The quality of mercy is not strained

Never did understand the line. Did strained mean filtered? Or put under pressure. Turns out it means ‘constrained’, or ‘forced’. (Yep, only now have I bothered to check – hence the C grade in O level English Literature.)

I kinda got “the speaker is telling Shylock that mercy must be freely given, and is inviting him to show mercy to the title character.” Our hippy English teacher (twas the ’70s) then pointed out that when they tricked Shylock into giving up his claim, they showed him no mercy at all. Nor does rain often gently fall from the heavens.

It’s been weird. Dancing around strangers during walks at a distance; and taking offence, or causing upset, if either party gets it wrong. It’s not really that we worry about passing the disease on; it’s that someone is not joining in with the campaign to not spread the disease. And we can get mightily righteous about it. Impressive that people have so overwhelmingly joined in with the campaign; but I have had to report situations to the Police this week.

When not talking about strangers of course, we are perhaps more inclined to understand people who have made exceptions. Even if the Govt’s lockdown has come in the form of INSTRUCTIONS

So where next now we know important people haven’t followed instructions. Important people who follow that mantra – “never complain, never explain”.
“He should resign!”
“He should be sacked:”.
(Bit of an issue here – has no-one else never been a staff rep trying to defend a colleague who’s got it wrong at work?)
But I do think an apology is in order. Through an interview, a long one. One where the same points get made in a different way for a long time so the apologies have to be repeated. Maybe using that actor who played the daughter from the Outnumbered family; or Philomena Cunk.

And remember, he’s not the messiah – he’s just a very ….

Postscript: written one day on …
Having wanted to be wary of condemning Cummings outright, a number of points have come up since that make the situation even more frustrating –
– that Cabinet members have cited defence of the child as the proper thing to do; as if other members of the public haven’t made a different decision in similar circumstances;
– that Cummings’ wife, a journalist, had already written a diary of events that clashes with No. 10’s explanation;
– that No.10 has denied that Durham Police had spoken to Cummings and his family, when Cummings’ father had acknowledged that the Police had;
– that Cummings has been accused since of being in County Durham on 3 separate occasions after returning to London;
– that Cummings developed the notion of caring so little for the elitism of the establishment, yet has behaved in an elitist way.
And the original article didn’t make enough about how the actions undermine the enforcers of the lockdown.

Seems unlikely that Boris Johnson will allow Cummings to leave his post; like calling upon Emu to get rid of Rod Hull.

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