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Suing the Government over the Lockdown won’t solve the problems and end the crisis they have created for us all

May 3, 2020 2 comments

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Lone voices shout against the crowd, trying to stop everyone walking onto the beach to see the spectacle of a disappearing sea before the overwhelming horror and force of the tsunami returns, overwhelms and destroys everything whilst it kills or injures people indiscriminately and at will.

No, this is not the tragedy and disaster of Boxing Day 2004 in the Indian Ocean. This is what we are experiencing and living through right now. Albeit within what feels like a parallel universe where it has become necessary to attempt communication in metaphorical terms because it has become too difficult to communicate with people who have been taken in by the Government narrative in any other way.

You will either get it or you won’t. But just because you don’t get it doesn’t make it untrue.

Those that do understand the crisis that the UK is facing and has faced from the moment that the Lockdown began and are prepared to speak or act publicly even now, some 6 weeks in, remain very few in number. But that isn’t to say that a great many more don’t agree at least in part with what is being said.

Yes, the momentum appears to be completely behind the Government.

So successful has their media campaign been based on propaganda and the misuse of behavioural insights, that terms such as ‘social distancing’, ‘stay at home, save lives’ and ‘protect the NHS’ have turned the general population into a zombie nation . One that has become progressively more fearful of catching this virus since the COVID-19 Pandemic began.

Not only has the Government imposed an unnecessary and dubious Lockdown with physical distancing measures that has seen social distancing becoming common parlance and accepted terminology for the 2020 police state in the UK. They have failed spectacularly to mitigate and insulate our businesses and jobs against the fallout from their mistake. They are now consolidating the problems they have caused and are in the process of causing by doubling down on the steps they have already taken, using lie after lie in the form of hollow advice and directives to give credibility to the giant ones they issued to coerce the British Public to accept the Lockdown in the first place.

Of those speakers and lone voices I have already talked about, names such as Peter Hitchens who writes for The Mail on Sunday and Laura Perrins who is co-editor of the website Conservative Woman have consistently questioned the actions or motives of the Government over recent weeks, often receiving much vitriol and scorn from the usual suspects on platforms such as Twitter in response.

Such commentary appearing on my own Facebook feed via a friend who was commenting yesterday drew my attention to the Court Action and related crowd-funding request that is being initiated by businessman Simon Dolan.

Mr Dolan has instructed Solicitors Wedlake Bell and Barrister Francis Hoar to begin proceedings to sue the Government over the imposition of the Lockdown and already drawn much derision for doing so.

Having seen it suggested by the twitterati that Ms Perrins was experiencing a mental breakdown when she Tweeted that (as an experienced barrister herself) she might well initiate proceedings against the Government in the future on a similar if not the same basis, its not difficult to picture how the court of public opinion is feeling about anything that goes against the official narrative that still remains in place – no matter how wrong or how damaging it is or will soon turn out to be.

The difficulty for Mr Dolan, Laura Perrins or anyone else who wants to tackle the ineptitude and ignorance of the politicians our system tells us we must call a government, is that the tide of groupthink that is carrying the establishment will continue to convince everyone who is travelling with it that both the Government and they are right until the very moment of impact when it is too late to head off the disaster that is now destined to come.

Suing the Government and its abuse of its responsibilities and powers to impose the Lockdown upon us all is certainly justified.

But when you are dealing with a Government and an establishment that is drunk on its own power and obsessed with the sound of its own voice, doing the right thing and in this case attempting to use the very legal system against it that we know it controls is not going to achieve the result that those of us who are awake already want, even though it is precisely what all of us – including those who are currently blind the realities of the Government’s actions – so desperately need.

Every day that this Lockdown and any form of the complete injustice that is ‘social distancing’ continues will be another day too many that has added damage to real lives, our economy and our Country.

It was avoidable at the start, but has for many already become irreparable harm.

The false populism that the Government created with the Media’s help has ensured that too many people believe everything they say. The same people will regrettably not see it differently until the tsunami hits them personally.

In the same way, the majority of us will not hear the alternative message, reality and truth – that opposes the one the Government is foolishly doing everything that it can to reinforce and to repeat – until the physical impact of that message has actually arrived in our lives.

Using the Courts to tackle a Government that is failing in its job whilst legitimising stupidity is neither playing the same game, nor playing by the same rules.

Court action will regrettably fail in delivering any beneficial purpose – even if the action wins, simply because it will come too late to turn that tide. It will only succeed in making an already inept Government lie to us again and say they will do things differently if the same thing were to happen again. It will not change the people we have in power nor the way that they think in any way.

With the Lockdown now having been running for 6 weeks already, the options for anyone who arrives in power to clean up the mess that the Johnson Government has created are becoming fewer and harder by the day.

Domestic abuse, suicides, evictions, debt, job losses, unemployment, abuse, safeguarding issues, divorces, anxiety, depression, long-term mental health issues, deaths, reduced standards of living, poverty, hunger and much more besides are already inevitable. They will not be changed or headed off in ways that they could have been if we had good politicians and a responsible Government from the start – One that would not have opted for the Lockdown as the route out of the COVID emergency in the first place.

To limit the pain from the problems the Johnson Government and the political culture they are part of has created, we need different leadership right now.

Democracy will not solve the crisis. Democracy cannot repair the damage that has already been done. Democracy will not put the UK back together and rediscover our place in the World once the fight against Covid is won. Because democracy in this Country has become a lie.

We need a government that will literally impose all the changes and direction across all areas of public policy that will be in the best interests of all, rather than trying to court public opinion and that of a media that will only appreciate the steps that have genuinely been taken in the best interests of all once we have weathered the storm. That can only come when everything has been fixed and the changes made have had adequate time to run their course.

The regrettable reality is that it is too late for this Government and the Politicians that we have to get any of this right. They are not wired the right way. We need people taking the lead who will weather this storm for us and on our behalf who really are ‘in the same room’.

Whilst we should wish Mr Dolan and his legal team all the very best with what they plan to do, the reality is that we will need the money that we have and our time and our support will be better spent placing focus and effort elsewhere.

We will only see the end of this narcissistic Government and stop the process of damage and harm this political culture is doing to us all once they are removed from power. They and the kind they represent must never given the opportunity to return to pay lip service to responsibility in the way that they are doing now.

Rioting, violence and public unrest will serve no purpose in the fight for our freedom and justice for all.

That doesn’t mean we have to continue to maintain our consent for the politicians we have to continue to lead.

We have to recognise and then break the herd mentality that we have all unwittingly become part of that has given legitimacy to the Lockdown and everything wrong with what the Government has done and will continue to do.

Their words mean nothing. They have no value to us all.

It is only by embracing herd immunity and the process that it will take to get us there that we can together again become strong.

So when you see local businesses reopening in whatever form the might choose, or see people out and about walking or in their cars in whatever way or at whatever time of the day they choose, support them. Applaud them. Encourage them to do more. Even if you are not yet ready to do it yourself.

The only way that we can be rid of this Lockdown, the police state known as social distancing and begin to turn all the problems in the UK around, is to ignore the politicians who no longer have legitimacy in power to lead us and ignore all of the ridiculous messages, actions and rules that this out-of-touch establishment continues to impose.

We need leadership that respects the realities of public consent rather than abusing it to extend their own purposes and selfish cause.

There was a time when it didn’t feel like it really mattered who was in charge because everything would always stay the same.

Now we know different.

We must withdraw our consent for politicians, who through a process of self-gratification, are masquerading as our leaders whilst getting way with treating us all like fools.

Let’s focus all our energies on doing what needs to be done to limit the damage before the tsunami that has swallowed the sea that is the Covid emergency returns.

COVID-19 has exposed just how sick the NHS and ALL public services were BEFORE this emergency began. Their future is YOURS to decide

April 28, 2020 Leave a comment

The flipside of so much focus on support for the NHS and frontline staff is the spotlight that has been shone on its supply chain, lack of resources and specifically the serious lack of PPE being stockpiled for a medical crisis before the COVID-19 Pandemic began.

Today, in the middle of the Coronavirus emergency, it would be hard to find anyone who wouldn’t agree that this really is not how things should be within our Health Service. Yet at any other time, the same people are more likely to nod politely and walk away thinking little more about it than that you were just having a whinge.

You won’t feel the blast from a bomb until the bomb has gone off and the NHS has suffered from a serious lack of urgency and attention because things like PPE have simply been one of those things that it seemed easy to put off until another day.

The lack of planning and consideration within the NHS for the ‘what ifs’, along with the serious staffing shortage that has now been highlighted too are pretty much the tip of the iceberg of the problems and difficulties that affect just about everything else within it too.

But it doesn’t stop there.

In fact, as perhaps the most recognisable face of public service provision in the UK, the real problems that the NHS is facing and the reasons that it is facing them are also being faced and experienced just the same across all parts of Government and the whole of the Public Sector too.

No. I’m not referring to a shortage of PPE across bodies like the Environment Agency, Highways England and local councils too – even though it could very well be the case. I am referring to the cultural rot that exists within all of these public-serving organisations that causes all of the problems that we only experience when they deliver their effects.

This isn’t a new problem and it has been building for a long time. Whilst they appear to be very different outcomes, the Rotherham scandal and the mechanics of the Grenfell disaster are sadly the outcome and effect of all the very same causes that have set the NHS up to struggle at the very time and in the very places that everything should feel like it has come together seamlessly as one.

Political correctness, the push for diversity, EU-derived employment legislation, protectionist culture where the buck gets endlessly passed to none of the above, political interference with ridiculous schemes like PFI, the creation of a massive backroom structure of managers with titles that were never needed before and a complete lack of understanding of how money being thrown at problems at the very top of Government only make the problem worse and push the problem into the lap of the next government or generation of politicians to skirt around another day.

These and others are all contributory factors to a public-sector-wide malaise where managers and those with responsibility have been conditioned to avoid doing anything that reaches beyond the confines of their own contract and job.

Some would call it a failure to use common sense. Others, that it is basic lack of appreciation of what public services are actually there for. But in many cases the whole lack of interest in really serving the public and tax payers that all of these jobs were created to help is made distinctly worse by the reality that the wages of those in these jobs will alwaysget paid.

The problems that the NHS has will not be solved by simply upping the budgets for any of the parts of it. The money will get spent, but it will never reach the parts that it really should do whilst the culture remains the same. Ultimately without top to bottom and above all cultural reform, the Key Workers and Frontline Clinical Staff throughout the NHS will not ever be valued and given the opportunities that they should have and we would all want them to.

Beyond the effort to ‘protect the NHS’, the Lockdown has began to cause massive problems that are set to reverberate throughout our society in the coming weeks, months and years. The impact of what this Government has done will cause harm to people and the country in many different ways that could have been avoided if we had different politicians in charge.

These are not the people who will put everything that is wrong in the NHS and the Public Sector right. Not now, not after the COVID-19 Pandemic is over, not at anytime thereafter.

The politicians we have today simply don’t and will not try to understand what is actually going on.

So if you love the NHS, the nurses, the doctors, the surgeons, the therapists, the healthcare workers and all of the key staff in our hospitals that make the real part of the NHS work, remember them at the next General Election or when this Government collapses – whichever happens first,  and bear in mind that is the point when you can help to make things different for all of them by making a different choice to the one you normally would, and choose an option that will not be available from any of the existing political parties that we know.

 

 

 

 

The Johnson Government will not be forgiven for harm it has caused us that it had the option to avoid

April 27, 2020 Leave a comment

The sunlight is now breaking on the damage that this Government has done.

Despite the protestations of the 1922 committee in recent days that many businesses are not going to survive, the Lockdown still continues as if the only game in town is those who are suffering with COVID-19 related illness and there is absolutely nothing else involved.

Whilst it will be foolish to try and blame the Government for the COVID-19 outbreak itself, the way that our Politicians have managed and continue to manage the emergency is a very different story and one that we will all become very concerned with in the coming weeks if we have not done so already.

Many suspect that things aren’t right. Other’s, that things don’t add up. Some already know that what the Government is doing is wrong.

When the questions start, these are the points where they are likely to begin:

Taking the Media’s lead

Whilst we can all see how difficult the media age has made it for almost everyone with the creation of the court of public opinion, we go to the polling booths at a General Election with the understanding that those who have put themselves foreword to represent the interests of perhaps 75,000 people in their own Constituency and many more if they accede to a role beyond that of just being an MP, will be discerning enough not to have their views and decisions swayed by those who make the most noise.

There is simply no doubt that many of the key decisions taken in the run up to the imposition of the Lockdown on 23rdMarch 2020 were heavily influenced by the noise that the media was making, which is driven by the most negativity that it can generate at best.

The weakness in leadership that the Government has shown by being led by the tone and approach of the media, at the most critical point of a national emergency when highly consequential decisions were made, has resulted in the UK being pushed into a dire situation that is set to get much worse – not because of the Coronavirus – but because of the impact of the decisions that were made in response.

Misuse of behavioural insights to ‘brainwash’ the population

Over recent years, the pseudo-science known as behavioural insights has become a population control tool actively used by Government at both National and Local Level, primarily through the use of messaging or marketing that encourages people to change their behavior in some way, usually without them realising what has been done.

Whilst this so-called science can be used to influence behaviour for the common good, it can also too easily be misused for non-direct aims and in the same way as decisions should be made on the basis of the immediate here and now, using behavioral insights with a view to doing something because you can whilst you have something else in mind means that those driving its use are likely to lose control of the result.

By creating the ‘stay at home’, ‘protect the NHS’, ‘social distancing’ mantras, the Government bought the participation of the masses in the dubious Lockdown by installing a level of fear of dying from Coronavirus for many of us like it has been installed like a programme.

What they have done is no better than brainwashing or mass manipulation – as illustrated best by the 8pm call to clap for the NHS on Thursday evenings and rainbow posters being put up everywhere like it’s the only fashionable thing, and that it would be somehow wrong for any of us not to be involved.

However, whilst many still think this all to be a good thing, the approach taken has been akin to letting a genie out of the bottle with the Government playing the role of an Aladdin that has no real concept of the trouble that it has made.

People may have accepted the unnecessary Lockdown on the basis of the manipulation as being the only way to deal with the COVID-19 emergency. But their reciprocation in going back to work as if the whole thing was done with an on/off switch will prove to be a very different thing.

It is highly irresponsible for a Government of a democratic country to deliberately influence people in this way.

In the coming weeks and months we will see the price that has to be paid.

A Lockdown that has caused many more problems than it could ever solve

So much has the Government and the Establishment bought into its own hype over the Lockdown and what it was important to do, the very people who should know better in an emergency have overlooked all of the out of sight things that needed to be considered as they rushed to show the media and the world around them what they were going to do.

On the face of it the Lockdown seemed like the ideal way to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The problem is that the spread of COVID-19 was not then, has not been since and never really will be the problem that needed to be the number one priority itself.

Responding to it in the way that the Government has done so has created a growing number of developing and already substantial problems that are far more serious than the Coronavirus emergency and are going to be very difficult to fix – especially if we still have the creators of that problem left in charge and running the Country.

  • Job losses
  • Business closures
  • Businesses becoming unviable
  • Shops refusing to take cash
  • Evictions
  • Debt
  • Depression
  • Suicides
  • Abuse
  • Safeguarding Issues

– are all issues amongst many more that are growing disproportionately in number as a direct result of the Lockdown, and would have been avoidable if the Government had not implemented the Lockdown by choice.

Financial ‘Support’ given in response to the Lockdown rather than imposing a corresponding Lockdown of the Economy 

The severity of the impact and the consequences of the Lockdown would have been completely different and arguably negligible if the Government had chosen to address the impact of the Lockdown on Businesses and workers who lost income – no matter their tax or employment status – by taking a blanket approach to all.

Instead of dolling out cash from the ‘magic money tree’ that the Conservatives have so mercilessly attacked the Labour Party over for years whilst stating that it doesn’t exist, the Government should have locked down the economic system for all those people and businesses who suddenly found themselves unable to earn as a result of the Lockdown and removed the need for them to pay any bills for goods or services that they have not ordered during the Lockdown itself.

As a temporary measure, this would have been the surest way to help and to be fair to everyone from the top to the bottom of the economy, whether they are a billionaire or they are unemployed.

Nobody would have had to pay the bills it would have been right to stop. So the only money that anyone would have needed help to find would have been for the basic necessities such as food and essentials each week.

Paying out something like £100 per week per person who had lost their income and for their dependents too would have cost the UK Taxpayer significantly less than the sums that have already been spent on a series of loans, grants and wage subsidies which hasn’t reached everyone and has left substantial gaps in the provision it was supposed to provide.

Businesses that couldn’t operate wouldn’t have had bills to service whilst they had no income and could have effectively been mothballed until life was ready to resume. The jobs they provide would then have still existed for all the many thousands of people who are now likely to have none to return to.

Some will argue that what the Government has done has literally been the way of the world in responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic in the way that it has. But that doesn’t make it right.

If anything, it demonstrates just how dangerous the mindset and culture of national leadership across the 21st Century World has become when so-called leaders are too afraid to overrule economists and bankers because they are more concerned with the risk to themselves than the impact of getting it all so very wrong on the people they are there to represent.

After the impact of the mismanagement of the 2008 Financial Crisis when politicians lived up to the lie that the banks were too big to fail and then saddled the UK with unnecessary debt whilst the bankers took bonuses and were allowed to roll on like nothing had gone wrong, the stupidity of this Government in printing money to solve a problem like this that could have been solved differently is not just going to go away.

The Government has committed us to a level of debt that will hurt us all first through the damage they have done to the National Economy. It will then trickle down and hurt us all directly through the loss of our jobs and an even greater dependence upon personal debt when we cannot afford the debt and commitments that we already have.

The only way that the Government of the UK and possibly all Governments of the World will be able to address the mess that has been created will be at the very least to go through a process of significant debt forgiveness. Alternatively, they will have to conduct a complete reset of our economic system and revise the way that money is made so that basic living is something that an average wage earner and someone on benefits can actually afford, and money is available where and when it is really needed, rather than automatically flowing back to the pigs with their heads in the trough where it starts.

Straightforward as it might sound, if these problems were to be left in the hands of the clowns that got us to where we are now in the first place, it would make it all but inevitable that they wouldn’t get the cure to the problem right.

The politicians we have simply don’t understand or appreciate anywhere near enough about the people, the businesses and the way of the world over which they have responsibility to get any of it genuinely right – that is if they were able to think beyond the benefits of whatever they do for themselves and however anything they do will look.

Doubling down rather than turning around and being big about the mistakes they have made

It would be ridiculous to think that good leaders don’t make mistakes. They do, and they make them often too.

The difference between good leaders and the ones that we have got in Government today is that good leaders accept and learn from their mistakes and are prepared to change course or direction as soon as they do – no matter what anyone or in particular the media says.

We have been burdened at a time of national crisis, with so-called leaders who are obsessed with controlling how everything looks, rather than focusing purely on the robustness, reach and impact of what it is they do.

Even the biggest mistakes that the Government has made during the COVID-19 emergency so far such as the Lockdown and the so-called Financial Support Measures that they followed up with could have had significantly less impact if the Government had changed direction and done a u-turn after they had been announced and gone a different way.

What is clear is that the political class that we have just doesn’t do things that way. They see changing their minds as a sign of weakness and so double down when they are questioned or challenged – no matter what will be the outcome or cost.

Like everything political since spin took over in the days of New Labour and Tony Blair, the politicians we have are obsessed with the words they use rather than their actions, when actions will always speak to us much louder than any of the words.

The ongoing irresponsible use of propaganda.

Propaganda is now being used as the basis for the story rather than the story being used as the basis for the Propaganda itself

Talking up vaccines, antibody tests, contact monitoring, PPE shipments, the Nightingale Hospitals – to name but a few. All of these topics are being used to manipulate and persuade people that the Government has, is and will be doing much more than it actually does.

Whilst it is a poor illustration of the political culture that we have got, its use during ‘normal’ times would be questionable. But its use during a national emergency is knocking on the front door of it being a real crime.

The Government cannot cope with the responsibility that it has because the politicians within it are not of the quality or outlook of the politicians that we as a Country should have at any time, let alone a time of national crisis.

If they were good leaders, they would be able to work with reality as it is and use it to inspire and encourage the people as genuine leadership always will. Instead, they have to use trickery to make us believe that we are being led by a group who know what they are doing and actually have an end game in mind whilst they have the wherewithal required to get there.

Our politicians might not actually be lying to us in the strictest or black and white sense. But they are being very economic and selective with the truths that they are telling us and using them as smokescreens to hide the growing proof that will eventually come out and hurt them – but only after they have caused significant harm to all of us.

It will be all the worse because if they had chosen to come clean and stop spinning everything at any point since the COVID-19 emergency began, their honesty could then have prevented pain and even death from happening for others – instead of for what for them has been all about nothing more than consolidating their position and personal gain.

Letting ‘Experts’ lead a specialist response to a medical emergency and including everyone when a general approach of facilitation was what was needed

One of the worst things of all that this Government has done has been to fall into the trap of believing that so-called experts and specialists are the best people to call on for solutions in a crisis that reflect on everyone, when their experience and knowledge is subjective and the response requires a wholly objective view.

The role of good political leadership is to be very much like a grand facilitator or chairman of sorts, bringing together, discerning and recognising the value that comes from all perspectives and then putting it all together and applying it in a formula or policy that actually works.

The Government has not done that and instead has been swayed by listening to the most obvious voices rather than all of those that should have and should now be being heard.

***

An increasing number of activists, commentators and writers are being vocal about the real depth and breadth of the problems that the Government has caused and is causing, and the realities that people are now facing and will have to face just to exist.

Some are already advocating legal action against the Johnson Government at the end of the COVID-19 emergency – whenever that time should come.

Whilst we might wish them well in the process of getting to the bottom of what was clearly done wrong, it would be much preferable that we do everything to head off as much of the coming catastrophe as can be avoided – rather than waiting until the only thing we have power over is the decision of who to blame.

This means that the UK must now look to doing Government in a very different way.

We cannot continue with politicians of the kind we have left in charge.

A new world is now set to emerge from the era of COVID-19 and the politicians we have are simply not equipped, of the quality or possess the ability that the UK needs to see us through the crisis for the UK that they have created, nor the impact upon us that is coming from the crisis that is set to engulf the entire world.

We cannot wait for the end of the existing Parliamentary cycle before there is the opportunity to replace them, as even then the system is so shut down and closed to new influences it will be impossible to displace their kind.

We need new leadership in the UK now. That new leadership must come from none of the usual suspects, but from people who might be just as skilled and as intelligent, but also care, love others as themselves and above all have the humanity to understand how the world works in different people’s minds as well as within the systems that we can openly see and interpret at work.

When the time comes for that change, those in the Johnson Government will not be forgiven for harm it has caused us that it had the option to avoid.

Politicians are using the Lockdown to play with our lives like it’s all a game. We need leadership at the top instead of privilege, and that change needs to happen before the UK as we know it is completely wrecked

April 19, 2020 1 comment

As you scan the Sunday Newspaper headlines today, you will see that the media is finally beginning to turn on the Government over its woeful handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic and the shameful Lockdown that is condemning more businesses to close and more people to lose their income, jobs and livelihood for every minute, hour and day that it goes on.

There is simply no excuse for the Government having taken the decisions that it has to shutdown the Country and then fail at every step to mitigate the losses and unserviceable costs both to employees and businesses alike for the whole time that the Lockdown continues and then for the resumption period that will follow it beyond.

This isn’t about it having taken time to realise what the Politicians are doing hasn’t and isn’t going to work.

With the Nightingale Hospitals clearly a white elephant vanity project that was all about the headlines that these Politicians could generate with a media which is as irresponsible as they are, the lie has been given to the call to action ‘protect the NHS‘ which was used to manipulate a trusting public into thinking that this attack on liberty and our way of life for years to come was genuinely justified and in our best interests to support it.

It wasn’t in our best interests to support the Lockdown at the start and it is not in our best interests to support the continuation of the Lockdown at any level now.

Our Country is rudderless and set on a path of destruction which is going to take the lives of people not affected by the COVID-19 Virus. Lives that would not ever have been at risk if the Country had not been locked down by the Politicians who are ‘in charge‘.

The Politicians we have today, who sought power through a political system that only favours its own – whatever political party they are from – are not equipped with the experience of life, the understanding of people or the wherewithal to lead anything. They do not posses the basic humanity and selflessness which is necessary for any national leader to have at any time to run a Country like the UK – not least of all during a time of national crisis.

These Politicians come from a political culture that genuinely believes that whatever they tell us will be so.

They have presided over the ascension of money as a god, and bankers, financiers and the heads of big business behaving as if they are the masters of the universe – all whilst everyday people have already paid an unfathomable cost for their shenanigans even before the Coronavirus Pandemic began.

The ineptitude of our Politicians over the Lockdown has now taken this lack of consideration for others into a completely different league.

This whole episode has now gone way beyond the need for basic political reform, where questions needed to be asked and action taken to stop the gravy train from flowing that keeps people who would be genuine representatives of the people from ever gaining public office because their way has been blocked by people driven only by self-interest, ambition, gaining power and the glory they covet which carries with it a level of responsibility that we can now see they have no idea how to use. (apologies – it was all said in one breath!)

We now need this political system replaced – not just changed.

We don’t need any more people who are in politics as a career and have no experience of life outside of think tanks, media jobs and the Westminster bubble beyond School and University.

We don’t need any more people who look good to the media because they have done this or done that, or look good because they represent this community, that community or anything else which is fashionable or politically correct.

Politics is about getting decisions right about every part of life right – not just one.

We don’t need any more people who say yes to all the right people at exactly the right time to keep power brokers happy. Our leaders need to know when and to whom they should say no and they MUST be prepared to do so.

We don’t need any more people who have read lots of books about political and economic ideas but have no understanding of how to deal with a crisis of any kind because that kind of management doesn’t come in a text book.

What do we need?

We need people at the top who put everyone first.

We need people at the top who know how to listen and hear advisors but not be swayed by one perspective when there are multiple voices and ideas to be heard.

We need people at the top who are ready and able to make each decision as it comes, not based on how it looks or how it will play out during an election in 5 years time.

We need people at the top who are not so fragile and insecure that they attempt to control everything and everyone.

We need people at the top who are big enough and confident enough to be honest and communicate to us all the things that they think we don’t want to hear as easily as the things they do think that we do.

We need people at the top who know how to represent others and have the life experience and wherewithal to represent. 

Ultimately, we need to do away with the party political system as it exists today.

We need to have a political party system that works to deliver public policy that works for us all as it should do. Not one filled with political parties whose role has become little more than one to prioritise anything and everything that will enable them to continue to exist and retain power in their own interests.

It would be great if each and every one of us were able to wake up tomorrow thinking as one and realise that the first and most significant step to change for all of us is for every one of us to responsibly withdraw our consent for the Government to continue as it is.

I’ve written in the past about Revolution being the last thing that we need. But times have changed.

The damage that the Politicians we have today are doing, coupled with the reality that the system as it stands will not allow or facilitate the change that we need means that now,  in a time of national crisis, we all must begin thinking about what good government looks like in a very different way to what we may have experienced in the past.

We need everyone and everyone’s interests treated equally.

We need public policy that reflect the views of all.

We need everyone to be treated fairly, even when for some reason, a decision made is something that they don’t personally like because it doesn’t favour them personally in some way.

We need people represented equally whether they are young or old by people who understand the perspective of all others, whether they agree with them or disagree.

The problems that this Government has created will not evaporate the moment that the Lockdown ends.

What the Government isn’t telling us is they have no plan to manage COVID-19 without the use of Lockdowns and the social distancing restrictions they have created continuing until such time as a Vaccine has been identified, tried, tested and rolled out – which could be many months or even years.

This crisis and the ongoing series of new problems that it is creating and will continue to create daily has only just begun.

We need leaders who can get their head down, forget about what makes good headlines and do whatever needs to be done to help us all.

The politicians we have now do not understand and appreciate that being a big beast in politics isn’t about winning a popularity contest. It is about taking decisions that you can justify and are prepared to stand by and see through from the start – when everyone including an unforgiving media says that you are wrong – because you know that what you are doing is right and in the best interests of everyone – even the people who don’t see it and will very loudly disagree.

My regret today as I look at what is likely to unfold in the coming weeks – unless the Government does a U-Turn of biblical proportions – is there is neither the time nor the rational thinking available to address the change in the way and on the timeline that would be ideal in the sense that it would achieve the democratic consensus that it could, should and in normal ‘peacetime’ surely would.

If the public withdraw their consent for the Government to govern, democratic elections will not be the next thing that fills the gap that it will create. Put bluntly, there wont be the time.

And here is the biggest risk. Like the Politicians we have who have attained their power without due regard for the responsibilities that would have, then made decisions that are going to hurt this Country more than they will help, simply because they couldn’t cope with a crisis, many normal people will behave in the same way in a crisis. They will look to the empty vessels that  make the most convincing noise for advice and direction when the shit hits the fan as it is likely to do in the coming weeks.

Without even thinking about it, we could easily see a populist dictatorship come into being in what we had before the Lockdown thought to be a model democracy. It will be led by a person or people around them who will prioritise keeping the power that this crisis will have gifted them – whatever the cost.

It doesn’t seem plausible that the Johnson Government could fall in the coming week but the reality is that if this Government doesn’t change tack on the Lockdown, the financial support it is offering to people and to businesses, and deal with Coronavirus cases as they arise – as it always should have done – then it really could fall.

What we should all hope is that if it happens, is that there is someone ready to step in and turn this all around and then see the whole of the COVID-19 Crisis through as a leader really should, whilst making the changes to the way that the UK works that will make things better for everyone for the long term future – as any good Government should.

In time, what would then be real democracy could then be restored – once the structure of the Country has been changed to work collectively and collaboratively to the benefit of us all, and not as it is now – just for the few.

Let’s hope for a responsible revolution and a return to new and better times which are human and considerate of all.       

Why it’s time to end the Lockdown & how to let life resume and face whatever happens next

April 6, 2020 8 comments

img_551713 days into this brave new world and you can see that the novelty of the Lockdown and social distancing is beginning to wear thin.

A week from now, the news that 3 weeks of this was just the start of something much longer will be beginning to sink in.

But by then the pain will already be less about being kept inside our homes. It will be more about how people can continue to live and the question of how businesses will survive an indefinite Lockdown, just so they can get to the end of the Lockdown and still exist.

There is a disaster unfolding behind the media coverage and focus on equipping and preparing the NHS to treat a significant number of critical-case Coronavirus Patients.

This real crisis is much bigger than many could comprehend, even if it was something that they could now visibly see.

Already there are businesses that have closed for the Lockdown that will never reopen. Others will close as the Lockdown continues. Some will survive until it is clear they cannot service a growing mountain of debt that accumulates daily, simply because the Government did not think through the implications of what a full Lockdown would mean on so much of our business sector and industry.

The Government has simply failed to comprehend how businesses and the people who own and run them need to be supported so that they will be there to provide services, products and employment for the many others who will need them when the time comes to restart.

Yet to hear the media and read the non-stop commentary wherever you look, the only game in town is ‘Protecting the NHS’.

Don’t get me wrong, we need the NHS to be fully equipped and ready to do the best for people that it can. But with Field Hospitals like the London Nightingale now open and others around the Country clearly earmarked for opening very soon, the political focus needs to move swiftly to the unseen crisis that is beginning to evolve across our Country.

The hard truth is that deaths that will sooner or later become inevitable anyway should really be a lower level priority against what is now set to become a very extensive list of problems that people attempting to live their lives are having to or soon will have to face.

It feels very unpalatable to even think, let alone say that you have to accept and be prepared to let some people die, so that the majority of others can continue to live.

The problem is that it is also the truth.

The Government has backed itself into a corner by implementing the Lockdown. There is no risk-free way out.

Coronavirus Testing will be too slow to be any help in reducing the time it will take to try and manage the process of infection for the whole population.

Using tools such as Immunity Certificates would create massive social problems – if the Government then used the force that would be necessary to keep people who haven’t had Coronavirus at home – which is what they would have to do if they let those who have had it are able to have lives and everyone else does everything they can to catch it, so they can do the same too.

Whilst no politician wants to hear it said of them that they deliberately let people die when some of them could be saved, the harsh reality is that if we are to get out of this Crisis and the Coronavirus Pandemic in the best shape possible, we must all accept that in the world we live in, a life isn’t life if a person cannot actually live.

It is difficult for some to understand this, because in the form of the personal tragedies that we see rolled out continually on TV and the stories of he NHS in crisis that we hear daily, Coronavirus has given the intrinsic fear of death that we all share both a face and a name. It has taken on a very visual and highly emotive form.

The reality is that people are going to die from Coronavirus with or without the Lockdown and it would be much healthier for people, the whole Country and our economy if the Lockdown was ended and we got life restarted as quickly as possible and then dealt with each case of Coronavirus and its respective knock-on effects as we go along.

The genuinely vulnerable members of our society who are likely to be most at risk will continue to be at the same level of risk until a vaccine has been identified, tested and administered to them.

The time that it would take as a minimum to vaccinate everyone – given what will be a worldwide demand – will simply be too long for any civilized Country to wait for whilst keeping a shutdown in place.

Our high-profile Politicians like to talk up the Crisis as if it is like fighting a war. In the Second World War when Campaigns such as Operation Overlord and the D-Day Landings were planned, Prime Ministers, Presidents and the advising Generals around them literally worked out how many lives they would have to sacrifice on the battlefield to get the job done, so that the wider populations of their Countries and the World itself would win the fight against oppression in the end.

Such responsibility and leadership in strategic thinking is required of the leaders that we have now. The Politicians have talked the talk to win power. Now they must walk the walk to enact that power and see this through.

The implications of the Lockdown would not have been nearly so bad, had the Government taken an even handed and fair approach to mitigating the impact of the imposed standstill on workers of every kind and businesses alike.

But they didn’t, and this means that how the end of the Lockdown and the restart of life is managed must take into consideration where things are right now and where they will be rather than where they were before it started, because this whole situation is evolving each and every day.

It’s time for the Lockdown to end now. It’s time for life to restart.

There is no perfect way to plan the fight against Coronavirus, or to put together a strategy for ending the Lockdown, letting life restart and managing cases of Coronavirus either now or thereafter. There are simply too many unknowns and variables within what is a live and evolving Crisis for that ever to be the way.

However, we can ask that the Politicians do their best, and in terms of ending the Lockdown now and getting life back on track, these are some of the key things that they can now do.

Notification of Coronavirus Symptoms

Perhaps the key factor or source of information that the Government needs going forward, is clear and decisive record of who has experienced Coronavirus Symptoms – even if no medical intervention has been involved.

  • Upon first experiencing Coronavirus Symptoms, individuals should be able to Register using their individual identification data on the Government Portal.
  • This responsibility to register would become that of parents, carers and guardians for children and vulnerable people
  • Nobody should be able to claim Coronavirus Sickness Benefit without having registered first.
  • In the first instance and until such time as it is confirmed whether Symptoms of Coronavirus could be suffered more than once, individuals would be able to claim only once,
  • The data can then be used to distribute the Coronavirus Antibody Test once it is universally available and thereby technically available to all
  • On completion of registration, the Government Portal should allocate a unique reference number for every individual to use to claim benefits such as Coronavirus Sick Pay and payment holidays

The NHS

It will remain essential to keep resources flowing towards the NHS so that it can manage the critical stages of the Coronavirus related illness that some people will inevitable suffer – just as they are now.

Field Hospitals, Intensive Care Units, Ventilator numbers and the recruitment rate of staff will have to continue to rise until the natural infection rate and the number of people it will effect critically at any particular time has been reached.

This will not be long once the restart has begun. But there is likely to be a period of time where it doesn’t look like the NHS can cope and numbers of people are dying who might have been saved, had more resources been in place.

‘Protect the NHS’ is the Trojan horse argument that led to the shutdown as the chosen way to attempt to manage demand in the first place. It’s where the Government went fundamentally wrong.

  • Local Trusts should set up Designated Reception Centres, separate to GP Surgeries and Hospital Reception areas used for other purposes
  • Local dedicated helplines should be provided to field calls from those with symptoms
  • Dedicated Ambulance provision should be put in place for Coronavirus sufferers
  • The general emergency Ambulance fleet should be kept separate.
  • Serious consideration should be given to requiring benefits claimants to report for duty as healthcare assistants, with full pay, work and training options to be offered after a qualifying or probationary period.

The Restart itself

The way to lift the shutdown isn’t to try and overcomplicate things by using terms such as calling it ‘gradual’ or ‘taking things in steps’, or anything else that even hints at there being some form of managed delay.

Whilst we might all like to think that the world as we knew it before March could just be switched back on at 9am on Monday morning it won’t happen no matter what we do. The time it will take those businesses still operating to return to full operation will take a lot longer than it took them to shut down. That is before you take into consideration the natural trepidation that many people are going to have as a result of the negativity and scaremongering that has taken place on the part of the media.

Even now, barely a fortnight in to the Lockdown, things will have changed markedly and they will continue to do so each and every day until the new norm for life begins.

People and businesses are going to work differently, travel differently and think differently. So the resumption of participating in everyday life will take time under its own steam, without anyone or anything else being involved.

Social Distancing

Social distancing in areas where people are usually in close proximity will be a good measure to retain formally, even though people are likely to keep their distance for some time as it has already become an accepted part of life.

Even if social distancing plays no further active part in dealing with Coronavirus – given that there are very recent suggestions that the Virus can remain active in air for up to three hours – it will help address any social awkwardness that will exist for some people once the Media’s negative messaging campaign is over and done.

Sick Pay

  • Everyone working who has unable to work because they have caught Coronavirus should be able to rely on having Coronavirus Sick Pay
  • The Sick Pay should last a calendar month from the date of registration
  • There should not be a laborious process of application involving claims for Universal Credit or applications via Jobcentres or the DWP.
  • The Coronavirus sick pay should be claimed on behalf of employees by employers and paid as part of the monthly PAYE process
  • The self employed and/or contract workers should be able to claim their sick pay back as part of their next Annual Tax Return.
  • The reference number allocated at registration should be used by employers for PAYE purposes and on individual Tax Returns.

People

Fundamentally, it is essential that every member of the population is treated like an adult, trusted to do the right thing and given no excuse to do otherwise. To support everyone, the Government must ensure that all practical issues people may experience if and when they suffer with Coronavirus has been mitigated against adequately and given added value as an incentive too.

Put simply, if there’s no way people can lose out, they will do the right thing.

  • Any individual, their parent, carer or guardian will register Coronavirus Symptoms using the Government Portal
  • Upon registration, individuals should be required to immediately self-isolate and remain isolated for a minimum of 14 days
  • Upon experiencing escalating symptoms, individuals should report to local NHS designated reception centres or call designated helplines if transport or an ambulance is required
  • All domestic bills, rents, leases, loans, interest and debt repayments to stopped for a month as a ‘Payment Holiday’
  • Individuals to use the reference number provided when they registered with the Government Portal to confirm they are on a legitimate payment holiday with debtors or those they should normally pay.
  • A payment of approx £100 per week to be payable to every individual Registered in the ‘Coronavirus Window’ for a period of four weeks to cover food and essentials

The Vulnerable

  • The vulnerable have to be allowed to make their own decision about the risk, about remaining in isolation, or returning to ‘normal life’. They should not be pressured to go either way.
  • Benefits Claimants without medical conditions and unemployed should be tasked with providing the support currently provided by volunteers.

For Business

  • Businesses of all sizes should be protected from the impact of the Lockdown for the period of time it will take things to return to or find the new normal, once the Lockdown has been lifted.
  • Where necessary support should be applied retrospectively to the 23rdof March 2020, if not the point in time before that when levels of business within marketplaces are recognised as having began to decline in response to the early stages of the Coronavirus Crisis.
  • All businesses should have a 3-6 months ‘payment holiday’ from rents, leases, mortgages, repayments, interest, debt
  • Heavy fines and/or jail terms should be immediately awarded by a District Judge without trial or appeal, to any Creditor, Company, Director or Partner thereof refusing to facilitate the ‘payment holiday’ and/or attempting to recover any related sums using other or additional debt devices or levying additional payments or raising prices relating to that relationship

Funerals

For the duration of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Government should intervene to ensure that the disposal of bodies is facilitated without delay, without price gouging or profiteering and is provided on the basis of a same-level, community service for all.

  • The Government should set a fixed, realistic cost for a ‘standard’ funeral with a transparent minimal fixed margin and no additional payments being made for anything not specified
  • The Government should pay the cost of ALL Funerals at the standard rate for the duration of the Coronavirus Pandemic
  • Local Authorities should administer the allocation of care of the deceased and funerals to local undertakers on a take-it-in-turns basis
  • Local Authorities should administer payments to undertakers and make them immediately
  • All funerals should be provided on the same basis and not open to change or being ‘upgraded’ by additional payments from families etc
  • Funeral Insurance payouts to either be split with the cost of the standard funeral being returned to the Government and any outstanding balance returned to the family or estate, or simply paid out to the family or estate

The Media

Whilst free society needs a free press, the current approach, lack of ethical standards and reliance on dressing up subjective opinion as news requires that Government take a different approach and one that doesn’t play into the system as it is.

  • The forward briefing, advance copies of Government speeches and embargoed press releases need to stop.
  • Regulation needs to be introduced that requires news to be news, and for the mainstream media to promote the wider concept of the principle of charity in all things, rather than constantly looking for every opportunity to create negative spin.

#endthelockdownnow

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