Given the recent spike in Covid-19 cases and hospital admissions, the news reports are full of stories about overwhelmed hospitals. Seriously ill patients are being driven from one county to another in the hope of finding a hospital bed for them.
Understandably, the question has been asked. Why not use the purpose built Nightingale Hospitals? They were built in record time earlier this year, with the assistance of the Army. Every bed had access to a ventilator, and they were specifically designed to accommodate Coronavirus patients, thereby allowing other hospitals to continue to see other patients who did not have Covid-19.
The one in London at the Excel Centre cost tens of millions of pounds to convert and equip.
Journalists went there, to see how it was coping with the recent rise in cases.
They found it had been dismantled. It is now mostly an empty building, guarded by security staff who are supposed to stop people finding that out. But they told the reporters anyway. This is what they said.
It has no hospital beds inside.
It has no ventilators or oxygen inside.
It has no operational medical staff inside.
The equipment has apparently been ‘redeployed’ to other areas of the NHS.
Yes, it was all a great lie. Built with the help of the Army, and equipped by companies owned by friends of Boris Johnson and his cronies, only to be stripped out at the earliest opportunity. Don’t forget this, when the next election comes around.
Five hundred Intensive care beds just removed without public consultation, at a time when they are needed more than ever before in history.
Boris and his pals should be hanging from lamp-posts.
But nobody seems to care.
I do though.
The Chancellor of Britain’s Treasury, Rishi Sunak, has a lot to say about how generous the government has been granting furlough payments to workers unable to go into work because of the current pandemic.
He has also praised the temporary increase in Universal Credit, with an aditional £20 a week granted to claimants for the duration of the lockdowns. Is £20 a week more better than nothing? I suppose it is, but believe me, £20 doesn’t buy much in modern Britain, ask anyone.
Mr Sunak receives a ministerial salary of £71,090, and an additional salary of £81,932 as a member of parliament. A total annual salary of £153,022. This is boosted by living in an official residence, having a government car and driver at his disposal, and being able to claim expenses for almost anything that can be attributed to his job.
Let’s face it, £20 is neither here nor there to him. If he dropped a £20 note, I doubt he would bother to bend down to pick it up.
But there is more.
His wife is one of the richest women in the world. In fact, she is worth more than Queen Elizabeth, the current ruler of Great Britain.
And that’s saying something, as the Queen has a massive amount of personal wealth.
And it seems Mr Sunak ‘forgot’ to declare his wife’s vast fortune, as government ministers are compelled to do. So how much are the Sunaks worth?
The following information is from TheLondonEconomic.com
Rishi Sunak is facing renewed questions about his financial affairs after it emerged that his wife and her family hold a multimillion-pound portfolio of shareholdings that are not declared in the register of ministers’ interests.
Akshata Murty – who married the chancellor in 2009 – is the daughter of one of India’s richest men. Her father co-founded tech giant Infosys, and she has shares in the company worth £430 million – making her richer than the Queen.
The ministerial code complex Sunak to declare any financial interests “relevant” to his job that might constitute a conflict of interests. Ministers are also supposed to declare the interests of close family members.
Richer than the Queen
After he became chief secretary to the Treasury in July 2019, Sunak revealed he was the beneficiary of a blind trust – meaning he can’t make decisions about how his money is invested, but can still profit from his investments.
However, according to a Guardian investigation, Sunak’s declarations make no mention of his wife beyond referring to her ownership of a small venture capital company.
But the paper revealed that Murty and her family hold a score of other valuable interests – including a £1.7 billion shareholding in Infosys, which employs thousands of UK staff and has held a number of government contracts.
Other holdings include a reported £900 million-a-year joint venture with Amazon in India, and a direct shareholding in a British firm which runs Jamie Oliver and Wendy’s restaurants in India.
As we say in London, he’s not short of a few quid.
So the next time he traps on about how great it is to get £20 a week more to spend, perhaps take less notice of him.
He is just a criminal in a nice suit.
Not since the grim 1930s have we seen such a rise of the Far Right in politics around the world. Black shirts have been replaced by national flags in European countries, and by assault rifles and military clothing in America.
All the usual signs are there. Demonizing minorities and immigrants. Blaming foreigners for the pandemic and natural disasters. Denying the past, flocking to fundamentalist Christianity and ultra-orthodox Catholicism. Attacking other religions and customs as ancient and barbaric, and calling on past glories as justification for new horrors.
This is more than the Far Right though, this is the Dark Right. The Right that rules without conscience or caring, the Deep Right that wants a return to old values and restriction of personal freedoms. Workers with no contracts on poor wages, and immigrants driven out, or ‘sent home’. The Right that asserts that everyone should fend for themselves, pay their own way, or just fall by the wayside.
It is building everywhere, and no longer hiding its intentions or policies. It sneers at ‘ordinary’ people, and laughs at the distress of those less able to cope. It seeks strong leaders; father figures, strong men who say what they think without reserve, and the women who are content to play a traditional role in the background.
You only have to read a history book to see what will happen.
Dark times are ahead.
I hold no brief for any side in American politics, as I generally consider the Republicans and Democrats to be as bad as each other when it comes to looking out for the interests of big business over the welfare of the average American. But the recent behaviour of President Trump has me confused as to how he has been allowed to remain in office, without being removed by anyone with an iota of commonsense.
However, I know that almost 50 % of Americans still support him, and many even consider that his handling of the Covid-19 crisis has ‘gone well’.
This is a man who has suggested using anti-malarial drugs, because he has financial connections to the company that makes them. He has gone so far as to suggest that ingesting or injecting bleach or disinfectant might help to kill the virus, or that inserting a light inside your body might work too.
These are not the actions of a statesman, and definitely not of a president. They are not even the actions of a madman, as a madman might actually believe that what he was saying was true. They are incomprehensible, and are not only dangerous, but potentially fatal. To my mind, those statements should warrant criminal charges of wilfully endangering life.
Like our own ‘hideaway leader’, Mr Trump seems to consider the significant loss of life is a fair price to pay for business continuing to profit at all costs.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, he has appeared to be cynical, heartless, flippant, and uncaring. He has offered support to armed demonstrators intimidating politicians, and even nurses. If I hadn’t seen and heard all this with my own eyes, I would have considered it to be the stuff of a tragic comedy.
So my question is this.
Given all this, are you still intending to support him, and vote for him at the next election? And if so, why?
I would genuinely like to know.
Nicola Sturgeon is the First Minister of Scotland, and the leader of the Scottish National Party. She is a long-serving politician, and a staunch advocate for Scotland being an independent country, and remaining a member of the EU.
And she also bears a passing resemblance to the Scottish comedian Janette Tough, who performs as a schoolboy character called Jimmy Crankie.
For over twenty years, Sturgeon’s abrasive style and constant harping on about independence really got on my nerves. The sight of her popping up on a TV interview would have me reaching for the remote, either to change channels, or mute the sound.
Then along came Covid-19.
The British government waffled and delayed. The Prime Minister hid inside 10 Downing Street, before going to hide across the river in St Thomas’ Hospital. On his departure from hospital, he rushed off to his second residence in The Chilterns, to hide there. He left others to bungle the handling of the pandemic, hoping to get the sympathy vote for having been ill. That’s if he was ever ill to start with.
Contrast that with Scotland. Their leader, Sturgeon, has been taking control from the start. She gives detailed daily press conferences about exactly what is going on, and even tells the truth about how many deaths have occured in Scotland, and where they have happened too. She answers the questions from repoters without being evasive, or dodging the point. And she uses whatever devolved powers are available to the separate Sottish Government to do her very best for the people in that country.
I never thought I would say this, but she should be the Prime Minister of Britain. She would do a better job than the clowns currently in control.
Well done, Nicola. I am impressed.
So I am eating my words.
So the Conservatives win again, with a bigger majority.
This despite having a leader who almost nobody likes, and policies that nobody really wants.
Unless they are very rich of course.
And despite promises by the opposition to make the NHS secure, nationalise transport and utilities, and give out free broadband.
All too easy to blame it all on Jeremy Corbyn. Supposedly, the public just don’t like him, and his leadership cost Labour the election, as well as losing many historically-held seats.
That’s not really the case though, we all know that.
The election was only ever about one thing, and that was Britain leaving the EU.
Since the summer of 2016, Leave voters have been derided for being racist, stupid, uninformed, misinformed, duped, and many other things, including apparently all being overweight. Not one of them was ever given the credit for understanding what they were voting for, because they were considered to be unintelligent, incapable of reason, and unable to comprehend anything. The Labour Party was taken over by people insisting on remaining in the EU, as was the Liberal Democrat Party. During the recent campaign, many Labour candidates (including the one where I live) openly stated that they would fight to cancel Article 50, and stay in Europe as a member of the EU.
The Liberal Democrat leader made staying in Europe the main feature of her party’s policies and platform. She lost her seat, and has resigned as leader.
In former Labour strongholds that had voted to leave the EU, Labour was defeated by a swing to the Right that was unprecedented in those communities.
This is the backlash. The revenge of those people deprived of democracy after voting Leave in the referendum in 2016, and winning that vote. Ever since, they have had to sit and watch as politicians and organisations attempted to overturn that vote, and unravel the whole democratic process we thought we lived by.
So now we have this government. One run by the rich, for the rich, and nobody knows how bad it will get over the next five years. This country may well have a increasingly right-wing Conservative government for the rest of my life.
Is anyone surprised? I’m not.
I read the blogs of a lot of Americans. The majority of my followers are from America, and they account for around 60% of the views on my main blog.
Some of them even follow this blog, and for that I thank them.
Since 2016, many of those bloggers have become very political, for obvious reasons. The election of Mr Trump has managed to divide opinion there in a way I have never seen previously.
Much like how Brexit has affected the UK, being for or against the Trump presidency has become a badge of honour for either side.
I tend to stay out of it, as I have little faith in the Democrat opposition to put forward a candidate that will interest me, or even manage to defeat the current President.
I confess that I do laugh at Mr Trump’s hair, every time I see him. I also think his outbursts are childish, and have caused many outside America to lose respect for that country. But my opinion doesn’t matter a jot, as around 40% of Americans support him, and want him to win in 2020.
But do the Democrats offer a real solution for the problems that beset the most powerful nation on Earth? I doubt it.
The Republicans and Democrats are both right-wing parties, with one slightly less ‘lukewarm’ than the other. Both support big business, and both receive funds from big business. Both support the continuation of private health care, whatever nice name they give it. Both support the rich getting obscenely richer too.
Over the past year, I have read a lot of accusations that the Democrats are ‘Socialists’, ‘Left-wing’, even (laughably) ‘Communists’.
Yes, there are people in the US who belong to a Communist Party. Here’s a link.
But the chances of any of their members ever being elected into a position of real influence or power is non-existent.
And honestly, the Democrats are nothing like these people, nothing at all.
Take it from me, America. You do not have a single (actual) Socialist or Communist in any position of power over there, however minor that position might be. At the risk of appearing to seem patronising, here is a list of some of what Socialists and Communists believe in, at least as far as the official policies are concerned.
State ownership of all Utilities.
State ownership of manufacturing and distribution.
Stare ownership of Transport Infrastructure.
State controlled education, fair and equal for all.
State provision of free healthcare, on an equal basis.
Before you all get on your high horses, I know full well that all that hasn’t always happened, even in those countries ruled by that political system. Humans are corrupt by nature, and will take opportunities where they present themselves. But you REALLY do not have anyone in the Democratic Party who would advocate such reforms, believe me.
I speak from experience, as I am from Europe, and have had a lifetime of being involved in the politics of what is known here as ‘The Extreme Left’.
So, please calm down.
If the Democrats win in 2020, you will wake up the next morning to find that the only thing that has changed is the hairstyle of whoever became President.
Well it looks like we will have a General Election in December. That’s a ‘maybe’, until someone tries to stall it, like they have stalled leaving the EU for over three years.
December the 9th, or December the 12th. It matters not to me, because I have nobody left to vote for.
My usual default vote would be (somewhat reluctantly these days) for the Labour Party.
But now they want a second referendum on the EU, if they win. (Which is unlikely)
At best, they keep talking about a ‘People’s Vote’, just another expression for a second referendum.
So, I cannot possibly vote Labour, as they have ignored the result of the 2016 referendum completely.
Because they didn’t like that result.
I cannot possibly vote for the Conservative Party, because they are just privileged arseholes.
I would sooner bite off my own leg, than ever cast a vote for those insufferable bastards.
Liberal Democrats? Wishy-washy, no-policy losers, who want us to stay in the EU.
My vote is never going to go in their direction.
The Brexit Party? Right-wing, xenophobic Nationalists, one step away from Fascism.
It goes without saying that they can f***k off.
The Greens. All cosy, comfy, and worried about the planet. Hmm…
No. They want to stay in the EU. To hell with the 2016 referendum result.
So, that’s me. Done with politics. Sick to my stomach about so-called ‘Democrats’ who think it is alright to fight against an election result because they didn’t win.
Fed up with elected politicians who ignore the will of the people that voted them in, because it suits their pockets, and their personal ambitions.
Good luck with the election. I will not be participating.
Unless they put ‘None of the above’ on the ballot paper.
You may have seen on the news (all around the world) that the recent shut-down of Parliament by the execrable Boris Johnson has been declared illegal by the Supreme Court here. They had to go back to work, and yesterday we were treated to a shocking example of shouting, abuse, and general playground antics, from people paid a small fortune to ‘supposedly’ (and I use the term loosely) represent those in their constituencies who voted them into a wonderfully well paid job, with huge benefits and expenses.
They were shameful indeed. Bellowing at each other like angry school children, and bringing proceedings to a halt with cat-calling, hooting, and braying. If you were listening without watching, you might be forgiven for thinking that you had tuned in to a group of irritated donkeys.
Nobody was exempt, and all sides were culpable.
What they achieved, (and I use that word loosely too) was to show that not one of them deserves their cushy job in Parliament. They should all be shamefaced this morning, but I can guarantee not one of them is.
So I am left to be ashamed for them. And angry too. Despicable people, not worthy of their titles, their jobs, or their pay.
They should all be discharged, and swept away from public life.
Is it any wonder that this blog thinks Democracy is a sham?
Bring on the Dictatorship. The Dictatorship of me!
But we can all relax, because Princess Beatrice has got engaged. A royal wedding is coming in 2020.
Ah, doesn’t that make you feel all warm inside?
I have no doubt that everyone will be aware of recent events in British politics that have resulted in the temporary closure of the Parliament, a process known as ‘Proroguing’.
This is not something you hear about every day, though it has happened before. Here is a definition.
What does proroguing parliament mean?
The act of proroguing parliament brings to an end the current parliamentary “session”. This leads to a short break before a new session begins.
Parliament runs in “sessions” that generally last for around one year, although the length can vary.
A session opens with a “Queen’s speech” where the government sets out the laws it wants to pass over the coming session. Parliament must then approve the speech by voting in favour of it. Parliamentary business which hasn’t been completed by the end of a session is normally brought to an end (meaning it can’t be picked up at the start of the next session).
If that doesn’t mean much to you, then join the club.
In plain speech, the current Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, along with his Right-wing rich boy cronies, was unable to get agreement for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit on the 31st of October. Parliament was blocking him, and his majority is too slim to ever give him hope of winning a no-deal vote. As well as his opposition, many of those in his own Conservative Party rebelled against him, with the Scottish politicians even going to their High Court to have the suspension of parliament declared illegal.
Ironically, many of those opposing the no-deal departure from the EU represent constituencies that voted heavily in favour of Leave. But they think they know better of course. After all, the voters are mere dull-witted ‘plebs’, giving them a well-paid job with lavish expenses that will last at least until the next election.
So Boris took the rather drastic option of closing down Parliament, preventing those trying to stop a no-deal option getting through. It is likely that when it reconvenes, there will not be enough time to debate any issues further, and we may well leave on the 31st with no arrangements with the EU.
But everyone forgets that this is what the majority voted for, in 2016. Much is said now about people not wanting no deal, and not being sensible enough to realise what they were voting for. Even more is said about the fact that 48% of the voters opted to remain. But we live under a political system where the majority vote in a referendum is the winning vote. Even if that was one vote, let alone 1,269,501.
I cannot stand Boris Johnson and his sickening hangers-on. I hold no brief for the Scottish Nationalists that want to stay in the EU, or those in Northern Ireland that want to do the same. I am neither xenophobic, nor racist, and do not associate myself with any of the right-wing or nationalist groups in England clamouring their support for the Prime Minister.
But I did vote to leave the EU, more than three years ago. Ever since, the will of the people has been trampled on, sneered at, and attempts made to overthrow it.
It’s time to leave. Deal or not, Boris or not. Otherwise, we have to face the truth.
We do not live in a Democracy.