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Trot out the Tory Tripe, punctuated by dizzying supply numbers of kit that seems forever “on its way” and generous funds pledged, but not quite in support of those who need it most. With each broadcast, we brace ourselves to endure yet another monologue of self-congratulatory party political drivel that euphemistically passes for a “Press Briefing.”
This daily dose of dictates drowns out the main news and yet we feel inextricably compelled to watch and discover the worst that lies ahead. We dutifully tune in each day to learn the latest restrictions; the harsh commands of a Government that now dictates control over every aspect of our diminished lives, from whether we can afford to feed our kids to how long we will be permitted to venture outside our own front door and for what specific purpose. While I’m not suggesting that strict quarantine restrictions are unnecessary; I cannot help worrying about the imposition of Medical Marshal Law as what we are witnessing is the very epitome of a fledgling authoritarian police state under the supreme command of a Dictator.
On a daily basis the same important questions remain unanswered or neatly deferred with more procrastination over crucial issues like when vital PPE will actually be delivered to Hospital staff and when the long postponed testing mandated by WHO will begin? No one from the Government has been forced to explain why two precious months of preparation time was needlessly squandered when there was such a crystal clear indication of the scenario we would inevitably face in the UK. Are we three weeks behind Italy or just two? This pales in significance as our Tory Government stubbornly ignored the glaring warning signs and failed to adhere to WHO appeals to test, test, test, to quantify our risk, trace isolate infected cases.
There were the stunning examples of how Asian countries had swiftly brought the Covid 19 pandemic under control with massive testing programs, innovative technology used to trace all contacts, strict isolation of infected individuals and blocking of borders, but the elitist British always think that they know better! When other European countries banned large gatherings, the blasé Brits invited football fans to flock to Liverpool where they arrived unchecked from the Madrid hotspot of Covid 19! While sensible foreign Governments closed their schools and enforced cautious lock-downs, “Take Back Control” UK blundered on in stark defiance of the reality gripping our continent.
This morning’s grilling from Andrew Marr put Michael Gove on the spot: “Can I ask, when we will reach the peak?” Gove, seeking to suspend scrutiny replied that “…it depends on the actions that all of us take… practicing social distancing, if we follow the rules…” that typical Tory denial of responsibility was shocking as the scramble for blame begins in earnest. The sheer gall of Gove to raise the spectre of the Tories early warped strategy where the “science” had once supported “Herd Immunity,” now ridiculed and barely mentioned in embarrassment, replaced by a new rebrand of the Government’s continued advocacy of “good scientific advice!”
On Marr’s question about providing PPE for NHS staff there was another mealy mouthed diversion from Gove: “That’s what were seeking to do…” I want to know, why are we still seeking at this late stage of an imminent disaster? “We have known about Covid 19 since December” Marr protested; to which Gove claims that the Government has been “increasing testing over the last month…” He then adds that on testing we are “rising up the league tables” as if gaining comfort from the possibility that a few other national Governments are doing an even worse job than we are in the UK.
Defending Tory inaction Gove said “The important thing is not to look backwards, but to look forwards;” well I can understand that, as it would expose the massive failures of your inept governance. Gove pledged “when it’s over we will look back.” Sure, and waffle on about “lessons learned” by a Tory Government that never learns from even the most brutal lessons of its reckless past. From Gove there was yet more “seeking” he was “seeking to increase access to ventilators… seeking to upscale testing… seeking to increase production of PPE…” “Can you assure staff who, in the course of the last few days, should have received PPE?” Marr pressured Gove. So, did NHS staff actually get those supplies? Gove was starting to sound like “Where’s Waldo” seeking so much, but we are all wondering when he would find and more importantly when the Government would actually deliver?
Marr elaborated on one NHS supplier in Nantwich called “Direct Access,” who had resourced 2500 ventilators that they could have procured for the Government some weeks ago. Too late for that now! Gove meekly agreed to investigate as if it was the first time he had learned of it, despite several well circulated news reports of the failure. Gove prevaricated claiming perhaps they had “not met specifications” and the equipment was “not what’s required to save lives?” Another company mentioned was MEC a reputable manufacturer of ventilators who offered 500, but no reply from the government; sadly, Marr informed, “you missed the boat!”
Ignoring, bungling or misplacing the early offers of well established manufacturers of ventilators, according to Gove the Tories will channel funding to favoured private sector companies like Dyson, McLaron and Rolls Royce who will re-invent this urgently needed complex equipment from scratch. A totally new design and a rushed production-line is acceptable for simple supplies, but this strategy is potentially downright dangerous with a machine the delivers the crucial amount of air needed to sustain human life!
Marr pressed on: “let me ask you about the EU procurement scheme, which would have allowed Britain to get more and cheaper equipment that we desperately need and which we have not taken part in.” Good point, we all want to know why? Gove passed it off as “…there’s some confusion over our involvement in that scheme…” He went on to invoke “Senior figures in the NHS,” saying that it would not have made any difference and with a truly delusional Brexiteer flourish Gove boasted of British exceptionalism by commenting that there was “nothing we can’t do as an independent nation…” The Europeans are busy collaborating to resource kit, but we just arrogantly dismissed the EU offer of cooperation on bulk purchase supplies that now leaves the UK scrambling to meet the urgent demand!
Marr’s grilling continued apace. “The health service did an enormous project four years ago looking at an epidemic exactly like this, why did you not learn any lessons from that project?” Marr demanded to know. Gove defensively denied taking part, but appeared flustered as he claimed there were lessons learned, but awkwardly veered of the point with “more broadly” eager to return to “seeking at this time, and in the light of the best scientific and Medical advice, to respond appropriately… do the best we can…“ Obviously he didn’t get the memo on toning down that “scientific advice” Boris Shit, but then most Tory MPs are sticking with the same line. Gove ended with: “How do you put a price on life?” That’s a bit rich coming as it does from a hard right Tory proponent of ruthless austerity cuts! It was a relief to see Marr really put a Tory Minister on the spot for once.
The Sunday Telegraph has revealed that: “the NHS failed a major cross-government test of its ability to handle a severe pandemic but the “terrifying” results were kept secret from the public.” They go on to say that “Ministers were informed three years ago that Britain would be quickly overwhelmed by a severe outbreak amid a shortage of critical care beds, morgue capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE),” they said an investigation has discovered. “Codenamed Exercise Cygnus, the three-day dry run for a pandemic carried out in October 2016 tested how NHS hospitals and other services would cope in the event of a major flu outbreak with a similar mortality rate to Covid-19.” The Telegraph exclusive noted that “The report on Cygnus’s findings were deemed too sensitive by Whitehall officials to be made public.”
A Guardian article revealed that Tory ministers readily ignored the essential need to stockpile protective facemasks for our frontline staff in case of a pandemic flu outbreak…Why? That wasn’t considered cost effective, but under the “spare no expense” budget of “Operation Yellowhammer” it was important to stockpile body bags to prepare for the purely preventable damage of a hard crash-out Brexit! This is a damning demonstration of where their core priorities lie: a Tory Government unwilling to invest in the necessary precautionary lifesaving protective equipment was ready to accept the requirements of dealing with the unnecessary carnage that their chaotic Brexit fiasco might create! That warped thinking puts the genuine priorities of the people dead last and is truly sick.
The only positive punch-line of the pathetic Johnson Election campaign came when lying toad Boris promised forty new Hospitals for the NHS, but was this ghastly iteration really what was meant? The Nightingale’s are being prepared, giant warehouses for the condemned victims of the looming nightmare scenario ahead; all part of the preventable production-line of pain and suffering on passage to the morgue! The death toll has already surpassed 1,200 as mistakes made at high levels months ago will continue to have horrific repercussions in the next few weeks. The only strategy that has ever succeeded in getting the Covid 19 infection rate under control involves massive testing programs and strict tracing and isolation protocols, but this deluded Tory Government has yet to commit to this requirement as they seem absolutely determined to prove that the WHO are wrong.
In his Must Read Article “The Hammer and the Dance” author Tomas Pueyo describes: “What the Next 18 Months Can Look Like, if Leaders Buy Us Time.” The informative piece includes a lot of useful graphs to elaborate on the basic point he is trying to get across. He calls out our tepid response: “The US and UK, like countries such as Switzerland, have dragged their feet in implementing measures.” Pueyo lays out the likely consequences of a “Do Nothing” approach with the reality check that: “If 5% of your cases require intensive care and you can’t provide it, most of those people die. As simple as that.”
As I have also posted on the Coronavirus Forum: This author also raises an important point about “Collateral Damage,” noting that the numbers “only show people dying from coronavirus. But what happens if all your healthcare system is collapsed by coronavirus patients? Others also die from other ailments.” Quoting the total number of ICU admissions in the US in one year as 4 Million the likely death toll if there was no place for these patients in ICU is truly staggering. With a far smaller population in the UK the potential collateral damage of fatalities here in the UK added to Covid 19 deaths would be unacceptably high.
The case presented by Pueyo clearly demonstrates that we absolutely cannot afford to overwhelm our NHS. Unfortunately, we appear to be right on track to do just that if we do not impose stricter measures right away, but also start aggressively testing and tracing to track down and isolate cases before they spread the virus. It does not inspire confidence or reassure the public that the PM is taking the necessary measures seriously when not only has Boris Johnson tested positive, but also the Health Secretary, Mat Hancock plus the PMs Chief Medical Adviser, Chris Whitte, has developed mild symptoms and decided to self-isolate. Is Whitte postponing a test to avoid Boris’s “take it on the chin” bravado looking more like a total wipe out at the top?
New to the Tory Tripe propaganda line it was time to gain public acceptance of our grisly fate, an appallingly high body count that would need to become more palatable with frequent retelling to the shocked British public. We might keep the death toll down to less than 20,000, but only if we follow their orders to the letter. Do exactly as you are told and fewer will be killed by this dreadful disease, but they want you to believe that this is not in any way their fault. When their ineptitude causes us to breach that bloated boundary, after blaming and shaming the public for the stupidity of their non-compliance, will another arbitrary target be set?
Do not blame Tory incompetence, their stubborn ignorance as they disputed uncontrovertibly facts by advocating a “do nothing“ policy in the pretence that the Dom’s eugenics program of “Herd Immunity“ would provide sufficient damage control. The public recognized a classic Tory motivation with the financial advantage of a convenient extermination of our elderly and infirmed! Too late to undo the harm of inexcusable dithering they now want to disown the consequences of their abysmal decision making. Time to reframe the Tory spin, it will be portrayed as wilful public non-compliance and not their fault at all; the inevitable 20,000 lives lost the Tory “Slaughter of the Sheeple” is about to begin! But, it never had to be this way.
We could have vigorously fought back after the Covert 2019 Rigged Election, but we lapsed into a fatalistic complacency allowing the Tory lies to flood our airwaves with hype about “borrowed votes” and buying into that fear of being labelled a “sore loser.” But it is still not too late to “Rescue our Watchdog” and demand a thorough investigation into the stolen Election. I know many of you feel that the Covid 19 crisis demands our urgent attention and right now this must remain our priority. But Covid 19 and the Covert 2019 Rigged Election are inextricably linked. Unless we remove this Tory Government from office we will be forced to accept the tragic consequences of their dangerous decisions that will continue to put so many innocent lives at risk and the “Slaughter of the Sheeple” will proceed unabated.