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.
1. UK’s political musical chairs
This week saw the UK’s Conservative Party playing yet another party game – and when the music stopped it was chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng who found himself without a seat.
He’s been replaced by Jeremy Hunt, an equally vacuous nonentity whose sole recommendation is his name is easier to rhyme.
This is unlikely to be the end of it, and following a week of some embarrassing U turns and gaffes, speculation is rife that Prime Minister Liz Truss is next for the chop.
Obviously it will make no difference who is “in charge”, no hero is riding over the ridge on a white horse, but the reasons for this organized chaos are…
As we at OffG have suggested before, it could be argued that Trump and Biden and Truss and BoJo are a clown parade designed to discredit elected office, and make any alternative proposed in the future seem like an improvement.
For example, in the Guardian today David Mitchell argues that Charles III has as much right to tell us what to do as Liz Truss, and at least he seems to care.
Yes, it’s a tongue-in-cheek joke, but it’s still seeding the idea that the current model is broken, and democracy isn’t necessarily the answer.
They will joke at first, they always do, but they’ll get serious soon enough.
2. “Bodily autonomy is not absolute”
Last week Rice University’s Baker Institute hosted the Texas Vaccine Symposium, at which multiple speakers addressed various topics related to vaccines, as you’d imagine.
Ultimately these efforts pose a significant threat to national and global public health and could establish dangerous precedents that limit the effectiveness of future vaccination campaigns.
She concluded by observing that “bodily autonomy is not absolute”, and warning of the “danger” of Covid:
the right to individual autonomy is not absolute and may be limited in circumstances where individuals pose a risk to others. In the context of COVID-19, the risk of transmission and harm to others is great, particularly for at-risk individuals and communities.
Someone should really update Valerie on the latest Covid stats, because a disease with a 99.85% survival rate isn’t much of a “risk” to anyone. And even if it were, the “vaccines” don’t actually halt transmission.
Anyway, that was 2 weeks ago, I hear you say, why is it only just featuring in TWitNN? Well, two reasons.
First, because I didn’t actually hear about it until a few days ago. But mostly because after clips of the talk went viral:
Texas Vaccine Policy Symposium Declares the 'Anti-Vax' a Threat to Public Health
"If the unvaccinated become a protected class, the spread of such diseases is likely to escalate."
"The right to individual autonomy is not absolute." pic.twitter.com/y0GPgHEO5R
— Merissa Hansen🇺🇸🕵🏻♀️ (@MerissaHansen17) October 14, 2022
…the resultant backlash forced Rice University to make their video of the presentation private.
Which is a delightful end to the story.
3. Why are people throwing soup on paintings?
On Friday two climate change protesters from “Just Stop Oil” threw tomato soup on a Vincent Van Gogh painting hanging in the UK’s National Gallery, before gluing themselves to the wall.
This was supposedly done to raise awareness of the “climate change emergency”, because apparently it being in the news every day for the last 20 years hasn’t done that enough.
But is that really what it’s all about?
I’m sure the people who did the souping and gluing think they did it for the climate, but drones gonna drone. They come from the organization Just Stop Oil, a NGO funded by various “foundations” they don’t name on their website. I’m sure we all have an idea who they could be.
Destroying painting and cultural icons in the name of climate, it’s oddly similar to tearing down statues to protest racism, isn’t it?
Black Lives Matter is funded by a few foundations too. Probably the same ones, when you think about it.
And it seems whoever is backing these protest movements really wants to tear up all our cultural touchstones.
Reminds me of a quote from 1984:
Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute.
BONUS: of the week
It’s not all bad…
In France, large-scale protests against the rising cost of living continue:
— Malinka🔸Tanya P (@Malinka1102) October 16, 2022
With some protesters dumping their energy bills out on the street:
Franse jongeren dumpen massaal hun energierekeningen bij het hoofdkantoor van energie leverancier ENEDIS in Parijs.
Ze kunnen het niet meer betalen!! pic.twitter.com/waFo2igLIk
— Ludwig (@LudwigHup) October 14, 2022
In Canada, an inquiry has begun into the Trudeau government’s unprecedented use of the Emergencies Act to crack down on trucker protesters earlier this year.
Here’s Bob Moran’s acerbic latest:
Not all heroes wear capes.
Oh, and here’s a panda playing in a hot spring:
Living the best life.. 😂 pic.twitter.com/kYPfeYJyUw
— Buitengebieden (@buitengebieden) October 7, 2022
There’s a lot of change in the air, a lot of agendas in the works, if you see a headline, article, post or interview you think is a sign of the times, post it in the comments, email us or share it on social media and we will add it to the next edition.
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