The first instinct of the Tories is to lie

cheatingtories
It’s the new normal. This is the UK, where the British Government says something and it turns out to be a lie. On Friday the Health Minister Matt Spineless Hancock proudly announced that the British Government had met its target of 100,000 tests for Covid-19 per day. Matt Hancock announced that 122,347 tests had been done. Target met. Get test it done.

Only it quickly transpired that the British Government had done no such thing. The British Government, being deceptive and misleading I hear you say with gasped breath and shocked expressions. Why, that’s about as plausible as Reporting Scotland deciding that the real news priority of the people of Scotland was a story a wee cute kitten getting murrdurred while playing fitba, especially if the blame could be pinned on Thatessempee.

There have been 82,000 tests done, and a further 40,000 have been mailed out or sent to satellite centres but the samples have yet to be taken. These are tests which haven’t yet been used, and indeed might never actually be used. The real number of people tested, according to the BBC, is even less than 82,000. It was 73,191. That’s a long way short of 100,000 but in Torycount it counts as 122,347. Some people have had to be tested twice for clinical reasons, but most of the additional tests have not actually not been done, they’ve not been sent back to the lab, they’ve not produced any results. Most of them will not even have reached their intended recipients. They’ve just been mailed out. This is not an easy test to self-administer, and it’s likely that a proportion of the test kits sent out will not be administered correctly.

Just kick a ball in the general direction of the goalposts and you’re a winner baby! It’s called doing a Hancock. As with the PPE so with the testing. If you asked Matt Hancock if his real name was Matt Hancock he would deny it if he thought that the denial could benefit him politically and ingratiate him further with Boris Johnson. This is the guy who before Boris Johnson became leader of the Conservatives told us that under no circumstances would he serve in a Johnson cabinet and said that he thought a no-deal Brexit was madness. Calling Matt Hancock spineless is an insult to invertebrates. A lot of them have exoskeletons, which is a damn sight more strength of character than anything Matt possesses.

This month I got a notification from HMRC that my tax return is due. I could write them out a cheque. It’s the mere fact of writing the cheque that counts as paying your taxes. You don’t need to make sure it actually gets to HMRC. This is established British government practice, judging by the standards they’re using to count their covid-19 tests. What Matt Hancock is doing is a bit like claiming that you’re a millionaire because you’ve sent out 100,000 spam emails asking each recipient to send you a tenner. That’s how this works with this government, they’re spamming us.

It is an insult to our intelligence to spin the numbers of tests that have been done in order to make it appear that an arbitrary target has been met. But what’s even more insulting is to fail to test, in the first place. That’s an insult to our health, our well-being, and our very lives. It’s insulting that the Government pissed about for weeks and failed to address the issue of testing. The UK is an international embarrassment. They’re taking us all to the top of the league table for deaths due to this virus, but then they probably think that makes us winners.

This is a government which shamelessly changes the criteria midway through in order to look at though it’s winning. They did the exact same trick with their announcement of the amount of PPE that they’d distributed. A hugely impressive large number was announced, and then it turned out that each glove had been counted individually, and items like paper tissues and cleaning products which aren’t usually considered to be PPE had been added to the totals in order to inflate them artificially and make this inept bunch of incompetents seem like they were doing some good.

But then the Conservatives have a problem with numbers. And with truth, transparency, and honesty. We had the promise of an extra 40,000 nurses who turned out not to be extra after all. We had the promise of 20,000 extra police who turned out not to be extra at all. And let’s not even get started on Priti Patel’s promise of three hundred thousand and thirty four nine hundred and seventy four thousand tests. But whether it’s tests completed, PPE delivered, or the total number of deaths, you must ‘be a patriot’, ‘get behind Boris’, remember that ‘we’re all in this together, cheer for Captain Tom, and clap for the NHS, but most importantly of all you must question nothing.

The surprise isn’t that the Scottish Government wildly exceeds the UK Government in terms of the percentage of people who trust in the information that it provides. 70% of respondents in Scotland say that they trust the information given to them by the Scottish Government. The really surprising thing is that 54% of people in the UK still trust the British Government. But then you see the headlines in the news telling you that the UK Government has met its target, and the gushing stories about Boris’s wean, and you understand why.

The first instinct of this Conservative government is to lie and deceive. Rather than tell the truth and admit that although it had made a great effort, and had come close to meeting a self-imposed target which was always pretty meaningless, the Conservatives felt the need to lie and cheat. It’s one thing for Scotland to endure Conservative governments that it didn’t vote for and which the people of Scotland cannot hold to account when that government is halfway competent, honest, and transparent in the information that it gives to the public. It’s quite another when that government has a well deserved reputation for lying, cheating, and deception. All the more so when it’s lying to cover its arse because its incompetence and arrogance has caused the UK to become one of the worst affected states in Europe and tens of thousands of people are dying.

People in Scotland will draw their own conclusions, and judging by the opinion poll published on Friday about voting intentions in the next Holyrood elections, the conclusion that they are drawing is to vote SNP. Pro-independence parties are on course to achieve a substantial majority in the next Scottish Parliament. Once this epidemic has run its course, the people of Scotland will be holding the British state to account in another independence referendum. The fear and panic of the Conservatives and their British nationalist allies about the prospect of another referendum is palpable. About that at least, they’re not capable of deceiving us.

And finally, because we could all do with some cheering up during these difficult times…


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42 thoughts on “The first instinct of the Tories is to lie

  1. They’ll go for it full bore towards the end of the crisis with Pathe news style *British* broadcasts full of people cheering in the streets, a smiling Queen backed by rows of Union flag bunting, announcements of glorious victory celebrated by street parties with pies and susage rolls topped off with a Red Arrows flypast with the armed services cheering from boats and planes with caps waving all hurled into the air in gay abandon, and of course the obligatory young couples kissing in greatful thanks and celebration, they might even throw in some ethnic bus drivers and bin men too, because they’re modern and equal now, and all narrated by a BBC wartimey voiceover,
    and it’ll be repeated on every available channel until it’s made certain that not a soul in the entire world hasn’t seen every vomit inducing second of it, and we’ll see it every year afterwards like the 1966 world cup it will never go away

    England will fall for all of it while Scotland Wales and Northern Irelands people will keep running out of their houses to spit in every direction to avoid it, but that won’t matter to them because like our votes the Tories and England don’t need us to win

    • We’ve already got the soft soaping, today, Dr Jim. Princess Charlotte is 5 today and they’ve released some cutsey (‘pass the sick bag, Alice) photos of her delivering food to the old and needy, including knocking on the door of a pensioner with a bag of fresh pasta.

      How we are blessed!

      • Yes indeed our pensioners everywhere will feel so blessed some of them managed to stay alive, more by luck than judgement because the British government had a chance to keep almost all of them alive in 2016 when they were told to prepare for a Pandemic such as this and they ignored every warning from every scientist and medical expert and resorted to their usual *Britishness* will win the day

        In Scotland the reverse will be the case, for the Tories Labour Liberal Democrat the print press and the TV media will scweam and scweam and Nicola Sturgeon will be blamed for every single fatality as if she’d gone round the doors and killed folk herself

        Nicola Sturgeon is far too popular at the moment because she has shown the person she is and how she can be trusted and depended upon in a crisis

        They must try to kill that off

  2. I was talking about this earlier today to a friend who supports the Tories. She had realised the lies herself from reading a few web sites. I could not help saying to her ‘vote Tory in an independent Scotland’.

  3. The Brits can’t acknowledge that their leaders lie to them about everything. To do so would be to destroy their delusion of greatness.

    The lengths to which they will go, to muddy the waters sufficiently to hide from the truth, is amongst their greatest achievements. They would disintegrate if there was a day of reckoning. Which is why they avoid it at all costs.That is not about to change.I

    By contrast there is apparently a greater awareness of this in Scotland and a decreasing preparedness to accept it. That is good.

  4. Eloquently laid out.. The Tory default has come to be to lie to cover the previous lie, the bots and the media work to ensure it’s perceived as true… It has worked in their favour in England thus far, but I’m dubious public fury is going to work with yet more massaging, but that must no longer be our primary concern however awful the outcome, England is heading for a calamity..
    Covid or some other event was always going to stretch and break the Tory bean-counter mantra, just as well SG don’t have to deal with it apart from Jackson Carpark idiocies…

    • Except that the so called conservatives haven’t conserved anything for over 50 years at least. Thats why they get called tories.

  5. Pingback: The first instinct of the Tories is to lie | sideshowtog

  6. I encountered the world of the Key Performance Indicators in the public sector some years back. Send out a batch of thousands of very expensively produced glossy leaflets – box ticked and a positive report to the stakeholders. The fact that no one ever read them and they bulk ended up in recycling bins in a direct journey from the letter box was totally irrelevant. Box ticked; kerching. But tories take the dug biscuit.

  7. Out of curiosity what are the statistics of people dying of influenza this year?
    Are they not being counted as fast as coronaviras, if not why?
    Or are they being included in the statistics for all the people in Britain supposedly dying of coronaviras.
    The are so close to each other in symptoms and normal influenza is quite high each year as a cause of deaths in the elderly and vulnerable.
    I would like to see a much more defined and positively separate set of statistic and data for both in the same time period.
    We all of know that statistic and numbers are often mussed up deliberately to mislead,

  8. The influenza season is typically from around week 50 in the middle of December and lasts until week 12 or so around the end of March. The 3 years 2017/18/19 were fairly severe years for influenza and 2016 and 2020 much lesser so.

    You can see the graph here which tracks all mortality recorded in 20 European countries weekly and covers the years 2016 to now. The excess deaths due to Covid-19 is a standout and is clearly occurring after the flu season has ended despite the fact that most countries went into lockdown.

    https://www.euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/

    If there had been absolutely nothing done at all in terms of social distancing, it is clear that the number of deaths would have continued to rise exponentially. End the restrictions too early and the likelihood is that it will just begin accelerating again

  9. Thanks for the info Thepnr, so the 2020 statistic are not based on guesswork from previous years, ie, 2017/18 19, but are actually 2020 recorded influenza deaths in Britain.

  10. That’s my understanding, they are supplied by the 24 participating countries official statistics of recorded deaths in each country such as the NRS in Scotland and the ONS for England & Wales. There is however a lag of a week or so between countries.

    One graph to look at is halfway down the page about “Excess Mortality” click on the weekly tab and you will see how quickly Covid-19 struck after the flu season is normally coming to an end then starts to rapidly drop as the lockdown around the EU takes effect.

    It’s my opinion but I don’t think when looking at this kind of verified data that there can much doubt that this virus if allowed to spread unrestricted, would be at least as severe as the 1918 Spanish Flu or potentially a lot worse. Modern healthcare, of course, has a large part to play and that’s why there is a lockdown or it absolutely would have been quickly overwhelmed in terms of ill people to treat and many more would die from illness not even associated with Cv-19.

    It’s also clear now that the elderly are dying in far greater numbers than any other age group. In Scotland, there have been 17 deaths in people under age 45 but over 2200 in those aged over 45.

    I think if we want to protect our elderly then some kind of restrictions are going to be around for quite a while, how long is just a guess as no one can say for sure when a vaccine will be available and so called “herd immunity” can be obtained using vaccination rather than a culling of the people in care homes.

  11. From the Euromomo home page says it better than I can:

    EuroMOMO is a European mortality monitoring activity, aiming to detect and measure excess deaths related to seasonal influenza, pandemics and other public health threats.

    Official national mortality statistics are provided weekly from the 24 European countries in the EuroMOMO collaborative network, supported by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

  12. The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. From the very get go, this sack of tories have done everything they can in the search for doing it on the cheap. From herd immunity to little badges, there is nothing they won’t do to not spend money doing the actual jobs they were elected for.

    Never, ever trust a party who does not want control over the levers of power, but instead want to sell them to the lowest bidder.

    And never trust a tory to do the right thing. They are the scorpion in this fable – so don’t be the toad.

  13. This is certainly an interesting time to be alive. It’s almost as if the air has cleared the smoke and mirrors and we see people for what they really are. Instinctively, we all know when someone is telling a lie – we all do it to some extent or another, so it’s not a novel phenomenon – but mostly we simply process and file it away, particularly when it doesn’t directly affect us.

    This is very different – it’s life and death. There is absolutely no place for bullshit, deception or outright lies – but unfortunately, as we are discovering, dishonesty is an integral part of the political philosophy – the belief system for many, but thankfully not all.

    They say that communication is only 20% vocal and the rest a combination of subliminal expression. It’s like a frequency. Anyone remember the old Radio Luxembourg on a transistor radio in the 60s? Sometimes it was perfect – other nights you had to fiddle with the dial to keep in tune. People are the same – it’s easy to tell when someone is lying.

    As Burns observed, “tae see oorsel’s as ithers see us”.

    If only they realised. This could get messy very soon.

  14. It appears support among the public for continuing the lockdown is high while support for the UK Gov’s handling of the crisis is falling – sharply

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/may/02/fearful-britons-oppose-lifting-lockdown-schools-pubs-restaurants-opinium-poll

    Note how they try to make out that we, the public, are fearful and need, in a quote from one academic, need to have the risks explained to us. For example, the risk of being in a car crash as opposed to being infected by the virus!

    In other words we’re thick and just need a nice wee diagram to explain it too us.

    No, no, no. People, may be a bit fearful, but are in the main making a considered judgement and being eminently sensible , practical and community spirited in wanting the lockdown to continue. Especially so when we have a UK Gov as untrustworthy as this one.

    • I think people are being sensible rather than fearful. In the main, they know that this virus is not to be taken lightly. Like you I do wish the journalists and politicians would stop thinking of us as idiots and give us the unvarnished truth at all times.

      By the way, I do believe that the Scottish Government does attempt to do that but you can be sure that Westminster are never entirely open with Holyrood as to what they know. That’s why there is so much distrust, as pointed out above the number one instinct of Tory government ministers is to lie if it will cover their arse.

      No one would want this lockdown to continue any longer than necessary, this virus though is so dangerous to our elderly population that unless you want to see deaths in the hundreds of thousands as per the Imperial Collage paper then we will have to live with restrictions for quite some time is how I see it.

      Life will go on, maybe just not how we would like it to or are used to. It’s really a choice and it will be a political choice. Let it rip and sacrifice those that are weak for the sake of the economy or share the pain and accept times will be tough until we get a vaccine or medicine that can treat the virus.

      There is no easy way out and I think both Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson know this. They will be the ones that have to make the decisions that affect us. I don’t envy either of them TBH.

      • It is not just the elderly that are most at risk. They certainly bear the brunt of it but emerging evidence of possible effects on children- something that is suddenly not being mentioned at the start of the week. Also the long term effects on those who ‘recover’ which will likely place strains on the NHS for many years to come.

        People are sensible and have certainly factored in to their decisions about supporting the lockdown the fact that nothing the UK Gov says it is doing whether testing, PPE procurement or keeping, and reporting, accurate statistics can be trusted.

      • I wouldn’t put Nicola Sturgeon in the same sentence as Johnson, they are millions of miles apart in how they are dealing with this terrible pandemic, and well, in every other area of government really.

        Johnson will make no decisions ‘that affect us’, he is not capable. His wee sidekicks will have a meeting and his standins will lecture the peeple via their compliant BBC ‘news’.

        Nicola Sturgeon will continue to be undermined and bullied by the EngGov and their compliant media. As has been pointed out, no doubt crucial information will be being kept from her by the Britnat Gov in London.

        Scotland is held hostage to the cesspit UK, it is really a case of life or death for Scotland in fact, but we all know that, it’s why we are here reading Paul’s excellent articles, for the independence of Scotland as the ultimate goal.

        • With power comes responsibilities and that’s the only comparison I make between the two. I can’t stand Johnson nor anything he represents or stands for.

  15. 50,000 people a year die in Scotland every year, mainly of old age.

    500,000 (1/2 million) people die in the UK every year, mainly of old age.

    On average more people die in the winter than the summer.

    It is mainly elderly people who die (norm). The human body only lasts so long. 79 years.

    Italy and France life expectancy is 83.
    Spain 82. Japan the highest in the world 85. Good diet. Mediterranean diet. Sunshine and exercise.

    On average women outlive men by 5 years worldwide,

    There have been 20 cases relating to children in the UK. Extremely rare.

    Children are more at risk from measles. There is a vaccine MMR. For measles, mumps and rubella.

    Life expectancy under the Tories has gone down in the rest of the UK. Austerity. 120,000 elderly have died, prematurely. That was before the virus. Social services funding have been cut.

    The Tories cut the NHS budget instead of increasing it,

    The SNP Gov increased it in Scotland. Brought in MUP. Spent £100 million a year mitigating Westminster welfare cuts in Scotland.

    Scotland was better prepared for the virus,

    The Tories are once again wasting £Billions of public monies on nuclear. Reputed in the 1950’s. It is plutonium from the UK that is used in the US for nuclear weapons. Another waste of money. Spending on redundant weaponry and the toxic waste. Ruining the planet.

    The Tory sycophants. The ‘psycho bastards’. Their own description. The UK one of the most unequal places in the world. The Barnett Formula. The Tories will be voted out.

    • The main problem for the UK of E in this pandemic has been the Humpty Dumpty syndrum.
      The Tories creeping privatisation agenda has left their health care system in a very fragmented state which has found it very difficult to react in the required coordinated manner.
      Too late to put the pieces back together.
      Unfortunately,the same criticism can be leveled at the private care home sector in Scotland.
      Lessons to be learned for a future Scottish government!

  16. A government selected for it’s ideological purity on Brexit and not fitness to govern giving information to the governed by way of media people selected on the basis of not asking awkward questions.
    No wonder over 50% of people in the UK of E think that Johnson has done a good job on the crisis management.
    North Korea could learn a few lessons from this bunch of Tories.

  17. Apparently the 40k test kits they sent out didn’t have swabs or a return address label therefore useless.
    It was plainly an attempt to have a lie disguised as a “plausible technical interpretation of the truth”

  18. Maybe this is a good time to reassess all the statues in George , sorry Independence Square in Glasgow as well as other cities. Remove the Colonialist past and replace with examples of home care workers, nurses, the delivery van driver, pharmacy staff, volunteers, social workers, housing officers, safety officers, the local shop store worker, train and bus drivers, the local trade union person fighting for folks rights ( no GMB however). Those who fought for people rights but were written out of history such as Louisa Jordan
    Can we melt the other ones down?

  19. When the media or the UK government make statements like

    :Across the UK
    :Across the country
    :Throughout the UK
    :Across the nation

    Which of these phrases do you think applies to you if you live in Wales Scotland or Northern Ireland

    Possibly none of them
    Possibly all of them
    Probably none of them because they all mean England

    Here’s another one I’m interested in

    Who and when was it decided that matters of public health to be reported to the people and information sought to clarify that information to the public should become the province of political journalists

    Andrew Marr in England, Gordon Brewer in Scotland have no training or expertise in medicine or public health
    yet they question public health officials in the same hostile manner they would a politician

    By the very nature of political journalists questioning these people is a suggestion that medical professionals are politically motivated therefore could be lying or biased in favour of particular political parties or their policies rather than just medicine, hence the rise in the paid medical *expert* brought on to TV to refute the evidence of other medical professionals

    The media creating itself to serve itself

    • Fiona McQueen, Chief Nursing officer sat calmly through Hang On A Minute Brewer’s shouting harangue, with the remarkable patience thatw e have come to expect and treasure from our Scottish Medical professionals.
      He rally has lost it, has old Brewdog.
      Between40 t0 50% of our care homes have had infections, but 50% have not. The average age of care home residents is 84, many frail, ill, with dementia, and other co-morbidity illnesses; they are close to death.
      Covid 19 is killing my age group, Brewer, wherever we happen to be.
      Yet this man shouts at one of the key players in tackling this terrible disease, implying that he knows better, that somebody somewhere is fucking it all up.

      Let’s hope he doesn’t catch it himself, and is attended by a nurse or doctor, or porter who watched this stupid faux outrage nonsense this morning.

      What is really getting him angry is that NS, our terrific Scottish Health and Support Services, our emergency services, and Local Authorities are heroically tackling and containing this terrible outbreak, whereas in his Mother Country, England, is about to come out of lockdown next week, prematurely, so that they can have street parties on Friday to celebrate what a warlike nation England continues to be.

      There is the very real possibility that Scotland will need to close its border with England this Thursday, when ‘Boris’ announces the joyous news that ‘Englishmen’ can at last travel the highways and the byways as free Yeomen.

      Brewer, I hope you enjoyed shouting at one of our heroic Scots.

      Some would call you a Brit Nat tosspot; but not I.

      Marr let Professor Sir Ian Diamond, ONS, and Grant Shapps, Transport Thingy, sail through their interviews uninterrupted, and without scrutiny, again, setting the scene for Lockdown ceasing in Merrie England this Thursday.

      The Bank Holiday has been moved from Monday to next Friday, VE Day, so expect lots of Butcher’s Apron Parties and attempts to head North to the Jock Colony.

      They must be stopped at our border.

      It is time to put our foot down.

      Whether Brewer and Co like it or not; Scotland is a separate nation, with our own Government, Health Service and Laws.
      If any do not accept that, move to England.

      Shouting at a nurse at any time is not a good look, Brewer.

      Nurse McQueen, we love you.

  20. I just heard a brief comment on the radio that people returning from Japanese captivity, at the end of WW2, were told by the British Government not to talk about their experiences. Nothing much changes. Forget the truth of your irrelevant past and get back to work guys. Still the Brits don’t learn. Still they swallow the crap through their stiff upper lips and convince themselves that they really are the master race. It takes a special lack of self awareness to achieve that. Therein lies what is actually special about them.

    But it would appear that more Scots are finding the confidence to throw off the British embrace. Increasing numbers are apparently becoming able to confront the reality – that hands around your neck are rarely, if ever, an act of love. No, we really don’t like it and we really don’t want it. That smile we had was a fear grin. Yes, we can survive in this world without you and we don’t want to die because of your inability to be honest with yourselves or us.

    Now fuck right off.

  21. Off topic. Disappointing to see reports in Scottish “news”papers that the Scottish Government has deferred the removal of charitable status for private schools. Apparently the stats was to be removed in September but it will now stay in place through to April. This has been done to minimise private schools going out of business. It is outrageous that private schools were ever allowed charitable status and the Scottish Government should have been putting the boot in when the private school finances are weakened, not helping them out with a dodgy tax break.

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