Tag Archives: coronavirus

Partygate: Met Police Acting Commissioner pathetically tries to whitewash Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson: the prime minister is pictured participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from his Downing Street communications job – but according to Acting Met Police Commissioner Sir Stephen House, there is “no clear evidence” that he took part in the rampant Covid-19 rule-breaking there.

A police officer who witnessed “a large number of people” at a “crowded and noisy” party, where “some members of staff drank excessively” did not immediately take action over Covid-19 rule breaches because he was there for security and not to “police what goes on inside the building”, according to Met Police Acting Commissioner Sir Stephen House.

Have you ever read such nonsense? Police officers are sworn to uphold the law at all times, no matter what their stated duties are said to be. Would he have turned a blind eye to burglary, or rape, because he was assigned to “security”?

Apparently the same officer did not feel that a large number of drunken people in a crowded and noisy room breached Covid-19 regulations that strictly prohibited such social gatherings.

It’s no wonder this “acting” Commissioner’s other comments are also shockingly inadequate in the light of this.

House told the London Assembly’s Police and Crime Committee there was “no clear evidence” that Johnson had breached Covid-19 rules many times in Downing Street, despite the very clear photographic evidence of him participating in a party to mark the departure of Lee Cain from Downing Street on November 13, 2020.

This was not a “works gathering”. Far too many people were present and they were socialising and drinking alcohol – as was the prime minister, who gave a speech. The amount of time he spent there was immaterial because the rules in place at the time prohibited all such social events from taking place at all.

At least one attendee was fined for being at this event but there was “no clear evidence” that Boris Johnson was there or took part, according to House.

House also suggested that it was difficult for his officers to work out which gatherings were work-related and which were not. How daft! If alcoholic drinks were visible in the room, then they weren’t work-related. And in any case, if the room was packed with people, meaning they were not at least 2m away from each other in accordance with social distancing rules, they were breaking the law.

House said he was personally involved in the decision-making and was confident in the outcome of the police investigation. That should be enough for us to demand that he surrender his badge.

Is he selling us down the river so he can gain the favour of the top Tories?

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Tory government caused tens of thousands of Covid-19 care home deaths unlawfully

Dr Cathy Gardner: she was one of those who took the government to the High Court, after the care home death of her father, Michael Gibson.

Watch (and/or listen to) this:

“The thing that we didn’t know in particular was that Covid could be transmitted asymptomatically,” said Boris Johnson.

Not true.

In their judgment, Lord Justice Bean and Mr Justice Garnham found that the government failed to take into account the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents from non-symptomatic transmission, which had been highlighted by Sir Patrick Vallance in a radio interview as early as March 13, 2020:

“Those drafting the March Discharge Policy and the April Admissions Guidance simply failed to take into account the highly relevant consideration of the risk to elderly and vulnerable residents from asymptomatic transmission.”

The government stopped testing for Covid-19 on March 12 that year, due to a lack of capacity, and care home residents weren’t regularly tested until April 15, by which time the virus was rampant.

The Commons’ own Science and Technology Committee pointed out in May that year that, despite having been warned about asymptomatic transmission, and despite evidence suggesting a “high proportion” of people with Covid-19 – possibly as high as 80 per cent – have no symptoms at all, the government’s approach to dealing with asymptomatic carriers was still unclear.

And more than 20,000 people died.

This Writer hopes the judgment opens the way for the families of the deceased to claim compensation from the government – although, sadly, any such payments are likely to be paid from the public purse, rather than directly by the Tory Cabinet ministers responsible, such as Boris Johnson and then-health secretary Matt Hancock.

The deaths of this multitude of people are their responsibility. It’s no wonder that bereaved families have demanded Johnson’s resignation.

He has ignored the demands, as usual. He doesn’t care that thousands of people died. Remember – he’s alleged to have said “let the bodies pile high in their thousands” at a later date.

But there will be an inquiry into the lessons to be learned from the Covid-19 pandemic next year.

Perhaps it will recommend that those responsible be brought to justice for the deaths they have caused (but I doubt it).

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NHS experts say Covid-19 is crippling the health service; Downing St doesn’t want to know

The message from Downing Street: who do you believe? NHS experts, or this dozy windbag?

You remember NHS experts saying the surge in Covid-19 infections is threatening the service, with serious delays and falls in the quality of care?

Downing Street couldn’t care less.

The NHS Confederation has now joined the Society for Acute Medicine in warning that the government should reintroduce greater mask-wearing and encourage mixing outdoors – as the health service is already suffering a “major impact”.

This is the response:

Downing Street rejected the proposals but said that it was “alive to the pressures” that the NHS is facing.

A No 10 spokeswoman said: “There is no change to our guidance and our living with Covid plan still stands.

“Thanks to a combination of vaccination and treatment and our better understanding of the virus we are now able to manage it as we do with other respiratory infections, so that remains the case with our approach.

“But obviously we continue to monitor any changes in the behaviour of the virus.”

How incredibly ignorant.

NHS Confederation chief exec Matthew Taylor is right, isn’t he?

He said: “The brutal reality for staff and patients is that this Easter in the NHS is as bad as any winter.

“We have a Government that seems to want to wash its hands of responsibility for what is occurring in plain sight in local services up and down the country.

No 10 has seemingly abandoned any interest in Covid whatsoever.

“NHS leaders and their teams feel abandoned by the Government and they deserve better.”

Source: Downing Street rejects NHS leaders’ plea for more Covid-19 curbs | The Independent

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Covid-19 is STILL threatening the health service, says senior doctor

STILL at breaking point: the UK’s National Health Service.

The argument about Covid-19 is still raging. Who are you going to believe – the politicians or the medical experts?

Here’s a medical expert – Dr Tim Cooksley, president of the Society for Acute Medicine.

He’s saying that the surge of Covid infections caused by the BA.2 variant of Omicron has caused a wave of illness among hospital staff, creating knock-on effects of overcrowding and low morale.

He said:

“The NHS and social care continue to be under immense strain and the system is becoming increasingly compromised.

“The reality is that we are seeing overcrowding in acute care settings with patient flow throughout the system impaired and patients stuck for long periods in emergency departments and acute medical units (AMUs) which results in worse patient outcomes.

“Due to this, paramedics are then stuck unable to transfer their patients into hospitals and get back on the road, resulting in 999 patients being left at home for longer periods without clinical assessment and treatment which potentially has a significant impact on their outcomes.

“These were problems that existed before Covid, however they are now exacerbated by high staff absence levels, fatigue and low staff morale, worsened by often not being able to deliver the standard of care they wish.”

More than 71,000 staff in acute trusts in England were off work last week because of sickness – two in five as a result of Covid, while more than a quarter of ambulance handovers were delayed by more than 30 minutes, Dr Cooksley said.

He described the Government’s goal of tackling the backlog in elective, non-urgent care as a “distant prospect”.

Covid-19 infections in most of the UK remain near or at record levels.

And Boris Johnson has spent years saying tens of thousands of nurses and doctors are entering the health service.

Where are they?

Or was this just like his more recent promise to “take control” of energy prices? That it’ll happen sometime, or maybe never?

Source: NHS patient care increasingly compromised, senior medic warns – upday News UK

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Tory Covid-19 policies now mean one in 13 UK citizens are infected

Still here: Covid-19 is now more common in the UK than ever, with around one in every 13 people currently suffering with the disease. Boris Johnson and his cronies couldn’t care less.

Boris Johnson doesn’t care because he was always keen on his mythical “herd immunity” – but you should: 4.9 million people in the UK are now infected with Covid-19, due to Tory policies on handling the virus.

That’s about one in every 13 people. The huge increase in infections has been driven by the contagiousness of the new Omicron BA.2 sub-variant and the fact that people are mixing more after Johnson’s government relaxed restrictions.

The ONS survey shows large increases among older people who have always been most vulnerable to infection and death as a result of the disease.

Against this backdrop, the Tories are ending free testing for the disease. It will only continue for certain groups including some people with weakened immune systems, people admitted to hospital and health and care staff.

The number of people being treated for very severe Covid infections and needing intensive care remain low, and the government is saying vaccinations are continuing to protect people from severe disease.

That’s all very well, but hospital admissions are back up to their January 2022 level, which means Covid patients are blocking others from receiving treatment and the NHS – in England, particularly – is struggling to cope yet again.

And the trend is upwards, meaning the strain on the NHS is only going to get worse.

It’s another stupid Covid-19 policy that Boris Johnson and his greedy Tory mates haven’t thought through.

They thought that the vaccines meant the crisis was over and the work units – that’s everybody who isn’t a rich Tory business owner, like you and me – could be put back to their main purpose in life, which is making money for rich, lazy, Tory business owners.

If older people and those with other conditions that affect their ability to work are the most heavily affected, then they’re quite happy to risk a lot more deaths; each one takes expense away from the pensions and benefit systems.

They didn’t think about unforeseen consequences like increased burdens on the health service and other state systems – or indeed on arrangements that make it possible for people to work because of help provided (for example) by their elderly relatives or friends.

They never do.

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Sunak says everyone knew Brexit would make us poorer. Did you?

On the ropes: Rishi Sunak.

Is this the blunder that ends Rishi Sunak’s career?

He has told the House of Commons Treasury Committee that everybody knew Brexit would make the UK poorer when they voted for it in 2016.

Do you think that is true?

This Writer’s recollection is of people like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage claiming they were leading us into the “sunlit uplands” of a prosperous post-Brexit future. In fact, the Office for Budget Responsibility recently published two graphs showing how badly the UK has suffered on those so-called sunlit uplands:

Nobody saw “Brexit will make you poorer” written on the side of a big red bus. It said £350 million a week that then went to the EU could be given to the NHS instead.

When the promised cash failed to materialise, Sunak used it as a pretext to impose a 10 per cent increase in National Insurance on us, justifying it with a lie that it would go towards health and social care. It won’t. He wiped away half of the £12 billion it was supposed to make in his Spring Statement last week.

Presented like that, it looks like a premeditated Tory plan to make millions of people poorer. Indeed, 1.3 million of us will be dropped into poverty because of the decisions he made in his Spring Statement.

So when Sunak said everybody had always known a change in trading relationships with the EU would cause a hit to the UK economy, he was trying to offload the blame for a Tory plan onto the voters.

No wonder he shrugged when he was asked if he thought voters were stupid. Clearly, he does.

His reasoning also seems clear: voters put the Conservative Party back into government twice, after being misled into voting to make themselves poorer in the EU referendum – thereby encouraging Sunak and all the others to impoverish them further while lining their own pockets.

That’s stupid in anybody’s book.

The rest of his evidence was more of the same – an attempt to pass the blame for the UK’s current financial woes onto the nation’s citizens.

So the £200 heating loan isn’t a loan even though it will push people into further debt.

So he couldn’t help people on benefits because that would increase public borrowing.

So his squeeze on the poorest was their fault for not having saved more during lockdown.

At least he admitted that his tax relief on solar panels won’t help people on Universal Credit. Very handy for him, though.

The message is clear:

Tory government will make you poor. If you don’t want to be poor, don’t believe the Tories. Don’t listen to them. And most importantly of all, never – never – vote for them.

Source: ‘Do you think people are stupid?’ Sunak shrugged. Of course he did

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Covid-19 to go seasonal for next 2-3 years, says Whitty

In case you missed this, consider it a public service announcement:

A new coronavirus variant that does more damage than Omicron is likely to hit the UK as Covid-19 moves towards seasonal peaks for at least another two years, Professor Sir Chris Whitty has warned.

He said the Covid-19 crisis “is not over” and that rising hospitalisations as a result of the current wave triggered by Omicron subvariant BA.2 will probably continue for at least another two weeks.

“The pandemic is going to become, over time, less dominant steadily, but we’re going to have a significant problem with it in multiple parts of the world for the rest of our lives. Let’s have no illusions about that.

“So I think we should just accept that that is what we’re going to deal with and just roll with it, rather than expect some end point.”

Source: Covid variant worse than Omicron likely to hit UK with seasonal peaks for next 2-3 years, warns Chris Whitty

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More than 1,300 DWP staff to lose jobs: will the service to claimants get EVEN WORSE?

Employment in the UK is a “remarkable success” says Raab – as his government makes 1,300 DWP jobs redundant in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis.

Yes, some of the most hated civil servants in the UK are likely to lose their jobs in a back-office shake-up of the Department for Work and Pensions.

Offices are being closed across the country, meaning 12,000 DWP employees will be moved to different sites. A further 1,300 people will not be moved as there are no suitable sites near them; they will lose their jobs.

But these jobs are said to be going from offices in areas of high economic deprivation, making a mockery of the Tory government’s “levelling-up” agenda.

The PCS union said the offices closing with no alternative site being offered to staff are in: Aberdeen, Barrow in Furness, Bishop Auckland, Blackburn, Bury St Edmunds, Chippenham, Exeter, Gravesend, Kirkcaldy, Milton Keynes, Peterborough, Southampton, and Hanley in Stoke-on-Trent.

Labour’s shadow secretary for work and pensions, Jonathan Ashworth, said: “In closing DWP offices and cutting jobs in areas including Stoke, Burnley, Bishop Auckland, Doncaster, Southampton and Kirkcaldy, Therese Coffey has exposed the Tories’ rhetoric on levelling up to be utterly hollow.

“Ministers are today cutting quality public sector jobs from communities who need them in the middle of a devastating cost of living crisis.”

The decision seems to be motivated by a calculation that the DWP has more real estate than it needs – so this is about selling off land for money, Weren’t we all led to believe the government is making cash hand-over-fist due to increased fuel (and other) prices?

In all, 13 processing sites are set to close by June 2023, but more job losses are feared over the closure and relocation of 29 other sites.

Announcing the closures on March 17, Work and Pensions minister David Rutley said no “front-of-house Jobcentre Plus” services would be affected because “the services we are talking about are primarily telephony and digital”.

Reading between the lines, this suggests that it will take even longer than the hours it already does to contact the DWP about a claim by phone or online,

And the PCS union’s Mark Serwotka seems to be implying that this is the payoff for DWP staff who were taken on to handle the extra work caused by the Covid-19 lockdowns.

With the government winding down its Covid restrictions – despite a new surge in infections, hospitalisations and deaths – these “work units” (as the Tories describe people like you and me and especially benefit claimants) are now surplus to requirements.

“The government was quick to clap civil servants at the start of the pandemic – they’re even quicker to scrap them now they’ve declared the pandemic over.

“Our members have worked tirelessly behind the scenes, keeping the country running, paying out benefits to almost two-and-a-half million families, helping them to put food on their table and keep a roof over their head.

“But now, as food and fuel prices rise faster than ever, they’re being abandoned by the government and left to fend for themselves.”

I fear this is the truth of the Tory DWP slim-down: former employees transformed into claimants in the most deprived areas, at the worst possible time, receiving an inferior service from the organisation they used to represent,

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Covid cases, hospital admissions and deaths surge after England relaxed restrictions

Ending Covid-19 health protections in England has turned out to be another great Boris Johnson decision, then.

According to The Mail (but I think we can trust it on this), 91,345 new cases were diagnosed between March 15 and 16 – up by one-third in a week.

Hospital admissions were up by 29 per cent on the previous week, to 1,541.

And 153 people died – a rise of a quarter on the week before.

A new sub-variant of Omicron – BA.2 – is thought to be the main factor behind the increases, in tandem with the easing of restrictions in England on February 24 and waning immunity from the vaccines – although the Office of National Statistics says it is too early to say for sure.

Health Secretary Sajid Javid reckons increases were to be “expected” and there is ‘nothing in the data at this point in time that gives us any cause for concern’.

But take a look at the trend in deaths…

… and in infections…

… and then try convincing yourself, let alone anyone else, that there’s no reason to be alarmed.

Two and a half million people infected and they think it’s a good idea to lift the restrictions that keep us all protected? It seems they really are genocidal.

Sources: UK’s Covid wave grows on all fronts

and

Covid infections rising again across UK – ONS

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Why won’t #BorisJohnson say he’ll resign if his rigged investigation still finds he broke #Covid19 laws?

Laughing at us: Boris Johnson grinned inanely and bobbed about on his bench while MPs attacked his contempt for the rules and denials of guilt, before Parliament went into recess. What is he planning that we don’t know?

I was going to use video of this interview but instead I decided to spare you the agony.

Here’s the gist:

BBC News has elaborated a little:

Mr Johnson was pressed several times on the subject by Sophie Raworth in an interview for BBC One’s Sunday Morning Programme. She asked whether he understood why so many people found his on-the-record explanations – including that he believed he was only attending work events – “implausible”.

Mr Johnson said: “There is literally not a bean I can tell you about that.”

He was asked if he was “burying” his “head in the sand” as he was being investigated by the police, had MPs calling on him to resign and might face a no-confidence vote.

Mr Johnson replied: “I am fortunate to live in a democracy. I am fortunate to be the PM of a free independent democratic country where people can take that sort of decision, and where I do face that sort of pressure, that’s a wonderful thing.”

If Johnson does live in a democracy, many would say he’s the only one in the UK to have that privilege. Millions of us would love to have a vote on whether he gets to remain as prime minister – but he knows how it would go and is probably counting his lucky stars that there’s no mechanism to allow us that choice.

It seems, though, that he has no intention of following the rules. If he is found to have attended even one lockdown-busting party, then he will have intentionally lied to Parliament and the law will demand his resignation.

So the question is, how will he pervert our customs in order to continue inflicting himself on us?