Boris Johnson has went missing in action

In my entire life every Prime Minister was on TV during a crisis letting us know what was going on (even in their own terms which played with the truth) throughout the crisis. Every one, apart from Boris Johnson who has been mainly invisible this week. In fact since PMQ’s last week he’s vanished. Even the likes of Thatcher or Blair didn’t shirk their responsibilities.
 
Even Trump (mostly) attends his daily Covid briefing, but Johnson it seems can’t get out of bed. We’re in the worst crisis outside of war, hundreds are still dying each day and yet, the man who is supposed to be the leader of the nation is almost invisible so instead we get stooge after stooge coming on to do the Covid briefings or appear to a media who are still mainly supportive of the UK government.
So where is Boris Johnson? Why is he being protected while he’s out of sight and just when is he intending to even remotely do his job?

Every UK government Covid briefing ever.

The daily UK government Covid briefing is at best, a waste of time, at worst it’s a desperate attempt to spin what is a public health disaster into just another bit of politics which of course, is costing thousands of lives. It isn’t helped by a week and compliant UK media only too glad to massage Tory ministers ego.

Of course we’re now at the point where no real information is being given out, and the day-to-day briefing is something to be mocked which brings me to this great video from comedy duo Larry and Paul which is exactly like every Covid briefing ever…

Stay Alert means people die

The new UK government advice for England is, well, a mess.

stayalert

It has resulted in Piers Morgan tearing a Tory MP apart.

Then ITV’s This Morning, a programme which is the visual embodiment of Middle England tearing Boris Johnson apart.

In just a few minutes on Sunday night Boris Johnson tore down all the good work which has been done over the last seven weeks, threatened lives and now risks the security of the devolved nations who remain in lockdown but now have to deal with people trying to get over the border for a holiday.

Because of the incompetence of this UK government, people will die. There will be a second wave hitting in 14-21 days which means lives will be lost that could have been saved if the Tories actually cared about saving lives which they don’t. Right now, it’s about getting things back to normal when nobody is fully prepared for what the new world living with Covid will be. Another three weeks wouldn’t have been any problem to get the infection rate down a bit further and get some actual planning for reopening done. Now everything is going to be done on the hoof in England, and again, people will die.

Never in my life have I seen such a psychotic government and that is saying a lot.

The Tories want you to die for the economy

This morning’s newspaper front pages are full of Boris Johnson’s plans to slacken up the Covid-19 lockdown so that by the end of May, start of June the UK is going to be open for business. As of yesterday, the UK has the highest death toll in Europe by any way you’d like to measure it, and the infection rate remains high while the death toll has actually risen for the last three days rather than fall which is where we should be right now.

Yet with all this happening all around us the UK papers are all about Monday being a day where freedom will come even though the science hasn’t changed, but what has changed is that newspapers are dying and they need the lockdown lifted so their millionaire owners can continue to make money and keep their influence. Tory backers are also itchy that they too will lose money so the narrative this week has changed from staying at home, and staying safe to the chancellor more or less calling furloughed workers scroungers.

Of course, the media in the UK is failing to hold the UK government to account which means with the highest death rate in Europe it can sail through this with barely a blow landed on it. There was no ‘leak’ to the press but a badly managed release of information which has now been dialled back as the devolved countries have no intention of letting anything slacken up til the end of May at least. Fact is the Tories want us to die for the economy. We’re facing a virus we’re finding more and more about every day but for Johnson and company, this doesn’t matter. It is all about getting us back to work, hope not too many people die and move on while waving flags and invoking a wartime spirit pulled right out of 1960’s war comics.

Basically, we’re at this point.

mission_accomplish_1112950c

And we all know how well that went after that…

Hope in the time of the apocalypse

Back in the 1980s we thought we were going to die all the time. Literally, you’d wake up, hear something on the radio about how some mad old bastard in the US or the Soviet Union nearly exterminated all human life last night but you’d get on with it. We’re now in 2020 and things are awful. We’re in the middle of a pandemic which sees a large chunk of the planet isolating while the reality of the future is starting to dawn on people that what we did prior to lockdown isn’t coming back. There’s a new future dawning and it won’t be a good one.

Yet there is some hope out there. People are still doing good things, society hasn’t fallen apart and this is a chance to assess what we’re doing with ourselves and the world. The other option is being scared and waiting to die which is frankly, not an option so find something that gives you hope be it watching a load of Star Wars films, whittering about comics or anything that keeps you grounded because til a vaccine is found and distributed things are never going back to what they were.

Hope prevails as long as you let it.

Another day in the ongoing future dystopia

I’m now in the fifth week of lockdown and to say there have been bad days is an understatement as like most people, my mental health is shagged, my sleeping patterns are a mess and days and days of isolation where I literally speak to nobody face-to-face is taking a toll. However the other option is death. I prefer the toll being taken as something might be done to help them, death however is hard to come back from.

As it stands realistically 45k people are dead thanks to Covid19. As yet, the UK government aren’t being hung from London Bridge for how badly they’ve failed to deal with this but this isn’t a functional country with our descent into Orwellian nightmare.

I’m trying to keep organised and busy but that often ends up meaning being slumped in front of Netflix or Amazon Prime, sleeping or wondering where the day has gone. There is however a chance of working from home soon which will at least focus the mind somewhat. At least it means getting off being furloughed and my job being secure at the end of all this, assuming of course we ever have days ever again where we’re not living in the shadow of Covid 19.

And on that note stay safe. Next time back to the cheerier content.

Just what is wrong with Scottish journalism?

The other day during the Covid19 daily briefing this question was asked of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. That’s right, Vivienne Aitken of the Daily Record basically asked about Christmas. In April. During a pandemic where we’re discovering new things about Covid19 every week. Where people literally lie dead mourned only from a distance because their very corpse is infectious our media is asking about Christmas being closed, or when the borders whould close or any sort of nonsense that comes pouring from their narrow brains.

This isn’t to say Sturgeon and the Scottish Government won’t have questions to answer. They were painfully slow in acting to put measures in place to combat the virus, choosing instead to follow the UK government and the insane herd immunity idea but they’ve managed things better than their UK counterparts which isn’t exactly setting a high benchmark but this is a time of crisis. Once the lockdown kicked in, the briefings have been clear, much clearer than the UK governments, but they’ve been clogged down with these inane questions which are designed to get a specific headline the next day, not to hold the Scottish government to account.

Now there are some good journalists out there, but on the whole the vast amount of the Scottish media is useless. Since returning to Scotland three years ago I’ve been amazed at how poor it is with such a low level of competence being seen as acceptable that one wonders how on earth some people can live with themselves. They’ve forgotten how to hold power to account instead punching down and sideways, but only occasionally up, then there’s the trend of giving failed politicians a voice when rejected by the public.

Right now all the papers are asking for us to buy them to save them, well frankly, I’d prefer to let some of Scotland’s papers die and rebuild new ones with actual proper journalism, real ethics and a promise to hold everyone in power to account not just their political enemies.

If a politician says ‘now is not the time’…

It probably is the time, which means right now, the UK has 16,060 death which is a figure lower than what the actual deaths will be due to the way the UK government records deaths. What is clear our death rate will be one of the highest in the Western world. The death rate for NHS staff has now passed 100 as the row over PPE continues, while The Sunday Times printed an article which in normal times in a normal country, would bring down a government but we’re neither in normal times or are we in a normal country.

But many are asking why the UK government has clearly failed in it’s job to prepare for a pandemic, and to care for victims of that pandemic. The NHS having been cut back so much over the decade that staff are crying out for equipment, sometimes doing things like cutting up binbags. Of course we don’t live in a normal country so some NHS staff are being told not to complain about this.

We’re being told by Tory MP’s and many in the media, that now is not the time. That politicising the reaction to the virus that it’s wrong. That we should just get behind the UK government and at some point in the future we can deal with it then. Except that’s not what they’re really saying. They just want scrutiny turned away from the mess that’s going on around us, and worse, they want the discussion turned to when the lockdown can be lifted even though we’re going to vastly surpass 20k deaths by the end of April.

This is the time we need to address the problems because people are being failed in the worst possible way by their government. If we don’t do it now then it’ll just be brushed aside as so many other scandals have in this country even with the tens of thousands dead.

Farewell Jeremy Corbyn

So that’s it, the Corbyn era of Labour is gone and the party is probably going to take years, maybe decades to claw back support if it manages that at all. I’ve followed Corbyn’s time in charge with an increasing horror as the green shoots of recovery for Labour were squandered for cementing personal power, and selling the UK, especially England, a vision which was at best a unicorn dream even though many of the ideas were sound (and as we’ve seen here in Scotland, perfectly workable), it was Corbyn and those around him that made people retreat hard from Labour.

Corbyn may have brought thousands of new people into Labour, but he really didn’t because many filtered into Momentum, Corbyn’s own Praetorian Guard. There was an ‘us against them’ mentality from the off as Labour instead of fighting the Tories took to fighting themselves, and any idea they’d work with other opposition parties fell to dust and lets not even touch on Brexit.

corbynrealfightstarts

Here in Scotland, Corbyn exposed himself as ignorant of the basics of devolution, the Scottish legal system, or anything in fact. Badly briefed and unable to find out for himself, one of his right-hand men took charge of Scottish Labour in the shape of Richard Leonard who has taken Labour here to irrelevance as his party looks ready to come fourth in the elections next year.  An opportunity wasted to be better than tribalism.

All the grifters, hangers-on and the like that surrounded Corbyn will no decry Keir Starmer, and indeed there is much to be concerned about, and for people in Scotland seeing an ultra British nationalist like Angela Raynor second in command suggests Labour will lead themselves to new depths in Scotland, and probably Wales too. No, it is in England where any Labour revival will come and where it’s needed because right now Boris Johnson and the Tories need opposing more than ever before. Yes, we’re in a worldwide crisis but they need to step up because just as people will remember the Tories failing us now, they’ll remember Labour failing to do anything to stop them.

But I hope I’m wrong and I hope Starmer is smart enough to reach out amongst the opposition to create a united front against the Tories, but I think the death spiral Labour have been on since 2015 especially will carry on and on.

Boris Johnson is lying to us

We’re a week into the official lockdown in the UK, though it isn’t really a full lockdown as people are still working in jobs that are far from essential, and that compared to other European countries the UK are not testing (well, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are testing) as much as we should. The fact is as on writing this the UK’s overall death toll is 2,352 with an average increase at the moment of 200 a day and this will increase as we’re into April now which means we’re getting now into the real hard times as the NHS becomes overstretched and the cases come flooding in.

So one has to ask if the UK government has done what they could. The simple answer is no. We had three months warning this was coming. We could have taken control at a governmental level of this back in February but no, and remember, at the start of March Boris Johnson was boasting about shaking the hands of Covid19 victims and saying everyone should carry on.

 

The facts are brutal. Hundreds of thousands of people are being infected every day and thousands are dying, and although some countries are tailing off, that’s only because of severe lockdowns which look unlikely to be relaxed back to pre-virus conditions anytime soon.

This is where this video from Dr. Rupert Read comes in. After this is done, people need to be held to account and Read makes the points clear as to where things went wrong and what should be done.

In the next month things are going to get horrendous, so we need to listen to the likes of read because it might help people understand how we got here and how we might get out.