Beware – the Covid Police will come for you, me, anyone …
Sorry, dear friends – we’re back in covidistan. The economy and Sunak’s Spending Review have been relegated to the back pages. It’s not surprising because the BJ-Tiers will have such an effect on the economy, local and national, that any analysis now is a waste of time. Anyway, the MSM pages must be reserved for all things ‘covid-christmassy’, form food to fashion. It’s what wimmin readers want.
The prize for ‘best headline’ in the print editions of this morning’s papers goes to the DM: “Tiers of Rage and Disbelief”. That does hit the spot! In general, the MSM report with varying degrees of outrage and disbelief that only three areas – the Isles of Scilly, Cornwall and the Isle of Wight – will be ‘released’ from lockdown into Tier 1. In all other regions, people who were in Tier 1 before Lockdown are now going into Tier 2 or even Tier 3 after Lockdown:
“ Kent is regarded as one homogeneous lump and been placed into Tier 3, having had no special restrictions before lockdown. All of Buckinghamshire has ended up in Tier 2, in spite of places like the Chilterns being almost as Covid-light as Cornwall and the Isle of Wight. York, too, is back in Tier 2 – in spite of having less Covid than before lockdown. In the Commons yesterday, MPs queued up to ask: where is the logic?” (paywalled link)
Where is the logic indeed! Perhaps those ‘rebel’ MPs ought to ask why we had to have a Lockdown in the first place when it clearly doesn’t work, when areas are being jumped from Tier 1 to Tier 3 after Lockdown because of rising case numbers – despite Lockdown? Verily, I tellsya, ‘tis too arcane for me to understand!
Apparently it’s all about basing such decisions on ‘more granular’ numbers, i.e. local case numbers. The innumeracy prevailing in No 10 or in the Hancock Imperium however raises its ugly head – look at this:
“Tunbridge Wells may have every right to be incandescent. They went into the national lockdown with 49 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 and now enter Tier 3 with 103 cases per 100,000. In comparison, the London borough of Bexley, which sits on Kent’s doorstep, stays in Tier 2, along with the rest of the capital, with 250 cases per 100,000.” (paywalled link)
That’s covid logic, that is! “We” don’t need to understand it, we just need to accept it. The DT has even resorted to mention Nigel Farage, quoting a tweet by him:
“Kent has gone from Tier 1 to Tier 3 because of a single borough. Insane – people are really angry,” [Farage] posted on Twitter, describing the new tier system as “lockdown in all but name” and warning that “mass rulebreaking is coming”.” (paywalled link)
Oh noes: rule breaking! How un-covidianist is that! It’s all about testing because Hancock and BJ rely on those tests to review the local tier-placements. The Times reports:
“Matt Hancock […] pledged a full review of the tiers on December 16 with at least weekly updates after that, giving areas two chances to ease restrictions before Christmas. However, he put the capital on notice that it could be moved to Tier 3, saying there was “a lot of work to do in London to keep it in Tier 2”.” (link, paywalled)
‘Test and behave yourselves and you might be rewarded with getting into Tier 2′ – is this still about ‘health’ or is it only about the Health emperors flexing their muscles? To confuse the issue even further, MPs are not buying this latest covid policy, as Fraser Nelson reports (my emphasis):
“There could, in theory, be downgrades of tier status every Thursday. The problem is that MPs suspect this is all a ruse, that Hancock’s weekly meetings will be a formality and that his new Covid map will be here until Valentine’s Day. They have a point. What Hancock didn’t say yesterday is that his advisers are terrified of a virus resurgence after Christmas and are unlikely to loosen anyone’s Tiers until then. […] It could be the end of January until officials have enough data to judge whether this happened. Although Hancock has promised to be bound by fixed criteria for deciding tier status, he can interpret this any way he likes.” (paywalled link)
So: no matter what really happens in areas and constituencies, Hancock can move the goalposts to his heart’s content. Sadly though, MPs battling for their constituencies are now asking what can be done to lift a constituency from one tier to the next. That means they’ve swallowed the Hancock decree, rebelling or not.
“Tories wanting to know how they can get their constituency downgraded have been told about mass testing, where an area is flooded with instant tests administered by the Army. That would be more persuasive had things in Liverpool worked out differently. The Health Secretary is quite right to say cases in the city are a quarter of what they once were, but he doesn’t say that most of the decline had happened before the mass testing pilot.” (paywalled link)
Do take note of that last sentence! It’s not even mass testing, never mind Lockdown, which reduced case numbers in Liverpool – they went down anyway, ‘naturally’. However, while local councils are desperate to get tests and help from the Army, as usual cock-ups are ‘baked in’:
“Councils are already struggling to receive and administer lateral flow kits promised under a previous expansion of mass testing, however. […]The Times contacted all 66 councils this week. Of the 34 who responded to requests for comment, only three said that they had received the tests. Councils have spoken to officials about the next phase of mass testing, urging greater clarity of the logistical help available and how tests would be rationed and prioritised.” (link, paywalled)
With tests now needing to be rationed we’ll certainly be ‘in it’ for a long time. And then Whitty really put the boot in:
“Speaking alongside Boris Johnson in Downing Street on Thursday evening, he told the public to “take it really seriously during Christmas. Don’t do stupid things. […] Would I encourage someone to hug and kiss their elderly relatives? No I would not… if you want them to survive to be hugged again.” (paywalled link)
Ah, it’s the ancient appeal not to be a ‘granny killer’, now coming a size larger: don’t hug granny at Christmas – you might kill her! Never mind that this might be the last occasion where you can hug your granny, her being frail: nooo – you might give her covid! Let’s not mention that, should she die of whatever ails her in her old age, the NHS will count her as a covid-death, and that, according to Whitty, will be your fault: you dared to hug her!
But there are the sunny uplands after covid where we all hope to go because there will be those vaccines – or are there? You recall that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was hailed as having a 90% success rate and never mind the cock-up where one batch was dosed at 50% only. The participants received a full dose in the 2nd round, leading to the announced result. However:
“When the trial findings were revealed on Monday, neither AstraZeneca nor Oxford disclosed that the 90 per cent figure had been based only on a group of adults aged 55 and under.” (paywalled link)
And which group of the general public is going to be ‘first in line’ to be vaccinated, after ‘health workers’? The elderly – our grannies and gramps we mustn’t hug. There are no data to show that this vaccine works for those who have the illnesses older people have. The vaccines-game is given away by this observation from Dr Weller who works for Wellcome. He said:
“It is important to take a step back and remember that these are interim results, so there are still many unanswered questions. Before drawing full conclusions, we must wait for the trial to finish and for the complete data to be independently and rigorously assessed.” (paywalled link)
Perhaps all those who claimed that the plans for mass vaccination, using untried vaccines, amount to a mass health experiment? In Lockdown Sceptics’ Newsletter this morning there’s this comment:
“Astra now saying they will do more trials. Normally this is an admission that the first trial failed and isn’t enough to get the vaccine approved. Coincidentally, this was announced at 4.30pm on Thursday, just after the UK market shuts and with US markets shut for Thanksgiving – and not even a proper press release, again. They are claiming that this will not affect UK authorisation but I think it will. If they haven’t done enough for the American FDA – of which this is a tacit admission – then are we saying in the UK we have lower safety standards?” (link)
Interesting, that! So the suspicions of many people – horrible Lockdown sceptics that they are – that these rushed-out announcements were really about raising share prices on the stock market don’t look so ‘fake news’ now, do they? The Lockdown Sceptics Newsletter also reports an intriguing poll result:
“A poll has found that almost half of doctors would not take a rushed Covid vaccine. A poll of readers of Medscape UK found that of 308 UK doctors, 4 in 10 would not get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as one is approved by the MHRA. Medscape has the details.” (link)
I wonder if those doctors know or recognise something which we plebs aren’t being told about. These good doctors are also firmly against compulsory vaccination for NHS health workers. Hm. Given that doctors know best, perhaps mandatory or compulsory vaccination ain’t such a good idea?
I leave you with a report which demonstrates that covid turns brains to mush, certainly of those ‘in authority’ inside the M25, regardless of their having had covid or not. It’s about the covid police trying to get into a locked, empty gym because the owner was using his own equipment, on his own, during lockdown. Read the whole thing here – this police action beggars belief. I’d like to know who grassed up that gym owner …!
But remember: don’t you dare to think or, worse, say out loud that we have a ‘covid stasi’! Don’t you dare to speculate about plod coming to check out that your Christmas dinner with granny and the kids isn’t breaking the covid government ‘bubble rulz’. Covid snitches are everywhere. They’re watching us. Happy days, innit like.