Yay! We’ll have jam – tomorrow …


We’ve all been such very good little lemmings – following the ‘dear leader’ who followed the dear SAGEs! So we’re now definitely going to have jam tomorrow, ahem: on May 17th. There’s also the latest speculation about an early GE, there’s the covid passport, there’s the latest covid scare story and there’s Barnier-the-inevitable. 

Firstly – yes, we will have a covid passport, or rather: a tarted-up NHS App. Don’t expect an uproar about this in the general population: they want their summer holidays, now. France, Spain, Barbados – no matter. As far as they’re concerned, they’ve been good, they had the jabs and now it’s time for their reward: holidays abroad. Civil liberties? Who cares! And who cares that this covid government, in the form of a certain Mr Gove, had said only a few months ago that there wouldn’t be a covid passport. Times change, circumstances change, and since ‘everybody’ is doing it, why not us? Here are the gory details:

“The NHS app will go live as a vaccine passport for international travel from Monday, but only for those who have had both doses. People who do not use smartphones can phone 119 for a paper letter confirming their vaccine status but have been urged not to ask their GP. […] The app will not show coronavirus test results but it is hoped that they will be incorporated by the time domestic Covid status certification is due to be introduced for mass events on June 21.” (link, paywalled)

Lovely, isn’t it! Note well that the despicable T & T won’t be going away, that even when June 21st comes around, giving us back our freedoms, tests will still be needed. Should you not be inclined to install that app then better prepare yourselves for this:

“People must register to use the app and the government is advising people to do so at least two weeks before they travel abroad. As an alternative they can apply for a paper letter but this is available only five days after the second dose and will take a further five days to arrive.” (link, paywalled)

Saint Bureaucratius be praised – paper documents will take an awfully long time. Let’s not mention that this is akin to reinventing the wheel because “BCV”, before covid vaccines, the yellow WHO vaccination passport, all on paper, was working perfectly. Let’s also not worry about the possibility that our ‘French friends’ might reject our British ‘vaccine passport app’. After all, what could go wrong when mighty Brussels is working on their own EU passport.

What could go wrong when French border control officers decide they can’t ‘read’ that app – their fishermen, as we all know, are incapable, ahem: unwilling to deal with the Jersey demands for electronic logs. And when our cher Michel says that our government ‘behaves like buccaneers’  by not ‘respecting’ that Brexit fishing deal (paywalled link), it means that French officials don’t need to respect us. If our travel-hungry covid lemmings believe that Barnier is only talking about fish and Jersey I suggest they better pay attention to what he actually said:

“He said the post-Brexit trade deal is “not currently being respected”, adding: “We must clearly tell the British it cannot work like this otherwise there will be serious consequences on the deal in general and reprisal measures that are included in the treaty.” (paywalled link)

This gives a surreptitious carte blanche to border officials, to make things as awkward as possible. Perhaps it’s better to travel elsewhere with this app, to where governments are more concerned about kick-starting their tourism industry than fighting rear-guard actions over Brexit.

Anyway – why would people want to travel when from May 17th “we” can have ‘staycations’ here in the UK where we’ll even be permitted to hug each other – carefully? Mind you, I was again bouncing off the walls in fury when I read what BJ had the nerve to tell us that “he wanted people to take personal responsibility for their decisions rather than relying on “government edicts” (paywalled link) – because this ‘permission’ was immediately hedged in:

“From next Monday, there will no longer be a requirement for people gathering in groups of six or two households to stay two metres apart, as the current guidance says. Instead, those in a group will be free to judge for themselves whether they should hug, shake hands and sit near each other. Official government social distancing rules for people in groups were replaced with guidance which says they “can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance”. (paywalled link)

“We” are permitted to take personal responsibility, to ‘make a personal choice’ – provided we observe official government guidance! Moreover, while the SAGEs had to admit that their fear scenarios might not come to pass when restrictions will be lifted finally next month, they’re still concerned that there will be a wavelet in July and August (link). Never mind that there was no such thing last year – something is bound to happen and it will be our fault.

Next, you’ll be pleased to hear that the House of Ghastly peacocks, zooming with abandon, will have to get back to ‘normal’ from June 21st. JRM said so and he’s also crept out from under his stone to let us know that there will be a Queen’s Speech tomorrow. In an opinion piece in the DT, first indulging in his usual adoration for our parliamentary system, JRM gives a little warning to returning MPs. After declaring the “we” can no no longer blame Brussels for our woes, he writes this starry-eyed paragraph:

“Now the powers divested to Brussels have been restored to their rightful place, the time has come for MPs to do more for their constituents. There are no further excuses. It is a remarkable fact that issues raised in a constituency surgery at the weekend are regularly put to the head of government in Prime Minister’s Questions the following Wednesday. It shows the immediacy of this democracy and the importance of individual rights. All parliamentarians will surely now want to recognise their enhanced responsibility as lawmakers, scrutinising and improving the measures put before them.” (paywalled link)

Crikey. MPs doing  actual work – for us, their constituents? That’ll be the day! Stop laughing in the back, you irreverent lot! On a more serious point, one item in the Queen’s Speech will be legislation to repeal the Fixed Term Parliament Act, the act gifted to us by the Cameron-Clegg regime. This is serious not because it returns power to the HoC to dissolve Parliament when needed, without legalistic contortions, but because it strengthens the rumour, first made public in yesterday’s ConHome article (link) that BJ and consorts are already thinking about having a GE in 2023.

Well, 2023 is only four years after the 2019 GE, so this prospect shouldn’t be too frightening but it’s interesting that clearly the Tories now believe the interpretation of many political pundits, of Labour being on its last legs. A week is a long time in politics though, and triumphalism often leads to spectacular downfalls.

There’s also the tiny question of BJ’s greenery policies. Do the Tories really believe that, now that we’ve been perfectly trained to do as we’re told thanks to their covid policies, we’ll happily follow them into the promised land of blackouts, travel restrictions and ‘energy emergency’ lockdowns? 

I fervently hope that all the Independents, some of whom had success at the Thursday elections, get their act together, stow their egos, and start working. They have two years if BJ thinks he can win a GE again.

I apologise but I must leave you with the latest covid horror news. After all, “we” cannot be too careful nor can we be permitted to let down our covid guard. The DT informs us that a ‘lethal black fungus which rots organs’ is apparently ripping through India (paywalled link), affecting covid patients and even those who had the jab. Here’s a slightly less scary report. Both papers took their cue from the BBC (here). No, we’re not told how many Indians are actually affected, only that 50% of those thus stricken usually die. 

I wonder if SAGE will now develop a model for that affliction. After all, “we” must keep being scared out of our wits, even when the gracious covid imperator permits us a taste of freedom. Remember: fearful people are more easily governed. What happened to ‘better die on one’s feet than live on one’s knees’?





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