Really

So the great Boris Johnson let’s open ‘Schools in September’ plan is becoming oh so clear. Basically let’s disregard all the current Covid guidance. Let’s squeeze the kids back into the cramped schools and forget about social distancing. But here’s the master plan. Let’s split the kids into year groups and ask the year groups not to mix. That way we can try and reduce the spread of the virus amongst all the poor sods in the school. Maybe stagger some start times and do a bit of cleaning here and there. If teachers go off sick then try to squeeze more kids into even larger classes. And that’s basically it. Oh and of course schools are safe because Boris said so. OK….

Last week some schools in the English city of Leicester were opened even though confirmed cases were rising alarmingly in the area. Parents were assured it was perfectly safe to send kids to school. On Tuesday it was announced that schools in the city would close on Thursday as part of a local city pandemic lockdown. So it’s apparently safe for kids and teachers to go into school until midnight Wednesday at which point it becomes unsafe again….

Dad is that really what a Prime Minister should look like….”

***** photo from the Daily Record******

Well that’s the neatest I’ve ever seen him.

Dad. It looks like he’s doing a Paddington Bear and he’s keeping his sandwiches safe under is hat.”

Certainly not keeping his brain safe under there. No one has seen that for years. Still the brains not needed as he has his special adviser.

The one who looks like a Sith Lord and can ignore lockdown rules .”

Yep that’s the one.

***************************

Now here’s the thing. The special adviser is Dominic Cummings. This lovely chap.

******photo from The Guardian******

The X-Files could have spent many a series and several films just on this shady villain. I will give you just one little nugget. He passionately believes in Eugenics. The belief that the key for our countries development is to improve the gene pool of the population. That is to encourage those deemed ‘the finest’ to breed and breeding out those who do not fit the template. That means the likes of our son would not be included in the desired gene pool. Can’t have defective genes in the pool…..

Welcome to modern Britain. Welcome to the Government. Where’s Mulder and Scully when we need them.

Excuse

This was the last few hours of the heatwave before the stormy weather arrived.

There’s a new expression taking hold in England. The matter is now closed. Unfortunately it carries no weight unless you are a member of the Government. It works like this. It comes to light that a member of the government or a sponsor has been caught doing bad stuff. Recently that’s things like criminal negligence, collusion with a foreign power, breaking the law, ignoring lockdown rules, profiteering from the pandemic or brexit, harassment, breaking procurement regulations, waiving or ignoring planning rules for personal gain and misconduct. The type of stuff that if me and you did this then we would be thrown to the wolves.

But that doesn’t apply to members of the elite.

But here’s where the phrase comes into use. So a member of the government is caught with his or her trousers down. After days of denying anything happened they issue a brief statement saying nothing bad happened and anyway it was someone else’s fault. This is then followed by the PM saying The Matter is Now Closed and I have full confidence in the rogue bandit. Now since the PM likes to see himself as a part time Emperor, well that’s it. No need for further investigation or questions. The PM has done that kinda stuff while sipping on another expensive champagne. He is court, jury and judge. You can trust the emperor as he had an exclusive private education and he had been bred to lead us. This approach is proving such jolly good fun that it’s really taking hold. The mainstream media buy it, prosecuting authorities are increasing deferring to it, as are an increasing number of the public.

So when I was a kid and I got hauled off to the head teachers office for snapping a pencil or swearing in cricket – if only I had access to the the matter is now closed defence.

If only my ‘a big boy did it and ran away‘ excuse had proved so effective……

Not had a rant for days…..

I came outside to look at the roses. And breathe..

The UK Government has a natural ability to take the breathe away. What are the words I am looking for

Self-serving

Incompetence

Charlatan

Criminally negligent

Fraud

Part timers

Out of their depth

Nest of vipers

Dangerous

Liars

Elitist

One rule for the many, doesn’t apply to them

When you think it can’t get any worse and then they take it a new level……

So on the 4th July Britain is open for business again. Something we all can sign up to if it’s done properly and safely. But this is Boris Johnson we are talking about. The laziest and most inept Prime Minister in over 150 years. So here are just a few nuggets of his so called plan

  • The governments own scientists have warned against easing restrictions too soon. If we do the safe way is to do that carefully and in small stages. The PM has said oh tish to that. British wartime spirit apparently is all we need to follow. It clearly does help a leaders senses when he has rich backers and views the world through the bottom of an empty champagne glass….
  • For months we have been told that masks are a waste of time and that we should be keeping at least 2 metres apart. Suddenly 1m is cool as long as your wear those marvellous masks (but only if you really want to).
  • Since March we have been told that the key to beating this virus is the Tracking and Tracing App. Rather than go with the Google and Apple one we decided to give a contract to friends of the Government. This world class app was promised to go live in April, then May, then June. Then suddenly it’s dropped because it didn’t work (not the Government’s fault of course, it was all down to those pesky people at Apple). Now it won’t be ready until the winter but it’s ok as it was never a priority – everyone must have repeatedly misheard the PM and the Health Secretary …..
  • This scene according to the PM is perfectly safe, carries no pandemic risk and so can happen freely (this was our nearest beach yesterday) …..
  • However this scene is not allowed, carries huge pandemic risks and deemed unsafe….
  • People are not allowed to attend live theatre due to the risks yet our PM is delighted to allow pubs to open. The PM clearly trusts Joe Bloggs and his drunken mates to act responsibly and stay 1m apart at all times (wearing a mask) after 10 pints of strong lager.

But no they haven’t finished yet. Apparently schools will reopen fully in September. The plan is to ditch all social distancing rules for children. All we need to do is to tell the kids not to sneeze on others. Squeeze them back into cramped classrooms and act as if nothing has changed. Just in case each class should try not to spend too much time with other classes. Really. It’s ok for the Government as they send their kids to private schools where class sizes are less than 15, here social distancing can still happen. But not for the state schools with class sizes of over 30. In fact the PM has dropped rules so that the class sizes can go much higher than 30. If teachers become sick then you can just have supersized classes.

Well they can just sod off. They are no Government of mine. Time to bunker down.

So back to the roses and breathe.

Dear John

I seem to have upset someone with my last post. The person clearly didn’t want his name mentioning. Sorry I blocked you John. I assume that’s his name from the email address. My finger must have slipped. Ok John, to help hide your identity how about I call you something like Dork Head.

According to my new friend, I apparently was disrespectful to the President of the United States. Really…. I must have missed that one. I was also patronising to the British Government and our fine Brexit leadership . Ok you might have caught me on that one….. John (sorry I keep forgetting to call you Dork Head) thinks I was showing my left wing bias and I was still having a tantrum over Brexit. Apparently Cummings did act like any reasonable parent would do and the government is doing a brilliant job in controlling the virus. To doubt that is to be a traitor.

Ok lets set a few things straight Dork Head.

  • I do think Trump is an absolutely appalling example of a human being. The damage he is doing to the US and the wider world is incalculable.
  • It’s equally appalling that the self serving, incompetent buffoons in the British Government, actually think it’s a great idea to copy Trumps antics.
  • Cummings (basically the guy running our government) broke the lockdown instructions. Those with honour have already resigned for far less. If he’s such a great parent why would he strap his young son in the back of a car and then do a 60 mile road trip to test his apparently damaged eyesight. What about the other road users he would be risking. How convenient that the road trip took in a tourist destination. This was when his family was supposed to be self isolating. I bet the locals in Barnard Castle are thrilled with the idea of someone potentially with the virus, visiting their neighbourhood.
  • The fact that Johnson and Hancock are now trying to water down pandemic rules to protect one man is horrifying. The needs of the one are clearly more important than the needs of the many.
  • So a brilliant job equates to 50000 deaths. The highest number of deaths in Europe. The second highest death rate in the world. The carnage which has been unleashed on our unprotected care homes. Our health and care workers struggling without sufficient PPE. Nurses resorted to wearing bin liners as protection against a pandemic – bin liners….. One set of rules for some and no rules for others. No strategy, no plans, shambolic testing. They can’t even meet their own targets even when they fiddle the figures. When a person who has a swab taken from the nose and throat, is counted as two separate tests.

Bottom line Dork Head John. This is no government of mine. I have turned my back on them. If that makes me a traitor then that’s cool with me. They deserve zero respect. Until the likes of Johnson and Cummings are gone then I have no government. I will not follow any instructions from them, I will follow my own principles and my own understanding of the situation. I will chart my own course. If that is against the law, then tough, as Cummings would say – I’m acting as any self respecting parent would do. I also bet that the approach I will take will be infinitely more sensible and far better for the wider society than anything this bunch of crooks and clowns can cobble together.

See you John, enjoy your government. It’s everything you deserve.

Other worlds 2

There was a time when my mobile phone was only used for making phone calls. The phone call function now seems to be an optional extra. It’s now basically my camera, runs the house and sons Pokemon world generator….

As the great Terry Pratchett once said

Always be wary of any helpful item which weighs less than it’s operating manual.

As ever Terry in his hilarious fantasy worlds got life better than many so called modern philosophers. And while we let that thought hang in the air, let’s move onto the last Thursday challenge for a while. Yes people you will be safe from my terrible poetry for a number of months. But as Terry P also aptly pointed out

It’s not worth doing something unless you were doing something that someone, somewhere, would much rather you weren’t doing.

So it’s time for Chelsea Owens last challenge for a few months and my poetry….. Chelsea is taking a much earned blogging break over the Summer. This week’s challenge is about writing your very worst poem possible. Bonus points for squeezing in Douglas Adams like Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy references. Truly awful poems need to forwarded to Chelsea by 8.00am MDT on the 29th. As a Yorkshire lad I have no idea what MDT meansbut it does sound kinda cool. Maybe something like Mindless Donald Tweets.

This poem might not mean too much if you have never read the great Douglas Adams books or have not had to endure the UK governments truly disgraceful lies (on a different scale over the last few days). To cut a long story short our PM is not in charge. That honour goes to a bloke called Cummings who is unelected but seems to have plenty of dirt on enough people to make him important. The country followed strict lockdown rules with the police taking action action rule breakers. We were told the rules were not requests, they were mandatory instructions. Stay at home or people will die. Senior People have been forced to resign for breaking them. Well apparently the rules didn’t apply to Cummings. He travelled 250 miles from his home to his parents (also a no no). This was when he and his wife had symptoms. Let’s just hope they didn’t need fuel…. He then decided to apparently test his eyesight by driving his wife on her birthday and with young son and dogs in the back of the car, 60 miles to a tourist site (Barnard Castle). Now this has been discovered the public are what is the phrase I’m looking for – pissed off. But now the government is saying that Cummings acted as any parent should do. So absolutely no action should be taken against him. In fact he’s a great citizen and parent according to Hancock (Health Minister). Basically all the parents who stayed at home and followed the lockdown instructions were stupid mugs.

*************

Douglas Adams wrote of other worlds and evil races like the Vogons

He didn’t need to lie and cheat, no need to come up with patronising slogans

Now we have our very own new fantasy story authors

Cummings, Hancock and Boris, the UKs evil lying rotters

They inspire as much hope as Marvin the Paranoid Android

And are as pleasant as a hot curry to someone with a hemorrhoid

They only look after themselves, just like two headed Zaphod Beeblebrox

They gorge on the finest food while the peasants are expected to stay in detox

We all thought the answer to life was forty two

Well apparently not, that answer was a load of poo

The answer to everything is now apparently the tourist site called Barnard Castle

We are instructed to lockdown but for Cummings that is far too much hassle

If you are Cummings you can test your eyesight by driving your kid 60 miles

Just a coincidence it’s your wife’s birthday, ignoring restrictions with many smiles

Now that’s apparently Ok as it Cummings says his little poodle called Hancock

A man so stupid he’s turned this country into nothing more than a laughingstock

So thank you Douglas for writing some of the funniest stories ever told

And thank you those who voted for Boris, a man as useful as the common cold

***********

*** This is version two. The cleaned up version. It’s amazing what words you can find to rhyme with words like luck, fit and flanker…. ***

Boris Award

We have not awarded a Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson Award for a few months. Remember we set this up to honour the fine body of self deluded, incompetent numpties in our society. Well one chap in the UK is so overdue this award it’s about time he got what he so richly deserves. I give you our much loved Health Secretary – Matt Hancock. This incompetent buffoon is apparently in charge of the NHS.

Photo sourced from Wired

Where do we start with Mr Hancock. He has enough material to write several books. Let’s hope one of those books relates to his trial and imprisonment.

  • In his time in government he has voted against giving health care workers a pay rise. They have basically enjoyed a pay freeze. As a result the pay of groups like Nurses have seen real terms wage cuts of 20% over the last 10 years. Last year he finally got round to awarding them a modest pay award unfortunately he won’t commit to awarding any further increases. His reasoning (you will notice a catalog of self delusion with Matt) that nurses have received very significant pay awards over the last few years).
  • Matt has said he would see about giving nurses another pay rise sometime in the future. However for their brave sacrifices he will give them a special badge. He is also quiet happy to see overseas medical staff who are working so brilliantly in the NHS, having to face increased registration costs due to Brexit……
  • Matt picked a fight with professional footballers. He thought that during the pandemic that they should take a pay cut and donate to charity. He failed to recognise that many do actually give a lot to charities. He also failed to call for many of the much richer backers of his own party to accept a pay cut. Interestingly when asked if Matt would take a pay cut he replied No as he was working very hard.
  • He might be in charge of the NHS but he has spoken previously about the need to sell parts of it off. He has also accepted thousands from a pressure group who wants to privatise the NHS.
  • In March 2020 most of the country looked on in horror as the government allowed one of the biggest sporting events to continue without any virus restrictions. Even though these types of events had already been banned across Europe. So why was Matt so keen for the Cheltenham Horse Racing Festival to go ahead. Why was it a good idea (apparently backed by scientific advice) to allow 180000 people to group together during a pandemic. Who can tell. It’s fascinating to note that Matt has strong links with the Horse Racing Industry and has received political donations from them. Sadly links are being established with the festival and the spread of the virus.
  • When Matt was questioned about the lack of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Kit for front line health workers he got a bit annoyed. He was being questioned by an MP who is working as an A&E Doctor during the pandemic. Matt told her to watch her tone….
  • Key health workers are having to reuse PPE, use bin liners and basically take risks. Those working in other care settings are doing far worse. Yet Matt proudly boasts that he is sourcing enough kit and actually nurses should start looking after the kit better. Then he made a big announcement that 100,000 items of kit had been sourced from abroad and was arriving in hours. Hours turned into days. When the kit arrived it had to be sent back as it was not fit for purpose. Strangely Matt has glossed over that.
  • Matt told an interview in March that he had been working really hard with the supermarkets to ensure food supplies during the pandemic. That was interesting as that appeared to be news to the supermarkets themselves. The message seemed to be we have not heard anything directly from the government as yet.
  • He likes to brag about meeting his personal target of the country testing 100000 people a day for the virus. What he’s less happy to talk about is the number he uses to meet his target includes missed tests, tests which have failed to be processed, tests mailed out to people (so still in the post and not yet been carried out) and tests which have failed (so need to be repeated). The actual number of daily tests performed are well below his own target.
  • He’s been talking about imposing virus checks at UK airports since March. Finally those checks are starting but not at every airport. Even at airports which will begin screening arrivals, it’s not at every terminal. Not even every plane….
  • Dear old Matt has now claimed that he put in place a protective ring around our Care Homes as soon as this crisis hit. That’s really interesting as the perceived view is rather different. Basically Care Homes have been left with no guidance, no protective kit, no testing, no tracing and no support. Care staff with little medical training and no kit have been trying to treat residents struck down with the virus. People have been dying in their thousands in Care Homes with no help from Matt. Until recently they didn’t even count deaths occurring in the care setting. Currently the estimated coronavirus deaths in UK Care Homes stand at over 11000 (likely to be much higher). That’s some protective ring Matt….

Trust me I could go on and on about Matt…..So Mr Hancock you richly deserve this award. Unfortunately your country and in particular the elderly in our care homes deserve way better than you.

What does it teach us

Dad I’m seeing either a new element which will make up the next Ironman reactor or a distant multiverse….”

Strangely I was thinking

Better pull the little blighter up, that’s where the tomatoes are going…..

It’s all about different perspectives. That’s reflected in two conversations I’ve had with teachers today. Same child, two different teachers, two different takes.

  • He’s been doing so well. Worked his socks off. Have to find ways to allow him to shine. Need to try and get him into much higher teaching group.
  • Bottom set is his level. He does struggle with the basics of reading and writing.

Again let’s not forget, teachers are humans and it’s down to individual perspectives. You agree with some you don’t with others. But they are human.

Our current Government and media fail to recognise that human element. For the last few days teachers have been demonised. Their crime being to raise safety concerns about the proposal to reopen parts of the school system. They have been branded cowards, lazy, lefties, traitors. The nurses have risked their life’s so the teachers should pull their weight and get back into schools. Those making these comments are currently working from the safety of their own living rooms. It’s so easy to attack people, to ask others to accept risk when you are bunkered down in your little safe area. To call for sacrifices from the comfort of your armchair. Tell you what why don’t we do something. Before we send teachers and young kids back to school why don’t those demanding these sacrifices volunteer to work in a care setting for a week. Until they are prepared to do this then they should crawl back quietly into their nest of vipers. Leave sorting this mess out to those who will treat people as humans. Understand them, support them, be honest with them, work with them.

Honesty

Sometimes it’s best to check the facts behind what someone tells you. Often it’s what they don’t tell you that is the key thing….

So this week we have had utter governmental incompetence. First they proclaim that having the second highest death toll in the world represented a great achievement. Then they pronounced that it was time to celebrate as the lockdown was ending. Two days later that message suddenly changed to the lockdown is staying in place. Then Sunday night the PM announced that those who can’t work from home should start to go back to work the next day but don’t use public transport. Within hours that became best wait till Wednesday.

It’s absolute chaos. The lockdown stays in place in Scotland and Wales but not England. In those countries the message is Stay HOME. In England it’s changed to Stay ALERT. How do you stay alert to something you can’t see. You can now see your parents and family but they can’t agree on where, when and how. Already this morning, the rule on how many elderly parents you can now visit has changed 4 times….. We currently have incomprehensible madness. You can go to work and see work colleagues but you can only meet up with one member of your family. You can drive to destinations but they won’t tell you what your allowed to do when you arrive – are you even allowed out of the car? They talk about using the R number (the effective virus reproduction number) as the decider of policy. Yet they can’t measure it. In other countries they give a definite number. Here it’s always given as a range somewhere between 0.5 (in your dreams…) and something well over 1 (more likely). If we only test a few people then how are we supposed to work the number out. People with mild conditions are told to stay at home but are not tested.

So much waffle and misinformation. Clearly it’s what they are desperately trying to avoid telling us that is the key. Strangely that’s the stuff which will also show what a catastrophic cockup our PM has made of this crisis. Can we please have some some real honesty.

So in the spirit of Honesty, I will come clean with you. I’ve not been telling you all the facts. I’ve hidden something from you. SORRY. I’ve been talking about my swimming analogy. Grief and life feeling like I’m swimming towards an ever receding islands. That better stay as something in my mind and not actually happen. As I CAN’T SWIM….

Aa a kid we only had two swimming options. One was to swim in the Sea. That’s the North Sea. It’s better known as the OMG how cold is that Sea. Also in my day the local Steel, Chemical and Nuclear Plants would dump far too much into the icy waters. Big signs on the beach would warn against eating shell fish. If that wasn’t bad enough, you would get signs next to the poison signs warning Do not swim due to dangerous currents. So not a great place to learn to swim.

The only other swimming option was the town’s swimming pool. A very old swimming pool. Obviously built before they had invented the words – Heating or Hygiene. My new School would do weekly swimming lessons there. That was my big chance. Sadly that chance evaporated. The first lesson was curtailed when one of the older boys thought it would be funny to have a wee in the pool. The second lesson was only a few minutes old when part of the Pool’s glass roof started to fall down. Again we were evacuated. The pool didn’t reopen while I was at school. So that’s my excuse – I can’t swim.

See it’s easy to be open…..

Goodbye

Well it’s almost time to say goodbye to April. Well that was a different type of month. I still can’t believe 2020 has only been going for 4 months. Feels an awful lot longer than that.

Sadly it’s time to say goodbye to a regular friend. This week is the last Terrible Poetry challenge hosted by Chelsea Owen. Thank you Chelsea for the fun. The last challenge is as follows

  1. Topic: A bittersweet farewell to something completely ridiculous.
  2. Length: You choose.
  3. Rhyming: For old time’s sake, rhyme in the worst possible places.
  4. Make it terrible!
  5. Rating: PG or cleaner.

You have till 8:00 a.m. MST next Friday (May 1) to submit a poem to Chelsea.

So here goes with maybe the last bit of poetry on this blog. Let’s make it truly awful. There has been a fairly common theme in many of my terrible poems – someone called Boris. As he is completely ridiculous then let’s finish with him.

Oh Boris isn’t it time you went away

Surely it’s time for another holiday

Its only a few months since your last Caribbean jolly

How you must miss drinking all that expensive bolly

Your country is deep in crisis and finds itself in such a terrible mess

So many mistakes and lapses of judgement, yet you find it impossible to confess

It’s always someone else’s fault and never your own

You haven’t managed this pandemic preferring to blame the Eurozone

You don’t listen to reason, facts are just ignored

But you do listen to Cummings, Britains very own evil Sith Lord

You only had one aim and that was hard Brexit

Your getting your way leaving us deep in the shit

Because of your privileged upbringing you are entitled to rule

You lead by example, bluffing and acting the fool

You like all the trappings which goes with being the top man

Sadly hard work and emergency meetings is not part of your plan

So for the good of your country please take your leave

Go back to your mansion, don’t worry we won’t grieve

So I long for the day when you pack your bags and wish No10 a fond farewell

Go back to your lovely life, do nothing and watch your bank account swell.

The science

Apparently I have to walk or run 50km next week so this chap evolves. Dads do have their uses when it comes to Pokémon Go. That’s probably as far as my usefulness goes. But at least I do recognise my limitations. Sadly sone people have boundless ambition and see no limit to their abilities. That is terrifying.

We foolishly watched the news.

Dad can I ask a silly question. Shouldn’t the science panel advising the Government be made up of scientists.”

Yes you would hope that a panel of scientists is in fact a group of science experts. For months the UK Government has kept going on about how it’s policy on the virus is determined by this secretive science elite. As they are scientists (and clearly they know more than we do) then we should trust Government policy. Ok that sounds like a plan.

He’s not a scientist. He’s that awful man who tells the PM what to do. How come he is on the science panel.”

After months of having to sign up to a science led approach we suddenly find out that the secretive science panel is compromised of some scientists but has key members who are political appointees. Cummings, the key PM adviser is a lead member. This is a man who believes in Eugenics – that is selective breeding and human intervention to improve the human gene pool. This is also a man who apparently thought that high levels of virus deaths was ok as most would be elderly. He’s not alone on the science panel. He has buddies. He is joined by a data specialist who came up with the Government’s online election campaign. He also has some very worrying views on the uses of private data. These two characters drive the science panel while some scientists on the panel can attend but are not allowed to ask questions. These have to be submitted in writing prior to meetings so they can be filtered. Suddenly it’s so much harder to have faith in our science led approach.

But what do I know. I’m only good for evolving pokemon.