October Lockdown: Blame the Tories not the NHS!

Nadhim Zahawi, the vaccines minister and seemingly Boris Johnson’s go-to guy to promote whatever twaddle he wants broadcasting on the days news programs has said that an October firebreak – another lockdown in other words might be needed if the vaccine booster rollout is not done well – as ever with Zahawi you have to read between the lines.

The booster rollout, as with the vaccine rollout is being overseen by the NHS, so guess who will cop the blame?

While COVID restrictions have been all but completely done away with in schools, the biggest vectors of transmission, Nadhim Zahawi implies it’ll be booster jab failures, not their stupidity in lifting restrictions that’ll be to blame. They’re going to scapegoat the NHS if we let them.

Now it should be said the department of education, led by former fireguard salesman and professional stupid boy Gavin Williamson have said this isn’t true, that they are not planning a firebreak around the October half-term, but given it’s the Tories we’re talking about here, I’d read that as needing a firebreak sooner than that, I’ll give it 4 weeks after all schools have reopened as they will have by the end of this week.

We have had over the course of this pandemic, a need to wear masks, a need to social distance, a need for contact tracing, a need for isolation, a need to support families at home from work and from school to reduce the spread of the virus, an acknowledgement eventually that this virus is airborne, a need for those who’s health makes them particularly vulnerable to shield and of course the vaccine rollout, yet what we have now is a return to the point before we acknowledged the airborne transmissibility of the virus, we’re back to hand washing, of catching coughs and sneezes, shielding went ages ago, support to stay at home from work ends at the end of the month, families are being threatened with all sorts to coerce their children back to school, despite no need for masks, no contact tracing, no bubbles, no social distancing, at this moment in time, still no news on vaccinations from the government,  nothing. You will get notified if your kids class has a nits outbreak but not a COVID outbreak, there is only one logical conclusion to draw from this and that is the determination of this government to intentionally infect our kids. Herd immunity is still order of the day despite 18 months of absolute failure. The Good Law Project have recently stated that the department of education could be in breach of the law over this, I should think they damn well were.

Already as not all schools have returned over 41,000 new cases have been reported just yesterday along with nearly 1,000 new hospitalisations and over the last week we’ve seen nearly 800 deaths. Johnson recently said 1000 deaths a week was acceptable to him to open the country up, a man who apparently almost died of this virus himself does not care if you or a member of your family dies instead. What is he keeping the country open for? In who’s interest is the country being run for if we are so expendable to him? Clearly it isn’t being run in the interests of the people.

The danger with continuing on this self destructive path is that people will get fed up with it. Already on social media the voices saying we won’t do it, no more lockdowns, we must resist this, we must disobey, are getting louder and louder, cheered on by the typically odious far-right blue-tick mouthpieces that always seem to get involved with such behaviour. The longer the government fails to take a realistic stance on this, the harder its going to be to enforce it, until it becomes unenforceable and things become catastrophic.

As for the booster rollout, it has emerged recently that the protections offered by the vaccine’s wanes with time, with a worst case scenario of falling to just 50% efficacy in those vaccinated first, the elderly, by the time winter gets here, hence the need for boosters. How often are we going to need boosters? As new variants consistently keep appearing, how will they impact the booster rollout? By the time you roll out boosters to younger people, will older people need doing again? How will the NHS keep up with this, when its underfunded and understaffed as it is? Which brings us conveniently back to Nadhim Zahawi’s not so veiled finger pointing – in all likelihood they won’t be able to with the schools reopening with no mitigations driving the next COVID spike. The Tories will again point at the NHS as unfit for purpose – bear in mind the massive success of the initial vaccine rollout was down to the NHS – they’ll bring in more private firms and make a convenient scapegoat of them, aided and abetted by their friendly media outlets.

We’re facing another COVID lockdown. It’ll be driven by the schools having reopened with little to no mitigations worth their salt, the government having done nothing to make them safer all summer either and the onus will be put on the NHS to rollout boosters as the perceived pushback against what is going to come from their incompetence. Vaccination on its own without other mitigations isn’t enough. The NHS is being set up, don’t fall for it.

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The Tories will blame our kids for COVID

So education secretary Gavin Williamson, the Tories answer to Frank Spencer has been putting it out there that kids mustn’t get carried away when they return to school, in order to be able to return to normal, get their education and not promote another COVID surge. Has he ever met a child?

This is buck passing on an industrial scale by Gavin Williamson – if COVID cases rise then it’ll be the kids fault according to him. Nothing to do with the fact he has removed all mitigations in schools ahead of their return despite still being in the grip of the pandemic, still being Plague Island and cases already on the rise around the country. 300 under 18’s are getting hospitalised each week, 14,000 kids are getting infected daily, thousands developing long COVID with little understanding right now as to the long term consequences of developing this additional complication.

Schools have been closed for 6 weeks, that’s 6 weeks that the government could’ve been implementing ventilation measures, air scrubbing measures, all ahead of kids returning to school. They could reintroduce mask wearing, social distancing, but no, we’re back to the whole hand washing routine again, once more skirting over the fact this is an airborne virus and with the more infectious Delta variant now dominant, this is an even greater issue than it was before. The biggest hand washing exercise is the Tories washing their hands of this issue, to our detriment.

Williamson has also laid the blame at the feet of parents if they send kids in ill. Well, the tests we do at home are not particularly accurate anyway, so relying on them is asking for trouble full stop, but besides that, if kids have to be kept at home and families have to isolate again, what financial support is there to help people stay home? Your government is removing it all! There’s no more shielding, furlough is due to end at the end of September, it has already been reduced. No more additional measures for the immunosuppressed, no more special measures or support for those most vulnerable. No more contact tracing, no bubbles, no isolation for close contacts. You’ll literally be better informed if there’s an outbreak of nits in a class than a case of COVID. There’s a complete abdication of responsibility for this pandemic in government right now. The ONS is reporting that 1 in 40 school age children are infected.

Mask wearing and social distancing should never have been rolled back on, we’ve seen 160,000 people in this country die since the pandemic began and still it doesn’t seem to be enough for the Tories. Johnson has decided a 1000 deaths a week is a price worth paying and with Delta infecting younger people more readily, we are already seeing this demographic driving infection and yes, we’ve had 2 individuals in the age 10-19 bracket tragically die of COVID in the last week. Other countries are vaccinating over 12’s, the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation is still dragging its feet over this, they’re still not committed to offering a second jab to 16 and 17 year olds, which I’ve still seen no evidence to support, given we’ve all known from the start these vaccines are given over 2 shots. But the fact remains we’ve a government still set on herd immunity rather than zero COVID, still believing its better to try and live with this virus rather than invest in ventilation and vaccination in the biggest vectors of transmission we have – our schools.

Given they’re already pushing blame onto others they know what is going to unfold. I mentioned Johnson’s 1000 deaths a week before, but with English schools still to open, we’ve seen over the last 7 days there have been 805 deaths. We’re already nearly at that point. The schools reopening without any mitigations, I daren’t contemplate how bad things will get this time around. Talk in recent days has already turned to the need for vaccine boosters because we know on their own the vaccines are not enough, they aren’t 100% and with each variant that pops up, another variant of Delta has been identified off the back of the recent Boardmasters Festival in Newquay for example, the vaccines become less effective at blocking transmission and preventing serious illness. Yet we’re now being advised if we’re double jabbed, we don’t need to isolate.

When this all blows up again over the course of the next month, do not let the government get away with blaming others, with blaming you or your kids. They want to move on and get back to normal, but without dealing with COVID properly, as other nations have done; without a proper plan for Zero COVID, we’re never going to be able to return to normal because we cannot live with this virus. We’ll be playing catch-up permanently as it continues to evolve, locking down every few months, our kids education being messed around still and no, it will not be our fault, or our kids. The blame must sit squarely with the Tories and their fault refusal to do what they need to and put people before profit.

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Tory Turing Scheme is a massive con compared to Erasmus.

So we left the EU and one consequence of that has been the end of Erasmus, the study and work abroad in the EU scheme that was open to British students. It has been replaced by what the government have called Turing and are today crowing that take-up under the Turing scheme is three times more than under Erasmus, but being the Tories, there’s a catch of course.

Under Erasmus 18,300 UK students were able to go abroad to study, yet the Department of Education is proudly crowing that it is sending over 28,000 students abroad under Turing and is expecting to have universities bid for up to a total of 40,000 students. The thing is, under Erasmus, students were only sent to the EU, it was an EU only scheme. Turing is worldwide, so given the world is bigger, you can imagine there’s more places available, so more students going shouldn’t be a huge surprise. The sting in the tail however is that Erasmus actually covered tuition fees whereas Turing doesn’t. It was only a few days ago that Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire and a man who always has the air of being on the verge of exploding, was bemoaning Tony Blair permitting poor kids to go to university when they should’ve been learning to be a lorry driver. If you think the Tories care about getting more kids from poorer backgrounds studying, think again. The headline is risible from the Department of Education, we’re giving more people the chance to study abroad, it just misses out the part where you need to be wealthy enough to pay for it. There is cash going in for disadvantaged students is the cry, but this is going to vary from University to University and destination to destination and will cover the costs of visas and passports, not tuition, which will be a barrier to those from poorer backgrounds from taking up the scheme. Turning is aimed solely at University level students, whereas Erasmus was open to all ages. Many foreign language degrees require a residential abroad – we already have a shortage of foreign language speaking roles – would such students be disadvantaged further? We don’t know. The Minister, stupid boy Gavin Williamson, hasn’t clarified. Apart from anything else the funding available, some £110m which doesn’t seem a lot, has to be bid for by Universities, so it isn’t even guaranteed full stop. What impact will COVID have is another good question, given we’re Plague Island and many may not want students from here. It is, in short, another ill conceived, Tory con.

We’re out of the EU. To go and study there or anywhere else now, tuition fees are no longer free. For those courses that weren’t free before, they’re no longer discounted, so that now when you have to pay for your fees, you may have to pay the much higher international rates, certainly this is true for Europe. These can be enormous, depending on where you go it can be two or three times domestic fees, high as they are, which is just ridiculous, though it does need to be noted, for some countries this could be cheaper. But of the 150 countries that are apparently taking part – some of which incidentally are on the advisory list against all travel there – how many would this apply to and how many places would there be? You have to consider what incentive would there be for a country to take part if it isn’t set to make money itself out of this? This is not levelling up, this is keeping ordinary, working class kids down, disadvantaging them and telling them to know their place, that higher education isn’t for them and rubbing their faces in it, as they see others from other universities or more affluent backgrounds, able to take up a placement that prior to Brexit, would have paid for them to do as well.

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Diktat from Downing Street kept schools open as the pandemic surged according to new TES Report.

The TES, a weekly educational publication has broken a story this week, courtesy of the excellent Amy Gibbons and based on a scathing new report from the Institute for Government, that Private Pike himself, Gavin Williamson, the fireplace salesman put in charge of the Department of Education, by the feral idiots running the country was actually not involved in any decision making where it came to school shutdowns. Could he have possibly been underqualified by any chance! As it happens, it would appear not to be that straightforward. Despite being his opportunity to take a lead and shine it appears that for whatever reason, all decision making on education was coming from Downing Street instead. The decision to finally shut schools in March of last year was not taken by Williamson. The minister for education was not involved. The decision to send primary school kids back before the summer holidays, despite nobody in education believing it possible under the circumstances, despite Unions and school leaders speaking out, saying young children like this could not be expected to social distance, to send them back at that point, all were overruled as Downing Street demanded they return anyway.

Every time I read or hear stuff like this I’m always reminded, particularly as a science graduate myself that Bozo and Co keep saying ‘we’re following the science’, that their tame scientists, prepared to sacrifice reputation by standing alongside the out of his depth oaf at those damned daily announcements and legitimising his bullshit, that has proven so lethal to so many and expose’s like this remind us that actually, they never bloody have. Everything has been about Johnson’s whims. Remember the words he’s spoken. Let the bodies pile up, Over 80’s should be more concerned about the economy. He is utterly depraved.

Even worse is the fact that after the shit hit the fan during that first lockdown and we have to remember, for all the control freakery the Institute of Government implies here, the Tories were watching COVID roll around the world towards us, see the devastation to countries across Asia and Europe, before us and until the last minute, didn’t take it seriously, took no action, yet going forwards, that trend of taking no action continued. Forward planning in case things flared up again you would think would be the order of the day and although we know they kept screwing up, resulting in second and third lockdowns in November and February of this year, the fact much of this came about because still they made no forward planning, prepared no contingencies is nothing less than criminal negligence and its negligence according to this report that stops with Johnson himself. The civil service planned for nothing because Johnson forbade it and of course for the TES, with their focus on education, the mess regarding exams, the dissatisfactory grading systems, the ignorance stemming from a hardened belief that kids don’t get sick, aren’t as much at risk and again, repeated the mistake of locking schools down too late. Johnson was determined that exams would go ahead, that schools would reopen and that Coronavirus would damn well do as he told it essentially. Just pig fucking ignorance. King fucking Canute mark 2. You can bluff the public, blowhard across right-wing media to deceive the masses, but this doesn’t work on the virus. It doesn’t just pack up and go home. And lessons have never been learned since, the cycle of stupid just continued. Just as Williamson was seemingly frozen out, local authorities were as well, on the basis not enough of them were Conservative! In amongst all of this the government opened up for Christmas, there was Eat Out to Help Out, we’ve seen new variants evolve here as well as arrive here due to never properly implementing travel restrictions. Schools wanted to move back online, Williamson did appear by this point of course, he threatened the schools through their local councils with court action if they didn’t obey the order to stay open. This entire disaster has unfolded from an ignorance and distortion of science, a failed desire to put economic interests ahead of the health and wellbeing of a nation and a level of control freakery and diktat that means the buck very much stops with the buffoon in Number 10, but also with those who have supported, stood by and agreed with his decisions, which inevitably led to repeated U-turn after U-turn. Schools have been the main drivers of Covid-19, we know this, we’re seeing it now as new cases and testing figures decline whilst kids are on holiday. There’s still no impression that anything is going to change ahead of September, there is still too much reliance and belief the vaccine is and of itself the answer. That if Johnson continues to bury his head in the sand it’ll all go away. The vaccine cannot do this on its own. It’s not 100%, its just asking for more resistant variants to start appearing when schools return because it puts the virus under pressure to do so when so many remain unvaccinated, especially in our schools. This government has failed us utterly, continues to fail us utterly, yet an alternative to this madness is nowhere in sight.

Cornish Damo provides this site and its content free of charge, but in order to continue doing so, to continue to rant and write and tell it like it is, impartially, independently and free of outside influence, your donations are essential. If you can afford to do so without hardship, please consider supporting my work via one of the options on the support us page.

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