West Midlands Polygraph Examiner looks at our apparent Orwellian Society
In 1949 the author George Orwell wrote a book entitled 1984. As many of us did, our West Midlands Polygraph Examiner studied the book at school. Looking at it now you might be forgiven for thinking it was a prediction of the future. Here’s his take on it.
Written 71 years ago, the society depicted in 1984 lives in fear of independent or individualistic thought. This is because in Orwell’s dystopian, totalitarian Britain the Thought Police will arrest you for expressing opinions not approved by ‘Big Brother’. It’s fascinating that there were no computers when Orwell wrote the book yet we see quite clearly ‘hate speech’ legislation passed. Police are monitoring what we post on social media.
Covid-19 legislation makes no sense
There was no virus in Orwell’s book but Covid-19 has certainly created more fear. We not only have to think carefully about what we can and cannot post on social media but also about our behaviour. If we don’t wear a mask, the Covid Marshalls will ensure you are prosecuted or fined. Your neighbours are encouraged to ‘grass you up’ if you have more than the designated amount of people in your home.
Most people can make no sense of the new Covid rules. For example, why is it permissible to have 30 people at a funeral but only 15 at a wedding? Why close pubs at 10pm so that everyone leaves them at the same time thereby cramming into public transport. Is the virus more virulent after10pm? Why can any number of employees go to work but if you are working at home no more than 6 can congregate?
The mixed messages from the government are confusing. A few weeks ago they encouraged people to go back to work. Now they are suggesting again that it is best to work from home.
Arguments have gone back and forth about whether the deaths from other causes will far exceed those from Covid-19. Why is this virus more important than any other illness? The media seem only interested in asking ‘gotcha’ questions usually commencing with “People want to know…”. What people really want to know are answers to all of the above questions and more? Yet no journalist seems interested in asking them.
Fear of going out
Quite apart from the fear associated with catching the virus, and fear of being fined hugely for breaking Covid regulations, there is now a new fear. With track and trace if you come into contact with anyone who has the virus, you have to self-isolate for 2 weeks. If you travel abroad to certain countries (the list of which tends to change on a daily basis), you have to self-isolate when you return to the UK. Since you now have to leave your details at restaurants you visit, if they find that someone with the virus was on the premises when you visited, they’ll call you to let you know. Then you’ll have to self-isolate.
By going out and ending up in self-isolation the negative impact on people’s lives is immeasurable. The stress of losing a job and not being able to pay bills may easily be sufficient to stop people going out socially. What if you are taking care of an elderly neighbour or relative who desperately relies on you? Are you going to risk being made to go into self-isolation?
Lie detector tests in the West Midlands
As a West Midlands polygraph examiner I come into contact with people in their homes, in our offices or in other commercial/industrial buildings. Currently I am conducting more lie detector tests at home, because very few people want to visit our offices. They fear who they may come into contact with on the journey which may result in them having to self-isolate.
Highly noticeable from the Covid-19 restrictions, is that most of the polygraph examinations ordered are for relationship issues. Spending more time together or at home, has caused niggling issues that existed before to become explosive. Couples who are not cohabiting, with one partner going to work and the other working from home, are more suspicious than ever that one or the other is (or has been) cheating. They have so little interaction so there is more time to dwell on insecurities.
The way forward
None of us wants to live in a replica of George Orwell’s dystopian, totalitarian society. Writing to our MPs with our concerns is one way forward. Being sensible until such time as enough voices of dissent are being heard is another. If our economy crashes we will have no NHS, no services and very few jobs. The measures taken against Covid-19 from all data appear to be disproportionate to the severity, especially when compared to what will happen if we crash the economy.
Thoughts on our articles are always welcome.