Madness – the state of our ‘ruling elites’ post-Covid
Post-Covid Madness has the self-proclaimed “elites” now firmly in its grip – this dire coalition of “Whitehall sources”, agenda-driven MSM and the chattering classes inside the M25 and ‘Middle England’. Two instances shall suffice to demonstrate this: the ongoing “exam scandal” and “PHE”. It might be a laughing matter, but it’s serious because it illustrates how those “elites” are losing their grip – on reality, not just on their own fiefdoms.
Take that “exam scandal” which is still governing the front pages of today’s MSM. Yes, the education secretary is an abysmal failure: not because he obviously had no idea what this Ofqual proposal meant, but because the latest reports show that he has lost his grip (if he ever had it) on his own bureaucrats. In a lovely example of ‘it wasn’t us, guv’ we read that:
“[…] sources have told The Telegraph that a split within Ofqual’s board has emerged, whereby some members believe that the algorithm has led to a “hemorrhaging” of public trust in qualifications […] the fact that senior figures at the regulator are now calling for a U-turn will put Mr Williamson under pressure to act.” (paywalled link)
Why these ‘sources’, these ‘senior figures’, didn’t raise their voices when that Ofqual algorithm was developed but are now demanding that U-Turn: well, they’ve jumped on the bandwagon of ‘pupil power’, as ‘Our MSM’ labeled it this morning. Instead of asking if this result is really as bad as certain parents and pupils have described, they use it as another handy ‘bash government’ stick.
While that is not an unreasonable demand the way it’s being promoted is dangerous because it’s not us, the voters and taxpayers, who are driving this outcry but ‘Our MSM’ who have been at it since the beginning of the year. I’m as yet unclear if the aim of the Westminster “elite” is to get a new GE, with Starmer to be heaved into No 10, or if they will be content with getting rid of Johnson and having him replaced by A.N.Other Tory.
While Ofqual “sources” are coming to the fore anonymously, the PHE’s chief executive, Mr Duncan Selbie, at least is defending his fiefdom publicly. In an aside, the wiki entry in his biography is a prime example for the way Whitehall works: “He did not claim to have deep public health experience, but did have wide experience within the NHS.” (link)
Good man, innit! But let’s look back at Hancock’s astounding announcement to “scrap PHE and replace it with a ‘new body specifically designed to protect the country against a pandemic by early next month”. (paywalled link). That announcement was published late on Saturday and I immediately thought this was done to provide the Sunday papers with a nice piece to chew on, in the hope of taking Hancock’s colleague Mr Williamson out of the MSM’s firing line. It’s called ‘deadcatting’:
“The dead cat strategy, or deadcatting, refers to the introduction of a dramatic, shocking, or sensationalist topic to divert discourse away from a more damaging topic.The strategy, or at least the “dead cat” metaphor to describe it, is particularly associated with Australian political strategist Lynton Crosby.” (link)
The ‘deadcatting’ didn’t work and the plan won’t work because it’s just a name change – most PHE employees will remain – and because it won’t be in working order until next year at the earliest:
“The change will be “effective” within the next month but it will take until the spring to formally complete the organisational change of breaking up a large organisation. A source said: “It will be in place by September.” (paywalled link)
This announcement is staggeringly inept at this time because such bureaucratic change means one thing only: an even greater bureaucratic shambles with various bureaucratic chieftains fighting like ferrets in a sack to get a bigger slice of bureaucratic power while not doing the actual work they’re being paid for by us.
Their warfare will take place in the MSM and the first shot has been fired by Mr Selbie. Words failed me when I saw the headline in The Times: “Public Health England: Testing strategy was never our job, says scrapped body”. Of course The Times lapped up Mr Selbie’s defense! After all, he points the finger at Hancock – not that Hancock deserves all the criticism available. However, I do wonder if Mr Selbie’s memory is at fault or that of The Times. I seem to remember the testing fiasco unfolding rather differently. See for yourselves and take note of the last sentence (my emphasis):
“Duncan Selbie said: “This criticism of PHE’s response to testing is based on a misunderstanding about our role. The UK had no national diagnostic testing capabilities other than in the NHS at the outset of the pandemic. PHE does not do mass diagnostic testing. We operate national reference and research laboratories focused on novel and dangerous pathogens, and it was never at any stage our role to set the national testing strategy for the coronavirus pandemic. This responsibility rested with [the Department of Health and Social Care]. Any suggestion that PHE monopolised, centralised and controlled pandemic testing and even stopped others from developing tests or conducting them is not true.” (paywalled link)
Sorry, but that is not how I remember it. It’s good to see (not!) that no mention is being made at all of the disgraceful failure – or was it actual bureaucratic policy? – of PHE’s count of CV-19 deaths. There’s also the PHE’s double-counting of CV-19 ‘cases’ based on those fabulous tests. Any regular reader of Lockdown Sceptics will be aware of the numerous PHE failures.
Talking of tests, I must mention France – not just because of that quarantine so callously imposed by government on the poor British holidaymakers. France is also testing – CV-19 cases have been rising, but there’s this:
“Despite the rise in new cases, the latest figures show only 29 new admissions to hospital and nine more intensive care patients. […] Many of the new cases are younger people under 45 who tend not to have symptoms.” (paywalled link)
And what is Macron’s solution? Make people wear muzzles everywhere indoors and make British holidaymakers to France sit out 14 days of quarantine. Well, so far they are only ‘considering this’, but I am reasonably certain that our government will follow France – as they’ve done so many times before – and enforce muzzle-wearing in offices as well.
There are two other titbits smuggled into the reports in ‘Our MSM’. One is that the latest hotspots are Paris and Marseilles – I wonder why that is – and the other is that French authorities blame the young for this latest spike:
“The young have been blamed for fuelling France’s alarming spike in new infections by holding beach parties and packing into bars without maintaining social distancing or wearing face-masks. “The strategy of fear doesn’t work,” said François Alla, professor of public health at the main Bordeaux teaching hospital. Many people feel they did their bit to check the spread of the virus during lockdown and are now entitled to socialise.” (paywalled link)
Well I never! So it’s not just the irresponsible Brits who ‘endanger’ the Nation by going to beaches and pubs – who knew! And isn’t it interesting that, by quoting that French professor, we see that ‘Project fear and hysteria’ seems to have been a general instrument to keep the people sheepified in France as well as here. Not that it was any different in Germany either.
Speaking of France, I leave you with a little correction from government about the role of the Royal Navy in regard to illegals crossing the Channel. Was that because of the outcries from various Frenchmen? We remember one of them screeching that Royal Navy vessels entering French waters would be ‘an act of war’. So now we’re told that there’s no intention of deploying RN vessels in the Channel (do we actually have any left?) but that:
“A specialist team is to provide help with the planning and logistics of daily operations but sources at the Ministry of Defence insisted that Border Force staff would remain in the front line of efforts to counter crossings and assist migrants on dinghies. […] The Royal Navy was last used to deal with cross-Channel crossings in 2019, when two vessels were deployed for a number of weeks, costing the Home Office about £780,000.” (link, paywalled)
Phew – that’s money saved and no war with France! Don’t mention that a whole lot fewer “migrants” landed on our shores last year. Mind you, Priti better get her pretty little finger out – Nigel Farage’s latest video on illegal immigrants now being ‘homed’ in a hotel in her constituency has elicited a report in The Times, heaving with excuses and explanations by the Home Office that these poor dears must be given accommodation … (link, paywalled).
I wonder if Whitehall mandarins, for example in the Treasury, think that ‘saving’ £780,000 is worth it while millions of our money is being spent on housing those who cross the Channel on a daily rubber dinghy excursion from France … but what do I know! I’m just a peasant who must pay and otherwise STFU. Yes, strong language is sometimes needed, so no apologies for using it!