Beware the Ides of March

Yesterday, the 15th day of the month, was the Ides of March, which became notorious as the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar, making the Ides of March a turning point in Roman history.

Yesterday was also a blue sky day here in south west France. Although it’s very rural where we are, above us is a major aviation highway. You can’t hear the jets going over, because they are too high, but on a clear day you can see the planes, which are going to Spain, Portugal, North Africa and trans-Atlantic. Yesterday that glorious blue sky was practically empty. It reminded me of a Tuesday many years ago, when I was in central London doing a survey at an office block just across from Victoria Station. It was the first time I’d ever seen the skies above my home city completely empty of planes.

As with 9/11, we are going through a major reset at the moment – history in the fast lane. I’m not going to dwell on this, because events are still rapidly unfolding with breathtaking speed. I’ll just say that the Resistance here in France continues unabated, despite the Frankenstein flu, and the gilets jaunes were out on the streets this weekend in their tens of thousands, despite a government ban against gatherings of more than 100 people. The gilets jaunes were marking Acte 70, the 70th consecutive week of protests against ‘austerity’ and neoliberalism.

I’m also not going to add to the tidal wave of fear porn that’s going around at the moment. Instead, let’s have some uplifting music; well, there’s a bit of a back story to this one: Steve Harley formed the group Cockney Rebel in the early 1970s. Harley hails from my neck of the woods, south London (my cousin went to school with Steve Harley and they were mates). Harley was a bit of an egomaniac and a very difficult customer. During the early days of Cockney Rebel all of the original band members walked out. The band’s biggest hit, Make Me Smile, was done with session musicians, and even these walked out during the recording of the song. Harley had to get in further session musicians to finish recording the track, which went to the number-one spot in the UK charts and was a hit worldwide. Listening to the song you wouldn’t believe the acrimony that lays behind it.

So, grab your toilet rolls and dance around the room in your Hazmat suit while listening to this. Santé…

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8 Responses to Beware the Ides of March

  1. Freddy says:

    France will deploy 100,000 police to enforce a lockdown ordered by President Emmanuel Macron.
    It is now official France has entered the era of a police state.

  2. Freddy says:

    Fixed “checkpoints” will be set up across the country.
    This will spell the end of unrest in France.
    https://www.france24.com/en/20200317-france-to-deploy-100-000-police-to-enforce-its-war-on-coronavirus

    “Stay at home,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said, adding that fines of up to 135 euros would be handed out to those flouting the toughened restrictions.

    In a sombre address to the nation, Macron said that from Tuesday midday (1100 GMT) people should stay at home unless it was to buy groceries, travel to work, exercise or for medical care.

    France had already shut down restaurants and bars, closed schools and put ski resorts off limits, but Macron said measures unprecedented in peacetime were needed as the number of infected people doubled every three days and deaths spiralled higher.

    It looks like in the United Kingdom
    we are a week behind France in imposed “Lock-Down” supposed to be starting first for the “over seventies” in a couple of weeks time
    but things are now changing almost daily.

    I see it was still alright for the French to vote on Sunday but not go to a public house or ski in
    The Alps.

  3. Freddy says:

    Two Hundred and sixty four dead from covid-19 in France as of yesterday.

    In England schools to close Friday afternoon, not expected to re-open till October,
    same for Universities.

    All car manufacturing shut down in the U.K.

  4. Freddy says:

    FRENCH police have fined several homeless people for breaching a government order to stay indoors amid the coronavirus crisis, charities claim.
    https://www.euronews.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-france-s-homeless-fined-for-not-staying-indoors-during-covid-19-lockdown

    Rob,
    things are getting out of hand in Dear Old Blighty

    Pubs, Strip Clubs, Music Halls, Theatres, Resturants and cafes have all been ordered to be closed from Midnight tonight, in England, order of Boris Johnson.

  5. Freddy says:

    5476 dead = Italy
    2206 dead = Spain
    674 dead = France
    289 dead = U.K.

    grim

  6. Freddy says:

    United Kingdom, also now in Lock-Down, most cases seem to be in London.

    Switzerland seems to be a real Hot-Spot

  7. Freddy says:

    Francesco Rocca, head of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) told a United Nations news briefing: “We have a lot of people who are living very marginalised, in the so-called black hole of society.

    “In the most difficult neighbourhoods of the biggest cities I am afraid that in a few weeks we will have social problems.

    “This is a social bomb that can explode at any moment, because they don’t have any way to have an income.”

    He warned the risk of suicide is increasing among vulnerable people forced to isolate on their own.

    Hello Rob, you have gone very silent.
    Could we have an update from France please?

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