Monday, 17 January 2022

Conservative Friends of Covid

First, there was Operation Save Big Dog, the officially disavowed but entirely accurate leak - borne out by events - to get Boris Johnson off the hook by refracting blame for those parties onto hapless civil servants. Then 'Operation Red Meat', a blitz of Tory announcements designed to fire up the base and hog the headlines. Bang! Nadine Dorries trailed the abolition of the TV licence fee in 2027, with a two year freeze coming in from this year. Wallop! The navy will be prowling the Channel to keep the wretched of the earth at bay. Kapow! Another promise to deliver the levelling up funds. We've talked about dead cats here before. On this occasion the Tories have gone out and slaughtered a pride of lions.

It hasn't worked, of course. Not even the Daily Mail front pages desperately pointing to the drink Keir Starmer had during a work meeting has knocked Tory wrongdoing from popular consciousness. Nor will it. Everyone has an opinion about it, and Johnson's transparent arse coverings are only going to make matters worse for him. They see you, and everyone knows what you're doing. Nobody is fooled.

Amid the politics knockabout, there is a cost. One of Johnson's juicy sirloins are plans to relax Covid precautions further. In England, the mandatory period for self-isolation following a positive test has fallen from seven to five days, putting it at odds with the "the science". Come January 26, as heavily trailed by Nadhim Zahawi this weekend, the plan B restrictions brought in before Christmas are likely to be shelved. And self-isolation itself is, apparently, due to be scrapped. Covid's little helpers on the back benches are sure to be thrilled.

Writing about Covid makes me sound like a broken record. For the umpteenth time, it is more than a respiratory disease. It can attack the brain, storing up possible neurological trouble down the line. It leaves lesions on internal organs. And Covid also depletes T cells, reducing our capacity to fight off future infections and making us more vulnerable to serious long-term health conditions. Like cancer. Like MS. I know this, medicine knows this. And this knowledge is littered throughout government briefing notes and the research summaries Chris Whitty presents to ministers. Meanwhile, Johnson, the rest of politics, and the entirety of the media carry on as if Covid is a bad case of the flu and nothing, except for an unlucky few, people need worry about. This alone is damning and should see them in the dock for reckless endangerment.

Let there be no doubt about this, the Tories know what they're doing. Boris Johnson knows his decisions have consequences. He knows the tumbling number of infections, which is real and not an artefact of test kit shortages, is thanks to simple measures like the mask mandates on public transport and self-isolation. And as per every previous time, as the numbers head in the right direction he's champing at the bit to abolish these protections. Act late, lift early, how many more times do we have to see it before this is regarded as something more than an error? Except this time, as part of his doomed effort to save his premiership, Johnson is actively contriving a situation where others pay the ultimate price for his stay in office. No regard for the rules, no regard for the wellbeing and livs of others, what an utter grotesque the bowels of the Tory party voided into office.

What can we - the left and the labour movement - do about it? Keep pushing for the retention of present protections, fight Johnson's efforts to abolish self-isolation, carry on wearing masks to protect others. Covid has been and remains a clear danger for our people, a manageable scourge turned into class war by epidemiological means by the Tories. If the government won't protect our collective health, we have no choice but to do so ourselves.

Image Credit


Graham said...

All very true – except no mention of vaccinations.

Comparisons with Wales and Scotland show that at this stage of the pandemic none-pharmaceutical measures outside a full lockdown have little effect on the spread of the virus. What is reversing the trend is the wall of vaccination. This is doubly true in preventing admission to hospital, requiring ventilation and death. The Intensive Care Units are primally occupied by those who are not fully vaccinated.
So what can the left and the labour movement do about vaccine refusers.

Just because the Tories understand that vaccination is the most important measure we can take to end the pandemic should not mean the left should ignore this fact or provide “left cover” for anti-vax arguments.

“Labour Friends of the Ant-Vaxers” ?

BCFG said...

The left should indeed attack the anti Vaxxers, and attack even more the anti Maskers. It is quite reasonable to question what someone is injecting into your body after a very swift process to bring the vaccines to market. The swiftness had more to do with the requirements of business than public health.

That said, we have to take science at its word and decry those refusing to be injected, but I can understand the anti vaxxers more than I can understand the anti maskers.

Though it should be noted, you can refuse the vaccine but should be prepared to give up your ‘right’ to certain activities which bring you into contact with a mass of people. This seems perfectly reasonable to me. I would probably make the vaccine mandatory and throw anyone who refuses into jail and then throw away the key.

The vaccines are indeed providing a wall, but a wall built by the little Pig who built the house out of straw. We pray there is no strong gust of wind!

Around 40% of the people in hospitals have been vaccinated according to the statistics, there is no definitive evidence all the other longer term effects of covid are prevented by the vaccine wall and given this virus is still relatively young, around 3 years I think, we still have no clue as to how this virus will mutate.

The government, and to be fair the entirety of establishment politics put weatherspoons opening before public health. And further, to be fair, in an anarchical and destructive system like capitalism they almost have no choice.

The strategy from the beginning should have been zero covid, but unfortunately, right from the beginning we had the anti science pro business propagandists like Lord Boffy and the 5 million business owners and their families polluting the discussion with their seasonal flu bullshit.

I have to say that the billionaire media and its emissaries, such as Lord Boffy, have played a very effective game in undermining the science and promoting the pro business agenda. As they always do, though its easy when you have the whole printing press monopoilsed, and the google (that bastion of woke) algorithms working tirelessly in your favour! It is funny how that bastion of woke, google, manages to bombard me with Daily Mail, Daily Express and Telegraph clickbait everytime I switch on a device!

But anyway, 180,000+ deaths later and god knows how many more to come on Plague Island!