British diseases for British people

The coronavirus has claimed its first case in Scotland – although thankfully the individual concerned appears not to have serious symptoms – and new cases are appearing elsewhere in the UK and all across Europe. Yet today the British Government announced that it’s quitting the EU’s pandemic warning system. According to reports, the Department of Health in England wanted to remain a part of the EU’s Early Warning and Response System, but it was vetoed by Number 10. The EWRS is an online platform which allows health authorities across the EU to share information about serious cross-border health threats, but Number 10 has ruled that the UK won’t be a part of it because it’s fixated on a “clean break” from the EU. Given the behaviour of the British Government in Brexit negotiations so far, we can be certain that the health ministers in the devolved administrations were not even asked for their opinion.

Number 10 has barred any health minister in the UK from attending a special EU meeting to discuss measures to combat the disease, even though the UK still retains the right to. Boris Johnson also barred Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, from attending the UK Government’s Cobra meeting where the UK’s response to the epidemic was discussed. He would have preferred Nicola Sturgeon to attend via video-link so that he didn’t have to be in the same room as her. Boris Johnson is terribly afraid that being a sensible grown up may be contagious. The Prime Minister hasn’t exactly acquitted himself well during this, or any other crisis, to afflict the UK. Instead of being seen to lead, he prefers to hide away in a luxury mansion, go to expensive fundraising dinners, and play tennis with the wives of allies of Putin who have paid the Conservatives £90,000 for the dubious privilege. Which raises the question, if Boris Johnson were to self-isolate because of the coronavirus, would anyone notice the difference?

Politics before people. Dogma before doctors. Apparently cooperating with the EU on efforts to stem the spread of coronavirus would send the wrong signal about the UK’s desire for a free trade agreement. People dying of a disease because the UK isn’t coordinating its efforts with neighbouring countries, that’s the right signal. We can expect Michael Gove to pop up very soon to slime his way through an interview in which he assures us that it’s important to respect the will of the British people to die needlessly. We’ll have none of that Johnny Foreigner surviving an illness nonsense. And once the Conservatives manage to gut the NHS properly and sell off the remains to US health corporations, a lot more people in the UK will have the freedom to die needlessly from conditions that could have been prevented. Yay! Brexit! It’s what all those people in working class towns in the North and East of England voted for.

So the UK isn’t going to cooperate with the EU on controlling the spread of the disease because Brexit, sunlit uplands, blue passports. While some of us may not have the highest opinion of the liars in the Leave campaign who deluded voters into supporting Brexit, few of us thought that they’d also want the freedom to die from a new pandemic and insist on taking the rest of us with them. British diseases for British people, and all that.

Priti Patel probably thinks that the virus can be prevented from entering the UK by denying it the right to apply for a visa and threatening to deport all other micro-organisms unless they have documentary evidence that they’ve undergone cell mitosis in the UK. And yes, pedants, I know that a virus isn’t a microbe. Bet you half the Tory cabinet don’t though. Which is surprising, given that it largely consists of simple life forms without a central nervous system. Still, look on the bright side, after another 500 million years of evolution some of them might evolve a backbone.

Meanwhile the Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who’s probably one of those simple organisms who doesn’t grasp the distinction between a microbe and a virus, has told people that they can help to prevent the spread of the coronavirus by singing God Save the Queen as they wash their hands. And no, I am not making that up. It’s a perfectly sensible suggestion. God Save the Queen is a magic song with the power to wipe whole countries clean of unwanted life forms. It’s been sung along with ethnic cleansing, colonialism, and genocide since the 18th century.

In the USA, Vice-President Mike Pence was roundly mocked because his first response to being placed in charge of American attempts to stem the spread of the disease was to hold a prayer meeting, because nothing shows the public that you’re in charge and know what you’re doing than praying to God for help. Matt Hancock gazed upon the ridicule and said – hold my coat.

Anyway, don’t worry. The UK has it all under control. We have that on the word of a columnist from the right wing shock blog Guido Fox, who has transformed into an expert on epidemiology on Sky News, a news channel which is growing increasingly indistinguishable from Fox News. The UK is doing better than France or Germany, he told us without citing any evidence, because stopping the spread of coronavirus is apparently indistinguishable from a Brexit pissing contest. Who needs experts? Since when was the best person to speak to the public about the spread of a disease some right wing blogger whose knowledge of medical best practice begins and ends with eyebrow plucking? Answers on a postcard to Sky News. We can expect to see Jackson Carlaw to pop up any time now and condemn the SNP, and a special edition of Reporting Scotland bewailing the Scottish NHS. Because that’s the real issue here.

Disease is beyond politics. A virus doesn’t care who you voted for. It doesn’t care if you want Brexit or want to be a part of the EU. It doesn’t care if you want an independent Scotland or to remain under the governance of Boris Johnson. It doesn’t recognise international borders. The response to an epidemic needs to be coordinated between states and within states. It needs maturity and leadership, of the sort we saw from Nicola Sturgeon in response to the first confirmed Scottish case of the disease – although you wouldn’t have known that from a BBC which cut away from her so we could instead listen to a stammering and stuttering Boris Johnson, fnaugh fnaughing his way through a topic he neither understands nor cares about. What we’re seeing from the British Government is the subordination of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus to Boris Johnson’s political ambitions. That’s one of the many reasons why this government is a disgrace and the UK is unfit for purpose.

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34 thoughts on “British diseases for British people

  1. For anyone wanting a less politically charged ditty to sing to themselves while hand washing, to ensure they spend the correct 20+ seconds on the job, going through ‘happy birthday’ twice works just as well.

    • In fairness Matt H-H-Hancock did suggest Happy Birthday. But when he mentioned God Save the Queen he did not make it clear whether it was the full version or the version that omits the verse about the ‘Rebellious Scots’.

      At least he did not suggest ‘See the conqu’ring hero comes’.

  2. No more beautifully summarised than in “What we’re seeing from the British Government is the subordination of efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus to Boris Johnson’s political ambitions”

  3. How it annoyed the MSM that the first case of the virus was not in Scotland as they were ready to blame the SNP such is their venom.

  4. Rees-Mogg also urged us all to wash our hands whilst singing God save the Queen.

    You couldn’t make this stuff up. We are going deep down the UK rabbit hole.

    Meanwhile Gove is sliming the floor of the House of Commons as he tells us Pritti Patel is just a wonderful person – a beautiful person – vomit vomit. No hit list of Civil Servants exists says Gove – as Britnats nearly always lie my guess is that he is lying again.

  5. Surely they’re not going to be so insular and spiteful as to refuse to allow the Europeans, et al, to sing the sovereign song God Save the Queen?

    On a serious note how many people are aware that LBJ is putting lives at risk through refusing to use the EU’s early warning and response system? BBC reporting on this? And hell mend him for excluding Sadiq Khan from the Cobra meeting. The big dummy seems to have forgotten that Westminster is based in London. Then again maybe he’ll use the coronavirus as an excuse to shut down Parliament as he heads off to a desert island with his future wife and wean.

  6. There was a piece on Sky News a few nights ago (on cable here in Portugal) where a reporter drove from a ski resort in northern Italy round the coast to Croatia all the time wondering out loud why there were no border checks with screening which would help limit the spread of the virus.

    Of course the message being broadcast loud and clear that England was much better off with Brexit. Now Britain was much safer without all those Europeans and their freedom of movement, running around, unchecked, spreading disease everywhere.

    Obviously the idea that the reporter and the film crew might be actually be spreading the virus was utterly, utterly lost on them.

    Usually Sky is more subtle with it’s propaganda but this was particularly nauseating.

  7. Just another day in f/kd up La La Land same shit different day .

    I wonder how long or what will it take for the population to finally catch on that Bawjaws is a con man and a born Liar , daily we are getting what looks like a pattern developing , bit by bit the gloss is starting to tarnish , the latest revelation about the permanent smirking one and events in her previous government placement gives credence to the current accusations about her Psychotic behaviour no doubt it will be referred to as a little discomfort by the ones who protect her , nothing to see don’t ask searching Questions or Else .

    For Gove to stand up and flatly deny anything is wrong makes a mockery of the ministerial code , we know they are taking the piss , and they don’t give a monkeys , I had hoped a SNP MP would have stood up and called him a Liar , and repeated it in case he hadn’t heard the first time .

  8. “unless they have documentary evidence that they’ve undergone cell mitosis in the UK. And yes, pedants, I know that a virus isn’t a microbe”

    and viruses don’t undergo cell mitosis either. Viral populations do not grow through cell division, because they are acellular. They hijack their host’s replication apparatus to make copies of themselves. Sorry…

    I really did enjoy the blog though!

    • Yes, I know that. Which is why I said that a virus isn’t a microbe.

      The possibility that the Home Office might think it might be is the joke, dear. Try to keep up.

      • please don’t call me dear, it’s like me calling you pet or son.

        I’m aware of the joke being on the Home Office. And I kept up to the point where microbes are far from the the only organisms that divide by cell mitosis whereupon the pedant’s alert becomes more of a non sequitur.

        Oh does it matter PP? Well not enough for the response it got but since Biology is increasingly being treated as akin to believing in Fairies, probably more than it ideally should do.

        But as you say in your (excellent btw) next post, tempers seem to be fraying all over at the moment. So maybe everyone (and I’m not excluding myself) should take a deep breath and try to reduce the friendly fire, intentional or otherwise.

  9. “The response to an epidemic needs to be coordinated between states and within states. It needs maturity and leadership”

    well we are fecked then as Westminster has announced it is taking charge of the crisis pan UK.

        • On the subject of viruses and ailments.

          Another one of mine prior to Indy Ref 1, too:

          57. (of 60.)

          Scott, Dr Sturgeon and Indyref Two Gel

          Scott walked into his doctor’s surgery in the town of Essennpee. He was a little anxious, but he had been feeling a pain in his right shoulder for some time and thought it best to visit his doctor. Dr. Sturgeon had quite a reputation for treating various ailments in town and was always ready to listen to her patients. “If anyone can cure my pain,” thought Scott, “It will be Dr. Sturgeon.” Scott then, like all the good townsfolk of Essennpee, felt he could trust Dr. Sturgeon, and she would be able to help alleviate his pain.

          “And what seems to be the problem today, Scott?” asked Dr. Sturgeon, when his turn came. The good doctor always adopted a very friendly manner and her patients were happy to be called by their first names. This did not diminish in any way from Dr. Sturgeon’s exemplary professional conduct.

          “Well,” replied Scott. “It’s just that I’ve been having this awful pain on my right shoulder. I think part of the affected area is inflamed and is causing me agony on a daily basis. I thought it right to come and see you about it.” He grimaced at the doctor. Dr. Sturgeon returned Scott’s smile.

          “Let me see if I can help you,” she said. “Please take off your shirt and I’ll examine you.”
          Scott did as he was asked and Dr. Sturgeon bent down to look at the shoulder. She noticed a large red, white and blue patch on the skin. Dr. Sturgeon frowned.

          “Hmmm. Just as I thought, really”, said the doctor. “You have a very unpleasant case of Unionitis there, Scott. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s of the Mundellis Vulgaris strain. A lot of people are suffering from that at the moment.” She smiled, almost wistfully. “Too many, in fact.”

          “I’ve heard of that,” said Scott. He paused. “Is there any cure?” he added fearfully.

          “Unionitis is a strong and persistent condition,” replied Dr. Sturgeon. “I’ve seen it in many of my patients and in some cases it can indeed prove to be intractable. I’m sure you’re familiar with our neighbouring town of Larkhall?”

          Scott nodded. Larkhall had a reputation and any sensible inhabitant of Essennpee always gave the place a wide berth. Not for nothing was it known as “Orange County.”

          “I’ve seen patients from there – and even beyond. They’re suffering from a particularly bad strain of Unionitis,” went on Dr. Sturgeon solemnly. “In fact, some are absolutely covered in a malignant blue rash. This form of Unionitis, which we in the medical profession have identified as being of the R. Davidsonii variety, is particularly worrisome. It is also an awful irritant to those suffering from it. Sometimes, it is so ingrained nothing works to remove it.”

          She was silent for a while and the tension in the room bore down heavily on Scott.

          “But what about me?” he asked nervously.

          “Well, your case of Unionitis is not so well-advanced,” replied Dr. Sturgeon. I’m pleased to tell you that I can prescribe something for you.” She was smiling. Scott couldn’t resist returning her smile and sighing a deep sigh of relief.

          “Oh, thank you. Thank you, Dr. Sturgeon!” he gushed. “What are you going to prescribe?”

          “I have the very thing,” smiled the doctor. She wrote on her prescription pad. Then she handed the paper to Scott. “I’m recommending that you apply this Indyref Two Gel to the affected areas. Apply it first thing in the morning and last thing at night. I can assure you that Indyref Two Gel will work wonders on your Unionitis and that the irritation will clear up in a pretty short time. The pain will also go and you will be left with unblemished skin when the red, white and blue stain disappears.”

          Scott couldn’t thank Dr. Sturgeon enough. “You’ve made my day, doctor,” he beamed. “I’m going to the nearest pharmacy as soon as possible to get my prescription and apply Indyref Two Gel to my affected areas. You really are a marvellous doctor! I’m going to recommend you to all my friends, too!”

          “And thank you, Scott for your confidence in me,” replied Dr Sturgeon. “But you see, it’s not really me,” she added modestly. “It was really down to you coming to see me about your painful affliction. I am, as a doctor, only a facilitator in helping my patients get over their aches and pains.”

          “I can’t thank you enough though, doctor.” Scott smiled. “I want to get over this Unionitis as soon as possible – and I’m sure the good citizens of Essennpee do too. No more Mundellis Vulgaris! You can keep your R. Davidsonii! Oh, what a wonderful day that will be!”

          “Go forth, my friend,” smiled Dr Sturgeon. “Go, and tell your fellow citizens suffering from Unionitis that they too can be free of it by applying Indyref Two Gel to their afflicted areas. Tell them that as you will feel far better as a result of taking it, that they can too. Face the future with confidence without pain, rashes and nasty irritants.”

          “You can be sure I will,” replied Scott, beaming from ear to ear.

          And with that, he strolled out of Dr. Sturgeon’s surgery into the sunshine.

          Parables for the New Politics

  10. Why has bbc been ramping up that Scotland should be prepared for an epidemic of coronaviras and at the same time in the same article mention that the navy will be exercising of the coast of Scotland at the end of next month, and that the navy are keeping an eye on it? WHY?
    Are the navy planning to vacate all their boats and submarines to rush onto the Scottish shores.
    Does someone know something we don’t know, I must be blind, cos I can’t see the connection.
    Slightly Off topic, I have already heard rumblings that any gatherings of people should be cancelled so as not to spread the virus, I have no doubt the opposition will be dancing with delight at the thought, that this will include independence marches along with anyone opposing Brexit north or south of the border, a great time for bj, gove, and Patel, to bring in draconian laws, legislation etc, after all who going to be there to protest,
    I a e just gone an got ma self all depressed.

    • If they didn’t have throw in a bit of intrigue for conspiracy theories to propagate they’d get a ticking off from “de management”…
      PQ, where the truth goes to die…

  11. It’s true. Politics and the meeja ARE out of control.

    They’re out of control to the point that no one knows who or what to trust. Which, I suppose, is the whole point for certain elements of the sociopathic variety. Between them they’ve spread enough outright fibbery, half truths, misrepresentation and misdirection to utterly confuse and demoralise or polarise entire populations. You can kinda see what turns people off from engagement.

    That, of course, is just when you shouldn’t turn away. It’s about now people should come to realise what truly matters in their government of choice and in themselves. You can live under blind fear and hatred, sure. You can have your chain yanked whenever these chancers want something to go THEIR way simply by telling you what you want. Or you can decide that there has to be a better option. That you deserve better than the heady mixture of fear and fibs.

    ANY government owes YOU a duty of care. ANY meeja owes YOU the duty of acting as your guardian. You pay their wages. Without you? Just what are they? (Other than out of a job. Oohhhh wait!) 😎

  12. So this mornings ESSEMMPEE BAD story from Boris’s Blethering Cronies

    The ESSEMMPEE will not be able to extend the nursery places/child care as planned before summer at least.

    Not because of a lack of funding provided by us,
    Controlled by Holyrood.

    Because of an inability to recruit enough staff.

    This is where the BBC commentary ends. obvious continuation is…..

    inability to recruit enough staff. Partly affected by changes to immigration rules.
    Controlled by Waste Monster

    • Read that piece this morning, but like all the others where the Beeb allows comment (and there have been some strange choices) the objective is to present bland or negative, misrepresent, and let SNP-Bad-PLC do the rest in HYS.
      Today’s harvest is Coronavirus preparedness, Council Tax, and the Childcare project progress, but the guest comment from the “Scottish Conservative education spokesman” Jamie Greene is a hoot, having no role on education whatsoever, but a media buddy per Ruth the Mooth, a BBC rentagob….
      HYS naturally has the usual accusations of mismanagement and incompetence of course, upping each others posts of vitriol to paint Scots as scunnered with SNP… Poll and election results would imply the strategy ain’t working, but that won’t stop Pacific Quay….
      Pathetic really….

  13. ” Boris Johnson also barred Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, from attending the UK Government’s Cobra meeting…” I had not realized that the UK is, effectively, a dictatorship. I knew they were at least as fked up as American Progressive Fascists (Democrats), but this sounds much worse. Hard to imagine worse than a Democrat, so take it as a warning. This is where the Dems want us to be.

  14. The Lib Dem British Disease is the cover up.

    Willie Rennie tries to cover up David Steels unbelievable cover up of Cyril’s Smith paedophile offences. A double cover up.

    Willie Rennie must resign. A cover up of appalling criminal offences is bad enough but for Rennie to then attempt a cover up of the cover up is unacceptable.


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