Tag Archives: visit

Musicians: brace yourselves for the hidden costs of EU touring the Brexiteers never mentioned

Festival: if you’re a musician who regularly performs at EU events, you can kiss those big crowds goodbye – unless you’re getting paid big bucks for your performance.

As a musician myself – even though I’ve never toured in Europe – this is infuriating.

I know musicians who do gig on the Continent, and the new costs triggered by Brexit are likely to make it impractical for them to continue.

Wasn’t Brexit supposed to make it easier for us all to ply our trades? Do you know anybody who actually and materially benefits from January 1 onwards?

Here’s Howard Goodall to explain the bad news:

Last summer, the arts/culture charity I currently chair – Radnor Fringe Festival – ran an online version of its annual event because Covid-19 made a physical festival with thousands of people standing around shoulder-to-shoulder impossible. It was a huge success.

We’re currently working on making the online festival an ongoing thing, with new content by musicians, artists, actors and so on, to be funded initially by donations.

Personally, I see this as one way for UK musicians to get their sounds out to the Continent while the Brexit insanity holds sway.

It won’t be the same as being there at a gig, but it might be the only cost-effective way of being heard.

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New lockdown guidance for care home visits is likened to ‘prison systems’

Worse than a prison visit: new guidance for visiting relatives in care homes could put them behind glass, in order to conform with social distancing rules.

What was This Writer saying yesterday about the current UK government’s similarity to the fascist state in V for Vendetta – providing “security but not freedom”?

Here’s proof of it:

New guidance for visits to care homes demands the following:

  • Residents should each be limited to only a “single constant visitor” or an absolute maximum of two, with appropriate PPE used at all times.
  • Care homes should designate “visiting pods” – rooms directly accessible from outdoors, so that visits can take place at windows. It seems the idea is to have the visitors outside the building and the residents within. A bit chilly in the winter!
  • Worse still, the guidance says visits should happen in the open air – outdoors – whenever possible, possibly under an awning, gazebo, open-sided marquee. It recognises that this will not be appropriate for many residents and visitors in the winter.
  • Social distancing rules must be followed at all times.
  • Spaces designated for visits may be used by only one visiting family member and one resident at any time.
  • All visits must be booked in advance.

In the event of an outbreak at a residence, all visits must be stopped until infection is brought under control – except in exceptional circumstances, such as end of life visits.

The guidelines have been condemned by charities and care home providers.

Erica Lockhart, the CEO of Surrey Care Association, said

The guidance, which outlines measures likened to prison visitation systems, suggests floor to ceiling screens, and whilst I can understand the government’s suggestion they haven’t fully understood the impact this will have on residents and loved ones.

Kate Lee, the chief executive officer at Alzheimer’s Society, expanded on this:

Some of the suggested options… have the potential to cause distress to people with dementia, particularly those in the later stages.

During the four months of the first lockdown, we saw an unexpected rise in dementia deaths in care homes that were not coronavirus related – we believe these 5,000 additional deaths could be as a result of disruptions to a threadbare social care system, and prolonged social isolation, causing dementia symptoms to rapidly deteriorate.

Source: Coronavirus: New lockdown care home visit guidance in England likened to ‘prison systems’ | The Independent

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Boris Johnson’s Perugia pantomime: ‘Oh no he wasn’t!’ say some. But ‘Oh yes – he was’

Frequent flyer: but This Site isn’t convinced that this is the way Boris Johnson arrived at Perugia (if, indeed, he did).

Boris Johnson may have thought – briefly – that the heat was off and he could come out in public again after the boss of Perugia airport said there had been a mix-up and it wasn’t the current UK prime minister who was seen there, but former PM Tony Blair.

The possibility of Johnson having been there is significant because it would have indicated that he was visiting the villa of his Russian friend Evgeny Lebedev, at a time when he and the Conservative Party in general are suspected of taking Russian government money and being influenced to carry out the wishes of that country’s President Putin.

So this would have been a significant exoneration…

… had it not been refuted very quickly (indeed, apparently before the excuse was made):

Here’s a nice long explanation for you:

Of course, the Twitter wits have been working overtime and, whether the story is true or not, these comments are worth preserving:

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Where’s Boris? Apparently he’s been in Perugia getting instructions from his Russian masters

Boris Johnson and Evgeny Lebedev: what was the UK PM doing, if he was visiting this Russian oligarch’s Perugia villa right before starting a row with the EU – and isn’t it interesting that Russian money donated to the Tories has been linked with that country’s government, run by Vladimir Putin?

Downing Street denies everything, of course.

But it seems Boris Johnson flew into Perugia, Italy, where his Russian friends have a villa, at some point in the last fortnight:

The claim of Johnson making a seemingly undercover visit to Perugia would be seen as especially intriguing given he has done it before. In April 2018, while he was foreign secretary, Johnson was photographed looking somewhat dishevelled at San Francesco d’Assisi airport.

It emerged that Johnson had stayed at Palazzo Terranova, a restored castle owned by the media billionaire and socialite Evgeny Lebedev, who is renowned for holding lavish parties.

The pictures of Johnson at the airport suggested he went to Italy without a police escort. According to another passenger on the flight back to the UK, Johnson was on his own, apparently without any luggage and very much the worse for wear.

We must ask ourselves why Johnson would visit his Russian friends just as Parliament resumed sitting. What was going on that might interest them.

How about the Internal Market Bill that has caused huge enmity between the UK and the European Union?

Russia would certainly gain much from a row between this country and the power bloc to which the UK formerly belonged.

How unfortunate for Johnson that this visit should come to light right after it was revealed that Russian government money seems to have been donated to the Conservatives in return for access to ministers including Johnson and two previous prime ministers!

Source: No 10 denies reports Boris Johnson went on secret Italy trip | Politics | The Guardian

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Is Matt Hancock denying care homes Covid-19 tests to deliberately harm residents?

Matt Hancock: he’s all talk and no help.

It seems Matt Hancock doesn’t think care home residents have suffered enough.

Hancock and the Tory government promised regular Covid-19 testing in all UK care homes on June 8.

The testing was considered necessary because residents’ health had been deteriorating after lockdown restrictions meant their relatives were not allowed to visit.

Professor Martin Green, chief executive of Care England, said the government had promised weekly testing for staff, and for residents every 28 days.

But he described the process as having “fragmented”; some care providers had received kits that had never been collected for processing, and others were experiencing long delays due to lack of laboratory capacity.

That’s right – lack of capacity to run tests, at a time when Hancock and his flunkies are telling us they are running hundreds of thousands of tests a week. They’re lying.

And they’re discriminating against care home residents, purely because they are care home residents.

And it is harming the well-being of those residents.

If they were behaving in such a way towards people because of the colour of their skin, that would be racism. If because they were (for example) Jewish, it would be anti-Semitism.

It should be treated as a hate crime.

Source: UK care homes still denied Covid tests despite Hancock pledge, officials warn

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Johnson’s reign of coronavirus confusion: his government wants us to visit parents ONE AT A TIME

Boris Johnson with his mother Charlotte Johnson Wahl (right) (and sister Rachel, centre). Has he seen his mother since the Covid-19 crisis began?

What is this lunacy?

When you saw Boris Johnson telling us to get back to work on Sunday, did you realise his new idea of guidance means that we can visit family members – but only one at a time, even if they live in the same house?

… or something?

It’s not entirely clear. Phil and Holly on This Morning tried to explain it on Monday but I was even more confused at the end of it:

So the next day, they asked Matt Hancock to explain:

“Utterly bonkers” is being kind.

These ridiculous rules from the Tories are setting us all up to fail.

Either we can go and see our relatives or we can’t.

And if we can see our family one at a tme, why not other people?

Is this just an excuse to infect older people with the coronavirus, so the Tories won’t have to pay pensions and can raid the fund for cash to pay for the pandemic (just a thought)?

Whatever the reasoning, Hancock and Johnson are creating openings for a new Covid-19 outbreak.

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Selfish MP calls for Wales to be abolished so he can visit the beach – and Tories can take control

Daniel Kawczynski: you can tell just by looking at him that he’s another Tory berk.

What a selfish, entitled Tory git.

And the people of Shrewsbury have elected him as their MP continually over the last 15 years, with an increasing majority every time. What possessed them?

Daniel Kawczynski, Tory MP for Shrewsbury and Atcham, has called for the Welsh Parliament to be abolished so he can visit the beach.

Wales has coronavirus-related restrictions that are different from those in England. In Wales, people are not allowed to travel away from their local area and most cannot, therefore, visit the beach; nor can English people travel into Wales to do so.

In any event, Kawczynski is a fool because his nearest beach is in the Wirral.

His words suggest he is trying to use the virus and the lockdown – that his prime minister Boris Johnson imposed, let’s not forget – to rekindle the debate about whether the UK countries should have devolved Parliaments.

“I am sorry, but the time has come to reach out as Conservatives to large numbers of like-minded citizens in Wales who like us believe in one system for both nations,” he said.

“We must work towards another referendum to scrap the Welsh Assembly and return to one political system for both nations – a political union between England and Wales.”

He means he wants the Tories to carry out a political power-grab and take control of Wales, so they can impose their disastrous coronavirus policies there and kill thousands more Welsh people.

Fortunately, his efforts have resulted in him being made to look the fool that he is:

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Part-time PM Johnson booed as ‘traitor’ in flood-hit town after voting down thanks for emergency workers

The only job he’s good for: what a shame Boris Johnson was pictured mopping out flood-hit buildings in November, while he was after general election votes, and not in February, when he didn’t need them. He doesn’t care about your hardship.

What did he expect?

Boris Johnson went AWOL during the February floods, hiding away in a stately home while thousands of others saw their homes submerged – in stark contrast to his behaviour on the campaign trail last November, when he saw a chance to grab a few votes by pretending to care.

We know he doesn’t care, because he and his Tories voted down a motion of thanks for all the emergency workers, Environment Agency staff, council workers and volunteers who actually did turn up to help those affected by the severe weather.

That motion also included a call for an independent inquiry into the floods, looking at the level of funding for flood defences and an examination of lessons to be learned.

But rather than launch such a review, which is likely to be damaging to him and his government, Johnson’s new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has simply announced that he will double the amount of funding to be spent on flood defences over the next few years.

Johnson himself tried to fob off critics, saying that he had been “directing operations” and “working round the clock on various things”.

But to those who who called him a “traitor” during a long-delayed visit to flood-hit Bewdley on the banks of the River Severn, he admitted that any such interference would only get in the way.

He was referring to personal visits but what does he know about flood defence operations?

Nothing.

So any claim to be “directing operations” is nonsense.

Indeed, it seems Johnson has to be prompted by public embarrassment before he’ll agree to do anything.

His government has announced £500 council tax breaks for people affected by flooding, alongside other hardship relief measures – but this was only after one council – Derbyshire – accused him of hypocrisy after saying he would support local government and then turning his back.

So – again – it is impossible to believe a word Johnson says.

He hoped to ignore the millions of pounds worth of harm done to UK citizens while it was happening, and then lie that he had been working hard. The people who held him to account should be congratulated.

Source: ‘Traitor’: Boris Johnson is heckled as he visits town devastated by flooding | The Independent

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‘Welfare Persecution’ secretary reduced to sneaking into her own home town

Not smiling: and with her record, Therese Coffey has nothing to smile about.

Therese Coffee really is a piece of… work, isn’t she?

On March 6, she made a visit to Liverpool, dropping in on the Job Centres at Bootle and Toxteth (recently the subject of a BBC documentary).

It’s her home town; she went to school there – but she had to sneak in like a burglar because her views make her hated.

She claims to be a Liverpool FC supporter but considers Margaret Thatcher – who blamed Liverpool fans for the Hillsborough disaster – to be a personal hero.

She voted for the Bedroom Tax.

She voted to cut Universal Credit – and refused to support ending the cruel five-week wait for the first payment of that benefit.

She voted to cut disability benefits – and has failed even to sign up for Disability Confident, a scheme that encourages employers like her (she pays for staff in her Parliamentary office) to take on disabled workers.

This last is particularly hypocritical as last November she appealed to employers to “take a look at their record on disability employment and think about what they can do to help create a more equal Britain”.

Clearly Ms Coffey considers herself to be above that.

Still, it seems there’s a precedent. Of all the previous Tory Work and Pensions secretaries, only Stephen Crabbe is actually listed as having signed up to Disability Confident (although Damian Green says he has, and that he has a disabled staff member).

Iain Duncan Smith, who introduced the scheme in 2013, isn’t on it.

Nor were Esther McVey, David Gauke and Amber Rudd ever part of it.

What a shower.

No wonder Ms Coffey doesn’t want to announce it when she comes to visit.

I’m surprised that she was allowed in by staff at the job centres.

Source: DWP Chief Thérèse Coffey tried to sneak into Liverpool but we found her and asked about her views – Liverpool Echo

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Johnson visits Bolton and has nothing to say. Pathetic

Boris Johnson: Is there any point in him meeting anybody at all? He can’t offer them anything.

Boris Johnson visited Bolton visited Bolton, saw donations of food and clothing, met students who had been affected by the blaze on Friday… but had nothing to say.

He didn’t offer any government support, it seems. Nor did he make any pledges to prevent any further fires caused by the same thing.

He might as well have stayed at home.

Others, like Labour Metropolitan Mayor Andy Burnham, focused on the fact that the Tories in government have done little to address the threat of inflammable cladding on buildings.

They provided funding to remove aluminium composite material (ACM) – the cladding that was used on Grenfell Tower, but did nothing about other flammable cladding substances such as we have just discovered was all over The Cube in Bolton.

Now they have nothing to offer – to the students affected by the fire, and to the public in general.

Source: Bolton flats fire: Housing chief attacks ‘cladding lottery’ as pressure turns on Boris Johnson – Mirror Online

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The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:

SWAHTprint SWAHTeBook