Tag Archives: lockdown

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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Johnson accused: did he say ‘Let the bodies pile high in their thousands’?

Did he say it or didn’t he? We’ll find out whether Johnson really wanted the Covid-19-riddent bodies of ourselves, our relatives and our friends “piled high” soon enough, but in the meantime his current reputation tends to mitigate against him.

This is the kind of claim that can topple a government.

The fact that it was published by the Tory-backing Daily Mail makes it even more damaging to Boris Johnson and his regime.

Here’s what the Mail has said:

Boris Johnson said he would rather see ‘bodies pile high in their thousands’ than order a third lockdown, it was claimed last night.

The explosive remark is said to have come after he reluctantly imposed the second lockdown, sources told the Mail.

Downing Street last night strongly denied the Prime Minister made the comment, insisting it was ‘just another lie’. But those who say they heard it stand by their claim.

“Those who say they heard it” suggests very strongly that this comes from multiple sources who will support each other’s stories. That alone could destroy Downing Street’s claim.

The allegation is that Johnson made his outburst last October, in response to a warning by Michael Gove that, if Johnson did not order a third lockdown, soldiers would be needed to guard hospitals overrun with victims of Covid-19.

This was before there was even one vaccine, remember, but after Covid-related infections and deaths had begun to multiply exponentially.

It was not until January 4 this year that Johnson gave in and ordered a third lockdown after all.

The claim is so incendiary because the first duty of any government is to protect the population of the nation it has been elected to represent.

If Johnson really said he would happily see the dead bodies of fellow UK citizens “piled high”, rather than ask his friends in business to suffer further disruption (that they would suffer in any case, once the virus took hold) then his words represent a betrayal of his most fundamental duty.

Don’t just take my word for it:

How will this affect public support for Johnson, as the story develops over the coming days and weeks?

Well, we’ll have local elections in a little over a week.

Let’s see what happens to the opinion polls – and to the vote itself.

Source: Covid UK: Boris Johnson said he’d rather ‘bodies pile high’ than have third lockdown, sources claim | Daily Mail Online

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Unforgivable: anti-lockdown protesters compare masks and vaccines with the Holocaust

I was going to avoid reporting on anti-lockdown protests, because in a time when wearing a mask and having a vaccination injection could save many thousands of lives, I would have hoped anyone with sense could see that these people are wrong.

But some of the protesters who were out in London today (and elsewhere, I dare say) took the opportunity to take their silliness across the line into the unforgivable. I refer to this:

It is bad enough that people like this … lady … have chosen to mock the memories of more than 150,000 victims of the Covid-19 virus by announcing their ignorance of its threat all over our streets.

But then they had to pretend that measures designed to safeguard their lives are somehow similar to the systematic persecution and extermination of Jews by Nazi Germany.

It isn’t very often that I agree with David Baddiel on matters concerning anti-Semitism but this was an offence, not only against the 150,000 who have died over the last year or so but also against the six million Jews who were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust.

In that context, I think his tweeted “Take. That. Off.” was remarkably restrained.

Others who took to the social media to express their outrage were more explanatory. I won’t publish the actual tweets because they feature the full image, including the woman’s face, and I don’t want to give her the publicity.

The Auschwitz Memorial Twitter account stated, “Instrumentalization of the tragedy of Jews who suffered, were humiliated, marked with a yellow star, and finally isolated in ghettos and murdered during the Holocaust, in order to argue against vaccination that saves human lives is a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.” This was also remarkably restrained, in my opinion.

Heather Rufus tweeted: “To anyone wearing the Star of David as a lockdown protest, you’re totally lacking in awareness. Millions of Jewish people were murdered during the Holocaust and you are likening lockdown to that. You should hang your head in shame. Gross.”

Ian Moore went further: “If you wore a Yellow Star today to protest against facemasks that protect others, you are a stain on humanity. You ignorant, privileged morons. Whatever your perceived grievances are, how is that Holocaust level? Vile.”

Benjamin Cohen, CEO of Pink News added: “If you really want to be a crank and protest about the Covid lockdowns that have saved lives, do not then appropriate a symbol from the Holocaust that led to the murder of six million Jews and permanently diminished Jewish population, destroyed Jewish culture and history.”

There’s this, from @HowardA_Esq: “Being asked to wear a mask or be vaccinated is not like having your family burned alive, gassed to death, starved to death or worked to death because of their religion. This is the symbol of our religion and our persecution. Take it off, bigot.

“My family were murdered by people who force them to wear the Star of David. Playing holocaust victim because you were asked to wear a mask, it’s reprehensible on every level.”

Damn straight.

Source: London protest: Thousands gather for anti-lockdown march after pubs and shops reopen – Mirror Online

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A family at war: after Johnson accused Cummings, former advisor blazes back

Spotted on the internet: and who knows how many more nasty little secrets Dominic Cummings will be able to release, just when they will do Boris Johnson the most harm?

I’m waiting for Theresa May to turn up and say, “Now, boys, play nicely!” Not that she’d have any effect at all.

It seems that Boris Johnson thought details of his text conversation promising tax breaks to James Dyson had been leaked by Dominic Cummings.

Denying this, Cummings has nevertheless come out with a different claim – that Johnson had planned a “possibly illegal” way to get Tory donors to pay for renovations to the Downing Street flat that the prime minister uses.

We knew that, didn’t we?

Cummings wrote in his blog: “The PM stopped speaking to me about this matter in 2020 as I told him I thought his plans to have donors secretly pay for the renovation were unethical, foolish, possibly illegal and almost certainly broke the rules on proper disclosure of political donations if conducted in the way he intended. I refused to help him organise these payments.”

For good measure, Cummings has also denied leaking details of the UK’s second Covid-19 lockdown last summer – but he put an extra sting into this one.

He said Johnson had considered stopping an inquiry into that leak (that eventually exonerated Cummings) because (he reckoned) the evidence pointed to Henry Newman, a close personal friend of the prime minister’s fiancee, Carrie Symonds.

Cummings claimed Johnson was concerned that he would have to sack Newman, and this would cause friction with Symonds.

The official line from Downing Street is that Johnson has never interfered with any inquiries – but that’s not what Cummings claimed.

The claim was that Johnson had considered interfering – and this is entirely plausible after Johnson admitted promising to interfere with the tax system for Dyson, at Prime Minister’s Question on Wednesday. (Or did he? Will we have yet another clarification from “a Downing Street source” that he meant something completely – and implausibly – different?)

The result of the inquiry has never been published.

Cummings wrote: “I told him that this was ‘mad’ and totally unethical, that he had ordered the inquiry himself and authorised the Cabinet Secretary to use more invasive methods than are usually applied to leak inquiries because of the seriousness of the leak. I told him that he could not possibly cancel an inquiry about a leak that affected millions of people, just because it might implicate his girlfriend’s friends.”

He added: “It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves.”

Asked to comment on the matter, Johnson himself came out with what may be his only accurate words on any of the corruption allegations that are currently pelting his government. He said:

“I think people aren’t so much interested in who is leaking what to whom as the substance of the issue at hand.”

Yes indeed.

We want to see accurate, verified evidence showing whether Johnson intervened with HMRC to change tax rules of Dyson.

We want to see evidence showing whether Johnson was implicated in the Greensill lobbying scandal.

We want evidence on how Johnson funded his flat renovations.

We want to know why the inquiry into the lockdown leak wasn’t published.

And we want to see evidence on the accuracy of all the other corruption claims that have come out of the woodwork – and that are likely to emerge in the future.

And no – “a Downing Street spokesperson denied the allegations” will not be acceptable.

Source: Dominic Cummings launches attack on Boris Johnson’s integrity – BBC News

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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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Boris Johnson’s ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown ignores the science YET AGAIN and the death toll could be huge

Mess: Johnson’s plan to ease lockdown is as muddled as his hair. Even with 80 per cent vaccine efficacy, half the population will still be vulnerable to infection.

Scientists have warned that Boris Johnson’s plan to end lockdown restrictions will cause a huge increase in Covid-19 hospitalisations – even in the most optimistic scenarios.

So much for “following the science”, eh?

It seems that

The government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) [said] tens of thousands more people can be expected to die from Covid because vaccines will not provide complete protection against the disease, and not everyone will have the jabs.

All scenarios led to a resurgence of cases because so many vulnerable people remained unprotected, even with high vaccine coverage.

Johnson’s plan is a bespoke model that does not correspond with any of the SAGE scenarios – but its closest equivalent, scenario three, predicts a resurgence of Covid-19 in the UK around September.

At yesterday’s press briefing on the government’s plans, chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance, who is said to have shares in a pharmaceutical company that was working on a vaccine, warned that even with 80 per cent efficacy, half the population would still be at risk from the disease.

He said a cautious step-by-step process, with pauses of four or five weeks between each to monitor the impact, was the right way to go.

It seems strange, then, that the Johnson plan will reopen all English schools on March 8.

Scientific modellers predict that this will drive the infection rate up by between 10 and 50 per cent – negating the reductions of the current lockdown and vaccinations.

They said a limited reopening, possibly starting with primary schools, was a far better option and would allow scientists to assess the impact on infections within the community.

Johnson has ignored this good advice and intends to steamroll his easements through – as he did last year.

We all know how that turned out. Why are you letting him do it to you again?

Source: Demand from Tory MPs to scrap Covid rules ‘could bring huge death toll’ | Politics | The Guardian

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Johnson releases advance details of ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown. He’ll kill thousands more

Boris Johnson: if he tries to tell you he’s following the science by reopening all English schools at once on March 8, this is the message you need to remember.

Boris Johnson has released details of his four-test “roadmap” out of lockdown – via the media, as has become his usual cowardly method.

It is now clear that Johnson will continue habitually to release details of any plans that may be controversial through his media cronies, to provide him with advance warning if any parts of them prove unpopular.

He is a coward – as bad in his way as Keir ‘focus group’ Starmer.

Here are some details:

The “rule of six” is expected to be reintroduced for outdoor gatherings from March 29. Outdoor sports facilities are expected to be allowed to open that day, and organised outdoor sport will be permitted to return.

In April, it is hoped that domestic self-catering holidays will be allowed and that gyms, hairdressers, and non-essential shops will be able to open.

Mr Johnson’s “roadmap” will include four tests which must all be met before the next step can go ahead. They are:

  • That the vaccine deployment programme continues successfully
  • That evidence shows jabs are sufficiently effective in reducing hospitalisations and deaths in those vaccinated
  • That infection rates do not risk a surge in hospitalisations which puts unsustainable pressure on the NHS
  • That the Government’s assessment of the risks is not fundamentally changed by new variants of concern

The plan will be rolled out across the country at the same time with no return to regional tiers.

But I want to focus on the very first element in Johnson’s ‘re-opening’ plan:

Initially it is understood England’s schools will all be re-opened on March 8.

It seems Johnson is not only ignoring the science in his determination to do this, but also defying nine education organisations: the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL), GMB, National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), NASUWT, National Education Union (NEU), National Governance Association (NGA), Sixth Form Colleges’ Association (SFCA), Unison, and Unite.

In a joint statement, they said:

The science around the role that schools play in the overall rate of transmission is uncertain. Scientists have expressed different views on this point. What we do know is that the full reopening of schools will bring nearly 10 million pupils and staff into circulation in England – close to one fifth of the population. This is not a small easing of lockdown restrictions. It is a massive step.

These factors necessitate a cautious approach with wider school and college opening phased over a period of time. This is the approach being taken in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It allows public health experts to assess the impact of the first phase before moving to the next.

We are increasingly concerned that … to order a full return of all pupils on Monday 8 March in England … would seem a reckless course of action.

It could trigger another spike in Covid infections, prolong the disruption of education, and risk throwing away the hard-won progress made in suppressing the virus over the course of the latest lockdown.

We therefore urge the Prime Minister to commit to 8 March only if the scientific evidence is absolutely clear that this is safe, and at that point go no further than a phased return of children and young people with sufficient time to assess the impact before moving to the next phase.

We see in Johnson’s plans no indication that his decision to reopen all English schools on March 8 has any basis in science.

His demand that there will be no phased return but all school pupils will go back at once is a slap in the face for the professionals who wanted a phased return – and sheer ignorance when compared with the policies of other UK countries.

It seems clear that this weakest of UK prime ministers has caved in to pressure from his backbenchers and big business.

He may get away with it, if the vaccination programme has reached enough people by March 8 and proves as effective as some claims state after the first jab.

But I fear that he is provoking yet another spike in infections and will cause thousands more deaths.

And even if it does happen, he’ll get away with it.

He may be the weakest prime minister the UK has ever had, but he’s still above the law that oppresses you and me.

Source: Boris Johnson’s four-test ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown including ‘new rule of six’ – Mirror Online

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