IT'S perhaps the rapid fire nature of the decline that has caused it, the rat-a-tat-tat of relentless scandal.

An easy answer would be the lockdown, tempers fraying in this unique situation, but that's a patsy of an excuse and turns the blame away from its source.

Is anyone else utterly furious? I don't mean a bit irked. Not the general disgruntlement that comes from following daily disappointments and routine ups and downs of current affairs. Not the distress-by-proxy of so many of the issues that have gone and do go wrong in society.

Not even the anger that gets people signing petitions and taking to the streets. None of those, just blank rage.

When Boris Johnson gave his preposterous statement last Sunday excusing the actions of Dominic Cummings, I found myself too livid to articulate coherent thoughts other than "Thank God I'm not up to ask the Prime Minister a question as I can but formulate a query of three letters, only two thirds of which are polite."

On Monday Dominic Cummings further spat in the face of the electorate, showing his complete contempt for both linear narrative and the voting public.

The rest of the week has been peopled by ministers making idiotic spectacles of themselves on live television.

The Bishop of Leeds, Nick Baines, had a marvellous query for politicians and the journalist Kay Burley helpfully put it to Michael Gove during a Sky News segment. "The question now is," Ms Burley asked on behalf of the Bishop, "Do we accept being lied to, patronised and treated by a PM as mugs? The moral question is not for Cummings - it is for PM and ministers/MPs who find this behaviour acceptable. What are we to teach our children?"

"I wish the bishop well," replied Gove. When prompted to expand his answer, the minister merely repeated himself. "Goodness," replied Kay Burley, in an admirable show of restraint.

The broadcaster was further tested yesterday by Matt Hancock, who appeared in the manner of a teenager who's downed a run of alcopops in anticipation of a Friday night in the back lane with pals but his parents have come home early and caught him.

Giggling, the health secretary took a Goldilocks approach, saying the government was not too fast or too slow bringing in test and trace but had "brought it in at just the right point."

Perhaps he was trying to express incredulity at a suggestion the UK government might have its timing off on an issue of vital importance to public health. Instead he looked like he'd accidentally snorted something before appearing on air.

And then on Newsnight, Emily Maitlis gave the opener to the BBC's current affairs programme with a frank lay out of the Cummings scandal and repercussions. Complaints of bias followed and she, and the Newsnight team, were "spoken to", according to the broadcaster's PR department.

Back to Boris Johnson, bluffing his way through the Commons liaison committee on Wednesday, flannelling every question.

The Prime Minister clearly feels no need to give straight answers to straight questions nor to be properly briefed and his cabinet are following his example. The disdain shown is astonishing.

We're not even post-truth now, we're post-coherence.

After a week of shouting at television output I feel like there's a compressed ball of fire in my chest. If I open my mouth at the wrong moment it might flame up my throat and out through my lips, singeing the eyebrows of whoever's in its path.

If it weren't for lockdown restrictions, I wonder if we would have protests in the street yet at this ineffective, contemptuous government. Instead we have online petitions, some more focused than others. One, now sitting at more than one millions signatures, calls for Dominic Cummings to resign.

Another, well meaning but perhaps missing the point, calls for Emily Maitlis to be reinstated, although she has not gone anywhere.

In the US, Minneapolis burns literally with the fury of protestors who have been compelled to action after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody. Mr Floyd was filmed telling officers he could not breath as one knelt on his neck.

A peaceful protest at the junction where the 46-year-old died turned into rioting and looting. It's almost surprising that the US isn't gripped by permanent civil unrest, given its president's relentless, violent lies and given its law enforcement's systemic, deadly racism.

Another racist incident in the US this week caught global headlines after a video went viral on Twitter showing a white woman become hysterical when a black man asked her to put her dog on its lead in Central Park's North Woods.

When she refused, he filmed her and, in response, she phoned police saying that she would tell them "an African-American man is threatening my life". The video has been watched more than 40 millions times and has led to the sacking of the woman and the removal of her dog.

Christian Cooper, the victim of the racist incident, was interviewed by the New York Times. He is, he said, conflicted with the way the situation has panned out. "I’m not excusing the racism," he said. "But I don’t know if her life needed to be torn apart."

Would we were all so magnanimous. Anger is a productive force: it makes you act, it makes you get involved, it makes you strive for change. Too much anger is destructive.

There is unlikely to be a sudden reversal of fortune that gives us effective leadership, not any time soon and not without a fight.

With more to come - economic turmoil, Brexit negotiations, the certainty of more scandal from our ill equipped politicians - I'll need to find a way of turning my anger level from a boil to a simmer then channel it usefully. In a sea of outrage, Mr Cooper is a useful reminder that nuance is possible and fire breathing best saved for entertainment, not revenge.

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