25 February 2021
Diary of a Corbynista
An Accepted Risk
by Don Urquhart
I will not be calling James O’Brien on LBC any time soon. It seems that anyone vaguely socialist gets shouted down.
It was the Sir Keir Starmer’s keynote speech today so a great chance for him to lay out his plans for the downtrodden and exploited masses. If they were hanging on every word they might have been surprised that he was advising them that their route out of poverty is to buy gilts. His big idea was for the Treasury to issue “Recovery Bonds”.
As the Prime Minister gears up to enthuse his backbenchers in three days’ time by sending 10 million children into those Coronavirus incubators we sometimes call schools, the New Scientist tells of a new mutation which is resistant to antibodies:
Two variants have merged into heavily mutated Coronavirus
Whitty at odds with Johnson over ‘big bang’ reopening of schools in England
is the Guardian headline.
The Chief Medical Officer for England is clearly unhappy about the schools reopening on March 8th. Will he say this at the Downing Street Press Briefing in two days’ time? Is there a compromise?
Tomorrow evening the Prime Minister will address the nation laying out our roadmap for leaving lockdown.
Right now we have 11,000 new Coronavirus cases, 500 deaths and 2,000 hospital admissions every day. Re-opening schools will not improve these numbers and will possibly increase them substantially. Will Johnson tell us how many more people will die as a result of this measure?
I would feel more confident of success if I felt that those who need to self-isolate were able to do so. People who know a lot better than me have been making this point for nearly a year.
Here’s yesterday’s Guardian:
Three-quarters of Tory voters back big increase in pay for self-isolating.
Hopefully Johnson will listen to his voters rather than his backbenchers and donors.
Here’s how Sky News headlined it:
COVID-19: Scientists predicted at least 30,000 more Coronavirus deaths ‘under most optimistic model’ for lifting lockdown
Chris Whitty called it an accepted risk rather than an acceptable risk. So the scientists are going along with Johnson’s “freedom” plan as long as it is clear that it is a political decision to put opening up before human lives.
Johnson has published the plan on the day when it was revealed that cases had increased 9% over the previous week. Unlike the Covid Recovery Group of Tory MPs I am not qualified to opine on the epidemiology but nevertheless I will stick my neck out and suggest that we have a better chance of success if we get the cases right down before sending the schoolchildren back.
I don’t often agree with David Lammy but, on Andrew Marr he described Hancock dishing out contracts to mates and donors as characteristic of a banana republic.
As far as Coronavirus is concerned we are the most infected country on Earth.
A few years ago I wanted to fly from Bogota to Sao Paulo. Yellow Fever was endemic in Colombia but my Head Office told me that I would just have to remind the South American check-in staff that I was European and they would waive the need for a yellow fever certificate. Instead they whisked me off for a jab before Brazil would look at me.
We are the new dysfunctional plague state. Well-run countries will warn their citizens to avoid coming here and insist on vaccination certificates before letting us in.
He has a sense of humour and an amusing way of talking. You could have said this of the great stand-ups like Tommy Cooper or Les Dawson. It’s not really his fault that we have elected him as Prime Minister.
Our track record recently has been terrible. When Johnson sat down on Monday Theresa May stood up to put her hand out for more money for Berkshire aeroplane businesses.
What started me thinking along these lines was reading my pre-Corbynista diary entry of exactly 5 years ago:
I watched PMQ’s where Cameron criticised Corbyn’s scruffy appearance. This will backfire on him. Many people will vote no [In the Brexit referendum] just to stick it up this s***y man.