Tag Archives: COVID-19

Who’s daft enough to give credibility to Clarkson over Covid-19?

Jeremy Clarkson: he’s clueless, but that doesn’t stop him from talking.

This Writer has recently been watching – and enjoying immensely – a TV offering called Clarkson’s Farm.

It chronicles the efforts of tabloid TV petrolhead Jeremy Clarkson as he grapples with running his farm in the Cotswolds.

It is informative, as it shows the difficulties facing farmers recently, as they’ve had to grapple with the weather, Covid-19, Brexit and the mountain of regulations and paperwork that is now a part of their everyday life.

But here’s the thing: We learn about them because of all the things that Clarkson does wrong.

He presents himself as a middle-aged, set-in-his-ways, know-nothing who coasts through life from one bad idea to another – and never understands why they are so bad or why his friends and colleagues get so angry with him about them.

And that brings me to his current pronouncements about Covid-19:

Now Jeremy Clarkson has opened himself up to more anger after he criticised “those communists at Sage” preventing opening up because, he argues, “if you die, you die.”

“I think the politicians should sometimes tell those communists at Sage to get back in their box. Let’s just all go through life with our fingers crossed and a smile on our face.

That is exactly the attitude that has made Clarkson’s Farm entertaining – but here it would be dangerous, if anybody believes him.

He has no evidence to support his claim that the SAGE scientists are Communists, nor does he put up any explanation of why that would make any difference to their factual findings.

Going through life “with our fingers crossed” might be fine for Clarkson, but some of us take it a little more seriously – and we don’t have the safety nets afforded to a super-rich television celebrity.

Still, if the UK did adopt his devil-may-care attitude, it is comforting that Clarkson would be putting himself in the firing line.

In Clarkson’s Farm, he’s seen discussing Covid-19 with his helper Caleb.

He confesses that he has smoked three quarters of a million cigarettes and has scarring on his lungs from pneumonia, so if he were to catch the virus…

“You’re f***ed,” said Caleb.

Ah, but that was back in 2020, before the vaccine. Has Clarkson had it?

If so, perhaps he’s banking on other people dying instead of him. And that would just be nasty.

Source: Jeremy Clarkson criticises Covid scientists, saying ‘if you die, you die’ | Jeremy Clarkson | The Guardian

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Rishi Sunak is trying to create another Great Depression. Here are his (bad) reasons

Tweedledum and Tweedledumber: Rishi Sunak wants to cut Covid-19-related spending before the pandemic is over. He’ll cause another huge recession – and more deaths – and Boris Johnson will let it happen because he is too stupid, or too greedy, to care about the harm it will do.

This is worrying from Richard Murphy at Tax Research UK.

He reckons Tory Chancellor Rishi Sunak is either so stupid that he wants to kill off even more of us with Covid-19 for the sake of a few extra coppers in cash…

… or he’s so stupid that he thinks the economy will get a huge boost if he puts it into another disastrous recession – possibly even a depression (which is worse).

All the noises Sunak is making at the moment are about stopping Covid-19-related government spending – indicating that he’s putting the Treasury into “full austerity mode”, as Mr Murphy puts it.

He wasn’t calling for a relaxation of Covid-related travel regulations because he thinks the pandemic is over – it clearly isn’t. But he’s indicating that he thinks he is because he wants to stop spending money on it…

… even though all the money he spent on it was specifically created for that purpose and hasn’t done any harm at all as it has washed through the country.

What a strange man.

Mr Murphy continues:

Sunak wants furlough to end, even though he knows this will significantly increase unemployment.

Sunak wants to cut universal credit even though his own backbenchers are indicating this will result in very real hardship in the UK.

Spending cuts are to be demanded.

He goes on to say that this is about maintaining ‘The Treasury View’ as put forward by Winston Churchill in 1929 – a false argument that there is only a limited amount of money and if the state uses any of it, then investment – and growth – by the private sector cannot take place.

It is a completely false view to take:

Churchill spoke when we were on the gold standard. But now we have a fiat currency, and the only constraint on the money supply is full employment at a living wage, which we are very far from achieving.

What is more, there is not a shred of evidence that there is any shortage of capital available to business right now. All business is absent of is ideas.

And to suggest the state does not add value in this era is an insult.

Churchill was economically incompetent.

His decision to follow ‘The Treasury View’ drove the UK into the Great Depression of the early 1930s.

Now Sunak wants his own great recession, whether working for Johnson or in his own account, given that his ambitions are so obvious.

And it seems clear that Boris Johnson is going to do everything he can to help. Already travel restrictions are being lifted.

Not only will the economy bomb, but Tweedledum and Tweedledumber are literally inviting more Covid-19 variants through the UK’s front door, and thousands upon thousands of us may suffer and die as a result.

Source: The UK cannot afford Sunak: he is a massive threat to our well-being

Tory protection racket: party chairman’s firm sold Covid-19 tests at a premium when NHS had none

Boris Johnson and Ben Elliot: The latter became Tory chairman when the former became prime minister and then, during the Covid crisis, was miraculously able to provide tests to its rich clients – for a price – when the NHS just couldn’t get hold of them for free.

This is further evidence suggesting that Boris Johnson’s Conservative government is a racket being run to enrich the prime minister and his cronies.

Take Ben Elliot, Tory party chairman since Johnson became prime minister in July 2019.

He founded a concierge company called Quintessentially and remains a director and shareholder.

How much richer did that company become by being able to provide Covid-19 tests to its clients – at £300 a pop – when the government run by his mate Boris was – apparently – struggling to supply any tests at all to the population at large?

Do you believe it’s just a coincidence that this money-making opportunity happened to Johnson’s crony?

Here’s The Times, of all sources:

The Conservative chairman’s company arranged for its clients to buy coronavirus tests for hundreds of pounds while the government was struggling to ramp up testing capacity, The Times has learnt.

Quintessentially, a luxury concierge company, arranged for its wealthy clients to purchase PCR and antibody tests in April last year, during the pandemic’s deadly first wave.

Quintessentially’s co-founder, Ben Elliot, has been co-chairman of the Conservative Party since July 2019, when Boris Johnson became prime minister. He remains a director and shareholder.

The company, founded in 2000, boasts of its ability to “take care of every aspect of our members’ lives, ensuring they’re engaged and experiencing the absolute best the world has to offer”.

Do you think it’s even remotely possible that the – Boris Johnson – government will allow any kind of independent inquiry to take place?

Source: Ben Elliot’s company Quintessentially sold Covid tests to clients when NHS was struggling to increase capacity | News | The Times

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Guilt-shaming Gove should know: people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones

Michael Gove: that’s a Chelsea FC scarf he’s wearing. His love of that team led him to fly to Portugal where he had close contact with people who had Covid-19. He didn’t follow the rules that we must; he put himself on an elite ‘daily testing’ scheme instead, potentially endangering his work colleagues. And now he’s threatening to deny people who don’t have the vaccine access to events like the one he attended. What a barefaced hypocrite.

It’s a classic ‘nudge’ strategy: you want somebody to do something, you make them feel guilty about it.

So Michael Gove probably thought it was perfectly reasonable to say people who don’t want the Covid-19 vaccine are selfish; that they are endangering the rest of us.

Trouble is, he‘s the selfish Tory minister who refused to self-isolate after the Covid-19 app on his phone pinged him for close contact with infected people when he flew off to Portugal to watch the Champions League final. Instead, he availed himself of a ‘daily test’ regime available only to a select few.

So he added another stick to poke the non-vaxxers into the vaccination centres: anybody turning down the vaccine may be barred from events he described as requiring a certain level of safety.

Like football matches?

His argument doesn’t work. His own history makes this another “one rule for Tory ministers, a different rule for everybody else” situation.

And if the vaccine is so fantastically good, then the people refusing it will be the only ones likely to die if they catch Covid-19. Everybody else will be protected – right?

Right?

The alternative is that there really is a covert reason for making us all have these injections.

Are the conspiracy theorists right?

What are these Tories pumping into us?

So now Gove has gone from making us feel guilty if we haven’t had the jab to making us all worry that the injection is secretly an attack against us.

And what does it mean?

It means if I hadn’t already had my jabs, I’d be seriously considering turning them down. I don’t go out much anyway.

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There’s a really simple reason recorded Covid cases have fallen but deaths are up

It’s not over: the reason recorded Covid-19 infections are falling is that school pupils aren’t being tested; they’re on holiday.

News media like the BBC are all over the fact that the number of recorded Covid-19 infections has dropped for the seventh day running.

They’re practically ignoring the fact that the daily death total has leapt to 131 – the highest number since March.

Bit of a discrepancy, that.

The reason could be that fewer people have been tested over the last seven days.

The reason for that?

Most of the schools broke up for the summer nearly a week ago. Our kids aren’t being tested any more.

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Propaganda alert: UK economic growth is nothing to crow about and here’s the reason

Back in business? But how far will the UK economy restore itself after Covid, with the shadow of Brexit hanging over it?

What a way to spin something we all knew would happen.

According to economic forecaster EY Item Club (who?), the economy is growing at its fastest rate in 80 years. Gosh!

But… isn’t that because it stalled altogether last year, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and is just now bouncing back?

Is it not the truth that, rather than growing, we should say the economy is being restored to the level we might expect after the crisis?

I think it is.

As The Guardian‘s report puts it,

The EY Item Club said it now expected GDP to grow by 7.6% … The UK economy shrank by 9.8% in 2020.

So that’s 2.2 per cent of shrinkage that the economy won’t make up this year, meaning the nation as a whole will be worse-off than before the pandemic hit.

There are other elements likely to affect the UK’s economic performance, including inflation and unemployment.

The recovery is extremely fragile, and another Covid wave could bring it crashing to a halt or even into reverse.

And there’s also the elephant in the room. I notice that nobody involved in this article has mentioned Brexit.

Source: UK economy growing at fastest rate in 80 years, says forecaster | Economic growth (GDP) | The Guardian

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MPs plan to make us spend decades paying the NONEXISTENT cost of Covid-19

Money, money, money: Boris Johnson ordered the Bank of England to create all of the money that has been used to pay the costs associated with Covid-19 in the UK – in the same way that governments create money all the time. There is no debt to pay because the government never borrowed anything.

MPs are trying to fool us into thinking there is a Covid-19-related debt that will need to be paid back. Be warned: they’re lying; there isn’t.

According to the BBC:

Taxpayers will bear the costs of Covid “for decades”… MPs have said.

the PAC [Public Accounts Committee] said the taxpayer would be exposed to “significant financial risks for decades to come” with the estimated cost of the government’s measures having already hit £372bn in May.

UK government debt is now over £2.2 trillion, or about 99.7% of GDP – a rate not seen since the early 1960s. In June alone, debt interest cost £8.7bn.

In one example of future Covid costs, the PAC says taxpayers could be liable for an estimated £26 billion of bad loans, out of a total £92 billion of loans guaranteed by the government.

Shocking numbers, certainly. But here’s the thing: there is no Covid-19 debt.

Here’s Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK to explain:

And here’s my short version:

Any questions?

Source: UK will be paying for Covid for decades, say MPs – BBC News

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No, health secretary: YOU may ‘cower’ from Covid but the rest of us take reasonable care

Convalescent unHealth Secretary Sajid ‘Covid’ Javid may be regretting his decision to announce his recovery. Clearly his mind has yet to reach full strength.

Why else would he insult those of us who have taken reasonable care – throughout the Covid crisis – to protect ourselves and others?

That’s what he has done with this tweet:

(Yes, Mr Javid. I know you deleted it. Anybody on Twitter can delete their tweets. But anybody can take screenshots too.)

“Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

To whom does this refer?

If he means himself, Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak – all of whom ran like rabbits into self-isolation at the mere suggestion that they might have the virus, then he’s probably right.

He reckons he is fully recovered from the virus after just a week, due to “amazing vaccines”.

Catching and recovering from Covid makes for nice headlines – especially for a government that is desperate to shore up its crumbling claim that vaccinations are protecting us from the virus in the face of increasing infections and deaths due to the rise of vaccine-dodging variants.

But it also means unscrupulous (Tory) ministers may use such incidents to ‘nudge’ the population into misplaced optimism – especially when England has just removed all of its state-imposed social distancing and mask-wearing rules.

And now one of them has come back and insulted the people of the UK because the alternative interpretation of his words is that we “cower” from the virus.

Of course he has caused widespread offence.

Does he think the – at least – 160,000 who died, because his thoughtless government did not understand the seriousness of the pandemic and tried to ignore it, did so because they chose to “cower”?

Does he think the millions who are ignoring his government’s ‘Freedom Day’ flapgabble, continuing to mask up in public and keeping social distancing, are also cowering?

If so, let him make a statement to that effect, loud and clear, so we know that he is definitely trying to browbeat us into abandoning the reasonable procedures that have kept us safe.

When the infection and death rates skyrocket, probably from the beginning of August, we’ll be able to pin the blame directly on him.

As it is, it seems likely that plenty of people will blame him in any event – and not just the politicians who attacked him in the BBC article but ordinary people too:

Yes, Sajid Javid should apologise.

But instead it seems he has deleted his tweet and may try to pretend that it never happened.

That is not good enough and neither is he.

ADDITIONAL: No sooner said than done:

Fair play for the apology but I don’t believe a word of the explanation. He was trying to push his government’s political slogan – that we must “learn to live with” Covid-19 – and did it in a clumsy and insensitive way.

We are living with Covid-19. Even the suggestion that we “cower” from it is toxic.

Source: Sajid Javid criticised for ‘cower’ Covid remark – BBC News

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Brexiteer bread-maker tries to blame driver shortage on Covid-19

Brexiteer Tory-funding bread manufacturer Warburtons has tried to blame its failure to keep up with local deliveries on Covid-19 when the shortage of drivers is actually attributable to Brexit.

In an article in The Grocer on July 19, the firm responded to a tweet complaining about non-delivery due to driver shortages:

We, like many businesses, are experiencing higher levels of absence due to the rise in community infection rates of Covid-19 and the knock on effect that has with more people having to self-isolate.”

But industry leaders soon went on the record to say that the shortage of lorry drivers is due to Brexit – and that supermarket shelves are likely to stay empty for at least five months:

They say the shortage of drivers can only be fixed if EU drivers are allowed back in the country.

Logistics UK, which represents freight owners including supermarkets.

It estimates a shortage of 90,000 HGV drivers including an estimate 25,000 EU truckers who have gone home following Brexit. On top of that there is a backlog of 25,000 applications for trucker driving licences.

Being a Brexiteer company, Warburtons is unlikely to admit that Brexit has affected it. Chairman Jonathan Warburton has previously made his feelings known:

“Brexit is a very good thing to have happened. We are well out of the rotting corpse of Europe. We could either continue to be in the European Union and wait for it to all to collapse around us, or we could make our own way out of it and crack on as an independent nation.”

Now we see how that is working for him – and he is trying to deny it.

Several thoughts occurred to me while watching this train crash.

Firstly, they could solve their problem by hiring new drivers. Unfortunately, this is not possible because they would all need HGV licences and “there is a backlog of 25,000 applications for trucker driving licences.” So the Tory government is letting industry down. Should have thought of this before finalising Brexit – they only had four years of thinking time!

Secondly, there’s no reason to have any sympathy for this firm. It supported Brexit and is a regular donor to the Conservative Party whose government under Boris Johnson pushed Brexit down our collective throats. See This Site’s article on Tory donors for further information.

Finally, This Writer is old enough to remember news reports showing empty shelves in the former Soviet supermarket GUM, with Tories of the day spouting dread predictions that this would happen in the UK if the socialists were allowed back into government.

How ironic that it is under a Tory government, and due to Tory policies, that our supermarket shelves have emptied.

Source: Warburtons struggling to keep up with local deliveries as driver shortage bites | News | The Grocer

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Biggest weekly rise in #Covid19 cases/deaths since March on #FreeDumbDay +1

Rampant yet again: the number of Covid-19-related deaths per day has nearly doubled in the past week. How many more will Boris Johnson’s decision to relax social distancing force on us?

The day after Boris Johnson unlocked England (by remote control, one presumes, considering he is self-isolating) we find this:

The number of coronavirus cases in the UK has increased by 46,558, with 96 deaths also recorded in the latest 24 hour period.

Last Tuesday, July 13, only 36,660 new cases were reported, with 50 further deaths, meaning today’s figure is almost double that of the preceding week.

It comes following the lifting of Covid restrictions across the country, with the so-called ‘Freedom Day’ seeing social distancing and mask-wearing rules scrapped.

I leave it to you to decide whether Johnson’s plan is genocidal lunacy or not.

Source: UK records 46,558 Covid cases and 96 deaths in ‘biggest rise since March’

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