The review of 2021 and tentative look at what 2022 may bring was first published on The Stirrer blog.
It’s December and the time where we try to make sense of what has happened over the previous year and attempt to predict what will happen in 2022. A good place to start this is to return to our end of year review from last year: 2020, a lot has happened – 2021, a lot more will happen – December 9, 2020. Well, a lot did happen and a fair bit has changed but for the worse, not the better. Let’s just say that looking back at this year from our perspective isn’t exactly a joy inducing experience… Also, as we’ve mentioned a good few times previously, trying to accurately what will happen in this ongoing shitshow is a mug’s game.
Do you remember March of 2020 when it was ‘just three weeks to flatten the curve’? We do although given how far back that is now, the memory is not exactly an immediate one. It’s not even two years ago but it feels like a lot longer than that as we unwillingly become acclimatised to a new (ab)normal. Anyway, here we are at the end of 2021 and it feels there’s no end in sight to this increasingly dystopian weirdness.
Please note that this review is written from the perspective of an activist living in England and by and large is specific to that. It’s not even addressing the UK as a whole as Wales, Scotland and the north of Ireland with their devolved administrations have gone even further down the road to dystopia than we have here in England. However, it would only take a change of prime minister to someone who is more beholden to the corporations and the other actors driving this agenda and we’ll be down that road.
Where we think we are
SAGE are making ominous noises that this could go on for at least another three years. It’s dealt with here in this Twitter thread from Politics For All: BREAKING: Covid will be a threat to the NHS for AT LEAST the next five years, and testing may be needed for over a decade – SAGE | Politics For All | 6:39 PM · Dec 3. Despite denials from some people (including some now former comrades) who really should know better, the last twenty one months have taken a heavy toll on the mental health of a fair few people. Yet SAGE feel they can come out with despair inducing stuff like this regardless of the consequences. Tragically, this will send a fair few people spiralling down to some pretty dark places. As an aside, three more years sounds like the amount of time the government will need to fully implement vaccine passports (if we let them that is), paving the way for digital identity.
At the time of writing, thanks to the ’emergence’ of the Omicron variant, here in England we’re back to having a mask mandate for public transport and when we enter a shop but for the time being at least…not for anywhere else. Which if you’re someone who genuinely believes that Omicron is a serious threat, simply doesn’t make sense. For those of us who are sceptical about the whole thing, it doesn’t make any sense at all. So, after twenty one months of rancorous division and sometimes loathing between us sceptics and the Covid believers, we finally have something we can agree on – namely that the mask mandate makes no sense at all! Where we would radically differ with them is that we think the mask mandate is purely performative rather than functional. Not wanting to sound too conspiratorial (stop sniggering at the back!), you could be forgiven for thinking that the mask mandate is a test of public opinion to see what the level of compliance is to government diktat.
There is a massive push underway for the so called ‘booster’ jabs. There is also a growing level of doubt and cynicism about the ‘boosters’ and questions are being raised about their effectiveness and also the level of risk involved in accepting them. People who’ve had for example, two AstraZeneca jabs are questioning the wisdom of having a ‘booster’ from another manufacturer and are expressing entirely legitimate concerns about the possibility of adverse reactions.
There are mumblings from various parts of the government that only by getting the ‘booster’ or even a succession of ‘boosters’ will you be considered fully vaccinated. With vaccine passports slowly but surely creeping in, to ensure that they continue to work, it looks as though you’ll have to sign up for what to all intents and purposes is a subscription model of regular jabs. Miss out on one and hey presto, you will not be getting into that concert or gig! As we’ve written many times before, vaccine passports are the gateway to a digital identity. Tie this into the push towards a cashless economy and the possibility of some form of social credit and the future is looking pretty grim.
The so called ‘freedom day’ back in the summer has turned out to have so many terms and conditions attached to it that it represents anything but freedom in any meaningful sense of the word. The populace at large is weary of the whole shitshow, albeit there are some caveats to that observation. One is the significant minority who are still buying into the narrative, whether through a genuine fear of Covid or because they love the opportunity to virtue signal and bully those who show any signs of challenging the narrative. To the virtue signallers and the bullies, bear this in mind – we see you… The quiet majority are just trying to get on with life and see compliance as a route to eventually getting their lives back.
As for those of us challenging this, we are a significant minority but as we’ve written before, to regard this as any kind of movement would be a mistake. I went on three of the anti-lockdown protests during the summer and the impression I got was of a diverse range of currents, some contradictory and conflicting, coming together on a march or rally and then going off to do their own thing. The purpose of going on these protests was to see for myself at first hand what they were about rather than rely on the reports of those with a bit of an agenda. Rather than re-hash what I’ve already written about these protests, it’s best you read through this situation report I wrote back in the summer: Dealing with the new (ab)normal – a situation report – August 6, 2021. To be brutally honest, the opposition to what’s being inflicted upon us in the name of the great reset/fourth industrial revolution (4IR) has not made the gains it should have done. Unless something dramatic happens to make a lot of people start to seriously question and push back against what is being done to us, then we’re in pretty serious trouble come 2022.
As we’ve written a fair few times before, as well as the usual suspects, there’s evidence of a pushback against vaccine passports from the double jabbed and even from those we know eagerly awaiting their ‘booster’ jab. There’s no doubt that the government and the corporations they serve are well aware of this. So, the one thing we can definitely expect is a ratcheting up of the divide and rule tactics. There are willing accomplices to this on both sides of the divide.
We’ve written more than we want to about those who have slavishly and unquestioningly accepted the Covid narrative. We need to turn our attention those supposedly on our side who are doing as much as the Covid believers to foster divide and rule. Namely a small but all too vocal minority of the un-jabbed describing themselves as ‘pure bloods’ and mocking those who have been jabbed. Firstly, the term ‘pure bloods’ has some pretty nasty ethno-nationalist undertones to it which in the diverse currents that come together on the streets about once a month, should be utterly unacceptable. Secondly, it’s putting off people who are starting to question what’s going on and are looking at ways of opposing it. Those people are not going to want to join a march if they feel they will be mocked and insulted by so called ‘pure bloods’. Given what’s coming down the line, we need all the allies we can get. We don’t need fanatical purists who are doing the divide and rule work of the governments and corporations who are tightening the screws on us.
Publicly saying that I had been on these anti-lockdown protests did come with a political cost. One that was worth paying to be honest because it drew attention to those people we really should avoid having any more to do with while at the same time, found us some allies. It was the final nail in the coffin that led to us withdrawing from the anarchist movement. Although to be honest, a process of a withdrawal of sorts has been underway ever since the fallout from the ill fated 2017 London Anarchist Bookfair. This is what to all intents and purposes is our resignation statement: Going our own way – November 21, 2021. For the record, we still retain many of our anarchist principles and there are still a number of individual anarchists we can still work with. So, it’s not really much of a drama to be honest. What is does do is spare us (and others) from the consequences of damaging infighting while giving us the time and mental energy to concentrate on what matters to us out here in the south of Essex. These are the rules of engagement from now on – if they leave us alone, we’ll leave them alone. If some choose to continuously give us grief for our position, suffice to say, we will not take it lying down.
Predictions and curveballs
This broadly sets the scene for where we are at the end of what has not been a good year. At the end of the year, anarchists and other activists will often try to predict what will happen in the year to come. Quite often they hope for some kind of event that will shake the populace out of their supposed complacency which in reality, is nothing more than the desire to be able to get on with their lives without undue interference. Very often, those hopes are not realised.
Sometimes an unexpected curveball that no one anticipated or is even remotely prepared to deal with will come along. That lack of anticipation and preparation means that the response to the curveball can be a deeply flawed and counterproductive one. The emergence of Covid early in 2020, the subsequent lockdowns and the reaction to it from many anarchists and much of the left was such a curveball. One that sadly in our opinion, they didn’t get right. We say sadly because our ‘former comrades’ list has got even longer during the course of 2021…
What of 2022?
Mutual aid and solidarity…
We’re going to need a lot of this in 2022. Particularly for those of us, un-jabbed or jabbed, who in their resistance to vaccine passports will find themselves being increasingly shut out of mainstream society. This is happening already in countries from Australia and New Zealand through to Germany, France, Ireland, Wales and Scotland to name just a few. It would only take a bit more pressure on Boris Johnson – or his replacement by someone more compliant – and it could well happen here in England. There is already a lot of talk about building a parallel society where we look out for each other away from the prying eyes of the state. It would be great if the anarchist movement with their experience in this could offer their solidarity, advice and help but sadly, we are where we are. Fortunately from what we can gather, there seem to be more than enough capable people in the various anti-great reset currents to facilitate this.
Operation London Bridge
Let’s get away from the leveraged Covid crisis for a bit… What’s pretty much a nailed on certainty is that the Queen will pass away. It’s a not very well guarded secret that more preparation is being put into the implementation of Operation London Bridge than for the jubilee in February. One aspect of Operation London Bridge is that in many ways, the period between the demise and the state funeral will resemble a lockdown in a lot of ways. Which will make those screaming for another lockdown very happy! It’s something that is pretty imminent.
With the Queen gone, than means ‘jug ears’/’sausage fingers’ Charles will take the throne. An interventionist monarch who’s very much on board with the great reset agenda. Someone who once their agenda becomes clear, will turn a fair chunk of the populace against the monarchy. This is the best opportunity we’ll ever have to get rid of the monarchy once and for all and to question all of the power structures that are screwing us over. The problem is that a lot of so called radicals share the same views as Charles on environmental issues and it’s not entirely certain they’ll want to bite the hand that metaphorically feeds them. This alone will make 2022 a very interesting year…
A conclusion…of sorts…
This review is a bit shorter than previous ones we’ve done. One reason is that 2021 has been a pretty depressing experience and dwelling too much on it will not put us in the frame of mind needed to deal with all of the shite that will be coming our way in 2022. Another is that from previous experience, these exercises in trying to assess where we are in this shitshow tend to swiftly date as events unfold.
As we’ve said many times before, prediction is a mug’s game. We’ve said it but have still gone to make predictions. Some have bit hyperbolic and pretty embarrassing… Look, none of us are perfect! Worryingly, those predictions relating to the great reset/fourth industrial revolution have been all too accurate. Trust us, rather than getting them right, we’d rather be sitting here with egg on our faces with our (former) comrades taking the piss out of us… Anyway, regarding 2022, we’ll stick our necks out to say that all bets are off and pretty much anything could happen. This time round it’s not hyperbolic to say that 2022 will be an ‘interesting’ year. It will certainly be a challenging year.