Tag Archives: distancing

Shame on Sue Gray – it seems she has let Boris Johnson off the hook over Downing Street parties

Sue Gray’s report on alleged Downing Street parties has been published and is likely to cause further controversy rather than quiet it.

She claims that the very first event she discusses – in which Boris Johnson and others were pictured sitting around a table drinking wine on May 15, 2020, was a legitimate work meeting.

But the rules she herself describes in her report stated that “participating in a gathering of more than two persons in public was prohibited except where the gathering was ‘essential for work purposes’… Social distancing guidance applied, with workplaces required ‘to maintain 2m social distancing wherever possible'”.

Was the gathering “essential for work purposes”? Sue Gray tells us, “the Prime Minister, Martin Reynolds (his Principal Private Secretary), and Dominic Cummings (his senior adviser) were continuing a lengthy meeting that had started in the Prime Minister’s office, before moving to the garden at around 18.00.” Why did they have to meet in person for this meeting? Why were they not socially distanced (you can see from the image above that they are not two metres distant from each other? And crucially, how can it have been a work meeting if there was alcohol provided – and by the prime minister as well?

This Writer has never been to a work meeting at which alcohol was freely available and imbibed by those present.

Those who were there were ignoring social distancing rules that they had imposed.

And there was no reason for them to be in the same space as each other at all.

This was a social gathering, not a works meeting, and Sue Gray has ignored the evidence.

In her favour, Gray criticises those who participated in the events for failing to come forward with full details after her investigation was announced, instead allowing information to become available “piecemeal” as it was revealed by the press. “This is disappointing. Given the piecemeal manner in which events were brought to my attention, it is possible that events took place which were not the subject of investigation.”

This can only be seen as criticism of Boris Johnson as he made it perfectly clear from the start that he would not willingly provide any information about what had happened in Downing Street on his watch.

That’s what This Writer sees after reading just 11 pages into the 60-page report. It seems clear that, like the police before her (or indeed, after her, if this report was in fact written before they started their investigation), Sue Gray has given Boris Johnson every break possible – even if there is damning information in the rest of her report. That is shameful in itself.

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Confirmed: #JacobReesMogg party video was made THIS year – and was still in extremely poor taste

Jacob Rees-Mogg: It’s all very funny to him.

A video of Jacob Rees-Mogg joking at a party about whether police would investigate it, and about non-existent social distancing, was made in 2021, not 2020, according to the MP.

Rees-Mogg was shown in a clip to be making jokes that proved to be in extremely poor taste, after the video of Allegra Stratton laughing and joking about the party that happened in Downing Street on December 18 last year was made available to the public.

Here’s the Rees-Mogg clip:

Many people – including This Writer – were led to believe that the Rees-Mogg clip was made a year ago, because of the proximity of its release to that of the other video. The comment about “a year’s time” might have been considered an obvious indicator that it was current, but it was also entirely possible that someone back then might speculate on how long it would take for such a thing to go public, so some of us erred on the side of condemnation.

It’s still extremely poor taste. Rees-Mogg was still laughing it up at the expense of everybody who died during the Christmas restrictions last year, and of everybody who lost loved ones at that time. So were all the other attendees at the Institute of Economic Affairs (remember that name) think tank party where the clip was taken, who can be heard appreciatively guffawing at his callous so-called humour.

Guidelines in force at the time didn’t demand social distancing but did urge people to consider the risks of close contact. They can be seen standing shoulder-to-shoulder, and Rees-Mogg himself makes light of it. Won’t it be a shame if there’s a Covid-19 outbreak there as a result?

Rees-Mogg himself has since spoken up – not to apologise, but to justify the extreme offence he caused.

He said: “What I was saying was how nice it was to be free of restrictions so that we can have parties this year. That was what I was being pleased about.”

No – he was taking the piss out of everybody who followed the rules over the last nearly two years by laughing about how nobody had to follow them at that party.

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Covid-19: recriminations as the UK heads for disaster on July 19

The UK is well on-target to have more than 50,000 new Covid-19 infections per day by July 19 – when Boris Johnson insists on unlocking all lockdown restrictions and abdicating any responsibility for the consequences.

Today – July 15 – the UK recorded 48,553 new cases and 63 deaths (within 28 days of a positive test) – those are the highest levels since January 15 and March 26 respectively.

More than 1,200 scientists have signed a letter accusing the Tory government of “recklessly exposing millions to the acute and long-term impacts of mass infection”.

Branding the government’s plans “dangerous and premature”, it described Johnson’s strategy as “herd immunity by mass infection” and said that opening the country should be delayed until “everyone, including adolescents, have been offered vaccination and uptake is high”.

“A strategy that chooses mass infection in children and young people now as a way to protect the vulnerable in winter, instead of taking the time to vaccinate our young is unethical and unscientific,” the letter added.

It also said the pandemic plan risked “burdening a generation with long Covid, the long-term consequences of which are unknown”.

Lancet editor-in-chief Richard Horton has accused government Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty of “wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country”.

He said: “I found it extraordinary that the Chief Medical Officer suggested and emphasised that there was widespread agreement across the scientific community whereas in fact there is profound disagreement in the scientific community.

“He did not mention the letter… that we published, and I’m afraid I have to conclude that the Chief Medical Officer is wilfully misrepresenting scientific opinion across the country, and that is extraordinary to observe.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has announced that the city’s transport network will continue to make wearing face masks mandatory after July 19 – and cartoonists have gleefully seized on the obvious opportunity for satire:

A SAGE expert has warned that young people in particular will suffer “acute Covid injury” – damage to their lungs and kidneys that will seriously harm their future health – due to the felaxation of social distancing restrictions:

Economist Richard Murphy raises another concern – that the decision to relax face mask rules was down to Tory vanity. He points to an article in the Financial Times, to which this tweet refers:

“The message is loud and clear,” Murphy states. “The right-wing of the Tory party want to end Covid restrictions without caring for the consequences. The government knows that this is madness, but will not rely on Labour votes to retain masks. And so, to save Boris Johnson masks must go, even if (as will happen) thousand will die as a result.

“This is democide in action.”

Read it yourself via this tweet:

It seems thousands of people are to die because Boris Johnson is scared of his backbenchers – and too proud to rely on support from Keir Starmer – that he has enjoyed throughout the Covid-19 crisis.

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Has the government announced that July 19 will be ‘Freedom Day’ to catch #LongCovid?

‘Covid Boris’: this satirical image was made when Johnson caught the virus in April 2020. He didn’t get Long Covid – and you can bet that he

According to the BBC’s Panorama, 33,000 children are suffering with Long Covid. Didn’t the government tell us children didn’t get Covid-19?

Wow. 33,000 children sentenced to lose an undetermined length of their life because the government they didn’t even elect is incompetent – or, worse, intended to harm them.

And some of you, reading this, will argue that it doesn’t even exist. It is this kind of ignorance that gives Boris Johnson the space to inflict the damage.

In fact, it does exist. It does harm people continually over a period of months and years. There is no established treatment for it because it is a new disease and the causes of the symptoms it produces are not known.

And thanks to more than 10 years of Tory defunding – because they want to privatise the NHS – the health service does not have the capacity to research Long Covid, let alone treat it.

According to Lucy Adams, in the programme, many thousands of people are likely to be off work for years, with a huge knock-on impact on the UK’s society, economy and culture.

Why does Boris Johnson want that?

Why has he decided to remove social distancing restrictions just as infections of a new, more virulent strain of Covid-19 are increasing exponentially?

He says he wants the country to get back to normal but the decision to end restrictions now is – according to the scientists from SAGE – definitely going to put more people in hospital, give more people Long Covid, and send more people to their graves.

And Johnson knows this.

He is deliberately crippling the UK for years to come.

Source: Long Covid: Will I ever get better? – BBC News

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Genocidal Johnson announces total end to lockdown laws as new and deadlier ‘Lambda variant’ arrives in UK

Back to Square One: Boris Johnson’s plan to end Covid-19 lockdown restrictions is a return to his very first idea – herd immunity. But you won’t hear him say it.

Timing is the secret to great tragedy, as well as comedy. Boris Johnson may soon discover that, to his cost.

The UK’s imbecile prime minister has announced that he will go ahead with his plan to lift all remaining lockdown restrictions in England on July 19, saying from then on it will be a personal choice whether we wear masks to keep our friends, neighbours and colleagues safe – or get rid of them and risk infecting them all.

And he has done it as news reaches us of a new and deadlier variant of Covid-19 – the “Lambda variant” – which is arriving in the UK from Peru.

We had plenty of warning that Johnson would do as he has done. It was mooted about on the mass media over the weekend and on the news shows early on July 5 – although the Tories could have chosen a better representative to get the message across.

Helen “I use private emails to do government business so you can’t see what I’m up to” Whately made a worse idiot of herself than Johnson would have. Asked whether she, personally, would take advantage of the rule change to ditch her own mask, she dissembled, as the following shows:

She just wouldn’t give a straight answer to a simple question, leading even the BBC’s Dan Walker to exasperation:

Johnson went ahead with his announcement in a press conference at 5pm:

He was undermined very quickly. For example, this morning (July 6), new Health Secretary Sajid Javid admitted that new Covid-19 infections could number 50,000 a day by July 19, the so-called “Freedom Day” when restrictions are expected to be lifted:

Some projections have put the increase in infections up to 100,000 per day over the summer. Freedom Day? #DangerDay is what I’d call it.

The backlash from thinking members of the public has been enormous.

On Facebook, one friend of This Writer wrote: “it appears the UK Government is officially insane, yesterday with case levels rising with the current restrictions they announce the removal of pretty much all covid related restrictions then today say they expect case levels to rise from the under 22,000 cases currently experienced to over 100,000 cases during the summer. Absolutely no person in their right mind would even consider this to be a good course of action. At best it is reckless and grossly negligent.”

Another wrote: “How many more people has our murderous Prime Minister just sentenced to death with his utterly irresponsible (and against scientific advice) stupid relaxation of all rules?”

And another came up with an entire alternative plan for easing restrictions, off the top of his head: “During today’s press conference, Johnson asked ‘If we don’t re-open now, then when will we do it…?’

“I don’t know, Boris… how about, say, announcing a phased reduction in Covid restrictions when we hit 75% of the adult population double-vaccinated? That’s a firm, acheivable target with a definable benefit in terms of restricting Covid.

“It also brings an additional positive incentive to get vaccinated which, combined with the societal pressures it would create, would very likely tip many of the ‘vaccine hesitant’ to get the bloody jabs.

“There. That took me five minutes to think of, and I’m not even the f***ing Prime Minister.”

It seems Johnson has gone back to his old idea of “herd immunity” yet again. Like a child with a single idea stuck in his head, he can’t seem to let it go, as this expert opinion suggests:

Medical experts have said Johnson’s plan is equivalent to building “variant factories” in the UK, providing an opportunity for new and deadlier versions of Covid-19 to take hold here, against which the vaccine will be useless.

Prof Susan Michie, the director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London, and another member of Sage’s behavioural science subcommittee, tweeted: “Allowing community transmission to surge is like building new ‘variant factories’ at a very fast rate.”

And of course we also have variants coming into the UK from abroad, because Johnson refused to protect us by closing the UK’s borders. We’ve already had the “Delta variant” from India; now here’s the “Lambda variant” from Peru:

Public reaction to Johnson’s plan has been one of horror:

But he’ll push ahead with it. He has to; he has now staked his political career on it.

Remember this: Covid-related deaths are rising again, in line with the number of infections. So ask yourself this:

How many more people aree you happy to see die, before you accept it is time to put a stop to Johnson’s genocidal rule?

What is Jenrick really saying by telling us masks may be a ‘personal choice’ after July 19?

Robert Jenrick: he announced the change in policy on Andrew Marr’s BBC show. That look on his face is known as ‘duper’s delight’ and indicates that he thinks he’s making fools of us all.

It seems to me that our slippery Tory government is trying to change the rules of its own lockdown easement – again.

Robert Jenrick has said England is going to move into a period where legal restrictions related to Covid-19 will be relaxed, meaning that decisions on whether to consider following them – like wearing masks – will become a matter of personal choice.

Does that seem like pre-emptive blame-shifting to you?

Boris Johnson is determined to lift social distancing restrictions on July 19 – and to make the changes irrevocable.

Logically, the only time at which such a choice is reasonable would be when the risk of contracting Covid has become negligible.

Jenrick’s comment suggests that this will not be the case. His suggestion that people will exercise “personal responsibility” in their choice of whether to wear a mask or note means the government is passing the buck.

If people remove their masks en masse and the number of Covid cases increases, then he, Johnson and all the other Tories will blame the rest of us, rather than admit that their own decision to lift lockdown was at fault.

It’s a low-down, dirty trick – and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

If they lift the legal requirement to wear a face mask in public from July 19, then that must only mean that medical evidence dictates it is safe to do so…

… because I, for one, am desperate to get rid of the bloody masks and I know that most people feel the same way. If the government says it’s allowed, they’ll put the rags in the rubbish whether it’s safe or not.

So we need to make it clear:

If the government removes the requirement to wear a mask on July 19, then it must make it perfectly clear that it is because the government considers it safe to do so.

Any rise in Covid infections may then be – correctly – attributed to Tory policy.

Don’t let Jenrick or any other Tory stooge try to push responsibility for the pandemic onto you.

Source: Covid-19: Masks will become personal choice, says Robert Jenrick – BBC News

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Experts agree that the government is misleading you over the Delta variant

How nice to see that economic expert* Simon Wren-Lewis agrees with This Site’s appraisal of the effect on the UK of Sajid Javid’s Covid-19 policy.

In brief:

  • Greater strain on hospitals.
  • More people suffering Long Covid.
  • Disruption of education (mitigated by the summer holidays).

He makes an excellent point that the government has thrown away the advantages of vaccination because Boris Johnson wanted to sign a trade deal with India…

… which hasn’t happened yet.

We have a race between vaccination and the Delta variant, and the government by delaying putting India on the red list gave Delta a big head start.

This provides ideal conditions for a new variant to emerge that could seriously diminish the effectiveness of a double dose of vaccine.

So Johnson has put us in danger of being sent back to Square One, while demanding that lifting the restrictions that have saved so many of our lives will be irreversible and we’ll just have to “live with Covid” from then on.

I wonder if tribal Tory voters are still happy with their choice at the 2019 general election.

Do they even know their prime minister deliberately endangered them for the sake of a few quid?

*He’s still an expert!

Source: mainly macro: The COVID wave the government doesn’t want to talk about

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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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If this is how Tory MPs regard #socialdistancing they can’t expect us to do as they say

#ToryLawBreakers yet again: this time Tory MPs ignored social distancing to push to the front of the queue to vote – on a Bill that would break international law if passed.

Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised: as MPs voted to break international law, they also broke their own rules on social distancing.

How can they expect us to obey those laws – including the new “rule of six”, when they set such a bad example?

Here’s what happened, via the Enfield Independent:

Pass readers in the division lobbies used by MPs to record their votes stopped working.

They instead had to queue up, walk through the chamber and pause at the despatch box to announce their name and vote.

The problems emerged during a vote on the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill, with MPs asked to approve clause 46 – which is at the centre of a devolution row.

SNP health spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford [stated that] there was a “total failure” of social distancing in Parliament for the vote.

In a tweet, she said: “Now pass-readers aren’t working in either voting lobby so we see the Rees-Mogg conga in all its glory – with obvious crowding in members lobby & total failure of social distancing! Interesting that wearing of #Facecoverings limited to Welsh, NI & Scots MPs.”

Labour former minister Ben Bradshaw added: “More chaos in the Commons voting lobbies tonight as the card reading machines that replaced the previous perfectly good electronic voting system break down again & arrogant Tory MPs push to the front of the long queue completely ignoring social distancing rules.”

Were there no police on the Parliament estate, to arrest these lawbreakers?

If not, why not? There’s supposed to be a police presence there, just to protect our democratically-elected representatives from lunatics and terrorists.

There is a clear precedent here, though:

As Conservative MPs clearly do not accept the need for social distancing – or masks – in circumstances decided by their own whim, we don’t have to either.

Clearly everybody in the real world that isn’t Westminster Never-Neverland needs to use their judgement, but if we get challenged on apparent law-breaking we can simply invoke the Clause 46 precedent.

You never know – it might become as popular as the Cummings excuse that came before it.

Source: Total failure of social distancing during House of Commons vote, claims MP | Enfield Independent

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How many of the Bournemouth beach idiots are already giving Covid-19 to their family and friends?

Bournemouth beach: how many of these twits will have Covid-19 as a result of this day’s madness?

Half a million halfwits sitting on a beach.

Half a million halfwits sitting on a beach,

And if one of those halfwits should have Covid-19,

There’ll be half a million halfwits sitting in hospital.

It doesn’t rhyme but it gets the point across, I hope. The worst part of it is that everybody who went to Bournemouth beach on the hottest day of the year had every right to be there because Boris Johnson has been permitting visits to English beaches since the end of May.

Of course, everybody who went was supposed to adhere to the two metre distancing rule (or is it “one metre plus”, whatever that means?) and they clearly didn’t bother.

There will be a spike in Covid-19 infections. That is inevitable. I wonder if those who caught the virus during their trip will think the possibility of death, or the contraction of life-changing conditions, is a good trade-off for half a day’s suntan.

I wonder how many of the friends and family members they’ll have infected since that beach visit will feel the same.

And there’s another aspect to this.

An increase in Covid-19 infections will mean more people attending hospitals with the disease, exposing our NHS staff to further risk of infection – and Parliament – by which I mean 331 Conservative MPs – has just voted to deny weekly Covid-19 testing to doctors, nurses and support staff in the NHS.

What does that suggest to you?

To This Writer, it’s as if Boris Johnson has been lining you all up for the so-called Second Wave – and many of you got in the queue of your own accord, thinking it was for ice cream.

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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The Livingstone Presumption is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

Health Warning: Government! is now available
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HWG PrintHWG eBook

The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook