• The War of Jenkins’ Arm? Will history repeat itself?

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    “More than 25 million people in the UK have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine….” states the UK government. Amongst the millions yet to be vaccinated there is a 100% certainty that there is a Mr Robert Jenkins living somewhere in the UK who has yet to be vaccinated. This because “Jenkins” is a common surname and “Robert” is a popular boy’s name.
    Doctor North’s excellent and informative blog-post today (https://www.turbulenttimes.co.uk/news/corona/brexit-vaccine-wars/) reports upon the growing tensions à propos of what already is being touted as “the vaccine wars” by elements of the tabloid press.

    It is instructive to peruse a little history:

    The War of Jenkins’ Ear (known as Guerra del Asiento in Spain) was part of the War of the Austrian Succession that was fought between Britain and Spain lasting from 1739 to 1748, mainly in Spanish Central America and the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea, with major operations largely ended by 1742.

    The name was actually invented by Thomas Carlyle in 1858 and refers to Robert Jenkins, a captain of a British merchant ship, who suffered having his ear severed when Spanish sailors boarded his ship at a time of peace. There is no evidence that supports the stories that the severed ear was exhibited before the British Parliament.

    The seeds of conflict began with the injury to Jenkins following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards in 1731, eight years before the war began. Popular response to the incident was tepid until several years later, when opposition politicians and the British South Sea Company played it up, hoping to spur outrage against Spain, believing that a victorious war would improve Britain’s trading opportunities in the Caribbean.

    Now not for a moment is the BG expecting an actual armed conflict between the EU and the UK arising out of this but one is already seeing elements of the Brexiteer brigade egging things on in the hope of political gain.

    One can also see that IF the UK manages to vaccinate it’s population in short order (relatively speaking given it’s population approaching 70 million) there will be definite economic advantages for the UK over the EU economies who will stilled be mired in the coronavirus depression.

    One can also see that EU politicians are aware of this and the differing attitudes vis-à-vis the vaccination programmes.

    IF there is to be conflict (very unlikely – but not impossibly – involving military action) between powers vis-à-vis the plague, it will be between China and other powers but ONLY IF it should be PROVED that the coronavirus was a biological weapon developed by China and released – almost certainly accidentally. This because of the enormous economic damage and disruption as well as the loss of civilian lives that has occurred.

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