I was once told I have a memory like an elephant! I didn’t realise what that meant, and the friend who told me explained. She said that elephants have long memories. They remember. It is true. I do.
I remember a time when governments were at least able to behave in a way we could say was responsible, in carrying out their duties, because they knew they were responsible for the delivery of services. Now we have a dereliction of duty. And appallingly stretched public services.
I remember when even this government, late with everything, at least, though late, did something. Now they are doing not much more than nothing.
There is an elephant in the room. It has a long memory. It knows that there was a better way of doing things, through long past and recent history. It understands that it was never acceptable to accept unnecessary deaths. It realises that the preservation of life itself is the greatest instinct of humanity itself. It remembers when, in progressive, tolerant societies, preventable deaths were not tolerated.
A crisis has not been solved. Vaccines have not solved it. They have lessened it. It could have been solved by the vaccines, to a greater extent, if the virus had been dealt with more effectively, and the variants not emerged as a result of ineffective government.
Money has not solved it. It is drying up. It could have at least helped to solve the worst suffering of the poorest of those suffering, with a basic income, or raised benefits made secure, but the government has wasted as much money as it does, time, and the money, like the time to deal with the crisis, is seemingly always not enough, though it could be.
This government has been behind on nearly everything. Even on the vaccine, others have matched the UK, and gone beyond. But once again, later, than reason, tells it, this government must do something!
The elephant in the room, is the awareness that a country with the worst results on Covid in the world now, must see and hear and listen to the sound of that elephant. It is telling us to do something to protect life and preserve loved ones.
The elephant in the room is happy to be told it must wear a mask. It understands it must keep a distance. It knows it needs to be told, because it also needs to be looked after. The elephant in the room is obvious and visible and vocal!
After all we have all experienced, it ought not need an elephantine response yet, and yet it seems now, it does!
* Lorenzo Cherin is an actor, writer, and regular contributor to politics as a member of the Liberal Democrats. He is based in Nottingham.