Tag Archives: worse

The deadliest day: 980 coronavirus deaths in UK hospitals – and it’s only getting worse

The United Kingdom has broken a record – but it isn’t one that should make Boris Johnson proud.

Yesterday’s (April 10) total of 980 deaths in UK hospitals means this country has recorded the highest number of coronavirus fatalities in a single day than any other European nation.

Even Spain and Italy didn’t get near that on their worst days.

And, if the Office for National Statistics is right, the underlying figure – including people who died at home or in care homes – is 1,744.

And the underlying total of all deaths would be nearly 16,000.

This shocking figure – symbol of the Tory government’s utter failure to get to grips with the situation in its early stages – has provoked outrage on the social media.

Amazingly, the media have played down the fact that these figures are the worst in Europe, despite having screamed about the (lower) death statistics in Italy and Spain.

The Tory media seems to have taken its cue from the Tory leadership:

And some Tories seem to have taken it personally that this bitter symbol of Tory failure occurred on the same day Boris Johnson came out of hospital. Too bad.

The worst of it is that nobody is saying this is the worst figure we’ll have.

Italy and Spain – sorry to keep harping on about them but they are the closest similar countries – have crested the wave and the number of deaths in those countries is falling.

Here in the UK, disease data analysts have predicted that the death toll will continue to rise for another week, peaking at 2,932 deaths on April 17.

This has been disputed by scientists whose modelling is used by the government – but their prediction is worse.

The government’s chief scientific advisor, Sir Patrick Vallance, said the peak of the outbreak could be several weeks away: “I would expect the deaths to continue to keep going up for about two weeks after the intensive care picture improves. We’re not there yet, but that’s the sort of timeframe I would expect.”

Who knows, by then, how many thousands will be dying every day?

It all reinforce the belief that the government is still pursuing its terminal “herd immunity” fantasy – that would lead to more than a quarter of a million deaths in total.

Boris Johnson seems to be happy with this and so do his rich friends.

But he’s had it and they’re not in the firing line – poor people are far more likely to contract the coronavirus and die of it than the rich.

Are you happy that they expect you to die for them?

Source: Coronavirus: 980 dead in UK hospitals in deadliest day of pandemic yet | World news | The Guardian

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What we voted for: Conservative rule is harming your children’s health

Tories harm children: that’s the meaning of the report.

If you know anybody at work or on your street who voted Tory, ask them why they hate kids and want to hurt them.

A report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has stated that health outcomes for UK children from disadvantaged backgrounds are now up to four times worse than for the children of the super-rich.

That’s a direct result of Conservative government policies over the last 10 years.

The report states that, in a development “rarely seen in high-income countries”, “progress has stalled, or is in reverse”. That’s right – Tory government is reversing health improvements for children that have been made over recent decades.

Deep cuts in local authority budgets that fund public health initiatives and community services means progress has been seriously affected.

There has been a shocking rise in children’s mental illness and an increased number of child suicides.

A Tory government means children killing themselves. Think about that.

Poverty has been included as a health indicator.

And infant mortality has worsened.

Put all these elements together and we see that the UK has fallen behind comparably wealth countries – and all the jingoism in the world won’t change the fact.

Anybody who still says this is the best country in the world is talking through their posterior.

You can read the full report here. I’m sure you’ll be able to find even more upsetting statistics in it.

And I’m sure we’re all looking forward to the moment the first damned fool tries to ignore the findings on the basis that the RCPCH are a bunch of lefties.

Source: A ‘major wake up call’ reveals the impact of Tory rule on our children | The Canary

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Fears for single mum fighting cancer after Tories refuse Personal Independence Payment claim

Roisin McWilliams

Remember, folks, the Department for Work and Pensions is adamant that we must not claim any causal effect between its decisions and any downturn in benefit claimants’ health – including death.

I imagine that will be hard for some of you to accept, given the fact that Esther McVey’s people have refused to provide Personal Independence Payment – the benefit that should be provided to everybody with a serious long-term illness or disability – to a woman with stage four cancer who is immune to chemotherapy and fighting for her life.

Roisin McWilliams’ father said the refusal has had a “profound” harmful effect on her mental health.

But Ms McVey and her cronies at the DWP want you to know that it is nothing to do with them.

Well, I’m sorry; I can’t do it. Ms McVey, her ministers and spokespeople are liars. Of course their decisions – made because they want to save money, not to help people – are costing lives.

Like Alice (of Wonderland fame), I like to believe six impossible things before breakfast. But I would have to be an imbecile to believe their babble.

A 28-year-old single mum fighting for her life against stage four cancer has been denied disability benefit PIP.

Roisin McWilliams spends much of her life exhausted, breathless and in pain after being diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma last Christmas.

Because of the disease, the hardworking chef had to leave her £1,300 a month job because “she couldn’t breathe” and “fractured her rib from coughing, it was that severe”.

The young mum recently learned she is immune to chemotherapy and needs “very expensive” immunotherapy treatment and a stem cell transplant if she is to have any chance of surviving.

This latest blow from PIP has had a “profound effect on her mental health” according to her dad.

Source: Personal Independence Payment refused to young Belfast mum fighting stage four cancer – Belfast Live

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Embarrassing leaked Treasury document shows Tory finances are badly off-target

Philip Hammond: The last time I saw a face like that, Josef Goebbels was behind it [Image: PA Wire].

Philip Hammond: The last time I saw a face like that, Josef Goebbels was behind it [Image: PA Wire].

An article on the UK’s financial system was on its way from This Blog when the news broke about the Treasury’s dire performance; I wanted to sharpen my claws for the Autumn Statement.

We all knew the news was going to be bad – didn’t we? So I was going to say how useful it is for Philip Hammond to have a job that requires him to give speeches, simply in order to prevent the rest of us from making a natural assumption and putting him in a coffin.

I was also going to suggest that – when he does make speeches – his face reminds me of nobody else but Josef Goebbels, the minister for propaganda in Nazi Germany; a comparison that is likely to be all-too-appropriate if he tries to put an optimistic spin on this mess.

Who was the fool who forecast a 27 per cent deficit reduction this year, anyway? Was it George Osborne? Ye gods.

Yes, it was the towel-folder. Having failed to meet any of his deficit-reduction targets – at all – he pencilled in a borrowing reduction of £20 billion, to £55 billion by the end of March next year. So far, borrowing is indeed lower – but by only 2.3 billion.

Osborne’s prediction is likely to be adrift by £16 billion by the time the financial year finally grinds to a halt.

And now the UK is having to find extra money to pay an angry EU, at a time when income is likely to drop as confidence starts to waver in the face of unremitting incompetence from Theresa May and her clique.

No wonder Hammond remains “committed to fiscal discipline”.

It means he’ll squeeze the poor until we starve, just to keep borrowing at the same rate as last year. Tories always take more from the state than they ever pay back.

The chancellor’s plans to reduce the deficit are unlikely to get back on track this year, an internal briefing document for ministers has revealed.

The Treasury document, which was marked “sensitive”, also revealed the UK faced a £700m bill after the EU referendum result, with Britain’s contribution to the EU growing by 25.9% compared with the same period last year.

Treasury sources, who said the document was posted in error on the government’s website, said the most recent payments had been larger than usual because of smaller payments made earlier in the year.

The briefing warns that the government is “unlikely to bring deficit reduction entirely back on track” and that the “continuing run of disappointing data” meant there was a “severe worsening in the public finances”.

“For the year to date the deficit is £2.3bn lower than last year; at a fall of 4.8%, well behind the 27.0% reduction forecast,” the document says.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, has insisted since October that although the government will not now seek a surplus by 2020, it remains “committed to fiscal discipline”.

Source: UK budget deficit plan off target – secret Treasury document | Politics | The Guardian

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The recession would have been worse if the Conservatives had been in power

150406mervynkingonrecession

‘Killing Britain’s interpretation of Mervyn King’s comment on the recession.

… That’s the opinion of Simon Wren-Lewis, writer of the Mainly Macro blog.

It’s his response to the oft-asserted claim that Labour crashed the economy; he can’t deny it altogether because Labour’s failure to regulate the banks does make it partly true, in his eyes (we’ll skate over the fact that the banks had a certain responsibility in that area themselves. Now we know they’ll never behave responsibly it makes the future a little easier to navigate – or at least, it should).

Professor Wren-Lewis writes: “That is I guess why Ed Miliband seemed to respond to this accusation by saying something like: “yes we did get financial regulation wrong, but …”. That may be an honest reply, but it is not very effective, because many will read it as admitting Labour caused the recession.

“A better reply would be: “Everyone knows that the recession was caused by the global financial crisis and insufficient regulation, but the recession would have been worse if the Conservatives had been in power.”

“As Mervyn King says, “the real problem was a shared intellectual view right across the entire political spectrum and shared across the financial markets that things were going pretty well”, a view which he of course shared.

“I think the claim that the recession would have been worse if the Conservatives had been in government can be justified on two grounds. First, the Conservatives did accuse Labour of too much financial regulation, not too little. Second, they were against Labour’s fiscal stimulus in 2009.”

Why is it important that Labour combat this charge effectively? “When it comes to a contest of macroeconomic competence between the last Labour government and the current coalition, Labour wins hands down.”

The reason? “The coalition made such a bad mistake with austerity… Losing the equivalent of at least £4,000 per household is a big deal.

“Even if we were prepared to forgive this as a genuine mistake, to plan to make exactly the same mistake again either suggests a complete inability to learn, complete incompetence, or a duplicitous pursuit of ideology over social welfare.”

Read the full article on Mainly Macro. It is plainly written and even shows how you can measure up the Coalition’s performance against Labour’s for yourself.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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DWP calls in Rentadoc to harass the sick off-benefit

Ingeus out of favour: This image was found on a site protesting against Workfare and demonstrates the high regard in which it is held by previous users of the Ingeus service.

Ingeus out of favour: This image was found on a site protesting against Workfare and demonstrates the high regard in which it is held by previous users of the Ingeus service.

Perhaps we’re jumping the gun with the headline but alarm bells tend to go off when you read that “people on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them with their barriers to work”.

Everyone working on Employment and Support Allowance should already know what everyone receiving it knows – it’s more a bloodbath than a benefit.

This is down to the attitude of the healthcare professionals already working on it – the people who (and God forbid you should ever ask to see their qualifications) automatically sign 70 per cent of claimants as ‘fit for work’, whether they are or not, and tell most of the rest they need to be work-ready within a year.

The result? Mental breakdowns, depression and suicides; physical breakdowns, worsening of existing conditions, and premature deaths. By the thousand.

These are the people who ask claimants when amputated limbs are going to grow back, and who tell people with Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis that they’ll be fit for work within six months.

If you did (God forbid) ask them where they got their qualifications, it was probably the Teaching Hospital of Noddyland.

“People on sickness benefits will be required to have regular meetings with healthcare professionals to help them address their barriers to work – or face losing their benefits [italics mine] – in a two-year pilot scheme in central England which begins in November,” the DWP press release states.

Isn’t this what happened with people on Jobseekers’ Allowance? Suddenly they had to start fulfilling lots of pointless extra requirements or their benefits would be withdrawn? Part of that is a regular meeting in which – as far as we can ascertain – innocent people are harassed, threatened and abused by DWP employees who are themselves, it seems, millimetres away from nervous exhaustion brought on by the pressures of the job.

Claiming benefits, it seems, is now an endurance test: Who cracks (up) first?

Now, for 3,000 people in the work-related activity group for ESA in the Black Country, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Staffordshire and Shropshire, there’s no relief even if they have a nervous breakdown and have to claim ESA on mental health grounds.

“People involved in the pilot – who have all been assessed as being able to work at some point in the future – will have regular appointments with healthcare professionals as a condition of receiving their benefit, to focus on helping them move closer to being able to get a job.”

There you go – all judged as able to work in the future. Presumably Iain Duncan Smith has taken a look at their files, glanced into his crystal ball, and declared that he has a “belief” in their fitness to work. If any of these people are reading, please contact this blog if you have a progressive health condition that won’t ever improve.

Because the meeting is a condition of receiving benefit, anyone attending can expect to be treated abominably. This is not about helping you back to work, or even back to health; it’s about kicking you off-benefit and nothing further. The aim, as with JSA, is to cut claimant numbers and thereby cut spending.

“It’s really important we give people who are disabled or have a health condition the support they need to get into work if they are able,” said employment minister Esther McVey who knows nothing about this at all (despite having been minister for the disabled).

“Traditionally, this help has tended to be work-related, but this pilot will look at whether a more holistic approach is more successful in helping people to manage their conditions and so break down their barriers to work.”

The biggest barrier to a person with a disability getting work is the fact that the Conservative-led Coalition government has been closing down employment opportunities for them and removing incentives for employers to take them on.

The healthcare professionals will be provided by Ingeus UK – a welfare-to-work provider that has been involved in the Work Programme – you know, the time-wasting scheme in which jobseekers are taken off the unemployment statistics while they learn simple skills that, in fact, most of them already have.

The company’s website is very slick but contains no information about the number of doctors in its employ.

Oh, and guess what? The company is half-owned by Deloitte, one of the ‘Big Four’ accountancy firms that currently writes British tax law to make avoidance easy for the big corporates. How much tax has Ingeus paid lately?

“Everything we do is results driven”, the site declares.

One wonders what Ingeus will do when the casualties start piling up.