How ironic: some may say our lockdown actions have been like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. It has often been observed that Alanis Morissette really should have looked up the definition of ‘irony’ before penning her 1996 hit, although she could just about get away with a free ride when she’d already paid.

What is this collective madness that has engulfed us at our lowest ebb? With the lockdown now ‘over the hump’, we should be revelling in our newfound space, embracing the truly important things in life, such as family, love, and the breathing of fresh air, as we have had time to reassess, re-evaluate and reaffirm what we truly hold close to our hearts.

It seems, however, to have had the opposite effect, with an onset of lunacy and hypocrisy that has not been witnessed before. We seem to be making a laughing stock of ourselves in all manner of ways: by our social media utterances as we attempt to shout the loudest, quite often reverting to incendiary comment and vitriolic abuse with which to nail home our position, which often has more holes in it that a moth infested old jumper. We rally, justly, against historical indiscretions and indignities, yet turn a blind eye to modern day slavery, which many agree is as prevalent now as it ever was. The problem is in our supposedly progressive society: we have not yet fathomed a universally-agreed definition of the term, although estimates number around 40 million are in such pitiful positions, be it through forced or state-imposed labour, sexual exploitation or arranged marriage.

As we march, and chant, and some of us throw things, some for legitimate purpose, others for the sheer hell of it, we wear our new trainers - constructed by child labour in Indonesia where they receive ‘pay’ of, in some cases, $1.25 per day. We have seen videos of workers being whipped and women being refused sanitary respite as companies deploy corporate PR teams to distance themselves from the sub-contractors when undercover reporters manage to infiltrate the factory confines. This type of practice has been prevalent since the 1970s yet now, half a century on, because they make a mean pair of sneakers, we turn our ire toward figures from yestercentury who were involved in the very trade that we all buy into now.

We must be out of our tiny little minds to bring about the following: Churchill fought against Nazi tyranny and yet was susceptible to a gaffe or vicious turn of phrase. Yet he did as much as any one man to fight them on the beaches and preserve self-rule, as well as liberating others who were not so fortunate and suffered horrendously in the Second World War. We then have a situation where right-wing thugs, many clearly making the Nazi salute, stand in town centres to defend statues of Churchill. Surely, they should be the people attacking such monuments and those reportedly attacking them should be defending them, as Winnie stood against fascism?

We have the wonderful Lewis Hamilton, a man who has clearly suffered racial abuse as he clambered his way to the very pinnacle of a white-dominated sport, backing racial equality whilst wearing a Hugo Boss suit. Boss of course manufactured Nazi uniforms, but the irony is lost on many of us as.

We wear leather shoes as we rally against animal welfare, scream about the environment as we lean out of our diesel spewing 4X4s and leave the bath running as we bemoan those who dare to give the geraniums a soaking in the current drought-like conditions.

Our actions have become moronic, if not ironic, and it is more apparent each and every waking day: Bojo’s wingman, Cummings, helped set the rules, as did Professor Ferguson, before both spectacularly broke them. Isn't it ironic? Not half….and our current mindset seems a lot worse than a black fly in your chardonnay, don’t you think?

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher