The second wave

Has anyone seen the performance artiste whose stage name is Boris Johnson? He’s been missing in action again, except to complain to his friends – and amazingly he has some – that it’s impossible to make ends meet on a piffling £150,000 annual salary.

There have been reports that as the UK faces a second wave of the virus, Johnson buggered off for a weekend in Perugia where one of his rich Russian pals has a holiday castle. The Italian newspaper La Repubblica, sources at Perugia airport, and other local reports have all confirmed that the Conservative party’s abandoned sofa fire was in the city from Friday September 11 to Monday 14 in order to baptise his son at a castle owned by Yevgeny Lebevev, who entirely coincidentally was given a peerage by Johnson at the same time Don’t Call Me Baroness Davidson got hers. This was while the UK was facing a resurgence in cases of coronavirus and the Brexit talks were on the verge of breaking down completely as the UK Government openly talked about breaking international law.

This episode explains a lot about how Johnson thinks that it’s impossible to make ends meet when you’re only pulling in £150,000 a year. If you have friends who have castles in Italy as holiday houses then a cottage in Applecross just isn’t going to cut it. There’s the Tories there, the voice of the little guy standing up to the elites.

Transport Secretary Grant Three Names Shapps made a curious non-denial denial of the reports that his boss was seen in Perugia airport looking worse for wear as people in the UK were told that they can’t visit their mothers and their grandparents’ diamond wedding celebration has has to be cancelled. “Not that I’m aware of,” said Grant when asked. Which is politician speak for “Yeah the shiftless git probably was, but that’s a whole mess that’s way above my pay grade.”

Downing Street issued a stronger statement saying that the story was “completely untrue” and added that anyone who published the claims was repeating a falsehood. But when the press says that Downing Street issues a statement, what that means is that Dominic Cummings or one of his lackeys has been on the phone, and this is the guy who’d have us believe that the best way to test your eyesight is to drive to Barnard Castle on your wife’s birthday with the kid on the back seat.

So did the habitual liar Boris Johnson bugger off and abandon his responsibilities like he does with every pregnant girlfriend he’s ever had and then lie through his teeth about it when he got found out? Reader, you decide.

Going off for a holiday weekend is not in itself the crime of the century. However there is a very clear pattern of behaviour at the top levels of the British Government and the Conservative party. The rules that they seek to impose on the rest of us are rules that they themselves don’t obey. They preach accountability while placing themselves beyond the little people. So we have the Baroness demanding that the SNP government is held to account while she accepts a seat in the House of Lords and removes herself from the hassle of having to get people to vote for her so that she can ignore her constituency surgeries. We get Tories preaching about how Brexit returns power to the British Parliament while their government ignores parliament, gives ministers powers to act by fiat, and ignores the law.

Last week First Minister Nicola Sturgeon noted that she couldn’t recall the last time she’d spoken directly to Johnson. The Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford complained that the last time he’d had any direct communications with Johnson was in May. Both spoke of their growing frustrations that the UK Government implements decisions in England which have a direct effect on Scotland and Wales without keeping the devolved governments informed. Both complained that they had had no contacts from Johnson about the very real possiblity of a return to lockdown in England due to the recent surge in cases of covid-19. The Scottish First Minister demanded a COBRA meeting in order to tackle the rapidly growing outbreaks of infections. There hasn’t been one for four months.

We now hear that there will finally be a COBRA meeting tomorrow and that Johnson is due to speak to the first ministers of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland today. It is expected that additional restrictions are about to be put in place very soon. Today the First Minister gave another confident and assured performance as she explained to the nation the dangers we face. And this is when the BBC in Scotland wanted to stop broadcasting the First Minister’s daily public health briefings.

The British Government continues its slide into chaotic incoherence. There is growing public distrust in a Conservative Government whose messaging is mixed and confused and which is failing to deliver the basic essentials required to tackle the pandemic effectively. People in England where the Conservatives are in charge are struggling to get access to testing.

A map published by the Time newspaper over the weekend showed a stark contrast in testing between Scotland and Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. People in Scotland who need tests can get them quickly and promptly. People in England are struggling to get tests booked and when they do often find that they must travel a considerable distance. Meanwhile the test and trace app was launched in Scotland a couple of weeks ago and by 20 September it had been downloaded over 1 million times. The English and Welsh test and trace app is not due to be released until 24 September.

When this pandemic crisis first began, it was widely expected by British nationalist commentators and politicians that it represented the end of Scottish hopes for independence. People, they said, would see that Scotland needs the UK in order to face one of the greatest global crises since WW2. Instead the opposite has happened. People in Scotland have seen their own government and institutions rise to the challenge, and have come to regard the British state as a drag on Scottish performance. The UK doesn’t allow us to stand on its shoulders so that we can reach even higher, it holds onto our coat tails and holds us back.

We are now entering a new and dangerous phase of the pandemic. The virus is once again spreading, but now people are tired and don’t have the same willingness to trust in the British government that they did in Spring. People are concerned about their jobs and livelihoods as we face the likelihood that companies which struggled through the first wave will succumb in the second. And all the while we have the cliff edge of Brexit edging ever closer and a Conservative government that is hell bent on ripping up convention and the rule of law itself. There will be panic, there will be demands that we get out of this mess now. But realistically all we can do is to ride out the storm in the knowledge that when calm returns we will be stronger and better placed than ever to take back our independence.  This second wave will end with a Scotland whose settled will is independence.

Support for Scottish independence is only going to grow, but as a nation we are paying a terrible price. As this virus works its dreadful course we can only hold on, continue to campaign digitally, and keep one another safe. The only consolation is that there is light at the end of this tunnel, the light of a better Scotland, an independent Scotland. Then we can take a permanent holiday from Boris Johnson and the British Conservatives.

Update 5.30pm : A couple of hours after this blog post was published, the authorities at Westminster Cathedral confirmed that Johnson was present at the Cathedral for the baptism of his son on 12 September.  So he can’t have been in Perugia. Which only goes to show that if you have made a career out of telling lies and shirking your responsibilities you shouldn’t be surprised when no one believes your denial of a story which was very much in character for you.


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133 comments on “The second wave

  1. Críostóir says:

    Tha mi dìreach airson taing mhór a ràdh airson nan alt seo. Nì mi fiughair ris an leughadh gach latha. Tha e air a bhith fada ro fhurasta misneachd a chall aig amannan ach bheir na h-altan seo togail dhomh. Tha mi cinnteach gum faigh sinn ar neo-eisimeileachd ro cheann fhada.

  2. Gregory R Nunn says:

    We’d better pick up the pace or the world will start feeling sorry for England and want them to remain with Scotland.

  3. Dr Jim says:

    None of it helped the unwitting UK medical experts who took to the stage alone without a Tory politician in sight to explain graphs which they admitted weren’t fact or even predictions but definite mibbees if something different mibbee might happen possibly or even probably, way to go on the clear explaining there

    Then it was back to the studio for a Sky news analysis of what the two unfortunate medical gents had to say, and lo and behold Sky news rubbished every one of the poor medical fellas graphs and statistics, good old Sky news doing its bit for news in the the land of confusion and missing politicians

    I’m incredibly suspicious now that the UK government and their allies the news broadcasters cannot possibly be this stupid and that it’s all some great devious plot to deliberately confuse the poor English folk more than they already are and that they’ll collectively just throw their hands in the air and say sod it we’re doing whatever the hell we like, so back to the original herd immunity plan
    which is really what they wanted from the get go anyway

    • grizebard says:

      EBC R4 this lunchtime had a go themselves at countering the English health experts’ warnings by having on hardline rightist Prof. Karol Sikora (oncologist not virologist and ultra-privatiser who has called the NHS “the last bastion of communism”), quoting his little group of dissidents who’ve written a letter to some dead tree scroll, and treating them as equivalent somehow, well, just because of their “respectability” and with no apparent awareness or regard as to what their actual agenda may be.

      No doubt merely looking for some cheap theatre, a false dialectic that (as with other matters) is totally bereft of any real value.

    • Correct.
      You can bet that the app for track and trace in England due for release 24th sept won’t work

  4. Capella says:

    Boris Johnston was scheduled to address the nation (which nation?) after the briefing by Profs Whitty and Valance today. I was looking forward to hearing from the opposition Labour and SNP MPs as per the BBCs new rules about daily briefings.
    But Lo! Boris was missing again. Sarah Montague for the BBC WATO was reduced to saying that we would hear from the Prime Minister sometime this week.

    • jfngw says:

      BBC One stayed for their own journalists question then cut off the rest of them so we could hear the ramblings of Douglas Ross. I turned over to BBC Scotland as it just stayed with the briefing. I didn’t see if the fifth Beatle Richard Lennon was given a platform.

      • Margaret Noakes says:

        No 5th Beatle yet.Maybe tomorrow ,then Willie and finally Patrick in the interests of balance ! Turned off Dross.Opinions on everything, expert on nothing.😁

      • Andy MacNicol says:

        DRoss had a lot to say. Well actually he only said one thing but he said it often. “The two Governments have to work together”. That’s it, the total sum of his contributions to the health of our nation. After the fuss the made about Nicola Sturgeon’s PPBs, he takes his opportunity to reply to state the bleeding obvious. What a plonker!

        • jfngw says:

          I watched a couple of minutes of D. Ross before I turned over, left me hankering for those 1970’s open university programmes, just anyone with a bit more charisma than the Tory leader. Also made me think of Charlton Heston ‘from my cold dead eyes’, I know I’ve changed the quote but it fits him perfectly.

    • grizebard says:

      Well, if there’s one thing to be said about CV-19, it punches right through all the political bullshit, ruthlessly exposes bluster for its fundamental vapidity, and reveals the true worth (or otherwise) of those in public office.

      Likewise our woebegone broadcasters. For my take on EBC WATO this lunchtime, see my comment upthread:

      https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2020/09/21/the-second-wave/comment-page-1/#comment-121865

    • Dr Jim says:

      And no mention of the outraged press on behalf of this great British *nation country* that Johnson had swanned off for yet another holiday to foreign parts to have his baby christened in a castle,
      not a whisper not the singlest of teeny wee peeps aboot it

      Takes you back to Catherine Calderwood eh, the outrage the horror the disappointment as the press verbally and in print screamed that dreadful breach of instructions that she had spelled out to the now lost and bereft citizens of our country but refused to follow herself

      Now the media are practically apologising for the Tories going missing

  5. Doug says:

    Any ditches in Perugia?

  6. I was listening to James O’Brien on LBC after the briefing – a presenter I like to listen to usually – and he was actually saying how great it was that these two scientific experts had been able, at last, to get in front of the cameras and tell it how it was without being under pressure from the politicians.

    At first I thought he was being sarcastic, or ironic, but no – as the phone calls progressed anyone who said what I was thinking (i.e. that it was eminently possible that they HAD been told what to say and had been sent out sans political windbag to make it LOOK like they were giving independent factual data) was told they were just being cynical and paranoid.

    Anyone phoning in to say they thought it was a brilliant idea, facts first today then PM tomorrow with his plan of how to deal with the facts, was metaphorically patted on the back and welcomed to the “Agree with James” club

    Is it me ? Has the emperor been to Savile Row again ? Or is it just remotely possible that someone called, I dunno, Cominic Dummings came up with this vignette to fool (some of) the public that the experts were not the puppets of the Government which employs them ?

    Cue Sandie Shaw, emporor’s new shoes optional

    • grizebard says:

      Sorry, but I’m with James O’Brien on this one. Just like our FM, they’re desperately trying to force BoZo into actually doing something sensible to tackle the escalating problem. Upping the ante and for once making clear to everyone that this business isn’t going to be sorted by next week or just fade away, as some people seem to be assuming in the way they are now starting to behave.

      Maybe Hancock is behind the health experts on this, since the real obstacle remains, as it has been all along, BoZo. If Hancock is getting worried at how bad the lack of leadership is from Mr. Italian Break, things must be really getting bad down south.

  7. gavinochiltree says:

    Its OK.
    Squire Starmer has said the important folk in the Big House of Westminster, will (sigh) look at the “requests” from the little people in Scotlandshire, and dismiss them accordingly.
    The Squire thinks it important that we all hang together, now Labour has joined the Tory chumocracy to push for Brexit separatism—and the Dumbs do what they are told, as always.
    Red, Blue and Yellow. A nice colour motif for the Conservative Club tie.
    It’s very generous of the Oligarchy, Putins foreign legion, to rally round the impoverished Tory party, and grant them bungs for tennis with Boris and “Piggy” Cameroon, a night out with Treeza, dinner with Princess Ruth( don’t call me Dutchess), and they want NOTHING in return! Nothing! Not even the blueprint for Trident!
    Surely a few million roubles for Boris isn’t beyond contemplation? A Wee Dacha, chateau or schloss for week-ends away (romance, perhaps, while the “hot vixen” looks after the brat?).
    So, so very tough being a Tory, as Sasha Swire has intimated.
    Who’s wife is up for shagging? Who’s hubby is gagging ( for it)?

  8. vivianoblivian7 says:

    Want a luvable, cheeky chappie to host a novelty photo op? Johnson’s yer man.
    Want a responsible, sober politician to chair a COBRA meeting? Johnson? Meh, not so much.

  9. Legerwood says:

    If you want straightforward, no-nonsense input from a scientist about what to do the here is Prof Sridhar’s latest offering in the on-line Guardian

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/21/local-lockdowns-begin-no-normal-advice-live-with-covid

  10. Republicofscotland says:

    Looks like it will be a lottery, or who gets the short straw, to see who actually gets tested in England come the 24th.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18736787.coronavirus-matt-hancock-sets-will-get-first-tests-england/

    • Welsh Sion says:

      Note as a reminder – I live in England.

      My 95 y/o mum (birthday yesterday) is due a cataract operation in the local hospital a week today (28 September). This will be for the 2nd day of asking as previously (March 2020) she partook of the pre-operation test and then found the operation cancelled in case she got Covid-19. This time, she has again negotiated the pre-op test and we are waiting to see where and when (this week presumably) she will get her own coronavirus test and that she will have to self-isolate for 3 days prior to the 28th. (During the 2nd pre-op test she was told she needn’t have come as they already had all her records from the March visit – but that the coronavirus test will have to take place before the 28th.)

      I’ll keep you all posted on what happens …

  11. Apparently the Chief Exec of Perugia airport has confirmed that LBJ hasn’t been through his facilities this month. Apparently it was a certain Mr Blair who passed through at the weekend, so an easy mistake to make…

  12. Republicofscotland says:

    “Johnson buggered off for a weekend in Perugia where one of his rich Russian pals has a holiday castle.”

    Number Ten vehemently denies this, do we believe them? Do we heck.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18735244.boris-johnson-spent-long-weekend-italy-uk-mired-crisis/

  13. Republicofscotland says:

    Neil Oliver the man who compared Scottish independence to that of cancer, has now compared wearing a face mask to that of Communism, what a tosser.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18735618.neil-oliver-pens-bizarre-anti-mask-article-saying-is-like-communism/

  14. Margaret Eleftheriou says:

    It seems that Johnson was in Westminster Csthedrsl (not Abbey) on Sept 12 for the baptism of his son. Sometimes it pays to do a little research before posting?

    • weegingerdug says:

      I wrote this article this morning. The news that Johnson was at Westminster Cathedral on the 12th came out this afternoon. There’s research, and there’s time travel.

    • P Harvey says:

      That applies to checking spelling before posting, as well Margaret 😂

    • grizebard says:

      Maybe the takeaway though, Margaret, is just how readily everyone believed it before we knew better.

    • I think the main trouble here is that, these days, all other sources of information, including Italian Airports, are more credible than anything that comes from Downing Street. As a general rule, on past form, from Downing Street, yes means no and denials are confirmations.

    • Alex Clark says:

      The article also included this caveat.

      So did the habitual liar Boris Johnson bugger off and abandon his responsibilities like he does with every pregnant girlfriend he’s ever had and then lie through his teeth about it when he got found out? Reader, you decide.

      That’s the problem when the newspapers lie all the time, you never know what to believe.

  15. Bob Lamont says:

    💨🤣

  16. Dr Jim says:

    Do the members of the illuminati not have to have their babies inducted into the cult with blood lettings peasant sacrifices and ritual daggers deep in the bowels of culty type castley places though, otherwise how can they rise to be the cream of the sour milk of the world

    I’m more of yer common Jedi type and we’re a bit looser, as long as there’s some nice smellin floores we’re good

  17. Statgeek says:

    The man has an inherent tendency to disappear as the trouble starts, doesn’t he?

    Even for Tories, the man is a complete nugget.

  18. Alex Clark says:

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson of the United Kingdom. President Donald Trump of the United States.

    Just think about that reality for a minute, when I look back to 2014 that was a big joke, a ridiculously bad joke that no one took seriously. It is no surprise that the UK and the US are the two Western countries to have been hit hardest by this virus, look at who the voters put in charge.

    Could have been worse I suppose, we could have had the real Trump as Prime Minister, we only need to put up with pretendy Trump.

  19. jfngw says:

    Seems he broke a bottle Spaffotino Spumosti to wet the babies head then drove up the road to pick up some Banardolino, definitely not in Italy though, alibi confirmed by DMC.

  20. Alex Clark says:

    I’ve just listened to a half hour podcast by George Galloway and Jamie Blaiket, the Batman and Robin of the new Allience for Unity party.

    It is comedy gold, the way Galloway talks now takes some beating as he strains at every vowel. I really think they are a great thing for Independence supporting parties as they can only possibly win existing Unionist seats since the SNP look likely to clean up in the constituencies.

    “Everyone in Scotland knows me, and if they don’t know me they would recognise my hat”

    What kind of tube might have uttered such a sentence? Yes, it was George LOL.

    “All we care about is getting the separatists out of Holyrood” says Blaiket hahaha

    Apologies for not providing an archive link but that doesn’t allow for video or other media to be played.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/can-george-galloway-keep-scotland-british/

    I really can’t wait for the May elections, I hope there will be many with their nose put out of joint.

  21. yesindyref2 says:

    It wouldn’t surprise me if BoJo resigns soon due to not having recovered from Covid-19.

    • Alex Clark says:

      Nor me, as soon as Brexit is totally over he may go or be pushed. Either way who really cares now? Not me, as we will just get another useless fecker to take his place. Gove anyone?

      • grizebard says:

        Oh, Oileaginous will surely have BoZo’s back. With a dagger in his hand.

        • weegingerdug says:

          There’s really no need for that distressing image Sion.

        • Alex Clark says:

          I won’t sleep the night now after seeing that.

          Horrid man, more evil than Thatcher even. Believe me, we never want to see the likes of him in power, at the minute it’s an idiot in charge but that guy Gove would take things to a whole new level.

          Let’s do everything we can to encourage others to support Yes and get us out of here before we have to put up with any more of there ideology. It really is a death sentence for many to remain in the Union. We have options. We can do better on both health and the economy.

          The thought of Gove, Rees-Moog, Patel turn my stomach. I think we need Independence, tell your friends and family. Maybe this time they will listen, I can only hope that they will.

        • diabloandco says:

          Jeezo! Where did you find that mouse scarer WS?

          P.S Hope all goes well for your Mum.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised if it was earlier.

    • Dr Jim says:

      End of January so the rumour goes then we get a new Bojo with a funny Sconglish accent

      • Alex Clark says:

        Galloway talks with a Sconglish accent now as well 🙂

        • weegingerdug says:

          He has a very interesting accent. It’s not natural. I am pretty sure that he’s had elocution lessons to project his voice like a Shakespearean ecktaw.

          • Welsh Sion says:

            Did you mean to say ‘ectohplasm’, WGD> 😉

          • Alex Clark says:

            ecktaw haha

            Nail on head 🙂

          • Alex Clark says:

            By the way, I should have added I knew him when he lived in Dundee, he took my fiver from me when I joined the Labour party in 1981 as he was the Labour party secretary, I didn’t remain a member for long, because of him but that’s a story for another day.
            He didn’t talk like that back then LOL

          • Dr Jim says:

            It was first known to George Galloway that he deserved to be a show business star after his talented and much lauded performance on that highbrow television show *Big Brother* where George displayed his talent for improv as he professionally lapped milk from a saucer while dressed as a cat in the best traditions of the *THEATAH* opposite his co star actress and singer Rula Lenska
            I remember the rave revues of his performance to this day, *A triumph* *Riveting* *The theatah finds a new star* no one ever said

      • yesindyref2 says:

        The Tories are genuinely worrying.

        When Gove is considered a possible PM and May comes across in comparison with most of them as a democrat, stateswoman and keen observer of the rule of law you just know you went through a portal and ended up in an alternate universe.

        Help, I wanna go home!

  22. bringiton says:

    According to RTE,England’s health bods approached Ireland with a request to assist with covid testing recently.
    Were apparently told that they had no spare capacity.
    The decades of Tory health policies in England are now coming home to roost,with travel agencies operating as public health authorities.
    I suppose travel agents have experience of dealing with people contracting illnesses such as legionaires and norovirus etc.
    Whatever next from the Westminster clowns?
    Contracting out bowel cancer operations to refuse collectors since they have experience of getting rid of unwanted material?

  23. Hamish100 says:

    Back to Galloway. The pretend radical Wishing a government on national unity comprising tories Lib Dem’s and labour. Surely they should get more than 45% of votes to be called that! Surely even labour and Lib Dem’s would be embarrassed by this has been?

    His rhetoric is old and hackneyed, pro Farage and Brexit which was rejected by Scotland and in particular its younger voters.

    His defect ability ( sorry predictive text) … actually it’s got it right.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    You have to admit one of the funniest things today was Labour Deputy leader in England Angela Rayner introducing Scotland’s Labour leader as *Richard Lennon*

    What’s interesting about that is the fact that it’s not only a display of their own ignorance that they don’t know who he is, it’s that they didn’t even care enough to check, and shows how much actual regard or respect they have for Scotland

    They couldn’t give a flying ****

  25. ArtyHetty says:

    Then there is furlough, due to end in October, and didn’t the BritNats at Holyrood reject a request from the SNP that furlough is extended. With a second wave, and people losing their jobs left right and centre, the dreadful consequences for smaller businesses, for families, and for the local and wider economy of Scotland, just does not bear thinking about!

    The BritNats don’t care though, they take a generous wage ( for shafting Scotland) from the public purse with a pension guarenteed when they are voted out. Despicable not to support people whose lives will be turned upside down by Covid19 and then Brexit.

    Hard to believe anyone would reject supporting people through that.
    Unethical hardly comes close to describing those in positions of power, who step on the people who lose their jobs, leaving them destitute, and their children going hungry. It’s evil in fact.

  26. Arthur Thomson says:

    Galloway is modelling himself on the song that goes: “Wherever I hang my hat, that’s my home”. A nomad – or should that be gonad?

    Or maybe he’s modelling himself on the book: “The man who mistook his life for a hat” (apologies to Oliver Sacks).

    Just idle thoughts ….Galloway is full of them … he’s full of something anyway.

  27. Alex Clark says:

    All Pubs, bars and restaurants to close at 10pm in England from Thursday Johnson will announce tomorrow. I expect Scotland will take the same action.

    • grizebard says:

      At least. And even more needed than that. I hope the lessons from March are being heeded, despite the UKGov dragging its feet – or suffering from Narrow Shoulder Syndrome – over financial support. (The press now demanding the SG move faster and harder, while the FM reminds them that back then they were insisting she wait on BoZo.) Who on earth thought that terminating furlough in October was ever going to be even remotely tenable?

      I’ve been doing my own wee analysis of the published hospital figures (which admittedly are the tip of the tip of the iceberg) and though the data are still quite sparse, the correlation is decent and it looks like we’re already back in exponential growth with a current doubling every ~13 days.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Most people will never do this but I hope you will read this report from the Imperial College released on 16th March, it was this report that sent the UK and the Us eventually into lockdown, well behind the decisions made by other EU countries such as Germany.

        I was a Covid sceptic when it first started because I had no information, there was no sign of rising hospitalisations and no deaths. I changed my mind on reading this just after lockdown.

        It’s a paper written by 31 of the UK’s best scientists on infection and disease control. It was lead by Prof Neil Ferguson who was sacked after the Daily Mail revealed he had invited his bit on the side to stay at his house against the rules.

        I read it back then and have read it again just a week ago as it was obvious things were once again starting to go out of control. I was amazed at how accurate it has proven to be and it is the blueprint for what will happen if we allow the virus to run uncontrolled and without restrictions to prevent that.

        If you feel so inclined then I suggest you really should read this, it won’t be for everyone but even the summary paints a picture. I am certain the FM has read it from back to front, Johnson? Naw he’s a lazy bastard and wouldn’t have the concentration to get past the first page. Check out his performance so far, tells you all you need to know.

        You can download the paper here.

        https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/covid-19/report-9-impact-of-npis-on-covid-19/

  28. Bob Lamont says:

    Good points well made, but I’m not convinced other than in Scotland where it was successfully suppressed, the term “second wave” is apt.
    The succession of failures and media blackout over England’s Covid woes strike me not so much as a series of unfortunate events or serial incompetence, but a deliberate political strategy to keep things in borderline chaos, distracting attention from HMG’s continuing shenanigans.

    On the COBRA meeting, I got the distinct impression the FM heard it first from the journalist at the Update, a form of government communication which would be embarrassing anywhere but in today’s Etonian powered UK, again deliberately chaotic.

    O/T – Worth reading this Times article from Sunday posted on Indyref2, on the state of Scottish BBC https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-scotland-given-the-bad-news-on-its-viewing-figures-28576prbd?shareToken=f6bfa8c92e7cfa708c97170d9b129837, this particular segment possibly explains LBJ bemoaning his meagre 150k basic salary… –
    “The report discloses that former BBC Scotland director Ken MacQuarrie, the outgoing nations and regions director, is one of a handful of BBC executives earning above £300,000 on a salary of £327,000, more than twice the pay of the prime minister, while the BBC Scotland’s outgoing director Donalda MacKinnon was paid £185,000.
    The highest-paid Scottish-based journalist is Kirsty Wark, who received between £215,000 and £220,000 for 80 days presenting Newsnight and as cover for two radio programmes.”

    Just think about that last one a minute, Wark gets £2,750 a day to push her own agenda while the BBC “struggles” to find political “balance” over non-political Covid updates, or find a way to provide OAP’s with free TV licences….

  29. Petra says:

    Listen to the end when the Treaty of Union is mentioned.

    Joanna Cherry:- ”Britannia doesn’t rule the waves any longer and hasn’t done so for some time.” 😀 https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/dd545405-2947-49ba-ab18-f9cbe718a153?in=19:26:58&out=19:41:09

    ……………………………..

    ”All main Westminster parties now committed to keeping UK out of the EU. Confirmation that there is now only ONE route for Scotland to take to regain EU membership. Independence.” https://mobile.twitter.com/TheHubScot/status/1308065753074208768

  30. Petra says:

    Devi Sridhar:- ”As more local lockdowns begin, the hard truth is there’s no return to ‘normal’.”

    https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/sep/21/local-lockdowns-begin-no-normal-advice-live-with-covid?__twitter_impression=true

    ……………………………….

    ”Brits in EU face closure of UK bank accounts over lack of post-Brexit rules.”

    http://www.politico.eu/article/brits-in-eu-face-closure-of-uk-bank-accounts-over-lack-of-post-brexit-rules-report/

  31. Petra says:

    ‘Coronavirus: Nicola Sturgeon announces support for people self-isolating.’

    ….”(Nicola) Sturgeon went on: “I believe that people understand the need to keep others safe and they want to do so, but they need to be supported through these difficult circumstances. So I can confirm today that we will be putting in place a financial support package to help people, particularly those on low income who face a loss of income if they are required to self-isolate.

    Nobody should be forced to choose between self-isolating for the collective good and paying the rent and feeding their families. If that is the choice people face, then it shouldn’t be a surprise to us that compliance levels will be lower than we need them to be.”..

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18736045.covid-nicola-sturgeon-announces-financial-support-people-self-isolating/

    ……………………….

    The mindset of some south of the border 🙄. Worth listening to if you missed it first time around.

    ‘Newsnight segment on the Union shows why independence is needed.’

    … ”A man then chips in: “They can’t go because they wouldn’t be able to finance themselves. They’re only little bits of Britain. So how can they go?”

    Glinka then asks another man: “If those countries, the other countries in the Union, say that’s it we’re off, does that matter to you? Do you mind?”

    He responds: “If the United Kingdom finishes, the world will be finished in any case. So it doesn’t matter.”

    The journalist then asks: “The world will be finished? You think so?”

    The man replies: “Well I’m very proud to be English, I’m proud to be British, I’m proud to be part of the United Kingdom.”

    A man who is not in shot then adds: “Who conquered half the world?”

    “That’s right,” replies the man who claimed the world would be “finished” if the Union broke up.”…

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/18033105.newsnight-segment-union-shows-independence-needed/

  32. Republicofscotland says:

    Ex-BBC man and British nationalist, SLAB’s Ken Macintosh, is to stand down next year as the Presiding Officer in the Holyrood chamber.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18738226.holyrood-presiding-officer-ken-macintosh-step-may-election/

  33. Republicofscotland says:

    Meanwhile the ennobled millionaire Knight of the Realm, and Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, is to push the glory of British nationalism, in his speech at the Labour party conference, to win back ex-Labour voters in the North.

    Poor old Richard, what do you call him, even Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner introduced him yesterday as Richard Lennon to the conference, an online event.

    https://www.thenational.scot/news/18738143.keir-starmer-push-patriotism-labour-conference-speech/

  34. deelsdugs says:

    On the subject of YES campaigning, on a day trip to Skye yesterday we saw a small group of intrepid YESSER’s, two vehicles going from one section of the road to the other – pick up, drop off, walk – maybe three/four flag-waving walkers, needless to say I waited patiently for them to pass with many horn toots, waves and smiles. The campaigning never stops.

  35. Petra says:

    Crikey, the Express is really dredging the bottom of the barrel. Stuart Hill isn’t even a historian, FGS, he was a metal worker from England come an utter liability of a numskull now.

    ‘Brainwashed’ Comment Deeply Insulting to Shetlanders.’

    ..”However, for a historian to say this that Shetlanders ‘have been “brainwashed” to think the rugged archipelago is part of Scotland’ almost beggar’s belief”..

    https://theorkneynews.scot/2020/09/21/brainwashed-comment-deeply-insulting-to-shetlanders/

    ………………………………

    Calamity? A consummate understatement. Read on and have a laugh 🤣🤣 .

    ‘Stuart “Captain Calamity” Hill.’

    ..”On 21 June 2008, Hill, occasional resident of a 2.5-acre (1.0 ha) island in Shetland called Forewick Holm (renamed Forvik Island) made a declaration of dependence which he says created the Crown Dependency of Forvik, his rights to the Island of Forewick are disputed. Mark King, the island’s owner, stated in March 2009 Hill had not paid for the island as agreed. Hill claims the island is not part of the United Kingdom and therefore not part of the European Union.”..

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuart_%22Captain_Calamity%22_Hill

  36. Republicofscotland says:

    IDOX subsidiaries have broken electoral rules in the past we’ll need to be careful that Peter Lilley’s (an ex-Tory) firm doesn’t interfere in our future independence referendum in favour of the British nationalists.

    “An analysis by the elections watchdog, the Electoral Commission, upheld the complaint stating that postal voting counts in Birmingham, Sheffield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fife, Dundee, Aberdeen, Ayrshire, Moray, Scottish Borders, Angus and Clackmannanshire did not comply with the law.”

    https://bylinetimes.com/2020/01/07/why-did-cabinet-office-rush-through-procurement-of-controversial-electoral-services-company-idox-just-before-the-general-election/

  37. proudcybernat says:

    Keir Starmer proudly flying the Butcher’s Apron today. Thinks that British nationalism is the cure to fix broken Britain. Why are these people so fecking blind? British nationalism (aka English nationalism) is precisely what is WRONG with this (ahem) ‘Union’. It is British nationalism (synonymous with English patriotism) that seeks to suppress all the other countries of this (ahem) ‘Union’. It is English/British nationalism that has poisoned it all.

    Why can’t these idiots see this ‘British’ one-size fits all will not work? Why can’t they see that it is the ‘Britishness’ they continually try to push and foist upon us that is completely disrespecting the (ahem) ‘Union’? If the UK is a voluntary ‘Union of Equals’ [stop laughing at the back], then why cannot the ‘Union’ respect our individual Scottish / English / Welsh / N.Irish identities?

    The EU flies the EU flag outside the EU parliament. But along with that EU flag it flies all the flags of its individual members. Do you see that at WM? No – you only see the Apron flying on the parliament building. No Scots, English, Welsh or N. Irish flags alongside it.

    In short, pushing Britishness as a national identity is pushing the disrespect for the devolved settlement and the 4 Nations of the UK.

    • proudcybernat says:

      Before someone says that the Butcher’ Apron is an amalgamation of each country’s national flag, I would say that is precisely what is wrong. That flag is the perfect example of what the Establishment has been trying to do – force all the people into one ‘nationality’. You might be able to do that with a flag, you can’t force people to follow.

      By analogy – WM is trying to create a ‘melting pot’ of the UK, whereby all the cultural uniqueness of each part of the UK is ‘fused’ or ‘melted’ together into one ‘Britishness’. And ther’s the core of the issue. Rather than a ‘melting pot’, why can’t WM take the ‘salad bowl’ view of the UK? The tomatoes, onion, lettuce etc are all in the bowl together but each adding to the overall ‘flavour’. They hold their unique element within the bowl & aren’t ‘fused’ together in the ‘melting pot’ that WM is trying to force upon us. Devolution was the ‘salad bowl’ approach. WM is abandoning that and going back to the ‘melting pot’ approach. Fully endorsed it now seems by Keir Starmer.

  38. Alex Clark says:

    The FM’s Covid update is due to take place in Holyrood at 14:00. Looks like Johnson is taking centre stage first at 12:30.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, and apparently, the Tousled One is also “addressing the nation” (whatever that is, and whether relevant to us or not) this evening. This virus is certainly exposing the Brenglish confusion like never before, and Establishment Starmer just as much as the Tories. If he thought Ian Murray was the answer to the question, he was asking the wrong one. And is still living the imperial dream, apparently.

  39. Petra says:

    Thanks Alex. I’ve been sitting like a numpty waiting on the briefing being made on CH9 at 12.15pm, as per advertised 🤬.

  40. Petra says:

    Oh, it’s been removed now to be replaced by ”This is BBC Scotland’. I just phoned them to complain and got as far as the receptionist who of course can’t help. No one can. There’s no one else there that I can talk to. So much for the £340 million that the Scots send to the Treasury in London every year for their lousy service.

    Alex what channel is that going to be on at 2.00pm?

  41. Union Man says:

    ‘ The only consolation is that there is light at the end of this tunnel, the light of a better Scotland, an independent Scotland. Then we can take a permanent holiday from Boris Johnson and the British Conservatives.’

    You will still have a right-wing party (or even parties) in an independent Scotland. Do you honestly believe that Scotland would be the only nation in the world never to have right-wing governments? The same policies that you and I oppose, would still be introduced in an independent Scotland. Scotland is no more egalitarian than the rest of the UK. Indeed, there are many right-wing views within the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon’s top economic advisor, Andrew Wilson, wants to scrap free tuition in higher education. The SNP’s own Growth Commission was a right-wing document, filled with cuts to public services.

    Scotland has always been a small ‘c’ conservative nation. Independence is not the great panacea that you think it will be.

    • weegingerdug says:

      You keep popping up here to make points that you seem to imagine are terribly insightful, but which in reality are just hackneyed old debating points that were put to bed in 2014.

      In an independent Scotland we will only get a Conservative government if a majority of the people in this country vote for one. The Conservatives have not won a General Election in Scotland since 1955, but in the period of time since then we have had to total of 41 years of Conservative rule and just 24 years of Labour governments. This is a very simple and basic point, which I am sure that even you are capable of grasping.

      If you want to make a convincing argument against independence, you need something far more convincing than this kind of circle jerk nonsense which I am sure goes down very well in your student Labour party association. Do better.

  42. Alex Clark says:

    BBC1 Politics Scotland at 14:15

  43. Dr Jim says:

    Channel 9
    The BBC complained about the FMs briefings being not newsworthy so they decided to remove them then we all complained and the BBC said circumstances have changed so we’ll now *allow* them to continue

    If we go back to the original moan by the BBC about the briefings about not being newsy enough you have to wonder why the rest of the 24 hours a day is taken up by reruns of the same clips of thon Twonk Loki telling us Dundee is a failed city, or a Chef buying carrots from a corner shop, or a guy paddling across a loch or even a young lass releasing that same hedgehog into the wild which by now must have died of old age the length of time these clips have been aired 24 hours a day 7 days a week incessantly, Channel 9 is a freeview channel so they never intended to replace the FM with anything on there except maybe the same guys telling us who was the youngest player to score a goal against somebody else who after all this time could now be a checkout worker in Asda for all we know, or care

    Aye the cancelling of the FMs briefings were definitely to do with newsworthiness and or alternative programming

    • Alex Clark says:

      That was brilliant Dr Jim, I recognise every one of those clips you described and it’s the reason that no one watches the channel other than when the FM is on.

      As an aside, the peg Bojo’s coat hangs from is surely getting more shoogly by the day.

    • grizebard says:

      You left out the wonderful KT Tunstall chatting with those two geezers. I well recognise all the ones you mention besides and I have scarcely watched that channel except for the FM’s outings. As an excuse for not screening the briefings, it was transparently pathetic. BBC as honest broker? That disappeared long ago, and they’re no longer even trying to pretend. Everyone working there who is not in control of the agenda has become a feudal serf.

    • Petra says:

      The one that really gets to me is the ”carrot” guy constantly pawing a piece of fish and then touching surfaces 🙄. The BBC cherry-picking from the dregs to exemplify Scotland.

  44. Hamish100 says:

    Politics live – bbc U.K. . We have Johnson on as PM , we have Labour on, the ex Tory, then Tory Minister on.

    Where were the other parties bbc including the 3rd largest one to comment on what was said?

    Answer on a postcard to BBC – make their own rules up, c/o we don’t give a toss, weer the brits.

    • jfngw says:

      No problem with me there, these announcements were for England only, I have no view on them. I’ll wait for what’s important to Scotland this afternoon.

      What I did notice is what a poor orator Johnson is, just a constant drone no highlight of the important part of his announcement. I can have NS on in the background whilst doing something else and still pick out the salient points from what she says.

  45. With it being a parliamentary statement in an hour, no need to soil yourself with Ch9. https://www.scottishparliament.tv/

  46. jfngw says:

    BBC Scotland News now trying to confuse the public by stating the PM announced new rules across the UK, when fact they only apply to England. There was nothing in his statement that was applicable to Scotland that I could tell.

    They then go on to go on about message clarity. The reason people are confused lays mostly at the door of the MSM, particularly the BBC, who punt England’s rules into Scotland ad-nauseam.

    And to quote the tipsy Lord, ‘they are doing it deliberately’.

    • grizebard says:

      In his parliamentary spot, BoJo gave a passing mention that it was being done in agreement with the devolved first ministers (no names). Thereby trying with minimal effort to appear in charge, making the decisions for everyone. Whereas in fact, as far as I can see, he’s merely adopting existing Scottish practice!

    • grizebard says:

      As far as EBC Scotland is concerned, you are almost certainly right. They are positively exercising themselves to be submissive. As far as England goes, like a lot of things these days, they are simply confused, because they almost universally suffer from Bringlish Syndrome. The only word they seem to find difficult to say in these troubled times is “England” (at least when its nothing to do with winning the World Cup). Oh how times have changed! But they have to keep the brand unsullied, no matter how sticky things get.

  47. Petra says:

    ”There was nothing in his statement that was applicable to Scotland that I could tell.”

    There was their U-turn on going back to work. Now saying work from home if you can. Pointed out by someone on BBC Scotland that this has in fact already been the course of action advocated by Nicola Sturgeon. I don’t know why they just don’t forget about CH9 and rather just invite Nicola Sturgeon to stand up in the Commons, Monday to Friday, and get this sortit oot to everyone’s satisfaction across these isles. Save time, money and lives.

    • grizebard says:

      I’m positively agog (well, not really) to hear how DRoss is going to respond to his Master taking lessons from Nicola. Apparently though this is not going down at all well with English Tories. Maybe there’ll soon be placards in Trafalgar Square accusing BoZo of being a Nazi!

  48. Golfnut says:

    Not making much in the way of comments just now, getting rid of 40 yrs of accumulated junk, some might think they had sentimental value, when downsizing., is hard work but furlough payments are getting mentioned a fair bit.
    Furlough payments will undoubtedly be continued, but only after Sunak has drawn out the delay as long as possible before announcing its continuation. Many have already lost their jobs because of the uncertainty created by announcing its termination by October and I have no doubt many more are already in the pipeline. Non of those in the process of being made redundant, or those who have already lost their jobs will be entitled to furlough payments.
    I can’t somehow believe that this isn’t part of a deliberate policy by uk gov.

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