Tag Archives: panic

Is coronavirus panic buying going to block up our drains?

Mrs Mike tells me about an unfortunate side-effect of the coronavirus epidemic, due entirely – it seems – to stupidity.

The panic-buying of toilet roll that has emptied supermarket shelves has, apparently, forced people to use other items, which they are then flushing down the toilet.

These items include kitchen rolls and wet wipes.

Have these people not realised that those items will block up their drains, causing huge problems?

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Panic-buyers are starving food bank users of milk and other essentials

Vital: but the shelves of this Salford food bank may be fast emptying as donations of food and money fail in the panic over coronavirus.

What is this modern fad of panic-buying all the time? The current phase – prompted by the coronavirus – could do more to starve the poor than years of Tory persecution.

Panic-buying isn’t a new thing; every time there’s a bank holiday weekend, the shelves of This Writer’s local supermarkets empty as local residents stock up to avoid the hardships of a single extra day without a shop.

I don’t get it. Just do a normal weekly shop and you’ll be fine.

Worse still, as shelves are cleared of toilet rolls and hand sanitisers because of the coronavirus, it seems supermarkets are hiking the prices of these essentials – that should be dirt-cheap – in order to make a quick buck.

Shameful.

The knock-on effect is that food banks aren’t getting donations of milk and cereal, and are receiving less cash, because people are hoarding these things for themselves and spending their money on them.

The effect could be devastating:

Donations from shoppers at branches of Sainsbury’s and Waitrose slumped to 25% of their normal volume at one food bank in London, while they have fallen by a third at a Kirkcaldy food bank – where UHT milk has run out.

Some facilities have warned they may close because of concerns about cross-infection, and a food bank in Stonebridge, a deprived area of north-west London, will cut the size of its food parcels by a third from Wednesday, with larger families facing the biggest reductions.

“Panic is going to be more dangerous than the virus,” said Joyce Leggate, the chair of Kirkcaldy food bank, which helps up to 350 families a week. “Our food parcels are essential for the health of many of the people we support. The food can be a lifeline. Please, if you are stockpiling, have a look and say: ‘Am I really going to use this?’ If not, is there someone who needs it more?”

Organisers in Fife, Liverpool and Leicester have reported the unavailability of UHT milk, a key part of their food parcels to keep young children and expecting mothers healthy.

“Emergency food aid providers across the UK are already stretched to the limit and the impact of the spread of coronavirus can only make matters worse,” said Sabine Goodwin, the coordinator of the Independent Food Aid Network, which represents 189 food banks.

“[They] cannot be expected to support yet more people needing help if schools are closed and those depending on insecure work are forced to rely on charity if taken ill or self-isolating.”

James Quayle, the manager at North Paddington food bank in London, where donations are down to 25% of their normal volume: “It shows the safety net created by our food banks is very thin. The system is not very sustainable. This is another sign that more vulnerable people stand to be worse affected by coronavirus.”

The Tories must be delighted.

Their failure to act, and their provision of limp advice, has created a panic stampede for supplies in which the most vulnerable people are likely to be trampled to death underfoot.

The Tories have been grinding such vulnerable people under their heels for years.

This is exactly what they want and if you are among the panic-buyers, you are playing right into their hands.

Source: Food banks run out of milk and other staples as shoppers panic-buy | World news | The Guardian

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Pro-Labour poll boost leads to Tory panic – and propaganda backlash?

Tom Watson: The Tories’ secret weapon?

Labour’s poll lead over the Conservatives is widening – just as This Writer said it would – and it seems part of the phenomenon is due to the splitter group Change UK (as it now wishes to be known) taking traditional Tory votes.

A version of the poll that allows voters to support the new party, Change UK, provides a hint as to the reason for the Conservatives’ fall:

A Twitter user delighting in the handle “You’re terrible, Luriel”, stated: “It *is* funny that the Tinge have done more damage to the Tories than Labour though, isn’t it? Big shoutout to , , , et al. Who knew that the greatest service you could do the Labour Party was not be in it?”

I think it tells us something we knew all along – that TINGe/Change UK/CHUK or whatever you want to call it is just another brand of Toryism. It has attracted traditional – non-neoliberal – Tories away from the Conservative Party, thereby weakening Theresa May’s increasingly feral pack of animals.

The poll ratings appear to have induced panic in the Tories’ high command, which seems to be splitting over Theresa May’s alleged offer of a general election in the event of further deadlock over her Brexit plan.

According to The Observer, MPs from all sides of the Conservative Party are saying they would block any move by Mrs May to lead them into a general election, fearing a worse wipeout than in 2017 – and who can blame them?

Meanwhile, Amber Rudd is said to have formed a party-within-the-party to stop what’s seen as a disturbing rightward drift, perhaps spearheaded by the European Research Group (ERG) of right-wing MPs; pro-Brexit ministers are threatening to resign if Mrs May agrees a permanent customs union with the EU; and other Conservatives are preparing to support a referendum on any deal eventually passed by Parliament.

In other words, the Conservatives are a mess and the only reasons they are likely to stay in government are selfish. No wonder they are plummeting in the polls.

After all, when even the Mail‘s principal ugly, Dan Hodges, is saying this –

– they know they’re deep in the doo-doo.

But all may not be lost for them!

Their secret weapon – Labour deputy leader Tom Watson – was set to appear on the BBC’s flagship politics discussion programme, The Andrew Marr Show, on Sunday morning. It is entirely possible he’ll find some piece of anti-Labour dribble that he’s been saving for a rainy day, that the pro-Tory Corporation can overhype until somebody believes it.

Watson has already said he would work with the Conservatives in a “government of national unity”, whatever that is, so we know he can’t be trusted to support a Labour government. By rights he should be drummed out of the Labour Party for suggesting the answer could be anything other than a Labour government – but of course he is a senior party representative and a member of Parliament to boot, so he remains impervious to any attempts to put him through the party’s grotesquely biased and one-sided disciplinary procedure.

The trouble is, the clocks have gone forward and most people are likely to oversleep and miss it. I’m writing this at 2.20am, so I know I will!

Who knows what else the Tories will try, if Tom doesn’t turn the tables for them?

We may find out in unintentionally (for the Tories) hilarious ways.

In a nutshell: The Conservatives are unsafe whatever they do – and it’s all their own fault.


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Is this another coroner covering up for the government after yet another benefit claimant is found dead?

Let’s get this straight:

A man suffering from anxiety, stress and panic attacks, but who has still been deemed fit for work by our prejudiced DWP assessment system, tells a mental health practitioner “What’s the point”?

He hands his car keys and bank details to his only acquaintance, saying he won’t need them any longer.

Shortly afterwards, he is found dead on a beach, showing signs of drowning and hypothermia.

And it isn’t enough to suggest that the DWP drove this man to suicide?

This seems like more evidence that the Coroner Service is being told to cover up for the government.

Coroner Crispin Oliver may have satisfied himself that his verdict was within the letter of the law – but was he abiding by its spirit?

A man who had been suffering with mental health problems for many years has been found dead on a beach in England, after being found ‘fit for work’ by the Department for Work and Pensions and told his sickness benefits were being removed.

David Metcalf, 54, was found dead on the beach near Horden, County Durham, on the 3rd January, just four days after being examined by a mental health practitioner at his home in Hartlepool.

In his report, the mental health practitioner Leighann Fishpool said: “David was signed off sick for nine years due to anxiety, stress and panic attacks.

“He has recently been deemed fit for work and told he would need to go to the JobCentre to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance.

“He said he was frustrated and upset and thought ‘What’s the point?’”

Concerns were raised after Mr Metcalf handed his car keys and bank documents to a garage owner, who is believed to have been his only acquaintance, saying he would no longer need them.

Mr Metcalf was found still dressed in a jumper, coat and gloves, but was not wearing any socks or underwear. However, Detective Sgt Gary Davison told the hearing that he didn’t think this was particularly unusual.

The inquest heard that a post-mortem showed signs of drowning and hypothermia.

The Hartlepool Mail reports that Mr Metcalf had denied any intention to harm himself, and the coroner said it was unclear as to whether he had entered the sea accidentally or deliberately.

Without clear evidence that Mr Metcalf had intended to commit suicide when entering the sea, Coroner Mr Oliver recorded an ‘open verdict’.

“I simply cannot come to the conclusion beyond reasonable doubt that he intended to kill himself and, therefore, the suicide conclusion is not available,” he said.

Source: Mentally ill man found dead on beach after his sickness benefits were removed


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The lies, the cost, the hardship… the price we all pay for Iain Duncan Smith

"Not even this much": Iain Duncan Smith demonstrates how much he cares about the damage his policies are doing to public health, and to the public finances.

“Not even this much”: Iain Duncan Smith demonstrates how much he cares about the damage his policies are doing to public health, and to the public finances. (Image: Evening Standard)

When it comes to Iain Duncan Smith, it seems the point still isn’t being made forcefully enough.

So let us be perfectly clear: This man is a liability to the United Kingdom. He is costing this country billions of pounds with his failed pet projects like Universal Credit, his contracted-out work programmes that are more likely to hinder people looking for a job then get them into one, and even his enormous expenses claims – £39, just for breakfast!

Now it seems he has lied to Parliament – yet again. He told the House of Commons, and the country at large, that his Department for Work and Pensions expected to write off £34 million of investment in the IT systems being developed to administer his real-time, six-benefits-in-one Universal Credit. The actual amount, revealed to Parliament’s public accounts committee yesterday, is more like £161 million.

Not only that, but he was lying when he said he had been monitoring the project constantly. If that is true, then why was a civil servant’s personal assistant allowed to sign off contracts when the responsibility lay with himself, or at least his ministers?

Even more damning, it seems the DWP has spent the last six months sitting on this information, rather than actually doing anything about it!

And this odious little liar last week tried to blame the civil service for Universal Credit’s failure. He is a lower form of life than an intestinal worm.

He still thinks he can take the moral high ground, though – look at his attack on the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik, after she (rightly) denounced his bedroom tax as an attack on British citizens’ human rights.

He described her call to abolish the tax as “outrageous”, claiming that it undermined the impartiality of the UN. Isn’t it more accurate to say that she has revealed the truth, and now he is panicking?

He said he wanted UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon to investigate Ms Rolnik’s conduct – a line already pointlessly taken by Grant Shapps, all of whose claims were lies, as we discovered yesterday.

In the Daily Mail, he said she had not asked ministers or officials for their input, adding: “I find it staggering that without this official information Mrs Rolnik feels she is in a position to be able to properly prescribe what the future of the policy should be.” In fact, she met many officials and government representatives, all of whom are listed in her preliminary report.

So IDS – or RTU, as we like to describe him here (it refers to Army personnel who are Returned To Unit for failing to make the grade) – has lied again. And he joined a deeply dodgy cadre of Conservatives in denouncing her for – among other things – being born in a country with worse deprivation than the UK. Doesn’t that put her in an excellent position to point out the faults in our system?

But then, what can we expect from this vile creature. There are strains of syphilis with more charm and social grace.

Is the point made yet?

Back in May, Vox Political published ‘Iain Duncan Smith has committed contempt of Parliament and should be expelled’. That article has been read by more than 12,600 people who almost unanimously supported it. Now we see that he has shown the same contempt, to Parliament, to the British people, and now to a respected and senior United Nations representative. Go back and refresh your memory if you need to do so.

Is the point made now?

No, it probably isn’t.

The fact of the matter is that most people won’t care, because most people don’t think they are affected by the disasters Iain Duncan Smith is inflicting on us.

They are wrong.

Just go back and consider the cost of all his mistakes: Billions of pounds wasted. Possibly tens of billions, when you consider the cumulative effect (although this would be a hard concept for him; he has resisted all attempts to get his Department to provide a cumulative assessment of his regressive changes’ effect on this country’s poor for many months, claiming it would be “too difficult”).

Tens of billions of pounds have been wasted on his so-called attempts to cut the benefit bill, while that bill has increased, year on year, because of his government’s policies.

As Adlai Stevenson said of Nixon (and the comparison to Nixon is well-deserved): “He is the kind of politician who would cut down a redwood tree and then mount the stump to make a speech for conservation.”

This hypocrite does not speak for you. He doesn’t speak for the taxpayers because he is robbing them of their hard-earned money and wasting it despicably. He doesn’t speak for the unemployed, the sick or the disabled because he is a social darwinist who would steal a wheelchair to see how the owner managed without it. He doesn’t speak for Parliament because he has lied to Parliament.

Why aren’t you demanding his dismissal in your millions?

Well?

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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