|The lifting of lockdown restrictions when daily death rates and new infection rates are only marginally falling is a political gamble. Current deaths attributed by Government to Covid-19 equate to a couple of plane crashes a day. In any other context there would be public outrage and demands for urgent action to stop further deaths. Scarborough’s Labour led Council should be congratulated for doing what it can to reduce increased infection from tourists by virtually closing off access to the town. Other local authorities and mayors in England are in outright opposition to the Government’s change of message from ‘Stay at Home’ to ‘Stay Alert’.
While the Government refused until recently to publish the names of its scientific advisors, SAGE, or the advice they gave, an independent group of scientists, led by Sir David King, published its own report saying ‘The government should take all necessary measures to control the virus through suppression and not simply managing its spread. It should identify, isolate, test and treat all cases, and trace and quarantine contacts. The report also cited concern about “inaccurate, incomplete and selective data presented by government”. This is the full Independent SAGE Report. COVID-19 : What are the options for the UK?
An excellent source for published COVID-19 prevalence and death statistics in the UK and every other affected state is Worldometers. The most accurate source of statistics for the UK is the Office for National Statistics. It is Government funded but scrupulously independent and professional. (Did you know Florence Nightingale founded the statistics discipline?) The ONS reports are detailed and mostly on spreadsheets. Their figures are more complete than those published by the Government because they come from The General Register Office, and reporting of all deaths to local branches of the General Register Office is a legal requirement. The ONS figures showed about 9,000 more COVID-19 related deaths by 1st May than the Government’s published figures for the same date.
Should we cut the Prime Minister some slack – on grounds that Covid-19 presents a very difficult and unprecedented situation? In my opinion no, although we have to be sensitive in the way we question the government’s performance. However the number of people who have lost their lives is a tragedy of colossal scale and it could mostly have been avoided. The damage to the economy will cause deprivation to millions for years to come. The Government’s arrogance, complacency, laziness and chauvinism prevented it taking decisive action when it could have averted most of the damage. Its incompetence and private sector dogma is now preventing it from dealing safely with the lifting of social contact restrictions. Have your say on our Facebook Group.
John Gibbins Seminar: ‘Far, Extreme and Alt Right Ideologies.’ 21st May at 7.00pm.
Note the change to evening. John says: ‘All around the world far right political parties are gaining support and taking over the government of many States. How do we explain the rise of Trump, Johnson, Modi, Erdogan, Orban, Le Pen, AFD, UKIP, BREXIT Party? My thesis is the Far Right construct narratives of ‘them and us’ to deflect blame from themselves and scapegoat alien others, while they feast on fear. Constructing a wider ‘We’ is one effective answer.’ Click Here at 7.00 on 21st May to join in using a PC, laptop or tablet. Using a smartphone dial 441314601196,,85668653272# United Kingdom
Constituency AGM on Hold
The Constituency Committee meeting held last week by Zoom decided to put arrangements for the Annual General Meeting on hold until further notice. The AGM was to have been on 6th June but it will clearly not be possible to meet on that date because of the COVID-19 restrictions. The Committee considered holding the AGM using Zoom but decided against, in part because we would not be allowed to submit a motion to Annual Conference from an AGM held this way. We are awaiting advice from the NEC/General Secretary on how we may adopt motions for both Annual Conference and Women’s Conference and also on how we may select delegates, assuming both conferences go ahead which is still in doubt. The next Constituency Committee is on 10th June. Please let me know if there are any issues/propositions which you would like it to discuss.
Best wishes, Mick Johnston Secretary of Thirsk & Malton Constituency Labour Party