Sunday, 26 July 2020

HOLIDAY MAKERS TRAVEL AT THEIR PERIL !

Oh My GOD !

How utterly unfair !

The goons who decided that the COVID-19 epidemic was no reason not to carry on with their usual holiday in Spain have come unstuck and they now find that they will have to spend 14 days in self-isolation on their return to these shores. 

Despite knowing that official guidance was, to say the very least, fluid, these prats were determined to enjoy their time in the sun but are now regretting it; typically, they are also looking for someone to blame for their predicament. Obviously, it's the Government, whose advice has changed, in their view, without warning.

Excuse me, but one thing that has been clear all along the COVID-trail has been that Government advice was subject to change at short notice. Indeed, it's highly notable that the latest advice and change of regulations affecting overseas travellers has emanated from the Department of Transport whose head, Grant Shapps, has been caught out, having journeyed to Spain with his family on Saturday morning.

While those who chose to act as normal regardless of the current epidemic will undoubtedly whinge, whine and blame everyone but themselves for the mess they now find themselves in, the simple truth is that they have behaved like self-serving morons. Presumably they have believed that the epidemic could not possibly interrupt the normal flow of their lives, which seems to include regular sojourns in Spain alongside hordes of similarly stupid English tourists.

My heart bleeds for them - not, not NOT !!

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

HAMILTON SHOULD STICK TO DRIVING.

Mario Andretti needs to "educate himself" and Sir Jackie Stewart is simply dismissed as "... another one. Just disappointing".

It seems that anyone who doesn't agree with the all-knowing Lewis Hamilton is to be insulted and sent packing. Hamilton may be a great racing driver, he may even be the best ever, but he's also an arrogant prick. He clearly believes that his sporting prowess and great wealth make his views more important and more valid than those of older and quite probably wiser heads.

Shame on him. Hamilton should stick to what he knows about and leave political protests and symbolic gestures to others. If he does not, he risks making himself unpopular at least and unemployable at worst. No one likes a mouthy 'celebrity', least of all the advertisers who who are well aware of the need to protect the good name of their products.



Monday, 20 July 2020

TIME TO END RITUALISTIC POSTURING.

After several weeks of seeing assorted kneeling and exhibiting a 'Black Power Salute', I think we've got the message. Far from accommodating Lewis Hamilton's call for more action after what he's termed an embarrassing ceremony before the start of the Hungarian Grand Prix yesterday, it is surely time to call a halt to the recently adopted ritual.

Of course 'Black Lives Matter' but so do white ones and yellow ones, brown ones and any other colour anyone cares to mention. The way in which a man was treated in the USA was disgusting and other reports of people being treated in similar manner are equally so, but these remain very isolated incidents and have probably been vastly outnumbered by the morally unjustifiable actions of police towards people of all colours, in many countries and for many, many years. The moral panic now being visited on our nation is nothing but a measure of how far from reality we have drifted in recent times.

Sportsmen are being pressured to comply with the 'new', and apparently only, acceptable form of demonstration, with Hamilton having previously complained that not all of his fellow drivers would do so. I say "more power to their collective elbows"; why on earth should they be forced to comply with some specific, if dubious, form of representation ?

As with all such protest movements, the original objective has already been lost. Assorted 'rent-a-mobs' have taken to the streets, statues have been torn down or defaced, places have had their names changed and a memorial to a dog has had its name removed. Some companies have decided that they must, again, set targets for ethnic minority representation on their boards or within their senior management, seemingly irrespective of the suitability of candidates. Police forces are, again, reviewing their procedures to ensure fairness in their dealings with all their 'customers'.

None of this has anything to do with the murder of George Floyd in the USA. It is an opportunity seized upon by Marxists, anarchists and others who despise our society, its culture and its history, and wish it nothing but harm. Some have fallen victim to the seemingly laudable aims of the protesters, while others have been pressured into complying with the voices of the 'woke'. That this is not quite the  principled movement it is presented as being is surely proved by the manner in which those who defy the 'woke' have been hounded and pressured. What footballer would conceivably be brave enough to take his own stand when confronted by the pressure of his coloured colleagues (or should that mimic the latest idiot phrase and be 'colleagues of colour') ?  Thankfully, at least a few of the Formula One drivers have been strong enough to defy the mob, although not without garnering some severe criticism for their failure to toe the line.

Rather than continuing to divide our society up into smaller and smaller special interest groups on the basis of colour, ethnicity, religion, disability, sexuality and the rest, we should be bringing our people together as Britons and citizens of the United Kingdom, people who have equal opportunity in life but who also must play their part in the wider everyday cultural activities of the nation. We must all ensure that we abide by the law and those who do not should be punished; if that means that some groups suffer more arrests and punishments than others, it's for those groups to look at themselves, not for the rest of us to be made to feel guilty for pursuing them. 

It is time to end the nonsense, time to stop removing words form our language because they might offend someone and time to stop making excuses. The police must use profiling as a means of identifying likely criminals and to suggest that 'racial profiling' is some form of NAZI activity is simply wrong. However, it's also wrong for the police to rely too greatly on such methodologies. At the end of the day, we need good, old fashioned common sense and decency far more than 'woke' protest movements.

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

FACE MASK POLICY IS INCOHERENT.

So there we have it.

The Government has announced that as from 24th July it will be mandatory for the vast majority of us, to wear face masks, or something similar, in all shops. This despite the fact that such face coverings are not required in public houses, cafés restaurants and various other places. That this is illogical seems so obvious as to render the situation absurd.

While pubs, cafés and restaurants will usually have numerous customers, even if they are 'socially distances' to some extent, very many shops have more staff than customers for most of the time; in many 'social distancing' is almost irrelevant as individual customers may well have an entire shop to themselves. It is also the case that when shopping, people move around and rarely spend much time close to anyone else, while in pubs, cafés and restaurants they will sit, often for long periods of time, in close proximity to others. While eating and drinking, people tend to enter into conversations with others, they may laugh and joke, all of which may cause their exhaled breath to travel greater distances than the exhaled breath of largely quiet and passive shoppers. The risk of spreading contagion in shops must surely be far lower and yet it is here that masks will be compulsory.

This policy makes no sense.

Clearly, the government is thrashing around looking for things to do that will seem to indicate that it is in control; that it is not is blatantly obvious. The number of cases being identified daily has hardly changed over the last 10 or 12 days and may even be rising; might this be a consequence of the easing of restrictions on pubs and eating places ? Might the newly discovered need to insist on face coverings in shops not be a reaction to this and an attempt to counter the effect of the earlier policy initiative ?  I believe that is all it is.

As for the claim that face masks will give people the confidence to venture out to the shops, this is poppycock. Face masks, no matter how well fitting, are uncomfortable and socially restricting. Hot exhaled breath behind the mask can be unpleasant and for the wearers of glasses can be distinctly annoying and even dangerous as their lenses mist up and make vision all but impossible at times. Far from encouraging people to visit their local shops, I can well see many deciding that masks are a step too far and remaining at home, as will I except for essential trips only.

This really is too much. The government simply has lost the plot and has no idea how to develop a coherent set of policies to tackle the epidemic. That isn't to say that its detractors have any better ideas, which is perhaps an even more alarming thought. The problem is that no one really knows what to do, but the hordes of 'experts' all feel a need to pontificate and demonstrate their wisdom while our politicians feel a need to placate a worried populace.

It seems to me that our government has probably done all the right things but not necessarily in the right order or at the right time (to borrow from Eric Morecambe). 








Saturday, 11 July 2020

COVID-19 IS NOW MAKE OR BREAK FOR BORIS.

The longer the panic over COVID-19 continues, the more I am becoming convinced that it's seriously overdone.

Yes, some people are at risk but, frankly, no more so than some being at risk in a bad influenza year. The difference is that, now, we are being subjected to restrictions which are beginning to border on the ridiculous, so much so that many people are now more frightened than they have ever been. Such fright is, quite simply, unjustified.

The latest frightener is that the government is about to tell us all that we must wear face masks in every shop, this despite there being no such restriction, for pretty obvious reasons in pubs, cafes, restaurants and many other places where communal activities remain allowed. What on Earth is Boris thinking of ? Has his own brush with the virus so addled his brain that he has lost all semblance of logic when it comes to tackling it ?

I am a strong supporter of Boris and his government but on this matter they are risking alienating a vast proportion of the electorate, including me. Again, the vast majority of the population are at very little risk from this virus and yet we are about to be subjected to almost draconian measures. People die from all manner of infections; ailments, accidents, poor life styles and simple bad luck all of the time; COVID-19 may be a new threat but it is not unique, nor is it peculiarly deadly. In fact, the overall mortality is not high at all.

It seems that I cannot even visit a local public house without having to be able to produce photographic evidence of my identity, which is unbelievable; this is the type of control exercised by the Communist Party of China and to which our own government claims it is utterly opposed. I have had no problem with the lockdown and have behaved sensibly and with appropriate community spirit when visiting local stores, no more than once a week, I might add, but the suggestion of even more stringent controls now that the virus is in retreat simply defies belief. 

When nasty bugs rear their ugly heads people die, that is life. The previous panics over SARS and MERS were shockingly overdone, and the way in which AIDS was presented was a disgrace; anyone who knew anything of the details of that particular epidemic also knew that besides homosexual men, intravenous drug users and men who habitually frequented prostitutes in certain foreign countries, very few were at any real risk. Nonetheless, it was presented as being a life threatening risk to almost the entire adult human population.

In truth, it was a case of politicians doing everything in their power to avoid placing the 'blame' on any group in particular; with COVID-19, it is now all about trying to avoid stating the obvious - those who are reasonably fit and healthy to start with have very little risk while the unhealthy, fat, diabetic and very old are at risk, as they are with almost every other disease. Yes, and various 'ethnic minorities', but I'm fairly sure that there's a 'quid pro quo' of which we never hear; there are upsides and downsides to every ethnicity and genetic inheritance. 

It's high time that Boris Johnson and his government started being far more realistic and constructive. Shops, pubs and hairdressers are allowed to open but with such insane restrictions that many will still not bother with them - I know I won't even though I love a trip to the pub and desperately need a haircut. Enforcing the wearing of masks, which is now suggested, will do nothing to encourage either me or many millions of others to bother to venture beyond our front doors. 

The chance of me catching this virus are remote. The risk if I do catch it, and I'm 67, far from obese and reasonably healthy, is still very small. The risk for the vast majority of the population is much less. I expect the Prime Minister, whom I voted for, to be above petty factionalism and to do the right things for the country, not look for the lowest common denominator in all things.

Either he does that or he and his party have lost my vote, probably forever, and I've never voted for any other party at a general election in my life, which is since 1970. If push comes to shove, I will.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

COVID-19 : EXPERTS ARE EVERYWHERE ; BORIS NEED CONTROL.

I'm confused.

Admittedly the data being published by the government on the vexed subject of COVID-19 has been, to say the least, 'iffy'; in fact it's been downright rubbish as the most recent revision to the numbers has proven. Nonetheless, the claims of opponents of the government's position are no less open to what can only be termed ridiculed.

The rather haughtily named Independent SAGE' a group of scientists who believe they have greater wisdom than the equally eminent mob currently advising the government,  have claimed, via their chairman, David King, that the government's current strategy will lead to 27,000 excess deaths by April 2100 - sounds terrible, doesn't it ?

Hold on a moment. There are 500,000 - 600,000 deaths in the UK every year. This number fluctuates and may be better or worse; a bad epidemic of influenza might make it significantly worse and, for instance, some 78,000 deaths were attributed to the Hong Kong 'flu of 1978/79, way in excess of the usual number of expected deaths from 'flu at that time and, incidentally, of the number likely to die from COVID-19; I don't remember aby lockdowns or national emergencies back the,

Now if we consider the usual likely range of such statistics, that is 5% either side of the central point . 5% of 550,000 is, oh how odd,  27,500.  In other words, the claimed excess deaths from COVID -19 due to government action, or inaction, is within the normally expected of statistical variation. The claim is spurious and utterly unprovable, unless the epidemic really does take off and the numbers affected rise much more dramatically.

The biggest worry is that scientists who should know better, led by David King, appear to be trying to spread anti-government propaganda, dressed up as 'better science' than that being followed by their former paymasters. That this has a nasty smell to it is blatantly obvious.  Of course there are different views regarding the road that the government should follow but it is following the one that makes most sense given the demands of health and economy - it benefits no one to have a second bunch of academics claiming superior intelligence, or knowledge, or whatever, going off in a different direction and being given serious media exposure to boot.

COVID-19 is a serious problem, though much more so for some than for others, and the real issue is to how to kill it off.  Arguments about possible numbers of deaths over the next year are entirely academic. What is needed is an approach which recognises that there must be a limit to the health and safety mania that currently pervades our world and an acceptance that risk is a part of life. It seems that some are utterly unwilling to accept such an attitude and these are, presumably, the same people who litter our streets with every type of 'traffic calming' nonsense imaginable, to very little effect.

We need strong leadership, the type that has been lacking since Maggie Thatcher took the reins. Boris Johnson has the credentials but does he have the balls ? It would be very sad if the UK's only female Prime Minister proved to be more masculine than her supposedly far more virile successor. Boris has been far too anonymous so far and he needs to get himself more in the public eye. Of course, his advisors want to keep him away from anything vaguely bad news, but he must be seen to be in control much more than he has been. 

Get out there, be honest and be seen to be in charge, otherwise it will be Prime Minister Starmer in 2024.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

ALL LIVES MATTER, NOT JUST BLACK ONES.

Surely no one can argue that a man held down with hugely excessive force and consequently dying is unacceptable. Whether the actions of a police officer in doing this amount to assault, manslaughter or murder is for the courts to decide, but clearly his actions, as well as those of his colleagues who stood by, are a shocking indictment of policing in the United States. That this was followed by film of an elderly man being pushed to the ground by other police, armed to the gills with every kind of para-military paraphernalia, simply adds to the appalling picture of policing in that country.

The first episode concerned a black man, George Floyd, the second a white man whose name has not been blazoned across the media, although both events demonstrated the same arrogant, violent and utterly overbearing attitude of American police. Their actions were directed not just at a black man but at an elderly white man who carried no threat but has found himself in hospital as a result. Perhaps most shockingly of all, most if not all the members of a police squad have now resigned "in solidarity" with their colleagues who have been charged with assault. It seems that they have their own views about what is and is not acceptable behaviour and that these views have nothing to do with upholding the law.

Following the death of George Floyd there have been protests and riots in the United States, which might have been expected, although no one seems to have protested very much about the treatment of the elderly white man. Yesterday there were also protests which turned into a riot in central London, ostensibly about the mistreatment of coloured people in this country but, from brief images on the television, attended by many of the same "rent-a-mob" yobs, including many white faces, who turn up for all such events. British police were attacked and a number ended up needing medical attention. 

What the media and assorted anti-racist organisations seem not to understand is that the behaviour of such crowds as was seen yesterday achieve the exact opposite of their professed aim. They don't seem to understand that the never-ending claims of discrimination create more and more ill-feeling, rather than bringing society together. The truth is that most people of most backgrounds have no problem relating to and accepting each other; problems only arise where particular groups go out of their way to separate themselves, forming violet violent anti-social gangs, or importing alien cultures into the traditional society of the United Kingdom. Of course there are some who will never accept a coloured face and others who will probably never see a white face as anything but that of an oppressor, under any circumstances, but they are a very small minority of our society and do not reflect the views of the population at large.

George Floyd's death was shocking, as was the assault on a harmless elderly man. These events did not happen in this country and yet we have a full blown media response as if they had, as well as mobs on the streets attempting to use them for their own purposes. When drug gangs throughout the UK seem to be run by men of Afro-Caribbean origin and Pakistani or Bangladeshi gangs have abducted and terrorised white girls before forcing them into prostitution, why are there not mobs of white protesters on the streets ? 

It seems that discrimination and anti-racist propaganda only works in one direction.