March 15th The Coronet Diaries

Dido our hound in competition with Sir Richard’s land/mud art!

We walked Dido in the park this morning and the sombre light felt more real than yesterday’s azure glow which feels as strange as the vivid rainbow. The birds and geese were still at it even if it is too early for the bees. Difficult to tell whether the coots were having fun or hell bent on the survival of the fittest which has taken on a new Cummings credential. A majestic swan is sitting on her nest. The blossoms almost seduced me back into believing the universe is fertile or that we are not being led by Rasputin-dark-arts Cummings and the denial of science into a hyperbole of death. This morning my Proustian Professor and best mate, Kit Pendergast, Fellow of Kings College, wrote in unbridled indignation to the Guardian, which means I don’t need to offer my explanation of what is going on alongside the Cabinet Office’s ‘Nudge theory’.

David Solomon Halpern is apparently a British behavioural psychologist and civil servant heading the Behavioural Insights Team spun out from the Cabinet Office. It seems that Cummings may even prefer his insights to our chief medical office, Professor Chris Witty, but who knows anything about anything except for Cummings? Well, my prof friend Kit knows his mind in is letter as yet unpublished to the Guardian Editor:

Boris Johnson is opting for what appears to be a ‘Darwinian’ solution, a form of survival of the fittest along with a cull of the weak. His ‘delay’ approach might make sense if the ‘immunity’ objective, targeted principally on younger generations, were accompanied by an immediate and massive increase in funding for extra hospital capacity and social care to look after those most at risk, mainly the elderly. But the strategy claims to be aimed also at avoiding ‘pressure’ on the NHS rather than throwing the kitchen sink at expanding capacity to handle additional pressure. This is worse than a betrayal of the elderly and the vulnerable. It has a very nasty flavour of biological Fascism. Can it be a coincidence that Johnson’s chief advisor has declared an interest in ‘epidemiology’, not to mention his sideline in eugenics? If the prime minister is remotely interested in being a prime minister, one of the things he should do without delay is sack Cummings.

Professor Christopher Prendergast
Cambridge

There were all sorts of other things I wanted to write about that were more playful but maybe the day has lost any sort of play and I shall have to wait for tomorrow. Ah, yes there was another extraordinary happening as we left the park today and were swabbing down with disinfectants by the pay meter. We were not alone. Darkness will not fade. The heronry which Regent’s Park was famous for was abandoned last year after the crows systematically massacred the nests and now only one or two herons, about whom I have already blogged, hang around in forlorn melancholy. As we reached our car one solitary heron presided over our departure. Not even Dido persuaded him to fly, or flee.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell 
         To toll me back from thee to my sole self! 
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well 
         As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf. 

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