We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

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Identifying the socially-undistanced elements…

I read (iirc in one of Viktor Suvorov’s books) that in the Ukraine of the 1930s, a peasant who was not starving and thin automatically came under suspicion of food hoarding. Whereas, in besieged WW2 Leningrad, the populace were starving, and I read somewhere that there was a sub-stratum of the population who had unusually rosy cheeks and an almost healthy glow compared to their starving fellow citizens, they were not under suspicion by the Party. These were not privileged Party members, but cannibals, who had resorted to devouring the abundant supplies of human flesh.

Grim as that was, and we are nowhere near anything like that yet, I can’t help but noticing that the impact of the CCP-Covid-19-Terror is beginning to show in people. This is a country where, whilst not illegal per se, getting a haircut other than from a member of your household (and how many live alone or with those unable to help) necessarily involves leaving your home (or someone else leaving there’s) without ‘reasonable excuse’ under the (not quite limited) excuses, so if your hair is now neat and short, or dyed or coloured in your usual fashion for those so inclined, you might come under suspicion of having failed to have followed ‘social distancing rules’ or having patronised a business operating illegally. Will we see a ‘haircut hotline’ open up for us to denounce a neighbour whose thatch is well-trimmed?

Will we have Ministers of the Crown denouncing professional haircutting at the daily 5pm press conference, a ‘Two Minute Hate’ against the ‘Socially Undistanced’ (or should be the ‘Unsocially distanced’)?

What else might be a give-away in this new culture of conformity? Looking unconcerned as the economy collapses, or not clapping the sky when the time comes to applaud the NHS?

There is more to be done. Perhaps to deter breaching of ‘social distancing’ in those elements of the populace who pay for ‘personal services’, the Queen could grant a Royal Charter to a new organisation “RASEL – The Royal Anti-Sex League“, that might give the Duke of York, who currently seems to be at a loose end, a useful role as its Patron should he seek a new role and a spot of image polishing, there’s not much use for his Airmiles at the moment, and even if there were, he might wish to avoid countries with US extradition treaties, just in case he is unjustly accused.

17 comments to Identifying the socially-undistanced elements…

  • Stonyground

    My daughter recently cut both my wife’s and her own hair. She watched a load of how to tutorials on YouTube and made a perfectly good job of it. I, on the other hand, am bald so I just shave mine a couple of times a week.

  • Appianglorius

    The population is hereby requested to follow Boris Johnson’s fine example of home-made haircuts.

  • Robert the Biker

    As far as “long pig” goes, just remember, Vegans first as they’re grass fed.

  • Ferox

    Just out of curiosity, what is happening to your Traveller camps right now? Back when my mom lived near Huntington (in the early 90s), local residents would occasionally be plagued by an infestation of campers on their land, and they were quite unable to do anything about it. The squatters would stay for months at a time, and leave masses of refuse and destruction behind them when they finally moved on.

    Are they outlawed from just setting up where they like now? Or are they exempt from all the restrictions?

  • Mr Ed


    Those socially-friendly elements do actually face the occasional legal issue, and trespass on residential property is actually a criminal offence (since 2012) which has killed squatting stone dead in England. Basically, if the police can be bothered, they can deal with most large-scale trespass issues, here is the CPS guidance on trespassers, noting that there is a human right to assemble and protest as if to get their excuse in first.

    In the mid-1980s there were a lot of ‘Hippy Convoys’ in England which, IIRC used to have mobile benefit offices following them (there’s a clue). Around 1986 there was still a will to resist the scum from within the State. One instance I recall of a convoy plaguing a farmer’s land and a neighbour came and sprayed muck on neighbouring fields (to hide the smell) and police turned up in numbers to ensure that the peace was kept, the Fire Brigade played loud sirens and the RAF chipped in by doing some low flying to create an intimidating atmosphere which got the convoy off again. Nowadays most farmers take steps to secure entrances from the road (e.g. with obstacles such as laid-down telegraph poles) making the entrance impassible to prevent access without the trespasser causing damage.

    We will know we are on the way to freedom when we have a stand your ground law allowing a Lee Enfield to be used to clear trespassers. Right now a haircut and a coffee would be freedom. In my local town, the public toilets have been closed, causing some elderly extreme discomfort when out shopping.

    People who are ‘homeless’ are exempt from the restrictions on movement, under Regulation 6 (4) linked in the OP, they are the trusties in this 42+ day free trial.

  • Ferox

    Mr Ed, that’s interesting to hear. Seems like good progress to me … I remember seeing such camps and being surprised that there was no action the property owners could take.

    So what is to stop someone out for a stroll through the woods or town from simply leaving their ID at home and telling any inquisitive police that they are homeless and therefore exempt?

  • llamas

    Regarding trespassers, I think what Mr Ed describes is perhaps a little optimistic.

    A few months ago, outside the retirement community where my dear old Mum lives, in a town in the Midlands, a group of ‘travelers’ set up housekeeping on a patch of land that’s part of a local park, complete with all the usual pleasures that such encampments bring. This is in a densely-populated urban area. The locals were living in fear and trepidation for weeks while the council debated their human rights, the historic oppression of the Roma people, the danger of acts of discrimination and exclusion against these folks, and much else besides. The only subject that never came up was moving them on. The police were worse-than-useless – their legions of support teams, outreach committees and other assorted chairborne warriors finally had a golden opportunity to justify their activities, and they positively reveled in having their own private group of travelers dropped in their laps.

    They finally moved on of their own accord before anyone had to do anything so hateful, divisive and racist as to turf them out. A total win for all concerned – excepting, of course, the citizens who had had to deal with the actual fallout from the presence of these parasites.

    So while there may indeed be measures in law to prevent these folks from pitching camp wherever they please, it seems that the will to enforce them is lacking, and there are positive incentives not to do so.

    However – at the risk of picking at an old scab – I will, as usual, take issue with this sentiment:

    ‘We will know we are on the way to freedom when we have a stand your ground law allowing a Lee Enfield to be used to clear trespassers.’

    No ‘stand-your-ground’ law permits the use of deadly force merely to eject a trespasser. Which is just as well, as we have not yet reached the point of applying the death penalty to acts of mere trespass. Nor should we.



  • Ferox

    How about hoses, llamas? If a man is standing in my field and refuses to go after I demand that he do so, should I be able to turn a hose on him? And if he decides to take a swing at me after, can I then shoot him with my rifle?

    Also, since apparently they are still an issue, my original question stands: what is happening with travelers during the lockdown? It seems like they would be a major vector of infection. Are they exempt, and if so, what possible purpose could locking down everyone else serve?

    EDIT: Over here in my neck of the States, we are putting the homeless up in empty hotels and motels. Not all of them, but apparently many of them.

  • Mr Ecks

    I think you are all too pessimistic.

    The pork can’t hide for much longer that the Pandemic of Death is a busted flush and millions are ruined over the hysteria of stupid and arrogant political pigs.

    I think the fuckers will soon be running for cover –not trying to double down.

  • Mr Ed

    Mr Ecks: They are frantically scouring care home (from which almost no one comes out alive) for corpses, the BBC is claiming that loads of deaths have been missed. Don’t worry they will find the dead, even if they have to resurrect Harold Shipman and release Beverley Allitt.

    Ferox: The Plod will arrest you for vagrancy if you claim to be homeless and aren’t, not for lying, but for being ‘socially unfriendly’.

  • Ferox

    But isn’t vagrancy the *same* as being homeless??

    That’s some catch, that catch-22. The best one there is.

  • Looking unconcerned as the economy collapses

    That just means one is working for the state and/or that rare thing, a green activist whose pleasure at shutting down the economy outweighs their rage at being out-catastrophed. Alas, few governments regard working for them as cause for suspicion.

    or not clapping the sky when the time comes to applaud the NHS?

    Well that’s me on the suspect list – and five of the six nearby houses (the sixth – the one with school-age kids – is still doing it). In more urban areas, I think it is still common. I cannot say how much is still real, how much is “everyone else is doing it” and how much is people just enjoying some community social contact.

    The good news (what there is of it) is that the Telegraph thinks that the government will tell hairdressers to reopen on May 4th – though the government itself clearly feels that any promises will go to our simple heads and so still officially denies having any exit strategy at all. Let us hope the old saw is correct: nothing is true until it has been officially denied.


  • Plamus

    Loosely related: Right now, in the state of NY, it’s illegal to be outside without a mask, and it’s illegal to be outside wearing a mask.

  • Paul Marks

    But Mr Ed – all is fine!

    The Bank of England can just print money and we can buy food and everything else we need – so we do not need to WORK (to actually make things).

    Surely you are not suggesting there is something wrong with the brilliant Keynesian theories of our rulers?

  • Fraser Orr

    A female friend of mine made an interesting observation: “One under-reported symptom of the corona virus is that it is turning 80% of American blondes into brunettes.”

  • djc

    Fraser Orr, and ladies d’un certain âge are suddenly going grey.

  • Sandy Wallace

    Naga Munchetty and Emily Maitless.

    That’s all I am saying