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In the Canary Cartoon entitled, “Vaccine 90% effective at pushing Tory coronyism from the headlines,” it epitomizes all of the core reasons for rampant vaccine hype over the last two days just used as ‘handyfloss’ to cram the airwaves with positive Tory PR spin. Certainly I was anticipating a ‘dead cat’ to detract from crash-out Brexit, but this may be only one of several grotesquely overblown news pieces we can expect in the coming week. The Canary provide an explanatory, “Image description; A scientist in a lab coat and holding a clipboard is illustrated next to a poster featuring the words ‘Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine’ and the image of a syringe with two vaccine vials. The scientist is saying ‘The vaccine has been proven to be 90% effective at pushing Tory cronyism and incompetence out of the headlines! It will also be vital in fighting the virus.” In reality it’s doing so much more in providing vital cover for ‘Empera with no clothes’ Johnson as he stumbles forward towards his absolute power finish line extricated from EU protection.
I generally try to cover the main opposition Party pitches at Wednesdays Prime Minister’s Questions, albeit a day or so after the fact, but this week it ventured well beyond the bounds of a totally worthless exchange to the point where it was so vomit worthy it required a health warning! Instead of posing one of the serious questions that desperately requires answers, Keir Starmer sought redundant clarification on aspects of the Tier system that are laid out clearly in print; far from sounding ‘forensic’ it looked as if Sir Keir, just like the PM, couldn’t be bothered to read his brief. Johnson looked bemused and relieved as he read out the instructions verbatim across the dispatch box while Starmer looked on sheepishly like the class dullard unable to read simple text. Not content with this public humiliation Starmer squandered another question by asking for a second redundant clarification which drew an equally derisive response from the PM. We really should be relieved Johnson failed to tease Starmer over his lack of reading skills.
A futile game of ping pong ensued, with the PM turning each and every question into an opportunity to embellish upon the vaccine news as if the technology itself was his own personal triumph of enginuity rather than a German/US collaboration to create a vaccine that is being manufactured in Belgium! It was truly astounding the amount of mileage Johnson managed to leverage out of the fact that this chaotic Tory Government was prepared to throw caution to the wind just to score a few cheap PR headlines as the handyfloss conveniently obscures all of the widespread Tory corruption and catastrophic serial failures of this Government from the second he stole office. It’s never too late to hold a Government to account or fully Investigate the result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election; we do not yet know how urgent this will become as the Tory Dictatorship tightens its grip on absolute power after the New Year. Dictatorships endure for decades; we will need to call on former EU allies to exert pressure to help rid the UK of this scourge!
I have come to realize that there is good reason to limit Party Political Broadcasts to just a few short minutes of true torment; any longer presentation from certain parties bears a strong risk of inducing uncontrolled vomiting! There is no doubt that the excessive cognitive dissidence produced by such high levels of fake news, empty promises and electoral lies is extremely distressing to those experiencing the reality of persecution and exploitation under Tory rule. Hearing the exact same snake oil salesmen tout the same miraculous solutions under a new brand name does not convince the public that there has genuinely been a shift of focus. A total obsession with greed and power is in their DNA and a total disregard for the working poor, vulnerable and underprivileged is an inevitable consequence; Tories never change! Can we please remove the word ‘levelling’ from the political language, as it implies an equality that Tories will never tolerate while in power; they are not ‘levelling down’ tell it like it is, they are ‘Decimating Down!’
In one defensive parry in response to the PM’s criticism over abstensions Starmer replied, “When I abstain, I come to the House and explain. When the Prime Minister abstains, he runs away to Afghanistan and gives the taxpayer a £20,000 bill.” It was a great stunt to hide Starmer’s repeated ambivalence. In his only real question regarding jobs in the wake of yet another high street crash, Starmer urged the PM, “not deflect. As well as providing emergency support, will he work with us, the trade unions and the sector to finally bring forward a comprehensive plan to save retail jobs and to provide the sector with the much greater support it needs through this crisis? These are real people, Prime Minister, with real jobs and families, who are facing the sack…” The PM replied with the standard ‘let them eat cake’ response as he launched into an expansive nauseating PR spin on Universal Credit and more.
The SNP leader Ian Blackford hit a real nerve when he said, “There are millions who still have not had a single penny of support from this UK Government. As others rightly received help, they received none. Prime Minister, yesterday I met ExcludedUK, which represents many of those 3 million citizens. For the past nine months, the excluded have been living without any help and without any hope. It is now, tragically, costing lives. Prime Minister, they told me something genuinely shocking. They are aware of eight people who have taken their lives in the past 10 days—eight people in 10 days. Prime Minister, we are now a little over three weeks from Christmas. These people need help. Will the Prime Minister commit to looking again at the support package for the excluded, to ensure that no one, but no one, is left behind?” The PM might as well have said we will send a truck to pick up the bodies as he waffled, “I obviously sympathise very much with those who have taken their lives and their families.”
Blackford was not impressed, countering, “…This has been an abject failure by this UK Government, and the Prime Minister has been missing in action. The Government has U-turned on almost everything else, so why cannot the Prime Minister and the Chancellor change their minds on their support for these 3 million people? These are people working in construction, creative industries, events, education, hospitality, retail and healthcare. They have not just been left behind; they have been ignored for nine months. The Chancellor has repeatedly dodged this issue. ExcludedUK has not been offered one formal meeting with a Government Minister.” But far from agreeing to meet the campaign group the PM indignantly claimed, “We have abandoned nobody and we are continuing to support people…” Johnson then launched into another lengthy PR pitch about non-existent Tory financial support that left those watching rapidly scrambling for the puke bucket! Most of the session was not worthy of reporting.
This hastily approved vaccine is distracting us. The MSN Article entitled, “Jacob Rees Mogg accused of spreading ‘fake news’ over claim vaccine approval was down to Brexit,” shows the depths of desperation this Tory Government will grovel to in order to deceive the public over the impending crash-out Brexit disaster. You can watch him being challenged in the Commons over his tweet in a brief video clip included in the article. They say that, “Jacob Rees-Mogg has been accused of spreading ‘fake news’ after he claimed the COVID vaccine was approved quickly in the UK because of Brexit. On Wednesday, the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) approved the jab developed by Pfizer and BioNTech, while the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has yet to do so for the EU. Rees-Mogg jumped on the news, tweeting: ‘We could only approve this vaccine so quickly because we have left the EU. Last month we changed the regulations so a vaccine did not need EU approval which is slower’.”
However, MSN report that, “MHRA chief June Raine said the approval was made using provisions under European law, which still binds the UK until the end of the year. Speaking in the Commons this morning, deputy leader of the House, Valerie Vaz, urged Rees-Mogg to ‘take back his tweet’ in light of Raine’s comments.” The deliberately misleading Tweet stated, “We could only approve this vaccine so quickly because we have left the EU. Last month we changed the regulations so a vaccine did not need EU approval which is slower — Jacob Rees-Mogg (@Jacob_Rees_Mogg) December 2, 2020” Vas responded by saying: “We’ve had fake news. The approval of the vaccine has nothing to do with Brexit.” MSN say that, “Rees-Mogg called the approval of the vaccine a ‘British success’ and accused the European regulator of being ‘a bit sniffy about it’.”
MSN report that, “He told MPs: ‘The UK should be really proud that our regulator got in first and we notice that the European regulator is a bit sniffy about it, wishes we hadn’t done it, and that Germany and France and other European countries haven’t managed to do the same thing. ‘We have, we’re leading, draw your own conclusions, as I’m sure the British public will.” He railed, “We are now free of the dead hand of the European Union and will be even more free from that on 1 January.” He added: “It is a huge British success of which we should be proud and pleased.” But it was all hands to the pumps to bail out the disastrous sinking Brexit ship as it slamms into the Titanic crash-out iceberg, so other Tory Brexiteers puffed up their chests to chime in with this corny unwarranted boost to British exceptionalism.
MSN also reported that, “Brexit was also credited as the reason for the speedy approval of the vaccine by health secretary Matt Hancock, who said the Europeans are ‘moving a little bit more slowly’. Hancock told Times Radio: ‘The reason we’ve been able to move this fast, and the UK is the first country in the world to have a clinically authorised vaccine, the reason is twofold. ‘Firstly, because the MRHA has done a great job of working with the company to look at that data as it’s come through and do things in parallel, rather than one after the other as they normally would, that’s the first reason. ‘The second reason is because, whilst until earlier this year we were in the European Medicines Agency (EMA), because of Brexit we’ve been able to make a decision to do this based on the UK regulator, a world-class regulator, and not go at the pace of the Europeans, who are moving a little bit more slowly. ‘We do all the same safety checks and the same processes, but we have been able to speed up how they’re done because of Brexit’.”
At a time when we are conducting really delicate last ditch negotiations with the EU Tory Ministers lack the basic diplomacy to refrain from urinating on respected EU partners who they are demanding must treat the UK with the utmost respect and deference. However, such derogatory language clearly demonstrates the intention of the UK to walk away from negotiations and blame the EU for the ensuing disaster that will deliver a crippling blow to the UK economy and a serious shock to our disillusioned citizens. MSN report that, “Hitting back at Hancock’s claims, German MEP Pieter Liese, a member of the European Parliament’s public health committee, said individual EU member states could have authorised the vaccine but had chosen to wait for the EMA to examine more information rather than follow the ‘hasty’ UK example. The EMA suggested that it was imposing more stringent checks than the emergency process used by the MHRA.” The real reason for the haste was to distract and bury Tory mistakes: a ‘Dead Cat!
MSN show a picture of, “A refrigerated truck drives out of the Pfizer Manufacturing plant in Puurs, Belgium, on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British officials on Wednesday authorized a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use, greenlighting the world’s first shot against the virus that’s backed by rigorous science and taking a major step toward eventually ending the pandemic.” This is meant to bring hope following the shambolic Tory mishandling of the Pandemic so far. A spokeswoman said: “The temporary authorisation of the vaccine by the MHRA is not a marketing authorisation. It differs from marketing authorisations in the level of evidence submitted and checks required.” This announcement was rushed to produce more ‘handyfloss’ than substantive logistics: this is not good. MSN say, “Downing Street did not back Hancock’s claim about Brexit. The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: ‘It is clear that we are the first country in the world to approve this vaccine and it is incredibly positive news that we will be able to start to distribute it’.”
The Skwawkbox Article entitled, “Treating held-back communities in northern England as 2nd-class citizens” – new report accuses Tories of bias in putting London in Tier 2, saying of the PM, “Not only did he fail, but he repeated that discrimination.” They reveal, “A hard-hitting report by the No Holding Back group of northern working-class figures accused Boris Johnson’s government of repeated contempt for struggling northern communities. The report, released this morning, begins: Boris Johnson has treated held back communities in northern England as second-class citizens. His decision to keep tough restrictions for the north for longer while neglecting to place London in tier three shows that he has no regard for the difficulties faced by our constituents. Placing London in tier two will ultimately cost unnecessary lives and prolong this second wave.”
According to a Skwawkbox analysis of the report, “With tier restrictions commencing on 3rd December, Boris Johnson had a chance to show he had learned from his blatant discrimination in trying to foist 67% furlough on Northern England while pivoting to 80% furlough when the lockdown was extended to the South of England. Not only did he fail, but he repeated that discrimination, again leaving us in no doubt of his disregard for held back communities. Like ours. The report, published by MPs Ian Lavery and Jon Trickett and former MP Laura Smith, analyses the government’s methodology for deciding tiers – and the government’s decision to ignore high and rising infection rates in the south and falling infection rates in the north to impose higher tiers in hard-hit working-class communities.”
Skwawkbox highlight the fact that the report, “also exposes the Tories’ decision to provide inadequate testing in London to hide the high levels of infection: This decision, after the 2nd of December, to place London in tier two, whilst placing areas like Manchester, Yorkshire and Humber, and the North East of England in tier three is flawed. Infections in London are on the rise, especially among those aged sixty and over, the infection positivity rate is rising, as is the level of CV19 hospitalisations. Coronavirus is growing in London, and despite the much lower levels of testing in the capital city, it is recording 16,000 infections a week.” This begs the question, what is motivating the skewed thinking driving Tory policy on putting this tier system in place and who will be impacted? Frontline workers will carry on as instructed in the Capitol, for the vast majority of the working poor working from home is not an option. Schools continue to drive a spike in cases with children acting as vectors to infect those in multigenerational households.
The Skwawkbox list the pertinent information relied on in this report:
• “London’s infection rate is rising.
• Much of northern England’s infection rate is falling.
• The spike of London’s hospitalisations shows no evidence it is crushing the curve, in fact all evidence is that it continues to grow.
• That infection levels in southern England more generally are on the rise, especially the South East of England whose authorities now occupy many of the top forty most infected places.
• That London has the lowest testing level of any region in England and if its testing levels matched Yorkshire or the North East that it would show London as having the greatest number of infections of any region over the last week
• Areas in London such as Havering & Redbridge have higher infection levels than Wakefield which is in tier three
• Areas in London such as Bexley, Dagenham, Hackney, Havering & Redbridge have infection levels higher than Northumberland which has been placed in tier three
• ONS show CV19 mortality impacts poor communities & Black and Asian communities worse. Thus, the decision to keep London out of tier three will cause many unnecessary deaths in London.
• Lives of poorer communities in London and ethnic minorities are being placed second in consideration to the financial capital, The City of London.”
The Skwawkbox continue their damning analysis saying, “The report goes on to highlight the obvious bias in the Tories’ decision-making and the racism and class bias inherent in its choices – and calls for the government to protect the health and wealth of the nation: London’s infection levels are climbing, especially among its over 60s. It’s hospital levels from CV19 patients is also on the rise. Despite low testing, its week on week levels show a marked increase in infection levels. We have shown that parts of London have worse infection levels than some held back communities who have been placed in a higher tier level. Given the worse health outcomes for more deprived communities, especially ethnic minorities, it is clear the government is putting the perceived wealth of the nation against the health of its citizens. This is a false choice. Health is wealth. The best thing the government can do for the economy is have blanket tier four restrictions for the entire country until the curve has been crushed.”
The Skwawkbox also criticize, “The manner in which the government implemented its furlough system also provided a clue into its disregard for the North of England. 67% furlough for northerners, jumping to 80% when Londoners were included was blatant discrimination for all to see. We think that same bias is influencing the decision to keep London on lower restriction levels. This is a decision that will cost lives, especially those in London already suffering from structural racism and poverty.” This is coming from a PM still making nauseating empty boasts about ‘levelling up.’ Skwawkbox say that, “Held back communities will have watched the government’s decision making. They will have seen the double standards in the implementation of restrictions and it the awarding of furlough payments. The promises to level up the north were quickly set to the side when the first hurdles arose. This government has shown it cannot be trusted to act in the interests of the northern working class communities.” The article includes a pdf Link to the Report.
During PMQs Johnson admitted that, “This has been a very tough time for the country,” but he has demonstrated that his rabid Tory Government will shamelessly take advantage of the Covid 19 Pandemic to destroy the economic viability of the north of England while sacrificing the health and safety of the working poor in London. The Tories have conducted a ruthless ‘Slaughter of the Sheeple’ while relentlessly plundering the public purse to divert funds to be squandered by their wealthy Tory donors. Their behavior cannot be tamed or modified to limit the ongoing damage and the worst is yet to come as they forcibly crash the UK out of the EU without a deal exactly as planned. At PMQs the PM boasted, “We are investing massively in mental health support across the country…” In truth Johnson is in a unique position to transform mental health for the better in the UK just by making one single merciful, humanitarian decision for the good of the country: immediate removal of the Tory Party from office! Get The Tories Out! DO NOT MOVE ON!