We’re in this together
Maybe it’s a particular British thing, but we love a good wartime metaphor. When our ‘backs are against the wall’, facing ‘our darkest hour’ us plucky Brits come out fighting.
As we battle with this horrible virus the tone of the national conversation is full of 1940’s references, harking back to a time when we collectively stood together, shoulder to shoulder to beat the forces of evil by keeping calm and carrying on.
Why is it that we reach for this familiar lexicon of struggle at times like these? In this globalist, digital, interconnected world why haven’t we yet found a new hard-times phrase book and is it wrong to still hark back, through rose-tinted spectacles to a time when we were ‘all in it together’? After all, the evidence suggests otherwise – that although we like to reassure ourselves that we all ‘did our bit’, the reality was a thriving black market full of hoarders, fraudsters and plenty of general selfishness. Perhaps panicked or greedy shoppers aren’t something particularly unique to our generation.
Saying all that, we probably like to deploy the wartime ‘Churchillian’ playbook in times like this because it gives us strength and the promise of better times to come through our everyday victories. After all, it was a time when – in the face of adversity – we really did stand together to fight the good fight. We might not be landing on French beaches for a while, but thanks to our wonderful NHS and those brave and valiant doctors and nurses on the frontline we may once again say thanks that ‘so much was owed by so many to so few’.
Maybe, 2020 will be this generation’s moment to show what we are made of. A time where our social media-obsessed, celebrity-fixated, supposed snowflake generation will be truly tested. From what I’ve seen from how our team has responded to the crisis so far, I know we have the backbone for the long fight, the comradeship to see us through and the emotional resolve to ‘dig deep for victory’.
So, hackneyed as it may seem, to channel our blitz spirit as we try to remain chipper, working from our kitchen tables, spare rooms and sofas, I know we’ll keep the home fires burning. We’ll stretch out our weekly shop to beat the’ squander bug’ and together we’ll smash this virus, bounce back and say, in all honesty, ‘this was our finest hour’.