“That” virus – be afraid, be very afraid!
The world is being gripped by Corona Virus Fever, thanks to our vigilant, fear-mongering MSM. Nevertheless, there are a few stories which have made it onto the front pages. There are two articles on the forthcoming negotiations which will start on Monday and there are two items which show that the relentless campaign against Cummings and by extension Johnson is still being fuelled. The Corona Virus however is impinging on Brexit, so we’ll look at these reports as well.
First, the anti-Johnson&Cummings campaign. Forgive our hacks – they need to fill the pages and stories about Ms Patel and her Mandarin are put on the backburner for the moment. We read in the DT that
“A Downing Street insider said: “Before he took the job, Dom made Boris sign a contract specifying what his powers were to be, that he would be allowed to hire and fire SpAds [and] confirming his authority over other key government projects.” (paywalled link)
I love those Downing Street insiders! And it’s absolutely horrendous that the No10 top SpAd should be the boss of other SpAds … A non-paywalled report, regurgitating the DT one, is here.
This ‘news’ is coordinated with reports on Sajid Javid who told the MSM that he was planning to cut taxes and that the reason he left was because he wanted to protect his SpAds from Cummings: here, paywalled here and here. Oohh – sinister, innit, implying that Johnson wants to keep ‘Toree Austeritee” going … !
As for the Brexit Negotiations: the good news first! Joe Barnes writes in The Express:
“Brussels will be made to fork out for French translators after Boris Johnson won the race to hold upcoming trade talks in English. In an early victory for Britain, the Government and European Commission confirmed “negotiations shall be conducted in English”. Only in “justified circumstances” will the negotiation teams be able to alternate to French when formal talks begin on Monday. […] The EU will also have to spend cash translating any joint document into the bloc’s 24 official languages with the originals set to be published in English.” (link)
Even more important are these points:
“In another blow for Brussels, the EU has been blocked from publishing documents submitted by the British negotiation team. Michel Barnier’s Commission negotiators will also be restricted from sharing some sensitive memos with European capitals. […] The “Terms of Reference”, which sets out the code of conduct for the upcoming negotiations, reads: “the receiving party will not share this material outside of negotiating teams without the consent of the other party. […] Negotiating rounds will alternate between Brussels and London, and will be held at differing locations from the Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters where the divorce talks were held in the Belgian capital.” (link)
Am I allowed to say ‘tee-hee-hee’? I’ll say it anyway … RemainCentral also has a report on these ‘terms of reference’, interestingly homing in on one particular aspect:
“There has been a stand-off between the two, with the EU wanting to use “Level playing field” to describe one section of the talks while the UK prefers “Open and fair competition”. Both sides will now discuss their obligations under a proposed trade deal in a working group called: “Level playing field for open and fair competition.”. (link, paywalled)
That ‘level playing field’ is actually a minefield – for the EU. I hope that the team David Frost has assembled is aware of the reports published by our friends at facts4eu. As always, they’ve used data from the horse’s mouth, i.e. Brussels, and their latest report is on that oh-so-important ‘level playing field’ which is anything but. Have a look here for a truly stunning graph! Now you know why Barnier wants to keep this playing field as bumpy and non-level as possible.
And now: the Corona Virus. It’s even the entry in Sir John Redwood’s Diary today. All attempts by ‘experts’ notwithstanding, to name and rename it scientifically, for the MSM it’s the Corona Virus and that’s that. I’m sure you’ll be delighted to learn that Johnson has now ‘got his hands on it’:
“Boris Johnson took charge of government preparations yesterday after criticism of a slow response to the crisis. He is expected to take a more hands-on role.” (link, paywalled)
Emergency legislation is planned – here’s a non-paywalled article – as the dilemma for Johnson and ministers is spelled out:
“Ministers and officials are considering the trade-off between allowing an acute outbreak, from which the economy would rebound more quickly, and trying to save more lives by imposing restrictions on mass gatherings and transport.” (link, paywalled)
The odd thing is though that now, as EU countries are affected, one of the ‘principles’ of the EU has vanished. You will have noticed that Barnier in his Mandate, sanctioned by the 27 rump EU member states, hasn’t mentioned ‘Free Movement’ at all, as far as I could see. The reports on quarantine and the spread of the virus were already in full swing when he worked on his mandate – so might there be a connection? An article in the DT seems to suggest this:
“Coronavirus threatens not just public health, but also the very fundamentals of the EU system of free movement, and its Schengen Area that – in theory at least – provide for borderless travel across member states. The ever-expanding crisis makes it seem inevitable that border controls will be needed once more. If, say, the outbreak in Italy were to become similar in size and ferocity to that seen in Wuhan, it would surely be impossible for neighbouring countries to sit idly by and allow those from affected areas to come and go as they pleased.” (paywalled link)
Since our ‘betters’ in government here and in Brussels prefer to work in secret, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if there are already plans in some drawers somewhere, to ‘suspend’ that ‘Free Movement’ principle. When you then read reports that the WHO Chief warns of a global pandemic (here) for which ‘we are not ready’ (here), you do begin to suspect that we’re being prepared for ‘extraordinary’ measures. Lord Darzi (formerly a Labour Lord, now Independent) cries for a ‘global response’, putting his finger on one point I’m sure he now wishes he hadn’t:
“Whether efforts to contain COVID-19 prove sufficient is looking increasingly precarious. […] An effective response will require the involvement of all peoples, the contribution of all sciences, the engagement of all employers and employees, and the collective capacities of businesses. As David Nabarro, WHO special envoy, says, ensuring populations have access to accurate information they can rely on is paramount. With trust in politicians in short supply, it is to senior scientists and clinicians who can speak with authority that we must turn.” (paywalled link)
We’ll be hearing the ‘we’re all in it together’ cry more often, I predict – but we won’t get the one, most important item which is ‘accurate information’. With the screaming headlines and out-of-control reports, the threatening colours of ‘incident maps’ the scene is set for implementing draconian control of any country’s population.
It struck me as odd that suddenly, ‘self-imposed’ quarantine is wonderful while nobody has demanded this for workers afflicted annually by influenza. Why this particular virus has instantly become such a terror where the harshest measures are acceptable and never mind the consequences for the world economy – that is a question which deserves a closer look.
My trust in the value of those ‘tests’ has definitely been shaken by the case of that dog in HongKong ‘infected’ with Corona Virus. This story went round the world, illustrating that anything goes to fuel fear. Here is a reasonable response:
“Leading scientists in Britain said it was ‘incredibly irresponsible’ to make the news public because there was no evidence to suggest the dog actually has the virus. They said it was more likely that any positive test had simply picked up presence of the strain from the animal’s fur rather than actually in its bloodstream.” (link)
It seems to me that the MSM are only content when they can create a climate of fear – and what is better than howling about a ‘modern-day plague’! Old cynic that I am I do wonder who benefits from this fear mongering. I respectfully suggest you replace ‘Corona Virus’ with ‘influenza virus’ when you read all those reports and ponder why the MSM haven’t used that in the past, to scare us silly. After all, people, especially old people, do die of that.
Meanwhile, there’s a new ‘immigration crisis’ hoving into sight according to this report. What if there are Corona Virus infected people amongst them? What about all those Iranians who’ve been crossing from war-torn France to our shores? What if some of them were infected? I’m sure it’s racist to ask … but shouldn’t we do so, in the name of ‘public health’?
With the Brexit negotiations starting on Monday, with the Corona Virus madness gripping the globe, we’re in for unprecedented March Madness (that used to refer to the start of the breeding season of hares). We’ll try very hard not to succumb – and rest assured: the Corona Virus is not spread by using the internet. So let’s keep our hair on and