Daily View 2×2: 24 April 2020

We’ve almost staggered to the end of another week, and there’s a weekend to look forward to…

2 big stories

The Government, having missed every target for Coronavirus testing that they’ve set, have upped the ante by setting a new, even bigger target – 100,000 tests per day. Of course, the question of how you get to one of the testing centres, especially if you’re ill, hasn’t really been addressed. Keir Starmer slowly, and patiently, shredded Dominic Raab’s attempts to deflect their failure thus far at PMQs on Wednesday – but the news that Matt Hancock is looking to recruit 18,000 people to carry out contact tracing clearly means that the strategy is changing… again.

The question of whether the health of the public or that of the economy should be prioritised has been reopened by the suggestion by a member of the Bank of England’s interest rate-setting committee, Gertjan Vlieghe, that we can expect “a squeeze on incomes that was unprecedented in its speed and severity”. The IHS Markit UK composite purchasing managers index, fell to 12.9 in April (it’s on a scale from 1 to 100), indicating a massive contraction in business activity. How does this Government react to that, especially given that attempts are already being made to borrow £225 billion?

2 social media posts

Nick Tyrone thinks that liberals should stop being condescending about St George’s Day. I have to say that, as an ersatz Englishman – not afraid to use a foreign word like ersatz – St George’s Day just doesn’t impinge on my consciousness. The national media barely mention it, unlike the saints days of Scotland, Wales and Ireland, which appear to be taken far more seriously. Perhaps a day surrounded by Easter and the first May Bank Holiday just doesn’t mean that much? How are we supposed to celebrate it anyway?

Is it me, or are rather more of our Parliamentarians experienced pantomime dames than one might statistically expect? First Ronnie Fearn, and now Jamie Stone. Jamie wants to be a guest judge on Drag Race UK, and has promised to post an embarrassing panto photo of himself if he can get 500 retweets for his campaign plea. Go on, you want to support him, don’t you? Oh yes you do!

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  • There are some nice icons of St. George in the churches in Georgia and the country has an interesting flag.

  • Richard Underhill 24th Apr '20 - 9:02am

    ” not afraid to use a foreign word like ersatz”
    Coffee lovers under war-time occupation?

  • Richard Underhill 24th Apr '20 - 9:04am

    Manfarang 24th Apr ’20 – 7:45am
    Quick quiz
    One state in the USA and one republic in the former soviet union have the same name.
    What is the name?

  • This is the flag.
    Another quiz question,
    Who was born Ioseb Besarionis dzе Djugashvili ?

  • St George is not a very helpful emblem if you want to espouse the better versions of English patriotism (such as the George Orwell variety). I’m not sure that his muscular version of Christianity does faith a lot of good either. However while I’m not aware of any process for replacing a national saint, an upgrading of 23 April to Shakespeare Day could be helpful. His being born and dying on that day is still a matter of conjecture/approximation but, as with St David and St Patrick, he is part of the national history. It is not clear if St George is part of any nation’s history – a citizen of nowhere so-to-speak!

  • Mark
    It is indeed a good museum.
    The next quiz question is-
    What happened to the statue of Stalin that was in Gori town square?

  • St George appears to be important in the Egyptian Coptic Church as well, given his prominence in a a Coptic church in Toronto, where we attended a wedding a couple of years ago.
    Again using the same flag and dragon slaying abilities!

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