Tag Archives: announcement

#BorisJohnson’s #Omicron announcement is a dud. Where’s his #apology & #resignation?

Mistaken identity: Boris Johnson took to our TV screens to announce new government measures to tackle the Omicron variant of Covid-19. But we thought it was another Christmas quiz. What was the first question again?

This Writer’s booster injection, if all went as planned, was due on December 20. Am I now to expect it on Thursday, after Boris Johnson’s announcement on Sunday evening?

Johnson intruded on our Sunday viewing to announce that the UK’s Covid alert level was being raised to 4 – the second-highest – indicating a high or rising level of transmission.

And he said the government was accelerating vaccinations and booster jabs, intending to fit seven weeks’ worth of injections into three. That’s how I calculated the schedule for my own booster.

No further social distancing restrictions were announced.

To be honest, the government could have made this announcement without putting Johnson out to broadcast it in a pre-recorded statement (that he still stumbled through like a drunkard who’s lost his reading glasses).

This Writer was most struck by what wasn’t said.

This could have been a press conference, with media reporters (and, preferably, members of the public) lined up to ask questions.

But it seems Johnson wasn’t having any of that. Was he afraid we would all go off-script and start demanding answers about his own failures to follow the Covid-19 rules last Christmas?

I think he was. I think he dreaded being asked why he told us all the regulations were followed in Downing Street last December when we now have photographic evidence that he, personally, did not.

Also – and I got this from Alastair Campbell who, whatever you may think of him, should know – it seems that, having allowed the Conservative government air time to make the announcement, broadcasters like the BBC are now obliged to provide the equivalent air time to the opposition political parties. When’s that going to happen, BBC?

Finally, it occurs to me that this announcement is only necessary because of Johnson’s laissez-faire attitude to Covid-19. He should have admitted that his government had made mistakes – in timing the vaccine rollout at the very least – but he couldn’t even get that right.

Given the nature of the announcement, which was that the government and NHS are going to do more, but we don’t have to do anything we wouldn’t have done anyway, I’m drawn to only one conclusion: that Johnson had used this as an opportunity to present himself in a good light.

To that, I can only say:

Tough luck, corrupt liar! You shouldn’t have come out of hiding for any reason other than to explain yourself, or simply to resign, and you bottled it! Don’t come back until you’re ready to face the consequences of your actions.

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Sheffield #Labour councillors who broke #UCUstrike #picket line trigger #YoungLabour declaration

Packed: the Young Labour rally that Keir Starmer’s Labour conference app falsely stated was cancelled. Now Young Labour is refusing to campaign for party members who break picket lines.

This may have deep repercussions across the Labour Party – and indeed the Labour Movement, although the two are now very clearly separate entities.

After Labour members of Sheffield City Council broke the picket line at that city’s university, where UCU workers were striking over pay, pensions and other working conditions, Young Labour – the party’s youth branch – has announced it will not campaign for such people in any way:

Make no mistake – this announcement is a calculated slap in the face for Labour’s leader, Keir Starmer, who with his barely-legitimate general secretary David Evans unilaterally cancelled Young Labour’s conference, that must run alongside the main party conference, according to its rules.

That decision was apparently because the Young Labour conference would have featured an event showing solidarity with Palestine – at least, that’s how YL chair Jess Barnard saw it.

Note the line that a lack of solidarity “has no place in our movement”. Keir Starmer is fond of flinging that phrase around and this seems a deliberate choice to fling it back at him.

What will Starmer do?

Will he condemn his councillors and cause a rift with them? Will he condemn Young Labour and cause a rift with them?

Or will he just hide wherever he goes for weeks on end when difficult questions present themselves?

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#Whitty and #Vallance to appeal to the public over #Covid19 – because nobody trusts the Tories any more

Whitty takes over: the chief medical officer – with chief scientific officer Patrick Vallance – will be making a televised address to the nation because nobody trusts the Tories any more. From the state of this image, not even Whitty.

Trust in Conservative ministers has eroded so badly that they have been forced to hand over a televised update to the UK’s chief scientific and medical officers.

Patrick Vallance and Chris Whitty – who was last seen shouting at performing monkey prime minister Boris Johnson and his boss Dominic Cummings in a photograph published in The Spectator – will make an appeal to the public to stick to new rules on Monday (September 21).

Whitty and Vallance are likely to compare the UK with other European countries such as France and Spain, which have seen a sharp rise in cases translate – after a lag – into increasing hospitalisations and then deaths. The UK saw 3,899 new cases and 18 deaths on Sunday.

The scientists will set out the latest data on the spread of the disease, and urge people to exercise caution. Whitty is expected to warn: “We are looking at the data to see how to manage the spread of the virus ahead of a very challenging winter period.”

Their intervention comes after ministers were accused of eroding trust, from failings and broken pledges on testing and tracing to scandals such as Dominic Cummings’ lockdown journeys.

Covid-19 is now on the rise across the UK, among people in all age groups. Cases are doubling each week.

The Tory ministers – like Johnson and Matt Hancock (also seen recoiling from Whitty in that Spectator shot) – are said to be hoping the scientists’ broadcast will help bring home the message that tough new restrictions will be unavoidable if the situation fails to improve.

So it is the Tory mailed fist behind the velvet glove: comply with restrictions, including the “rule of six” limit on social gatherings, or see stricter measures imposed.

Source: UK at ‘critical point’ over Covid-19, top scientists to tell public | World news | The Guardian

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Cameron’s honours list cowardice: Too many corrupt Conservatives?

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Not the only Tory suspected of wrong-doing, then?

Sir Malcolm Rifkind: Not the only Tory suspected of wrong-doing, then?

David Cameron is planning to postpone the announcement of the next honours list until after the election, because he is worried that Conservatives he nominates might be embroiled in a scandal before polling day, according to The Independent.

According to that paper, “A Whitehall source said: ‘Cameron is petrified of someone on the list having done a Rifkind and finding that a week or two before the election a newspaper has done a number on some [Conservative] grandee.’

“It is thought that the recent cash-for-access sting involving Sir Malcolm Rifkind and Labour’s Jack Straw has influenced No 10’s thinking” regarding the release of the Dissolution Honours nominations.

Doesn’t this say everything you need to know about the Conservatives?

Cameron got into trouble last year because he handed out peerages to people, not because they had done great work for the United Kingdom, but because they had done a lot of work to support him personally.

Now he is afraid to give prior notice of the names on his latest list, for fear that any transgressions they have committed may become public before May 7 and hurt his election chances.

Clearly, corrupt and immoral behaviour among Tory MPs is expected by the Conservative leadership.

Are you really going to give it your approval at the general election?

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Mandelson seeks caution on tuition fees – is it wrong to doubt his motives?

Know your enemy: If you want to know why Labour was so soft on business between 1997 and 2010, here's your answer - Peter (now Lord) Mandelson was in charge of Trade, Industry, and Business at various times throughout those Parliaments.

Know your enemy: If you want to know why Labour was so soft on business between 1997 and 2010, here’s your answer – Peter (now Lord) Mandelson was in charge of Trade, Industry, and Business at various times throughout those Parliaments.

Labour’s former Business Secretary, Peter Mandelson, wants the party to hold fire on any announcements about tuition fees until after the general election, making its policy known if Labour wins.

The reason stated in the BBC article is that “he recognises that any cut in tuition fees announced before the election would raise searching questions about how it would be funded”.

There’s just one problem with that.

We’ve all heard too many politicians say one thing before an election, only to do something completely different afterwards. David Cameron is a master of the pre-election lie. Undoubtedly there have been many more.

If no announcement is made at all, then no word has been given, so the party can’t go back on it.

Add to that the fact that Lord Mandelson is – well – Lord Mandelson, and Ed Miliband would be very ill-advised to pay him any attention on this.

Young people were bitterly betrayed when the Liberal Democrats turned their backs on the promise to abolish tuition fees and instead supported the Tory rip-off plan to make students pay, and pay, and pay.

Labour’s offer is only a drop in fees from £9,000 to £6,000 per year – it is not, therefore, the total abandonment of fees that students would welcome, so the party is on thin ice.

Let us hope this is one case where Mandelson cannot pull strings from behind the scenes.

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