The Cost of Folly

During the Nazi occupation of France, around two percent of French citizens momentarily ceased eating, and debating fresh air, to join the Resistance. After the war, it was said a quarter of French citizens claimed they, too, were part of that romance.

I remember, as a boy of 12, the one million or so demonstrators marching through London, protesting the looming invasion of Iraq. Back then, two-thirds supported with full throats and empty minds the Iraq war. Today, such people are thin on the ground. Nobody, it seems, ever supported the war in Iraq.

I’m under no illusions. The same mental gymnastics will pretzel the memories of those who supported in full, and often with maniacal, curtain-twitching relish, the Covid-19 lockdowns.

During the first two-week lockdown, I suggested the ‘insane’ Swedish approach would likely prove right. The Swedes, a grown-up people, tend to get things on the money. Many usually well-adjusted types accused me of a desire to kill my grandparents—a strange contention—I don’t have any grandparents.

Critics claimed the Swedish approach of keeping society largely open was a grand social experiment. Somehow, our decision to turn off the economy, lock up millions of healthy people, and pay them to watch Netflix and bake banana bread, was the sane approach.

The results are in. Sweden got it right. And we, well . . . Take a look around. Great Britain is a soup sandwich. America isn’t faring much better . . .

Read the rest at Christopher Gage’s Substack, Oxford Sour. And please subscribe.

About Christopher Gage

Christopher Gage is a British political journalist and a founding member of the Gentlemen of the Swig. Subscribe to his Substack, "Oxford Sour."

Photo: iStock/Getty Images

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