A Tale of Two Countries – Britain and India

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A Tale of Two Countries – Britain and India

From the proverbial ‘man in the street’ at the bottom to the Buffoon at the top (to what depths has Britain plummeted when those last words can be written as a statement of fact?) there’s a general perception in Britain that we are the end of covid-19 – at least for the time being. However, the flaw in that reasoning is that we are in the middle of a pandemic and not an epidemic. Sorting matters out at home can never be guaranteed to be permanent – as we are seeing with the rising numbers of infections, hospitalisations (or not, if the health system in so many countries is so dire there is, effectively, no functioning health system – as in India) and deaths in various countries.

However, there can be no doubt that (so far) the vaccination programme in Britain has been a success. Although the Buffoon implies it’s due to his government’s activity the real truth is that the success has been achieved solely because none of the Eton boys and girls were involved in the logistical arrangements. The Government might have spent the money – but then its not coming from their pockets in the long term and who and how the ultimate bill gets paid is something we still don’t know about.

What that means in Britain is that instead of the news being dominated by the pandemic we are back to the same old scandals that preceded the outbreak at the end of 2019. Incompetence has been with us throughout the last 18 months (all the late decisions, U-turns, etc., etc.) but to that we now have sleaze and corruption (which, in reality, has always been with us) and now an even greater display of the way those the British people have foolishly chosen to rule themselves think they are entitled to do whatsoever they wish.

Yes, there are many more important issues to contend with than who originally paid for the refurbishment of the Buffoon’s flat but the ‘scandal’ just goes to show that even in ‘normal’ times there’s always money available to splash out on luxuries for the rich – when the rest of us were being told we had to tighten out belts.

Perhaps what the period of the pandemic has done is shine a spotlight on these matters when in the past they would have just been ignored as being insignificant. This has definitely been the case when it comes to the obscene levels of poverty that have become more well known in the last year or so. Whether the people of Britain draw a connection to these two extremes of lifestyles (so many families having to resort to food banks and free school meals and those in ‘power’ agonising on how to spend tens of thousands of pounds from the public purse to decorate a few rooms in a central London town house) and do something about it is questionable. I would like to think so but I’m not holding my breath.

The fact that the Buffoon can get away with saying ‘let the bodies pile high’ and the issue dropping out of the headlines within a matter of a couple of days doesn’t bode well.

But this corruption and incompetence is not just a UK phenomenon. The worsening (and still far from ending) situation in India is yet another example of how the world’s leaders can effectively cause a crisis which leads to even more people dying on the streets than is the norm in the country.

The Indian Hindu Fascist, Modi, should be held personally responsible for the deaths that are raging throughout the country at this time. Agreed he didn’t inherit a truly viable system necessary for a population of 1.4 billion people but what he has done has made a bad system even worse by the policies he has pursed in the last 20 years or so – first at a local level and latterly at the national.

When it comes to the pandemic India is dominating the news now (and, indeed, this post) – people literally dying in the streets or in hospital corridors, often due to lack of simple basics. This is obviously good news for the other government leaders throughout the world who have handled matters as badly. However, the cause for such dramatic and disturbing images is the same throughout the capitalist world. Neo-liberal economic policies, privatisation and mismanagement/corruption have brought so many countries virtually to their knees.

But these fascist leaders are like Teflon – nothing sticks.

The Buffoon in the UK should really be hammered due to his crass mismanagement of the pandemic of the last 15 months – but in the first electoral ‘test’ of his leadership tomorrow (6th May) – since the beginning of the pandemic – in local elections he will probably at least survive if not thrive.

In India Modi’s failure to gain control of West Bengal is being declared as a ‘defeat’ in the western press. Considering that the election there took place as the figures of deaths was rocketing in the country you would have thought the Indian people would have realised that all his claims are mere illusions. However, in the ‘defeat’ in West Bengal Modi’s party gained 40% of the popular vote and increased the number of seats they have in the Parliament by 77 – from just three in 2016.

Not what I would call a ‘defeat’ – and certainly not being punished for gross incompetence. It is to be assumed that some of those who voted for Modi’s Fascist Party are now dead or dying – I wonder if they realised/will realise their error of judgement before they close their eyes forever.

Vaccination programme in Britain …

Only 32 people hospitalised with covid after having vaccination.

Why calculating the risk of the AstraZeneca vaccine is so difficult.

Why some people don’t experience vaccine side-effects, and why it’s not a problem.

… and the rest of the world

Those who we foolishly allow to rule over us never cease to amaze. Instead of addressing the real problem they resort to expensive and complicated legal cases to resolve their own inefficiency. Just like spoilt children they threaten to take their ball away if they don’t get their own way. European Union Commission asks states to back legal action against AstraZeneca.

And they call this ‘leadership’ and wonder why people are confused? EU urges member states to re-embrace AstraZeneca vaccine.

Just what we need in the middle of a pandemic – drawn out court cases and shovelling public money into the pockets of lawyers – AstraZeneca sued by European Union over delivery of covid vaccines.

Vulnerability to the disease

Severe covid in young people can mostly be explained by obesity.

Corruption and covid

It seems the bigger the rewards the better the chances of being awarded lucrative contracts.

Lancashire firm wades into Dyson ventilators row. NorVap says it has been unable to sell devices it created in response to Hancock’s ‘ventilator challenge’.

‘Possible corruption’ in 20% of covid contracts awarded. Study of nearly 1,000 pandemic deals finds ‘systemic bias’ in favour of firms with political connections.

Not surprisingly corruption raises its ugly head in the United States as well – this time with the involvement of the ‘liberal’ and ‘caring’ billionaire, Bill Gates.

‘Utterly disgusting’: ‘Big Pharma’ lobby blitz against vaccine patent waivers denounced.

The pandemic in India

Why variants are most likely to blame for India’s covid surge.

‘We are witnessing a crime against humanity’: Arundhati Roy on India’s Covid catastrophe.

India covid crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy.

‘We are not special’: how triumphalism led India to covid-19 disaster.

Radio 4’s The Briefing Room looked at the chaotic situation in India (and Modi’s responsibility for it) in a programme entitled ‘India’s Covid Catastrophe’ on 29th April.

Covid in India: the deep-rooted issues behind the current crisis.

How the Modi government prioritised politics over public health.

Covid-19 in India: an unfolding humanitarian crisis.

India covid crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy.

How India descended into covid-19 chaos.

Coronavirus Emergency Powers Act

‘No meaningful parliamentary debate or scrutiny’ of covid laws, says former government legal chief.

‘Immunity Passports’

People in England could get covid passports for foreign travel by 17 May.

National Health Service (NHS) app to be used as coronavirus passport for international travel, Grant Shapps confirms.

Poverty in Britain

Kent council fined after mother and son left to live in tent in pandemic.

Tens of thousands in UK avoided universal credit during covid over stigma.

Whilst not in any way denigrating the intentions of this article I think it is optimistic, to say the least, to get any government (especially that of the present Buffoon) in capitalist Britain to truly alleviate the problems of poorly paid work and the consequent poverty. At best they will apply a sticking plaster when major surgery is required. The Employment Bill is a chance to improve jobs for low-paid workers.

It’s good that some schools are doing so but is it really their job to become advisors to what people are entitled? Could schools hold the key to helping families claim benefits?

The Resolution Foundation has produced a report looking at how the British Social security system has responded to the covid pandemic entitled In need of support – Lessons from the covid-19 crisis for our social security system. On 29th April there was a webinar on this report which filled in some of the gaps and explained some of the consequences. That can be watched here.

As has been stated here (as well as in innumerable discussions about the effect of the pandemic) covid hasn’t caused the extensive poverty that exists in Britain, it has exposed the hidden truths and in many cases the results of the lock downs and other restrictions have exacerbated the level of poverty. On 26th April there was a slot on the Radio 4 programme You and Yours which looked at the problems many families are experiencing with the provision of school uniforms.

The National Housing Federation published a report in April 2021 entitled Universal Credit in a time of crisis (full report) related to how the pandemic had affected tenants of housing associations and their ability to pay rent. For just a summary click here.

‘Collateral damage’

Sharp rise in mental illness among those whose income fell away during the covid pandemic.

What has been the impact of the covid pandemic on older workers in Britain? On 26th April the Resolution Foundation hosted a discussion on this matter.

Collateral ‘benefit’ from covid?

New malaria vaccine proves highly effective – and covid shows how quickly it could be deployed

Lessons from the pandemic – worldwide

What steps must be taken to secure oxygen – for covid-19 patients and into the future. Just to take a few words from this article to indicate the underlying problem that people throughout the world face – multinational corporations and government corruption;

… a low priority has been given to develop and scale up oxygen relative to new drugs, for which a patent can be taken out and big pharmaceutical companies can make a large profit.

2020 was horrendous for health workers – early 2021 was even worse, as told by two doctors in Liverpool.

Or not. Outrage as No 10 rules out urgent inquiry into covid mistakes.

‘Now is the time’: top experts join call for Buffoon to launch covid inquiry.

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

Football kicks covid into touch – if only for 48 hours

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

Football kicks covid into touch – if only for 48 hours

A sign that the covid pandemic is becoming a thing of the past in Britain is the way that it was kicked off the headlines by an even more important aspect of modern day society – football.

As with the gladiatorial exhibitions in the circuses of the Roman Empire a couple of thousand years ago all oppressors have been looking for something to distract the mass of people from the ineptitude, corruption and incompetence of the ruling class. Twenty first century capitalism has found that in football – the only difference is that now they make supporters (whether at the grounds or at home on their TV screens) pay for their distraction – ‘bread and circuses’ but without the bread.

In an effort to direct attention away from the growing number of corruption stories that surround the awarding of contracts during the first few months of the pandemic the Buffoon rushed into battle – prepared to do everything within his ability to defend the ‘beautiful game’ (although he is known to have an antipathy – to say the least – about the sport and has no problem with the idea of the owners doing whatever they can to fill their bursting coffers) as he could take on the mantel of a ‘Superman’ flying in to the rescue.

Unfortunately for the Buffoon the money-grubbing pricks who own all these European football clubs ‘caved in’ when they saw the general opposition from all sides. (This will only be a temporary respite on their behalf. They know what they want and there’s too much at stake for the idea to be dropped completely. It will resurface in the not too distant future but with a slightly different aspect.)

When the news finally broke about the plan for a new European ‘Super League’ the Buffoon must have thought that all his Christmasses had come at once. He could stand in the new (hugely expensive) press suit and announce day after day what he was doing to save the game that belonged to the common man and woman. How deflated he must have been on Tuesday evening?

But he might not really have to worry.

The people of Britain seem to have forgotten all the mistakes that he and his Government have made in the last 14 or so months when it comes to the pandemic. The delays, the inaction, the unpreparedness, the confusion, the U-turns, the lies, the conflicts with science, the exposure of the vast extent of poverty in all parts of the country, the introduction of restrictive legislation, the tens of thousands of deaths, the huge debt just being added to as if money was going out of fashion, the total lack of any strategy even now. Added to that we now have a daily leaking of stories of ‘sleaze’, cronyism and corruption. But none of that has exercised as large a portion of the British population in the same way as what was being publicised as an attack upon British heritage.

Things are gong well for the Buffoon at the moment. The vaccination programme continues to clock up the numbers and any ‘relaxation’ of the last few weeks doesn’t seem to have had a major impact on hospitalisations and deaths. Added to that the death of an almost centenarian has given a boost to the monarchists and forelock tugging sycophants, the bedrock of reaction amongst the British working class.

The pandemic has exposed many of the worst aspects of British society after decades of being brushed under the carpet. The Buffoon will be hoping that many more such distractions such as the European ‘Super League’ arise in the future as the country begins to realise what a shitstorm it has gone through.

Vaccination programme in Britain …

What need of ‘anti-vaxxers’ when scientists shoot themselves in the foot. Vaccine confidence fears as under-30s in UK offered AstraZeneca alternative.

Most Britons still trust AstraZeneca vaccine – poll shows. But the fall out is this extremely badly managed situation will, no doubt, have consequences that will continue for years. Thereby putting more money into the coffers of the other international pharmaceutical companies.

AstraZeneca vaccine: what now for roll out in the UK and Europe?

… and in the rest of the world

This is an obvious consequence of the ‘debate’ that has been talking place over the last few weeks. How does Britain expect people in other countries to use the Oxford researched vaccine if people in Britain aren’t being given it? This just builds on the mistrust that people in poorer countries have with the history of colonialism and imperialism. ‘If it’s not good for them then why is it good for us?’ AstraZeneca jab ‘course correction’ could dent confidence outside UK.

Just so the Brits (and especially the Buffoon) can feel ‘superior’ – Australia’s bungled covid vaccine roll out suffers another setback.

Researchers are hatching a low-cost coronavirus vaccine.

Petty nationalism gets in the way of any vaccine – mine’s better than yours. It’s not what this article says that’s interesting – but the tone. Here adding anti-Chinese sentiments to the nationalistic tub thumping. Chinese official says local vaccines ‘don’t have high protection rates’.

South African case study sheds light on how vaccine manufacturing can be developed.

The global approach to vaccine equity is failing.

Safety concerns and reactions in the west dent confidence worldwide.

Sputnik V: How Russia’s Covid vaccine is dividing Europe.

Most people support sharing vaccines with other countries.

Russian covid vaccine: why more and more countries are turning to Sputnik V.

The ‘Blood Clot Saga’

I’m starting to lose it when it comes to the matter of the AstraZeneca vaccine. European politicians and bureaucrats bad mouth the vaccine then fight to keep any supplies in Europe. And then, no doubt, will wonder why some of their population will refuse to take it. Almost all Dutch-made AstraZeneca doses will stay in EU, says Brussels.

The snowball starts rolling. European Union agency examines reports of blood clots with Johnson & Johnson covid vaccine.

Blood clot reports could have ‘implications’ for use of Johnson & Johnson vaccine in UK. Waiting for a report to come out now which will indicate that such ‘rare’ blood clots are more common than we were first given to believe.

Is it the adenovirus vaccine technology, used by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, causing blood clots? There’s no evidence yet.

Brain clots ‘more likely’ with covid infection than vaccine.

The virus in the summer

Will summer slow the spread of covid-19?

The pandemic in the rest of the world

Covid pandemic still growing exponentially, World Health Organization says ‘confusion and complacency’ prolonging global situation.

How Taiwan beat covid-19.

Test, Track and Trace

NHS to digitise coronavirus testing with new Scandit deal.

Pubs are reopening but research shows contact tracing still isn’t working – here’s how to fix it.

Apple and Google block NHS Covid app update over privacy breaches.

Covid test firm cuts price amid criticism over cost.

Rapid covid testing in England may be scaled back over false positives.

Mass testing shouldn’t be part of the UK’s plan to return to normality.

Pesky variants

How worried should you be about coronavirus variants? A virologist explains his concerns.

More of those who make money out of a pandemic

Research shows travellers have to pay twice as much for PCR tests in the UK as they do in much of Europe.

It’s not just racism that’s been institutionalised in Britain – so has corruption. Matt Hancock and sister own shares in NHS contract firm.

Covid contracts: PPE fixer who was Tory donor named in admin error.

Poverty in Britain

On 21st April 2021 the Resolution Foundation released a report, After shocks – financial resilience before and during the covid-19 crisis, which looked at the comparative situation of low-income households in the UK, France and Germany. Although those people are suffering in all three countries this paragraph is here as, it won’t surprise many people, that in general the poor are even more worse off in Britain than the other two comparable countries in Europe.

On 21st April there was a one hour webinar discussing the outcomes of this report. That is available here.

Following ‘date not dates’?

Virus hotspots could lead to third Covid wave in UK.

‘Collateral damage’

Return to crowded Accident and Emergency Departments and long ambulance delays will put patients at risk, warn experts. ‘There seems to be a normalising of what is abnormal,’ says vice-president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine.

Heathrow says airport queues are becoming ‘untenable’.

Ministers accused of ‘disrespectful’ attitude towards students after confirmation most will not return to English universities until 17 May. Claim tattoo parlours have been given more certainty than students.

4.7 million waiting for operations in England.

Workers in insecure jobs twice as likely to die of covid.

Press freedom: how governments are using COVID as an excuse to crack down on the public’s right to know.

Care Homes

Care homes: why investment firms can be bad owners.

Behaving ‘responsibly’ in 2021 Britain

England lock down eases: Buffoon warns people to ‘behave responsibly’.

Greensill: Lessons to be learnt over lobbying – Cameron

Isn’t there a contradiction here? Am I seeing something that’s not there or is it people refusing to accept that in present day British society there is definitely one rule for the rich and another for the rest of us. The worst thing about his is that the British population seems (at least the majority of them) to think that this is the norm.

‘Immunity passports’

Covid-status certificates could lead to deliberate infections, scientists warn.

Vaccine passports could create ‘two-tier society’.

Covid-status certificate scheme could be unlawful discrimination.

Resistance to the virus

Men create more antibodies after asymptomatic infections and keep them for longer.

The eventual recovery?

Post-covid recovery plans must centre around care work – here’s why.

Capitalism’s covid recovery will deepen social inequality.

Pandemic recovery will take more than soaring growth – to fuel a more equitable economy, countries need to measure the well-being of people, too.

Learning to live with covid – the tough choices ahead.

The Covid public inquiry

Five questions that need answering in a Covid public inquiry.

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

How secure is a return to a ‘new normal’?

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

How secure is a return to a ‘new normal’?

Light at the end of the tunnel, bluebirds over the White Cliffs of Dover, the Sun will come out tomorrow. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

In Britain, in the absence of any strategy to deal with the covid-19 pandemic, we were told the justification for all the restrictions, the ‘lock downs’, having to listen to incompetents spout on as if they knew what they were saying and forcing upon us, being told that we are all suffering mental health problems due to all these activities, that it would all be worth it as the vaccine (that admittedly came sooner than most non-scientists expected, but which, in many ways, had been half developed before the first death from covid in 2019) would mean a rapid return to the ‘new normal’ – not the same normality but one that would be slightly tweaked due the events of the last year or so.

And that ‘justification’ seems to have worked – politically, at least. After all the uncertainty, after all the U-turns of the last year, after the total lack of any strategy whatsoever, after the plethora of contradictions (e.g., following the science, not following the science) the ‘popularity’ of the Buffoon has been on the rise since the beginning of the vaccine programme at the end of 2020.

The success of the programme had nothing whatsoever to do with the Buffoon or his government of buffoonettes. It was down to publicly funded research, the NHS and a compliant population which thought that things would gradually get better if they followed the recommendations. To date more than half the total population of the UK has now been vaccinated at least once.

But now comes the new reality, the new ‘truth’.

The efficacy of the cheapest vaccine is being questioned (see below) and those more risk averse scientists are starting to make even more noise that any vaccine might be fighting a losing battle against the new variants (also see below).

But this doesn’t make sense – or shouldn’t in the 21st century with all our advances in science and technology.

From the very beginning of this blog it has been argued that something is fundamentally wrong with society if the response to a pandemic is exactly the same as it was in the 14th century when the bubonic plague (The Black Death) handed a third (or more) of the population of the world to the Grim Reaper. In a world with a population of 8 billion plus people just dealing with one virus is going to have (and already has had) huge consequences – the uncertain ‘collateral damage’.

For many people of the world – and not just those in the so-called less developed countries – there are more problems (and with more immediacy) to deal with than the covid virus. They have been having to deal with these problems for generations and although rarely acting to change the very basis of society (the root cause of many of the defining issues being the existence and stranglehold of capitalism on the life of the world’s people) which really might see a way out they have been able to survive, more or less. That will become even more difficult if the richer countries of the world continue in the same way as they have been acting now for almost 18 months – that is in a purely selfish response to the pandemic.

There are, however, positives in this parochial and selfish approach to a problem that transcends borders.

People throughout the world might start to see that they are being conned by the political and economic system that is making such a pig’s ear out of dealing with the pandemic – whilst at the same time shovelling billions of the people’s money into the hands of the richest section of society.

There’s been little news of reaction to the failings of their ‘leaders’ in the poorer countries of the world but there have been periodic angry responses in the more ‘developed’ countries to government failings.

I have for long thought that such ‘natural’ disasters would be the spur to make people realise that the old system – which has been exploiting and oppressing them for millennia – was past its sell by date and would get off their knees and take their own fate in their own hands.

Matters have been surprisingly quiet so far, little and sporadic public manifestations of anger, but if the mysterious ‘they’ keep on keeping the carrot at the end of the stick they might find they become a victim of their own over-confidence.

We shall see.

Vaccination programme in Britain ….

AstraZeneca supplies and efficacy under the microscope again.

There’s no need to pause vaccine roll outs when there’s a safety scare. Give the public the facts and let them decide.

Moderna and Novavax – here’s what new vaccines mean for the UK roll out and the end of lock down.

Experts stress vaccine benefits outweigh risks after seven UK deaths.

Trial of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine in children paused amid rare blood clots probe. Now, perhaps, it’s the cynic in me but is it just coincidence that the only vaccine that is being torn apart for possible ‘risks’ – when all vaccines hold potential ‘risks’ – is the only one of the growing number that is being distributed at cost? All the other producers of vaccines (at least those that have so far been produced in the so-called ‘west’) are set to make the killing of their lives in the next few years and, surprise, surprise, there’s been no questioning of their safety. When vaccine programmes get ‘paused’ when the number of cases of blood clots is statistically unmeasurable seems, to me, to be a slight over-reaction – unless there’s a hidden agenda.

Israel and Chile both led on covid jabs, so why is one back in lock down?

…. and worldwide

World Health Organisation chief blasts ‘grotesque’ vaccine inequality as rich nations block speedy end of global pandemic.

A lesson on the efficacy of vaccines.

Merkel and Macron in talks to use Russia’s Sputnik covid vaccine.

Rich countries signed away a chance to vaccinate the world.

How did this all start?

Still no definitive answer. But …. WHO covid-19 origins report says lab leak ‘extremely unlikely’.

Then …. WHO chief calls for deeper probe into laboratory leak covid origin theory. There seems to be a desperate search to find someone (as long it’s not themselves) guilty for the pandemic. If it was a ‘man made’ virus which, I thought, had been discounted months ago, and if it could be blamed on the Chinese all well and good. The probable fact that it was caused by the way capitalism has raped and degraded the planet is the last reason ‘they’ want to accept.

Death Rate

A total of 150,116 deaths have now occurred in the UK where covid-19 was mentioned on the death certificate – as of 30th March 2021.

How is it possible that the number of deaths is now so low?

The Buffoon speaks

Buffoon says ‘greed’ and ‘capitalism’ helped UK’s vaccines success.

Covid-19 vaccines are a victory for public research, not ‘greed’ and ‘capitalism’.

AstraZeneca vaccine – was it really worth it?

Where do variants come from?

Virus variants likely evolved inside people with weak immune systems. And many of those will be the world’s poor.

Test, track and trace

Just when the system is looking that it might be able to do what it should have done 12 months ago one of the private companies running the lucrative contract decides to show its incompetence as an employer as well as a service provider. Call centre staff to be monitored via webcam for home-working ‘infractions’.

Secret filming exposes contamination risk at test results lab. Might just be journalists looking for a scare story or …. ?

How do the police act in a pandemic?

From the police side;

Police ‘acted appropriately’ at Sarah Everard vigil – the view of Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

From those on the receiving end;

A criminal record: 10 times Bristol police abused local people. (And that’s not taking into account the fact that it took the Bristol police more than four days to learn that the ‘broken bones’ sustained by some of the uniformed thugs weren’t broken at all. But the ‘rectification’ of the original story didn’t get the same media coverage as the original story following the demonstration.)

Bristol Kill the Bill: The protesters’ perspective – even the BBC seems to be placing most of the blame of the police.

Police watchdog accused of skewing report to back protests clampdown.

Kill the Bill protests: More than 100 arrested in London. What’s interesting about this article is that the police are already attempting to introduce into the public consciousness the idea that demonstrations should be curbed because they might upset and indeterminate section of the public. Commander Ade Adelekan, who led the policing operation for the protest quoted: ‘… as the afternoon wore on it became clear that a small number of people were intent on remaining to cause disruption to law-abiding Londoners.’ (My emphasis.)

All in this together

Perhaps – but not if you spawned the Buffoon. The new travel restrictions for the majority of us don’t include the rich with second homes in other countries. Covid travel rules will include ‘Stanley Johnson loophole’ for second homes.

Penguin Random House keeps furlough cash despite strong sales – on total sales of €3.8 billion last year.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) acquisition

Government facing threat of legal action over PPE links to modern slavery.

Activities that get hidden during the pandemic

UK government threatened with legal action over WhatsApp use.

UK Government ‘forced into major U-turn’ on NHS deal with Palantir – which involved personal health information about all NHS patients being at the mercy of a private company that would kill to be able to sell such information.

Poverty in Britain

Pre-covid-19 death rates should be a warning for the UK government.

Poverty statistics ‘show tenants need more help to clear covid-19 debts’ – in Scotland, but as has been stated earlier, there’s no reason to think the situation is not dissimilar in the rest of the UK.

Call for minimum income guarantee to eradicate poverty in Scotland.

What the first covid-19 lock down meant for people in insecure, poor-quality work – a report by the Rowntree Foundation.

It’s shameful in modern Britain that the ‘National Living Wage’ doesn’t actually pay enough to live on.

Poorest hit hardest by pandemic, according to new figures.

A Government report included data which showed that, even before the pandemic struck, 43% of households receiving Universal Credit experienced food insecurity.

Poverty in the rest of the world

Ted Cruz, Texan Republican – the one who took an illegal (even in the standards of the US covid restrictions) journey into Mexico – stated (without a hint or irony) that poverty ‘has been a part of American life since this country was founded’. Ted Cruz accuses Democrats of trying to cancel poverty – and there’s a problem with that? Definitely for the super-rich.

Collateral damage

NHS feels strain as tens of thousands of staff suffer long covid.

Work pressure in covid lock down was shattering, say teachers.

Almost 190,000 UK retail jobs lost since first covid lock down.

Yes, there is structural racism in the UK – covid-19 outcomes prove it.

Who benefits from the pandemic?

Two views on the same topic of how criminals have been able to have a field day due to poor monitoring of the cash handouts. The Buffoon doesn’t worry – it’s not his money they’re stealing.

£34.5 million stolen in pandemic scams.

Hackers have raked in £34.5 million from covid-related scams.

‘Immunity’ passports

After months of saying no way – the idea gets close to becoming a reality. This is an issue that’s not going away. The Buffoon will use the ‘carrot’ of a return to the ‘new normal’ to convince a sizeable proportion of the population to accept this insidious monitoring. Here are just a few articles that demonstrate how this started out.

Pubs could require vaccine passports.

Fake covid vaccination certificates available on the dark web. Surprise, surprise!

Every customer must sign in when pubs reopen.

Buffoon to give go-ahead for trials of covid passports.

Lessons of the pandemic – year one

What we learned from tracking every covid policy in the world.

Inequalities and anxieties about returning to workplaces are becoming clearer.

How New Zealand’s covid success made it a laboratory for the world.

Preparations for the next pandemic

World leaders call for international pandemic treaty. Just to give the impression they are doing something. But they told us before the end of 2019 they were prepared for such an eventuality and we have seen what that ‘preparation’ has led to.

Where does the World Health Organization (WHO) go from here?

Perhaps the above premature – some are proposing we will never get out of the present one

New covid variants have changed the game, and vaccines will not be enough. We need global ‘maximum suppression’.

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?