Category Archives: lockdown

Another Covid lockdown unlikely, says scientist who broke lockdown for nookie anyway

Neil Ferguson: he broke the rules so he quit. If only some Tories had the same integrity after the event.

Isn’t it time the BBC started actually questioning what people say to its reporters, rather than just acting as stenographers?

I mean, here’s a report in which

It is unlikely that there will be more lockdowns in the UK, the scientist whose modelling led to the first nationwide restrictions has said.

Prof Neil Ferguson told the BBC the UK is “likely to be on a steady course now out of this pandemic”.

But I can’t help reminding myself that Professor Ferguson is not only the scientist whose modelling led to lockdowns but also the scientist who resigned after he was caught breaking his own lockdown rules…

… to be with a lady.

So when he says he doesn’t think there will be any more full lockdowns – while I hope that he’s right…

I can’t help questioning whether he has an ulterior motive.

Source: Another Covid lockdown unlikely, says scientist – BBC News

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Johnson denies saying ‘let the bodies pile high’ – but he would, wouldn’t he?

We have no reason to doubt that Boris Johnson said he’d rather see bodies piled high in their thousands than have another lockdown – even after he denied it.

That’s because we all know that Johnson is a well-known habitual liar. His dishonesty is legendary.

Recently we’ve heard him claim, in Prime Minister’s Questions, that Keir Starmer had voted against a promise of a 2.1 per cent pay rise for nurses – that his own government is breaking.

He said there would be no funding cut for the body tasked with improving transport in the north (he’s taking away 40 per cent of its funding).

He claimed all Covid-19 contracts had been published and were “on the record” – only to be contradicted by the High Court.

Remember his Brexit campaign, when he lied that the NHS would be given £350 million a week?

His lie that the NHS would get 20 hospital upgrades, starting in his first week as prime minister – that he then edited out of a video?

And what about his other offences?

Remember when he tried to make a joke of the massive loss of lives in the Libyan city of Sirte during that nation’s civil war? Or when he had to be stopped from inappropriately quoting a colonial poem by Kipling in Myanmar?

Remember when Eddie Mair, on BBC Radio 4, read out a litany of Johnson’s racist behaviour, to the dismay of Amber Rudd?

When Johnson refused to condemn widespread police violence against civilians in Catalonia?

When he spoke nonsense about Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe in Parliament, and the Iranian government used it to threaten her with an extra five years in prison, beyond the five she was already serving on a trumped-up charge? Only this week, she has been re-imprisoned for another year – admittedly on the basis of separate evidence.

When he was reprimanded by then-Commons Speaker John Bercow for referring to Emily Thornberry in “frankly sexist” terms?

When he praised Viktor Orban on his election win in Hungary after an anti-Semitic campaign?

His sexist and Islamophobic comments about women who wear the burqa?

The £53 million he spaffed on a ‘Garden Bridge’ that was never built?

His cowardice during the Tory leadership campaign when he was the absentee candidate?

The racist poem he published, saying that Scottish people were a “verminous” race that should be placed in ghettos and exterminated?

His racist assessment of the French as “turds“?

The allegation that Downing Street sought to restrict Johnson’s access to sensitive intelligence when he became Foreign Secretary?

The evidence that he met a Russian ex-KGB agent without being accompanied by his personal security detail, which strongly suggested that he was harming the UK’s security in relation to Russia? What happened about the so-called ‘Russia report’, discussing such security issues, that Johnson has been suppressing since before the general election last year?

His reference to gay men as “tank top-wearing bumboys“?

His question about Irish PM Leo Varadkar: “Why isn’t he called Murphy like the rest of them?”

His clueless claim that hard work can cure mental illness?

His relaxed attitude to his MPs abusing women?

His illegal attempt to prorogue Parliament?

His obscene description of then-Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn?

The corruption scandal in which he allegedly gave public money to his friend Jennifer Arcuri? What happened about that, by the way?

The allegation that Boris had taken money for his Tory leadership campaign from a group of hedge fund bosses who planned to make a fortune by getting him to force a “no deal” Brexit? What happened about that, by the way?

His decision to run away when the UK was flooded and needed strong leadership?

His failure to follow his own social distancing rules and subsequent illness with coronavirus? If he had died, it would have been of stupidity.

Put those all together and it seems entirely likely that Johnson would say what it’s alleged he said – and lie about it afterwards.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Source: Covid: Boris Johnson’s ‘bodies pile high’ comments prompt criticism – BBC News

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Johnson accused: did he say ‘Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’?

Did he say it or didn’t he? We’ll find out whether Johnson really wanted the Covid-19-riddent bodies of ourselves, our relatives and our friends “piled high” soon enough, but in the meantime his current reputation tends to mitigate against him.

This is the kind of claim that can topple a government.

The fact that it was published by the Tory-backing Daily Mail makes it even more damaging to Boris Johnson and his regime.

Here’s what the Mail has said:

Boris Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown, it was claimed last night.

The explosive remark is said to have come after he reluctantly imposed the second lockdown, sources told the Mail.

Downing Street last night strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, insisting it was ‘just another lie’. But those who say they heard it stand by their claim.

“Those who say they heard it” suggests very strongly that this comes from multiple sources who will support each other’s stories. That alone could destroy Downing Street’s claim.

The allegation is that Johnson made his outburst last October, in response to a warning by Michael Gove that, if Johnson did not order a third lockdown, soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with victims of Covid-19.

This was before there was even one vaccine, remember, but after Covid-related infections and deaths had begun to multiply exponentially.

It was not until January 4 this year that Johnson gave in and ordered a third lockdown after all.

The claim is so incendiary because the first duty of any government is to protect the population of the nation it has been elected to represent.

If Johnson really said he would happily see the dead bodies of fellow UK citizens “piled high”, rather than ask his friends in business to suffer further disruption (that they would suffer in any case, once the virus took hold) then his words represent a betrayal of his most fundamental duty.

Don’t just take my word for it:

How will this affect public support for Johnson, as the story develops over the coming days and weeks?

Well, we’ll have local elections in a little over a week.

Let’s see what happens to the opinion polls – and to the vote itself.

Source: Covid UK: Boris Johnson said he’d rather ‘bodies pile high’ than have third lockdown, sources claim | Daily Mail Online

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A family at war: after Johnson accused Cummings, former advisor blazes back

Spotted on the internet: and who knows how many more nasty little secrets Dominic Cummings will be able to release, just when they will do Boris Johnson the most harm?

I’m waiting for Theresa May to turn up and say, “Now, boys, play nicely!” Not that she’d have any effect at all.

It seems that Boris Johnson thought details of his text conversation promising tax breaks to James Dyson had been leaked by Dominic Cummings.

Denying this, Cummings has nevertheless come out with a different claim – that Johnson had planned a “possibly illegal” way to get Tory donors to pay for renovations to the Downing Street flat that the prime minister uses.

We knew that, didn’t we?

Cummings wrote in his blog: “The PM stopped speaking to me about this matter in 2020 as I told him I thought his plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation were unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations if conducted in the way he intended. I refused to help him organise these payments.”

For good measure, Cummings has also denied leaking details of the UK’s second Covid-19 lockdown last summer – but he put an extra sting into this one.

He said Johnson had considered stopping an inquiry into that leak (that eventually exonerated Cummings) because (he reckoned) the evidence pointed to Henry Newman, a close personal friend of the prime minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds.

Cummings claimed Johnson was concerned that he would have to sack Newman, and this would cause friction with Symonds.

The official line from Downing Street is that Johnson has never interfered with any inquiries – but that’s not what Cummings claimed.

The claim was that Johnson had considered interfering – and this is entirely plausible after Johnson admitted promising to interfere with the tax system for Dyson, at Prime Minister’s Question on Wednesday. (Or did he? Will we have yet another clarification from “a Downing Street source” that he meant something completely – and implausibly – different?)

The result of the inquiry has never been published.

Cummings wrote: “I told him that this was ‘mad’ and totally unethical, that he had ordered the inquiry himself and authorised the Cabinet Secretary to use more invasive methods than are usually applied to leak inquiries because of the seriousness of the leak. I told him that he could not possibly cancel an inquiry about a leak that affected millions of people, just because it might implicate his girlfriend’s friends.”

He added: “It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”

Asked to comment on the matter, Johnson himself came out with what may be his only accurate words on any of the corruption allegations that are currently pelting his government. He said:

“I think people aren’t so much interested in who is leaking what to whom as the substance of the issue at hand.”

Yes indeed.

We want to see accurate, verified evidence showing whether Johnson intervened with HMRC to change tax rules of Dyson.

We want to see evidence showing whether Johnson was implicated in the Greensill lobbying scandal.

We want evidence on how Johnson funded his flat renovations.

We want to know why the inquiry into the lockdown leak wasn’t published.

And we want to see evidence on the accuracy of all the other corruption claims that have come out of the woodwork – and that are likely to emerge in the future.

And no – “a Downing Street spokesperson denied the allegations” will not be acceptable.

Source: Dominic Cummings launches attack on Boris Johnson’s integrity – BBC News

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Newspaper promotes Covidiocy by claiming the UK has reached ‘herd immunity’ threshold

Still here: we may get yet another wave of Covid-19 infections because so-called ‘Covidiots’ use the lifting of some lockdown restrictions as an excuse to ignore ALL of them.

The Daily Telegraph has given everybody in the UK who doesn’t like wearing a mask for their safety and that of others an excuse to campaign against it.

“Britain will pass the threshold for herd immunity on Monday, according to dynamic modelling by University College London (UCL), placing more pressure on the Government to move faster in releasing restrictions,” states the Torygraph‘s story before mercifully disappearing behind a paywall.

Herd immunity is the idea that, if enough of the population is given immunity to a disease, then it will cease to be a danger to the population as a whole.

Boris Johnson suggested it as a way of handling Covid-19 back in March 2020 – but he completely misunderstood it, saying he thought the nation should carry on as normal and people develop the immunity by catching the disease. It was only when people started dying in huge numbers that he changed his decision and locked the UK down, fearful of the public reaction if he persisted with his nonsense claims.

In fact, herd immunity relies on vaccination, and it is true that much of the UK has now taken a first injection of a Covid-19 vaccine. This Writer’s understand was that at least 80 per cent needed to have been fully vaccinated before herd immunity could be reached, though – not the 73.4 per cent claimed by the hack rag.

Is it enough to justify the claim? Hell, no!

It’s just an attempt to support the lifting of restrictions in England that is taking place today (April 12).

The idea is to convince us all that, whatever may happen, Boris Johnson and his cronies are right to follow their lockdown-lifting timetable instead of the scientific facts which – as we have already heard – suggest that another wave of Covid infections could soon hit the UK.

In England, the new rules mean:

More businesses will open, but indoor settings should be visited alone, or with household groups. Outside, six people or two households can meet.

  • All shops allowed to open
  • Hairdressers, beauty salons and other close-contact services can open
  • Restaurants and pubs allowed to serve food and alcohol to customers sitting outdoors
  • Gyms and spas can reopen, as can zoos, theme parks, libraries and community centres
  • Members of the same household can take a holiday in England in self-contained accommodation
  • Weddings attended by up to 15 people can take place
  • Funerals be attended by up to 30 people, with 15 at wakes
  • Children will be able to attend any indoor children’s activity
  • Care home visitors will increase to two per resident

In Wales:

  • All pupils and students return to school, college and other education
  • All shops and close-contact services can open
  • The ban on travelling in and out of Wales ends
  • Driving lessons can resume and some driving tests (remainder on 22 April)

In Scotland:

  • All pupils back at school full-time

And in Northern Ireland:

  • Remaining school year groups 8-11 return (Years 1-3, 4-7 and 12-14 have already returned)
  • Stay-at-home message relaxed
  • All other non-essential retail can operate click-and-collect
  • Sports training with up to 15 people can resume
  • Up to 10 people from two households can meet in a private garden

None of the new conditions allow us to take off our masks in public yet.

However, some people have chosen to use the Torygraph article as an excuse for stupidity, under the hashtag #herdimmunityday:

“Something is dark in your heart”? That’s a really insidious thing to say – accusing people who follow the rules of an inner evil. Isn’t it?

There are hundreds of similar messages.

Fortunately, there is also a backlash from people who want us all to #staysafe until the crisis really is over:

The worst part of this is that there will come a time when vaccination really will have done its work and herd immunity – as correctly defined – will have been reached. And that’s when these morons will come out again and claim that they were right all along.

In the meantime, though, let’s remember that some of these people have been claiming that the government will find any excuse to impose new lockdowns, keep us in our homes and wearing masks – because that keeps us under control.

It seems odd that they also seem hell-bent on providing the government with the excuse it needs.

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Johnson’s keenness to end lockdown shows those who don’t learn from 150,000 deaths will repeat them

This Site has been warning that the NHS is gearing up for another wave of Covid-19 infections by or around July – now here’s expert opinion:

Leading scientists have warned that the government is risking a third wave of Covid-19 by easing the lockdown at a time when official data still shows virus hotspots across many parts of the country.

With the UK poised to lift many Covid restrictions on Monday, the scientists accuse ministers of abandoning their promises to “follow the data, not dates” in a rush to reopen society and the economy.

A more cautious, sensible approach would be to wait until more among the tens of millions of people who have yet to be inoculated have had their vaccinations, they say. In addition, they point out that without an adequate system for isolating people who become infected, there could be significant rises in daily Covid cases that could erupt over the next few weeks.

So it seems a delay until July may be overly optimistic and a new wave could happen within weeks!

Take special note of the observation that Johnson is following his timetable rather than paying attention to the facts. “Follow the data, not dates,” he was told – but we know he never does what he’s told.

And you thought the suffering was over.

Source: Virus hotspots could lead to third Covid wave in UK, scientists warn | Coronavirus | The Guardian

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Covid-19: clinically vulnerable people won’t be required to shield… from April Fools’ Day

Covid-19: hospitalisations are down, so clinically-vulnerable people are being told they won’t have to shield from April 1. Is this so they can, finally, contract it?

Presumably someone at the Department of Health and Social Care is having a little giggle.

With the health service allegedly gearing up to face a new surge of Covid-19 infections, people who are likely to be extremely vulnerable to it are being told they don’t have to ‘shield’ from April 1.

This means clinically vulnerable people won’t have to stay at home and avoid all contact with other people any more.

In fairness, they are still being advised to keep social contacts at low levels, work from home where possible and stay at a distance from other people.

This Writer’s own family members in Bristol have been shielding, and I would advise them to continue doing so, as much as possible – for a very simple reason.

They were told to shield at a time when hospitals were in danger of being overwhelmed by Covid-19 admissions; the concern at the time was for the health service, rather than for people who were clinically vulnerable.

Now, hospital admissions are falling as the number of Covid-19 cases drops.

So shielding is ending, not because vulnerable people are now safe, but because hospitals will be better-able to cope with them.

And we should take note that the official advice is that shielding is being “paused” – not ended. It may be reintroduced. If so, then clinically vulnerable people should not be encouraged to think they are safe.

Yes, people who have been shielding have had priority access to vaccination, but that just means they are more likely to have had their first injection.

They won’t be fully-immunised until after they’ve had their second jab – and it has been suggested that the longer delay between injections has created a vulnerability to variant strains of Covid-19.

And the government is warning that people coming out to enjoy the current hot weather have not been social distancing, meaning they are more likely to contract the virus. The same government is inviting clinically vulnerable people to mix in with those people.

So This Writer is led to question the purpose behind this change.

Is it really to give people who have been stuck at home for more than a year a chance to stretch their legs again?

Or is it to give the virus a chance to wipe out a few more “useless eaters”?

Wednesday is the last day millions of the most clinically vulnerable people in England and Wales are told to shield.

Source: Covid-19: Shielding coming to an end for millions – BBC News

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Schoolkids know the score: reopening all schools in England will infect the nation with Covid-19

“Perfectly safe”: this photo was taken on a school staircase after Boris Johnson ruled that it was “perfectly safe” for children to go back there in September – no social distancing, no PPE… not safe at all. Now he is planning to do it all again, with infection rates nearly seven times higher than when this image was made.

Boris Johnson loves announcing big plans without giving us the facts and figures behind them, and he has done it again with school reopening.

How humiliating for him that it has been up to school pupil Jamal Elaheebocus to explain that when schools were recklessly reopened in June last year, one in 1,100 people were infected with Covid-19. When they were recklessly reopened in September, this had fallen to one in 2,000.

In mid-February, the infection rate was one in 115 people. It is hoped this will have fallen to one in 300 but that is nearly seven times more than in September last year – and look how that turned out!

Jamal reminds us of a few more uncomfortable truths:

the prevalence of the virus in communities remains high. As Johnson himself admitted on January 4, schools are vectors of transmission.

To any of us working or studying in schools, the reasons why schools are hotspots for infection are obvious.

Fitting thirty students and a teacher in a classroom makes social distancing impossible, overcrowded buildings means that several year groups who are separate bubbles then mix together.

Students are then packed on buses and trains to get home, spreading infection not only among themselves but among the wider public as well.

The latest data from Imperial’s React programme showed that 5 to 12 year olds had the second highest infection rate of any age group. Given this, there is no doubt that schools will increase the infection rate again. The difference this time is that infection rates will be much higher.

While the vaccine may help limit the rise in infection to an extent, infection rates will undoubtedly increase. This is a reckless gamble just to get children into schools for three weeks before Easter holidays.

Yes.

So why is Johnson doing it?

This was inevitable, thanks to the pressure from the mainstream media and Keir Starmer.

How low Labour has sunk! Its leader is now counted among those responsible for inflicting an inevitable increase in Covid-19 infections on the UK – yet again. People will die because Starmer did this.

Yes, some of the arguments in favour of re-opening schools have influence – but only because prolonged closures have placed pupils at the mercy of the Tories’ neoliberal system – one that Starmer wholeheartedly supports.

The combined incompetence of the government and the cruelty of the neoliberal system has meant many kids have missed out on free school meals, families are struggling to cope in overcrowded homes and kids have not been able to access online learning because of lack of access to a laptop or good broadband.

Lockdown has been made so difficult for school pupils because of the government’s decision to continue to punish the poorest in society. It is a disgrace that the Tories and the right-wing media are attempting to manipulate the stress and hardship and use it to back up their reckless campaign to open up society and let the virus run rampage.

It is a disgrace.

And the Tories’ adherence to the neoliberal system that demands minimal investment for maximum return (to the very, very rich) means that the reopening will be done on the cheap.

Jamal proposes a series of measures to make schools safe – or at least safer. None of them have been supported – or even mentioned – by Boris Johnson because they cost money.

Teachers should be prioritised for the vaccine since they will be mixing with such a large number of people. This should have been done months ago and as more and more of the clinically vulnerable and elderly are vaccinated, there is no reason not to now prioritise teachers.

There should also be plans to repurpose public buildings as classrooms or put money into new buildings on school sites to facilitate social distancing in classrooms and allow for proper separation of year group bubbles.

Supply teachers and newly-qualified teachers who are not employed can be utilised to allow for smaller class sizes and more social distancing.

The vaccine is not the cure-all that Johnson and his cronies have claimed. It wont protect you as fully as you think, and it won’t protect as many people as you think.

And, of course, it has only been applied to a minority of the population – on a first-dose basis.

How sad that Johnson is so keen to prolong the UK’s Covid-19 agony, just to please his backbenchers, the baying hounds of the mass media… and Keir Starmer.

Source: A school student speaks: 8 March ‘big bang’ reopening just isn’t safe – Counterfire

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Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown ignores the science YET AGAIN and the death toll could be huge

Mess: Johnson’s plan to ease lockdown is as muddled as his hair. Even with 80 per cent vaccine efficacy, half the population will still be vulnerable to infection.

Scientists have warned that Boris Johnson’s plan to end lockdown restrictions will cause a huge increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations – even in the most optimistic scenarios.

So much for “following the science”, eh?

It seems that

The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) [said] tens of thousands more people can be expected to die from Covid because vaccines will not provide complete protection against the disease, and not everyone will have the jabs.

All scenarios led to a resurgence of cases because so many vulnerable people remained unprotected, even with high vaccine coverage.

Johnson’s plan is a bespoke model that does not correspond with any of the SAGE scenarios – but its closest equivalent, scenario three, predicts a resurgence of Covid-19 in the UK around September.

At yesterday’s press briefing on the government’s plans, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who is said to have shares in a pharmaceutical company that was working on a vaccine, warned that even with 80 per cent efficacy, half the population would still be at risk from the disease.

He said a cautious step-by-step process, with pauses of four or five weeks between each to monitor the impact, was the right way to go.

It seems strange, then, that the Johnson plan will reopen all English schools on March 8.

Scientific modellers predict that this will drive the infection rate up by between 10 and 50 per cent – negating the reductions of the current lockdown and vaccinations.

They said a limited reopening, possibly starting with primary schools, was a far better option and would allow scientists to assess the impact on infections within the community.

Johnson has ignored this good advice and intends to steamroll his easements through – as he did last year.

We all know how that turned out. Why are you letting him do it to you again?

Source: Demand from Tory MPs to scrap Covid rules ‘could bring huge death toll’ | Politics | The Guardian

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