Veritas Ergo Iustitia: MCMLXXXIV/MMXX

Veritas Ergo Iustitia: MCMLXXXIV/MMXX, mixed media (graphite, collage, on clay board)
by Miko Mayer

VERITAS ERGO IUSTITIA: MCMLXXXIV/MMXX

 

I’ve been finding it disconcerting how much reality is imitating fiction. 

We’ve watched for ages as Trump and Putin have used plausible deniability and so called ‘alternative facts’ to reframe reality, replacing truth with whatever they find convenient. Overtones of the dystopian within our times—think of George Orwell: ‘the mutability of the past’, ‘the denial of objective reality’. In 1984 he wrote, ‘who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past’. To watch this in action, even in other countries, was disturbing enough; for it now to be happening in UK as well and, during the initial stages of this pandemic, to watch most of the mainstream media and much of public completely enthralled by the government’s narrative… I’ve truly been at a loss for words. 

Following international and independent journalists and scientists, it was obvious that when the UK government was saying it was science led, following the best advice, at the best times, the international community was watching with consternation. The data out of other countries was clear, it didn’t ‘change’, and every day the UK insisted things like mass gatherings weren’t likely to increase the spread of the virus, was another day which would inevitably lead to thousands more cases and eventually exponential growth. In a further step towards the dystopian, for some reason, the domestic media followed the government’s talking-points—perhaps they didn’t want to cause panic or perhaps individual journalists were being hemmed in by their corporate conductors, but they didn’t ask the questions that so obviously needed asking. News from other countries was a stark difference—they watched us from afar and calculated what things like lack of community testing, herd immunity, or not joining procurement schemes would mean for our country. In time, the media here started becoming more critical, but this took too long and only came after catalysts that could not be ignored, like open letters from scores of domestic scientists and academics.

The government eventually started following some of the internationally recommended procedures—social distancing, lockdowns, more testing—putting human lives ahead of political and economic fears. This was a huge step in the right direction, but even so, they refused to admit they could’ve done more sooner. They maintain they’ve done everything right all along, that we’ve avoided the worst, while, in reality, we have more deaths than any other European country.

At the start of the pandemic, the UK government’s response was at best inept and inadequate, at worst calculated and callous. I’m somewhat relieved to see they’re taking things more seriously at the moment—are not seemingly in a rush to obliterate the lockdown and run headlong into a second wave—but I don’t think we should forget how things have gone along the way or, in trying to be supportive citizens, lose our ability to think and question critically what is going on around us.

Is this 2020 or 1984? 

 

8 thoughts on “Veritas Ergo Iustitia: MCMLXXXIV/MMXX

  1. I read only yesterday that the lockdown is likely to be eased from Monday… If it’s true, it shows once again the very little value this governement puts on the human life.

    1. I read that as well. I’m very much hoping it’s a light easing, like allowing more than one outing for exercise, but you can tell by my post, I have little faith in their ability to be compassionate and wise.

      I started the art ages ago and kept adding to it, when I’ve been feeling well enough, then wrote the post a few days ago—thought I’d better post it as is as the situation is ever changing. It’s all very unsettling and upsetting, isn’t it?

      1. Let’s hope so, but like you, I have little faith… I find people are divided too. Some people are really eager to get back to ‘normal’ while others would happily stay in lockdown a bit longer.

        The art is beautiful – thank you for sharing it! It’s lovely to see all the creations that are coming out of these truly unsettling times.

        I hope you’re doing well and staying healthy! x

      2. Thank you! ❤️ I’m still (abnormally) sick, but luckily have art to keep me distracted when I’m up for it. Hope you and yours are all keeping physically, mentally, and emotionally as well as possible during all this!

      3. Bless you! I hope you get better soon. 💕 Any idea if it’s COVID? And thank you for your well wishes. We’ve both had some kind of virus a few weeks ago, but we’re fine now. I’m mostly worried for my parents back home who work on the frontlines (thankfully, they are both safe and healthy at the moment).

      4. Thanks 💕 Yes, pretty sure it’s Covid—symptoms all there, never been like this before. Just having trouble shaking it. Was an article about people going through exactly the same thing as I am on the BBC, so these moderate cases that just don’t go away are obviously becoming more well known. I’m very glad you guys recovered and that your parents are ok so far. Working on the frontlines must be very scary—what heroes! ❤️

      5. Yes, I think I saw a similar article. It’s a weird virus… It doesn’t affect everyone the same way! I hope you receover soon. ❤

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