Tag Archives: emergency

Covid-19: their policies don’t work and neither do the chums the Tories have given all our money

Useless: Tory money pit and expertise vacuum Dido Harding.

If you tuned in to the BBC’s Any Questions at around 1.15pm today, you may have enjoyed the same experience I did: a guest, exasperated at the Johnson government’s abject failure to devise any effective policies to restrict the spread of Covid-19.

All that Boris Johnson and his Minister of Death, Matt Hancock, have achieved is the creation of a huge reservoir of distrust across the nation as regulation after nonsensical regulation fails to stem the tide.

His problem is that he is desperate to keep money flowing to his chums, the rich businesspeople who donate cash to the Conservative Party on a regular basis. For that, he needs to ensure that people go to work in spite of the fact that they are more likely to catch the virus in the workplace or on the way to work. Sending our children and young people to school and university has also hugely worsened the spread.

And he has made it worse by abusing the emergency system of awarding contracts without going through the normal procedure of inviting tenders from multiple companies and awarding the contract to the one best-suited to honour it, according to established criteria.

Instead of giving contracts to those best-suited, Johnson has handed them to Tories – some of them running start-ups or firms that were non-functional – and has received very little in return.

Former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis explained the issue on the BBC’s Question Time last Thursday (October 8):

Yet more and more Tory cronies are on the gravy train – doing less and less for your cash. Look at the state of this:

Meanwhile the test and trace system run, contrary to logic, by Tory peer, former jockey and business failure Dido Harding, continues to fail the nation:

She won’t “consider her position”, of course. She’ll carry on draining the Treasury of cash because that’s Tory greed for you.

And they don’t mind the fact that people are dying. They don’t mind that at all.

Enough is enough.

Isn’t it?

This crisis has been here long enough that there’s no reason for the emergency contract system to remain in place for it; even though the Tories might not be able to predict what new equipment and personnel will be needed in the future, our experienced civil servants and NHS experts should.

Let’s see the Tories reopen the contract system to multiple tenders, with assignments of Covid-related contracts going to the firms best-suited for the work.

Or – indeed – to the public organisations and authorities best-placed to handle it.

Don’t you agree that giving control of the response to Coronavirus back to people who actually know what they’re doing might turn the tide?

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In the biggest crisis of our time, why has the government’s emergency committee not met since MAY?

Rampant: Covid-19 is multiplying rapidly across the UK, infecting thousand more people every day – and Boris Johnson hasn’t convened his emergency committee to deal with it since May 10.

Is this the reason all the Johnson government’s attempts to handle Covid-19 have fallen apart?

The committee convened by the prime minister to tackle emergencies facing the UK – known as COBRA after its location (Cabinet Office Briefing Room A) – has not met since May 10.

That shocking fact was revealed, not by Boris Johnson, but by London Mayor Sadiq Khan during a phone-in on James O’Brien’s LBC radio talk show.

He said it seemed the Tories in the government don’t like to be challenged:

“The government doesn’t like having their policies and their ideas challenged, as often happened at Cobra,” he said.

The caller – Alex – had suggested that the army could help with Covid testing and treatment. Mr Khan said: “You’re right to remind us that the army in the past has come through and saved the bacon of successive governments.

“You remember the Olympics of 2012? Security was a shambles. The army stepped in and sorted out security in the Olympics.

“You remember early on during this pandemic, real problems with the personal protective equipment… The army stepped in and gave us a huge help.

“And you remember the Nightingale hospitals; the army played a huge role in co-ordination.

“I will pass this on – not through Cobra because there is no Cobra.”

There is no Cobra.

Listeners reacted with horror:

… and with humour:

Khan also mentioned test and trace boss Dido Harding being surprised that an increase in tests was being demanded this month (September): “I’m surprised at her surprise, because it was perfectly predictable – not only because the WHO said six months ago it was important, but back in March… the government stopped community testing… because they hadn’t got enough tests, and that led to the increase in community transmission.

“My worry is that they’ve not learned the lessons of the first six months of this virus.”

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Which homicidal Tory idiot doesn’t understand why you CAN’T book a place in Accident & Emergency?

Tory stupidity: you can’t book a place in A&E because you don’t know when you’ll be involved in an accident, or when an emergency will arise. The best thing to do is ignore this new rule completely and demand your right to treatment.

Yes, you read the headline right: the Tories want to make hospital A&E departments ‘booking only’ by December.

According to The Times (it’s behind a paywall but you can get the sense of it from the preview:

Plans for patients to “call first” and book into A&E via NHS 111 will be implemented before December, NHS bosses were told yesterday.

A joint board meeting of NHS England and NHS Improvement was told that new emergency care standards designed to replace the four-hour waiting time target would also be in place before winter.

The plans were described as a “profound change” by Lord Prior of Brampton, chairman of NHS England. Hospitals will be asked to adapt “rapidly” to the measures, which have yet to be finalised, and make improvements as they learn how they work in practice during autumn, board papers said.

So it seems this “Lord Prior of Brampton” is the airhead who thinks you can book A&E time for events you have no reason to expect.

The thinking behind the change is clear: if the only way into A&E is by booking a place, then there won’t be any waiting times and the Tory government will be spared the embarrassment of being shown to have worsened NHS care.

That could be particularly important – for public relations, but not for public health – at a time when hospitals are otherwise likely to be overloaded with Covid-19 patients, people with regular flu, and other emergency demands.

And I suppose people who die at home because they cannot get a slot won’t be counted.

But isn’t the NHS supposed to consult the public on major changes like this? Aren’t they illegal if that doesn’t happen?

My advice: ignore this new rule.

The National Health Service exists to provide health care, free at the point of use, for every UK citizen, when they need it – not when it’s convenient for Tory politicians.

Source: Patients will have to book a spot at A&E by autumn | News | The Times

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Conservative cronyism rampant as contract awarded to colleagues of Cummings and Gove

Buddy money: The Tories are using emergency procedures to bypass proper tendering procedures and give huge amounts of public money to their friends.

It’s jobs for the boys, the Old School Tie, and every other example of favouritism you can imagine in the Tory government during the Covid crisis!

They’re using emergency regulations, that allow services to be commissioned quickly, to pass huge amounts of money to their friends.

And apparently there’s a conflict of interest as it seems to involve Eurosceptics working on focus group research related to Brexit – although a Cabinet Office spokesman said this was a bookkeeping issue. Do you believe that?

The Tories are using the Covid-19 crisis to funnel public money away from vital services and into their friends’ bank accounts:

The Cabinet Office has awarded an £840,000 contract to research public opinion about government policies to a company owned by two long-term associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings, without putting the work out for tender.

Public First, a small policy and research company in London, is run by James Frayne, whose work alongside Cummings – the prime minister’s senior adviser – dates back to a Eurosceptic campaign 20 years ago, and Rachel Wolf, a former adviser to Gove who co-wrote the Conservative party’s 2019 election manifesto.

The government justified the absence of a competitive tendering process, which would have enabled other companies to bid, under emergency regulations that allow services to be urgently commissioned in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

However, the Cabinet Office’s public record states that portions of the work, which involved focus group research, related to Brexit rather than Covid-19, a joint investigation by the Guardian and openDemocracy has established.

A Cabinet Office spokesman said this was because of bookkeeping methods, and insisted that, contrary to government records, all the focus group research done by Public First was related to the pandemic.

Source: Firm with links to Gove and Cummings given Covid-19 contract without open tender | Politics | The Guardian

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Coronavirus: here comes the second wave as first UK hospital closes A&E due to overloading

The snake: this image was probably created to denote Donald Trump but it works equally well for Boris Johnson, especially as we are no seeing a new spike in Covid-19 infections, exactly the expected time after Johnson relaxed lockdown rules. He must have known what would happen.

As predicted two weeks ago, when Boris Johnson blithely told us all to go back to work, here comes the second wave of Covid-19 infections that he caused:

An NHS hospital has been forced to close its accident and emergency department to new admissions as a result of high numbers of patients with coronavirus.

Weston General Hospital, in Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset, stopped accepting A&E patients at 8am on Monday morning.

Dr William Oldfield, medical director said: “This is a clinically led decision and we are being supported by our system partners to ensure that new patients receive the care and treatment they need in the appropriate setting, and we are continuing to provide high quality care to existing patients who are being treated in the hospital.”

So there you have it.

We know that Covid-19 takes around 14 days to gestate inside human beings and, right on time, 14 days after Boris Johnson relaxed the lockdown, here it is back again.

He still wants to reopen schools to Reception-age pupils who won’t have any understanding of social distancing rules, next Monday.

So if you’re a parent being told to send your child back, you now know that it will be to bring Covid-19 home to you.

I would urge you to rely on your instincts as a parent (as Boris Johnson described the actions of Dominic Cummings recently) and protect your child by ignoring the demand.

Of course the social media are full of this latest development:

Source: Coronavirus: UK hospital closes A&E and no longer accepting new patients | The Independent

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Coronavirus: Tories push on with A&E closures that ‘will only result in death’

This takes Tory ignorance to new homicidal levels.

It seems the Conservative government is pressing ahead with the closures of Accident and Emergency departments and intensive care units in hospitals across London (the rest of the UK isn’t mentioned) despite the fact that the UK is in the grip of the coronavirus pandemic.

The likely result is summed up by GMB union organiser Helen O’Connor, who said: “The removal of these services at existing major acute hospitals will only result in death.”

That’s even though the Tories are planning to open a special Covid-19 hospital in the Excel Centre in east London to care for an additional 4,000 patients afflicted with the disease.

It seems these lunatic toffs really don’t have a clue what they’re doing or what it signifies for the fight against the virus.

Source: Government is pressing ahead with A&E closures despite Covid-19 – LabourList

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Tory Coronavirus Bill removes vital rights from people with disabilities. The persecution goes on…

Tories just can’t stop aiming spite at vulnerable people, the sick and the disabled – can they?

They have just passed new legislation, apparently to help safeguard the UK’s population against the coronavirus.

But what good is it if it still puts people in danger?

A personal friend of This Writer has written to our MP, pointing out this problem, along with others. My friend states that the new law will:

• Remove disabled people’s entitlement to social care. In practice, this will mean local authorities will no longer be legally required to provide support to people who they already recognised as needing it.

According to the Government, this is to ensure local authorities can prioritise and meet the needs in new cases.

The Government made more funding available, so it is hard to see why it is necessary to remove the entitlement to social care for those who already get very little. It is worth remembering that community groups and volunteers cannot deliver the support many disabled and older people need.

Experience and research have illustrated that the lack of social care support puts more strain on the NHS. Surely this is a wrong thing to do at a time when the Government tries to free up resources for the NHS. This way of dealing with the immediate crisis can have considerable and devastating consequences in the longer run.

• Change the duties to educate to meet children’s educational requirements to a ‘reasonable endeavours’ duty.

• Make it easier to detail and treat people involuntarily under the Mental Health Act. The existing safeguards are already too weak, and the number of people who are detained has grown significantly in the last few years. Detention will be a severe interference with a person’s fundamental human rights to liberty and freedom. Moreover, detaining people will cost the NHS a lot of money. Instead of making it easier to detain people, more support should be put to help people in the community.

My friend isn’t the only one complaining. Disability Rights UK, alongside other national disability organisations, has urged the government not to withdraw Care Act rights from disabled people as proposed in the Bill.

As that organisation states, these are unprecedented times.

But removing rights and protections from disabled people who are most at risk cannot be justified.

One has to question why a government would even contemplate that – let alone pass it into law as an emergency power.

Source: Government urged not to remove Care Act rights from disabled people – Welfare Weekly

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Tory response to NHS waiting time failure: HIDE THE EVIDENCE

This was a corridor in an English hospital’s Accident & Emergency department in early 2017 – and now the situation is worse.

Tory Health Secretary Matt Hancock has admitted not only that he can’t fix the NHS waiting time crisis – he won’t even bother to try.

Instead, it seems he’ll get rid of the four-hour target for patients to be seen. In other words, he’ll hide the evidence.

Of course he’ll say it’s only a coincidence that the proportion of patients attending A&E who were seen within the four-hour limit has been falling steadily since the Tories took over government in 2010.

Before then, under Labour, it was well within the target of 95 per cent.

And I’m sure he’ll say it’s also just a coincidence that attendances at A&E last month had increased by 400,000 since 2010.

It’s nothing to do with the return of so-called “Victorian diseases” brought by the Tory “starve the poor” policies of 2010 onwards – obviously. And it’s nothing to do with the increased health problems faced by benefit claimants who the Tories (wrongly) said could live on less.

And if you believe that, you’re stupid and gullible enough to deserve the pathetic service you’re getting.

You probably even believe Hancock when he says the NHS is getting its biggest cash injection ever, when in real terms the £33.9 billion promised is nowhere near the biggest, once inflation has been taken into account.

One person who isn’t going to be gulled is Professor Taj Hassan, president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, who said last year: “In our expert opinion scrapping the four-hour target will have a near-catastrophic impact on patient safety.”

As a reader of Vox Political, I’m willing to bet that you are neither gullible nor stupid.

So, who do you believe?

Matt Hancock has signalled that four-hour waiting targets for A&E are likely to be scrapped for the NHS in England after the worst figures on record this winter.

The health secretary said it would be better if targets were “clinically appropriate” and the “right targets”, as he defended the NHS’s failure to meet the standard that 95% of patients attending A&E should be admitted, transferred or discharged within four hours.

The target was put under review by Theresa May’s government and the NHS unveiled plans last March to pilot changes that would prioritise patients with serious conditions while patients with minor problems could wait longer than four hours.

A decision about the flagship four-hour target is due to be taken by NHS England in the coming months.

Source: Matt Hancock signals A&E waiting targets likely to be scrapped | Society | The Guardian

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Johnson finally calls emergency meeting on flooding – after Corbyn tells him to

Mop-head: Next time, Boris Johnson should be the worker following the decision-makers with a mop – not a decision-maker himself.

At last we’re seeing some decisive action over the flood disaster that has hit northern England – because Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn demanded it.

Boris Johnson – our so-called prime minister – was not going to help at all. He said last weekend that the floods, which have already killed one person, were not a national emergency.

Then this happened:

And then this happened:

The ITV article states: “Downing Street’s announcement of the meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, came after Jeremy Corbyn sent a letter to Boris Johnson calling on him to hold a Cobra meeting and “take personal charge” of the Government’s response.

“The Labour leader said he disagreed with the Prime Minister’s assessment at the weekend that the flooding was “not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency”.

“Mr Corbyn said that if the flooding had occurred in Surrey, rather than Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it would be “far more likely” that a national emergency would have been declared.”

Was Mr Johnson trying to stop himself losing ground to Mr Corbyn? If so, that’s just too bad:

What a wet letdown.

It’s a good thing we have Jeremy Corbyn to tell him what to do. Let’s vote Mr Corbyn into Downing Street so he doesn’t have to go through a proxy next time – we’ll get results a lot quicker.

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‘No flooding emergency in the North,’ says Johnson in epic campaigning blunder

“Much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.” If he’d taken the “Free eye test” advertised next to him, he might have been able to recognise a national emergency. But it seems doubtful.

Boris Johnson may have thrown away the Conservative Party’s chances in the North of England after he said major flooding that has already killed one woman was “not a national emergency”.

Way to win over those Labour heartlands, BoJob!

Consider:

Boris Johnson has said major flooding across swathes of northern England is not a “national emergency”, during a visit to an affected area.

The prime minister made the comments in Matlock, Derbyshire, near where a woman died after being swept away after a river breached its banks.

Mr Johnson said the government had set aside billions for flood defences and preparations due to an increase in serious flooding “perhaps because of building, almost certainly because of climate change”.

“You’ve got to face the reality that places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” the prime minister said.

However, he said the recent bout of floods “is not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency”.

At the time of his words, the Environment Agency had made no less than seven “danger to life” severe flood warnings along the River Don in Yorkshire.

According to The Independent, the North and the Midlands have all seen torrential rain and flooding over the past few days, with some areas seeing a month’s rainfall in just 24 hours.

“Around 35 home were evacuated in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, after a collapsed quarry triggered a mudslide. People were seen leaving their homes in boats in one Doncaster street.

“South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it had rescued more than 100 stranded people on Thursday night.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also been visiting the North.

He seems to have taken the matter more seriously: “This is what a climate and environment emergency looks like.

“Every year we don’t act means higher flood waters, more homes ruined and more lives at risk.

“Flooding isn’t a natural disaster – it’s human-made. Not only are the government’s plans to tackle the climate emergency weak, they’ve failed to prepare communities by investing in flood prevention and Tory cuts have stretched emergency services to breaking point.”

What a contrast.

Boris Johnson – still the prime minister, remember – says “places like this are vulnerable to flooding – we’re going to see more of it,” while Jeremy Corbyn points out that it was a Tory government that cut funding for flood prevention – as he said during a previous flooding crisis.

It is a subject on which he has much to say:

Here’s another question, posed by a commenter to This Site. They write: “I was wondering what happened to the army over the last couple of days. There’s supposedly thousands of troops on standby to prevent riots and looting if and when Brexit ever happens, but nowhere to be seen when sandbags needed to be distributed, river banks needed shoring up, people needed rescuing or evacuating, whilst much of Yorkshire and Derbyshire was deluged. And who turns up? Boris with a mop.”

Last word goes to Ash Sarkar on Twitter (apologies for the free use of language):

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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