Tag Archives: Christmas

Johnson knew about new Covid-19 strain in SEPTEMBER. Why did he delay action until now?

Incompetent, ill-equipped, indecisive: Boris Johnson simply isn’t intelligent enough to run a country in the middle of a pandemic contagion. He will dither, delay, bungle and blunder – and WE will be left to count the cost and pay the price.

Johnson dithered and now we must all take the damage.

It’s an all-too-familiar story since he became the UK’s prime minister last year.

It has become clear that the new strain of Covid-19, that Johnson is using as his excuse to ruin everybody’s Christmas with tighter movement and social gathering restrictions than he had promised, was identified in late September. Here‘s iNews:

The first case occurred in the South East in September and it has now spread to Scotland and Wales, with some cases also detected overseas

But the UK’s failed prime minister didn’t say a word about it when he announced his four-week lockdown covering most of November and the early days of December. We weren’t made aware of it and no special measures seem to have been imposed where it had been identified.

Indeed, it was during this time that he actually announced his plan to lift restrictions on social gatherings for a five-day period during Christmas:

He knew there was a new variant of the virus, faster-spreading if not more deadly, that had arisen in the southeast of England but he still announced this as a Christmas bonus for us all, almost a month before it was due to happen.

A lot can happen in a month, as we all know from our experiences in February and March. What a shame we didn’t all bear in mind the most serious lesson we learned then – that Boris Johnson is useless at making the right decision in even the least important matters, and a disaster when the safety of the entire country is at risk.

Some of us saw it coming:

But when Labour leader Keir Starmer challenged Johnson during the last Prime Minister’s Questions of the year, in Parliament on December 16, Johnson actually had the nerve to accuse the Opposition leader of wanting to “cancel Christmas”.

Isn’t it ironic that just three days later, as far as many are concerned, Johnson himself was the one cancelling everyone’s Christmas plans?

Meanwhile the November lockdown in England… failed. By December 18 – last Friday – news outlets were reporting a worse situation in terms of infections and deaths than the previous high point:

And despite the arrival of a hastily-approved vaccine, the outlook suggested restrictions would roll on well into 2021:

Only on Friday evening was the alarm raised – less than a week before Johnson had announced that a lifting of restrictions would take effect.

Needless to say, some were sceptical about the reasons for raising concern at this time:

But hospitals continued to report increasing cases – with those in southeast England, where the new strain was first detected, cancelling non-urgent treatments to divert services back to the virus.

Even so, Johnson was still signalling that any further lockdown would happen after Christmas, so the festive season could still be enjoyed.

It seems to This Writer that the new Covid strain was making itself felt. Johnson knew what was going on – he had been briefed. But just as he delayed his decision on any action after the arrival of the virus in the UK, from November 2019 until March this year, he dithered.

Meanwhile, the forecasts worsened…

… and scientists worked hard to establish proof of a causal link between the new Covid strain and the huge surge in cases. Did they believe this was necessary to prod bovine Boris Johnson in the right direction?

Hospital admissions continued to rise – most prominently in London and the southeast:

Then we started hearing that new restrictions could be on the way – before Christmas, implying that Johnson was going to renege on his promise to lift curbs on social gatherings.

It was a bit late for that! Bear in mind the quotation at the top of this article: the new strain has already spread to Scotland, Wales and abroad.

Worse, it created the potential for a panic-fuelled exodus from the Capital and the Home Counties – potential that was realised in very short order.

Early in the afternoon – just 12 hours after news outlets started reporting that he might be restricting travel over Christmas – Johnson announced that he would address the nation in a TV broadcast.

I think Clare Hepworth may have been hoping for too much there!

Before the telecast, it seems Johnson leaked details of his announcement to a journalist. But there was a problem…

The leaked details were tweeted by Sunday Times deputy political editor Caroline Wheeler. But look at the state of this:

Pogrund is the hack who published lies that This Writer was a Holocaust denier (the paper had to print a fulsome correction later), so if I had seen his comment on this, I would have treated it with extreme caution – which is exactly the opposite of what Johnson no doubt intended.

He eventually slouched onto our screens and made his announcement:

Notice that he said his decision was based on “early” evidence about the new Covid variant, of which he had been aware since September – nearly four months!

The response – as one might expect – was strong (even before Johnson himself turned up to tell us why we should be angry at all, it seems):

On Sunday morning, Matt Hancock turned up to tell Sophy Ridge a pack of lies:

Of course they knew! They were told in September, remember.

You may also remember This Writer mentioning, above, the potential for a panic-fuelled exodus from London after the papers reported that Johnson might impose a travel ban. Prediction fulfilled:

The response from the government was contradictory – to everybody who remembers its response to Dominic Cummings’s mad dash to Barnard Castle, back in the summer:

Oh, and the government’s response? Pointless:

Sunday was the day the UK’s cumulative Covid-19 death toll equalled the entire number of UK civilian casualties during World War II (1939-1945). Another achievement for Johnson and his Minister for Death, Matt Hancock:

Labour has tried to take advantage of the situation – but with limited success, considering the party’s own dire record on the coronavirus:

 

Of course, the announcement doesn’t just affect families; there is a knock-on effect on the economy:

And the casualties keep mounting up: as the UK faced the inevitability of a Christmas in lockdown, and millions tried to quit the capital for the country, taking their germs with them, the country faced the uncomfortable fact that the situation was worse than ever before.

And beyond our borders, other countries realised they had to take action:

This situation is changing constantly but as I write this, more than 30 countries have banned travel from the UK.

What conclusion can we draw from this?

Firstly: that Boris Johnson cannot cope with his responsibilities as prime minister. Faced with a hard decision, he will deny reality until it smacks him across the face – every time.

Secondly: that the UK has now become so tribal that people will join Johnson in denying reality, simply because they would rather support the Tories than admit they have failed.

Thirdly: that Boris Johnson will use any excuse to deflect responsibility for his mistakes away from him.

Fourthly: that, despite the efforts of his apologists, Johnson has lost the nation’s trust.

If you need some reasons for this phenomenon, here are 10:

Finally: that we’ve had enough of him, his dithering, his lies and his government.

The next few days are going to be difficult for all of us, because of Johnson and the stupid decisions made by him deliberately.

But that’s going to be nothing compared to the trouble we can give him over the next few weeks, months and – if necessary – years until we can finally kick him out for good. Remember that.

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New Covid lockdown won’t make a difference because Johnson won’t CLOSE THE SCHOOLS!

“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.

Is everybody happy to be back in lockdown – or at least, in more serious Covid-19 related restrictions – thanks to Tory incompetence, yet again?

And are you all happy that the new restrictions announced by Boris Johnson and his government won’t make a scrap of difference because he refuses, point-blank, to stop the most common cause of Covid-19 infections?

What I mean is when the latest restrictions are relaxed, we’ll all be as vulnerable to Covid infection as before, because Johnson won’t close the schools.

Yes, they do indeed know this:

It is obvious – and has been since long before Johnson announced that schools would be reopened for the autumn term in September – that schools should stay closed for the duration. And we all know that Johnson triggered the huge autumn rise in infections because of this simple omission from his plans.

Aaron Bastani’s comment that both main political parties must take responsibility, because they both chased headlines and tried to court public approval rather than doing the right thing, is correct:

But ultimate responsibility lies with the government of the day:

Trouble is, Johnson’s resignation won’t change anything because his Tory government will go on – and will continue risking the lives of thousands of people – with their dishonest policies.

Sadly, Marcus Chown’s hope is forlorn.

After more than a year of Covid-19 lies, the Tories can’t go back to the facts because then they would have to provide recompense for all the suffering and death that they deliberately caused.

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New Covid threat – but government sticks to advice over Christmas ‘bubbles’

Not a Christmas decoration: but the fear is that people will be letting Covid-19 into their homes – possibly a new, more virulent strain – when families come together under restriction relaxations that are still being permitted by the government.

Boris Johnson’s Tory government is sticking to its advice about the five-day ‘bubbles’ into which families will be allowed to go while they celebrate Christmas.

But ministers are warning that people should do “the minimum that is possible” over the festive period.

What the hell does that mean?

Meanwhile, new threats are arising with the discovery of a new strain of the Coronavirus, most heavily concentrated in London and the South East.

Is it a coincidence that London and parts of Essex and Hertfordshire are going into Tier 3 restrictions from midnight today (December 15-16)?

The number of cases of the virus there has been found to have risen, even while cases elsewhere were falling during the English lockdown in November.

Up to three households will be permitted to meet – in ‘bubbles’ – for five days over Christmas. But the government is saying people will have to make their own judgements about the amount of contact they have.

And the matter will be kept under review.

The discovery of the new strain of the virus was announced by Death Health Secretary Matt Hancock:

He seems to think that although it is faster-spreading, it is no more harmful than the established strain and he expects the current vaccine to be effective against it.

Those are very large assumptions.

And there are concerns that ministers are divorced from the realities of the situation.

Guardian leader article has warned that the government’s attitude to schools shows a failure to understand the ongoing threat:

Just last week the schools minister, Nick Gibb, wrote to the headteacher of a school in Ware, Hertfordshire, warning that the government could use its powers under the Coronavirus Act to prevent schools such as his from carrying out plans to send most pupils home before the end of term and switch to remote learning.

In a similar vein, suggestions from unions that schools might operate remotely at the start of next term, in order to decrease the chances that contacts over the festive period could lead to a spike in infections, were rebuffed.

Yet school leaders, and councils including Greenwich, that have asked headteachers to switch to remote learning for the final few days of term, appear more in touch than ministers with the realities – and risks – of the situation they have created, by promising the public that get-togethers of up to three families could go ahead over the festive period.

It remains unclear how Boris Johnson and his cabinet became convinced that closing schools for just the usual fortnight could be considered compatible with a plan to relax the pandemic restrictions below even the tier 1 level, under which gatherings of people who do not live together, and are not part of the same support bubble, are limited to six.

Throughout the Covid crisis, Hancock, his boss Boris Johnson, and their minions have been wrong – on an epic scale that has cost tens of thousands of lives.

They claimed their decisions were “based on the science” when in fact the underlying motive was the maintenance of a national economy that has been harmed more by their poor leadership than by the virus itself.

Now they stand poised to make another terrible mistake – and to make the rest of us pay the cost. Again.

Source: Covid: ‘Do minimum possible’ over Christmas, says UK minister | World news | The Guardian

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‘Tis the season to be HOMELESS – especially if you’re a child in Tory Britain

I write this story every year – and every year the number of children who will be homeless at Christmas increases.

The reason is obvious: Conservative government.

Usually I get my figures from Shelter but I haven’t seen the press release yet. Sadly, the Evening Standard is here with figures that make depressing reading – because they are for London alone:

Nearly  90,000 children in the capital are expected to be homeless this Christmas, London Councils warned today.

This compares with 131,000 across the whole of Britain (England, Wales and Scotland) at Christmas last year.

It seems Covid-19 is going to take the blame:

The rate of families being placed in temporary accommodation is spiralling out of control as the pandemic continues to stretch local authority finances and demands for help reached record numbers, the umbrella group said.

It’s a scandalous figure – indicating an appalling increase in child homelessness.

And Boris Johnson’s government must take the blame. The arrival of the virus didn’t mean they could take their eyes off the UK’s other problems.

Indeed, some may argue that Johnson will be delighted by these figures.

We need to await Shelter’s official, national figures to be sure of the extent of this annual tragedy – but this report is advance notice that it will be extremely distressing.

Source: 90,000 London children to be homeless this Christmas, London Councils warn | Evening Standard

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Families to be allowed to meet in Christmas ‘bubbles’; prepare for another lockdown

No, it isn’t tinsel; it’s still Covid-19.

I have a friend who has been convinced that the whole of the UK will be in lockdown again from around December 27. This announcement suggests to me that he is right.

The UK’s four nations have agreed to allow “limited additional household bubbling” so families can get together for Christmas, the UK government has announced

But any loosening of coronavirus restrictions will only be in place for “a small number of days”.

The Sun reported that festive bubbles could allow up to four households to mix for five days.

Yes indeed. We’ll probably be on lockdown straight away afterwards. Mixing with lots of other family members is bound to spread Covid and you can bet Johnson has been advised that he needs to isolate everybody until they know whether they’ve been infected or not.

Source: Covid: Families Will Be Allowed To Get Together In Christmas ‘Bubbles’ | HuffPost UK

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Good news for U-graded Gavin Williamson as Johnson announces courses for people with no skills


Ill-starred education secretary Gavin Williamson has suffered another setback by making a long-overdue and practically-empty speech about the effect of Covid-19 on universities – on the day Boris Johnson announced new courses for people who need new skills.

Williamson put himself forward as a prime candidate for such a course.

Here’s how one commentater described Johnson’s announcement earlier today:

Only hours later, others were to signal how fitting his words were:

Here’s some of what he said – and some of what people are saying about it:

On his responses to others, they had this to say:

In summary:

Of course he isn’t. He isn’t even supposed to be.

And we’re supposed to see that he isn’t.

Boris Johnson has surrounded himself with dimwits; it’s an old strategy.

He knows he’s nigh-on useless himself, so he’s making sure none of the candidates to replace him even match up to his low standard.

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Child homelessness numbers when Covid-19 hit the UK shame us all. What will they be by Christmas?

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Stop evictions: this is a years-old image – still relevant today because of cruel Tory policies that push poor people onto the streets.

How did the fifth-richest nation on the planet manage to allow nearly 130,000 children to be homeless when a killer virus swept over the country?

The statistic should be a source of national shame, even though I’m not convinced by the Mirror‘s claim that it is the worst level of child homelessness in 14 years.

This Site reported in December 2018 that 131,000 children were set to be living in bed and breakfast accommodation that Christmas.

But I think a worse figure is yet to come.

Earlier this week, This Site commented on claims that reports of people living on the streets have rocketed since the Covid lockdown was enforced in March.

Children weren’t mentioned specifically but you can be sure that they were among those who had been turfed out into the gutter.

And how many children will be forced out of the protection of their home when the moratorium on evictions ends on Sunday (August 23) and landlords are again able to throw tenants out for no reason at all?

This Site has a tradition that I try to continue every year: in December I report the number of children set to be homeless at Christmas.

Every year since I started – back in 2012, if I recall correctly – that number has increased by tens of thousands.

I shudder to think what it will be by Christmas 2020.

Source: Homeless children hit 14-year high as 130,000 stuck in B&Bs and temporary shelter – Mirror Online

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Universal Credit forces ‘sandwich at Christmas’ claimant to beg supermarkets for food

Faceless: Universal Credit is an attempt to avoid treating benefit claimants as people. It is easier to deprive you of everything if they don’t have to think of you as a person.

It took This Writer a while to understand this.

Not only did the Department for Work and Pensions – through its function (you can’t call it a benefit) Universal Credit – penalise a woman who has had several strokes, including a rare spinal cord stroke resulting in lack of mobility which means she needs to use a wheelchair…

Not only did it take so much away from Carol Brice of Bridgwater that her Christmas dinner was a sandwich

Not only was it pilloried by public opinion after this treatment became commonly-known…

But it hasn’t responded to that bad publicity at all, and Ms Brice has been forced to write to supermarkets, begging for food.

And…

Worst of all…

Those supermarkets have, in effect, told her to get lost.

They told her they only work with charities and she should go to a food bank.

Tory Britain, 2020.

They bury you in bureaucracy and when you try to dig yourself out, they ignore you altogether.

Source: Universal Credit claimant who had just a sandwich to eat on Christmas day begs supermarkets for food – Somerset Live

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Alexei Sayle’s Christmas message to the disheartened is one to take to YOUR heart

I’m not going to say much about this because I don’t have to.

Watch, listen, enjoy, take heart and get back into the great struggle of our age:

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Corbyn was helping the homeless during the Queen’s Speech. What was Johnson doing?

Jeremy Corbyn: He helps the homeless at Christmas. Boris Johnson is off in the tropics helping himself.


We’ve established that, like most of the UK’s population, Jeremy Corbyn has better things to do than watch the Queen’s Christmas message.

He visits a local shelter for homeless people and helps out.

Apparently this is a shocking display of irresponsibility, according to ITV’s Julie Etchingham.

But Boris Johnson is raving it up on Mustique. It’s an island playground for the incredibly rich in the tropics somewhere, apparently.

So, of the two, which would you say was taking his role seriously? And which may be seen to be rubbing our noses in his extreme privilege?

Source: What Jeremy Corbyn does instead of watching the Queen’s Christmas speech – Mirror Online

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