID-19. NB: Those persons contracting a serious form of COVID-19 who survive can emerge with permanent damage to their lungs thereby fully qualifying as “injured personnel.”

    Of course, there are many (fully justified) cries for “PPE” – what now most citizens know stands for “personal protective equipment” – and many of the commentariat are deploring the inadequacy of the government’s response.

    The FACT of the matter is this: The UK was simply NOT geared up to fight this pandemic. More than a decade of government pruning of the NHS budget left the system with no slack. Furthermore, the cries for large scale “trace and trace” – the one way out of this hole – is hobbled by a lack of sufficient resources. The Germans can do it because they have consistently taxed more and spent more on the public services than UK governments.

    The UK government is clearly relying on “social distancing” because it is about the only weapon in their armoury that they possess. Presumably the plan is to wait in hope that the cases and deaths peak, plateau and decline to a sufficient degree whence the authorities can then do what the Germans are doing – “trace and trace” – quarantining (with statutory force and criminal penalties for non compliance) those found to be suffering from COVID-19 and all those they have come into contact with.

    It is to be expected that the authorities have figured out the obvious: That such new draconian measures would be introduced at the same time as “the lock-down” is relaxed (to a greater or lesser extent) so as to ensure the public’s support for the new regime.

    Having listened to the PM’s understandable paean of praise for the intensive care nurses who nursed him back towards his recovery, my thoughts move towards what should occur when the Coronavirus Emergency is over.

    In the absence of a new and specific civilian “campaign medal” being struck, I think it would be a good idea if those NHS employees working in the intensive care facilities were awarded en masse, the British Empire Medal (formally British Empire Medal for Meritorious Service).

    They will have earned it.

    BTW, “Nam Honestus Sacrificium” translated into English is “For Honourable Sacrifice”.

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