Tuesday 16 March 2021

First As Tragedy

It's not true what they say about history repeating itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. It's tragedy and then more tragedy really. 

I realised this when I came across a passage in Put Out More Flags by Evelyn Waugh. It's a novel I started to read decades ago, but somehow lost sight of; consequently, I am having the infinite pleasure of reading it for the first time now. 

The passage that caught my eye concerns the government's requisitioning of a big house to turn it into a hospital for air-raid victims. The result seems to me to parallel exactly the idiocy of the UK government during this pandemic, focussing solely on those with the current virus, forgetting the care they owe to those with other ailments:

"So there was the house ... and the government moving in to make it a hospital ... It's full of beds and nurses and doctors waiting for air-raid victims and a woman in the village got appendicitis and she had to be taken 40 miles to be operated on because she wasn't an air-raid victim and she died on the way."

I wish we would learn things.

(Oh, I've just looked up the "first as tragedy quote". No wonder it's wrong - it's from the single most destructive lunatic the world has ever seen, and the nastiest piece of work personally: that is to say, Karl Marx.)

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