The political future is bright – the political future is covid …
There’s no let-up, not in regard to covid, not in regard to Brexit, except that it’s worse than you think. We’re all tired of being battered by ‘news’ which are only meant to keep us in such fear and gloomy despondency that our only reaction is ‘please stop it now’. To that end, even news, or rather: gossip on the still ongoing negotiations with Barnier do not cause the usual, general fury. However, the embers of my personal ire were kindled into flames when I saw the Brexit ‘rumour’ placed surreptitiously in today’s MSM where ‘tier 4’ and dire predictions of ‘scientists’ dominate the headlines.
Let’s first look at the rumours coming from Brussels, about the state of those talks. Briefly, the correspondents dangle the carrot of ‘we can have a deal after Christmas’ in front of the credulous readers. The alleged ‘solution’ to the one remaining problem, the fishies, seems to have turned into a mean bartering game. RemainCentral headlined their article: “Brexit: UK offers cash-for-quotas fishing deal to tempt Europe”, but having gone through the whole thing repeatedly, I couldn’t find anything relating to this hair-raising offer. There’s this though:
“The proposals would allow the European Union to keep about two thirds of the value of fish, worth €650 million, that European boats now catch in British waters with a transition period, thought to be five years, to cushion the change. Britain’s starting offer was 40 per cent, with Mr Barnier holding out for 75.” (link, paywalled)
Well, it seems Barnier is better at haggling – or is he? The DT has a quote from an inevitable EU ‘source’, “an EU official speaking about the UK’s latest offer told The Telegraph: “It’s still a no from us.” (paywalled link). Why keep talking then? What strategy is Lord Frost pursuing? What use is it to get ‘A Deal’, whipped through Parliament in the dying days of the covid year, to have it rejected by the EU just before midnight? Is it to prepare the ground for talks to continue after the 1st of January, just as Barnier wants?
Here’s another item which made my blood boil. Why our MSM aren’t up in arms – well, it seems the Westminsterite Remainers are secretly gloating about the situation:
“The French government could have “helped” Britain tackle the infectious new strain of coronavirus if not for Brexit, France’s EU commissioner [Thierry Breton] said. If Britain “had chosen to remain in the European Union… today we could have helped them,” Mr Breton told BFM Business.” (paywalled link)
Oh yeah? How? France, we’re told, is ever so willing to ‘help’ lift the blockade by demanding that truck drivers just need to have ‘Teh Test’:
“It is thought France wants truckers to take the gold standard PCR Covid tests, which cost up to £180 but take between 24 hours and 48 hours, delaying attempts to get lorries moving, clear the backlog and allow drivers into France before Christmas.’ (paywalled link)
You have to concede that the French excel at political arm-twisting while making themselves look good and conciliatory! Why don’t “we” ask for French and EU truckers to present such tests before coming here? Aren’t France and other EU countries as covid-ravaged as we are, given their harsh lockdown regimes?
There’s another point demonstrating that this blockade is about Brexit and Brexit politics rather than for ‘health reasons’. ‘Our MSM’ and our peacocks, all so busy on twitter, don’t ask why it is that trucks from the EU are permitted to cross into the UK (link) even though covid is rampant on the continent. Nor do they ask why we allow inbound flights with passengers from countries that have blockaded us to enter. Are their countries not infested? Is the mutant virus not also found everywhere? Tom Harwood observes in the DT:
“Politics, not science appears to be leading the majority of European countries’ response. […]The French, angry over the United Kingdom’s insistence to control its own waters, have taken an especially draconian approach. While Ireland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Belgium have impeded the movement of people, not goods, Macron’s administration seems to have taken a particular delight in halting freight as well as travellers. While most countries are making exceptions for cargo, the French – for now – are putting a stop to it.” (paywalled link)
And our Remainers are still hoping for ‘A Deal’ with these EU politicians? I’m speechless! Ambrose Evans-Pritchard makes the same point, writing in the DT that:
“It stretches credulity to imagine that a variant picked up in samples as far back as September is not already rampant in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, and indeed France. It had months to run when borders were wide open, long before the second lockdowns.” (paywalled link)
So why the concerted effort of politicians everywhere to paint the UK as a ‘leper island’? Why don’t these politicians ‘protect’ their people by banning travel to the UK where the poor things would surely fall victim to this mutant? While AEP has a point when he opens his essay thus: “Emmanuel Macron’s ban on lorries entering France wins the prize for the most pointless political gesture since the onset of this pandemic.” (paywalled link) I suggest that this is only a partial explanation. I found this far more relevant:
“British scientists spotted [the mutation] early and have tracked it in real-time because the UK has carried out almost as much genome sequencing of Covid-19 as the rest of the world combined. Harvard epidemiologist William Hanage says the UK has the most advanced genomic monitoring regime on the planet. […] Many countries do little or no genomic sequencing at all.” (paywalled link)
Is it possible that politicians in countries evidently not as diligent or indeed as good as we are regarding virus research are now punishing us for being the ‘covid class swot’? See for example what Professor Semple, professor of outbreak medicine at the University of Liverpool and a member of SAGE said:
“Britain led the world in identifying and understanding how diseases behave, […] We shouldn’t beat ourselves up about this evolving here. The fact is we’ve identified it, we’ve brought it to national attention, we’ve got the attention of the politicians and the World Health Organisation in very quick time.” (paywalled link)
Sorry, Prof: it’s not really about this mutant ‘evolving’ here in the UK, it’s actually about our scientists having found it first – something scientists usually are very proud of. We have done the right thing, informing the WHO, and thus giving other countries the opportunity to look for the mutant, only to be punished by their politicians, France being the leader.
Meanwhile, various European scientists voiced their criticism – not about the detection of the virus as such but about the measures our covid-obsessed government has taken:
“Yesterday the French government said: “It has not been clearly established at this stage that the rapid spread of this mutation in the UK is linked to any intrinsic property of the virus. The fact that this strain is more infectious has not been demonstrated.” Eric Snijder, a Dutch virologist, said he was taken aback by Britain’s “drastic” measures. “This variant is very similar to what we already knew,” he said. Steven van Gucht, Belgium’s chief scientist, said there were “indications” that it was more transmissible but he was reserving judgment.” (link, paywalled)
The argument that these ‘blockade’ decisions were political, not based on science, is strengthened further when we read that the ‘cases’ caused by this ‘fast-spreading’ mutant are in single figures.
But never mind that – Vallance, who can’t keep his mouth shut, is putting more fuel on the bonfire of international perception that “we” are the latest hotbed of covid leprosy. He wants us to be in quarantine forever, never mind the political and economic fall-out:
“The toughest coronavirus restrictions must be extended to “get ahead” of infections driven by a new variant, according to the chief scientific adviser. Sir Patrick Vallance said that lesser measures had proved ineffective and a stricter approach was likely. Sir Patrick said at a Downing Street press conference that the variant was “everywhere” and cases would rise after “inevitable mixing” over Christmas.” (link, paywalled)
If it’s ‘everywhere’ – where are the photos of hospitals ‘bursting at the seams’ with covid patients, of images from ICUs like those we remember seeing from Italy in Spring? Don’t ask such inconvenient questions – this is serious simply because SAGE has to keep their scaremongering going – why? To support Starmer’s demands for ‘moar of the same’?
The SAGEs have frightened BJ again into covid brain fog by presenting him their usual ‘scare data’. Moreover, Whitehall seems to be infested with lockdownians which are scientifically as illiterate as BJ, tinged with support for Starmer, one suspects:
“Others in government, however, were concerned about the failure to act sooner. The Times has been told that even before the mutation was identified, the outlook for the spread of the coronavirus was “terrible”. One internal assessment, in early December, suggested that there will be nearly 700,000 cases a week by mid to late February — more than three times the present level — with 20,000 hospital admissions and 5,000 deaths.” (link, paywalled)
Don’t these scare numbers look familiar? And isn’t it wonderful that the SAGE’s ‘discovered’ that mutant virus just in time to create the scene for the present lockdown? How … fortuitous. ‘Honi soit’ and all that, innit!
Let’s crown this with a remark by one of the SAGEs who told The Times that their ‘finding’ of the huge infectiousness of that mutant was based on ‘several lines’ of evidence, one of which was “the correlation between increasing case numbers and increasing detection of the variant“ (link, paywalled).
Repeat after me: “Correlation is not causation” – something every first year science student learns. Do we need more proof that SAGE is infested with ‘science activists’ rather than proper scientists?
Covid, mutant or not, has become the political instrument of choice for politicians everywhere, to coerce their people into accepting undemocratic measures. As we are held prisoners in our own homes, where are the human rights NGOs who declared that ‘solitary house arrest’ was inhumane? Has covid scared them into submission?
We’ll keep asking inconvenient questions for as long as we can