Does ‘too little, too late’ become ‘too much too soon’?

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Does ‘too little, too late’ become ‘too much too soon’?

Seemingly not, surprisingly not, astoundingly not! All initial indications from commentators and even the ‘experts’ is that the plan announced by the Buffoon on 22nd February might be the best way forward for the country. So it looks like he didn’t have any real say in the proposed timetable of raising of restrictions.

Whether the literal island of Britain can exist as a metaphorical island in the rest of the world – when the vast majority of the world’s 8 billion people are nowhere near having any protection against the virus is another matter.

If we maintain the parochial approach the vaccination programme in the UK also still seems to be going well. Figures are showing that around half a million people, more or less, are being vaccinated every day. The ‘promise’ that every adult – those over the age of 18 years – will be vaccinated by the end of July is just another bit of grandstanding and might catch the Buffoon out in the future – but all he is thinking about is short term popularity. Such a promise (bringing that target forward a month) serves no purpose other than being a form of political posturing.

Extending the vaccination programme to those younger than 18 probably won’t happen until much later in the year – not least as the present vaccines haven’t been authorised for children yet – although all the vaccines that are being put into peoples’ arms throughout the (‘developed’) world now were all rushed through the validation process. It looks like that gamble has paid off as there are no reports of serious side effcts, other than those normally associated with vaccines.

The Buffoon’s latest slogan has been ‘data not dates’. Always one for the short, snappy slogan. Although this is the first time he might have really been following the data.

However, one question to ask is; what data are they following. Yes, infections, hospitalisations and deaths are falling. But why? When you have two variables introduced at the same time (a lock down – if only partial – and the introduction of a mass vaccination programme both starting at the end of December and which have been running in tandem ever since) how can you say which one has had the desired effect?

Perhaps the answer to that will come out in the next few months.

Also (and this leaves a bad taste in the mouth) the Buffoon is starting to make reasonable comments about the introduction of a so called ‘immunity passport’ based upon a vaccination history. Yes, initially, it will be discriminatory, for a a number of reasons – mainly age but also there are other variables that might mean someone has not been vaccinated when given the chance.

The idea of carrying proof of who you are (which is what such a ‘passport’ would be) has always been fought in Britain – one of the few countries in the world that doesn’t have an obligatory identity card system.

Most people in the country will accept anything – under the impression that it will be a temporary imposition – in order to return to some form of normality. However, as with the restrictions that were written into law with the Coronavirus Act of last spring once these sort of measures are enacted the State is very reluctant to rescind them – unless there is a lot of pressure for them to do so. A nation ‘tired’ of restrictions on its movement might not be the best ones to take on that fight.

And the words of the Buffoon can never be trusted.

The ‘roadmap’

Initial reactions to the Buffoon’s announcements of 22nd February. Is England’s Covid roadmap the right way out of lock down? The experts’ view

A year too late, the Buffoon produces a reasonable plan.

Is the UK’s exit plan the right one? Three experts give their view.

Although at the end of last week it was reported that Whitty was at odds with the Buffoon over ‘big bang’ reopening of schools in England.

Vaccination programme

The question of enforced vaccination – or at least pressure to get vaccinated. ‘No jab, no job’ policies may be legal for new staff.

When there’s a shortage there’s the potential for gangsters to fill the gap. Something about which all countries should be aware so what we can learn from the great polio vaccine heist of 1959?

Should politicians showcase their own vaccinations to convince the rest of us?

Vaccines on the world stage

UK should send vaccines to poorer nations now – head of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

UK hits target for protecting most vulnerable but global roll out lags far behind.

Vaccine diplomacy – how some countries are using COVID to enhance their soft power. This article doesn’t specifically address the announcement by the Buffoon at the G7 meeting last week about the UK ‘donating’ excess vaccines to poorer countries – but all donations will come with their ‘conditions’.

Covid-19 variants

It seems that the Kent variant really is starting to take over the world. Is the Kent variant responsible for the rise in cases among young people in Israel and Italy?

The issue of masks keeps on developing

At first it was just any ‘face covering’ was adequate, now technology (and profit opportunities) are becoming more important. ‘Smart’ face masks promise high-tech protection – but who is going to pay for these, yet another divide due to class and poverty?

The National Health Service

Yet something else we’ve known for many years but to reiterate – management consultants in healthcare do more harm than good, but keep getting rehired.

Health workers appeal to Buffoon for better personal protection. So getting close to the second year and the issue of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) still remains an issue.

Front line National Health Service staff at risk from airborne coronavirus.

Poverty in Britain

England’s poorest areas hit by covid ‘perfect storm’.

One in six new universal credit claimants forced to skip meals.

Universal Credit worth less than in 2013, says Citizens Advice Scotland.

Again, not strictly covid related but a situation which will only get worse as a consequence of the pandemic. ‘Only junkies’– how stigma and discrimination link to rise in drug deaths among Scotland’s poor.

Prison cases ‘almost double’ in a week – in Scotland.

International preparedness for the pandemic

Italy ‘misled WHO on pandemic readiness’ weeks before Covid outbreak. That’s all well and good BUT … what was the situation in Britain at the beginning of 2020? From all that we experienced last year the situation in the UK wasn’t significantly better – nor in many other so called ‘developed countries’. Otherwise why have we seen 120,000 and 500,000 excess deaths in the UK and the USA respectively. What The Guardian should be investigating is not what happened in another European country but what was the situation here, in Britain.

How did the pandemic start?

I was the Australian doctor on the WHO’s covid-19 mission to China. Here’s what we found about the origins of the coronavirus.

The effects of covid – and how to deal with them

A distorted sense of smell is dangerous but treatable.

‘Collateral damage’

UK government blasted over delays to employment reforms.

The Resolution Foundation has produced another report looking at employment prospects for the post-covid future entitled Long Covid in the Labour Market. On the 18th February they also hosted a discussion on this issue and that is available to watch here.

Under-25s hit worst as unemployment rises again.

‘Immunity Passports’

IT experts weigh up the pros and cons of vaccine passports.

Covid vaccine passports could discriminate.

And people should be aware that although they want to get back to a ‘new’ normal as soon as possible the general application of such documentation could well be the slippery slope down the road of the need to carry an identity card. Easier to accept for people used to doing so in many countries – a little bit more difficult in the UK.

We have Cummins – the US has Cruz

Although not covid related exactly but just goes to show those who consider themselves entitled just carry on doing what they want – whatever the situation the majority of people have to endure. Texas Senator Ted Cruz flew to Mexico amid state energy crisis.

Help for home owners, yes, help for renters perhaps (or perhaps not)

Here’s how the Government can release renters from mounting pressure.

Calls for Spanish-style loan scheme to help UK households in arrears.

The ‘recovery’ from the pandemic?

We need a green recovery after covid-19, but banning wildlife trade could do more harm than good.

Corruption in ‘high places’

Matt Hancock acted unlawfully over pandemic contracts. So what’s going to be the consequence of this ruling?

Or this? Covid contract-winning firm owned by Hancock’s neighbour is investigated by health regulator.

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Tories return to the old normal before the country gets used to the ‘new normal’

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

Tories return to the old normal before the country gets used to the ‘new normal’

The relative success of the vaccination programme is starting to make the Tories (and their Buffoon of a leader) more confident as they see, perhaps, some light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the pandemic.

For almost a year they’ve been inept, incompetent and making so many U turns they must be getting dizzy themselves.

But there’s a possibility that, at least in Britain, many restrictions might be lifted in the not too distant future.

What this provides for the Tories is an opportunity to get back to business as usual and that is to dismantle the welfare state, which they have been doing for many years. This is the same welfare state which created the National Health Service they’ve been cynically lauding over the last 11 months.

The proposals have yet to be fully published but they will in no way improve the NHS. This has never been the Tories aim. Since the 1940s, up to and including the gang that are now in control, the Tories have been the same anti-working class,racist bunch of privileged public school boys (and girls) who were around at the time of Churchill.

As well as changes to the National Health Service they have started to talk about changing the whole concept of ‘free speech’. But this will be just freedom for the ruling classes to say what they want and to promote their version of history.

Also, the appointment of the new Children’s Commissioner will mean a greater emphasis upon privately run Academies and the taking of even what limited control remains away from local government. The Academies, in many circumstances, have shown themselves to be more expensive and have created education ghettos for those young people who live in the wrong place or don’t have the opportunities provided by more well-off parents.

Those who have been most effected by the social consequences of lock downs and the closure of workplaces are the young, those in their 20s and 30s, mainly due to the insecure work regimes that have become the norm for millions.

The impact of a lack of any real strategy to somehow claw back the time in education lost by a huge proportion of the school age population will not become obvious years down the line and so can be, conveniently, brushed under the carpet and forgotten. That will be someone else’s problem.

As is always the case this all depends on the people of Britain. They were foolish enough to give the Buffoon a five-year mandate in December 2019 and they have been living with the consequences of that decision to the tune of 120,000 excess deaths. However, that doesn’t seem to have changed their minds as the Tories still lead in the opinion polls. (It doesn’t help that the ‘Too little, too late’ Party have little to offer as an alternative.)

If the British people are prepared to accept these attacks upon what has been fought for by workers in the past then they will no longer have any right to complain about the dire future for their children and should certainly not complain about the ineptness and unpreparedness of the country for the next pandemic when it comes, whether that be one, two, ten or twenty years in the future.

Following the science?

If so not in the early days and definitely not when it came to preparing for what has been considered inevitable for a number of years – a pandemic. Matters, vaccine wise, might be going well at the moment – but they could have been better if the successive British Governments hadn’t failed to heed the virus alerts.

It’s important to remember that although the Buffoon and his Government have been totally inept in the last eleven months the ‘Too little, too late’ Labour Party wouldn’t have been any better. And neither of the two major political parliamentary parties in Britain were conscious of preparing for the inevitable pandemic – whether in power or opposition.

This is a strange article as it conflates two entirely separate concept – one of anticipating the pandemic and the other is popularity in the opinion polls. However, on the latter issue the questions asked are strange and designed to provide a favourable response to the present Government. The vaccination programme has been (surprisingly) successful but that doesn’t mean to say the government was responsible for the success and that it will continue till the end of the crisis.

Saying the vaccination is working well does not equate to saying that the Government is also doing well.

For all their bluster the Scottish nationalists were no better prepared than the Buffoon’s Government south of the border. Inadequate preparations for covid, says watchdog, Audit Scotland.

Vaccination programme

Five unanswered questions about the vaccine roll out.

Union Jacks wave high, noses are snubbed across the Channel, xenophobes and racists celebrate but Britain’s ‘victory’ over the European Union on covid vaccination is not what it seems.

UK hits target for vaccinating most vulnerable – but who should be prioritised next?

Virus ‘variants’

After leading the world in the number of deaths per thousand and the level of incompetence of its government, Britain’s version of the virus (or the southern Britain’s version in a north-south divided nation) is ‘on course to sweep world’.

Some of the potential problems with variants.

Not sure how there can be enough people who have had two doses of the vaccine when the policy (as far as I understood it) was to give as many people as possible one dose and then come back for round two) to make any study reliable. However, supposedly, Pfizer vaccine found to give strong immune response to new covid variants.

New covid variant with potentially worrying mutations found in UK.

Did the virus kill them – or successive British Governments?

A huge proportion of the UK’s covid deaths have been disabled people.

The ‘reform’ of the National Health Service (NHS)

‘My colleagues think it sort of beggars belief really, that this is happening at this time when the NHS is in turmoil.’ Dr David Wrigley, vice-chair of the British Medical Association.

Quarantine for those arriving in the UK

Chaos, uncertainty and irrationality plague this idea – even before it started on 15th February – as the hotel quarantine booking system crashes.

Is it ethical to quarantine people in hotel rooms?

Heathrow says hotel quarantine plan has ‘gaps’.

You say tomato I say tomato

It loses something when written down but corruption and nepotism is such however much it might be disguised. Those the electorate of this country have allowed themselves to be governed by are a group of people who have honed the task of skimming off the people for centuries and are such an incestuous group that – even in ‘normal’ times – it’s always jobs for the boys (and now the girls) of those who are running this country for their own financial ends.

Dominic Cummings defends polling contract. What’s interesting about this particular article is the short paragraph;

Former Labour MP Natascha Engel, who is now a partner at Public First, defended the firm’s involvement.

‘Too little, too late’ Starmer’s Labour Party would have been no different. Once in the coterie they are all rushing to feed from the trough.

Cummings’ role in handing covid contract to firm run by ‘friends’.

Poverty in Britain

Yet another report on poverty in Britain and the way in which the pandemic has both highlighted the issue and also how it has made life even worse for those caught in the poverty trap. Will anything be done to resolve this issue come the return to ‘normality’? Perhaps so if the poor start to fight against their situation instead of putting their faith in lying politicians. Also the working class as a whole needs to get involved in the fight as they should be aware by now, if they weren’t before, that most people are only ‘one wage packet away from destitution’.

This one is by the Living Wage Foundation and is entitled; Life on Low Pay in the Pandemic.

South Wales valleys’ high death rates ’caused by poverty’.

Known about for decades – another report just brings matters up-to-date. Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) uses excessive surveillance on suspected fraudsters.

We asked 70,000 people how coronavirus affected them – what they told us revealed a lot about inequality in the UK.

‘Collateral damage’

How the pandemic may damage children’s social intelligence.

After the virus a food poisoning epidemic? At-home food selling concerning, says Food Standards Agency.

NHS workers will need help to manage the trauma of the pandemic.

Make children priority after pandemic, Anne Longfield (outgoing Children’s Commissioner) says. A couple of interesting aspects of this article.

A Government ‘spokesman’ said;

‘Anne Longfield has been a tireless advocate for children, and we’re grateful for her dedication and her challenge on areas where we can continue raising the bar for the most vulnerable.’

That’s a euphemism that she did her job protecting the rights of children so it’s fortunate she’s on her way out.

And she will be replaced by a Tory place-holder, who comes from running ‘a multi-academy trust’. So we can anticipate what sort of support she will be giving to the interest of the majority of children.

Testing

Still dropping down the popularity scale but this could be interesting for the future; Graphene could one day be used to make quick, reliable tests for viruses like SARS-CoV-2 (or as we know it, covid-19).

What about those with lasting complications

A public health expert’s campaign to understand the disease – especially the idea of ‘long covid’.

A solution to the ‘Housing Crisis?

Manchester’s developers and charities are proposing to house the homeless in shipping containers.

Keeping the windows open in the winter

The case for ventilation of indoor spaces – even in the winter.

The battle of the playgrounds

Ministers accused of removing ‘last vestige of hope’ for parents in playgrounds row

The winners and losers in the covid race – or how to distract from your own incompetence

The New York Times is certainly aware of the propaganda value of pointing to China as a scary danger.

Tory politicians return to form

For the last year the Buffoon and his Government have ‘been on the back foot’, ‘behind the curve’ and all the other crass cliches that hide the fact that they haven’t had a clue about what they were doing. Now they have the ‘success’ of the vaccination programme (which is really not down to them at all, all they did was to splash out public money and buy expensive vaccines – when they didn’t even know if they would work or not). To say they were correct in their choices is no more than saying that the once a year gambler is an expert in horse racing after picking the winner of the Grand National by sticking a pin in the list of runners in the newspaper.

Now they think the pressure is off they are back to their nasty tricks. First we had the proposals to reorganise the NHS – together with the lies that this would result in a reversal of the creeping privatisation of the last two or more decades and now they are hiding behind the concept of ‘free speech’ to clamp down on anyone who criticises their moribund imperialist and capitalist past and present. This latest concept all coming from right wing so-called ‘think tanks’, aka academics who are the lapdogs of privilege and economic and political power.

Free speech plan to tackle ‘silencing’ views on university campus. Here the ‘impartial’ BBC giving succour to the extreme right wing.

The Tories want a war on the woke – as if there’s nothing better to do.

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A year since Britain first heard of covid-19

More on covid pandemic 2020-2?

A year since Britain first heard of covid-19

It was in the final week of January 2020 that people in Britain became aware of a new virus that was starting to get out of control in China. Was that the first time we came across the term covid-19? If not once we learnt that designation it should have started to ring alarm bells. We were hearing about it at the end of the first month of 2020 but it must have been around for a few months before that.

For most people it probably registered as something serious – but not that serious. We had been told for years that science knew that something like this was bound to happen at some time (we had had three or four ‘near misses’ already in the 21st century) and that our governments were aware and prepared for any such eventuality. How wrong we were.

In criticising the Buffoon and his Government for its actions (or more normally its in-actions) throughout 2020 the term ‘too little, too late’ has often been used. That critique might well have been valid since the end of March last year but it’s more important to remember what had happened (or not happened) in the years – even decades – before the dawn of 2020.

The National Health Service (NHS) had been undermined and parts of it privatised ‘secretly’ through the back door. Care of the elderly wasn’t a concern for any government, whatever their political colour, although they recognised there was a problem, said they would fix it – and never did a thing.

There was no preparation for the likes of a pandemic. No rational stock piling system of necessary equipment (which meant that some of it was ‘out of date’ when needed as there had been no rotation of materials). And, most importantly, no strategy of any kind of how to deal with such a crisis, which took into consideration the myriad of potential problems, and no structure that could be set into motion at the flick of a switch to deal with all related matters from the care of the sick to the dissemination of clear and concise information.

‘Too little, too late’ could be used to describe the situation in Britain since the 1980s.

As a consequence what do we have a year down the line?

  • the highest per capita death rate of any country in the world
  • an untold number of fatalities waiting to happen due to the health system being turned over, for months, almost exclusively to dealing with the covid virus
  • an NHS which is on the point of collapse
  • an NHS workforce that is being pushed to its limits, not just during the winter (a perennial problem for years) but throughout the year
  • an educational system that was unfair at the start and becoming even more so
  • young people totally confused about their futures
  • an increasing level of unemployment, the level of which we won’t know about for a good few months yet
  • an economy that wasn’t that healthy before now in free fall
  • an unimaginable debt which will be pushed into the future (on top of the debt created to pull the capitalist system out of the mire caused by its innate greed which led to the 2008 financial crisis which had also been pushed into the future) and which the young will be expected to pay for – whether they know or realise it or not
  • a number of vaccines which might (or might not) protect people, which might (or might not) make them less infectious, which might (or might not) deal with the many variants that are popping up everywhere, which might (or probably won’t) be distributed worldwide to populations who need the protection from a vaccine much more than the majority of people in the richer, capitalist countries

And still we’re no closer to actually placing the pandemic behind us than we were this time last year.

Will the next 12 months be like it was in the film ‘Groundhog Day’? Quite possibly. But there will almost certainly be one important difference. Bill Murray’s character learnt from the mistakes he made – the Buffoon in Britain, and all the rest of the Buffoons in government in the rest of the world, are unlikely to be as receptive.

The next pandemic

It might be strange to look at potential pandemics in the future whilst in the middle of one that has ben raging for over a year now but unless we are constantly aware that pandemics are likely to become the norm (rather than the exception) we will be in danger in forgetting how things had been managed in the past and make the same mistakes in the future.

The new mosquito bringing disease to North America – but no need to worry about malaria, this species brings with it all mosquito carrying diseases except malaria. Will that mean the world’s pharmaceutical companies will increase efforts to look for a way of combatting disease carrying insects. When it was just effecting the poor they didn’t really care. Now it might start to threaten the richer countries in the northern hemisphere it becomes a different matter. But even if they do come up with a prophylactic or cure it won’t be the poor that gets the first option – just see how matters are playing out over the covid vaccine.

Infection and mortality rates

Ten months since the first lock down the same slogans are being revived. If everything that people are expected to do now, so long after the first infections were identified in the country, is merely to achieve the same aim, that is, to avoid the NHS from being overwhelmed, then really we’re no further forward than we were in spring of 2020. It means that we have just being playing a waiting game in the hope that the virus would ‘tire and just go away’, burn itself out. By not being pro-active and basically marching on the spot we are no better off than those in the 17th century who prayed to the Lord for salvation from the Plague. The risk averse approach of most scientists to lock everything down (and the criticism that we haven’t locked down society enough) also shows that progress in science and medicine over the centuries hasn’t been able to come up with strategies which use that increase in knowledge for the overall benefit of society. Crossing our fingers and praying that all would turn out well would have been as effective.

Mixed messages have been emanating from the Buffoon and his Government since the pandemic hit Britain ten months (or so) ago. This has only served to cause confusion and despair – and not least one of the reasons some people are not sticking to the restrictions. One of the tactics the Government has been using from the very beginning to get compliance is by promoting an environment of fear amongst a sizeable proportion of the population – and they seem incapable of not stoking those fears (even if they are not based upon any identifiable factual information).

Such is the situation over the new ‘variants’. New UK covid variant may be 30% more deadly, says Johnson. But the following day; ‘More deadly’ UK variant claim played down by scientists. Following the science – or what?

Number of patients on ventilators passes 4,000 for first time. Going back six months or so it was stated that knowledge gained at the beginning of the pandemic had meant fewer people were being put on ventilators. The numbers are announced but not the reasons for this going back to the original approach.

How is the virus changing

There’s a new variant almost every day now. Will this make it harder to get to ‘herd immunity’? Perhaps – but there is still hope.

After the virus being ‘stable’ for the best part of a year it’s now throwing up potential problems by having to be described by its various ‘variants’. How did they evolve and what do they mean?

Why being more transmissible rather than more deadly isn’t good news.

The Vaccination Programme

I’m sure there’s going to be many strange stories in relation to the vaccination programme/s in Britain and other parts of the world. So this one to start.

Doctors told to throw away leftover covid vaccines rather than giving second doses. But then it does come from The Telegraph.

The British Government is intent on going for the big centres (ten more to open in England – and presumably more to follow) rather than concentrate on a local level. It might be a short term ‘solution’ – we’ll have to see how matters pan out over the next few months – but it might be missing a golden opportunity to develop a structure that can respond to such epidemics in the future.

The jockeying for position in the ‘vaccination queue’ – and also a cynical opportunity to gain some level of popularity. Priti Patel ‘working to get jabs to front-line roles’.

Now there might be justice and validity in many of these preferences but such a discussion shouldn’t be just out for the loudest to get what they want. Once a vaccine was considered the only get out of the pandemic there should have been a ‘task force’ which looked at all the options and could come out with arguments for why the the roll out was focussing on some groups rather than others.

In a rational society that would include not vaccinating some people in the UK until more vulnerable people in other parts of the world had been vaccinated first. But no British government would ever have the nerve to stick to a principled stance. This is even though a pandemic means that if we don’t get to grips with the virus in all parts of the world the chances of a future outbreak can never be ruled out.

UK to look ‘very carefully’ at vaccine dosing after concerns raised over level of protection. But when Israel is involved in the issue it would be useful to remember that the country is basically Pfizer’s poodle and will say anything to keep on the right side of the pharmaceutical giant – as long as it doesn’t involve extending the vaccination programme to Palestinians.

Queue jumping becoming more common – and inevitable as long as there’s no proper and clear strategy about vaccination and as long as the ‘free market’ is allowed to determine matters. Wheelchair firm tells of access to jabs ‘through a back door’.

On 21st January Radio 4’s World at One aired various views on the question of ‘one dose or two’ – and the gap between them.

The North/South divide hasn’t gone away. Claims supplies ‘diverted from the North’ raise concerns.

Why combining the Oxford vaccine with Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine could make it more effective.

Why the UK’s ‘lumpy’ roll out shouldn’t be a concern – this article also addresses the matter of the moral obligation of vaccines being sent to poorer countries.

Vaccinations in the rest of the world

Surprise! Surprise! The richer countries are grabbing all the stocks of vaccines and ignoring the (probably) most needy in the world. The World Heath Organisation (WHO) calls this a ‘catastrophic moral failure’.

This issue was discussed on Radio 4’s World at One on 18th January.

So, how and when will lower-income countries get access?

Israel has become the ‘poster boy’ when it comes to the speed in vaccinating it’s population. But always with Israel, what you see is only the tip of a very dirty iceberg. Some of those details came out on Radio 4’s World at One on 18th January.

On 19th January Radio 4’s World at One looked at the Israeli response to its ‘obligations’ to the people who’s land they illegally occupy and proposals for vaccinating Palestinians against covid. In this short piece its interesting how the Israelis cite an agreement of the 1990s but ignore how their actions in the intervening 25 years have made any commitments to the health service in Palestine an almost impossibility. For a deeper look at Israeli attitudes to the Palestinian people the report by B’Tselem makes interesting reading.

This one for EU bashers. EU vaccine woes mount as new delays emerge.

Testing

Even with a number of vaccines the general (scientific) consensus is that testing is also needed to get on top of the pandemic. In the UK it’s almost impossible to know where we stand on this issue. Plans are made, ambitious goals are set, failure is the result. Now to add to the general confusion in the education sector Ministers are now set to halt plans for daily covid tests in English schools.

‘Collateral damage’

The ‘vulnerable’ old are dying, the young are getting the dirty end of the stick from the ‘efforts’ by governments to cope with the pandemic. If a measure of a society is how it deals with its old and young then Britain doesn’t (not surprisingly after so many years of institutionalised selfishness) come out too well. Another report emphasises this by coming to the conclusion that one in four UK young people have felt ‘unable to cope’ in pandemic.

One law for the rich and ‘famous’ – one for the rest of us

This story got worse as the days wore on but initially tennis stars’ arrival angers stranded Australians. Even those so-called ‘celebrities’ that come from humble backgrounds rapidly take on the spoilt brat approach when they have a healthy bank account.

Politicians drank on Senedd (the devolved Welsh Parliament) premises despite booze ban. Probably wanting to avoid waste!

(This eventually led to a few resignations. However the point isn’t what they did it’s the idea that there are those who think that because of their position in society they are not covered by the same restrictions as the vast majority of the population. Here I’m not referring to young people going to raves – they’re doing it because they don’t trust those in government and are prepared to take risks.)

The issue of masks

From arguments way back in March that mask wearing possibly had more negatives that positives we are getting to a situation where some high-tech (and more expensive) mask is the way forward. Wear medical-grade masks if you can’t socially distance, Britons told. Whether this will take supplies from places where it might be more useful or who will actually have to pay for this more expensive equipment is not addressed. We will soon have a situation in Britain as it was in World War Two with people walking around with a gas mask in a box hanging from their shoulders.

Poverty in Britain

Poverty is easy to resolve – you just stop al the wealth being collected into a few hands and create a society which works for the benefit of the majority. I accept easier to say than do – and experienmts in the past have not achieved what they set out to do. But what is certain is that there will never be a solution to poverty under capitalism – it’s very existence depends upon inequality. And even if some ‘go up’ it only means that others will have to ‘go down’.

But that doesn’t stop the likes of the privileged Buffoon coming up with another meaningless and impractical suggestion. His latest is that girls’ education is the key to ending poverty.

At the beginning of January the Resolution Foundation brought out a report of how 2021 will be for the poorest in society, in their report The Living Standards Outlook.

Poorer pupils falling behind during lock down. Again, Surprise! Surprise! But nothing gets done about it, such as general provision of computers and connectivity.

Travel restrictions

This is another of the ‘will they, won’t they’ stories. UK shuts travel corridors and requires negative covid tests to enter. Whether at this stage of the pandemic this will have any real effect must be debatable. What is not debatable is that this provides an ideal opportunity for bandits around the world to make money out of the crisis with the provision of expensive tests to those who ‘need’ to travel.

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