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You get what you pay for and the Press sold you a Lemon – A very bitter tasting lemon at that! In an uncharacteristic flourish of honesty, the Sunday Times dropped a most revealing “Truth Bomb” last weekend that has got many in the Conservative camp crying foul. Indignant and totally outraged over the naked exposure of the worst failings of their illustrious leader and his rotten cabal of hard right cronies in dealing with Covid 19, their protests have been vocal, and vociferous. It was high time the Tories felt the media wolves teeth ripping at their delicate elitist flesh for once, but where was that secure cloak of protection, bestowed by national crisis, that they counted on to hide their shame?
The media landscape had changed; Tories believed they had seized total control of the narrative. The token political balance of “This Week” had morphed into a toxic dollop of Andrew Neal’s uncut bigotry and bias. They gagged Victoria Derbyshire by getting the BBC to nix her program, seen by the Tories as a serious threat early on. The Daily Politics made a far quieter exit without much fanfare or protest, perhaps because it was already so heavily right lurching. The Paper Review now features a number of foreign publications in a way that helps to water down the presentation of a plethora of negative domestic news. Instead we get the daily nauseating Tory Party Political broadcasts that masquerade as “press briefings” while churning out propaganda to those who dutifully contribute by paying the compulsory TV license fee!
What a terrific start it had been for Johnson, with Labour MPs repeatedly humiliated by a contrived defeat in the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and their cheated voters distracted by a popularity contest to choose a more compliant leader as instructed. The illusion of a “landslide Tory victory” the fabrication of “borrowed votes” and the crumbling Red Wall had dominated the headlines in the New Year. Glory boy’s conspicuous absenteeism as “Part-Time Prime Minister” was only remarked on by a discredited thorn about to be wrenched from Boris’s portly side. Then his mate Trump’s brinkmanship with Iran almost ruined an idyllic Caribbean Holiday with Carey and returning to sodden regions of the flooded north to pose with mop and bucket was so beneath him.
But then the rubber really hit the road with an even more serious global crisis that was not going to conveniently evaporate; it required real leadership, he just hadn’t counted on such demands as PM. The worrying news was about to detract from Boris Johnson’s greatest triumph. “Get Brexit Done” could not be outdone by some pesky Chinese bug; it would have to be put on hold for a while at least! So no big drama in the press, ministers could cover his Cobra meetings, he would fall in line with Trump and downplay the danger to the British people, job done. Of course participating in an EU Covid 19 procurement program was out of the question; the Tories needed to prove that Brexit Britain was no longer beholden to Brussels: the UK would boldly go it alone.
Ignoring the warnings of credible scientific advisors Johnson and his team procrastinated and wasted precious time when they should have been bracing for the worst. Replenishing stockpiled items they had not bothered to maintain, preparing the NHS for a virus much worse than seasonal flue, setting up strict quarantine requirements at points of entry, testing, tracking and tracing any cases that slipped through the net; but basking in the glory of their fake win the Tory Government did none of that. On the 12th of March they decided it wasn’t worth testing anyone accept those hospitalized with a serious case of Covid 19; no more track and trace just let it go.
Spanish football fans poured into Liverpool from a Covid 19 hotspot in Madrid to attend a game that should have been cancelled. There were no health checks when their charter flights landed at John Lennon Airport and they were soon booked into area hotels, crammed into Liverpool pubs, visiting restaurants and letting rip in local night spots. It was a time-bomb of tragedy where the Government had every right to step in and refuse to allow such a large gathering to proceed in light of the pandemic. This was the inexcusable atrocity raised by Labour MP, Maria Eagle, in a targeted question to Mat Hancock in the House of Commons the other day. Pointing to the higher than national average incidence of Covid 19 infections in Liverpool, she wanted an honest admission that it was a mistake to go ahead with the game and asked if there would be an investigation?
Seeking the standard cowardly cover of the “best scientific advice,” Hancock prevaricated, as if the Government was in no way responsible for making this deadly decision. However, this was not the only disastrous miscalculation made by the reckless Tory Government under the misguided direction of Boris Johnson; there was that high point of the social calendar the Cheltenham Festival. Four days of highbrow hob knobbing, a huge investment among the wealthy elite, but had any race goers recently returned from a ski holiday in Italy or a business trip to the Far East? The Canary reported on the unusually high infection rate in the area around Cheltenham in the relatively unscathed southwest of the UK; a second time-bomb of tragedy in March would soon unfold.
The virus had taken hold in the UK and it would soon run rampant throughout the country so why not pretend that such widespread infection was actually part of a well developed strategy of “Herd Immunity.” From major screw-up to an intentional Government policy it would be draped in a cloak of respectability with repeated references to the “best scientific advice.” That was until credible scientific experts at Imperial College scotched Dominic Cumming much favoured eugenics program after modelling demonstrated massive death rates. Sadly a small percentage of a very large number is still a frighteningly large number; in the case of the UK population left unchecked Covid could claim half a million lives.
Despite the warning signs of heavily stricken Italy, ignoring strong examples of national strategies that worked really well to contain the contagion and the appeal from the WHO to “test, test, test,” the Tory Government stubbornly tried to stick to their failing plan, wasting precious time as the virus spread exponentially unchecked. In the media it was time to row back on their gushing support of herd immunity; it had never been a Government policy, it was a potential consequence. They knew that the virus would take the elderly, the weak and infirm; a segment of the population Tories derided as “economically inactive scroungers” could be effectively “culled!” Forget the nostalgia for veteran war heroes and doting grandparents who had paid into the system all their lives, this cruel cull remains the Tories “Final Solution” for Social Care a devastating “Holocaust in Care!”
“Herd Immunity, protect the economy and if that means some pensioners die, too bad!” That now highly publicized abhorrent sentiment from Boris Johnson’s sicko side kick “Chief Adviser” Dominic Cummings remains still smouldering below the surface. The Canary reported how central this was to Tory strategy as they cherry-picked only the advice that they wanted to hear to meet their goals. All of the current evidence points to the strong probability that that the Tories have yet to jettison their herd immunity strategy; it is still being actively pursued, but in a more covert way. The UK is not just a perverse “outlier” romping ahead with the highest Covid 19 death rate in Europe by some freak bad luck; we are virtually alone in defying the advice and directions of the WHO. The unforgivable failings go way beyond just gross incompetence to consciously personify organized culpable negligence!
According to the Canary: Cummings chaired a meeting on the virus with representatives of big tech companies. Also present at the meeting were the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance (who backed the herd immunity strategy) and NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens. Others played a role – The Sunday Times also reported how: David Halpern of the Whitehall “nudge unit” put the phrase in the public domain. Two days later, Vallance repeated the idea on Radio 4.” Who can forget jovial Johnson’s “Take it on the Chin” comment when he floated the ‘theory’ of building herd immunity to tackle coronavirus on TV, concluding that “we need to strike a balance.”
TV bruiser Piers Morgan has started earning public accolades from the left for calling out Tory miscreants. Health Secretary Mat Hancock suffered Morgan’s mauling when he tried to backpedal fast in an attempt to rewrite history in denial of the Government’s policy of herd immunity as the Canary reported. In a second ruthless takedown from Morgan: “Care minister’s ‘claptrap’ PR highlights Tory hypocrisy” the Skwawkbox reported on Whately’s car crash interview when Morgan pulled up House of Commons footage taken in 2017 where Tories cheered after they voted down an above 1% pay rise for Nurses and asked her why she had voted against the below inflation pay increase.
Skwawkbox will not let the Tories whitewash over their atrocious record with a few shallow rounds of applause: “Boris Johnson, Rishi Sunak and other Tory MPs cynically milked last night’s public applause for our NHS heroes, in spite of the government’s abject failure to protect front-line NHS staff by providing enough proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and coronavirus testing capacity. But the exploitation sparked anger among staff who know all too well the Tories’ real record on the NHS. And nowhere is that record better encapsulated than in this short video showing the Tories cheering in 2017 as they ‘successfully’ blocked a desperately-needed pay rise for nurses, along with firefighters – just a couple of weeks after the Grenfell Tower blaze – and other key front-line workers.”
So what of the Tories feigned horror over the revelations in last weekend/s Sunday Times? They thought they had the right wing press under control; they must be worried about what might emerge this Sunday. Most of these rags thrive on sensationalism and right now the sensation is cantered on the almighty mess this Tory Government are making of their gross mishandling of the Covid 19 crisis. What there journalists uncovered was a scoop to big to pass up. But the papers are struggling too, hoping that their expose will attract readers.
What the print media had not bargained for was that much of the material had already been presented to the public by the alternative press and most were not eager to pay to get past their commercial fire wall. As core snippets of what was written have been cut and pasted into blogs and featured in twitter posts they are urging the public for patronage as they plead poverty have garnered more derision than support. Would we want Murdoch’s bigoted right wing press go under? Sure! The Canary have highlighted their pathetic cause asking do we really want to rescue the rogues that have lied to the public with their shoddy journalism that persuaded so many to vote for the worthless gang of losers running the country?
How are the Government dealing with the crisis right now? By any measure extremely badly, their blunders go from bad to worse! Are the media still covering for this Tory Government? The Canary take a look at the smear campaign that denied the people on both sides of the Atlantic the strong and principled leader we deserved and ended possibility of civilized politics. Can we safely continue with bad governance? More on how the media are waking up to their public responsibility tomorrow to come this weekend I hope. Meanwhile don’t forget your responsibility to keep them under pressure. Do not passively absorb everything you hear from the Government or their tame media stooges, we need to keep them under intense scrutiny. We must question the result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election and push for a full investigation into the result. It is never too late to seek the truth.