Universal Credit cut goes ahead.

Moving the same people around shows the sheer lack of talent and for Johnson rewarding loyalty is more important than any discernible competence. Musical chairs. Moving people around who are useless whilst getting rid of a few you’d never heard of.

The whole thing was a timed distraction as drooling establishment journalists pored over who was in and who was out in varying states of euphoria depending on who was losing a trusted source and who’s had survived. It was timed to distract from the biggest cut to social security in British History and it worked – the intended cut to Universal Credit being voted through that evening was by and large even on social media, buried.

The Tories intended cut to Universal Credit, what they are terming the withdrawal of the uplift was passed last night. £1040 a year taken away from the poorest, often working households given this extra money to help with the additional costs of the COVID crisis. It came in in March of last year and has helped keep many afloat with children at home, work uncertainty and of course the uncertainty of whether or not you’d contract the virus and need to isolate. It is another evidenceless act of cruelty from Johnson’s regime that they’ve done this, but for him it probably brings back happy Bullingdon memories of burning £50 notes in the faces of the homeless – here he’s been able to burn a virtual twenty in the face of 5.5 million families every single week. I’m sure he’ll sleep like a baby at night.

The fact is the COVID crisis is still ongoing as much as Johnson might wish to pretend its not. So much stock has been put in a vaccine that loses efficacy over the course of several months that he feel the country can get back to normal and keep on opening up, ignoring the fact 200 people died yesterday alone and those figures, along with hospitalisations and positive cases are on the rise too as we head into a winter period, so where is the justification on withdrawing this money? Need to pay off those ministers you actually sacked? £17,000 a piece they get, 17 families worth of annual Universal Credit uplift each and many of them have just moved to a new post just to rub salt in the wounds.

Its not like this is the first instance of the Tories doing away with restrictions that make no sense either. The most vulnerable were required to shield for the longest time and then this was again, completely done away with overnight, so much stock being placed in that vaccine. When double vaccinated people are losing their lives still because the vaccine was never 100% effective and always needed to be taken in conjunction with other social mitigations, its little wonder despite the good the vaccine is capable of, we’re still seeing rising cases. All this the poorest families, 40% of whom are working already, so seeking more work may not be a solution, are having to deal with on worse incomes.

The UN special rapporteur on poverty has also implied that human rights law may have been broken to force this through. I’m sure Johnson will get human rights hater, now the new justice secretary Dominic ‘Afghanistan can wait, I’m off for a swim in the closed sea’ Raab to fix that little detail given half a chance, but it is damning that once again we’ve been seen to flout our human rights obligations and to be doing so against our own people and over social security. Previously it was people like the original minister for death Iain Duncan Smith the UN were getting heated with, but this cut is so bad Smith had actually spoken out against it himself!

But the very fact the UN have attacked the Tories over regressive cuts to the poorest incomes, particularly while not asking the rich to pay more shouldn’t give anyone any hope that that’ll change anything. Somebody would have to be willing to take the UK government to an international court of law over it and so far nobody has seemed very willing. Not when we were an EU member for example certainly not now that we’re out.

The fact is the uplift, entirely spent within the economy, helping to support it, made all the difference. Thousands more people now face the choice between heating and eating. The reliance on foodbanks is going to increase significantly as Energy bills are due to rise by an average of £139 per year this winter. As I mentioned before 40% of Universal Credit claimants are in work and many of those face that National Insurance tax increase as well as this cut and rising energy bills. A Trussell Trust survey has indicated that 20% of Universal Credit claimants, that’s 1.2 million people expect they’ll have to skip meals and fractionally more, 1.3 million say they will not be able to afford to heat their homes and perversely it’ll be mostly those in the colder north of the country disproportionately affected by this. All whilst we’re still in the COVID crisis! Another 900,000 are expected to rely on foodbanks to help feed them as well. All so the richest and most able don’t have to pay a penny more, though some have said they’d be prepared to. Fact is, Johnson isn’t prepared to let them or make them. It’s the poor, non-Tory voting ordinary working classes being oppressed again, by an Old Etonian born with a silver spoon. It is class war, make no mistake about it.

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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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.

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.

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.

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

New Zealand lockdown in force.

The New Zealand response to the COVID crisis has been one that should be held up as the gold standard in COVID responses. In response to a single case, now risen to 31, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern once again shuts the country down. Stamping it out at every opportunity has meant that her country has suffered only 26 fatalities since COVID first appeared. Why have other countries, including us in the UK, not learned from what they’ve proved works?

An unvaccinated man from  Auckland, New Zealand had tested positive for the Delta variant. Considered infectious since the 12th August, he was identified on the 17th August and from midnight that night, the whole country was put straight into level 4 of lockdown, the strictest level of lockdown they have. Schools shut, everyone stays home except for medical treatment, exercise or to collect essential shopping. All work ceases except for essential workers. The virulence of the Delta variant means this one identified case has now become 31, which, compared to UK stats, is absolutely nothing, awful as our response has been but given New Zealand has become renowned around the world for eliminating COVID and keeping it that way, how has it got in?

If you want to visit New Zealand these days, you have to jump through some serious hoops. Only New Zealand residents and their families can enter, along with Australian residents who’s main residence in in New Zealand, certain people due to their work – air travel workers for instance and people from places designated quarantine free zones, which basically only covers Australia and a few South Pacific islands.

Everybody else has to go through 14 days of Managed Isolation or Quarantine, their MIQ system. You need to have tested negative before departure. Upon arrival you must spend 14 days in isolation and you have to have arranged a placement in an MIQ facility before you leave for New Zealand too. They won’t let you on the plane without proof of this! It’s not a case of going where you want and holing up, they want to make sure you’re isolating so you go to a facility before you go anywhere else. You get tested repeatedly. If you test positive, you move to a quarantine facility, if you continue to test negative, you do your isolation period and are then free to go wherever you choose. These border controls have meant that despite seeing Delta variants show up at their borders – these MIQ facilities – since June, not until now have they had an outbreak of this variant, they’ve successfully kept the country clear. So what happened?

Well the outbreak has been linked through genome sequencing to New South Wales, Australia. Although Australia is in a quarantine free zone, this was suspended back in July as a precaution due to rising cases there, so its not a clear picture at all as to how this has happened, though the Australian island of Tasmania was not restricted from being a quarantine free zone at the same time as the mainland, so it may have come through there, before that route was closed off as well.

What has happened is of those 31 cases, 19 have been linked, the remainder remain under investigation and 1189 contacts have already been identified, all in the space of some 48 hours.

Compare that to here in the UK. 36,572 new cases on the 19th August. Cases rising again even before schools return for most of us. No masks required, no social distancing, everyone back to work, no mitigations being put in place in schools before they return, so expect cases to rise even further and faster with all the consequences we know that brings as we head into another COVID winter. ‘Oh but the vaccine will protect us’ people will cry. Well with still only 75% of the adults in the UK double vaccinated, still nobody under the age of 16 vaccinated, and we’re only now starting to vaccine 16 and 17 years olds, but only with one dose! We’re still seeing hospital admissions and we’re still seeing people dying. None of the vaccines are 100%, on their own they are not sufficient so if you consider that good enough, then you’re a sociopath in my book. 36,572 versus 31. Jacinda Ardern vs Boris Johnson. Don’t tell me what we’re doing in the UK is good enough.

We could’ve adopted what they’ve done in New Zealand, we’re an island nation too. Just because our population is a lot bigger shouldn’t be an excuse not to, it should be a reason to move faster and its an advantage over nations with land borders we could’ve used to our advantage. One of the most incompetent and stupefying aspects of our COVID response from the start was the sheer lack of travel restrictions. We basically threw COVID the red carpet.

Of course Ardern has her critics – they’re puerile, but they’re there. The most common one is that New Zealanders are prisoners in pursuit of Zero Covid. She hasn’t just pursued zero COVID, she’s achieved it. I have no doubt she’ll achieve it again and once more New Zealanders will be able to ditch their masks, ditch social distancing, go out to eat, to the cinema and socialise in all the ways we used to, but they can do so safe in the knowledge nobody is going to catch COVID. Sounds pretty freeing to me.

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.

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.

Mass Infection is not an Option.

A group of doctors, scientists and other health specialists brought together by the esteemed Dr Deepti Gurdasani of Queen Mary University London have today published an article in The Lancet and held a press conference, still available to watch on YouTube, slamming the Conservative governments decision to essentially relax all but a handful of restrictions and let Covid-19 run rampant as we see cases rise even before we’ve relaxed them. They have taken this collective action because this decision by the government is dangerous and premature.

We’re already seeing a daily case rate up 71%, at the highest levels seen since February. We’re predicted to see cases of 100,000 a day and with current hospitalisations sitting at around 3%, the Tory message that hospitalisations are down and that vaccination is winning will be a short lived one. 3% of 100,000 is 3,000. That’s 3,000 daily hospitalisations. We’re already seeing hospitals on black alert, queues of ambulances waiting to get to A&E, our hospitals will not cope. They’ll try valiantly, the staff there will give their all, but these are overwhelming numbers. Staff are already suffering the trauma of having had to deal with this over the last 18 months. They are traumatised, they are unprotected, the backlog of other care services mounting up will continue to mount up. Watch the Tories tell us after 73 years of success, that the NHS has failed and is unfit for purpose as a result.

The message from the government is that we have to live with the virus, but the message from Dr Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet is that living with it to this government means to ignore it, he has warned that the NHS will not be able to cope and that this is a government driven by ideology rather than data.

Now I’d made a comment in a previous vid, an off the cuff remark that Johnson was just bored with it all, I still think there’s an element of that, but actually its worse than that, because it’s the frothing bunch of backbench zealots in his own party demanding things reopen that may be more the case. Sebastian Payne of the Financial Times has reported that a government plot to oust Sir Graham Brady as chair of the influential 1922 committee failed and he was re-elected albeit narrowly. Brady is a massive Covid sceptic and his views are more in keeping with the mood of the Tory backbenches than the government – hardly a surprise when even they can see what a balls up their handling of the situation has been. The problem for the government is that, despite their huge majority, the 1922 committee has enough heft to overturn it, should they wish to. Johnson doesn’t wish to rely on Labour votes to get things through, it would make him uncomfortable, so to ease his discomfort, he’s dropping masks and dropping those other restrictions.

The government doesn’t have the votes from their own party to maintain the measures keeping us all safe. Think about it. Securing his own position, power, supercedes in Johnson’s mind, the purpose to which he was elected to office – to protect the country; his pledge to us when Covid struck –  to stay safe, protect the NHS, and save lives. It’s out of the window because red faced, middle-aged, white privilege – which should be the slogan for the 1922 – has spoken. They have learned absolutely nothing from what has happened before and they know now exactly what will happen again. Still they do not care.

It doesn’t matter if you’re immune-suppressed, it doesn’t matter that you’re saddled with long covid, it doesn’t matter if you’re shielding, it doesn’t matter if you’re in school with all these people around you and poor ventilation. In fact it doesn’t matter in actual fact if you’re none of that. The Conservatives don’t care if you get sick or not, are hospitalised or not, die or not, because they want their way and that’s final and their leaders work for them, not for us. When has your Tory MP ever voted in your interest? They don’t, yet our archaic, unfit for purpose electoral system prevents us getting rid of them for as long as there are people who will keep voting for them and they remain in a position to rig that system, boundary reviews and the like. Despite all of this, enough will still vote for them.

The action they are taking now, as Dr Deepti Gurdasani herself said at the press conference is callous and inhuman. It is an abdication of responsibility. Without sufficient numbers being vaccinated – only 50% of the country is fully vaccinated and just a further 17% partially, how can we be protected? How can our most vulnerable be protected? How can the immune suppressed be protected? They can’t be. How can we be adequately protected if people stop wearing masks? They’re there to protect others from you and vice versa.

The government are calling the 19th of July Freedom Day. But who is free? Free from wearing a mask, doesn’t make you free. Wearing masks enables more people to step outside, step on public transport, go to the shop, go to work. Take that away and you take freedom away from those who’s health would see them made prisoners in their own homes for the sake of wanting to stay well, live even. You are not supporting or freeing your communities by forcing members of it to shut themselves away. Not wearing a mask is akin to passive smoking, except it’s a virus that can potentially kill someone that you’re inhaling. You would free yourself from a passive smoking environment wouldn’t you? So why would you condemn others to stay in such an environment?

Freedom from the virus? not if it continues to be put under pressure to mutate and give rise to new variants, variants more resistant to the vaccines we have now and actually this is a global issue. If we become a plague factory, it will spread to the rest of the world too. I’d be looking at the UK in despair right now from another country. The Tories have never taken transmission policy seriously, it’s always been about herd immunity and it has repeatedly failed, so here we go again, the same story. As if it hasn’t been dangerous enough up until now. It’s killed over 150,000 people in this country but the pressure exerted on Johnson, not that he copes well with much anyway, means that number is certain to rise.

But the most damning bit of supporting evidence to Seb Payne’s revelations, on the thinking behind the decisions the government is making? Is despite repeatedly asking to see the science behind the decision to open up on the 19th, despite claiming repeatedly they are following scientific modelling, they won’t publish the modelling. They won’t show us the data they’re following. This decision is more about dates than data and the 1922 committee quite like the 19th of July and so it shall be so.

Aside from more hospitalisations, more cases, more fatalities, the biggest unknown remains the Long Covid aspect. This leaves people crippled for months if not years. Unable to think straight, unable to concentrate, unable to study or work, chronically exhausted. This affects 10% of all patients and isn’t age specific either. If you can’t work, the economy takes a hit and engineering things to try and mitigate that won’t wash. Action such as the rumour we’re hearing for instance that Lateral Flow Tests, already questionable in how effective they are, may be charged for soon. Who has the contract for that and has to make a profit? Who would buy a test like that? How many will delete the test and trace app for fear of being told to stay home and not work, when their finances are under strain and cases are soaring? If you can’t be tested you can’t be positive.

People don’t just suddenly get better from poorly understood conditions such as Long Covid either, but then again, look at how the sick and disabled have been treated by the DWP for the last 11 years and don’t imagine the Tories are going to start giving a shit now.

Freedom Day is an attempt to show we’re winning when we’re losing, an illusion of freedom when we’re instead getting bigger shackles, an attempt to alter our thinking so that we will accept their ideology and as such accept a certain level of long term illness, disability and mortality as an inevitable price that we must pay.

This is helped along by the ever-present figures of Whitty and Vallance, who for me, it is incredulous they’re prepared to trash their reputations by standing next to Johnson supporting this nonsense. The odd note of reservation doesn’t make up for the fact they’re visibly being seen to support this impending disaster. The thin veneer of respectability they offer is a tragedy.

If the government were committed to a proper Freedom Day, they’d delay it until far, far more people are vaccinated, Dr Richard Horton recommends 70% and we’re at 50% right now as I mentioned before. They’re calling it hybrid immunity because half are vaccinated, but for the rest its herd immunity still. If they were committed to a proper Freedom Day, they’d implement a proper find, test, trace and isolate system that works, that puts dealing with the virus first instead of ensuring private companies can make a profit out of it.

We’ve been failed utterly by the Tories. Failure for an alternative to be offered ensures they’re still comfortably safe in power. It’s time for opposition parties to work together to oppose this, its time for trade unions to play a part in holding this sham of a government to account, because sadly without pressure being applied from without, the pressure being applied from within will win out. And when it’s the worst of the crackpot Conservative backbenches in the driving seat, we’ll continue to be a pariah state on the rest of the world and we’ll continue to have our daily lives blighted.

Freedom? That day won’t come until the last Tory in government is given their marching orders and given the democidal nature of their actions, has their day in the dock.

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