Tag Archives: coronavirus

Covid-19 experience shows that when UK politicians say ‘lessons will be learned’ THEY ARE LYING

Let the bodies pile high: even if Boris Johnson didn’t say those words, that was the ultimate result. And his decision to ignore what happened – his determination that lessons won’t be learned – makes him and his party unfit to govern, at national or local level.

If the people of the UK were the kind who take notice of facts, we would be indebted to Simon Wren-Lewis of Mainly Macro for pointing out how badly our Tory government – among many others – got its strategy for Covid-19 wrong.

Professor Wren-Lewis points to a study in top medical journal The Lancet, showing that countries that tried to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 – in order to keep their economies going – caused many times the number of deaths suffered in countries that decided to eliminate the virus altogether.

And their economies suffered more, as well!

You want proof?

Here’s the chart from the Lancet article comparing the number of deaths (per million, per day) in mitigation countries (blue) with those in elimination countries (red):

That seems conclusive – as does the chart showing the effect on our respective economies:

Elimination countries saw a smaller fall in GDP, and a faster recovery at the end of 2020 and so far in 2021. There was no health/economy trade-off and anybody who suggests that is a liar.

But this is an article about whether lessons were learned – and the answer is that in the UK, they clearly weren’t.

Consider Boris Johnson’s keenness to end the first lockdown at the earliest opportunity in order to get the economy moving again.

What did he achieve? Not one, but two further lockdowns.

He learned nothing – either from the UK’s own experience or from comparisons with other nations.

He deliberately ignored the facts in order to pursue a boneheaded plan that caused tens of thousands of deaths that could have been avoided.

And he has trumpeted this national disaster as though it were a huge success.

What kind of psychopath claims that deliberately causing more than 100,000 avoidable deaths is a resounding success?

There can be only one conclusion: he didn’t learn anything from his failures because he didn’t want to.

We may take our finding from this and apply it to other situations in which bad outcomes are followed with a claim from government that “lessons will be learned”.

They won’t. These people are lying and should be ejected from government – of any kind – as soon as possible.

And guess what?

There are local elections on May 6.

Source: mainly macro: How most of the West got the pandemic so badly wrong?

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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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Lobbying corruption: Johnson caught promising Covid tax breaks to Dyson – who then provided NOTHING

Boris Johnson and James Dyson: could any of us have won tax breaks from the prime minister, if only we’d had his personal phone number?

Boris Johnson offered to “fix” the tax status of Dyson staff so they could work in the UK to provide ventilators in last year’s Covid-19 crisis – after Dyson sent a text message to the prime minister’s personal phone.

Dyson went on to provide absolutely no ventilators at all. Did his employees still get preferential tax status?

That is just one of the important questions that Johnson didn’t answer during Prime Minister’s Questions yesterday.

The revelation is the latest development in the lobbying-related corruption scandal that began when former PM David Cameron’s activities on behalf of now-collapsed financier Greensill Capital came to light.

The BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg reported that

the PM assured businessman Sir James Dyson that his employees would not have to pay extra tax if they came to the UK to make ventilators during the pandemic.

Sir James, whose firm is now based in Singapore, wrote to the Treasury to ask for no change in tax status for staff.

But the BBC has seen text messages sent in March 2020 that show Sir James then went directly to the PM, with Mr Johnson replying: “I will fix it.”

She added, in an opinion piece on the subject,

There are thousands of different circumstances in which having those discussions is perfectly valid.

What about however, when the most powerful politician in the country sends a direct message to an influential businessman promising: “I will fix it tomo”?

A good question – and one that Johnson was asked (if not in so many words) by Keir Starmer shortly after midday yesterday (April 21).

He asked: “What is the right thing to do if he receives a text from a billionaire Conservative supporter asking him to fix tax rules.”

Johnson replied: “I make absolutely no apology for doing everything I could to secure ventilators for the people of this country.”

The trouble is, of course, that he didn’t secure any ventilators, despite having fixed tax rules for his supporter.

He said he had done “everything I could” so we may conclude that he did change the rules for Dyson employees.

But – I reiterate – Dyson did not provide any ventilators:

So we need to know what Dyson did with the tax breaks his firm received and whether he still benefits from them now, despite not having done what he promised to do.

Or did Johnson lie about doing “everything” he could?

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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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Why the UK has NO Covid-19 debt – the short version

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Johnson’s contempt of the courts as Covid contracts are STILL unpublished

UK prime minister Boris Johnson missed his calling in life: he belongs in the circus.

Who can doubt that Boris And His Amazing Talking Backside would be a hit with audiences across the country, if not the globe?

And let’s be honest, it would be a far more appropriate place for him to make the kind of utterances he does.

There can be little doubt that most of Johnson’s conversation comes, not from his mouth, but from the other end.

He tends to give vent to short bursts of hot air with very little real content. And such content as there is, stinks.

A prime example of this verbal flatulence is the moment he claimed that all Covid-related contracts were “on the record for everyone to see” after Matt Hancock had been found to have broken the law by failing to publish them.

And were they?

Challenged about the ruling in the House of Commons on 22 February, Mr Johnson said: “All the details are on the record.”

The prime minister added: “The contracts are there on the record for everybody to see.”

But three days later, in a written legal response to the Good Law Project, seen by the BBC, government lawyers admitted 100 contracts for suppliers and services relating to Covid-19 signed before 7 October had yet to be published.

So they weren’t. And nobody is surprised because we all know that Johnson’s words don’t come from his mouth but from somewhere much lower down.

The other Tory claim about this – that the government has been “working tirelessly” to deliver protection for health and social care staff – was disproved the moment it was uttered.

We all remember that health staff had to fight Covid with no personal protective equipment at all when the first wave of the pandemic broke over the UK.

And social care staff actually carried it between homes, infecting – and killing – 30,000 residents.

When the High Court made its judgement against Matt Hancock last month, he was ordered to publish details of his contracts and pay £85,000 towards the costs of the Good Law Project, whose members brought the case.

The government hasn’t published those contracts. Shouldn’t Hancock now suffer a stronger penalty?

Source: Covid contracts still unpublished despite Boris Johnson’s claim – BBC News

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Tories say they have to cut aid to Yemen because of Covid crisis financial pressure. But there isn’t any!

A destroyed school in Yemen in 2017 – three years after the conflict there began – where a Saudi-led coalition has been accused of killing thousands of civilians.

The Johnson government has cut aid to war-torn Yemen by as much as 60 per cent, claiming it cannot afford the cost because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But the entire cost of government measures to deal with Covid-19 has been paid already, with money the government created specifically for that purpose. There is no financial pressure at all.

Meanwhile, sales of weapons – to the Saudi-led coalition that has been accused of killing many thousands of Yemeni civilians in the seven years since the conflict began in 2014 – continue unabated.

So a decision to cut life-saving aid, quoting

 “recent global challenges”

that have created

“a difficult financial context for us all”

is a decision based on a lie. No wonder 101 charities have condemned it.

Source: Yemen conflict: UK cuts aid citing financial pressure from Covid – BBC News

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Sunak’s Budget is ‘for the fairies’ because it assumes that Covid is over

His next job: because Sunak has just served up a Budget ‘for the fairies’ that is likely to fall flat on its face in a few short months.

It seems the phrase du jour is ‘for the fairies’.

Some daft Tory MP said nurses’ calls for pay increases were “for the fairies” – see my earlier story on that.

Now I see Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has used the same phrase to describe Rishi Sunak’s budget.

He also said the Johnson government is “firing blanks” at every level.

And that Sunak is likely to be back at the Dispatch Box in a very short time with emergency measures to cope with the disastrous failure of all his Budget predictions.

He says these things with confidence because of one simple fact: Covid-19 has not agreed to follow Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” (it’s actually a timetable but you can’t expect a numbskull like your prime minister to understand the English language) out of lockdown.

Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Mr Murphy:

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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