Part 1 was published here yesterday.
Maybe the current drive to create fear and uncertainty is the media’s last chance to pretend that they are influencers. There certainly seems to be a concerted effort behind this drive for conformity of behaviour, which range from agreeing without question to all sorts of guidelines, instructions and orders under the guise of public health, safety and security, a combination of government edict, driven by the behavioural change unit specialists and press briefings along with the pantomime of asinine questions asked by journalists during televised press updates, all of which are duly reported to a frightened and docile public.
There has been little investigative reporting by the media. Why, for example was 1984 Public Health legislation (interesting date that!), which was designed to be used for individual cases and gatherings, used to place restrictions and a general lockdown in England while at the same time international travel was permitted? Surely the purpose of Public Health legislation is to ‘control disease’ not to manage our NHS or any other organisation or place restrictions on the lives of whole populations.
Talking about ‘our’ NHS, if that is the case, why are NHS Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland no longer under the control of the British Government? Are they some sort of ‘franchise’ where the English taxpayer contributes to these organisations but has no say or control? If for some reason the devolved administrations decide otherwise, English or residents of England could presumably be prevented from using these facilities? After all, lockdown regulations were, and still are, different in these countries and as we have all seen of late, Welsh police, also 51% funded by the British Taxpayer, have prevented people from England entering Wales at the same time as the British Government allowed millions of bona-fide international travellers and undocumented boat travellers from France, to enter what used to be a United Kingdom.
We are now entering uncharted waters with the latest ‘Track and Trace’ policy to apparently control the disease. People with smartphones are asked to download the interestingly titled ‘NHS app’ (presumably the name is to create the ‘public trust’ needed for any such app to work, and with the government’s track record of IT glitches that could well be in short supply).
Twenty-five thousand call handlers have been recruited, at a basic level with no clinical experience working from an NHS database (GPDR laws anyone?) will be contacted by text or phone if people want to report their symptoms or have been in contact with a person identified as Covid virus case. Track and Trace personnel will give advice or instructions but if people are uncooperative or refuse the advice given to them from a tracer reading a pre-approved Public Health England script, they will be contacted by a tier two person, earning twice the hourly rate of tier one and a ‘health professional of some kind, who will instruct you on what to do.
There is also another tier, presumably supervisors or managers, who will presumably deal with ‘enforcement action’. Initial contacters are working from home so just how data security and medical confidentiality is secured and protected is anyone’s guess. Hopefully personnel are sworn to some sort of confidentiality agreement. Whistleblowers are already queuing up to tell anyone in the media who will listen that it’s already a shambles with poor training or they have little or nothing to do and according to a media report this shambles is already costing we terrified and still locked down taxpayers £1.6 million a day.
What may happen to people that refuse to cooperate with the advice given by the tracers of the NHS ‘voluntary’ app? You may well ask but on April 22, legislation on Corona Virus Restrictions for ENGLAND was amended by Statutory Instrument and now can be used to prevent the public leaving their place of residence. How that would be accomplished is anybody’s guess, but you can bet plod would be at hand.
Chief executive officer of NHS Improvement, responsible to Matt Hancock for trace and track is Baroness Dido Harding. Once named as one of the most influential and powerful women in the UK, (no, me neither) she has held several high-profile roles in major companies and organisations, including a board position at the Jockey Club (responsible for going ahead with Cheltenham Festival in March this year).
She became CEO of TalkTalk in 2010. You may recall that TalkTalk had a “significant and sustained cyber-attack” (October 2015) when the personal and banking details of millions of customers were hacked in one of the biggest breaches of data security ever in the U.K. Comments in the media at the time were damning. It cost TalkTalk £60million and the loss of 95,000 customers.
Rupert Soames CEO of Serco and great grandson of Winston Churchill (although what Winston would have thought of the recent Serco data breach when apparently 300 contact details of ‘tracers’ were released is anyone’s guess) told new entrants that: “There’s an old army expression of ‘train hard, fight easy’. Having had experience of the army, although not at anywhere near the level of Mr Soames’ great grandfather, I can say, with certainty, many army officers are familiar with the term five ‘p’s. Perfect Planning Prevents Poor Performance.
For me the app, it’s operation and much else about it yet alone what it could be used for in future, particularly when used with other tracing apps , facial recognition utilities or bank card – tracing as used in the Singapore trace and track – does not give me much confidence. World-wide, particularly in Germany there are major concerns around civil liberties, data protection and personal information and many also have serious concerns about its future use.
That ‘our‘ NHS that we have all struggled to protect and save and is a national institution should share data and patient confidentiality with third parties and be a possible party to enforcement procedures is a major breach of trust.