Eagle-eyed readers will immediately have spotted the change in this column’s title. I’ve not ‘abandoned Brexit’, but for the time being it has understandably receded a bit into the distance. I will keep my eyes open and record any Brexit news, but the state of our country during this Lockdown has to be pre-eminent, especially since we won’t know how and when this will end nor what sort of country we will end up with and yes, we can rightly suspect that The Establishment will betray us peasants yet again.
The one Brexit article I found was a brief interview with Douglas Carswell in The Express. His observation is noteworthy:
“[He] argued that there is no way Britain will make any concessions to the bloc. He explained: “What is extraordinary is that the European side genuinely seems to think that what they are negotiating here is the degree of UK regulatory alignment or degree of access the EU will have to UK waters. It is not. There is zero chance whatsoever that there will be an agreement that allows the EU concessions on those things. [ …] What is really at stake here, even though the European side is too stupid to understand this, is the question of whether or not in five years time the UK will be a geopolitical ally of the European Union.” (link)
And so to the devastation this pandemic is creating here and in other European countries. There’s a strange phenomenon to be observed in the way the MSM are addressing this issue. The ever rising numbers of deaths are driving headlines – Spain and Italy again at the top. I’m not going to enter into that game – you can check them out yourselves, here.
It’s far more instructive to note that here in our locked-down country the MSM are first and foremost criticising the Government whereas, typically, in Germany there are articles about how Germany is doing so well, compared to the USA, Italy, Spain and the UK. Again, France is somehow a blank spot in their reporting, even though allegedly Macron is planning to shut down all shops selling wine. In France …!
In ‘Our MSM’, in contrast, Johnson is criticised first and foremost, followed by endless ‘personal’ reports on how to deep-clean your house, or cope with isolation. Then there are questions as to why there are still people out and about, especially in London.
There’s a strong whiff of puritanical preachery about. Our metropolitan Westminster dwellers just have to virtue-signal while denouncing those who have to go to work, daring to use the tube without observing ‘social distancing’. There’s the inevitable ‘it’s our fault’ article, this time by Max Hastings in the Times (link, paywalled) who blames all ‘oldies’ because they are ‘privileged and selfish’ … Why not prohibit all us selfish oldies from even asking for treatment and have us all die already!
It’s all so reminiscent of the holier-than-thou attitude combined with denunciations from behind twitching lace curtains we remember from our history! It’s as if they are somehow enjoying this, as if they have no thoughts for the devastation this is causing to so many, especially the self-employed. It’s as if they heard with a shiver of pleasurable anticipation that the government can prolong the Lockdown, as Gove threatened yesterday.
One such measure may be increased fines given by the police to those who flaunt the Lockdown. The chairman of the Police Federation has an article in the DT (paywalled link) where he repeatedly cries that we should all ‘heed the advice’ of the government.
Measures regarding support for the self-employed have still not been announced – so far, they can look forward to the £94 per week statutory sick pay – and questions are being raised as to what they are supposed to do to survive, with an open-ended Lockdown (paywalled link) on the cards.
There are calls for 250,000 ‘healthy volunteers’ to help the NHS. I assume that is the reason the NHS is again ‘angrily’ demanding more test kits to be made available:
“Hospitals are already reporting serious gaps because doctors and nurses have to self-isolate if they or a family member get a cough or a fever. Although the government plans to roll out testing so they can return to work if they are clear, they are not currently automatically entitled to a check.” (link, paywalled)
One might ask, mightn’t one, why ‘Our NHS’, who orders these test kits and who runs these tests – as opposed to ‘the government’ – hasn’t been prepared. Surely, their managers cannot possibly have thought this pandemic would pass us by? Or are they so stuck in their bureaucratic, nanny-state attitude that they can’t do anything without asking for permission from the PM?
Have we come to this: that this failure of ‘Our NHS’ mustn’t be criticised? Is ‘Our ‘ NHS blaming the government in the usual fashion of getting their retaliation in first even though the Lockdown is in place to ‘Save Our NHS’? And is it not the case that ‘Our NHS’ is only testing those with acute symptoms anyway, rather than everybody who is turning up with sniffles?
There were more announcements about that fabulous new test for antibodies. It is ‘coming soon’ and the government has ordered 3.5 million kits (paywalled link). If this will really be a ‘game changer’ remains to be seen. Still, there are no reports on possible treatments or cures.
I also find it strange that the DT seemed to prefer to show their impeccable ‘inside sources’, publishing an article on ‘The Inside Story’ about how Johnson came to make his Lockdown announcement (paywalled link) – gossip in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic … must keep the punters entertained!
Meanwhile, there’s a very interesting article in The Times who seem again allowing space for dissenting voices. According to that report
“The virus could have been “creeping through” the population for months, which would not be uncommon for a respiratory illness” (link, paywalled)
They ask for antibody testing to confirm this hypothesis – that’s the test the government talks about – and write:
“Half of Britain may already have contracted coronavirus since January, researchers from Oxford University said yesterday as they called for urgent testing to discover how many people had acquired immunity. The researchers believe that the epidemics in the UK and Italy could have started earlier than presumed and by mid-January at the latest. This may “have already led to the accumulation of significant levels of herd immunity in both countries,” they write. The findings are based on assumptions about the most likely characteristics of the disease and are yet to be peer-reviewed or published in a journal.” (link, paywalled)
There’s a valid criticism which is applicable not just to this proposed study above but can rightly be applied to the models on which the government justified the Lockdown:
“Jonathan Ball, professor of molecular virology at the University of Nottingham, urged that serological tests begin but said: “This is interesting work, but hampered by the same issues that impact all epidemiological models — they rely on assumptions based on a paucity of fact about how this virus transmits.” (link, paywalled)
Looking further afield, the director General of the WHO is in the news, with an appeal to the ‘wealthy nations’ to step up and help the poorer, war-torn ones. His appeal, given the UN’s support for planet-wide migration, reads like a threat:
“Countries battling the pandemic at home are rightly prioritising people living in their own communities. But the hard truth is they will be failing to protect their own people if they do not act to help the poorest countries protect themselves against Covid-19. […] While citizens across Europe, the US and other wealthy nations take sensible steps to batten down the hatches and protect the vulnerable in their communities, governments need to act on what’s happening in other parts of the world if they want to stop this pandemic. […] Failing to help the world’s poorest countries to fight Covid-19 would be both cruel and unwise. […] So the UN system is joining forces to launch a major humanitarian response plan to fund the fight against the virus in the world’s most vulnerable countries.” (paywalled link)
In other words: give us your money, regardless of your economies being totally devastated. Perhaps he better ask his friends in China – and perhaps we all should ask why we must even listen to him. Let’s not forget that it was he and his organisation who downplayed this virus – see this tweet from January 14th where they said that, according to China, there’s no human-to-human transmission, losing that valuable time for which our MSM are now blaming Johnson. Even then, Chinese authorities knew better …!
I hope that, once we’re through this, criticism of the Panic Mongers, especially in Our MSM and the establishment classes, criticism of the bureaucrats running Whitehall and ‘Our NHS’ will finally come to the fore, with demands for change. That would be an outcome I look forward to!
So let’s be of good cheer while the Lockdown evolves – keep safe, keep vigilant, keep yer chins up and
Photo by cordeliasmom2012