Armistice Day – “In Flanders Fields“
One might have thought that today’s Armistice Day, 75 years after the end of WWII, might have deserved a few articles and opinion pieces in the MSM. But no – there’s nothing except a mention that Prince Charles will be the first Royal to visit Germany for their Remembrance ceremony, not today but on the weekend (paywalled link). There are two opinion pieces in The Times though, on the Armed Forces in general. More on that below.
The one issue which unsurprisingly occupies the MSM’s front pages is of course ‘that’ vaccine. There’s also more on the ‘moonshot mass testing’. Looking at that one first, we’re told that there will be ‘a plan’ to mass-test students, that there will be ‘a plan’ for universities to close early:
“Ministers will announce today that universities will be told to shorten the academic term and end all face-to-face teaching by December 9. Students will be encouraged to leave in “staggered stages” between the end of the national lockdown on December 2 and the closure of universities a week later. At the same time the government is offering hundreds of thousands of 15-minute Covid tests that students can take before they go home to reduce increased infection risks. Anyone who tests negative will be encouraged to leave quickly, while support will be offered for those who test positive and need to self-isolate.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, covid panic and covid mass testing – still the only ‘covid cure’ known to man, vaccines or not! – is damaging university education and will keep doing so. Just look at the announcement yesterday that in Wales there won’t be any GCSE and A-level exams in 2021 (paywalled link). It’s not just for creating a ‘level playing field’ but to ‘safeguard the well-being of learners’. ‘Twp’ is the Welsh word that.
As for those tests – well, there’s another one coming down the line. This comes under ‘moar tests’ and ‘moar jam tomorrow’:
“Rapid tests every other day could be used to free contacts of confirmed coronavirus cases from the need to self-isolate for two weeks, the head of Test and Trace has said. Baroness Harding of Winscombe said that pilots were being done to see if home pregnancy-style tests could allow contacts to carry on with normal life if they tested negative, expressing hope of progress within weeks.” (link, paywalled)
I leave it to your imagination as to how this is supposed to work – will it be ‘spit’? – and how this will be documented. Will employers demand employees present such ‘test strip’ before being allowed to enter the premises? How will ‘the authorities’ determine that the strip shows the test result of the person and not of another member of the household?
Never mind – I’m sure they’ll cope, just as ‘Our Sacred Cow’ will cope with the logistics of that vaccine which must be kept at -70º C. Of course they will! After all, ‘Happy Now Hancock’ said so:
“[He] said yesterday that the NHS would be ready at the start of next month if a jab were approved. He suggested that regulators would be able to give the go-ahead within days of final results.” (link, paywalled)
I’m sure you spotted the acknowledgement that this vaccine hasn’t been approved yet. It must be especially reassuring to note that ‘it will be approved’ – after all, who’d now dare to raise medical concerns when Pfizer and others have so clearly ‘bounced’ the authorities across the Western world into applauding this vaccine, into buying however many doses can be manufactured! Of course, Hancock ‘has a plan’:
“A million people a week could be vaccinated against coronavirus under NHS plans to ensure a jab can be administered as quickly as it is manufactured. All over-65s may be able to get the Pfizer jab before Easter if it is approved, with officials hopeful that the Oxford vaccine could allow a wider programme during the winter if it is also successful. The government hopes to cover all over-50s and the most vulnerable younger adults, who account for 99 per cent of Covid-19 deaths, early next year in the first stage of a “three wave” strategy, if supplies allow. It will set out its plans in more detail next week.” (link, paywalled)
“Could” – “may” – “hope”: ah! Never mind that nobody knows if other vaccines, also rushed out, might also be given. Never mind that Hancock isn’t clear about who all will get the jab. And no, this is not another Hancock ‘pie in the sky’ production, how very dare you! Just look at what he said – don’t snigger:
“Vaccination would be a “mammoth logistical operation” and would involve the NHS working seven days a week to distribute supplies that must be kept at minus 70C. He promised that it would “inject hope into millions of arms this winter”, telling MPs: “The logistics are complex, the uncertainties are real and the scale of the job is vast, but I know that the NHS, brilliantly assisted by the armed services, will be up to the task.” (link, paywalled)
Why mention the ‘armed services’ in this context? Surely not because ‘Our Sacred Cow’ has been shown to be incapable of delivering those wonderful covid ‘treatments’, moonshot tests and Nightingale hospitals included. Perhaps the Armed Forces will run those ‘vaccine centres’ which Hancock plans to set up? Look at this pipe dream for running the ‘biggest vaccination campaign in history’:
“The government has plans to train an army of workers, including physiotherapists, paramedics and midwives, to administer Covid jabs. Matt Hancock today outlined several routes of delivery. Large vaccination centres would be set up, he said. These could include sports halls and car parks.” (link, paywalled)
We’ve heard about this ‘trained army of workers’ earlier this year. Surely you won’t mind who gives you those jabs – they’re all ‘trained’, after all. And better forget about falling ill with anything because ‘doctor can’t see you’:
“GPs were also issued instructions in a letter from NHS England. They were told to work in groups of practices called primary care networks, designating one site in each area to host a vaccine programme between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week “including bank holidays”, raising the possibility of vaccinations on Christmas Day.” The letter asks GPs to “recognise that running a potential Covid-19 vaccination programme requires ‘all hands to the pump’ and pragmatism”.” (link, paywalled)
Yes, it’s again about ‘covid all the way to the ground’! Nothing else matters, and I’m sure Hancock will tell GPs to forget their other patients when it’s about ‘exterminating covid’:
“But GP and health leaders have warned that this could mean significant disruption to other routine services, with the NHS Confederation saying: “Delivery of a vaccination programme on this scale from scratch means business as usual is not feasible so public expectations will need to be managed.” (link, paywalled)
More opportunities then for the government’s ‘slogan production’ line! I’m sure they’ll tell us to disregard any illness so as not to disturb that vaccination programme!
Since Hancock mentioned the Armed Forces, let’s now look at the two opinion pieces I mentioned above. The Times, being an ‘equal opportunity’ provider of space has allocated one to Mr Will Quince, minister for welfare delivery (no, I didn’t know we had such thing either). The title of his piece is “Honour our forces by supporting them throughout the year” (link, paywalled). That has got to be so much better than also honouring them on the one day where the nation has come together for 100 years! It’s simply a forgettable piece of government PR.
I was shocked though to read the accompanying article by John Healey, the shadow defence secretary – shocked because, Labour or not, I had to agree with some of his observations, e.g.:
“During the first national lockdown the military built hospitals, distributed personal protection equipment, ran testing sites and planned behind the scenes. Yet not once during the first lockdown period did the defence secretary take to the Commons despatch box or Downing Street press conference podium to promote the armed forces’ role which the public were so pleased to see.” (link, paywalled)
Where he’s right he’s right. After writing that government will have the backing of Labour when they employ the Armed Forces in further covid campaigns he mentions the forthcoming Strategic Review on the future organisation of our Armed Forces, making these valid points:
“As we move from the industrial age of warfare into the digital age we must remember that forces personnel remain at the heart of our defence and security. Autonomous platforms and robotics will become widespread but the essential utility of the men and women of our armed forces will remain central. The frontline personnel doing city-wide covid testing in Liverpool and the special forces who took back control of the Nave Andromeda oil tanker in the English Channel are only the most recent reminders that while high tech systems are essential, our highly-trained British troops are indispensable.” (link, paywalled)
Blimey! Is this yet another instance of Labour – well, at least this Labour politician – becoming more conservative than the Tories? Interesting …
I leave you with a hilarious report on an ‘environmental study’, the leader of which was a female. That study, undertaken in Ireland – where they still burn peat, the horror! – showed that:
“Sitting beside an open fire at home can expose people to more air pollution than travelling to work along busy roads, a study has found. It also found a link between exposure to fires and dementia. Elderly people who had been exposed to open fires for many years showed greater cognitive impairment than those who did not have open fires. Older women were particularly at risk and the authors said this could be because they had typically spent more time at home and had greater exposure to open fires.” (link, paywalled)
Omigawd! Better go to work and not sit at home … No, don’t ask about WFH and Lockdown! And don’t ask if there’s any evidence in history for excessive numbers of people suffering from dementia! Surely, that should have been easy to find since open fires were used until well into the middle of the last century? Nah – forget it: open fires will give you dementia, regardless of burning peat, coal or wood. So don’t do it! Use renewables instead, and never mind that the sun don’t shine during the autumn and winter months.
It’s quite amazing that such ‘precautionary’ research seems always to be conducted by female scientists. Funny how “we” must always be afraid of something and heed all female ‘leaders’ advice, from Greta all the way to the ground …