Our successor to This Week in the Guardian, This Week in the New Normal is our weekly chart of the progress of autocracy, authoritarianism and economic restructuring around the world.
There was no TWitNN last week, because of the 9/11 anniversary, so this edition is technically, “The last two weeks in the new normal”.
1. Is the UK heading for a winter black-out?
This week it was reported that a fire at a power relay station has damaged a cable running electricity from France to the UK. The cable apparently can’t be fixed until March (although I have yet to see any explanation as to why), which means electricity prices are set to jump up this winter.
Real fire or no, you can be sure the power companies don’t mind the bump in revenue. But is there more to it?
We’re already seeing warnings of potential “blackouts” this winter, as the electrical supply fails to keep up with demand. Power shortages during cold weather could easily cause a heavy spike in the number of elderly or vulnerable people dying over the winter.
Those deaths, as pretty much all deaths are these days, could then be attributed to “Covid”, and used to enforce booster shots or another lockdown…or anything else they want.
Further, it’s conceivable that, just as lockdowns were sold as being good for the environment,any blackouts could be accompanied by news stories talking up the idea of living with less electricity.
Can’t you just picture the Guardian’s opinion section? “In the future rolling blackouts will be the new normal. And that’s a good thing.” or “temporary electricity outages are a small price to pay for healing the earth” and even “Back to nature: How the blackouts forced us outside to reconnect with our planet and our neighbours.”
It’s also possible, of course, that there was no fire, and there will be no blackouts, and that they’re just freaking people out to make them worry and stop them complaining when their electricity prices are hiked for no reason.
2. Doctors should “give priority” to vaccinated patients
Ruth Marcus, a deputy editor at the Washington Post, has had enough of people pussy-footing around this issue and is going “come right out and say it” – unvaccinated people deserve healthcare less than vaccinated people.
She at least admits this “conflicts radically with accepted medical ethics”, which is completely true but for some reason that doesn’t seem to change her mind:
under ordinary circumstances, I agree with those rules. The lung cancer patient who’s been smoking two packs a day for decades is entitled to the same treatment as the one who never took a puff. The drunk driver who kills a family gets a team doing its utmost to save him
To be clear then – Ruth considers the unvaccinated as morally inferior to a drunk driver who ran over some kids. Which says a lot more about her, than the unvaccinated.
This is one of this feeler pieces. An antennae article, gently feeling the ground to see if can bear the weight of the agenda coming behind it. It’s setting up the conversation. Because once we’ve established “anti-vaxxers” don’t deserve healthcare, those other people she’s so careful to mention – smokers and drunk drivers – they’re next. Along with the obese, or the clumsy, or the religious, or the politically inconvenient.
If you don’t believe me, just check the comments under the article. The WaPo has one of the most scripted comments sections on the internet, whose usual job is to play the “bad cop” to the author’s “good cop”. And, sure enough, BTL is full of hundreds of supposedly real humans saying the author doesn’t go far enough, and we should ration all kinds of healthcare based on personal choices.
3. The campaign to de-fund independent media continues
A Guardian article from today is warning that big companies might be “funding misinformation” through internet advertising. There’s a lot of words there, but you don’t need to read most of them, the agenda is clear from the headline:
Nike and Amazon among brands advertising on Covid conspiracy sites
The article is based on a report from the Bureau of Independent Journalism, which claims to be an “independent” non-profit, but which is funded by an entirely predictable list of billionaires. Seriously, check their “about us” page and play NGO Bingo with their donor list.
According to this “independent” report, internet advertising is too “opaque” and we need to increase the “transparency” of the system so that major companies don’t unintentionally back “misinformation” and only give money to “benign” websites.
This is a continuation of an ongoing campaign to make it harder for any independent content creators to exist. We’ve already seen PayPal team up with the ADL to “Fight Extremism and Protect Marginalized Communities”. You don’t need me to tell you what that means.
It’s not just political either, YouTube demonetises basically everyone for basically anything these days, turning their formerly public platform into a corporate desert devoid of individuality or creativity.
There’s a reason OffG has always resisted putting ads on the site, over the years that decision has cost us a lot of money, but we have our independence and don’t live under threat. For any independent media out there who do rely on advertising income, now might be a good time to develop a plan B.
BONUS: Double-think of the week
We present, without comment, this tweet from the American Civil Liberties Union:
Far from compromising them, vaccine mandates actually further civil liberties. They protect the most vulnerable, people with disabilities and fragile immune systems, children too young to be vaccinated, and communities of color hit hard by the disease. https://t.co/UYfQY2EEqj
— ACLU (@ACLU) September 2, 2021
(Yes, technically, this is from a couple of weeks ago, but it’s too awful not to share.)
It’s not all bad…
In Australia, unvaccinated construction workers, forbidden from eating inside, ate their lunch in the street in protest. Other protest across Australian cities turned violent. Hopefully signs that Australia is finally waking up to what it’s become.
We also have the now-routine massive protests in France, returning for their tenth week:
10th week in a row of vaccine passport protests in Paris.
A warning to any Government: making vaccination a condition for everyday life will create further distrust and resentment.
— Bella Wallersteiner (@BellaWallerstei) September 18, 2021
And I’d like to direct everyone to the Twitter account of Wayne the Covid Marshall. He’s a very real person doing entirely serious work to keep us all safe. Bless you Wayne!
All told a pretty hectic week for the new normal crowd, and we didn’t even mention the landlords evicting the unvaccinated, the reddit mods flagging accounts as “potentially unvaccinated” or the return of mad cow disease.