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Chancellor Richie Sunak was the Spin Master today at our excruciating daily party political broadcast from the Tory Party. He started in by elaborating on the damage control over the ever dwindling stocks of PPE and announcing a shipment from Myanmar. That debacle swiftly dispatched Sunak moved onto more comfortable territory by stating that the Government’s Furlough Scheme got off the ground today which was a huge relief to workers who desperately need this support and the businesses who want to keep them on stand by for a return to work. In the first day of registering for the Job Retention Scheme 140,000 businesses had applied in a bid to support over a million workers.
The Government’s Business Interruption Loans were still coming under heavy fire as unworkable, most recently with the Governor of the Bank of England weighing in to advise that this Direct Loan Scheme should go beyond the original 80% offer, but Sunak was adamant that these Direct Loans will not be raised to 100% despite universal calls for this to happen. Labour too had tried hard to insist on raising the loans to 100%, also demanding regular updates on the Government’s Job Retention Scheme. Richie Sunak then began to talk up a “Futures Fund” to get new SMEs started if and when we return to normal. This would see the Government owning stakes in UK start-ups, so questions were asked regarding whether this was a novel direction for the Tory Party?
We were told matter-of-factly that 40% of deaths from outside Hospitals might be going unreported, but we were assured that the Government will release comprehensive numbers later on this week. That will be a very unpopular day to draw the short straw for presenting the briefing to a critical press pack! Journalists had been contacted by anxious NHS staff worried about the downgrade for PPE supply requirements believing this was prompted by the inability to meet ongoing demand rather than the safety of staff. This was carefully reframed to avoid admitting that the safety standards had been downgraded. The “exceptional circumstances” excuse gives the Government a free pass especially when they hide behind their “best scientific advice” shield. One reporter asked if staff could refuse to put themselves at risk, but no one was surprised he didn’t get a straight answer.
Journalists continue to ask what seems to be redundant question about the timing for lifting the lockdown restrictions. The Tory Government has devised a list of criteria that must be met in order for them to lift the restrictions, which at first glance look like they have followed the WHO directives when in reality they have not. The Government was hardly going to box themselves in with a highly demanding wide-scale testing program and complex contact tracing requirement as advised by the WHO. By inventing their own criteria they will retain the right to move the goal posts later on and claim the divine guidance of, you guessed it, “scientific experts.” This should worry us all given the misdirection the “experts” they have relied on in the past have inflected on public policy.
One member of the press expressed concern that thousands of workers and self employed people were still not covered by any of the Governments support schemes saying it “doesn’t sound fair, it sounds callous!” It was time for a Tory spin injection as Sunak claimed Universal Credit was shelling out generous advance payment that in reality are now notorious for dragging people into spiralling debt and evictions. The Chancellor said he had injected 7 billion into the DWP to strengthen what he euphemistically calls the “Social Safety Net.” Most socially aware individuals know that this safety net has been decimated beyond recognition over the past decade of relentless Tory austerity cuts to become a pathway to destitution. Just as they were punished after the banking crash they did not cause, the working poor are bracing themselves for decades of increased hardship paying for Tory blunders.
The Liverpool Echo was allowed to question the Tory team to inflict a heavy blow regarding the consequences of the fatal decision to allow the Spanish football team from seriously infected Madrid to travel to Liverpool for a football game without cautions, checks or restrictions. Dr. Harris defended the flawed decision regarding letting large scale events proceed as planned; the horse racing at Cheltenham also got the green light despite strong public criticism of how reckless this was at the time. The Echo reporter spoke of a spike in Covid 19 cases in Liverpool and 250 Covid deaths in Hospital with more outside in the community. The arrogant Tory Government stooges expressed no shame or regret over this catastrophic mistake and its grisly consequences as they sang another chorus of “guided by the science to make the right decisions at the right time” repeated three times for painful emphasis!
The Marr show yesterday was quite exceptional and I couldn’t help but ramble on for far too long in yesterdays post; sorry for the lengthy rant. I was embarrassed to discover so many typos in my last post. I never seem to catch them all, but there was a bumper crop the other day; I will try harder to catch my mistakes. However I found the interview with Professor Sarah Gilbert from the Oxford team busy working on a vaccine really fascinating. What she said about the difference between the immunity acquired by natural exposure and the immunity bestowed by a vaccine has not gained much attention in the media, but it provides a logical debunking of the Tory eugenics program.
I found another source of valuable information on this among the comments of leading experts at Science Media Centre. Although our knowledge of how Covid 19 functions is still limited, there were a number of very important points made by these respected scientists and logical conclusions drawn that should be contributing to government strategy. One recurring conclusion was that if we start widespread antibody testing the most important thing we will gain is the missing input data allowing us to more accurately quantify the extent of infection and from that the percentage of sickness and mortality from Covid 19. The contributors were a lot more cautious about the level of immunity this might indicate, the duration and the effectiveness of any protection it might impart on those with antibodies. This is well worth reading about at the Science Media Centre.
The Canary picked up on the pronouncement I found so galling the other day when Dr. Jenny Harris, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England, stunned the audience by saying that: “the UK is an international exemplar in preparedness!” Their article is worth reading. In just goes to show how this Tory Government are totally shameless in their delusional denial of responsibility and total avoidance of accountability. Boris Johnson is still capable of making yet more very damaging decisions from his safe bolt hole at Checkers where he is beyond public scrutiny during the excuse of his extended recovery. We must hole this reckless Government to account and demand a full investigation into the Covert 2019 Rigged Election to oust their corrupt leadership that from power before greater harm is inflicted upon the people of this nation through incompetence, negligence and greed.