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.

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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Tory trade envoy troubles

Liz Truss, cheese afficionado and pork markets fan – will she ever be remembered for anything else? Has today announced ten brand new trade envoys to represent Britain and promote our exports and our interests. Truss might be the most popular Tory politician – God only knows why – but she’s never been known for being the brightest. Perhaps that’s unfair, perhaps she’s picked some real experts here, some real professionals in this field, after all her boss Johnson signed off on them all. So who has she appointed then? Who are these trade experts? Oh dear Liz…you were better off with the cheese…

Liz Truss the Secretary of State for International Trade and never one to shy away from bigging up even the smallest deal has today announced 10 brand new trade envoys to help open up new trade links, promote our produce and big up Great Britain post Brexit. All sounds rather positive doesn’t it! So who are these booming economies we’re sweet-talking with these new faces?

Let’s start with Australia and you can imagine Liz Truss thinking what are we famous for in Australia, what do they love about us and came up with cricket. They don’t love us for cricket, they love us for losing against them at cricket. So rather than appoint anyone with familiarity with Australian economics, she appointed a cricketer, who also just happens to have joined the vermin in ermine in the House of Lords in 2020, becoming Baron Ian ‘Beefy’ Botham of Ravensworth. Although he sits as a crossbencher, Botham was vocally pro-Brexit which is all the qualification he surely needs. What part of cricketer training, what conversations in the clubhouse concern economics and trade relations? Weren’t the Tories implying sportsmen should stick to what they know? They told Marcus Rashford he had no business sticking his nose into things that didn’t concern him when he strove to feed kids during the holidays when the Tories would rather they starved, what could qualify this millionaire footballer after all, other than growing up poor himself! He had life experience, Botham has none regarding trade. The Tories really do need to make up their minds – can sportsmen make good politicians? Yes or no?

Ghana next, and who have the Tories carefully selected? Former Labour MP – and by the fact she’s taken the Ian Austin weasel route into the Tories grace and favour, you can tell that’s where she really belongs – Kate Hoey. Yes, screamingly pro Brexit cheerleader, another life peer to the House of Lords and Irish white woman Kate Hoey. Was there any real desire to have someone with something remotely in common with Ghana appointed to this post? I mean she was certainly one of the loudest voices for Brexit, she even got on a boat with Nigel Farage so perhaps she was owed a favour? I’m not sure what the Ghanaians did to deserve her though. She can bring her political experience of cutting her nose off to spite her face, wanting to hunt small wildlife and demand all cyclists be registered I suppose. Have they even heard of her over there?

Sir Geoffrey Donaldson MP is off to Cameroon – he’s a DUP MP, Brexit patsies that they were for the Tories and it seems they just can’t help still cosy up to them after the way they were shafted and what is it with the Tories sending the Irish to Africa, or do you have to be Irish AND bigoted? Have they left Dominic Raab to sort this out? He does know Ireland isn’t over there right? Donaldson apparently is already trade envoy to Egypt, so apparently he’s got enough time for this as well which is remarkably reassuring that we’re clearly getting some massive trade going on there if he’s got time to do both.

Current Tory MP Conor Burns is off to Canada – an Irishman not heading for Africa, well there’s a change, though no doubt his constituents in Bournemouth will be delighted to see their MP working for them on the other side of the Atlantic! The joys of living in a Tory safe seat – you don’t matter. Another brexiteer, so a shoe-in for a trade envoy job, but this ais a guy who was forced to resign as minister of state for trade policy just last year for being found guilty by the parliamentary standards commissioner for threatening to expose a member of the public using parliamentary privilege. He got suspended from parliament for 7 days, so this very much looks like your typical Tory rewards for bad behaviour when they think we’ve stopped looking. We see you. Sorry Canada, you’ve drawn a short straw.

Another Tory MP, Mark Eastwood is off to Pakistan and you’ve guessed it, he’s a brexiteer, he’s white and I’m not sure how fluent his Urdu might be! He has been to Pakistan once as part of an all party delegation though, so he does at least know where it is. He was a new intake MP for 2019, a red wall Tory, so there’s little else to be said, but then there doesn’t seem to be much needed to qualify anyone for these roles.

David Mundell, for some time the lone Tory MP in Scotland has been appointed trade envoy to New Zealand, so at least they got a politician and not a sportsman, though the question needs to be asked given he’s being sent from plague island, will they even let him in – do catch my recent article on New Zealand going into lockdown again off the back of a single new COVID case. There’s an irony sending a Scottish unionist to an island that gained its independence from Britain and has been successful – he doesn’t think that’s possible you see.

Another Tory MP, Marco Longhi, he who replaced a cowardly Ian Austin who had stood down as an MP rather than face defeat. Of course the Tories then gave the snivelling rodent an ermine overcoat, showing he was never really Labour to begin with. Longhi is off to Brazil. He’s lived there, he speaks Portuguese, you could almost think there was logic to this choice, if we hadn’t already run through a bunch of absolute howlers, but Longhi is a Tory after all, owning numerous properties and had accused the National Trust of being woke and appropriating cultural Marxism, which is a known racist trope. He’ll no doubt get on brilliantly with Jair Bolsonaro.

Stephen Timms is off to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, famous between them for chocolate and false teeth, so the more of one they can push on us, the more we’ll need the other! He’s a remainer and Labour MP so how did he sneak through, though perhaps the question ought to be, why on Earth is a currently serving opposition MP taking a role from the governming party, because that’s just taking the piss and makes Labour look even more of a failure in the opposition department than it already is.

Felicity Buchan has been appointed as a trade envoy to Norway and Iceland, who is the current MP for Kensington, having replaced the excellent Emma Dent Coad and therefore inheriting the ongoing, unresolved mess of Grenfell, I’m sure her constituents will be delighted that she’s sodding off to Scandinavia, though given she voted against the Labour amendment to the Fire Safety Bill intended to implement the recommendations of the first phase of the Grenfell Tower Enquiry, they’re probably more than well aware she doesn’t give a shit. A former banker, her only qualification to this role appears to be the fact she’s Scottish and therefore comes from the bit of Britain closest to Norway and Iceland.

Lastly there’s Lord Walney, there’s an innocuous, name, but it’s bloody John Woodcock. A former Labour MP who took a Tory peerage – funny so many of these have been former Labour MP’s, its almost as if the Labour Party is led by people who don’t really belong in it doesn’t it! He left the Labour Party let’s not let him forget coincidentally whilst a sexual harassment investigation into him was taking place. He was Ian Austin’s sidekick and fellow Corbyn basher and stood up publicly declaring what a danger Corbyn was to society and advocating for people to vote Tory. Yeah. That worked out well. He and Austin got their peerages for services rendered, but don’t think he’s satisfied yet, he’s a co-owner of the Jewish Chronicle.

Well he’s been appointed trade envoy to Tanzania. Whilst this country suffers, the people he purported to represent he has utterly betrayed for his own ends and he’s still cashing in. I can only apologise in advance to the people of Tanzania, I had no idea the Tories hated you this much.

So we have a list of ten trade envoys, many with no experience in trade whatsoever, all on the gravy train to some extent or another, despite 50% of these nations being majority non-white, 100% of all the trade envoy’s are white. 80% of them are male and 70% of them were pro Brexit.

Liz Truss and Boris Johnson aren’t interested in getting trade deals, I doubt they’re bothered whether any of these people succeed or fail, these are pats on the back, these are golden handshakes, these are rewards for loyalty and services rendered and when we’re paying for all of this, all whilst the Tories cut to ribbons our quality of life, all while our cost of living goes up, we should all be very, very pissed off at this.

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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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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The Real Pandemic is our Politicians

Freedom day looms, but its more Free-doom day in the eyes of many and its not just rotten lefties like me saying it, though sadly the ones you want to be saying it, the ones you want to be calling it out for what it is, our own leaders are failing us. It doesn’t matter what party it is, there’s no concerted pushback against opening up. You might’ve guessed Keir Starmer wouldn’t, too busy with yet another relaunch of himself as he is, still oblivious to the fact Labour’s biggest problem is him and the fact nobody can stand his forensic nothingness, but besides that his track record of supporting the government over repeated Covid mistakes, no ifs, no buts, no equivocation makes him little better than the ruling party, particularly when he’s refused to put forward alternatives, bereft of any ideas that he is. He’s a seat warmer and its maddening that he cannot formulate an idea or a position as more and more people have repeatedly fallen ill or worse since this pandemic began.

As bad as government handling has been though, they’re set to make their biggest mistake of all, tearing up most of the COVID restrictions, reopening the last businesses and venues still closed even though we’re seeing cases rise across the country. Yesterday there were 51,870 new cases and 49 fatalities. That’s the highest since January 11th, when we were a week into the lockdown at the beginning of this year. No sign that they’re going to take that route again now, not with the new Health Secretary sajid Javid and his opinion on opening up being ‘irreversible’. Mr Irreversible, despite being double jabbed, tested positive for COVID himself just today.

Yesterday 1,220 scientists condemned the move. Some convened an emergency summit over the issue of Freedom Day just yesterday, from India, to Italy, France to the US and this has been covered by the Financial Times and Independent to their credit, demonstrating the seriousness of this and their response is chilling even in the middle of a heatwave.

It has been variously described as a ’danger to the world’, on the basis that we act as an international travel hub and a virus outbreak here, particularly of a new variant, of which all the conditions for developing are now in place, will readily spread to the rest of the globe. It has been described by these scientists as ‘unscientific and unethical’, by US scientist William Haseltine, renowned for his work on HIV and AIDS who said ‘It is leading to disaster as we can see in the numbers. I follow the numbers daily in the UK and I am extremely dismayed to see the very rapid rate of increase in infections in a population which is vaccinated like we are. I believe that the strategy of herd immunity is actually murderous: I think that’s a word we should use, because that is what it is; it is knowledge that you are doing something that will result in thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of people dying. It is a disastrous policy, it’s been clear that that’s been the case for some time, and to continue to espouse that policy is unconscionable.”

Most tellingly I felt came the message from Prof. Michael Baker of New Zealand’s COVID advisory group, who has called out the UK government’s real response from the start – an approach of herd immunity rapidly identified as unacceptable. It’s very hard to argue with the New Zealand experts when they’ve called it right from the start, their government has acted accordingly from the start and their death toll is in double figures as a result instead of 6 figures and climbing as ours is. Why will our government not see reason or listen to reason? Why is the public still apparently backing Johnson right now?

For a start, Johnson is still for the most part shielded by the media, but the continued presence of Professors Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance continue to lend credibility to Johnson’s plans. Whitty is on record as saying recently that with the number of people doubling in hospitals every three weeks we could get into quite scary numbers soon and that we shouldn’t underestimate the fact we could get into trouble again surprisingly fast. Well WHY for the love of God man, do you still stand next to Johnson at those pressers? WHY do you still help him carry out his plans by lending credibility to what he’s doing, by appearing with him? I have to say I’m heartily sick and tired of Whitty’s warnings, when he still turns up to support the government, when he will also trot out lines like there’s ‘no clear evidence’ that delaying opening up would make a difference. Constantly giving contradictory instruction. 1,220 scientists around the world would disagree with that, the stats taken over the last 18 months of this nightmare and the resulting lockdowns combined with vaccinations would suggest there IS clear evidence!

I’m not the only one laying into him, The Lancet’s editor in chief Prof. Richard Horton has gone so far as to say Whitty was ‘wilfully misrepresenting public opinion’ with claims that the Prime Minister’s approach is supported by public opinion – he’s right and Whitty standing in support at all those public announcements is helping to drive public opinion. Stop turning up to them, then lets see what happens to public opinion!

If over 1000 scientists unanimously condemning Johnson isn’t enough for you, if Independent SAGE, if the most eminent peer-reviewed general medical journal, The Lancet condemning our government isn’t enough, the British Medical Journal have also weighed in. Upon opening up they expect record breaking case numbers and most worryingly we’re expected to see our hospitals struggle. Over the last 18 months we’ve lost a lot of medical staff, between getting burnt out during this pandemic or due to Brexit, with so many foreign nationals working in the NHS leaving. We’ve already seen hospitals on black alert, queues of ambulances waiting to get into A&E and planned ops being cancelled & now ever increasing COVID cases too. Hospitalisations are up 621%, ventilator cases are up 338% since the end of May and we haven’t hit Freedom Day yet, when things will get so, so much worse.

What we’re also seeing amongst these positive cases too is that a large percentage of them are amongst the young, just take a look at this graph from Test and Trace on primary schools:

Kids don’t get as ill they keep saying, well I’ve had 4 of them test positive and all have been ill with it. Fatalities will be down though because of vaccination some of you will say, well take a look at this from the ONS:

You can see on the left there infections and you can clearly see schools are driving it once again. We already knew they did, Johnson called them vectors of transmission, yet still they won’t be closed and they even removed the need for masks! Fortunately some schools, my own childrens included, ignored this and reinstated mandatory mask-wearing. Supermarkets have done likewise, they can see the writing on the wall. Then look at the other graphs, hospitalisations and deaths and which groups are most susceptible? The elderly. Again. The double-jabbed elderly. The vaccines are not 100%, people can still catch it if double jabbed, people are still dying despite being double jabbed. The vaccines are not in and of themselves the panacea Boris Johnson and his regime promised they would be and that’s because they had no way of knowing, they keep making shit up. Do they mitigate spread and levels of illness? Of course, but with each variant springing up that becomes less and less the case and when Freedom Day looks set to turn us into a giant petri dish of an island, a plague island, with measures designed not in any way to save lives, but to put economic interests first, all we’ll end up doing is developing another variant, more vaccine resistant variants, more cases of long covid, the long term effects of which are not known, but which are now showing to cause organ damage. What shape will our economy end up in if we end up with more of the workforce being left unable to work? It is economic as well as societal self-harm.

On top of all of this, the Tories got their second reading of their NHS Privatisation Bill through this week which will increase privatisation of our NHS, as well as remove the duty of care to us it has. How dangerous is this? Imagine having treatment refused because you’re too expensive to treat? What if that’s as a result of your having COVID? Labour has been pathetically weak on this as well, but when Starmer’s recently former chief advisor was a healthcare lobbyist and some of their current biggest donors stem from private healthcare, this should come as little surprise. They’re failing us as usual these days, but on the NHS its unforgivable.

In situations where both main parties are shit, the Lib Dems tend to start picking up votes, but that isn’t really happening either, which implies the Tories still enjoy support for what they’re doing.

What they are doing is presiding over an utterly irresponsible, world threatening act of violence against their own people, other nations and combining that with undermining our strained NHS at the same time, pushing policies to wilfully collapse it. Even the Tories who came in after Attlee and Bevan appreciated the value of the NHS, keeping it going, its still going to this day, but the Tories of today view it as a cash cow opportunity for their rich mates, particularly in American Healthcare.

Our leaders are failing us here on all fronts. Boris Johnson is an abscess of a Prime Minister who needs to be excised. To achieve a realistic, lasting end to this pandemic, we need rid of him. His idea of Freedom is Herd Immunity for all of us and it doesn’t work. 150,000 people have already lost their lives to demonstrate that and that’s set to rise because that isn’t enough death to preside over for Bozo. More of us will get ill, more of us will die, more of us will be on the sick, more of us will become financially more stressed, but there will be no mitigation, no support. You can ditch your mask, but at what cost to others? Already out of fear of being told to isolate people are deleting the app designed to keep us informed and keep us safe so they can keep working and that is only going to help the virus spread even more.

The blame for this MUST be landed squarely on the Tories. They have the majority, they’re driving this, it’s Johnson doing what he likes rather than putting our needs first and the best bit for him is that when it all goes to hell, he can blame us for not exercising the caution he told us to. When you change rules to guidelines, it’s setting up a blame game. This has gone on too long, there’s no end in sight still and the buck has to stop with him not us. If scientists around the world are so alarmed, then they need to have a word with their leaders. Ours are failing us. They’re the real pandemic. We’re infected by right-wing politicians acting for themselves and nobody else.

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.

Thank you for your solidarity and for supporting alternative media holding power and the mainstream media to account.