Well, it’s been a funny old week, with a cavalcade of the peculiar and uninformed descending on Wellington. They appear to be demanding the right to circulate freely while helping spread Covid. Their rights appear to be in danger (while the rights of anyone unfortunate to catch the disease are not to be considered), and mandates restricting movement are autocratic. They have set up camp on Parliament’s lawn. I imagine they are in favour of people doing so on their lawns.
Likewise I anticipate their campaign extending to the removal of the mandate that takes burglars out of circulation because they’re a risk. And I certainly don’t expect they’ll complain about the health system being overloaded once the disease spreads, and there isn’t an ambulance to cater to their emergency call. (Or perhaps they are more likely to be, to snaffle a line I noticed in C K McDonnell’s new novel this week, merely the sort of zealots who use the word ‘sheeple’ on social media. They certainly arrived herded in a convoy, so ‘sheeple’ seems appropriate.)
Meanwhile they block the roads in the cause of freedom, hurl eggs at people who have the audacity to wear masks in public, and harass pedestrians to the extent that the University and my place of work are both closed. Last time I saw a photo there were several in black shorts so I assume Roderick Spode has been busy. More seriously, there are white supremacists and threats to overthrow (and even murder) government figures.
There’s also an interview in today’s paper where they claim they’re being ignored by politicians and are despised by the local population. Gobsmacked, I was… Ah, well, there’s a heavy rain warning overnight.
OK, vent over, but it’s a nerve-wracking time. The puzzle this week is an Independent daily from 2018. As such, it is covered by the good people at fifteensquared. I’ll risk putting that link here, but you really should try the puzzle first.
Back here at the start of March (Omicron permitting), by which time there will have been an appearance by Pedro in the Magpie, and a Times 15×15 on 3 March. You probably already have a new BBC Music Magazine puzzle over there in the UK as well. Apex participants: thank you for your votes, or get your votes in, as appropriate – deadline 11 March. I’ll aim to get the 2021 puzzle up on the site soon afterwards – 19 March is possible, but more probably the first weekend in April.