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One year ago

By Adrian Ekins-Daukes

One year ago we were at the height of the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic.  Even before, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine was warning  that acute care was struggling,  emergency departments were under-resourced and overcrowded, and often outdated in terms of facilities and equipment. However, this article is intended to give a snapshot of conditions 12 months ago, not a full history of preceding events. 

On 21 March 2020, 10 Downing Street put out the following statement on the situation : 

“Our response has ensured that the NHS has been given all the support it needs to ensure everyone requiring treatment has received it, as well as providing protection to businesses and reassurance to workers. The PM has been at the helm of the response to this, providing leadership during this hugely challenging period for the whole nation.”

This complacent and self-congratulatory declaration was issued on a day when the television news featured distressed NHS workers in fear for their lives because protective equipment was either unfit for purpose or lacking altogether. It is false in every respect.  

Far from being at the helm, PM Johnson spent much of February  at his country retreat, Chequers, with Carrie Symonds, then his new fiancee. His occasional visits to London seemed more  about social appearances and Conservative fundraising than the nation’s affairs. During January/February he  missed five consecutive meetings of the emergency “Cobra“ Committee during  when the pandemic had been on the agenda, Only on March 2 did he take over the chair, when the virus was firmly established. Then, for a further 3 weeks, he toyed with an impractical policy of herd immunity instead of immediate lockdown. This dithering cost over 20,000 lives and has probably cost more since that time.

Too little too late
Too little, too late – 2020 revisited

Regarding support for the NHS, a leaked email disclosed on 18 March 2020 that some hospitals were just 24 hours away from running out of protective equipment (PPE) for nurses and doctors. Shortages included visors, masks and gowns. and some other items had run out entirely. In another email, to directors of infection control, NHS England said that there were no visors left nationally, no long sleeve disposable gowns, only goggles suited for flu.

This situation was confirmed by television and newspaper interviews with hospital staff over this period.  One hospital manager who confirmed his hospital did not have enough PPE equipment to last the next 24 hours said that they’d been told  specialist respirator masks would soon run out nationally and only less suitable masks without visors were available. Eye protection and long sleeve aprons had run out and they were buying safety goggles from industrial wholesalers. The previous night he’d had to ration equipment across four wards – normally one ward would have held 10 times that amount. Asked what they made of the claims there was enough stock in the country, he added:

“We’ve been told for weeks that there’s stock, there isn’t”.

Towards the end of March,  one regional NHS  director of procurement said he was unable to get hold of any gowns from the NHS supply chain, exclaiming in desperation  “God help us all.”  The GMB union said the lack of PPE and testing for frontline workers was “a national crisis”.  Ambulance workers were  not being given access to PPE, even when being sent to treat patients suspected of having Covid-19. 

The consequences for patients of the delays and lack of essential equipment was horrendous, especially for the elderly.  Some hospitals were overwhelmed and a system, drawn up by the Governments chief advisors, was introduced to select which Covid patients should receive intensive treatment. This was a death sentence to anyone over 80 or with a serious underlying medical condition; in practice it was also applied to many over 60. These patients were consigned to death wards where they received little or no nursing treatment or even attention . Steps were taken to conceal this from the public, but some witnessed the conditions in which their dearest were to die.

The government failed completely to give the NHS and patients the support  needed at the height of the crisis. Its ‘reassurance’ to NHS workers was non-existent.*

WARNING. This lie is being repeated up to the present day as the Government attempts to rewrite history.

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Reflections

Reflections

One year ago, COVID was put in the microwave oven by Boris Johnson. Let’s undertake some reflections on a year of unprecedented and unnecessary death, dither and delay.

“Dirty migrants bring disease” – Johnson

Boris Johnson reports that the third wave of COVID will “arrive on our shores” like unwanted migrants, in an attempt to sidestep responsibility for Stanley Johnson, who continues to exercise freedom of movement to service his Greek villa. Whilst the rest of us face a £5000 fine for going on holiday. Our Government now resembles the cast of “Dallas” in terms of policy making based on the needs of the Johnson family circle.

Priti Patel defends the breaking of international law on BBC Radio 4 – Click to read the latest on asylum policy
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Frozen Brexit

We are also reminded that Johnson was more interested in hiding in fridges and minting Brexit 50 pence coins than listening to experts. When other world leaders were listening to scientists, Johnson was listening to Winston Churchill speeches at Chequers. The impact in Britain has been “world beating” deaths approaching 130 000 and probably nearly as many unnecessary additional deaths. We continue to have no plan for the future, except distraction via flag shagging, purchase of tanks and nukes and the ceremonial decoration of No 10 Downing Street for propaganda purposes.

A stitch up out of time saves no-one

Denial is not a river in Egypt

Mike Cashman has articulated the stages of Brexit awareness. Many are still at “stage zero”, believing that Brexit is either a boost to Britain or of no consequence, as the impacts have been masked by COVID:

Brexit has been harmful
Brexit has no significant benefits
Brexit was a mistake
The Brexit mistake was predictable
The Brexit consequences are the inevitable result of the “Deal”
The Brexit leaders misled us
The Tories are still misleading us
The Tories have been damaging the UK
The Tories are not fit to govern

The provision of inconvenient facts demonstrate that Brexit is a much bigger long term destructive force for Britain. Much bigger and deeper than COVID, but more “slow motion”.

Brexit benefits
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Check out Edwin Hayward’s running log of Brexit impacts via Google. What will happen on April Brexit Fools’ Day?

At a basic level, read this story of someone who bought a racing bike from Poland, having been told by Gov.uk that there would be no tariffs who now finds himself having to pay £2000 more to receive the bike and £1000 to return it.

In the Falklands, their economy is being wiped out by tariffs applied to seafood and lamb. Reports also indicate that there are signs that this makes the security of the Falklands (and Gibraltar etc.) less certain.

Women, know your place

Meanwhile the country is gaslit by talk of riots amidst the peaceful protests by women in Bristol. Mysteriously, the Police withdraw their statement of injuries. This report presents an interesting view on the protest. It is enough of an outrage that the police should be involved in the murder case but beyond belief that they may have been involved in gaslighting activities to distract people from the murder.

Image by Cold War

Back to the “Good Old Days”

Northern Ireland are beginning to understand the impact of Brexit on the resurgence of what was euphemistically describe as “the troubles”. We warned Johnson and his Government of this but clearly he may as well have said “Fuck Northern Ireland” as well as “Fuck Business”.

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Distraction politics

Meanwhile the real wars are in the race to have the best presidential style briefing platform, as Johnson spends an eye watering £2.6 million on home improvements for 10 Downing Street. All furniture is to be sourced from Ikea as this tweet shows.

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The other popular bloodsport in Brexit politics is to blame others for your own failures. Let’s remember that Britain has not exported a SINGLE VIAL of vaccine to other countries when we start pointing fingers at others. Even the Telegraph accept that Sir David Frost is not up to the job.

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Reflections

Corona crisis + Brexit disaster = Britastrophe

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Sovrinty

In the wake of absolute Brexit destruction, The Daily Excess reports on distraction via “Sovrinty”. Excess readers are easily fooled with colourful stories. Are you?

Sovrinty

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Trade deals with rogue states

Buying nuclear weapons to make us feel safer

Asylum seekers being sent to Scotland and The Isle of Man

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In this Dead Cat Special, “The Daily Maul” features the news that our Government want to you read whilst the nation sleepwalks deeper into fascism every day ….

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Tory deceit experts


During the 2019 general election campaign, the Conservatives rebranded their official Twitter account as “factcheckUK” during the televised leaders’ debate and used it to publish anti-Labour posts.  The inconspicuous Twitter handle remained as @CCHQPress, but all other branding was changed to look like an independent factchecking outlet.  It was not obvious to an individual glancing at the account’s tweets in their feed that it came from Conservative party HQ. The public have increasingly turned to factchecking websites, such as the independent Full Fact, the BBC’s Reality Check, Channel 4 News’ FactCheck and the Guardian’s Factcheck, to verify claims made by politicians.  Changing the site’s  logo to hide its political origins, and using it to push pro-Tory material was a thus flagrant attempt to deceive voters. This was not the only case of malpractice by the Tory digital team. Other examples included a bogus website presented as Labour’s manifesto, and an  interview with  Keir Starmer, then Labour’s Brexit spokesperson, edited to make it appear he was unable to answer questions about the party’s policy on leaving the EU.  

Topham and Guerin

The PR unit behind these deceitful stunts was Topham Guerin,  a New Zealand digital  team signed up by Isaac Levido, the Tory campaign leader. They were not in the least abashed by the criticism of their tactics, declaring that that the success in spreading the Tory message was well worth the controversy it  aroused. After the election, Levido, was ennobled  and in March 2020 Topham Guerin received a £3m Covid 19 contract from the Cabinet Office, without competitive tender, to work on the government’s public communications on the pandemic. According to PR Week’s site, they still play a key role in managing No10’s social media and digital output. 

With the local elections coming:

Don’t believe anything Boris Johnson says

Don’t believe his Ministers

Don’t believe anyone speaking for the Conservative Party

It’s all been masterminded by experts in spin and deceit. And it’s all specially designed to fool YOU.

 

So, remain particularly alert for Tory fake news at this time !