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The Skwawkbox Article entitled, “SAGE scientist: ‘We KNOW school children 7 times more likely to bring virus home than other household members’,” reinforces vital information that this particular progressive News Site has tirelessly focused on presenting repeatedly for months now. They include a BBC Video Clip taken from Prof Sir Mark Walport’s interview on the Andrew Marr Show this past Sunday where the professor adds that, “closing schools and distancing children is the only measure known to bring down transmission rates, something that can’t yet be said even for vaccines. Sage scientist and former Chief Scientific Officer Professor Mark Walport dropped a coronavirus bombshell on yesterday’s Marr programme that seems, unsurprisingly, to have been ignored by the so-called ‘mainstream’ media in their analysis of the Boris Johnson’s resistance to teaching unions’ calls to close schools as part of a national lockdown, a resistance shamefully matched by Labour leader Keir Starmer.
Skwawkbox insist that, “Walport was emphatic, and stated frankly that the government and its scientific advisers know that older school pupils are seven times more likely to bring the virus home to infect their family than any other household member. And he added that it was clear that school holidays bring down infection rates and keeping people apart, which means closing schools, is the only thing currently known to do so, something that can’t yet be said even about the new coronavirus vaccines: Boris Johnson is wrong to stubbornly insist schools remain open. Keir Starmer is equally wrong to support him. Teachers and their unions are right. ‘The science’ says so, and the government knows it. That obstinacy is costing thousands of lives, and will cost many thousands more, if it is not abandoned immediately.”
In a Sky News Article entitled, “COVID-19: Boris Johnson leaves viewers with more questions than answers,” Kate McCann evaluates the PM’s Sunday interview on Andrew Marr. Sky’s Political correspondent says that, “Boris Johnson recognises the gravity of the situation, but it is unclear how he will tackle it.” Sky News claim, “Boris Johnson’s position on a potential new Tier 5 has not been made clear. The prime minister knew, walking into his first broadcast interview of 2021, that he would face some difficult questions. In the last 24 hours alone, teaching unions have warned their members not to take classes face-to-face because of fears over the rate at which COVID-19 is spreading, a record number of new cases has been announced, and the government has been forced to change its mind on primary schools opening in London this week.”
McCann said, “It was unsurprising then that Boris Johnson’s message on schools appeared to be confusing.” With regard to schools The PM had insisted that, “The risk is small.” She reported that, “During an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr he clearly stated that schools were safe, and parents should send their children back if their school is open. But when asked to guarantee closed schools will welcome pupils again by the middle of January, the deadline he set, the prime minister could not say yes. Nor could he guarantee that exams will be held as normal this year, or rule out further changes to the school system, despite his strong desire to keep everything up and running. He cited advice from public health officials about the safety of schools, but this was written before the spread of the new coronavrius variant, which has been rising rapidly in younger age groups, though is still not causing serious illness.” Citing out of date data in a fast moving national crisis does not inspire confidence.
In McCann’s opinion, “The prime minister’s message, coupled with his repeated assertion that coronavirus restrictions will get tougher in some parts of the country, left viewers with more questions than answers. There was no timetable for when changes could be made, or an explanation about what a potential new Tier 5 could entail.” While it is a relief to hear that the, “Oxford vaccine is now ready for roll-out,” the lack of clarity from the PM was most disconcerting. Each full announcement of each new decision is promoted in advance like a tantalizing or traumatizing sneak preview, often supplying just enough information to prompt a swift exodus as it did right before London went into tier four. Such ill advised early warnings of increased local restrictions have helped to spread the new strain of Covid 19 all over the country.
In another of his confusing contradiction in the Marr interview viewers were left wondering, “With rising infections and deaths across the country, it isn’t hard to see why such measures might be needed.” But, she said, “Mr Johnson also made the case that lockdowns do not work and are a blunt tool which will not solve the rapid spread. Speaking on the vaccine roll-out, he pledged to vaccinate tens of millions of people over the coming months. Yet experts have warned two million people a week need to be vaccinated for the current wave to be curbed. Mr Johnson apologised for his inability to be more specific. It was clear from the tone of the interview that the prime minister understands the gravity of the situation the country now faces. But it was unclear how he and his government will tackle it.”
McCann concluded by saying that, “The vaccine and testing regimes will eventually be the key to suppressing the spread enough to return to normal life, but these could take months to get there. Until then there will be some difficult decisions for ministers to take – on schools, and on everyday life for people around the country.” In stark contrast to the Bumbling bullshit of Boris Johnson, Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon recalled the Hollyrude Parliament to make a clear, firm, and serious, but compassionate set of new restriction announcements to the people of Scotland. She was countered by a set of concise, logical and practical questions for further clarification put forward in a professional, non-combative manner by Tory Ruth Davidson. This informative and civilized exchange was designed to leave the Scottish public crystal clear about what they should do and when, while definitely outlining the reasoning behind the latest decisions made regarding further restrictions and what will be strictly prohibited until further notice.
We now await Boris Johnson belatedly following Nocola Sturgeon’s strong leadership. The conduct between Boris Johnson and the new Labour Leader, Keir Starmer during debates in Parliament and at Prime Minister’s Questions is like watching two young boys square off for a school yard brawl. It is a woefully unprofessional performance from both of them and, just like the PMs shoddy interview style, it leaves the public with more questions than answers. Boris Johnson is vague, contradictory and indecisive, preferring showmanship and grandstanding with elaborate promises and grossly inaccurate information or downright lies. Starmer is no better as his preferred tactic of scolding and trying to coax an admission of guilt out of the PM is doomed to failure, irritating, irrational and accomplishes nothing. Instead of his pathetic “who’s a naught boy…” approach he needs to follow Ruth Davidson’s lead and try to pin the PM down to specific evidence and timeline commitments that put him on the spot and inform the public.
When our hapless Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared on that Marr Show on Sunday he looked as if he had just stumbled out of bed with a bad hangover, but he was there to crow about his success in wrenching us out of the EU with the most damaging of deals imaginable. He wanted to arrogantly brag about British achievement with regard to the newly approved AstraZeneca vaccine as if he had been personally instrumental in creating it. He was characteristically over promising about the roll-out giving few details beyond his usual bluster and vacious PR spin; it was ‘handifloss’ for his compliant Media to feed to a Covid 19, battle weary, British public. But the PM didn’t spare us his customary dose of sanctimonious preaching to remind us that the escalation in the infection rate was ultimately all our fault for not adhering to his shambolic, ever changing, dictates. His emphatic denial of the unnecessary risk posed by children returning to poorly prepared, understaffed schools was particularly nauseating to choke down.
His determination to keep children in school, faking genuine concern regarding the damage caused by neglecting their education was just rank hypocrisy. The Government could have allocated additional funding to the BBC to drastically increase televised learning programs for school children across all age ranges while halting the payment of the TV licence fee for poor families. If this tasking had been initiated early on, as a precautionary measure in case it became necessary to close schools, all that TV learning content could have been marketed overseas if it was not needed here. TV learning would have reached a far greater proportion of children than online learning requiring computers and internet access they know is unavailable to a large number of poor children. The Government made impressive announcements about providing Laptops, only to drastically scale the program back as soon as public attention had shifted to the next crisis. Children in school despite the Covid risk isn’t due to concern over their ability to learn.
Subjugation of the working poor is accomplished through the deliberate perpetuation of ignorance with the starvation of children during the years of learning. Starvation doesn’t just debilitate the body and stunt growth, it’s first impact is on the brain where it causes a critical drop in blood sugar, the vital fuel for a properly functioning mind. The compulsory milk at first break in the morning raised blood sugar, kick-starting the ability to think properly in class, until ‘Thatcher bottle snatcher’ crueley removed this important resource. “Feed kids and they will learn” was also the principal behind the ‘Sure Start Program.’ that was able to successfully boost the life chances of children, since a healthy breakfast combated malnutrition and the resulting dip in blood sugar levels. Although school dinners suffered a significant drop in quality at one point, the efforts of Jamie Oliver to improve their nutritional value made a really positive difference to the poorest children who were so heavily dependent on this as their most significant meal of the day.
During the war strict rationing of food was necessary, but it was calculated to ensure that the entire population had recourse to a least the bare minimum of the available provisions. Rationing applied to everyone and, meager as it was, it allowed the entire population an equal chance of survival, plus it was nutritionally sound. This was an effort by the Government of the day to act in the best interest of the population as a whole and people cooperated, because at the time they felt assured that they really were all in it together. The constant battles with this Tory Government over trying to ensure that the poorest children in our population do not go hungry, represents a complete denial of their core responsibility and a total abdication of their essential duty to protect the British people from harm. Why are the Tories so fanatical about the denial of food in the full understanding of how starvation will cripple the ability of children to learn? An ignorant and desperate workforce will be readily compliant with perpetual Tory exploitation!
It is obvious that Boris Johnson must now be fully aware that children remaining in school are functioning as vectors, spreading Covid to more susceptible family members who will get sick and die. In the Byline Times Article entitled, “’Journal of the Plague Year & What to Expect in 2021,’ Byline Times’ chief medical officer, Professor John Ashton, looks back on the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic and warns that without radical change, next year will be even bleaker.” He says, “The metaphor of the perfect storm may be overused, but the events of recent days make it an inadequate one. Far from understanding and learning from the mistakes of the first nine months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Boris Johnson and his Government have been repeating them and adding more for good measure. As we go into the Prime Minister’s ‘Merry Little Christmas’ the immediate prospects for the New Year are bleak. It seems increasingly likely that, in the UK at least, the Coronavirus crisis may now extend well past the spring.”
Ashton reports that, “The reality of escalating infection rates coincides with the latest evidence of over-promising and under-delivering with the roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme. This is combined with deteriorating staff sickness and morale across the public and private sectors in general, and the NHS and schools in particular. The main charges against Johnson have been well-rehearsed: his superficiality, short attention span, lack of attention to detail and unwillingness to take responsibility for matters when things go wrong. There is a tragic symmetry to his distraction from the pandemic by Brexit. Four-and-a-half years after the EU Referendum, the catastrophic consequences of leaving the EU have been exposed by one of nature’s smallest and most powerful forces.”
Ashton describes the Tory Governments overall strategy as “Centralised and Out Of Control” saying, “There was a chance of getting a handle on the Coronavirus after the first lockdown in the Spring, but it has now been given a new lease of life by the failure to decentralise the response and fully resource local public health teams. Local teams have always been the custodians of the expertise to control local and regional outbreaks in concert with their communities. This has belatedly happened in Liverpool with the advent of mass, lateral flow testing and an empowered public health team, in stark contrast with the private sector companies without such expertise which have squandered billions of pounds of public money.”
According to many including Ashton, “This is aggravated by the breakdown of trust between the governors and the governed. The tipping point came in May when the Prime Minister’s chief advisor Dominic Cummings broke lockdown rules by driving to Barnard Castle. Before he left his Government role, he was reportedly rewarded with a £40,000 pay rise. The consequences of such a breakdown of trust could be seen most vividly last weekend with the mass escape from London. Railway stations were reminiscent of the escape from the Martians in War of the Worlds. The past few days will go down in the history of the pandemic as significant as Boris Johnson’s lost month of February. Or the week beginning 9 March which saw the Cheltenham Festival and the Atletico Madrid-Liverpool football match going ahead, both potentially ‘superspreader’ events.”
Ashton points out the blindingly obvious Tory mistake saying, “When it comes to the limitations of a centralised response, the special place of London and the ‘home counties’ (aptly named as an indication of the lingering colonial mindset that still dominates Whitehall) deserves to be highlighted. The first wave of the virus in the Spring began among the February half-term returning skiers who lived predominantly within the M25 and along the M4 and M40 corridors, who then took it to their weekend cottages. If London and the south-east of England had been locked down early this Spring, the same fate may have been spared the rest of the country. Instead, the virus moved steadily from the wealthy to the more disadvantaged areas where it became entrenched, extracting a dreadful price on those with health vulnerabilities. The reluctance to place the capital in tier three of the special measures this Autumn has now allowed the virus yet another wind, with a so-called third wave in prospect.”
Ashton’s predictions are realistic but dire, he says, “Looking forward to 2021, we are facing the perfect storm: an alienated public, a revivified virus, a chaotic Brexit, and the seizing up of commerce and transport between England and Europe, food shortages and perhaps even rationing to come. ‘Normal’ UK winter deaths shame our reputation and are not to be found in other northern European countries. These have barely started and will create a backlog of the dead in mortuaries and gymnasia, waiting weeks for funerals. Shortages of personal protective equipment are once again likely to become an issue, stranded in lorries unable to come in from the continent. Mental health issues will become ever more pressing. Though a lid has been held tightly down on prisoners, held in their cells for 23-and-a-half hours a day, this may finally blow.”
Ashton would not be the first to anticipate civil unrest as the Government have already figured it into the Brexit planning under ‘Oppoeration Yellowhammer.’ Yes, Brexit that other bombshell dropped on us by this hapless Tory Government, a recklessly induced act of self-harm enacted in the most brutal of ways at the worst possible time in order to force through Tory power and personal wealth ambitions and the expense of the majority of the British population. Ashton warns us that, “Civil disturbance is a distinct possibility with shortages of foods and essential goods and anger over access to the vaccine programme. The distasteful rush to lay claim to the first administered vaccines (which were Belgian-produced in conjunction with American pharma) was equalled by the by now familiar boasting and blagging about the number of vaccines to be administered by Christmas. Johnson’s claim of 10 million vaccinations by Christmas dwindled to perhaps two million.”
Ashton spells out the harsh reality reporting that, “The fact that 350,000 first doses had been given in one week was acclaimed as a vindication. At this rate, with a population of 65 million, it will take more than two years to achieve a substantial level of immunity across the community. The private sector-led computer programme to record vaccinations doesn’t talk to the NHS’ computer, so vaccinations must be recorded manually. This hardly inspires confidence. Where does this leave us? Not in a good place. The public has been failed by the Government and must now lead from behind. How that will happen is very hard to predict but if it doesn’t, and if the Conservative Party fails to find competent replacements for an inadequate Prime Minister very soon, 2020 may just turn out to have been a taster of some very dark days ahead.” The copious evidence of ongoing corruption should be enough to demand the removal of the Tory Party from office, even without Investigating the result of the Covert 2019 Rigged Election.
In breaking news it was announced earlier today that Julian Assange’s extradition was rejected by the British Court. Although this is an encouraging move, it’s important to decipher the motivation behind this decision as the Judge was so clearly biased and totally devoid of compassion. This could be another attempt to manipulate the media as she has ruled in agreement with the US charges demonizing Assange as guilty, and distracting with the faux concern over his welfare in a US Supertmax jail. It is certainly not as if she can honestly claim his treatment here in the UK at Belmarsh Prison has been significantly more humane! They will deny bail, as I think the US are stymied and directing the Brits to stall for time, knowing Asange could win an appeal against his conviction. The essence of this persecution of Assange is to gag other like-minded conscientious Whistleblowers and Investigative Journalists. Might we see a gross injustice corrected this New Year? We all wish you well Julian; may you soon move on with your life as a free man…