Thursday, 14 January 2021

Tough on the causes of death


The government PR machine appears to be manoeuvring to establish that the present danger of the NHS being overwhelmed by the coronavirus emergency is caused by the appearance of a new and more easily transmitted form of the virus and the failure of thoughtless minority of people to observe the government's guidelines.

Given that the flue virus, with which we are familiar, changes its form every year, and perhaps even more often, that the corona virus should change its form should come as no surprise.

As for the thoughtless minority, the Home Secretary, M/s Priti Patel, has instructed the police to move more  quickly to crackdown on those who indulged in "egregious" rules breaches.   

Perhaps the thoughtless minority are taking the cue from the prime minister's seven mile trip to ride his bicycle round the Olympic Park (the rest of us are ordered to exercise only from our own doorsteps) or his journey from London to Bristol for a photo-opportunity at a mass vaccination centre (the rest of us are told not to travel unnecessarily).

 Be that as it may, the main cause of the danger of the NHS becoming overwhelmed is not the "thoughtless minority" who perhaps aren't all that clear on what is egregious and what isn't,  but the government's failure to implement the findings resulting from Exercise Cygnus.  Details of this are given in an earlier post, but here's a reminder.

Exercise Cygnus was the simulation which the government ran in 2016 to test the UK's ability to deal with a pandemic.  


This Conservative party was in power, Mrs May was prime minister and  Mr Johnson was in the cabinet.  The simulation revealed all the facts of under-preparedness, lack of physical capacity, PPE, ICU beds  and staff shortages which have become apparent in the past 12 months.

Yet  the findings were not acted upon.  Instead the report was  kept secret, and only revealed after intense pressure and in heavily redacted form last October.

They knew

Their cheeseparing attitude to public spending makes them responsible for our shameful record, which now amounts to 85 000 excess deaths. 

 When the reckoning  is made in a full  public enquiry I hope M/s Patel and her ilk, or whatever ministers have replaced them, will be just as keen for a "crackdown" on those responsible for this negligence.   

 And we, the electorate, should put aside the silly nonsense that we can have Scandinavian quality public services on minimal levels of taxation and be willing to elect politicians who are prepared to spend public money to keep us safe. 


  1. the rest of us are ordered to exercise only from our own doorsteps

    No we aren't. That's never been in any legislation, at least in England. I'm not even sure it's ever been official guidance, not that that matters, because guidance is not law so only what's in the legislation is actually binding.

    1. Well, that's the "guidance" I've heard on the radio several times.

    2. Well, that's the "guidance" I've heard on the radio several times.

      You shouldn't believe everything you hear on the radio.

    3. I trust the BBC as much if not more than the Guardian.

      Chanel 4 News also has a lot going for it.