Warning: this image might cause offence!
There can be no doubt now that covid is affecting the mental capacities of the Westminster conglomerate of politicians, civil serpents and willing helpers in the MSM. Looking at this morning’s headlines it’s as if this Westminster lot is drifting helplessly on an ocean of ‘news’ with no ‘guidance’ on which ‘narrative’ to emphasise, which entity to blame. Don’t be mistaken though and regard this as a return to a more balanced reporting of news! It’s not. It’s a momentary aberration, akin to being inside the eye of a hurricane. There’s also another case of ‘wokeness’ which is beyond belief – more on that below.
First – a look at the ‘covid’ news, starting with reports that BJ is now hinting that lockdowns could well be kept going into the summer. Never mind that this means the local elections would need to be postponed, even though only yesterday they were allegedly going to go ahead in England.
Next – ministers are pondering a hand-out of £500 to entice those people to come forward and be tested who’ve avoided tests because a quarantine would mean a loss of job and income:
“Everyone in England who tests positive for coronavirus could be given £500 to ensure they self-isolate under plans to stop hardship spreading the virus. Ministers are trying to solve a problem that scientific advisers have long said is an obstacle to controlling the virus. Paying all those with a positive test could cost £2 billion a month.” (link, paywalled)
This is a proposal from Hancock’s department – well, those civil serpents must have longed to get into the covid limelight which the SAGEs are occupying. I wonder if the Treasury civil serpents are going to have any objections:
“Ministers are due to discuss the issue next week but an overhaul of financial support seems imminent. The present payments system has been blamed for prolonging the pandemic by forcing infectious people to go to work.” (link, paywalled)
Well, I respectfully would like to point out that it’s not ‘infectious people’ being ‘forced to work’ but that, to the contrary, it’s the continuous forcing of healthy people into quarantine because: “contact!!” with a covid leper which is causing so many problems, not least for “Our Overwhelmed Sacred Cow”. Our beloved health tsar is the latest example. The truly worrying item in yon ministerial discussion paper is this:
“Police could also be given access to health data to enforce quarantine under the proposals, which are dated January 19, and were seen by The Guardian.” (link, paywalled)
That truly mind-boggling point is worthy only of a sentence at the end in the report both in the Guardian article and the one faithfully copied by The Times. Meanwhile, we can say good-bye to pubs because: “modelling!!!!”:
“Government scientists said opening pubs before May could cause a third wave of Covid. Researchers from Imperial College London and the Universities of Edinburgh and Warwick said that even after everyone over 50 has been offered a vaccine cases could go up again if restrictions such as the closures of pubs, restaurants and shops end too soon. Their modelling suggests it would not be safe to relax restrictions fully until 80 per cent of the population has been vaccinated. The Government’s decisions have previously been heavily influenced by such research.” (paywalled link)
And who would dare gainsay the ‘experts’ from Prof Pantsdown College! There’s a nice little ‘war of experts’ brewing though. This is about “PCR Tests” v “Lateral Flow Test”. We recall that the latter test, used for example extensively in Liverpool late last year, doesn’t produce the huge number of +ve tests which have given rise to the label ‘casedemic’. Now a bunch of different experts have come out on the side of the Lateral Flow Test, with an interesting argument:
“Scientists […] say that opponents of the “lateral flow” tests, which are similar to a pregnancy test, are confused about their purpose, which is to pick up cases most likely to pass on the infection.” (link, paywalled)
This scientific debate, which in non-covid times and on non-covid research would have taken place in the pages of science journals, is out in the open because it’s about the holy grail, that ‘asymptomatic people are the true super-spreaders’, meaning that all must be tested until there’s no tomorrow. Here they are:
“Last week a group of scientists said that they were so inaccurate as to be counterproductive. Jon Deeks, professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham, said that their use would “lead to tragic consequences”. He fears that people would interpret a negative test as meaning that they were not infected,even though they could be.” (link, paywalled)
‘Tragic consequences’ – no, they don’t have it a size smaller. All the collateral damage to people, from job losses to untreated cancers, are of course not ‘tragic’, are they! Here’s the other side:
“Yesterday scientists including Sir John Bell, regius professor of medicine at Oxford University, and Dr Susan Hopkins, an epidemiologist at Public Health England, said that the criticism involved a key misunderstanding. […] “The authors confuse ‘missed infection’ with infectiousness,” write the scientists. “It is well known that PCR detects non-viable RNA fragments as well as viable virus, meaning that large proportions of PCR test positive individuals will not be infectious. The use of the lateral flow test is designed to detect live virus allowing identification of individuals who are infectious to others.” (link, paywalled)
But this would mean a decrease in scare ‘casedemic’ numbers, wouldn’t it! It would also mean the grip of the covid-maniacs on our throats would be loosened. That must be prevented! This last quote shows how those ‘casedemic’ proponents work:
“Tim Peto, a professor of medicine at Oxford University, said that opponents of lateral flow tests had undertaken “a selective review of the evidence only highlighting possible harms and overlooking proven and potential benefits”. (link, paywalled)
Why am I not astonished that the government covid ‘science experts’ are being ‘selective’ when pressing their case!
Next, a brief look at the developing Brexit ‘trade difficulties’. Apparently and interestingly, the doom-mongers who fought a ‘No deal’ Brexit with teeth and claws because: ‘Teh Costs!’ were wrong:
“British businesses will spend £7.5 billion a year handling customs declarations, as much as they would have done under a no-deal Brexit, the tax office admitted yesterday. Jim Harra, the chief executive of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), told MPs that the number of customs forms needed to trade with the EU under the Brexit deal “is not materially different from a no-deal situation”.” (link, paywalled)
Aaah – who’d have thought! No, don’t ask why our MSM couldn’t find this information – from HMRC even! – during the Trade Negotiations. Another case of ‘selective review of evidence’, perchance? Then there’s this:
“Tens of thousands of internet shoppers are being hit with unexpected customs, VAT and delivery charges on orders from the EU as retailers on the Continent struggle to cope with Brexit red tape. British customers are facing demands to pay up to a third extra to release their goods from bonded warehouses once they arrive in the UK. […] Customers say they are not being advised at the checkout that they will be liable for extra costs and many are refusing to pay, forcing delivery companies to return the items.” (link, paywalled)
One might wonder why the EU internet retailers who must be savvy in things related to internet trading haven’t been capable of inserting such advice by now, but perhaps this is to be expected because they’ve also failed doing this:
“[…] many EU retailers have failed to register with the taxman and some shoppers have reported being asked to pay VAT for delivery of lower-value items. HMRC insists that these demands have been made in error by the courier companies.” (link, paywalled)
Astonishing, isn’t it! And now see who are the profiteers: ‘courier companies’ which have already detected a nice little earner:
“Delivery firms are also adding their own charges to cover the administration costs of collecting the taxes. DHL charges 2.5 per cent of the liable VAT and duty with a minimum fee of £11. Royal Mail charges £8.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, make the customers, the dolts, pay – and let them wait. The odd thing is that all these charges have been around for quite some time, as anyone who has ordered items from firms in e.g. the USA or Australia knows full well. I won’t even mention the ‘experience’ of finding that items which take four days to arrive here, sent from the other end of the world, linger in Royal Mail depots because employees there can’t or won’t expedite the customs forms. This ain’t new, this ain’t ‘because Brexit’, this is simply the everyday bureaucratic slow-go we all know so well.
RemainCentral bewails this fact in their editorial this morning, and blames it on the very late date on which the Trade Negotiations were concluded. The poor retailers in the EU and here couldn’t possibly have been expected to cope, not with Christmas happening – and no, The Times doesn’t mention covid and WFH as possible causes.
I would however beg leave to suggest that all these firms ought to have been preparing for either case, Deal or No Deal, especially as HMRC had information available that costs would be substantially the same in either case. However, if they relied on information from the Remain MSM then they must have hoped for a ‘No Brexit’, until the last second. So any loss of income for them comes under ‘serves them right’.
I leave you with a case of staggering ‘wokeness’, again emerging from Academe. It’s about the well-known, long used representation of the Three Monkeys:
“Academics at the University of York have decided that they are, in fact, an oppressive racial stereotype, and pulled an image of the animals from their website to avoid offence.” (link, paywalled)
It’s irrelevant that this symbolic representation was created in 17th Century Japan where the monkey is sacred. These academics didn’t even pull this from their site because of ‘cultural appropriation’ – they did it because:
“[…] a monkey, which has been used in a derogatory way in the past, could cause offence in this context, despite this not being the intention of the organisers, so the image was removed.” (link, paywalled)
Well, I’m offended ‘in this context’ and would strongly suggest these academics be removed forthwith! That goes for the SAGEs, the covid ‘modelling experts’, the covid-obsessed MSM ‘reporters’ and last but not least for Hancock and BJ who are causing untold offences on a daily basis.