England on the eve of ‘Freedom Day’
In less than an hour Britain (or at least the English part of it) will enter a watershed moment for 00.00 on Monday 19th July 2021 will see the end of all restrictions under which the country has been living for the last 16 months. Or it won’t. (It also should be the end of this Journal of the Plague Years 2020-202? – but it won’t.)
(There are even nightclubs waiting to open up, with queues forming, as I write, to enter on the stroke of midnight.)
Legal restrictions will be lifted but that doesn’t mean that local restrictions won’t remain in place. For example, masks will not be obligatory on some forms of public transport but will be on others and it varies between different parts of the country (England) and matters won’t be changing on the 19th in the other constituent nations of the so-called ‘United Kingdom’. And worse still some areas seem to be following a ‘wait and see’ approach before making a final decision.
The uncertainty and confusion that has beset the whole approach to dealing with the pandemic is now being carried over into the ‘new normal’. Having had no strategy to deal with the consequences of the covid virus since March 2020 the government of the Buffoon is basically giving up and hoping for the best – more or less what they have been doing since the pandemic hit.
When it comes to the science people can get proof of their approach whatever it might be. Some scientists are predicting the end of civilisation as we know it, others are arguing the ‘if not now, when’ approach. No doubt all will eventually be proved correct, at least in their own eyes.
From the beginning we have been arguing here that there must be a better way of dealing with a pandemic than following the tactics that were adopted 700 years ago during the time of the ‘Black Death’ (bubonic plague) that swept through Europe. But that would require a strategy which has been sorely lacking. At the same time it cannot be denied that the ‘collateral damage’ caused by the lack of a clear and carefully thought out strategy has been, is and will be in the near to long-term future, immense.
Modern societies just can’t close down with the hope the virus will run its course and eventually disappear. If that thought did exist at the beginning of 2020 the hope has all but been dispelled by the general argument now that ‘we will have to live to learn with the virus and that it will be with us (probably) forever’.
However important it might be for British society to get back to normal (with all its problems of inequality, racism and poverty) it would have been useful if lessons of mistakes made in the last 18 months had been learnt so the country was more prepared for what is to come – an uncertain future for sure.
But in England (and it’s not really any better in the rest of the UK) that’s not the case.
On the very eve of ‘Freedom Day’ the Buffoon makes even yet another U-turn (this time one of the quickest ever, timed at less than three hours) over the matter of self isolation of himself and his spendthrift neighbour. But it wasn’t just the changing of approach to self isolation (‘one law for us and one law for them’) it was the way it was explained away.
In the same way that the Buffoon has lied and blustered his way through events of the last year and a bit he turned his lack of strategy on to the population of England. His video speech explaining the change in approach consisted in mainly saying that we all have to be follow a sensible lifestyle in the coming weeks and months and ignoring the chaos that his own actions (and that of the rich and powerful) in the last 18 months has just created confusion in the minds of some, incredulity in those of others, and downright antagonism in the minds of the rest.
We didn’t enter the pandemic all together and we’re not moving out of it (however temporary it might be) as a united force that would be the only hope, if not a guarantee, of success.
From tomorrow the debate will change, accusations will be liberally thrown around and politicians will be seeking to score points for their own short-term ends. ‘I told you so’ will become the most oft quote phrase and chaos will reign.
How well or badly we in Britain will get through this crisis is still in the balance. But the same question that was posed at the beginning of 2020 is still valid so many months later. The ruling class in Britain (and the rest of the world) have shown themselves incapable of dealing with such a crisis – apart from filling the banks accounts of their cronies and allies with public wealth.
Are working people willing and able to do better?
Vaccination programme in Britain
Covid-19 vaccine boosters: is a third dose really needed?
Most covid deaths in England now are in the vaccinated – here’s why that shouldn’t alarm you.
Can ‘viral shedding’ after the covid vaccine infect others? That’s a big ‘no’.
Pressure builds on ministers to reach a decision on covid vaccines for children. This decision will be based upon politics and will have nothing to do with science – or the ‘data’. There is in Britain – as in virtually all the wealthier countries – no real concern for situation in the poorer countries where many millions of the ‘most vulnerable’ are still from being protected. The Buffoon will be playing to the selfish gallery.
Freedom Day … or perhaps not
End to Covid rules for England ‘leaves 3.8 million vulnerable people feeling abandoned’.
UK faces a difficult summer.
Confusion continues to reign
UK government under fire for mixed remote work messaging.
The ever-changing virus
Lambda variant is now in 29 countries, but what evidence do we have that it’s more dangerous?
Consequences of the virus
Younger adults still at risk of serious organ damage.
Long covid has more than 200 symptoms.
The argument over masks
Seven reasons mask wearing in the west was unnecessarily delayed.
Who gains from pandemics (and in any other health care situation)?
UK drug companies fined £260 million for inflating prices for National Health Service.
Test and trace
More than half a million people in England pinged by NHS test and trace app in a week, the highest figure recorded.
Wealth distribution in Britain
The Resolution Foundation produced a report, (Wealth) gap year: The impact of the coronavirus crisis on UK household wealth and there was a discussion around the findings of this report in a webinar on 12th July.
The masters of the U-turn
Buffoon and chancellor to self-isolate in U-turn. This one in less than three hours.
Are covid-19 vaccine passports fair?
Poverty in Britain
More than 1million children from key worker families living in poverty, says Trades Union Congress. So when are the unions going to do something about it?
The Joseph Rowntree Trust has published another report into poverty in Britain entitled A Minimum Income Standard for the United Kingdom in 2021. Also just the findings.
The expiry of the Universal Credit uplift: impacts and policy options, from the Institute for Fiscal Studies.