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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was warning  that acute care was struggling,  emergency departments were under-resourced and overcrowded, and often outdated in terms of facilities and equipment.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
Click to read the full article

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

Every Breath You Take
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Mis sold PPE

Were you mis-sold PPE?

By Adrian Ekins- Daukes

Health Secretary Hancock  protests indignantly about the High Court judgement against him in three cases where PPE contracts were granted during the pandemic without competition and announcement delayed until long after the time period required under the  regulations.  His excuse based on urgency created by the pandemic seems  plausible enough . However he might do better to tread more carefully in what may well prove to be a minefield, in the interests of his own future credibility.
The purpose behind the regulations is transparency, in particular to ensure there is no suspicion of bias in the awarding of  public contracts. This suspicion is aroused in at least one of the three cases concerned where a contract worth £252m was awarded to a tiny company  founded by an associate of a Minister. 

Your last gasp?

There are other such cases before the courts, including one where the beneficiary company was owned by friends of Michael Grove and Dominic Cummings, who was responsible for awarding the contract.  If, as seems possible, findings against the government in this and other cases reveal the awarding of contracts at excessive prices, to firms unfitted to fulfil their commitments and  resulting in huge waste of public money , the full extent of ‘chumocracy’, verging on corruption, within the Cabinet Office during the first wave of the pandemic will come to light. 

In fact, there are grounds for suspicion that the Cabinet office, far from being desperately overworked in trying to find suppliers of PPE and other essential equipment at that time, may actually  have obstructed some offers of supply. Could it be that they were seeking to avoid granting contracts to suppliers outside  their own circle, preferring to wait until a favoured producer turned up? If that were so, the Cabinet Office is guilty of actually impeding the NHS  in its war against the pandemic. 

Write to your MP using this as a basis for your letter

Every Breath You Take

BREXONOMICS

Do you prefer a slow or sudden death?

In this update we look at the latest facts about the economics of Brexit. The popular view is that COVID is the great destroyer of the economy. Think again and read on. The report by LSE shows that Brexit offers a much greater and more sustained shock to our economy than COVID. It also compares No Deal and what might be expected as a Brexit deal and finds no great differences in terms of the long term damage.

In the wake of the 2019 General Election result, there appears to have been a great deal of conciliation and accommodation by Remainers, in terms of the acceptance of some form of Brexit and accepting the illusion that an 80 seat majority is invincible. Yet, as the figures demonstrate, all forms of Brexit are toxic, in terms of their long term and sustainable damage to the United Kingdom. If you feel worn down by 4 years of Brexit boredom, I, above many understand this, having fought full time for several years on this topic. It does not alter the hard fact that Brexit is a shitstorm that we may still avoid, if political will is there or can be created.

The difference between a Brexit Deal and No Deal is really the difference between a slow painful death and a sudden death.

Read up on why Brexit can be suspended at Suspended Animation.

Read up on why Rejoining may be a unicorn in the long term at Fool Britannia.

Write to your MP using these facts to help you compose your letter.

Boiling Frog Blues

If you still feel that Corona is more significant than Brexit you may well be experiencing what psychologists call recency bias. This is the reason why we think that air disasters are a regular occurrence after a significant airplane crash occurs.

Speaking analytically, Corona is merely a crisis, whereas Brexit is a disaster in slow motion. We tend to confuse the two because what is called the boiled frog syndrome. The LSE report shows clearly that Brexit offers a much greater existential risk to Britain. The question remains:

How quickly and how badly to you want to die?

Brexona – Combined effect

An accountant will teach you about the concept of avoidable costs. We must endure Corona as a natural phenomenon. We don’t have to add Brexit to Corona. Combination of 11% GDP loss from Corona and a 5-8% loss from Brexit will be catastrophic. In case of doubt it only took a 3.5% GDP loss to create the 2008 Crash.

“Corona Crisis + Brexit Disaster = Britastrophe”

Ground Control to Boris J

Brexit has already cost us more than The International Space Station (ISS). Brexit is set to cost £200 BILLION by the end of 2020. An ISS costs a mere £115 billion. In case the figures are causing you to be “lost in space”, that means £3030 from EVERY PERSON’S TAXES to be taken from you at some point in the future. And you get a blue passport and a hard border in Kent. Is it worth it?

Write to your MP. Ask them to pull back from the brink of a Britastrophe before it’s too late.

Coming soon – the eye of the Brexit Corona storm

Do or Die

Here is a roundup of Brexit news in case you are bored with COVID apathy. Remember COVID is a crisis. Brexit a disaster in slow motion. Brexit will make the bigger impact on our country in the long run. The toxic combination of Corona + Brexit = a Britastrophe. We must pull back from a Do or Die Brexit. Your ditch awaits Mr Johnson.

Down on the farm

I watched with dismay, as Parliament voted to lower our food standards. This opens the door to hormone fed beef, chlorinated chicken and a host of other dodgy practices. In case you think this doesn’t matter, US cases of food poisoning are some 10 times higher than our country.

I have mixed feelings about the farmers. I helped Liz Webster, PPC for Swindon, gain the only TV coverage for the Lib Dems in the entire South West in 2017. Liz organised the farmers marches. I attended the last event to be told that they did not wish to mention Brexit, as the issue was toxic. Instead they protest to save themselves. Parochial self-interest is a hardy perennial problem of Remain. There is a hierarchy of problems here with Brexit at the apex. In other words, stopping Brexit leads to solutions to other issues such as food standards, EU citizens rights and so on. But people would rather form into silos (sic), allowing our Government to operate “divide and rule” politics. Oh well, the farmers have been composted and we all lose.

Die Another Day

We’ve had “Do or Die” and “Die in a Ditch” from Boris Johnson, so we may as well have “Die Another Day” or “Live and Let Die”. Brexit negotiations remain deadlocked. Johnson is trapped by the ERG on one side, funded by Russia and wanting No Deal, which nobody voted for. He is also confounded by the EU, who must satisfy the four freedoms and protect their enterprise. It is always unwise to capitulate to bullies. The EU cannot give Britain a better deal for less money, as it will threaten the cohesion of the other 27 member states. I covered this point in the post Brexit Choices.

Why then are the negotiations deadlocked? Quite simply the “mechanics” of Brexit remain unresolvable. By moving one part of the puzzle to resolve one issue, the other parts become entangled. It’s what we call a “Wicked Problem” in consulting circles. Wicked problem do not lend themselves to simple solutions as Boris Johnson would like to believe. As reported last year, changing the leader or applying more “bluster” does not alter the underlying problems that exist with Brexit.

BOJONA-20

The latest instalment of industrial scale lies and gaslighting comes from yesterday’s COVID announcements. With £40 Billion worth of tax rises now inevitable, let’s examine some COVID facts that Boris Johnson must have missed whilst chasing a violinist …

Scientists advised the Government to install circuit breakers to stop Corona contagion on September 21, 2020. Ignored.

Professor Chris Witty told the Government that that the latest COVID rules will not be enough to contain the virus. Ignored.

Keir Starmer has just asked the Prime Minister to follow the science and install a 2-3 week circuit breaker across the UK. I predict he will either be ignored or blamed for the deaths already baked in by Johnson’s lack of action from mid-September, when he was talking about “Getting Christmas Done”. This is a repeat performance from February, when Johnson was more concerned with bonging bells, shaking hands and minting 50 pence coins than running the country.

Too Little, Too Late, pre-occupied with Brexit
670 NHS deaths during the first wave due to inaction

Test and Trace is still not working, despite Matt Hancock promising to get it up and running many months ago. Without measurement, there can be no management of COVID and the idea of “Controlling the Virus” is at best fanciful, at worst dangerous.

Bojona-20 - Putting the K in ILL
Still pursuing Cummings eugenics aka herd immunity model

In case you think that the idea of unnecessary deaths are a feature of Brexit, please read what Wendy Novak has to say on the matter at Brexit : A matter of life or death.

Meanwhile £3 BILLION of your taxes has mysteriously disappeared on Government COVID contracts handed out to friends and cronies.

Hard facts on COVID + Brexit = Britastrophe

And Johnson now does not want to appear in front of the public, having hired Allegra Stratton to handle “comms” so he can move on to pursue more important matters.

The lesson for us all is neatly summed up by James O’Brien:

Happy now?

Do or Die Brexit in a ditch Johnson?

What are you waiting for?

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