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News and Comment January 2021

Index: 2019202020212022

23 January (Part 2) - You are not compelled to read this. It may be best if you don’t

In this house the radio is on for much of the time, the TV never, and I have been bombarded all week with the most appalling lying advertisements from a Conservative Government which appears to be addicted to dishonesty. With slight variations on the theme the advert tells me that if I go out I am “very likely” to meet someone who is infected with Covid-19 and if I don’t follow all the rules “people will die”. No ifs or buts, they are going to die.

Next time I am in the supermarket I may pull my mask down below my nose and watch the queue at the checkout expire before me. Such blatant scare tactics do the Government’s cause no good at all. The party goers and ravers will take no notice and those who can think for themselves will be even more inclined to believe Boris Johnson and his ilk lie to us to scare as many as possible. It is surprising that the Advertising Standards Authority have not taken an interest but instead I hear that the scare tactics are to be stepped up a notch.

Haven’t enough people acquired mental problems without ratcheting up the scare factor? No Covid deaths so far in my circle and only the one suicide so presumably Boris is happy with his achievement.

I’ve twice seen Boris Johnson perform at meetings in Bexley and each time came away with the impression that he lies and question dodges constantly. I’m sure he was doing it again at the scaremongering session broadcast from Downing Street yesterday and he has form for it.

Readers of a certain age will remember the Darius Guppy affair when Johnson should have been sacked from The Daily Telegraph but wasn’t. (Violence was involved though not by Johnson personally.)

The newspaper owner described Johnson as “duplicitous”. If you are even older you may remember how Johnson was sacked by The Times in 1988 for making things up.

The last true Conservative Leader Michael Howard sacked Johnson from his a shadow ministerial position for lying about an affair with a journalist. A year later Andrew Neil dismissed Johnson from The Spectator. The editor of the Daily Telegraph who knew him well said that Johnson was “not fit for public office”.

That may be so but a year and a bit ago he was apparently the best this country could muster for the biggest job at all. Sadly we were to discovered that his leadership skills are largely absent supplanted by advice from discredited spreadsheet designers.

Right; that should be enough to stir the vitriol! Yesterday I was reprimanded for being unfair to the Government and unfair to the NHS. I don’t get many complaints which may be because readers are few. Perhaps It is worth repeating that I continue with this blog only to pass the locked-down time. I make little effort to attract readers; the underlying code instructs search engines to ignore pages and my Twitter reports are sporadic. There will be no Twitter reference to this mid-morning waffle.

I have no need to attract advertisers or be careful not to frighten away Patreon donors and the like as some bloggers have to. There is no compulsion to read Bonkers although if anyone is at a loose end they are welcome to do so. For this month only I am attempting to count the number of visits but even if it is zero Bonkers won’t go away just yet.

No telly so what else would I do? In the evening this week I’ve been reading a history of my father’s wartime RAF squadron, 138, but I don’t like the total silence of reading in an empty house. (Goodness! 138 squadron (†) lost so many aircraft because of their low flying activities that I am surprised I was ever born.)

So how come my comment “the vaccination programme is probably not being efficiently run; as one might expect with NHS management in charge” was criticised? There was no criticism of medical staff and it has been my experience that the management is not of the best. Similarly the list of people who had experienced administrative problems with the vaccination was entirely truthful.

I once complained about the administration of Queen Elizabeth Hospital which decided they could override medical considerations. My consultant phoned to thank me.

It remains the case today that I am the only 75+ year old I know (wider family, friends, neighbours and a few Social Media contacts) who has no vaccine invitation. If I drop the age threshold to 70 I only add two more to the list of ‘missedְ’ and one of those is only a couple of weeks over the age bar so barely eligible.

I first decided that there was something wrong with the NHS when I was on a rota to take my mother to Brighton hospital for daily radiotherapy 25 years ago, The waiting room was the corridor and I soon noticed a succession of staff wandering along clipboard in hand who would retrace their steps a few minutes later clutching the same clipboard. What for?

When mother deteriorated and spent time in Worthing Hospital I visited in the evening while three nurses sat around a desk discussing boyfriends or EastEnders. They would all take their break at the same time. One evening I was the only person not in a bed when an emergency arose. I forget exactly what it was but there was no response to the alarm button. I had to run to another ward to seek help.

In 20 plus years with my appointed GP I have only seen him once. Do I have to remind readers how Newham Hospital treated my aunt after she fell? Chucked her out with no care package, no medication, no reference to District Nurses or Social Services and I had to be with her for two weeks until the necessary arrangements were made by me and my sister.

Ten years ago I was taken off morphine and thrown out of A&E in Woolwich in the early hours with no money for a phone call five minutes before the then current four hour target time expired.

None of this changes the fact that the NHS is under enormous pressure right now and Covidiots will be Covidiots just like drink drivers. The Government can tighten the rules as much as they like but drink drivers will drink and drive while sensible people suffer. Same with lockdown rules. Boris is going to pay at the next election, assuming freedom and democracy has not gone for ever.

Despite assertions to the contrary I am not a vaccine denier although I fear that the decision to administer it in a way not in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations might backfire spectacularly even though the logic seems to be not unreasonable.

We are now where we are and while statistics are falsified I cannot see any way out though some honesty would not go amiss. The mutant so called Kent variant is not yet fully understood and only the worst estimates are made public. Of a thousand people my age 13 may die instead of ten. At younger ages the discrepancy almost vanishes, Meanwhile the population dutifully takes to the bridge parapets and (Welsh) politicians find the illicit bars.

† Dropping supplies and spies into occupied Europe as far away as Norway, Poland and Italy. The occasional trip to Africa too.


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