Where do we start?
My first failing to record has to be that the Conservative Party has not yet taken its present leader, Boris Johnson, to one side and told him, in the name of decency, to go. I do believe it will happen one day. The sooner the better. The leader's special advisor, Dominic Cummings, appeared this week to have walked out of his Downing Street role. I am suspicious. Smoke and mirrors. These two - Johnson and Cummings - are an item. One day, both should face charges of corporate manslaughter for their actions and inactions when faced with the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.
|Cummings and Johnson - a political item? |
Here is another failing:
(SKWAWKBOX, Saturday 7 November 2020)
'A chart published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) has exposed the dishonesty of Tory claims thattheir determination to keep schools open, in spite of clear scientific advice that they are fuelling the coronations second wave.
Evidence has linked schools to almost ten times the number of outbreaks connected to hospitality, which the Tories have closed for the new England-wide lockdown and the government's own SAGE scientists admitted months ago that opening schools would push up the 'R' rate.
Yet the Tories continue to claim they are keeping schools open for the sake of children's education, in spite of the known higher risk among older children.
However, even a glance at the real-terms school funding curve since the Tories came to power in 2010 exposes that claim for what it is:
|The cost of Tory austerity for those aged 16-18 in the UK|
Sixth-form colleges, the IFS notes, have seen a 23% real-terms cut per pupil in that period, with stand-alone sixth-form colleges have lost 12%.
Tories don't give a fig for the education of our kids - but they're perfectly willing to pretend for a while if it serves their purposes.'
And here's yet another failing:
Honorary BMA vice-president Dr Kailash Chand condemns COVID hospital scam after Sunday Times reveals £1m per patient cost
(SKWAWKBOX, Sunday 8 November 2020)
'Leading medic and health campaigner Dr Kailash Chand has condemned the outrageous cost of the government's 'Nightingale' hospitals, calling for the shaming of Health Secretary Matt Hancock after the Sunday Times revealed that only 200 patients were treated in the hospitals because of staff shortages, with each one costing the taxpayer over one million pounds.
Chand, honorary vice-president of the British Medical Association (BMA), tweeted that Hancock should be 'shamed' for setting up a system that benefited only 'privateers'.
|Matt Hancock, Minister for Health - time for naming and shaming|
Dr Chand was speaking in a private capacity, but BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul has also blasted the Tories' handling of the pandemic in a searing speech.
The Sunday Times has highlighted a 'staff shortage' as the reason for the issues and for the fact that only two of the seven hospitals built ever treated patients. But in fact, the shortages and inefficiency were baked into the system: while a list of criteria for admission barred many of the most vulnerable from accessing treatment in a Nightingale facility, the Department of Health also required hospitals sending patients to Nightingale units to also provide staff to treat them, meaning that trusts had to divert staff away from their own hospitals to staff Nightingales if they wanted to send any patients, rendering the facilities near-redundant.
As with so much else the Tories have done in power, Nightingale 'hospitals' appear to have been an expensive scam to make the Tories look like they were taking meaningful action and to enrich their backers and friends. Kailash Chand is absolutely right to call for them to be publicly shamed.'
And one more, for good measure, from late October but still tragically relevant:
Peak of pandemic first wave saw estimated 100,000 new cases per day and 1,000+ deaths
'The latest 24-hour UK COVID-19 death toll of 367 confirms the SKWAWKBOX analysis earlier this week that the UK's real mortality rate was 300+ per day.
It also suggests that the lethality of the virus in the second wave is not much changed from what the UK suffered at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.
While testing outside hospitals was negligible in the first wave, scientists estimate a peak of around 100,000 new infections per day - and at its worst the UK saw more than a thousand deaths per day.
|The mortality rate in this COVID-19 pandemic is between 2 and 3 per cent. That is an inescapable fact.|
Now, with more extensive - though still inadequate - testing, the government is reporting around 30,000 new cases, which means that a daily death toll of 367 represents a similar mortality per infection as in the first wave.
Some new infections will of course be missed, especially with tests still denied to many school children, but with the Tories' weasel change to the counting of COVID deaths, the actual death toll is likely to be higher too.
The 'deaths within 28 days of a positive test' rule would, for example, have excluded author Michael Rosen, had he died after 6-weeks in a COVID coma instead of happily pulling through.
In spite of more knowledge of how best to treat those who suffer coronavirus complications the NHS is currently estimated to be able to save 1 in 5 of those who otherwise would have died of the virus.
Tomorrow, I will use the good offices of SKWAWKBOX to bring you the failings of the so-called Opposition to this Tory misgovernment.
Having read this far, I think I can assume you are interested in what I write. I will therefore end this blog-post with what for some of you may be a familiar appeal. Please - if you have come to value my writing and would like to support my bid to secure publication for my pandemic journal: 'Dying to Know' - do press the blue Follow button on this blog-post. You will find it at the top on the right-hand side but only when you have a full website screen in front of you, using a laptop computer. It seems it is not visible when you are in phone mode. And if you are asked for your password that's because Blogspot is part of Google, so I understand. It would be very cool if you were to Follow me. Thank you.