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Posts Tagged ‘Police State’

The new Pub rules scapegoat the Licensed Trade in an abuse of existing powers resembling the actions of a police state

April 8, 2021 2 comments

As we begin to stare Monday and the reopening of pubs and licensed premises in the face, the imbalance and general lack of fairness that the Government has applied to managing the Lockdowns is beginning to look even more sinister than it ever did before.

The way that pubs and the licensed trade have been singled out and placed right at the top of the scale of unfairness is quickly becoming a scandal. One that only fails to shock as it should because the whole Government narrative of control through fear is beginning to look completely perverse.

Not satisfied with the social distancing measures that accompanied the reopening of Pubs last summer that made many great locals feel sterile, uncomfortable and out-of-touch, the Government is now intent on ratcheting down the Pub rules even further.

They are piling on the risk of closure for countless pubs and community hubs that had already been at risk well before Covid arrived, due to the way that legislation had pushed hundreds and thousands of pub properties once owned by breweries into the hands of property speculators or ‘pubco’s’. ‘Money men’ obsessed with draining every penny of profit from bub businesses, causing countless bankruptcies and closures along the way.

However, what is about to be imposed in the coming days as part of these supposed Lockdown-loosening measures is enough to make anyone wonder if there is some kind of agenda at work, aimed at destroying what remains of the industry once and for all.

It began with the dubious requirement that has meant every pub business with outside space available and therefore able to open next week must hire marquees for what may become many months ahead. Yet there is no practical, real-world explanation telling anyone why the environment inside a temporary indoor space is safer than one that is in fact permanent.

Then it progressed to all payments having to be taken outside, when a substantial number of the pubs that can open next week don’t have payment systems that can be used or can actually function outside of the premises they are in. Let’s not forget that this news emerged yesterday, some 5 days before reopening, when there simply isn’t time to install new equipment – if it would be possible for it to work. And that’s before consideration is given to the additional cost.

Last there is what some will see as the final nail in the coffin. The requirement for customers to download and use the NHS Track & Trace app to log in at pubs at the time their visit began.

Of all the new measures, the requirement for customers to use the NHS App is the most questionable. Not least of all because the same requirement will not apply in many other settings such as supermarkets and DIY stores where anyone visiting in recent days will tell you that they have become far more crowded and create close-contact of a kind that you are unlikely to see even at 11pm at the local pub.

It is clear that pubs and licensed premises are being singled out. Pubs and restaurants are now being used in a blatant attempt to coerce everyone into signing up to and using an information gathering and monitoring system that in this basic form constitutes abuse. One that when accepted or imposed in other sectors and in other forms could easily become permanent and used for much worse.

So why is the licensed trade being hit so hard when other sectors selling direct to the public seem to be having it so much easier?

Each and every local authority that we pay our Council Tax to has a Licensing Department. District Level Authorities (Borough & Unitary too) double up as your Local Licensing Authority. They all have a team of Licensing Officers and Legal Advisors already providing a localised regulatory service that monitors and enforces Licensing Law not only for pubs and the licensed trade, but for taxis, gambling, sex shops and scrap metal dealers too.

So the apparatus and infrastructure already exists to police pubs and the licensed trade in a way that no other commercial, publicly facing business can be monitored and policed.

The Government knows this. It is deliberately abusing the power that it has available to control people wherever and however it can. We should be grateful that the Government doesn’t currently have access to the same functionality within the public sector to police other businesses and sectors – or on experience to date, you can be sure that it would be doing so.

Good leadership isn’t using the power available to you because you can. Good leadership is using restraint and doing the right thing for everyone when it appears to be the more challenging pathway to take – even when it appears there is a much easier way.

One of the greatest problems that this Country now faces is the diminishing levels of humanity and understanding that exist between people. Historically, we have learned and become adept at understanding others through the interactions that happen face-to-face within our communities.

Greed on the part of the few had already meant that many local pubs where locality and localism could reign were at risk. Now the Government wants to pursue policies that will finish them off so that it can bluff its way to the end of the Covid pandemic and to the next General Election, and somehow convince everyone else that this Conservative Government has been good for us and that it truly deserves to win.

Whilst many will refuse or will find themselves unable to believe it, we are in the position that we are today – 12 months on since the first Lockdown began, facing the things that we are, simply because stupidity in Government has been allowed to rule the day. It has been fuelled by the fear of those leading us and an obsession with saving their own necks – no matter the cost to everyone else.

The Government cannot see the damage that it is doing and how far reaching it will become. Yet we cannot get rid of them before the next general election.

By then, for pubs, the licensed trade and whatever follows next in their dangerous and disproportionate abuse of power – the damage will have already been done.

Both of my Grandfathers fought for the 75 years of Freedom we had that Boris Johnson ended on a whim in one day

Today we celebrate 75 years since Victory in Europe was declared. VE Day truly was a special occasion for us all as it marked the end of a European tyranny that had the destruction of freedom and a way of thinking that should be alien to us all at its very heart.

I cannot put into words how proud I feel of both of my Grandfathers and the roles they played. They volunteered rather than waiting to be called. One with the Royal Navy, the other with the Royal Artillery. Both suffered physically after the Second World War had finished and neither of them had lives that we would now consider to be long.

What they fought for has become too easy for us to overlook. In fact many people today are so insulated from the realities of the hardship that the wartime generations experienced that many have surrendered them without even giving it a second look.

The point was driven home to me this week when I was asked the simple question ‘What are you missing most’. I passed and thought about it and said ‘The freedom to choose to do the things that we can’t do at the moment, whether it’s go for coffee, for more than one walk a day, to a pub and of course to meet up with people in real life’.

Whoever you are, if you have any respect for the workings of a democratic and civil society and what that means – which the majority of us genuinely do – you will not be alone in constantly wondering whether your interpretation of the Social Distancing ‘rules’ is right. The chances are you have that feeling you need to look over your shoulder to make sure you aren’t doing something ‘wrong’. You will probably also be one of a significant majority who has been quietly questioning themselves if there had ever been a time that we had continually seen so many Police Cars and Vans on the street and wondering where they had all been parked before the Lockdown began.

The Lockdown is not freedom.

This is how a police state works.

This is how a dystopian society kicks off.

The great irony is that it is the mirror image of our wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Boris Johnson has always intended that his ‘leadership’ would be seen to be.

They are not on the same page, in the same chapter, the same book or the same library for that matter.

Churchill was driven by service to his Country. He was objective with the decisions he made during the war to a degree that many people today simply do not have the life experience to understand.

We won the War by facing and accepting all the costs.

Boris is driven by service to himself. He is subjective with the decisions he has been making during the COVID-19 emergency and his decision to impose the Lockdown and the steps taken to control the Country in his attempt to fight the impact of a Virus over which there is still no definable way to fully contain has set off a chain reaction of events that are escalating out of his Government’s reach and control. It has already restricted both our physical freedom and our freedom of thought.

Boris is losing the UK’s campaign against the Coronavirus emergency because he and his Government believe that they can pick, choose and plan their way out.

Their futile attempt to control Coronavirus has opened a Pandoras Box of problems that their limited and self-serving thinking will never be able to resolve.

The loss of the Freedom that many Grandparents just like mine fought for is just a drop in the ocean of the challenges, difficulties and pain that are now on their way as a result of what this Government has done.

We need a real Churchill to lead us out of COVID-19 and the massive challenges that now lie ahead if this very different kind of war is ever to be won and the freedoms taken from us on a whim by weak politicians is to be fully returned.

We don’t live to work Chancellor. We want our lives back, not some halfway house and police state where only some of us can work and nothing else

April 25, 2020 Leave a comment

With every day that passes, the more it looks like we are being ruled by the Government of Fucktardia.

The Lockdown, the so-called fight to ‘protect the NHS’, the Nightingale Hospitals, the Financial Support ‘measures’, the misuse of Behavioural Insights to manipulate people and the whole process of mismanaging the COVID-19 emergency so badly that the whole thing is escalating into a national crisis that will soon be out of control.

These are not the actions of a Government and senior Ministers who are fit to lead a Country at any time. Least of all now.

Yet with both the immediate and long term future now looking increasingly perilous for us all, it is clear that our Politicians are far from finished when it comes to making a bad situation even worse.

Whilst we have already been subjected to the restrictions of social distancing to try and give Politicians without imagination and ideas adequate time to come up with excuses that they confuse with what it takes to actually lead, the reality we all face – as we wake up to what they are doing, is that social distancing has been the creation of a police state with a different name.

With so many of us having been conned into thinking that this whole myth about the Lockdown being all about helping the NHS is real, we have also fallen into the trap of thinking that the wheels of life in this Country being stopped from turning was just a very temporary measure too.

The story and the reality are very different. And whilst the out of control media is now turning on the Government to keep the headlines going and voices of dissent against the Lockdown and the handling of the whole COVID-19 episode are growing by the day, the Politicians that we have in charge of the UK today still believe that they will ride the Crisis that they are creating to the end and come out on top simply by manipulating everyone into believing and acting upon whatever they say – whether it is good for us or not.

Neither the way that the Government has handled the COVID-19 Pandemic or the Lockdown itself has been good for us as the majority and population of the UK. We just don’t all see it, understand it or accept it yet.

What were the certainties in our lives have been made uncertain so that the Government  could attempt to make us believe that the uncertainties of the Coronavirus could be presented as certain.

This is irresponsibility from those who are supposed to be leaders at its very worst.

The only sensible way to have dealt with a medical emergency like this would have been to allow life to continue for everyone as normal and put the systems and procedures in place to address each and every case of Coronavirus as best as possible as and when it comes.

The Government could End the Lockdown and revert to a system like this right now too.

But instead, the Chancellor has now come out and suggested that the way they intend to move us out of the current depth of the Lockdown is to just complicate everything even more and move social distancing into every workplace, so that businesses can ‘reopen’ if no communal activities should take place or be in view.

Restaurants and meeting rooms will be banned if people can’t keep the prescribed 2 metre distance apart and you can quickly see how this arrangement will only work for some businesses and not others, and certainly not any of the ones where we can socialise, exercise or basically go to to have fun at will.

It is regrettably all too easy to see that this approach is more about the Chancellor attempting to save his own neck rather than give us our liberties back.

The realities of his failure to lockdown the economy by giving everyone and every business a payment holiday and instead try to replace it with an unaffordable giveaway that never addressed the real problems that the Lockdown has caused are a big burden to bear for everyone now – least of all him and his ego.

The reality of this approach will be to set in stone the police state approach to managing our lives in every way that we have been experiencing since the 23rd of March, and with it only a piecemeal return to work for some of us who work in sectors and industries where our jobs aren’t about facilitating anything that could remotely be regarded as being fun, enjoyment or in any way social for anyone.

This really is a fucktarded approach to employ as it is clearly the product of politicians and advisers who are either completely out of their depth or obsessed with ideas they have read in books or heard in lecture halls. It has neither been borne of understanding of the realities of leading a country and its people or indeed what the conspiracists will be falling over themselves to label as being deliberate intent.

Whilst some intelligent arguments are being made against supporting this Government in an election at any time again, we desperately need an alternative to all of the Politicians  that we have currently got.

They have all gained the responsibility that they have and are in many cases misusing through a political system that is so broken, it will continue to ensure that we keep getting a Government of fucktards, rather than the natural, strong, caring and compassionate world-class leaders and statesman that we actually want to have a safe and secure future and desperately need right here, right now, in this Country to deal with  with a real, grown-up crisis today.

Waiting for the next election for the opportunity to clear up a catastrophic mess then that was preventable if we had different politicians leading is today will not be enough then and it certainly isn’t enough now.

We need a new Government right now before the Politicians we have reach the end of the list of the things that they can and will royally fuck up for us all.

That means it’s time to go a very different way.

 

The World cannot stay stopped until a vaccine is found. Difficult choices need to be made

March 31, 2020 2 comments

No, the novelty still hasn’t worn off. We are being good humoured about the shutdown and it feels almost remarkable how quickly we have all adapted to standing in staggered lines, following taped distance lines on the floor, and stepping into the road to make space for other walkers or waiting for someone else to pass.

But this is now. Only 8 days have passed.

If you make the mistake of watching non-stop news coverage, you are likely to be slowly turning mad. The coverage is disproportionately negative or just focused on the personal tragedies and the challenges that are being faced by all the emergency service personnel and above all the NHS Staff who are involved.

Nobody could or should try to take away what is happening for the real people and patients on the front line. But a big problem for us all is that the very nature of media and television today gives the immediate impression that all of this is what is actually happening right now in our front rooms.

Yes, the risk that any of us could go through the same is very real. But the reality of Coronavirus itself is that it will not affect everyone the same.

However, the response, or rather the shutdown has already effected us all, and it’s going to affect us all a whole lot more. It’s affecting many people in ways that may not already, but soon will be causing them – and perhaps you – a great deal of pain. The chain reaction of debt, homelessness and businesses closing down is likely to become like a never-ending downward cycle where the impact will be multiplied as it ripples out more and more and starts to impact on all of us, not just as individuals, but as a whole.

Like most meanings lurking in the subtext and hidden in plain sight of all current political speak, the elephant in the room behind all the daily Downing Street Briefings is this shutdown in its current form cannot end either until everyone has caught the Virus (this dreadful term ‘Herd Immunity’), or a Vaccination has been found, tested and rolled out so that everyone is know to be immune.

Testing on the scale that would make it practical for everything to return to normal isn’t available and is unlikely to be so anytime soon. In fact, the Government managed to conduct around only 7000 tests last Saturday – whereas across the UK we have a total population of 60,000,000 or more.

When and if large scale antibody testing is available, the problem remains that many of us will to have caught the Virus and we still don’t know if people can catch Covid-19 multiple times. So if everyone were just allowed to return to normal at that point, there could again be a significant peak and demand for the NHS, and we could end up having a repeat of the shutdown any number of times.

Whilst the Government has the power to maintain the Shutdown or indeed to make it worse, it is very questionable for it to do so in these circumstances, because in terms of all of the knock-on effects, impacts and consequences that are hitting people and affecting our lives in other ways.

The Shutdown – or a series of them – cannot go on or be maintained for the many months that are now being talked about as a bare minimum. To do so will break what is left of the economy, any ability the Government still had to reduce the National Debt will evaporate and the inadequacy of the financial help given even to people who think they are safe now will make life difficult for so many people that the solution to the Coronavirus problem will have turned out to be significantly worse for the majority of people than it will have been to facilitate the cure or rather treatment of the few.

That is of course is if the consent of the Public for the Government to rule in this way should remain the same as it is now. Odds are that it won’t.

We know that many people have probably already had Covid-19, or that they will suffer very mild symptoms if they do. At some point soon, the emphasis will have to shift from everyones lives being stopped to focus on preventing people catching the Virus, to allowing everyone to restart and get on with life, then only focusing on what happens when they contract Covid-19 when they do.

The current approach is solely focused on preventing the NHS from becoming overwhelmed without real consideration for how the shutdown to facilitate this is impacting on every other part of life. The shutdown is based on too many variables, unknowns and the fear that has taken on a disproportionate value in the reality and thinking of politicians and their advisers who are only equipped to think subjectively and not objectively about the wider picture and the problems that their actions are going to cause.

As soon as the great British Companies and collaborations that have come together to build ventilators and support the expansion of the NHS effort have done their stuff and there are field hospitals set up around the Country to support a realistic level of critical need, it is essential that the Country be allowed to return to work and our normal activities are allowed to resume.

The hard truth is that not everyone will be ill at the same time, even with no social distancing in place, and that whatever happens a still significant number of the people infected with Covid-19 will regrettably die. We all have to accept that just like cancer, accidents, many other lesser-known diseases, illnesses and medical conditions – and of course the seasonal or winter flu, this is just another route added to an inevitable list of reasons from which all bodies will at some point die.

Rather than turning the UK into a Police state, it would be much better for the Government – to treat EVERYONE like the adults, responsible parents and carers that the majority are and put in place the systems and procedures that will encourage people to present themselves either for care and treatment or self-isolation as many already are. If nobody is going to lose out in any way by doing the right thing, it will work effectively and efficiently as everything restarts and keeps running. Then before you know it, ‘Herd Immunity’ or whatever you name you want to call the place where we actually need to be will become a real thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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