As of some date in 2020, we have finally emerged from beneath our cloying and heavyweight safety blanket to embrace a horrific and unpalatable truth. Whatever freedom we thought we had as individuals has been snuffed out, like an infant smothered by a thick, feather pillow compressed against the fragile nostrils of innocence and trust. For the twitching body of the dying infant, resistance was merely a token gesture against overwhelming odds, the slightest moral semaphore of distress and non-compliance heeded only by God, the angels, and the universe, for apparently, no man or woman was present during this heinous deed. Akin to some barbaric whodunnit, we are left with a perfectly arranged and presented cot, with the corpse of a perfectly formed child, the only subtle clue that death has occurred being the development of livor mortis, the blueish discolouration or cyanosis of the skin. Everything else is peaceful and normal. There is no chaos, panic or disorder. The birds still sing, and the sun, no doubt, will rise in the East tomorrow.
Some may find such a graphic picture distasteful hyperbole – raw exaggeration and emotionalism – when paralleled with the current biological security threat. A grievous insult to those parents who have lost a precious child. How dare I project such a image, using the lantern of parable to illuminate the stony edifice of complacency! Who am I, to speak in such terms concerning the death of a child? I will immediately make an appeal to authority, insofar as Mrs R and I lost our first child, my adopted parents lost their first child, and I know of may others in a similar situation. The fact that our loss was termed a “miscarriage” just normalises the grief. As far as my parents were concerned, losing their daughter just before she reached the age of eight not only broke my parents hearts, but set in motion a chain of events that would indelibly influence many lives, my own included. So don’t you dare accuse me of a lack of empathy or understanding. I have spent too much of my life around the impermeable consequences of death.
Likewise, civil liberal society, and any free intellectual discourse that goes with it, is now, unquestionably, dead. The penny is finally dropping that we are not entering the “new normal”, but we are so deeply immersed in such a high-pressure environment, that anyone who dares surface to gasp upon clean, unadulterated air, will suffer a massive dose of cultural bends. To the observant, for some time, we have seen the atrophy in our high streets, with shuttered shops and an increasing level of homelessness and crime. This was just a symptom of the decrease of moral oxygen, the corporate social body conserving resources to preserve the life of the individual cell. “Divide and conquer” is the perpetual mantra, and these symptoms that have plagued Northern and western conurbations for decades are now manifest large in central London. As a nation we were warned, but chose to ignore these cries of despair. North and West of the M25 has been used as a political test-bed for generations. The usual formula is applied, destroy the local economy and replace it with a “Development Council” or whatever. Crawl away from ignominy with the profits once the PR hype has died away, ignoring the slug like trail of corruption and and patent lack of effective results. Rinse, wash and repeat, and you have an embittered and defensive populace with no economic platform or moral compass. Destroy communities by banning smoking, wiping out the foundations of the hospitality trade at a stroke while ignoring increased drug use, was a master-stroke. Pander to people from strange lands, knowing damned well that such actions will upset the local populace, yet cover up every one of your moves. Don’t tell me I am exaggerating, I was there, watching. As a former local government official, I am deeply ashamed.
Some have mused why I have taken the pseudonym of Rookwood on this forum, and those who are canny enough to understand, that nickname is taken from one of my favourite movies, “V for Vendetta”. Anyone watching this masterpiece with some semblance of sensitivity will see the parallels with our current predicament. I took that name on the basis that I wanted to expose corruption in society on many levels, not so far as eugenics and genocide, but I have unfortunately been promoted to that position. As a consequence, I have had to make choices as to who my friends truly are.
I love people. Saint or sinner, you will have a place in my heart if you display some basic characteristics. Humour, loyalty, dedication, ability, love – it is difficult to describe. You know when someone has touched you inside. There is that empathy, that understanding. That connection. You then have a choice. Invite them into your life or walk away. As a father with a young daughter, I invited an ongoing heroin addict into my home. Some would call this irresponsible, but I would argue we all have a responsibility as a society. Do we want to push the problem under the carpet and let “government” deal with it, or are we willing to roll our sleeves up and get to work ourselves? Dave (name obviously changed) by his own admission, was off the habit and just needed a chance. Having met him through our local church, the choice was stark that wet and cold Sunday evening. Dave was spending the night on the streets otherwise.
I won’t bore you with the gory details, but Dave became a great big pawn in the “holier than thou” game. Not only had I metaphorically thrown bits of the bible at leadership in the process, but I had upset a hidden spiritual dynamic. You do not forgive prostitutes at their stoning, nor give a sucker an even chance. The hell that descended politically and spiritually in the Rookwood household was interesting to say the least. As to Dave, he was an honoured guest. Loved, taken care of, the same as any individual who crosses our threshold. His feet were duly washed, and my daughter, to this day, credits him for teaching her how to draw incredibly well. We had zero problems with Dave until the politics took hold. Despite securing Dave a job, the battle was bigger than all of us.
Being accepted into “Christian” society, Dave had to perform. He had to deliver and earn his repentance. He was pressurised to work, and the pace of change was too much. Working on a building site is a tough environment, and as a former drug addict, it was just too difficult a goal. He was found in the classic kneeling position of heroin addicts. Dead.
Yes, he stole some of my stuff on the way out. No, he didn’t abuse my daughter. Did we love him? To the best of our ability. Did we attend his funeral? No. The “church” covered it up. Do I regret a second? No. Do I miss him? www.stupidquestions.com.
So what has this to do with our current situation? Everything. If we cannot as a society, indeed as ordinary individuals, deal with unemployment, heroin addiction, dementia and other horrors, we are truly in a bad place with a major “pandemic”. I have always argued unless we see prostitutes and drug addicts in the front row of our churches, we have failed as a church. The whole point of the gospel is redemption and turning around lives that would otherwise be lost. We need not just national repentance but reconciliation and restoration on a massive scale. As a nation, we have abandoned our Christian values, not only basic right from wrong, but also our cradle of care. By dispensing these tasks to our government, we have reneged upon our moral responsibilities to each other. And hence the current Kabuki theatre.
Whilst the majority of the population works its way through the denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance when it comes to down to the COVID rules, those with ears to hear, understand. There is an immense cloud of grief and death hovering upon this nation. To those who do not understand, will never understand. To those who understand, it is the national, spiritual implication of souls of dead babies screaming “life is precious”. For as a government and society if you are willing to kill babies, anything is then morally and ethically possible. Or so many have hoped with their dark agendas. I will tell you something, free of charge. If you don’t believe in God, get ready to be both surprised, shocked and offended. We are rapidly heading towards the closing prophecies in the Bible. For dead babies don’t come cheap, certainly not in the eyes of God.
© Rookwood 2020
The Goodnight Vienna Audio file