Category Archives: Coronavirus

Propaganda alert: UK economic growth is nothing to crow about and here’s the reason

Back in business? But how far will the UK economy restore itself after Covid, with the shadow of Brexit hanging over it?

What a way to spin something we all knew would happen.

According to economic forecaster EY Item Club (who?), the economy is growing at its fastest rate in 80 years. Gosh!

But… isn’t that because it stalled altogether last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is just now bouncing back?

Is it not the truth that, rather than growing, we should say the economy is being restored to the level we might expect after the crisis?

I think it is.

As The Guardian‘s report puts it,

The EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% … The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020.

So that’s 2.2 per cent of shrinkage that the economy won’t make up this year, meaning the nation as a whole will be worse-off than before the pandemic hit.

There are other elements likely to affect the UK’s economic performance, including inflation and unemployment.

The recovery is extremely fragile, and another Covid wave could bring it crashing to a halt or even into reverse.

And there’s also the elephant in the room. I notice that nobody involved in this article has mentioned Brexit.

Source: UK economy growing at fastest rate in 80 years, says forecaster | Economic growth (GDP) | The Guardian

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MPs plan to make us spend decades paying the NONEXISTENT cost of Covid-19

Money, money, money: Boris Johnson ordered the Bank of England to create all of the money that has been used to pay the costs associated with Covid-19 in the UK – in the same way that governments create money all the time. There is no debt to pay because the government never borrowed anything.

MPs are trying to fool us into thinking there is a Covid-19-related debt that will need to be paid back. Be warned: they’re lying; there isn’t.

According to the BBC:

Taxpayers will bear the costs of Covid “for decades”… MPs have said.

the PAC [Public Accounts Committee] said the taxpayer would be exposed to “significant financial risks for decades to come” with the estimated cost of the government’s measures having already hit £372bn in May.

UK government debt is now over £2.2 trillion, or about 99.7% of GDP – a rate not seen since the early 1960s. In June alone, debt interest cost £8.7bn.

In one example of future Covid costs, the PAC says taxpayers could be liable for an estimated £26 billion of bad loans, out of a total £92 billion of loans guaranteed by the government.

Shocking numbers, certainly. But here’s the thing: there is no Covid-19 debt.

Here’s Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK to explain:

And here’s my short version:

Any questions?

Source: UK will be paying for Covid for decades, say MPs – BBC News

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No, health secretary: YOU may ‘cower’ from Covid but the rest of us take reasonable care

Convalescent unHealth Secretary Sajid ‘Covid’ Javid may be regretting his decision to announce his recovery. Clearly his mind has yet to reach full strength.

Why else would he insult those of us who have taken reasonable care – throughout the Covid crisis – to protect ourselves and others?

That’s what he has done with this tweet:

(Yes, Mr Javid. I know you deleted it. Anybody on Twitter can delete their tweets. But anybody can take screenshots too.)

“Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

To whom does this refer?

If he means himself, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak – all of whom ran like rabbits into self-isolation at the mere suggestion that they might have the virus, then he’s probably right.

He reckons he is fully recovered from the virus after just a week, due to “amazing vaccines”.

Catching and recovering from Covid makes for nice headlines – especially for a government that is desperate to shore up its crumbling claim that vaccinations are protecting us from the virus in the face of increasing infections and deaths due to the rise of vaccine-dodging variants.

But it also means unscrupulous (Tory) ministers may use such incidents to ‘nudge’ the population into misplaced optimism – especially when England has just removed all of its state-imposed social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

And now one of them has come back and insulted the people of the UK because the alternative interpretation of his words is that we “cower” from the virus.

Of course he has caused widespread offence.

Does he think the – at least – 160,000 who died, because his thoughtless government did not understand the seriousness of the pandemic and tried to ignore it, did so because they chose to “cower”?

Does he think the millions who are ignoring his government’s ‘Freedom Day’ flapgabble, continuing to mask up in public and keeping social distancing, are also cowering?

If so, let him make a statement to that effect, loud and clear, so we know that he is definitely trying to browbeat us into abandoning the reasonable procedures that have kept us safe.

When the infection and death rates skyrocket, probably from the beginning of August, we’ll be able to pin the blame directly on him.

As it is, it seems likely that plenty of people will blame him in any event – and not just the politicians who attacked him in the BBC article but ordinary people too:

Yes, Sajid Javid should apologise.

But instead it seems he has deleted his tweet and may try to pretend that it never happened.

That is not good enough and neither is he.

ADDITIONAL: No sooner said than done:

Fair play for the apology but I don’t believe a word of the explanation. He was trying to push his government’s political slogan – that we must “learn to live with” Covid-19 – and did it in a clumsy and insensitive way.

We are living with Covid-19. Even the suggestion that we “cower” from it is toxic.

Source: Sajid Javid criticised for ‘cower’ Covid remark – BBC News

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Brexiteer bread-maker tries to blame driver shortage on Covid-19

Brexiteer Tory-funding bread manufacturer Warburtons has tried to blame its failure to keep up with local deliveries on Covid-19 when the shortage of drivers is actually attributable to Brexit.

In an article in The Grocer on July 19, the firm responded to a tweet complaining about non-delivery due to driver shortages:

We, like many businesses, are experiencing higher levels of absence due to the rise in community infection rates of Covid-19 and the knock on effect that has with more people having to self-isolate.”

But industry leaders soon went on the record to say that the shortage of lorry drivers is due to Brexit – and that supermarket shelves are likely to stay empty for at least five months:

They say the shortage of drivers can only be fixed if EU drivers are allowed back in the country.

Logistics UK, which represents freight owners including supermarkets.

It estimates a shortage of 90,000 HGV drivers including an estimate 25,000 EU truckers who have gone home following Brexit. On top of that there is a backlog of 25,000 applications for trucker driving licences.

Being a Brexiteer company, Warburtons is unlikely to admit that Brexit has affected it. Chairman Jonathan Warburton has previously made his feelings known:

“Brexit is a very good thing to have happened. We are well out of the rotting corpse of Europe. We could either continue to be in the European Union and wait for it to all to collapse around us, or we could make our own way out of it and crack on as an independent nation.”

Now we see how that is working for him – and he is trying to deny it.

Several thoughts occurred to me while watching this train crash.

Firstly, they could solve their problem by hiring new drivers. Unfortunately, this is not possible because they would all need HGV licences and “there is a backlog of 25,000 applications for trucker driving licences.” So the Tory government is letting industry down. Should have thought of this before finalising Brexit – they only had four years of thinking time!

Secondly, there’s no reason to have any sympathy for this firm. It supported Brexit and is a regular donor to the Conservative Party whose government under Boris Johnson pushed Brexit down our collective throats. See This Site’s article on Tory donors for further information.

Finally, This Writer is old enough to remember news reports showing empty shelves in the former Soviet supermarket GUM, with Tories of the day spouting dread predictions that this would happen in the UK if the socialists were allowed back into government.

How ironic that it is under a Tory government, and due to Tory policies, that our supermarket shelves have emptied.

Source: Warburtons struggling to keep up with local deliveries as driver shortage bites | News | The Grocer

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Complaints after Covid app tells 600K to self-isolate – but about the APP, not the government

Ventilator: if your boss wants the Covid-19 app altered so it doesn’t ‘ping’ you when you’ve been in touch with someone who has the virus, then you’ll almost certainly end up in hospital, attached to one of these.

Businesses have been complaining to the government because 618,903 people have been ‘pinged’ – told by it to self-isolate because of contact with someone who has Covid-19.

The alerts all happened in the week leading up to July 14, meaning the contacts all happened before Boris Johnson and his Tory bozos ended social distancing restrictions and the requirement to wear masks.

But it seems bosses want to browbeat the government into making the app less sensitive, so they can keep a full workforce.

How predictably short-sighted!

The problem isn’t the app – it’s the government that allowed the Johnson (Delta) variant of Covid-19 into the UK because it didn’t close UK borders, because it wanted a trade deal with India, because its Brexit was so bad.

That blunder – not a mistake but a deliberate choice by a genocidally-incompetent prime ministerial failure, let’s not forget – has sent the UK’s Covid-19 infection rates sky-rocketing.

People are filling up hospital Accident and Emergency departments again. Many of them are double-vaccinated, but that isn’t stopping the government from planning to exempt double-vaccinated people from self-isolating after being pinged, from August 16.

Schools have been identified as the principle spreader of the virus, but that isn’t stopping the government from exempting all under-18s from self-isolating after being pinged, from August 16.

And, again, people are dying.

On July 21, 73 deaths were recorded – the most in a single day since March 24.

The number of hospitalisations and deaths is expected to rocket as a result of the relaxation of social distancing rules on July 19.

And in this context, businesses want the app’s criteria loosened, so it doesn’t tell their staff to self-isolate.

There’s a logical question to ask, following on from all this:

What kind of business do these chumps think they’ll have after all their employees catch Covid and end up in hospital – as a result of their stupid, selfish, short-sighted demand?

Source: More than 600,000 people told to isolate by NHS Covid-19 app – BBC News

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Biggest weekly rise in #Covid19 cases/deaths since March on #FreeDumbDay +1

Rampant yet again: the number of Covid-19-related deaths per day has nearly doubled in the past week. How many more will Boris Johnson’s decision to relax social distancing force on us?

The day after Boris Johnson unlocked England (by remote control, one presumes, considering he is self-isolating) we find this:

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has increased by 46,558, with 96 deaths also recorded in the latest 24 hour period.

Last Tuesday, July 13, only 36,660 new cases were reported, with 50 further deaths, meaning today’s figure is almost double that of the preceding week.

It comes following the lifting of Covid restrictions across the country, with the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ seeing social distancing and mask-wearing rules scrapped.

I leave it to you to decide whether Johnson’s plan is genocidal lunacy or not.

Source: UK records 46,558 Covid cases and 96 deaths in ‘biggest rise since March’

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Johnson and Sunak shamed into self-isolation in U-turn over ‘Covid Javid’

How humiliating for Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak that they have to follow the rules for the plebs and self-isolate after being in contact with Health Secretary and Covid case Sajid Javid.

It says everything about the UK’s pitiful protections that Javid hasn’t been in post for more than a month yet, and already he has contracted the virus. He’s out of the picture for the moment because he’s getting treatment.

But both Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are also having to take action, because they have been in contact with Javid during the incubation period.

Johnson has already had the virus. What does it say about the body’s natural immunity, let alone the various vaccines that we’re all having pumped into us, when the prime minister is still having to isolate himself – despite having developed the former and received the latter – for fear of spreading the infection?

Worse still is the fact that both Johnson and Sunak wanted to take the Michael Gove route and opt into a privileged scheme whereby they could keep working but would be tested for the virus on a daily basis.

Nobody had ever heard of this scheme before Gove went to Portugal to watch the Champions League final and mixed with people who had Covid-19.

On being told about the contact, he promptly announced that he wouldn’t be self-isolating like a member of the common crowd – and that is how we learned about the daily test regime for the elite.

He was given hell for it and rightly so.

It can hardly be surprising, then, that after Downing Street announced that they would be on the same scheme – and the same criticisms started – Johnson and Sunak gave up and accepted the inevitable.

They only did it because they were caught.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth [said] it was unfair politicians appeared to have access to “VIP testing” to avoid self-isolation, while Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey asked if it was only available to the “privileged few”.

The u-turn means that Michael Gove should now have to answer some uncomfortable questions, especially after Johnson said it was “far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules”.

Gove didn’t!

And neither Johnson nor Sunak were going to.

So it seems Johnson didn’t make the change because of any principles, but because of shame.

Source: Covid-19: PM and chancellor self-isolate after rapid U-turn – BBC News

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NHS summer crisis as major hospital cancels planned operations for two days

Put the blame for this where it belongs: the Conservative government.

The Tories spent the last 11 years defunding the National Health Service because they wanted to make it seem incapable of providing the treatment UK citizens need.

They thought that this would make privatising NHS services more palatable.

But they didn’t count on the arrival of a major pandemic that would highlight the fact that the Tories’ cuts have weakened the service.

Most particularly, the Tories did not expect to show us all how poor private services would be, when they outsourced Covid services like contact tracing to the privateers.

So now we know that delays in operations – that may be fatal to the patients – have been caused deliberately by the Conservatives.

Their decision to defund the NHS is causing delay, pain, and even death.

One of the largest hospitals in the country has cancelled all its planned operations for Thursday and Friday because of a lack of beds and space in intensive care.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, which has more than 1,100 beds, has had to stop dozens of elective operations, including liver transplants, because of increasing numbers of coronavirus patients as well as wider demand.

The hospital’s intensive care unit, one of the largest in Europe, was full on Thursday with 10 patients in the wider hospital on a watch list who may need a bed in the critical care unit. This meant there were no spare beds for planned operations and transplants where patients would need an ICU bed post-surgery.

Source: NHS summer crisis: Major hospital cancels all planned operations today and tomorrow | The Independent

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Covid-19: recriminations as the UK heads for disaster on July 19

The UK is well on-target to have more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections per day by July 19 – when Boris Johnson insists on unlocking all lockdown restrictions and abdicating any responsibility for the consequences.

Today – July 15 – the UK recorded 48,553 new cases and 63 deaths (within 28 days of a positive test) – those are the highest levels since January 15 and March 26 respectively.

More than 1,200 scientists have signed a letter accusing the Tory government of “recklessly exposing millions to the acute and long-term impacts of mass infection”.

Branding the government’s plans “dangerous and premature”, it described Johnson’s strategy as “herd immunity by mass infection” and said that opening the country should be delayed until “everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high”.

“A strategy that chooses mass infection in children and young people now as a way to protect the vulnerable in winter, instead of taking the time to vaccinate our young is unethical and unscientific,” the letter added.

It also said the pandemic plan risked “burdening a generation with long Covid, the long-term consequences of which are unknown”.

Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton has accused government Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty of “wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country”.

He said: “I found it extraordinary that the Chief Medical Officer suggested and emphasised that there was widespread agreement across the scientific community whereas in fact there is profound disagreement in the scientific community.

“He did not mention the letter… that we published, and I’m afraid I have to conclude that the Chief Medical Officer is wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country, and that is extraordinary to observe.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the city’s transport network will continue to make wearing face masks mandatory after July 19 – and cartoonists have gleefully seized on the obvious opportunity for satire:

A SAGE expert has warned that young people in particular will suffer “acute Covid injury” – damage to their lungs and kidneys that will seriously harm their future health – due to the felaxation of social distancing restrictions:

Economist Richard Murphy raises another concern – that the decision to relax face mask rules was down to Tory vanity. He points to an article in the Financial Times, to which this tweet refers:

“The message is loud and clear,” Murphy states. “The right-wing of the Tory party want to end Covid restrictions without caring for the consequences. The government knows that this is madness, but will not rely on Labour votes to retain masks. And so, to save Boris Johnson masks must go, even if (as will happen) thousand will die as a result.

“This is democide in action.”

Read it yourself via this tweet:

It seems thousands of people are to die because Boris Johnson is scared of his backbenchers – and too proud to rely on support from Keir Starmer – that he has enjoyed throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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Covid-19: Boris Johnson gave more than the GDP of 140 nations and territories in contracts to crony companies

Spaffer: Johnson spaffed £52.5 billion up the wall in so-called Covid-19 contracts to Tory crony firms – and got practically nothing in return.

Boris Johnson used the Covid-19 crisis as an excuse to give cash totalling the Gross Domestic Product of 140 nation states and territories – your money – mostly to companies that were run by Tory donors or friends of people in his Conservative government.

And now he’s saying the cost of the Covid crisis means he’s cutting overseas aid. Doesn’t he mean there’s no money for Johnny Foreigner because he’s spaffed it all up his fatcat crony donor friends?

Of £52.5 billion in contracts, £27.5 billion was awarded without competitive tender. Experience shows that this means the cash went to cronies of the Tory government, many of whom had no experience and had literally just set up a company name in order to take the money. Meanwhile, experts in their field were denied any funding at all.

Profiting most from the handout was a firm called Innova Medical Group, with whom most of the contracts were for test kits that the US government has said are inaccurate and should be thrown away.

The National Audit Office says only 96 million out of 691 million Innova test kits have been registered as used.

The travesty is explained in excruciating detail by The Citizens, below:

Yes, the government has serious questions to answer.

Sadly, it is a government led by Boris Johnson so we know that all the answers will be twaddle.

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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Health Warning: Government! is now available
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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook