Bottled Water and the Blitz Spirit

A news report from the flooded county of Gloucestershire:-

“The ongoing problem of water supply is going to give us severe problems for days to come. The advice is – Do not panic. If people behave calmly and with patience, there is sufficient water for personal needs.”

I love an optimist.

I imagined him saying this piece to camera, oblivious to the angry mob approaching from behind. He is alerted to their presence by the sound of a pitchfork swishing through the damp air with alarming velocity.

He turns in time to experience approximately a quarter of a second of intense terror before the business end of the pitchfork enters his skull via his left eye socket. His compromised brain manages to send a final instruction to his mouth, which attempts the words “And it’s back to you in the studio.”

Fights over bottled water in the supermarkets of Gloucestershire have been widely reported in the press. And will no-one think of the children? The poor innocent children who take malicious delight in showering thirsty, confused and anxious people with the very water they have been queueing for hours in the chance of obtaining.

You knew it wouldn’t be long before the Daily Mail started pontificating upon the fate of the legendary Blitz Spirit. No doubt these skirmishes over resources in Gloucestershire are symptomatic of the modern age of ill-manners and crumbling morality.

The reality of the human condition is that when groups of somewhat inter-dependent individuals encounter limitations on the resources they share access to, but enjoy freely in normal circumstances, conflict and aggression are not far away. It has always been thus.

It’s worth remembering that the ‘Blitz Spirit’ was mostly propaganda. Looting, record levels of both petty and organised crime, and fighting over sources of shelter were the norm for the materially poor bastards who were actually getting the fuck bombed out of them in the 1940s, whereas the legendary stoicial spirit was demonstrated mainly by the well-heeled, who were several miles from the action.


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