Not yet ‘Sir’ – Mark Sedwill at May’s Home Office
Another morning, another day where ‘Our MSM’ are full of Lockdown/CV-19 articles. ‘Tis strange though: they don’t shout about case numbers any longer, nor about the ‘death toll’. Instead they plastered articles over their home pages intended to make us feel good for observing the Lockdown.
The most inane article was in the DT, under this headline: “Coronavirus lockdown could have helped bring about sunniest spring on record, researchers say” (link, if you must). Yes, well – what does the sun do? Heat up the planet. What do “we” want to prevent? ‘Climate catastrophe’ through global warming. So shouldn’t our Greta-acolytes demand to end the Lockdown now, to save the planet?
Never mind – there’s more, far more. The MSM are crowing about “Johnson’s U-Turn” on that surcharge for ‘foreign NHS workers’ who were supposed to pay £400pa extra, the surcharge to be raised to £624pa from October. Well, we can’t punish “Our NHS Heroes” like that, can we!
No-one in ‘Our MSM’ seems to have heard of that Law of Unintended Consequences, or perhaps they’ve become too ignorant to connect the dots, for example that ‘foreign workers’ are apparently going to be allowed to come here and pick fruit – these must obviously be ‘key workers’ and won’t have to go into quarantine:
“Fruit and vegetable pickers will be exempted from quarantine measures requiring travellers to isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK. Priti Patel, the home secretary, will announce plans today requiring arrivals to quarantine for a fortnight from early June, regardless of their mode of travel. The government has drawn up a list of exemptions including foreign fruit and vegetable pickers, who will be required to live on the farms where they are working.” (link, paywalled)
Of course, there must be equal treatment for foreign workers – so scrap that surcharge for them as well … no, you won’t read about that in ‘Our MSM’, just as you won’t read about the fearless crossers of the Channel in their tiny rubber dinghies, coming from war-torn France. Well, they only need to claim they’ve come to pick our fruit and Ms Patel will welcome them, right? If you haven’t yet watched Nigel Farage’s video on the collaboration between the French Navy and our Border-’‘water taxi service”-Force, watch the full version here.
That Border Force will have their hands full in the coming months, given this horrific part of the ‘regulation’ Ms Patel will present today:
“MPs will be asked to support new quarantine measures for all international arrivals which will give police the power to carry out spot checks at homes and impose £1,000 fines. […] Border Force, police and Public Health England (PHE) officers will run and enforce the quarantine where travellers will face spot checks at the addresses they submit on forms on arrival at airports or ports. It is expected there will be about 100 spot checks a day.” (link)
Wasn’t there some ancient saying that an Englishman’s home is his castle? No longer, it would seem. Given that the Lockdownistas, from Trade Unions to doorstep clappers for “our NHS” want to keep us ‘In’ until that virus has definitely gone, don’t expect a huge outcry over this next erosion of our civil liberties! After all – do you want to kill that granny living down the road? Do you?
And then there’s evidence that it’s not our elected ministers who govern us – it’s Whitehall. Two days ago an essay was published in ‘Unherd’ with the title “Our National Security Council is a joke”, reporting that the National Security Council hasn’t met once (!) during the Pandemic. In a hearing of the HoC Defence Committee the Defence Secretary Ben Wallace let slip out this information. That was on April 22 (!), a month ago.
Firstly though – look at the official description of the NSC on the government site, here. So far so innocuous but I’ll quote just this paragraph which you might like to keep in mind, especially the last sentence:
“Additionally there are associated cross-government senior official groups that support and inform these ministerial level structures. Principal amongst these is the Permanent Secretaries Group chaired by the National Security Adviser, Mark Sedwill. The National Security Adviser also acts as secretary to the NSC.” (link)
Secondly, The Guardian reported about this ‘slip’ on May 12th (!) – see this:
“Britain’s national security council – a meeting of senior ministers with military and spy chiefs – has not met since late January and there are no plans for it to come together this week, prompting growing concern in some quarters of Whitehall. The high-level body used to meet weekly under David Cameron and Theresa May but has only done so sporadically since the election, and some fear it is being made deliberately redundant during the coronavirus crisis.” (link)
Oooh – ‘spy chiefs’ … ! And who ‘fears’ it’s being made redundant’? We’re not told. So to that article in ‘Unherd’. The author, Tom Swarbrick, writes that the role of our NSC has been changed, from long-term reviews of dangers to our national security – yes, pandemics were mentioned – to imminent dangers like terrorism:
“Speaking under condition of anonymity, politicians and officials who have served on it, in it and around it for the past decade paint a picture of disastrous structural problems in dealing with threats not considered to be “immediate enough”, […] The NSC, to quote one long-time attendee, had been “captured by the security services”; a perception that the focus become tilted more towards intelligence and immediate challenges than longer-term strategic aims.” (link)
Work has apparently been parcelled out to the subcommittees described in the gov.uk quote above. Tom Swarbrick explains that there were pandemic preparedness documents:
“In 2011, the Department for Health produced the UK Influenza Pandemic Preparedness Strategy that superseded a previous plan produced in 2007. The document “describes the Government’s strategic approach for responding to an influenza pandemic”, displays the “lessons learned” from the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.” (link)
That was deemed good enough and even though the NSC had included pandemics as part of events threatening our security – a ‘Level5 threat’, no less – no more was done about it. It goes without saying that CV-19 ain’t the flu – we’ve been told so incessantly. But even this document was never discussed by the NSC as the pandemic started, leading Tom Sawbrick to ask:
“How can the NSC be helping to protect the nation, its primary task, if those with the greatest responsibility for that protection never saw, discussed or questioned the only plan in place to tackle the greatest threat?” (link)
Here’s his take-home message – questions which ought to be answered:
“After correctly identifying a pandemic as a serious risk to the country, the NSC did not interrogate the policy response to it: a lack of oversight that would be unthinkable for threats from terrorism or kinetic warfare. Why does it seem that no one on the NSC asked to see the preparations? […] Either the National Security Council is where decisions about the UK’s responses to managing serious threats to the nation are taken, or it isn’t. If it isn’t, what is it for?” (link)
This problem might conceivably have been ‘farmed out’ to other committees and subcommittees. One of them is an animal called ‘National Security Strategy (Joint Committee)’. It is a parliamentary committee – check the link for its ‘job description’. But in yet another massive ‘horse-bolted’ exercise, we read on that site that they’ve opened an inquiry into ‘Biosecurity and National security’. The date? 19th May 2020 … (link). What have they all been doing these past months?
Nothing is scheduled there for the next 7 days, but hey – they did write to the PM on the 18th of May – but not about the pandemic or why the NSC didn’t meet, it’s only to ask the PM that summaries of NSC meetings be provided to said parliamentary committee. Aren’t we safe in the hands of Whitehall Mandarins and our MPs and Lords populating such eminent sub-committees!
I leave you with another little Whitehall truffle sniffed out by The Times. They find anything detrimental to the PM but never ask the really important questions. First, see this:
“Downing Street has drafted the Duke of Cambridge’s private secretary to lead Whitehall’s response to Covid-19 in a sign of the pressure on senior civil servants and ministers. Simon Case, a former principal private secretary to Theresa May, is to return in the previously dormant role of No 10 permanent secretary. […] The appointment represents an acknowledgement that the crisis is likely to last for many months if not years.” (link, paywalled)
Well well well – a merry-go-round of mandarins connected to or having advised Ms May! The Home Office, renowned for domesticating their ministers, seems to be a hotbed of creating Mandarins.
Given his experience at May’s Home Office Mr Case will surely be able to tell Johnson that and why the Police must be given more powers to keep enforcing our CV-19 Lockdown compliance – ‘for months if not years’. This last quote seems to’ve been written in hope regarding the effect of this appointment – my emphasis:
“It will add to speculation about the long-term future of the cabinet secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, following claims of tensions with Mr Johnson. Tory MPs have called on Sir Mark to give up parts of his role to concentrate on Covid. Sir Mark, 55, is not only head of the civil service and cabinet secretary but also the prime minister’s national security adviser. Under David Cameron the three roles were separate.” (link, paywalled)
All roads lead to Rome, it was said. It seems to me that all roads in regard to the policies by Tory governments since 2010 lead to Sir Mark Sedwill. ‘Our MSM’ are either too scared or too inept to connect the dots – or they, like Sedwill, have an agenda. That agenda, I humbly suggest, is to install a socialist Labour government by all and any means, ably aided and abetted by Whitehall.
The answer to “who runs our country?” isn’t ‘the Trade Unions’, it isn’t ‘our elected government’, it is “Sir Mark Sedwill and Whitehall”. Enjoy the rest of the day and
Photo by ukcivilservice