18 June 2020
Diary of a Corbynista
PFA to the Rescue
by Don Urquhart
At PMQ’s yesterday, Johnson referred to a conversation he had had with Keir Starmer where the Labour leader had apparently committed to support government policy on schools. Once Starmer was back on his feet he reported that no such conversation had taken place. So he was accusing the Prime Minister of lying, but rather it seems that the PM says the first thing that comes into his head. Ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.
Newsnight reported that broadcasters had been taking down racist programmes from their streaming services. Trisha Goddard, a TV presenter here and in the US was interviewed over Channel 4’s decision to delete a Bo Selecta episode where Leigh Francis had lampooned her, emphasising aspects of her Caribbean heritage. As a result of his portrayal her children had been bullied at school and she told us that she had received savage treatment in the print media since the issue had been revived. She was in the process of highlighting the newspapers’ responsibility for racism in Britain when Emma Barnett called time.
I think Trisha Goddard’s analysis makes a lot more sense than calls for revision of the school curriculum. I’m not saying that the curriculum should not be accurate and I am not qualified to decide what children should be taught but I do not believe that they learn racial prejudice in school unless it is from other children imbued with racism by their parents and the media.
All over the media is the prediction that the Covid-19 crisis will leave the NHS severely weakened. This Guardian headline is typical:
At the same time we are being told that the NHS will be using private hospitals to cover the shortfall. Here’s an Independent headline:
The cynical among us might be tempted to conclude the Government is using the epidemic to advance its privatisation agenda. At the Press Briefings they have told us all about “ramping up” NHS staffing and infrastructure so why not shift these new resources over to dealing with the regular NHS business?
But here’s what’s going to happen according to the Independent:
NHS England has already agreed to extend its contract with private hospitals beyond the end of this month and is in talks to agree a long term deal to treat more NHS patients privately to tackle long waits.
NHS Privatisation continues and has been given a lift by the virus.
This from a friend in Frankfurt yesterday:
Thank you for your sign of life! Yes, we are fine. The Corona rules vary from Land to Land, e.g. Hessen is different from Bavaria. In Hessen the schools are partially open and we have been able to go to the restaurant for about two weeks; however with restrictions, such as wearing masks at the table and on the toilet and filling out a form with address and telephone number and time of visit. The shops are all open and can be entered if you are wearing a mask – the same on buses and trains.
Today we took the train to Usingen for the birthday of Bettina’s husband and had a barbecue in the garden with 10 people. It was very nice weather and 26 degrees.
The Bundesliga plays without spectators, but it is broadcast on television; Bayern Munich is now 7 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund and there are only 3 matches left to play.
We are, of course, watching the Corona situation in England with interest and are very sad that you have to suffer like this. It seems Boris Johnson was asleep at the wheel. He also obviously wants to leave the EU on December 31 without a deal.
I can only say “Poor Britain!”
We hope that the Corona situation in England will improve as soon as possible so that you can lead a reasonably normal life again.
We are governed by professional liars paid by billionaires to protect their interests. The House of Commons is irrelevant given Johnson’s majority.
It seems that the poor and the vulnerable have to look elsewhere for defence against the oligarchy.
Along comes Marcus Rashford, a popular professional footballer seeking a U-turn in government policy so that millions of children can be fed in the school holidays. If he succeeds we might consider replacing the Labour Party with the PFA (Professional Footballers Association)
Last week’s quiz was so easy that there’s no point in publishing answers.
But here’s a fine addition suggested by a reader:
And the hero of the hour could be written as:
Such Radar Forms
Anne Longfield is the Children’s Commissioner for England. Day after day she and her team fight an uphill struggle.
You could forgive her if she felt a little miffed that a highly-paid professional footballer can just click his fingers and move mountains. But here’s her reaction:
I would like to thank Marcus Rashford for all he has done this week to highlight the blight of holiday hunger. Today’s announcement will help many families, but there will still be four million children living in poverty, a number that could increase following the Covid-19 crisis.
Four million children in our country live in poverty. Something for Rishi Sunak to think about.