Nothing and nobody can work without ‘more guidance’
What does Brexit have to do with covid? Looking at today’s MSM reporting on ‘chaos’ at the borders, on vaccine rollout ‘chaos’ and ‘NHS in chaos’ – sadly, a lot. All these reports and articles paint a glum picture of institutional ineptitude, of bureaucratic overreach and of a general attitude of fear of the power of box-tickers.
Let’s look at the Brexit reports first. We read that British firms and hauliers going to the EU must prepare for hold-ups because of new tariffs and ‘papers’, with M & S warning that
“changes to trade with the EU would “significantly impact” its operations in Ireland, the Czech Republic and France, with the retailer facing potential tariffs on a third of its goods destined for shops in the EU. […] They were joined by department stores, logistics companies, UK fishing bodies and parcel couriers, which warned of a “perfect storm” of additional bureaucracy, administrative costs, IT problems and confusion over new customs procedures.” (paywalled link)
The dastardly French must of course also be mentioned:
“in Kent, UK hauliers told The Telegraph they have been warned to expect tougher customs controls on arrival in France from Monday, amid claims that French officials have lost patience with the number of lorries failing to file paperwork correctly.” (paywalled link)
And why, one might ask, are the French so horrid? Because of this:
“This newspaper has obtained a document circulated to British hauliers, which lists five areas that customs officials say are leading to disruption at the UK-France border. They include hauliers failing to fill out a specific box in departure declarations, changing destinations at the last moment, failing to provide the correct notification for agrifoods and lacking the original export health certificates, as well as failing to organise an agent to handle SPS paperwork on arrival in France.” (paywalled link)
Here’s one more voice on this problem, putting the finger right on the spot that hurts:
“Adam Marshall, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, told The Telegraph: “It’s still very much the case that the logistics industry and their customers are having to adjust to a treaty that was finalised on Christmas Eve.” (paywalled link)
Amazing, isn’t it, that this global industry was incapable of working out what papers would be needed – because it was Christmas! Oh – and covid ‘WFH’ of course. Nobody in this international industry could expect that new boxes needed to be ticked, that bureaucracy was going to triumph. Here’s one more example:
“DPD said it was temporarily suspending its deliveries to Europe and the Republic of Ireland because of requirements for extra customs data. In a sign of how unaware customers are about the information now needed, it said that up to a fifth of parcels had incorrect or incomplete data attached and had to be returned to the sender. The company said that this had placed extra pressure on its turnaround times.” (link, paywalled)
It’s clearly the customers’ fault, not the fault of the international logistics firm. Nobody, after all, expected the Spanish inquisition … In summary: our industries can’t cope with the new bureaucratic paperworks because it was totally unpredictable and it’s in any case the sole fault of government and ‘customers’. Fisheries are a different story because here, EU and especially French intransigence is at play – something that nobody could possibly have foreseen either:
“On Thursday the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations said the first consignments of fish from Cornwall “hit a brick wall of bureaucracy” at French ports. They said similar problems were being faced in relation to prawns exported from North Shields and with direct landings into Holland.” (link, paywalled)
Keeping all this in mind, let’s now look at covid and especially the issue of mass vaccination. We’re all aware that government has announced that the 2nd, the booster jab, would be postponed so that more people can be vaccinated. We know about ‘vaccinators’ having to jump through bureaucratic hurdles which are beyond a joke. We also know that the NHS was told that vaccinators should get six, not five, doses out of one vaccine vial.
The DT has a report, graced with the shock-horror headline “100,000 Pfizer vaccine doses ‘thrown away’ after faulty PHE guidance, doctors claim” where we read that this happened because doctors and nurses were ‘unaware’ of the change but that it was anyway the fault of PHE for not issuing ‘guidance’.
Clearly, nothing can or must happen in ‘Our Sacred Cow’ without ‘guidance’. Even professionals cannot possibly be expected to take one step without having a proper box to tick first – but this ‘guidance’ must be issued instantly, preferably a day or week earlier:
“Prof Sir Sam Everington, chair of Tower Hamlets CCG [Clinical Commission Group] , said the rules should have been made clear earlier to avoid vaccines being needlessly wasted.” (paywalled link)
Let’s briefly recall that vaccination started on the 8th of December 2020. It took only – yes, given the speed at which bureaucracy usually works, ‘only’ – until the 17th December for this new ‘guidance’ to be issued. One might expect even professors would concede that some practical experience with administering this new vaccine was needed, but nooo – ‘guidance’ papers must be available at a stroke: no paper – no worky. Here’s the jaw-dropping proof:
“Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at PHE, said: “The NHS issued guidance on the sixth dose to the health system in December and the relevant regulations were amended shortly after. Therefore, clinicians could and were using the sixth dose before the PGD [patient group direction] was published.” (paywalled link)
Ah! So some doctors did know and did start giving six rather than five jabs from one vial – but see what the professor had to say:
“We got information that, actually, you could do six, but what they didn’t do was change something called the PGD. And that’s the ruling that nurses abide by. It took too long to come out with the PGD.” (paywalled link)
Yes, that’s right: they knew, they – certainly some – were able to give more jabs, but apparently nurses couldn’t be expected to do the work because some paper guidance hadn’t been issued in a timely fashion. Is this the fault of PHE – or is it the fault of a profession so mired in their box-ticking culture that, using the hyperbolic words our PM and our MSM are so happily throwing about, they couldn’t ‘save lives’ because they felt they had to wait for the proper piece of paper? Is this mental attitude any different from that of French customs officials?
Meanwhile, the precious vaccine is being used to immunise ‘all NHS’ staff, not just the frontline nurses, doctors and care workers:
“On Friday night, health officials announced that all NHS staff and social care workers will be offered jabs over the next five weeks as hospitals come under increasing pressure. Until now, the Government had said only “front line” staff would be included in the early priority groups. The change means clerical staff and managers working for the health service will be able to receive jabs months before they are offered to most people under the age of 70, including key workers such as teachers and police.” (paywalled link)
Yes, some animals are more equal than others! Interestingly, there’s also a rise in the number of ‘key workers’ sending their kids to school (link). Strange, isn’t it, that the virus clearly doesn’t affect those children or their parents, strange especially when we read about government crying out for us all to stay at home. It seems we unruly peasants somehow aren’t doing as we’re told by the covid government and aren’t staying at home. Perhaps these are all self-identified key workers:
“Tube use in London was at 18 per cent of normal levels yesterday morning, compared with about 5 per cent at the start of the March lockdown. Car traffic, which fell to 32 per cent of normal levels in March, is now about 60 per cent, according to figures from Monday.” (link, paywalled)
Well, what did the covid government expect? Haven’t we been told that muzzles are stopping the virus, thus allowing us to go out? Did they think people haven’t noticed how all those ‘scare cases’ are due to tests, or that those with +ve tests either weren’t ill at all or experienced only a mild infection? Do they think we don’t know that the latest scare numbers of ‘covid deaths’ are another statistical manipulation because the backlog of death data from the Christmas holidays were included? Today’s Lockdown Sceptics Newsletter has chapter and verse.
In answer to my starting question, this is what Brexit and covid have in common: nothing and nobody is allowed to work without previous ‘guidance’ and without proper papers. All that must be available before the ‘event’. Self-initiative has been educated out of most of our workers, be they nurses, be they hauliers. The one lot won’t work without paperwork, the other believes that surely one piece of paper more or less can’t make that much difference. For both the ‘excuse’ is that it ain’t their fault, guv. They didn’t know and they weren’t given the ‘guidance’, with papers, in time to do their job.
The one place where self initiative works fine is when it’s about getting an advantage over us peasants: declaring oneself to be a key worker so that one’s kids can go to school, or so that one can get ‘the jab’ before others can get it. When self-interest comes into the mix, it’s the same old story: ‘me first’ while demanding at the same time that everybody else must toe the ‘guidance’ line. It’s the preaching of water-drinking to us unwashed masses while scoffing vintage wines in front of our eyes.
And the covid government thinks they can still make us all comply with their ‘rulz’ by making an example of people out for a walk with a cup of coffee in their hands while others take advantage and declare themselves to be ‘more equal’? Sir Robert Peel, in his ‘guidance’ (it was called ‘principles’ in those days …) has a few things to say about policing, especially about the police needing the consent of us, the people. Have we consented to being policed by a force using dictatorial measures “because of covid”? Hm …