Monthly Archives: January 2021

The UK in 1940 is not comparable to the UK in 2020

Robert Henderson

Comparisons between the UK in 1940 and the UK in 2020 are understandable but mistaken because   these are two very different societies .

To begin with the psychological/sociological situations are different.  The threat is 1940 was  one that everyone could understand, large numbers from their experience in the  Great War.   There was a clear enemy  in 1940 .

The coronavirus threat is an open ended one which the ordinary  person cannot do much to protect themselves,  not least because the virus is subject to mutation.

The war in  1940 brought full employment . For a generation which had gone through the privations of the 1930s and the Great Depression  this was both an opportunity to bring in a decent regular wage and  to  have their days filled with useful work,  the latter playing into  the sense of a collective war effort. Today people +are experiencing the reverse with fears of lost work and  much of the work done being done  is not done in the workplace but in the home.  That is isolating.

Another big difference between then and now is that far from neglecting the Nazi threat in the 1930s,  the UK government   had made considerable preparations for war , for example the development and manufacture of  high performance  fights (Spitfires and Hurricanes), the development of radar   and four engines  heavy bombers (Lancaster, (entered service 1942) Stirling (entered service 1941) , Halifax (entered service 1940.  It is worth noting that the Germans never developed a reliable  heavy bomber, the nearest they got to it was the  ill fated   Heinkel Greif (Griffin) 177 .

Equally important was  the rationing system for food and other essentials  which was up and running in 1939.    The British state was much better prepared to meet the 1940 emergency than  it is to meet the coronavirus.

But the greatest difference between 1940 and now is the composition and mentality of the British population.  In 1940   the only sizeable minority was the Jewish one.   The country was  very homogeneous .

Today the UK population is divided by the various  large ethnic and racial minorities  (whose separateness is encouraged by the purveyors of multiculturalism) and  other divisions wrought by political correctness  such  those based on gender,  sexual inclination and a faux idea of equality which promotes the interests not of all but the groups protected by political correctness.   Because of  this  country is  now noticeably heterogeneous in  race, culture and mentality.

To these differences must be added the effects of  the UK’s 47 year membership of what became the EU  and the divisions it  has created throughout  our membership and Brexit.,

Finally, devolution since   the Blair reformation  has resulted in  the Celtic Fringe gaining more and more powers  and especially in Scotland  there is  serious agitation for independence  while Wales and Northern Ireland    play at  independence forever point scoring  at England’s expense. England meanwhile has been ignored in the devolution stakes despite the fact she heavily subsidises Scotland, Wales and N Ireland.  The upshot of these changes to the UK  population has become  vastly more divided than it was in 1940. In 1940 there was a real sense of common purpose . Today that has become impossible.

Cornavirus outcomes are similar

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Robert Henderson

Professor Johan Giesecke of Sweden made the prediction in April 2020 that in the long run it would not make much difference how Governments of similar states responded to the virus because the result would be broadly the same. – see

There is solid evidence to support his prediction. Here are the deaths per million for major first world countries

Australia 36 deaths per million
Austria 738 deaths per million
Belgium 1736 deaths per million
Canada 441 deaths per million
France 994 deaths per million
Germany 450 deaths per million
Italy 1272 deaths per million
Netherlands 702 deaths per million
Poland 791 deaths per million
Spain 1101 deaths per million
Sweden 882 deaths per million
Switzerland 951 deaths per million
UK 1163 deaths per million
USA 1098 deaths per million

Stats taken from
on 6 January 2021

I have only looked first world countries because the rest are either incapable of producing accurate statistics because of a want of administrative capacity or are authoritarian states which cannot be trusted to tell the truth. In addition comparing say the UK with Nigeria would be l like comparing apples to oranges.

There are two striking things about the deaths statistics above. The first is how small a part of the total populations of each country are the deaths . The second is the considerable similarity of outcome in the majority of countries.

Of the 14 counties 11 fall into the range 702 – 1736 deaths with only Australia, Canada and Germany falling outside that range.

Australia is the only really serious outlier but that may be explained in part to it possessing huge physical territory with a small population.

The degree of similarity is impressive because the various countries adopted widely different approaches to dealing with the coronavirus, ranging from the libertarian Swedes to the chaotic Italians to the make your mind up UK to the strict lockdowns of the French and Germans.

The really worrying thing is that politicians throughout the world are placing everything on vaccines to be the magic bullet to end the crisis. This is far from certain because (1) we do not know how much immunity is gained from infection or from a vaccine and (2) a mutation can come along at any moment and upset the apple cart. Nor is it reasonable to imagine that enough people in the developing world will be vaccinated to provide universal herd immunity.

If the vaccines do not solve the problem political elites throughout the world will have nowhere to go.

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