How to report a weekend where nothing happens, nothing at home at least, nothing photographable. Although I think Gary Winogrand said something to the opposite of that, arguing ‘all things are photographable’, and of course camera phones and instagram have proven him correct. Hence the selfie to kick things off, my family are tired of me photographing them.
Outside the debate rages on, as the Sunday Times details the five weeks of lost preparation they argue have cost thousands of lives. A Conservative paper turning on a Tory PM, with a sub-plot of rumoured rebellion amongst a clique around Michael Gove, labelled in some quarters as the ‘let them die’ group (those behind ‘herd immunity’), some of whom believe Johnson might have gone soft. These are the people prioritising the economy first, unfortunately missing the small point that dead people don’t make or buy anything, nor really do sick people, or for that matter people who are mourning or caring night and day for the sick and ill.
Here’s the fascinating thing in all the talk of the economy, people working create value, but of course they receive less in pay than the value they create, this ‘surplus value’ is the profit that is creamed off to create the wealth of those who own things, otherwise known as the ‘means of production’, the owners of factories, corporations and those who indirectly own these things through share holdings. With no profits being generated, and equities (stocks) bouncing all over the place, lots of very wealthy people are finding their wealth and the means by which it is produced threatened, no wonder then that they’re keen to re-open the economy. They’re also increasingly concerned that the longer this goes on for the wider the desire for some form of longer term income protection, some form of universal basic income will become, and once established there would be no going back.
But this desire is also reflected in those who need such work to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads, which explains why thousands would protest to get the economy opened in the US, without any other means of support they’ll risk their own lives, much as workers have been risking their lives to generate profit for others for hundreds of years. Some of this is dressed up in the language of ‘freedom’ and liberty’ and the usual right-wing groups of populist nationalists are seeking to exploit these vulnerabilities, but it doesn’t remove the fact that people with no means to survive other than through work, will protest to work.
In the meantime we’ll sit in the garden and read, and shelter, and occasionally feel down about all of the above and occasionally happy that we have time together and have the privilege of space and opportunities to learn and create.