Tag Archives: fail

Weekend Covid-19 infections leap to biggest ever figure after Dido Harding’s cowboys miss 16,000

The number of – recorded – Covid-19 infections in the UK leapt up massively over the weekend after it was admitted that Dido Harding and her mob at Serco Test And Trace failed to report nearly 16,000 between September 25 and October 2.

The 15,841 cases were then added to Saturday’s (October 3) and Sunday’s (October 4) figures to give (fabricated) totals for those days of 12,872 cases and 22,961 respectively.

And we were upset when the totals leapt to 6,000!

Cynically, the government left it to Public Health England – the nationalised NHS organisation – to report the failings, presumably in the hope that it would take all the blame before it fades out of existence to be replaced by a privatised “National Institute of Health Protection” run by… Dido Harding.

The writing is on the wall, and it says, “Abandon hope, all ye who trust in these.”

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth tried to pin the fiasco on Death Secretary Matt Hancock, who does indeed have overall responsibility: “This is shambolic and people across the country will be understandably alarmed.

“Matt Hancock should come to the House of Commons on Monday to explain what on earth has happened, what impact it has had on our ability to contain this virus and what he plans to do to fix test and trace.”

But members of the public on Twitter weren’t going to let the person most directly responsible off the hook.

Here’s how this latest Tory disaster was reported there:

Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey was wheeled onto BBC Breakfast to defend the government and made a complete hash of it:

And Sky News revealed that bosses at Public Health England are not willing to accept the blame for Baroness Harding’s blunders:

They needn’t worry; we all know the score:

Yes, Tory incompetence costs lives.

But people weren’t willing to let Labour off the hook either.

After some Labour MPs finally dragged themselves into the real world by referring to the track and trace system as being run by Serco (after weeks of going along with the Tory lie that it was an NHS project), the public had this to say:

They’re not wrong.

We need better than this – from both sides of the House of Commons – or the Covid-19 disaster will be an apocalypse for the UK.

And I think that is a forlorn hope: they’re already doing the pathetic best they can.

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#BorisHasFailedTheUK is trending because Johnson can’t even announce his own rules properly

Boris Johnson might have surrounded himself with idiots but that doesn’t change the fact that he’s the biggest fool of the lot.

In an announcement on tighter Covid-19 restrictions in northeast England, he couldn’t even get his own facts straight:

Mr Johnson was asked to clarify the rules after a junior minister was unable to do so.

When asked if people in the North East could still meet people from other households outside, such as in a pub garden, Mr Johnson said people should follow local guidance and urged them to use their common sense.

He went on to talk about the separate rule of six.

“In the North East and other areas where extra tight measures have been brought in, you should follow the guidance of local authorities – but it’s six in a home, six in hospitality but, as I understand it, not six outside,” he said.

On Twitter, Mr Johnson later apologised and clarified that the new law meant those in the North East “cannot meet people from different households in social settings indoors, including in pubs, restaurants and your home”.

“You should also avoid socialising with other households outside,” he added.

The rebukes were swift:

Of course, the discussion soon digressed to Johnson’s other failures:

Ultimately, the critics pointed out that ultimate responsibility for the UK’s plight lies not with the fool in charge but with the fools who put him there:

They never do, sadly.

It’s a phenomenon called “shy Toryism”.

They hide the fact that they voted for Johnson and the Tories – because they are ashamed of it. And then they do it again next time.

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Why can’t the ‘NHS’ Covid-19 contact tracing app register NHS test results?

I think we all know the answer to that: it isn’t an NHS app after all.

After This Site was criticised – quite harshly by some – for connecting the ‘NHS’ Covid-19 contact tracing app with Serco and suggesting that it is a data harvesting tool for private contractor Serco, and had to publish a story yesterday (September 25) providing the information on the government’s press release…

It seems I may have been right in the first place after all.

Concerns have been raised after a user discovered he could not enter details of a test he undertook that was processed at an NHS/Public Health England laboratory. It seems the app can only take details of Serco tests:

We in the general public aren’t stupid. We asked questions and we drew conclusions:

The BBC got the story wrong; the headline mentions nothing about the failure to accommodate NHS/PHE results…

… but it did tell us about a few other cock-ups:

  • People who test negative can’t share the result with the app if the test wasn’t booked through the app.
  • People who enter their symptoms but not a test result find the app puts them onto a self-isolation countdown anyway.
  • They cannot stop the countdown, even if they enter a negative test result later.

And it does mention the main issue – but buried low in the story, possibly in the hope that the mass of the general public (70 per cent of the UK public gets its news from the BBC, apparently) will not notice and will carry on along its brainwashed way.

The Department for Health and Social Care has said the app will be updated (although it hasn’t said that these problems will be resolved).

This Site ran a Twitter survey when the app was launched, asking if it would be withdrawn by the weekend. There was a low take-up but the result was decisive:

It isn’t being withdrawn but it seems clear that it should be.

The DHSC is still claiming – somewhat desperately – that “by downloading the app you are helping protect yourself and others”. But it seems clear that the app’s real purpose is entirely different:

This is what we’re finding. And as long as the government keeps lying to us about what it is doing, it is also sapping away public trust in anything Boris Johnson, Matt Hancock and the other crooks are doing.

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Did ‘activist lawyers’ tell Home Office its Windrush compensation scheme was a disaster, too?

The Empire Windrush brought many people to the UK to help rebuild the country after World War II. If it had still been in service a couple of years ago, the Tories would have been trying to use it to deport them all again.

How unfortunate for the Home Office that it should fall foul of the lawyers twice in one day.

Or is it perhaps a sign of the Johnson government’s disregard for the law?

The Tory government’s much-maligned Windrush Compensation Scheme has been trashed by – one would expect – activist lawyers from no fewer than nine separate firms.

They say it is failing to provide access to justice – a claim that can only have gained validity after it was revealed that the HO tried to rush-deport 23 people illegally, because it had not allowed them their right to appeal.

The – activist – lawyers also said that while the Windrush scandal traumatised its victims, the compensation scheme is only worsening the trauma.

The HO has already confirmed that at least five people who applied for compensation died before receiving it.

Lawyers say they have experienced significant delays and difficulties filing claims for clients who were wrongly classified as illegal immigrants and lost their jobs, housing or pensions as a result.

The letter says many applications appear to be “appear to be lost in a kind of bureaucratic limbo”, with some people forced to wait more than a year for decisions.

Look at this:

The decision to put the Home Office in charge of processing of claims was particularly problematic, they write, given the criticisms of the department made in Wendy Williams’ official inquiry into the scandal. Williams’ report identified a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” within the Home Office and “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”.

And now let’s all remember that the Home Office is carrying out its own inquiry into the death of refugee Mercy Baguma. What chance does justice have in a “culture of disbelief and carelessness” with “institutional ignorance and thoughtlessness towards the issue of race”?

Coincidentally (or is it?) yesterday HO permanent secretary Matthew Rycroft announced:

Perhaps inevitably, this was one of the responses:

Source: Windrush payout scheme not fit for purpose, say lawyers | Windrush scandal | The Guardian

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Spendthrift Tories have spaffed £500 MILLION on firms run by their friends – that do NOTHING

‘Spaffer’: Boris Johnson is throwing money the UK doesn’t have at his mates’ companies. What will you do when he tells you to pay off the debt?

In a week when we learned the Tories have more than doubled the national debt to £2 trillion, a mere £500 million might not seem much.

It’s around 1/200th, or half a per cent, of the total they’ve borrowed since 2010.

But this is money they have spent in the last six months alone – on contracts with companies run by their personal friends… that have apparently done nothing useful in return.

According to the Labour Party, 13 firms run by friends of Tory ministers have won contracts related to Covid-19, without having to go through a competitive tendering process.

Here’s what they’ve done with the money:

One firm, Randox, received £133million for Covid testing.

It pays Tory MP and former Cabinet minister Owen Paterson £8,333 a month as an adviser.

Earlier this month, 750,000 unused Randox testing kits were ­recalled over safety concerns.

How about the Serco ‘test and trace’ fiasco?

Serco is paid £108million for running the national contact-tracing service and nearly £46million by the DWP to run call centres.

Health minister Edward Argar was a senior executive and boss Rupert Soames is brother of former Tory MP Sir Nicholas Soames.

In November 2019, Rupert Soames’ wife Camilla donated £4,995 to the Tory Party.

Here are the other firms mentioned in the Mirror article:

PricewaterhouseCoopers, which won seven contracts, hired Theresa May’s former top aide Gavin Barwell as a strategic adviser in January.

He is also a non-executive adviser at Arcadis – which was given a £1.5million consultancy contract with the Ministry of Justice in April.

Public First Ltd gets £840,000 to run focus groups for No10. It is owned by James Frayne, who started the New Frontiers think tank in 2003 with Dominic Cummings.

Dragontown Ltd was awarded a contract worth £675,000 to supply PPE to London’s Guys’ and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Lady Xuelin Bates, a director of this firm, is the wife of Tory peer and former minister Lord Bates and has donated £30,000 to the Tories.

If we had anything to show for this emptying of the public purse, there might be some justification for these contracts – but we don’t.

This is nepotism intended to further enrich the undeserving while bankrupting the nation.

Expect Boris Johnson to demand that, now he and his spendthrift mates have run up a huge debt, you have to pay it off.

Source: Firms linked to Tories have won £500m coronavirus contracts without having to bid – Mirror Online

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Covid test waiting time soars as IT failure hits private ‘lighthouse’ testing lab

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Matt Hancock: this is the brain-dead nincompoop who thought it would be a good idea to let private companies try to make a profit from a deadly pandemic virus. Nothing works properly and we all remain in deadly danger six months after Covid-19 arrived in the UK.

Once again private profiteers have failed the people of the UK.

An “IT systems failure” at a ‘Lighthouse’ mega-laboratory in Cheshire “resulted in a delay to the processing of results,” the government said.

“In addition, the increase of tests across all routes has resulted in backlogs in some laboratories.”

The labs were built in April, in a partnership between the Department of Health and Social Care, Medicines Discovery Catapult, UK Biocentre and the University of Glasgow, supported by pharma companies GSK and AstraZeneca.

It means just seven per cent of people who took a test at a “satellite centre” got their results within 48 hours in the week to August 12 – down from 75 per cent two weeks earlier.

And only 28 per cent of people who were posted home testing kits got the result within 48 hours – down from 72 per cent.

This is what happens when you commit the health of the nation to the hands of people who want to make a profit from it: nothing works.

Source: New coronavirus chaos as test result waiting times soar due to IT malfunction – Mirror Online

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Heatwave exposes failures of Tory UK to cope with climate change

Heat death: the far north has experienced its hottest temperatures ever, with fires breaking out across the world. But the Tories see no need to adapt to climate change and Keir Starmer has abandoned Labour’s policies to deal with it.

This Site received a strange response to the article on Tory class war yesterday (August 14), to the effect that I should be writing about climate change instead. In fact, the two are intertwined.

The Conservatives don’t accept climate change because the changes that acceptance would require would bite into the profits of their donors – and therefore into their own funds.

The recent/current heatwave has brought the issue into sharp focus. This Writer has been stewing, every day – and the nightly thunderstorms, while entertaining, didn’t make up for the fact that it has been hard to concentrate.

It seems I am not alone.

Our buildings are unsuited to hot weather; they were made to keep heat in during the winter. There is still no legal requirement to ensure homes, hospitals, schools or care homes are designed for the current or future climate – and under the Tories I do not believe there every will be.

It costs too much.

Parts of England are set to run out of water soon, because the Tories privatised water provision and the new companies fell into the hands of foreign government-owned franchises that have taken huge profits but invested nothing.

Our transport and energy networks are also facing crisis – look at the Stonehaven derailment which has been blamed on a landslip after heavy rain.

What is the government doing? It’s making matters worse.

Rishi Sunak has announced a £2 billion fund to make homes more energy efficient, with the cash going towards insulation – but the wrong insulation can turn a house into a heat trap.

And Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition is no help with Keir Starmer at the helm. He has abandoned Jeremy Corbyn’s ambitious plans to combat climate change because he thinks they’re unpopular with the voters.

We’re facing a wholesale failure in thought and deed by our leaders.

And when the fabric of the nation falls (even further) apart as a result, who do you think will get the blame?

We will.

Source: UK infrastructure inadequate for climate emergency, experts warn | Environment | The Guardian

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Does failure of SERCO test-and-trace mean EVERY privatised Covid-19 project has failed?

Can you think of any Covid-19-related contracts the Johnson government has handed to private firms, that have actually succeeded?

I can’t.

They’ve all been spectacular failures, and this is just the latest:

Marcus is right about these private failures being hidden behind the NHS logo to make the public service look bad.

But the UK media won’t stop doing it because the UK media is complicit in the plan to privatise the NHS.

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Why are the Tories refusing to tell us how many people they are testing for Covid-19?

Matt Hancock: incomprehensible and incompetent.

You know it has to be a big fail when the Tories have spent more than a month adding to it, every day.

This story goes back to April 5, when Boris Johnson promised that 100,000 people would be tested for Covid-19 every day by the end of the month.

On April 30, the Tories duly lied to the nation – and their claim was instantly debunked by, among others, This Site. The claim was that nearly 130,000 tests were carried out; in fact the total was only slightly more than 70,000, if I recall correctly.

The rest were tests that had been sent out – but the government had no idea whether they had actually been used.

And of course there is a huge difference between the number of tests that were carried – and/or sent – out, and the number of people who have been tested.

The Tories continued failing to meet their target for a further fortnight, then gave up completely and simply resorted to saying the figures were “unavailable” – every day for a month.

Then today – June 30 – Matt Hancock appeared on the BBC’s Breakfast News, where he gave the following incomprehensible explanation for failing to provide the facts:

Gobbledygook!

And he was called out on it by Piers Morgan and Susannah Reid on ITV’s Good Morning Britain, a show that has been boycotted by Tory politicians for many weeks now, because they are afraid they will be asked awkward questions.

That’s an attitude that opens them up to awkward criticisms instead, viz.:

At the end of the day, we’re no wiser about the number of tests being carried out or what the results may mean.

We can be sure of one thing, though:

The UK’s Conservative government is utterly incompetent.

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Lancet editor publishes book on government failures to deal with Covid-19. Here’s what it says

Richard Horton has been criticising Tory government policy on Covid-19 since at least January.

And he’d know his subject, being the editor of that most distinguished of medical journals, The Lancet.

Shall we have a quick shufti at a few of his points? Here:

He lambasts the management of the virus as “the greatest science policy failure for a generation”, attacks the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) for becoming “the public relations wing of a government that had failed its people”, calls out the medical Royal Colleges, the Academy of Medical Sciences, the British Medical Association (BMA) and Public Health England (PHE) for not reinforcing the World Health Organization’s public health emergency warning back in February, and damns the UK’s response as “slow, complacent and flat-footed”, revealing a “glaringly unprepared” government and a “broken system of obsequious politico-scientific complicity”.

Details:

The series of five academic papers the journal published in late January first describing the novel coronavirus in disturbing detail went unheeded. “In several of the papers they talked about the importance of personal protective equipment and the importance of testing, the importance of avoiding mass gatherings, the importance of considering school closure, the importance of lockdowns. All of the things that have happened in the last three months here, they’re all in those five papers.”

He still can’t understand why the government’s scientific advisers didn’t consult their counterparts in China.

From the published reports of Sage meetings, … scientists were “trying to be as sensitive to economic issues as they were to health issues”. That, he says, “is a dangerous place to be” because it compromises the ability of the advisory group to protect health.

The book, The Covid-19 Catastrophe: What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again, is only 140 pages long so it came as quite a surprise that even the e-book edition costs £9.99.

You can buy it here.

Source: The Lancet’s editor: ‘The UK’s response to coronavirus is the greatest science policy failure for a generation’ | Politics | The Guardian

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