Derek Peden

Derek Peden

Battle for the bog roll: coronavirus makes Britain as British as possible

Joel Golby in The Guardian:

I have a working theory about the root of this shopping stampede groupthink, and it’s the war. There is a prevalent mindset in Britain that a good old war (not one of these new wars, obviously; if a modern war happened right now we’d all be attacked by machine-gun drones and nuked to death in seconds, and the whole thing would be over in about a day and a half), but a proper Vera-Lynn-and-paint-your-tights-on war, would be good for us.

Think how good a war would be. We’d all eat boiled grey mince for four years and solemnly rinse our underwear in our leftover bathwater like the martyrs we are, and we’d bloody well muddle through it, wouldn’t we, because we’re British. I don’t want to say that the people who think Old War Britain would be great are many of the same people who voted for Brexit, but only because I’m not YouGov, and me saying so would be a hunch not backed by data. But if you did the polling, you’d find out that I’m right. The Venn diagram of people who currently have a garage full of toilet roll, those who think national service would “sort the youth out, because they have too many iPads” and those who would ideally quite like a wall built between us and France, is basically a Covid-19 virus-particle shaped circle.