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Dead Cats and Real News

Our Government have resorted to putting lots of dead cats in the way of the real news about Brexit, COVID and so on. So this week, we have resorted to providing a whole front page dedicated to dead cats and the other to news.

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Dressing down for COVID

Britain has abandoned a £75 million plan to make vital items of reusable protective clothing to guard against a second wave of Covid-19. The plan had been drawn up in negotiations between the Cabinet Office  – responsible for key government policies – and industry after criticism in March that the government had failed to build up stocks of PPE. Shortages of gowns and related items in hospitals and care homes were widely blamed for the rapid early spread of the virus, leading to a high death rate of more than 41,000 (in all probablility more than double that due to changing the metrics and slippery accounting). which made the UK fifth-worst in the world,

As well as meeting NHS needs, the plan had two ambitious and beneficial goals:

  • To support the UK textile industry. Most protective garments are imported from low-cost nations. The millions of protective gowns for our health workers would have come from UK factories.
  • To reduce waste. Protective gowns are mostly discarded after one use, adding to the UK’s waste mountain. The gowns to be produced with new technology could be reused up to 100 times each.

In addition, a centralised UK programme would have ensured compliance with rigid quality standards which  cheap overseas suppliers have too often failed to meet. Orders for foreign gowns have proved to be sub-standard and unusable, causing unanticipated shortages. But 3 months of talks between industry and the Cabinet Office have ground to a halt after officials failed to agree the details of the scheme. The discussions ended after officials realised that, following protracted delays , many health trusts had placed their own local orders for gowns, reducing the need for the project. The Government has not announced the ending of the talks.

The cancellation of the project has been heavily criticised by industry.  Adam Mansell, chief executive of the UK Fashion & Textile Association, representing manufacturers, designers and suppliers, said:

“There had been a fantastic opportunity for the government to tap into Britain’s technical expertise on textiles to set up a sustainable supply of reusable gowns made in the UK. The way the government has handled this project has been poor and says little for its commitment to help UK manufacturing.” 

Yvette Ashby, chief executive of the Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide, added:

“The people working on this [in the Cabinet Office] appear to have little understanding of how the textile industry works. Their approach has sometimes appeared chaotic.”

Japanese textile maker Toray – which would have made most of the material for the project in a plant in Mansfield – said the Cabinet Office had been “slow and indecisive”. Had the government committed to the project, Toray said it would have been ready to increase investment in its UK plant. 

David Stevens, chief executive of the Textiles Services Association, representing laundries which would have recycled the gowns (by washing each one 40-100 times) said the plan would have made “a lot of sense from both an environmental and economic perspective”. 

Heathcoat Fabrics, with a big factory in Devon, said the failure of the talks was “a huge opportunity missed to not only eliminate any future supply issues but to also help the domestic textile industry at a time when jobs and unemployment are going to be a key issue”. 

Officials may have had problems with the  proposal to spread manufacturing  around the country,  preferring it to be concentrated in a few places. If so, this seems to be more a case of “Dressing Down” rather than “levelling up” poorer regions by Johnson’s Government, (where many of the UK textiles businesses are distributed).  But the main factor was that while the talks were dragging on – with no sign that officials were close to a decision – many of the over 200 individual health trusts around the UK opted not to wait for the outcome, but instead placed their own orders, to avoid being caught out again by a second wave of the pandemic. Cabinet Office officials failed to foresee this result of their dithering. This has enabled the major suppliers of gowns from overseas to continue to dominate a market which British industry could have reclaimed as its own,  The Cabinet Office under Dominic Cummings has failed to provide a sustainable and reliable supply of PPE  equipment, of sufficiently high standards to meet NHS needs and providing badly needed employment to our textile industry.

The responsibility for this debacle rests squarely on Cummings and his rabble of advisors imported into Number 10.

They are not competent to handle commercial affairs and should be debarred from any future involvement in COVID procurement activity.

Write to your MP with this article via WRITE TO THEM.

We are the dead : Bowie, Britain and Brexit

I have come to the conclusion that David Bowie caused Brexit. Somewhat outlandish you might say? Read on.

The thought first occurred to me when someone found out that Johnson and Cummings have a tombola machine full of David Bowie’s lyrics. They use this as a slogan generator during late night cocaine corona infested music sessions with David Bowie on the player in No 10 at volume 10.

The latest Johnson COVID slogan comes from “Moonage Daydream” and illustrates the shameful practice of misappropriation of Bowie’s lyrics in a limited and specific way:

It’s quite clear that Cummings got hands, face and space from this. Others have verified this point from Cummings reading of the song and books on superforecasting such as 1984 …

Then, from Ashes to Ashes, we find the phrase that won Johnson a landslide victory in the general election 2019 …

My mother said, get Brexit done
You’d better not mess with Major Dom

The Thin White Duke even advised Johnson from his grave on the matter of singing English patriotic songs at the last night of the Proms giving us a foretaste of the Brexiteer riots to come:

“Rule Britannia is out of bounds” – Life on Mars

Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy

I have it on good authority that the latest “Build, Build, Build” catchphrase came straight from Cummings mouth on the road to Barnard Castle to check his eyesight, on hearing “All the Madmen”, a song depicting “a world so bereft of reason that the last sane men are the ones in the asylums”. The dystopian vision fits the narrative of the Brexit condition under Boris Johnson. Build, Build, Build is clearly a cheap derivation of the confusing Bowie lyric “Zane, Zane, Zane” from “The Man Who Sold The World”. Somewhat strangely I have been performing this song at street events for the last four years since Brexit. Sorry David.

Cummings and Johnson have been playing Diamond Dogs on continuous loop since 2019 with their crack cocaine inspired Brexit. This album most perfectly describes the dystopian future or self harm, fear, loathing and blame that Brexit offers us if we chose this pathway.

Will you see that I’m scared and I’m lonely?
So I’ll break up my room, and yawn and I
Run to the centre of things
Where the knowing one says

I guess we could cruise down one more time
With you by my side, it should be fine
We’ll buy some drugs and watch a band
Then jump in the river holding hands

I’d like to have your predictions as to where Cummings and Johnson will go next for a catchy slogan …

As long as there’s the Sun

Check out Space Oddity performed at Parliament

From “Let’s Talk About BREX..it – a comprehensive guide to Brexorcism”

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The Joy of Six

If you have six women in your life, it pays to make a law that includes them all to avoid anger, in a specific and limited way. In this article we consider the “joy of six”.

The Pound sustained a six week low as news of Brexit shambles reached the markets.

Six Londoners were either totally depressed about Brexit or optimists in a specific and limited way, for example, if you are a trader who can make money out of other people’s misery as well as their success.

Sir Keir Starmer had six tests for Brexit in 2017. He appears to have forgotten them. We haven’t. He now says that Brexit is done. It is not. See Suspended Animation.

A travel trade group identified six ways in which your travel will be affected by Brexit.

We have now had six rounds of trade talks with the EU. We have achieved nothing. In fact it’s worse than this. The high water mark of Brexit trade deals was Theresa May’s deal. Everyone agrees that, the deal has gradually been eroded since that time.

But Johnson gets to shag six women in a Boris Bubble, so that’s OK then?

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Trust is essential

Trust Pilot

Yesterday Boris Johnson withdrew the withdrawal agreement. Let’s remember that he won an election primarily on the idea of getting Brexit done. He also then persuaded his party to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement. Today Theresa May has just cut Boris Johnson into tiny pieces over the WA.

It occurred to me that, although, I don’t want Brexit, Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement could be considered to be the high water mark of Brexit deals. All subsequent deals have been a considerable watering down of Theresa May’s achievement. No wonder she is angry about the wilful destruction of one nation Conservatism by Dominic Cummings.

Take the example of a plumber or builder. There are only two circumstances when you would have to not pay your dues or not deliver your work to the required standard. The first would be if you were fixing to die the following day. The second would be if you were planning to retire and live on a remote desert island so that nobody could call you to account. In the case of the UK, we are not fixing to die or live in splendid isolation (or are we?). We need the trust of other nations in order to secure future trading relationships.

In the modern world we have systems such as Trust Pilot to rate businesses for delivery and trustworthiness. If the UK plc were a plumber or builder, its Trust Pilot score would now be at minus 3000. Any future post-Brexit trading partners will doubtless include North Korea, Syria and Venezuela to name a few.

Write to your MP to say that you agree with Theresa. Point out that the party voted for the WA and that it was a pivotal election pledge.

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