June 9, 2020

Is There No End To Their Incompetence?

Jean Rafferty

Writing, published on online websiteSome Modern Modest Proposals, 2020

Early in the coronacrisis, I realised we were not all in this together. Many people, like myself, felt the lockdown had been rushed into without proper scrutiny and on the basis of dubious science and epidemiology. As it has progressed, successive decisions by the governments, both UK and Scottish, have worsened the situation. With each new stupidity, I had to ask, is there no end to their incompetence? I have always hugely admired the savage irony of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. Swift’s outrageous idea of using the babies of the poor as food sprang from profound anger and despair at the way the poor of Ireland were being treated. I applied those principles to the coronacrisis. They have given me a tool to question the governments’ policies, which I believe are embedding the inequalities in our society; failing to protect the poorest paid (and essential) workers such as care assistants, shop assistants, and nursing auxiliaries; and failing to protect the vulnerable, both those in care homes and those who have non-covid conditions. I think exposing the absurdity of behaviour through satire is an effective (and entetaining) way of holding the powerful to account.