There is a famous political saying: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Basically this means that it’s an opportunity to do things you think that you could not do before.
Can you imagine if any party leader in Europe had announced, as recently as 3 months ago, that they thought it was in the best interests of their country to massively cut trade with China? That their country was now going to start manufacturing more?
Never Let a Good Crisis Go To Waste…
The opposition party would be all over them. The media (in every western country) would have been full of pages commenting on the stupidity of such a thing. The financial scare stories would have been worse than the now infamous Brexit “project fear” nonsense. How can this party leader suggest such a thing? How on earth will we survive?
There would be cries from every political class about how inflation would rise towards the clouds. “Hyper-inflation” would be the new buzzword to frighten the public. The stock markets would probably crash as the greedy investment bankers panicked and reacted like headless chickens in the immediate aftermath of such a ‘frightening announcement’. How the media would love it.
Yet right now we are in completely uncharted waters. So called democracies have never been here before. A brave political leader could now confidently put this idea to their country. They could actually pull it off.
Breaking the China Dependency
I can only write about the places I know best. The UK and Spanish. In Spain the (centre) left Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has just done what would have been unthinkable even in the time of General Franco. He has just put the entire population under house arrest. For almost two months and counting.
Back in 2005 Spain made special arrangements with China. Things have gone reasonably well since then and the prices of manufactured goods have remained fairly low. But things are different now. After what could be at least two months of home jail time the Spanish public would probably accept a year or two of inflation. Especially if it means bringing some manufacturing jobs back home. And why not? Who really needs most of the cheap crap made in China anyway? The recent events have actually presented us with a great opportunity.
Why not other things?
And it’s not just about China. This Stalinist lockdown has been the most incredible jump from what we thought was a democratic society with freedom and liberty. Heading into the abyss of what could become an Orwellian nightmare. Any policy hitherto considered hardcore now seems possible. Doable and even acceptable. Western leaders have already done the unthinkable so whatever they do next, if well presented, would seem the correct and logical thing to do.
Italian leaders can now talk about leaving the European Union. No party leader would have dared suggest that a few months ago. But after 7 weeks (and counting) of locking up their citizens plus the total lack of support from the “union”, it would probably be a vote winning policy.
The Dark Flip Side
Who would not applaud breaking trade ties with China right now? Right now, not many. But there is a downside to all this. Such ‘outside the box’ policies could now be ushered in almost without notice or fanfare. Politicians could also use this situation to bring in other draconian measures. More anti-liberty laws. Taking away even more of the freedom our grandparents fought so hard for. We in the so-called free world, all need to be very careful.
There is a lot of talk – and it will not all be by conspiracy theorists – about compulsory vaccines and imbedded micro-chips. This would be leaning more to the commie totalitarian nightmare; not further away from it. Looking back only two months, it is hard to trust our useless leaders right now. The police (in the UK at least) are already getting well above themselves with over-zealous threats and intimidation. That definitely needs to be fixed. This could all get a lot worse. We need leaders who are not only strong but who are also libertarians at heart.
Equally as bad would be to allow the green ‘eco-loon’ lobby to plunge us all into a permanent paralysed state with no air travel and minimal car usage. They would love to see us all stay exactly as things are now on lockdown.
It’s just like John Lennon wrote…
In these unprecedented times the words of John Lennon strike a chord: (no pun intended)
“Nobody told me there’d be days like these. Strange days indeed. Most peculiar Mama…”