He’s ‘in the news’ today …
Oh dear – something is surely wrong with us peasants! Hands up all of you who went and ‘clapped for Capt Tom’ on their doorsteps yesterday! None? Shame! Well, after the clapathon for ‘Our Sacred Cow’ last year, that’s perhaps understandable – but you surely must have heard your neighbours clap! No? They didn’t? Oh dear! Did we simply not obey our covid-PM who said we ought to? Worse – did none of us even listen to him when he told us to? Oh dear oh dear! Still, there’s a lovely photo of him and Princess Nut Nuts on the doorstep of No 10, clapping like performing seals, in this morning’s MSM. You’ve not seen this either? Tut tut!
I have to mention though that by staying inside and not clapping you apparently have supported BLM, or summink like that. Yes, really – the DM has the gory details, namely that ‘a cleric’ in the CofE tweeted that:
“The cult of Captain Tom is a cult of White British Nationalism. I will offer prayers for the repose of his kind and generous soul, but I will not be joining the “National Clap”. (link)
Crikey. Amazing, isn’t it, that criticism of this mawkish tribute only comes “because: racism!” rather than because this was a blatantly populist gesture by the PM. Staying with Capt Tom, the BC actually had a little piece of what the NHS did with the money he collected. It didn’t go to the medical side of the NHS, it went to ‘NHS Charity’. You can read here what all was done with the money – our money, remember – but please remove any mugs and other heavy objects from your immediate vicinity before you start reading that report!
There are other covid news which are rather intriguing. It’s not so much about the fall in case numbers, hospitalisations and deaths – it’s about a certain person in government raising his head above the parapet and saying what we’ve been pointing out in this column for some time, namely that SAGE has been shifting the covid goal posts. This was none other than Dishi Rishi – and surely one cannot label him a ‘covid denier’ or worse! More on that in a minute, first here’s the background.
Case numbers have been falling since December. Lockdown Sceptics has the graphs and stats in this morning’s Newsletter (link). Even the broadsheets have reports on this phenomenon this morning (paywalled links here and here), albeit garnished with ‘a warning’ by Super-SAGE Whitty, demonstrating that it’s ‘SAGE Business As Usual’. Have a look at this:
“Whitty told people not to expect a rapid loosening of restrictions, suggesting that pressure on the NHS would not ease significantly until all over-50s had been vaccinated.” (link, paywalled)
Who does Whitty think he is – the PM? Haven’t some SAGEs told us plebs that no, they didn’t “do politics”, they only ‘counsel’ the PM who has to make those decisions? I suggest it was that decree from on SAGE high which made Sunak stand up. According to the DT, he’s concerned:
“Rishi Sunak fears scientific advisers are “moving the goalposts” on the requirements for ending lockdown amid growing frustration within the Government. The Chancellor is concerned that scientists have replaced the original target of protecting the NHS and saving lives with a focus on getting case numbers down, potentially delaying the end of the restrictions. He has told allies that Britain is approaching a “fat lady sings moment” when lockdown must be lifted, never to return.” (paywalled link)
The DM also has an article on this Rishi-Rising, copied from the DT’s earlier report (link), but The Times doesn’t – one wonders why … ! Interestingly, there’s a beautiful example for ‘politics by twitter’ where liking one tweet is taken for a political indicator:
“Government splits publicly surfaced last night when Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer ‘liked’ a tweet telling the Chancellor to ‘get back in his box’.” (link)
One ’liked’ tweet means ‘split in government’? Dearie me! Those ‘reporters’ must have time on their hand, checking twitter for ‘likes’! Mind you, I’d suggest that Mr Mercer better consider if Sunak has actually left ‘his box’ when he wonders about this lockdown goalpost shifting – Rishi’s gotta pay for it, doesn’t he?
Thus, there’s a bit more to this Rishi trial balloon which his allies carefully dropped into the ears of certain MSM reporters – yes, yes: ’tis a mixed metaphor, but I like the image it conjures up! BJ said he’ll present us with ‘a roadmap out of Lockdown’ on the 22nd of February but Sunak will have to present his budget in March and he knows the economic and political score:
“An unprecedented amount of peacetime public spending to mitigate the effects of lockdown – such as furlough and bailouts – have plunged the nation’s finances deep into the red, with government borrowing reaching £270.8bn this financial year. At next month’s Budget the Chancellor will set out his plan to start patching up the blackhole, which will likely see tax rises, although the Tory manifesto ruled out hikes to VAT, national insurance and income tax.” (link)
I’d hazard the guess that the covid ministers, from Matt H. down, will be only too happy to lambast Sunak who must surely now be perceived as a threat to their ambitions to replace BJ. So will they hide behind “covid!!” – or will they accept that his budget will determine their collective future?
The strange thing is that BJ is the cause of creating this Sunak intervention. You can’t give jubilant statements to the MSM about how wonderful ‘our’ mass vaccination drive is going and then neglect some scientific facts mitigating against lockdown, for example:
“Overall in England the ONS estimates that one person in seven has antibodies against the virus, mainly indicating past infection. It says that 15.3 per cent of the population — 6.9 million people — would have tested positive for antibodies in the 28 days leading up to January 18. That is up from 10.3 per cent in the 28 days before, leading up to December 21.” (link, paywalled)
No, don’t mention ‘herd immunity’! Moreover, this is leading to scientists now proposing that all those who’ve clearly have had covid would only need one jab:
“Professor Tim Spector, lead scientist on the [Zoe symptom] study, and Dr Anna Goodman, infectious diseases consultant at Guy’s and St Thomas’s Hospital, said it could offer a way to stretch vaccine supplies. Spector said: “It’s really sort of suggesting that if you’ve had Covid before the first vaccine is really behaving a bit like the second one, like a booster.” (link, paywalled)
More jabs available for more people – wasn’t that the ‘road to freedom’? However – and there’s always going to be a ‘however’, there’s also this:
“Results from the Zoe symptom study app showed that people who had previously been infected were twice as likely to report side effects from the Pfizer-Biontech vaccine, possibly suggesting a stronger immune response.” (link, paywalled)
A pity that we don’t hear much about those symptoms or how severe they are! A further pity that in this government-driven obsession with lockdowns and ‘eradicating’ covid, with PCR testing and ‘Save the NHS’, no-one asks if all this might perhaps have been just a tad unnecessary.
Moreover, ‘case numbers’ have been falling across the globe, regardless of lockdowns and clearly not due to mass vaccinations (link). BJ and the SAGEs, together with the equivalent politicians in other countries, seem however obeying ‘faithfully’ the WHO diktats – see this:
“The WHO said on Monday it has also seen declining new infections globally over the past three weeks. […] But Director-General Tedros Adhanom warned against relaxing restrictions to slow the spread of coronavirus on the heels of the good news. ‘Over the past year, there have been moments in almost all countries when cases declined, and governments opened up too quickly, and individuals let down their guard, only for the virus to come roaring back,’ he said.” (link)
Is this why Whitty says restrictions cannot be lifted, giving BJ a reason not to do so? Here are two non-SAGE professors criticising the test regime. It’s in the MSM so must be ‘official’:
“Professor Anthony Brookes, a genomics and health data scientist at the University of Leicester, said the disproportionate focus on case numbers was unhelpful. “We’ve called them cases when they’re just positive tests,” he said. “If you test more people you’ll detect more cases, even if nothing else changes.” (paywalled link)
How astonishing – isn’t this what we lockdown sceptics have been saying for many months? Perhaps it’s acceptable now that a proper professor has said so, in public! And here’s Professor Henegan whom the DT has suddenly rediscovered. Warning about that PCR testing regime, he said that:
“testing had created a climate of “anxiety, panic and fear”, adding: “With the advent of PCR testing for other viruses, we may see the detection of up to three million people with infections in a week. Without context, the natural reaction will be to lock down. But as we go into winter, we will see the rise of other viruses such as RSV rhinovirus, adenovirus and influenza. There are about 30 pathogens that I know of that cause viral pneumonia in primary care.” (paywalled link)
Never mind that – BJ will keep on faithfully following the WHO and Whitty, won’t he! ‘His Master’s Voice’ and all that … even as another old Tory warhorse, Sir Iain Duncan Smith, elegantly and surreptitiously supports Rishi, saying:
“We have to be careful we don’t hand over the Government to the scientists. When we say we’re following the science, sometimes it has been a case of following the scientists. As the vaccine rollout continues apace and we have now learned that we are unlikely to transmit it, we need to go back to normal.” (paywalled link)
Are we witnessing the beginning of a change in BJ’s government’s attitude to covid? Will BJ keep to the WHO-Whitty plan or will Dishi Rishi prevail? Me, I think that money, especially not having it, tends to concentrate minds quite powerfully, especially those of politicians … so let’s keep up the Rishi-Watch and