Tag Archives: Plan B

#Covid19 #planB rules will be lifted in England on January 27

Jabber Johnson: he says people still need to be vaccinated as the Omicron variant is “not a mild disease for everyone”.

Boris Johnson has announced that health protection regulations that he brought in to minimise the effect of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 will be ended on Thursday, January 27.

For clarity, this means:

  • The end of mandatory Covid passes in England, with businesses allowed to use them if they choose
  • Mandatory face masks will end, including in classrooms for secondary students and on public transport – meaning people will not be criminalised for choosing not to wear them
  • The end to work from home guidance
  • Restrictions on care homes will be eased, with detail to be released
  • However, there will still be a legal requirement to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid

As Johnson made his announcement, a Scottish MP asked: “Is the PM scrapping the rules because he doesn’t understand them?” in a harsh – but fair – comment on the prime minister’s latest “Partygate” excuse.

Johnson said his government got the tough decisions right – but did he?

He failed to identify the seriousness of Omicron when it was first reported. He didn’t close the UK’s borders; he practically invited Omicron into the country.

He failed to impose new health protection measures in time to prevent more than a million people from catching the new strain of Covid-19.

He failed to equip the NHS to take the added strain created by the two failures listed above, meaning doctors and nurses were pushed to their limit and beyond. The future of healthcare in the UK is looking bleak because these professionals will be reassessing their decision to work here.

And there is no guarantee that a Johnson government will not make the same mistakes again, if another variant of Covid-19 washes up on the UK’s shores.

Every decision Johnson has made about Covid-19 has been determined by whether a Tory, or a Tory donor, can make money from it.

This announcement merely highlights more reasons Johnson must be removed from office.

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#BorisJohnson’s #PlanB is a shambles. No wonder #Covid19 is skyrocketing

Standoff: the Tory government is at war with its own backbenchers over new measures to minimise the effect of Covid-19, that have been in place and working in Wales for many months.

This Writer has received notification of a Covid-19 booster injection appointment.

It’s on December 29. I had expected December 20, six months after my second vaccination, and then when Boris Johnson announced that seven weeks of injections were going to be crammed into three, I joked that I should have mine on Thursday (December 16).

But it seems I should be grateful to be having one at all – the only reason for it being that I live in Wales.

This is the mess that Keir Starmer told the nation was his “patriotic duty” to support.

You have a serious think about that.

Johnson only managed to get his back-of-a-fag-packet ideas for dealing with Omicron passed in Parliament because Starmer helped him unreservedly.

He could have demanded important guarantees and life-saving additions – like the increase in Statutory Sick Pay that would have made it possible for working people to take time off if struck down by the new variant, but he didn’t.

And he could have demanded proper measures for schools, including ventilation, but he didn’t.

The new measures are pretty much what we in Wales have already.

But here there are administered properly. I’m looking forward with trepidation to the chaos and anger when people realise they’ll be forced to show Covid passes for events at large venues. If they’re upset at putting a piece of cloth over their faces in most indoor public places, then they’re just selfish (face masks primarily protect other people, remember).

I disagree with mandatory vaccination for all NHS frontline staff. What people put into their bodies must be a matter of personal choice and it is unforgivable that politicians are forcing people to choose between what they think is right for themselves and their job helping others.

Significant numbers of Conservative MPs rebelled against all of the new measures – 98 against Covid passes, 63 against mandatory vaccination of NHS staff and 38 against face masks in public places.

If they thought these things were bad ideas on Tuesday, wait until they see how poorly Johnson enforces them!

And, of course, anybody deliberately refusing to follow the new rules has a mandate from the prime minister himself – who flouts Covid regulations whenever he feels like it. I understand he addressed a packed meeting of Tory backbenchers – sans face mask – before yesterday’s votes.

And Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing again with nearly 60,000 new cases discovered on the day Parliament held its debate.

Ultimately, it seems likely that these measures – which are only being imposed now to distract us from the Tory government’s flagrant breaches of its own rules with huge parties last Christmas while people were dying in their hundreds every day – will only increase calls for Johnson to quit politics, never to return.

That day can’t come soon enough.

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#Covid19: The most serious opposition to #BorisJohnson right now seems to be the #CommonsSpeaker

Hoyle’s law: this is a stock image but it shows how Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle probably feels about the government right now.

When This Writer tweeted on Sunday that a broadcast direct to the nation, rather than a press conference, by Boris Johnson would require a televised response from opposition parties, I didn’t realise that the best person for the job would by Lyndsay Hoyle.

The Commons Speaker seems to be far more keen to actually oppose Johnson – whether it be on the so-called ‘Plan B’ for dealing with Covid-19’s Omicron variant, corruption, or any other offence to the nation – than Keir Starmer.

Here he is, announcing his indignation after Johnson yet again bypassed Parliament to announce the government’s latest Covid strategy in a pre-recorded, televised statement – and then failed to give Parliament even the courtesy of his attendance to provide the same information the following day:

Hoyle is right: Parliament comes first. Johnson’s decision to sidestep Parliament is characteristic of the kind of prime minister he is – one who thinks he can do anything he likes, whenever he likes, and takes the approval of MPs for granted.

Sadly, Starmer is living evidence supporting such a belief – because the Labour leader was indeed given an opportunity to speak to the nation.

Rather than take the opportunity to analyse Johnson’s plans and provide a constructive critique, showing why it doesn’t make sense (why are schools left out of the plans yet again?), Starmer instead dived so far into Johnson’s posterior that next time the PM gives a speech you may be able to see Starmer waving from the back of his throat.

He has laid himself wide open to ridicule:

But worse, by offering unqualified support for Johnson’s half-arse ideas, Starmer has missed his chance to make demands that could have made a huge difference to working people who are struggling. For example:

This is elementary stuff for Parliamentarians – especially opposition leaders.

And now, as Johnson faces rebellion by up to 70 of his own Conservative MPs, he will still win his vote because Starmer has whipped Labour to support it unconditionally.

Yes, it will be galling for Johnson to know he has to rely on Labour for his motion to pass.

But it will be even more galling for former, and potential, Labour voters to know that the leader of the party best-placed to take over from Johnson is most likely to carry on making exactly the same mistakes as the Tory.

If anybody wants to see real opposition, they’re going to have to look beyond England’s borders.

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#Tories plan revolt against #BorisJohnson over #PlanB – but he’ll be propped up by #STARMER

Good buddies: once again, Keir Starmer is telling Labour to help Boris Johnson out of a mess that the prime minister created. He doesn’t care that his job is to OPPOSE Johnson’s corrupt, lying government.

As the old saying goes, there’s no smoke without fire – and if a prime minister is trying to put up a smokescreen, then it’s our duty to examine what’s on the other side, rather than blithely let him have his way.

What’s surprising today is the fact that it is Conservative members of Parliament who are rebelling against Boris Johnson for that reason.

They reckon his ‘Plan B’ Covid-19 restrictions, announced on Wednesday, are just a rather vain attempt to distract us all away from the fuss over a series of parties now alleged to have taken place in Whitehall and/or Downing Street while the rest of us were locked down and separated from our loved ones as they died with the virus at a rate of around 500 a day.

We shouldn’t be too surprised, though; many Tories have consistently pushed the view that Covid-19 should not be allowed to interfere with the national economy and they think any restrictions will have an effect. Nightclub owners have already said they’ll have to close so there is weight to these claims.

For our purposes as seekers of the facts, though, it doesn’t matter. They can do the right thing for the wrong reasons if they want. The result should be the same.

So we should welcome claims by Tory MPs that they may undermine Johnson’s ‘Plan B’ when it comes to Parliament next week, not on public health grounds – that it is not needed – but because they think he’s only doing it to get himself off the hook.

We could see which way the wind was blowing when Sajid Javid stood up to give a statement in the Commons about the proposed measures on Wednesday evening – and was immediately greeted, from behind him (it was Tory William Wragg), with the call, “Resign!”

When Javid protested that the decision to impose them was not taken lightly, another Tory shouted, “What a load of old tripe!”

These Tories had been led to believe that Johnson and Javid had decided to wait for further information on Covid’s Omicron variant on Tuesday, but the prime minister had hastily changed his mind when the video of Allegra Stratton laughing about the party in Downing Street on December 18 last year went public.

Johnson’s insistence that the increased transmissibility of Omicron meant he had to act – and he could no longer wait for the data he had previously said was needed on how serious the threat from the new variant was – seems unbelievable when one understands that the only change between his decisions was the release of the video clip.

According to The Guardian, many of these Tories were now saying they had “grave doubts about their own credibility with the public” as a result of the about-face and the apparent reason for it.

And they’re saying they will not help Johnson and Javid legitimise it at a retrospective vote on Tuesday (December 14) – either because of the scandal or because they don’t believe the rationale, which comes to the same thing if you think about it.

Tory MP Marcus Fysh said he would vote against the plan for Covid passports because they were a “massive imposition on our liberties” that should not be imposed “without absolutely crystal-clear need and evidence”.

William Wragg (him again) suggested the announcement was a diversion from allegations about parties at Number 10.

Former chief whip Mark Harper questioned why people should listen to the government and follow the rules “when people inside Number 10 Downing Street don’t do so”.

Steve Baker, a former minister and prominent critic of lockdown restrictions, has urged the “maximum number of MPs” to vote against Plan B measures.

Outside Parliament, the chairman of South Basildon Conservatives has resigned live on BBC Essex. Charlie Sansom said, “I cannot morally defend a party that I consider to be moving in a very tyrannical direction.”

In all, around 22 Tories have said they’ll oppose ‘Plan B’ for varying reasons – but this is not enough to stop it or undermine Boris Johnson and his lies, for one very good reason.

Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is going to support it.

‘Plan B’ doesn’t make any sense in its own right – businesspeople who’ll be affected by the new measures say they are contradictory (the classic is the distinction between restrictions at social venues that can hold more than 500 people and none at those with lower capacity. People are asking why ministers think Covid-19 will turn away from the smaller places) and will do little or nothing to stop the spread of the virus in any of its forms.

But Starmer is whipping Labour to support it.

It is a clear opportunity to rid the UK of a lying, corrupt prime minister who poisons everything he touches and who will continue to destroy the fabric of UK society if allowed to do so.

But Starmer is whipping Labour to support him.

It’s more evidence, as if any were needed, that Starmer is as bad a chancer, as much an opportunist, as Johnson.

He is happy to let Johnson continue destroying the UK and its people because he thinks Johnson will be easier to defeat in a general election than anyone who might replace him now – and the rest of us can go to Hell for the sake of his career.

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#BorisJohnson announces #Covid19 #PlanB – but does he really think anyone is listening?

Breaking: the look on Johnson’s face shows how desperately he’s hoping that this will distract us all from the fact that he’s a serial liar who inflicts stupid rules on us and ignores them himself. No such luck, bullsh*t boy!

Nobody in England is even slightly interested in what Boris Johnson had to say in his Covid-19 press conference at 6pm today.

Commons Speaker Lyndsay Hoyle would have been, if the prime minister – for now – had held the event without bringing the proposals to Parliament – but the information was provided by Health Secretary Sajid Javid, as the broadcast went ahead.

As for everybody else – well, people are being urged to work from home wherever possible, starting on Monday, so that’ll be vetoed by bosses.

Face masks will be required in public settings like theatres and cinemas – except when eating, drinking, exercising or singing – from Friday. People will just walk away and do their own thing. I understand a lot of farmyard barns may be empty this winter, due to Brexit, so perhaps people will party it up there instead of anywhere someone will be checking up on them.

And Covid passports will be required for entry into large entertainment venues. Again, people are more likely to stay away and do their own thing.

Alternatively, the operators may simply refuse to enforce Johnson’s new rules.

Why?

Because nobody has any reason to pay attention to Boris Johnson any more.

As the prime minister’s former colleague, former Attorney General Dominic Grieve, says: trust in Johnson has eroded beyond redemption:

This means the biggest danger to public health in the UK at the moment is Boris Johnson, not Covid-19 or any of its variants including Omicron.

The measures he has announced today may be sensible, for all anybody knows, but that doesn’t matter.

People will ignore them because he is the one who says they’re necessary, and he’s a liar who just says whatever comes into his head to get him out of trouble like the Downing Street party scandal.

Why else do you think he’s announcing them now?

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Brexit Plan B wins support – but the pound crashes as May goes back to the EU with a contradiction

Theresa May must ask the EU to reopen negotiations on her Brexit agreement with a contradictory mandate from Parliament. Continue reading

No-deal Brexit seems more likely as Plan B teeters – but will there be time, even for that?

The EU is warning that the UK may tumble out of the bloc with no deal, after Theresa May proposed dropping the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ plan and both the Irish government and her own MPs rejected it.

But there may not be time even to leave the EU with no deal, as this also requires a large amount of legislation which the Conservatives haven’t been interested in setting in motion. It seems they’ve had other things on their minds.

The UK is drifting rudderless towards a huge economic storm and it seems the only people who can do anything about it haven’t got a clue.

Theresa May presented her ‘Plan B’ to Conservative MPs on Monday afternoon (January 28). It is exactly the same as ‘Plan A’, which was defeated by a majority of 230 votes on January 15 – with one exception: the ‘backstop’ plan to keep the Northern Irish border with the Republic open will be stripped away and replaced with “alternative arrangements”.

By the time she announced it, ‘Plan B’ had already been rejected by Jacob Rees-Mogg and his European Research Group (ERG) of Tory Brextremists – altbough he seemed to be in two minds as he promptly told other Tories to back it at Mrs May’s meeting.

It turns out the ERG’s members will support the motion, which is simply that MPs have “considered” Theresa May’s next steps – because it has no meaning in law. They’re saying they won’t support any of the 14 amendments, including the one that would strip out the backstop.

Whatever they decide to do when the vote on her new plan happens at 7pm today (January 29), there are plenty of other Conservatives who are against it – Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and possibly even Boris Johnson, and no doubt many others.

The next meaningful vote on Mrs May’s deal won’t happen until February 13, according to government sources.

But if the ‘backstop’ is dropped, the EU won’t accept Mrs May’s plan – according to the Irish government.

Deputy PM Simon Coveney said the backstop had been designed to accommodate Mrs May’s “red lines” – issues over which she refused to make compromises. The EU had been forced to make compromises instead, to suit her – and would not make any more.

This view seemed to be echoed by the EU’s deputy chief negotiator, Sabine Weyand, who said other options had been extensively discussed in previous negotiations.

This meant that, even if the “alternative arrangements” idea won the approval of the UK’s Parliament, it would never win the support it needs in Brussels.

And that means we could end up with no deal at all between the UK and the EU.

Now get ready for the sting in this tale:

There are currently fewer than 30 sitting days available for Parliament to push through the legislation needed for Brexit to happen on March 29 – no less than nine Parliamentary Bills and 600 pieces of associated legislation.

Given the inertia that has gripped Parliament on this issue since negotiations began, we can draw only one conclusion:

It can’t be done.

The only alternatives are to cancel half-term and Fridays… and to delay Brexit beyond March 29.

Even then, given the fact that it seems nobody can come to any terms at all makes any such exercise seem pointless.

And this should surprise nobody. I read a piece on the social media earlier, which proposed a way of explaining the difficulties of Brexit to children. It’s like 28 youngsters pooling all their Lego and then using them to build all kinds of multi-coloured things – and then one child deciding to leave, taking their Lego with them: the blue pieces.

Mrs May has delayed so long that it will be impossible to carry out the detailed work that would secure our blue pieces for us in the time that remains.

She has wasted everybody’s time, jeopardised the economy and the livelihoods of millions of people, ruined the UK’s reputation internationally and done who-knows-how-much more damage, for no reason at all.

We’re just counting down the time until everybody realises that.

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Brexit deal, no deal or Plan B? May’s waffle undermines any confidence in her

The Death Stare: It’s as though Mrs May is daring anybody to question her disastrous deal.

Theresa May seems hell-bent on ruining her own Brexit deal.

She’s been on a tour around the UK, allegedly drumming up support for her Brexit agreement. The only people who’ll be allowed to vote on it are MPs, so the whole junket seems pointless – unless she’s betting on members of the public calling their representatives to demand support for the deal. That’s a long shot.

Today she appeared before the Commons liaison committee to discuss her deal and, instead of providing information as requested, all she wanted to do was waffle.

Asked if she had a “plan B” if she loses the vote on her Brexit deal, all Mrs May would say was that her deal was good and this was a matter for Parliament.

At another point, she suggested that she would activate full planning for a “no deal” Brexit if MPs vote down her deal.

This assumes that she would be in a position to do so – and that is not certain at all. MPs may trigger a “no confidence” vote in her, and a general election. Given this performance, they would be justified in doing so.

The way she twisted and turned is unbelievable: “If the House were to vote down the deal that has been agreed – given that the European Union has been clear that this is the deal that has been agreed and this is the deal that is on the table – then obviously decisions would need to be taken in relation the action that would need to be taken.” What?

Mrs May also refused to say explicitly that, if she lost the vote, the UK would definitely leave the EU with no deal.

Her performance failed to convince anybody, it seems:

https://twitter.com/ItClearly/status/1068085571128573952

What are we to make of this waffle? It seems Mrs May – and the rest of her government, considering the intransigence we’re seeing over the legal advice informing the Brexit deal – is demanding our support while refusing to provide any reason for it.

I can’t; I won’t. And I certainly wouldn’t expect any MP with an ounce of integrity to do so.

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