Alpesh Patel’s Political Sketchbook: What after this?

Alpesh Patel Tuesday 24th March 2020 12:20 EDT

As Chairman of City Hindus Network, we have worked with the ‘Hindu’ part with Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies and at this difficult time are pleased to promote the work they are doing to help people. I hope the increased interest continues after this:

Dr Nick Sutton is holding a weekly Gita talk. Mondays at 8.15pm UK time. And for a deep read we're making Dr Sutton's Gita available as a pdf. The Gita discusses God, the soul, nature, time, and work – topics to bring perspective. 

After this…the Government should issue NHS bonds, like War Bonds in the last war ie long term loans from volunteers to the Government for the NHS. And I want the Chinese at the front of that queue as they are for lending money to US Government. After this…I want the 50% off for NHS to be permanent in shops and restaurants. 

I want people to always be cleaner, wash hands, and scrap pointless meetings and work more from home and avoid commutes and flights more often. After this.  

If you don't socially isolate - it's not me you will kill. I'm isolating. It's the person you infect and send to hospital and occupy someone else's bed, that you'll kill. Believe it or not, there already are laws, criminal laws, on knowingly causing someone to be infected. You see, pandemics cannot be understood outside of an understanding of political culture. The Chinese political culture is on which allows for ending pandemics quickly - people follow their Government. That's not a model I admire. But it proves useful at times like these.British political culture is far more libertarian. The subservience to class structure and to authority which we all laud, also means people are less inclined to follow authority and are more likely to be personal freedom seeking. So the UK will follow the Italians and not the Chinese. This virus appears to be more deadly based on the political culture. If you were inventing a virus where you wanted to devastate a particular western model of political system- this would be it.

What is worrying is, there is another political culture even more embedded in liberty and personal freedom, and rebellion against authority. One which makes the British and Italians look quite conservative. And that is America. And the virus is just now accelerating in America. After this – all bets are off. 

After this maybe our grandchildren will ask us many days from now “what did you do when the outbreak happened?” And we better be in a position to say something half way decent. 

1. We continued paying salaries of people who were not working. 

2. We paid invoices of contractors. 

3. We worked with businesses to help them where we could financially through our efforts or Government resources where we work with Government so they could save and create jobs. 

4. We tried to reassure people and educate them about their savings and pensions and futures and taught them to see value not price. We lobbied the Government wherever we had access. 

5. We worked with businesses that could save lives and make a better world and had a bigger purpose. 

6. We didn’t panic-buy or hoard. 

7. We changed forever I hope. We learnt from the kindness of strangers. I hope. 

8. We listened to our Government which told us to socially isolate and reduce the exponential rise in deaths which otherwise happens. After this – I hope I remember we are all connected.  

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