‘The big education for me is that civilisation is fragile and can be destroyed in a heartbeat' - Jeremy Brade, former peacekeeper in Sarajevo.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

WEEKENDER: They are really are taking the p*** now, by Wiggia

Yes, they're having fun at our expense:
                                  

Not only disregarding a vote but hardly anyone in the Chamber for something this important, not important to them obviously, very different scenes when it comes to discussing their own pay rises or expenses.


If nothing else, this government can be charged with not representing the people who voted for it. Hardly a thing they touch or mandate is what the people want. We have been by-passed by a group with an eighty seat majority and absolutely no effective opposition; in fact all the parties are interchangeable even if the lead characters are just a facsimile of what we once called leaders.

I can’t remember a time when so many friends, family, acquaintances, people I speak to in everyday life and elsewhere all believe we are led by self-serving cretins.

Never before have we seen so many globalists at the top table brazenly speaking of changes that must be made and our political appointees behaving like lapdogs. Johnson and Bill Gates should get a room together, how dare he give Gates over half a billion of our money towards world wide vaccines? With the track record Gates has in that area (India, anyone?) he should be shunned not feted, yet they all fall in line. It might be said Johnson is just returning the favour Gates made by financing big pharma-associated individuals and organisations here.


Soros continues to fund items in the UK after interfering in Brexit which he had no right as a foreign national to do, backing an anti Brexit organisation headed up by Gina Miller (who only wanted to make sure Brexit was legal?)  Why are these people allowed free rein in our matters, when the protocol is to remain out of other nations elections and referendums? Even Obama got in on the act; was there any response from our politicians? Not a peep.


Meanwhile the climate change brigade are frothing at the mouth in case the COP26 meeting is a failure. Boris is already worried about this, but the news that his scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance has reiterated we must fly less, if at all, and stop eating meat to save the planet has perked him up no end.
Though doubts are emerging on the whole project in many quarters as the scales fall away.


Elsewhere more evidence no one knows what they are talking about has emerged as an old ‘scientific’ prediction has resurfaced.


The professor responsible for this prediction made a journey to the Arctic to see how much had come to pass six years after his doomsday scenario and he had to use an ice breaker to get there….

'Just to put ice on the cake (sorry) it has been reported that the icebreaker supply ship is having trouble resupplying the Polarstern because the Arctic ice is too thick, at about 5 feet. It appears that the supply ship was using too much fuel breaking the non-existent ice and after getting to the Polarstern it would need refuelling in order to get back.'

No doubt the good professor planted more trees to counter his carbon footprint!

We also have yet another branch of Extinction Rebellion spouting more nonsense: Animal Rebellion in an interview stated that using animals for foodstuff was not only harming the planet but immoral; a branch of PETA no doubt. The fact we have been eating meat since man evolved on this planet escapes them. Various claims are not justified including the amount of water needed to produce beef: the water is 'green' - it is recycled, it has no effect on drinking water.

And naturally all the by products of cattle are neatly side-stepped. When asked about milk, after a pause... ah, plant-based milk will replace it! It can’t of course and that would also mean no cheese, yoghurt and all the other food items that need milk. They are all mad, but you can guarantee that if the banning of red meat comes to pass not only will the main income of many countries, such as Argentina, be curtailed but you will see all other animal-based food products next in line for the same treatment.
It may well be as a nation we press on with this lunacy and ‘lead’ the world as our Premier thinks we will, but somehow I think we will be on our own in this; certain nations will never follow us down this virtual signalling dead end.
 
And yet again Boris goes along with this nonsense, no one calls him out.

It is striking that both the Climate Change Committee and the Treasury have refused to perform a cost-benefit analysis of the Net Zero project. Not really surprising: every real world article on the subject has shown huge costs against extremely vague promises; if the true cost to every man woman and child in the UK got out there would be or should be a rebellion - a real one.

Hydrogen is being pushed as an eco alternative to fossil fuels. These two charts show just how much electricity has to be used to make the hydrogen and also the amount of emissions produced from those two processes. As a commentator said it would be better to use the electricity in the first place. Battery-powered lorries, unless there is a revolution in battery design, add too much weight; that alone makes HGV using them uneconomical.




The max insulation required to make heat pumps work is not in any way doable for the bulk of the housing stock. The cost is way out of reach for the average family and offering £5000 as a grant to convert your gas boiler to a heat pump (£5000 of the same tax payers' money) is a joke. An Italian study has come up with a figure all in to make houses zero carbon: 100,000 euros.

A good explanation of why heat pumps are an expensive folly for the vast majority of properties:


Even the BBC could not ignore the obvious…

Heat pump grants worth £5,000 to replace gas boilers not enough, say critics

                                                                                                  
Meanwhile MPs get us to pay for their driving in London emission zone:


And celebrities continue to outbid each other on how virtuous they all are. The likes of Emma Thompson's well trailed hypocrisy has been joined by Joanna Lumley of Eastern travelogue fame now telling us we should not fly as she jets off to Rome for a film. She claims accusations of hypocrisy are jealousy as she and other celebs offset their carbon emission with tree planting and carbon credits (whatever they are); I would love to see proof of all this tree-planting that celebs assure us they do, many if it is true would have estates like Sherwood Forest by now.

That’s different of course, and putting in his two pennyworth is Arnie, telling us much the same and how he has ‘recently’! converted his Hummer to battery power; a vehicle that weight with an equivalent battery is likely to drain the grid, and it probably cost him the equivalent of  a small house to do it. He also is slowly cutting out meat from his diet and is healthier for it he says, or his heart doctor says. Is he off-setting all that stuff bodybuilders used when competing, allegedly! They are all clowns.

COP26: Arnold Schwarzenegger angered by world leaders' climate policies


There is nothing wrong with a balanced approach to cleaning up our act, but it has to be balanced against available technology so we don’t enforce poverty on the population. That technology is still in the future; you cannot bring it forward with unwarranted panic measures over something that is really not happening in a way that is any different from weather patterns over the millennia, and taking the Canute approach will not make the slightest bit of difference.

They really are 'extracting the Michael.'

And finally a snippet from the world of the 100+ genders, very funny but how many trans staff does Oxfam actually employ, or is one enough these days to remove items from sale or dismiss people for wrongthink?

We have taken the decision to withdraw the product Wonder Women Bingo as it has been brought to our attention that it is not in line with Oxfam’s values.’

Oxfam, which campaigns to end poverty and improve women’s rights, told The Mail on Sunday last night it had cleared the game from its shelves after transgender staff complained about it.

It added: ‘We took the decision to remove the game from sale following concerns raised by trans and non-binary colleagues who told us it didn’t live up to our commitment to respect people of all genders.’


Totally bonkers.

Friday, October 29, 2021

FRIDAY MUSIC: Foxes and Fossils, by JD

Foxes and Fossils is a close harmony covers band which began when Tim Purcell and his daughter Sammie recorded the Simon and Garfunkel song 'America' in his home studio.

He explains what happened next: 

"I’d had a home studio for years and recorded all of my girls at one time or another so this wasn’t the first time Sammie and I had sung or recorded together but it was the first time I ever thought about putting an act together with her. The idea took root and began to grow. What if we added a few more pieces; a better guitarist, maybe a bass? What if both were good singers? The more I thought about it I began to realize that this might be my chance to put together that strong vocal ensemble I had always dreamed of."

And his dream has come true with some fine close harmony singing and as well as several million 'hits' for these and other YouTube videos. 

They have released three CDs so far as far as I know but, being an old fossil myself, I am not sure how the business of buying and selling digital downloads works (whatever digital downloads are; that is not one of my skills!)








Thursday, October 28, 2021

Covid and flu: a Hallowe’en terror tale

As the pandemic goes on, some have queried the State’s facts; now, I’m beginning to wonder about its logic.

Here is the Daily Telegraph, relaying the message promoted by ‘health chiefs’ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/10/07/flu-deaths-could-hit-60000-worst-winter-50-years-say-experts/ :

Flu deaths could hit 60,000 in worst winter for 50 years, say experts

 More than 35m people will be offered jabs after health chiefs warn that lockdowns and social distancing have led to a drop in immunity

Note that the story is not about a new, deadlier strain of flu; it’s about the weakening effects of lockdowns and social distancing. By implication, we should have gone out and about and mingled with others to keep ourselves strong.

Why does this reasoning not apply to Covid?

Also, there is double-think about the use of the needle. Our long-standing strategy with flu is vaccination, focusing especially on the elderly and vulnerable, but even now, officials aren’t proposing to vaccinate the whole country against flu. Contrariwise, with Covid the plan is to jab everyone aged 12 and up https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55274833 , despite a January study saying that severe allergic reactions to the Covid vaccines are ten times commoner than with those for flu. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/01/06/cdc-says-severe-allergic-reactions-to-covid-vaccine-run-10-times-the-flu-shot-but-still-rare.html In particular there is mounting concern about inoculating healthy youngsters when they are naturally so resistant to the disease.

As for consumer resistance, a recent official news release sought to overcome it by a skilful muddling of issues. The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/oct/08/nhs-aims-to-give-35m-flu-jabs-amid-warnings-of-up-to-60000-deaths quoted Professor Jonathan Van-Tam, England’s deputy chief medical officer, on the need to take jabs for both flu and Covid:

‘Covid-19 will still be circulating and with more people mixing indoors, sadly some increases are possible. For the first time we will have Covid-19 and flu co-circulating. We need to take this seriously and defend ourselves and the NHS by getting the annual flu jab and the Covid-19 booster when called.’

(I don’t understand that ’first time… co-circulating’ bit; or rather, I don’t accept it. At what point in the last 20 months has either disease ceased to circulate? Perhaps he was misquoted, or ‘misspoke.’)

In any case, one suspects that this story was a ‘nudge’, persuading us to extend our confidence in the overwhelmingly safe flu vaccination to the more doubtful corona jab, even though the latter is still being delivered under emergency-use terms that protect the pharma companies from compensation claims.

Then add fear (’60,000 could die!’) to the cauldron (it’s nearly Hallowe’en, after all); and finally, an assertion of authority. The Cabinet’s Behavioural Insights Team recently made the mistake of publishing a study celebrating the public’s gullibility, or as they put it, ‘powerful tendency to conform’ and ‘deep set reverence for legitimate government authority’; it was swiftly taken offline, but not swiftly enough! https://www.breitbart.com/europe/2021/10/22/report-corona-shows-public-have-deep-set-reverence-for-govt/

The government claims to have saved 130,000 lives by the corona vaccines https://www.gov.uk/government/news/new-film-launched-urging-public-to-get-flu-and-covid-19-vaccines but health issues are complex and it can take years for experts to agree an analysis. For example, if there are 30,000-plus excess flu deaths because of lockdown and social distancing, that figure might be used to adjust the total of lives saved. Then again, how many have died and will die in the years to come, because of lower fitness levels, inappropriate responses to stress, mental health issues and the panoply of negative socioeconomic consequences of failing and failed businesses, reduced employment income for workers, and unemployment?

Perhaps one ‘canary in the mine’ early danger warning can be seen in mortality statistics that do not mention the coronavirus on the death certificate. Looking at the ONS weekly figures this year from week 27 (start of Q3) up to the most recent available (week 41), every week in 2021 except one has seen the most deaths since the equivalent week in 2010. To put it another way, let’s look at each year’s total for that 15-week period:


There is a gradually rising trend anyway, presumably because of a growing and ageing population; but 2021 is clearly above the trend.

Further, deaths from Covid in the same period are much higher this year than last. For Weeks 27-41 in 2020, there were 3,423 where CV ‘was mentioned on the certificate’; in 2021, 8,885 (or 7,691 if you count only those where CV was the ‘underlying’ i.e. main cause of death.) Adding those in for last year and this, total deaths from all causes in this 15-week period are running at c. 1,000 a week more than the highest equivalent (in 2017 – point 8 below) of the previous eleven years:


If this pattern continues it will need some explanation. Something is going on, and I suspect that factors may include the indirect effects of the anti-Covid strategy and the people’s behavioural responses.

Perhaps those who ‘know better’ might pause in their censorship, mockery and vilification of those who have concerns, lumping us all together with conspiracy theorists, the half-educated and hysterical under the scornful term ‘anti-vaxxers’, and consider whether they themselves may possibly be mistaken in one or more respects. They mean well, of course, but to err is human.

For an example of how good intentions can lead to disaster, consider the case of the Amazon’s Yanomami tribe, many of whom were inoculated against measles in 1968; thousands subsequently died of the disease. One of the anthropologists who administered the vaccine later admitted that the strain used was dangerous for immune-depressed people, producing ‘severe symptoms in people suffering from anaemia, dysentery or chronic exposure to malaria, and the Yanomami suffered from all three.’ https://dwhume.com/darkness_documents/0034.htm

If we accept the latest official suggestion, that our immune systems have been weakened by lockdowns and social distancing, then perhaps that may help explain 2021’s outbreak of the ‘worst cold ever’ https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-58624295 . We might go further and ask whether our resistance to Covid itself may have been dangerously lowered – and maybe the risk of severe anaphylaxis has been raised; who knows for sure?

All vaccination is a calculated risk, but in the current case I feel we still do not have enough information to make an accurate personal calculation; instead, we are getting propaganda and redaction. I took the gamble and was double-jabbed over six months ago; I didn’t react badly, but there has been a bit of an ache in my chest for a long time as though I was coming down with flu; and I have been sneezing a few times a day, for weeks and months. Maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe not.

Now I’ve been nudged by post, and hounded daily by text, to get the booster jab. Will I do it? On balance, considering my circumstances, probably yes. Am I sanguine about it? No.

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 28 October 1961

  Cliff Richard storms in at #2 with 'When the girl in your arms is the girl in your heart':



Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

22 October: 'Chubby Checker performed his 1960 #1 hit, "The Twist" on The Ed Sullivan Show, reigniting the popularity of both the dance and the record. The song returned to the Top 100 three weeks later, and became the first and only hit single to reach #1 twice.'

 Also on that day: 'Presidential and legislative elections were allowed to take place in Haiti by dictator François Duvalier, but only Duvalier supporters were allowed to run for office. Duvalier had his name printed on each ballot paper, with the result that he was re-elected unanimously.'

24 October: 'A group of prominent campaigners for the preservation of the Euston Arch, including James Maude Richards, went to see British prime minister Harold Macmillan to argue for it to be dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere. Their arguments were unsuccessful, and the arch was demolished two months later.'
But it may come back. Bits of the original were recovered a few years ago:
    ... and if the money can be found, it may be rebuilt:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3900478/Euston-Arch-set-rise-nearly-60-years-Government-declares-war-cult-ugliness-modern-public-buildings.html

25 October: the first edition of the UK satirical magazine 'Private Eye' is published(History)

27 October: 'Berlin Crisis: Five days after the initial incident involving Albert Hemsing, 33 Soviet tanks drove to the Brandenburg Gate to confront American tanks on the other side of the border. Ten of the tanks continued to Friedrichstraße, stopping 50 to 100 metres from the checkpoint on the Soviet side of the sector boundary. The standoff between the tanks of the two nations continued for 16 hours before both sides withdrew.'
Image source




UK chart hits, week ending 28 October 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Epipanicacademic attack - flu vs Covid

This from the Daily Telegraph:

Flu deaths could hit 60,000 in worst winter for 50 years, say experts

More than 35m people will be offered jabs after health chiefs warn that lockdowns and social distancing have led to a drop in immunity

_____________________________________________________________

'Coughs and sneezes spread diseases' was the old slogan; now the implication of the above is we should mingle, mingle, mingle to keep up our natural immunity.

So why does this not apply to Covid?

Or is the warning something to do with what He Who Must Not Be Named has suggested, i.e. that our immune systems have been weakened by having to deal with the deliberate infection by injection of the various anti-CV cocktails?

Tell me whatever story you like - but keep it logically consistent, please.

I'm provisionally prepared to accept that, on balance, I may be less at risk having a vaccination than not; but I don't know where to look for a fully reliable and unbiased quantitative assessment of the relative risks, with appropriate admissions of uncertainty.

If you can't trust us with the truth, don't be surprised if we have difficulty in trusting you.

Saturday, October 23, 2021

BACKTRACK: Featured hits of 1961

Click the link for the record, and news of the time:

Shirley BASSEY - Reach For The Stars
Petula CLARK - Romeo
Jimmy DEAN - Big Bad John
EVERLY Brothers - Temptation
Billy FURY - Halfway To Paradise
Billy FURY - Jealousy
Eden KANE - Well I Ask You
Cleo LAINE - You'll Answer To Me
John LEYTON - Johnny Remember Me
John LEYTON - Wild Wind
Ricky NELSON - Hello Mary Lou
Elvis PRESLEY - His Latest Flame
Elvis PRESLEY - Surrender
Elvis PRESLEY - Wild In The Country
Cliff RICHARD - A Girl Like You
The SHADOWS - Kon-Tiki
Del SHANNON - Runaway
Helen SHAPIRO - Walking Back To Happiness
Helen SHAPIRO - You Don't Know
Frankie VAUGHAN - Tower Of Strength

Friday, October 22, 2021

FRIDAY MUSIC: Paddy Moloney, a tribute, by JD

 Paddy Moloney of Irish tradtional folk group The Chieftains has died; he was 83.

"With a career spanning six decades, the Chieftains remains one of the most influential and heralded music groups to emerge from Ireland - and all led by Paddy Moloney, the charismatic performer at the heart of the group.

"In 1975, influential music publication Melody Maker ran its annual poll running down its best of the year, and there, claiming the honour of group of the year, was the Chieftains, beating the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Queen.

"That's a folk group, that performed largely vocal-less Irish traditional music while sitting down and whose image was largely 'guys in the back corner of a pub', beating some of the biggest groups to ever plug in an amplifier."


Paddy Moloney, The Chieftains founder, dies (1938 - 2021) RIP

PADDY MOLONEY VIRTUAL IRISH FESTIVAL OF OULU PERFORMANCE, NOV 21, 2020

The Chieftains also travelled to Galicia on several occasions and shared the stage with Carlos Nuñez in some very lively concerts. These two videos have appeared here previously but there is no harm in posting them again!



Below: Concerto de The Chieftains en Ortigueira 2014 con Phil Cunninghan, Milladoiro e a Escola de Gaitas; and beneath the video was this tribute to Paddy in the comments:

"Maybe that was the last chance to enjoy the live music of The Chieftains in Galicia, at least that was my last one. Now Paddy goes on his way to Tir na nOg, to meet there the greatest bards of all times. Galicia owns you many thing Paddy, as well as all the Celtic music world. Até sempre!"

Thursday, October 21, 2021

THURSDAY BACKTRACK: Music and news from 60 years ago - week ending 21 October 1961

 At #4 this week is Cleo Laine's 'You'll Answer To Me':



Some memorable events (via Wikipedia):

17 October - The 'Paris Massacre': 
    'More than 140 demonstrators were killed by French police in what would become known as the "Paris Massacre", after law enforcement officers fired on a crowd of about 30,000 people who were protesting a curfew applied solely to Algerian Muslims. 
    The actual death toll would be suppressed for more than three decades until the man who had ordered the crackdown, Police Chief Maurice Papon, was put on trial in 1988 for collaboration with Nazi occupiers during World War II. 
    There were 11,538 arrests, with the detainees held in stadiums on the outskirts of the city. The bodies of 74 of the victims were thrown into the Seine River and washed up on its banks later, while another 68 simply disappeared.'

18 October: 'The film West Side Story was released, with its world premiere at New York City's Rivoli Theatre. It would go on to become the highest-grossing film of 1962, and would win ten Academy Awards, including Best Picture.'

    On the same day: The Council Of Europe's 'Social Charter' (not the EEC/EU's) is open for signature in Turin.
    'The Charter was established to support the European Convention on Human Rights which is principally for civil and political rights, and to broaden the scope of protected fundamental rights to include social and economic rights.
    'The Charter also guarantees positive rights and freedoms which concern all individuals in their daily existence.
    'The basic rights set out in the Charter are as follows: housing, health, education, labour rights, full employment, reduction of working hours, equal pay for equal work, parental leave, social security, social and legal protection from poverty and social exclusion, free movement of persons and non-discrimination, also the rights of migrant workers and that of the persons with disabilities.'

    On the same day: '1961 South African general election: In the first parliamentary elections since South Africa became a Republic, the all-White electorate cast more than 2/3rds of its votes in favor of the National Party, led by apartheid proponent and Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd. The Nationalists captured 105 of the 156 seats, with the United Party (led by De Villiers Graaff getting 49.'

20 October: 'The first launch of an armed nuclear warhead on a submarine-launched ballistic missile took place, when a Soviet Golf-class submarine (Project 629) fired an R-13 (SS N-4 Sark) missile from underwater. The 1.45 megaton warhead detonated on the Novaya Zemlya Test Range in the Arctic Ocean. Although the U.S. had test-fired unarmed Polaris missiles, the first American SLBM nuclear detonation would not take place until May 6, 1962.'


UK chart hits, week ending 21 October 1961 (tracks in italics have been played in earlier posts)

Htp: Clint's labour-of love compilation https://www.sixtiescity.net/charts/61chart.htm

1

Walkin' Back To Happiness

Helen Shapiro

Columbia

2

Wild Wind

John Leyton

Top Rank

3

Michael Row The Boat

The Highwaymen

HMV

4

You'll Answer To Me

Cleo Laine

Fontana

5

Sucu Sucu

Laurie Johnson

Pye

6

When The Girl In Your Arms Is The Girl In Your Heart

Cliff Richard and The Shadows

Columbia

7

Jealousy

Billy Fury

Decca

8

Kon*Tiki

The Shadows

Columbia

9

Hats Off To Larry

Del Shannon

London

10

Wild In The Country / I Feel So Bad

Elvis Presley

RCA

11

Bless You

Tony Orlando

Fontana

12

Together

Connie Francis

MGM

13

You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby

Karl Denver

Decca

14

Get Lost

Eden Kane

Decca

15

Johnny Remember Me

John Leyton

Top Rank

16

My Boomerang Won't Come Back

Charlie Drake

Parlophone

17

Michael Row The Boat / Lumbered

Lonnie Donegan

Pye

18

Let's Get Together

Bobby Darin

London

19

Hit The Road Jack

Hayley Mills

Decca

20

Sea Of Heartbreak

Don Gibson

RCA

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

COVIGRID - Covid vs vaccine: fill the grid!

Does any particular Covid vaccine do more harm than it prevents? If so, in what situations?

The fog of claim and counterclaim, emotive language etc leaves us groping for the truth, or at least for the detailed judgment of the person or organisation making the assertions. Perhaps a colder, number-based approach would help. 

I give below a sketch of how we might describe and (when we have enough data) test the stance of any pundit, health expert or conspiracy theorist. 

There could be more categories/grids, e.g. pregnant women, people with immune systems weakened by illness or chemotherapy, possibly different ethnic groups or blood types, social class etc; but let's start fairly simply. 

In each box, let's put in two figures, the first for the risk involved in taking Vaccine X, the second for the risk involved in being infected while having previously remained unvaccinated, however mildly or seriously (we shall assume that sooner or later everyone will be exposed to the virus.)

Would a picture emerge, suggesting when (if at all) it would do less harm to stay un-jabbed?

What would your figures look like?






Sunday, October 17, 2021

Non-Covid deaths are on the rise in the UK - why?

'NHS bosses are apparently puzzled by the fact that there are, in the UK, thousands of excess deaths at the moment. These excess deaths are not caused by covid-19,' writes retired GP and pundit Dr Vernon Coleman on his website (14 October https://vernoncoleman.org/articles/scary-stuff-you-should-know .)

I noticed this independently and posted an ill-written piece about that a couple of days earlier (https://theylaughedatnoah.blogspot.com/2021/10/death-rates-rising-in-uk.html .) 

Before I go on to that, let's review the pandemic so far. The first registered deaths from Covid-19 in England and Wales occurred in Week 11 last year; first 5, then 103 in Week 12 and 539 in Week 13. Then the disease took off and for the second quarter-year the average ran at a frightening 3,766 per week.

The first week of the third quarter (Week 27) saw the Covid toll drop back down to 532 and it tailed off from there, averaging out at 205 per week. From Week 40 (when officially the 'flu season' begins) to the end of the year it shot back up to an average 2,040 per week, and even higher in the first quarter of 2021 (4,296 per week.)

To avoid arguments about deaths 'from' Covid and deaths 'with' Covid, all the figures are for where the diease was mentioned anywhere on the death certificate. Last year the distinction was not made, but this year the statistics note separately where Covid was the 'underlying' (i.e. principal) cause of death. Having said that, of the 65,535 Covid-related deaths noted so far in 2021, in over 87% (57,152) of cases Covid was identified the underlying cause, so there is not a great deal to argue about.

In the second quarter of 2021, Covid-related fatalities dropped down to 168 a week; but in the third quarter just ended the average has risen again to 577 a week (as compared with 205 for the same period in 2020). Why should this be? Is it to do with the new variant of Covid, or the relaxation of restrictions on the public? Given that the median time from identifying the illness in hospitalised patients to subsequent death is only one or two weeks https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/928729/S0803_CO-CIN_-_Time_from_symptom_onset_until_death.pdf , the infections leading to the third quarter Covid deaths come well after the 'flu season' (ends Week 20) and it must be worrying that we are seeing what looks like the start of a new spike at this time.

Perhaps even more concerning is what Dr Coleman noted above, that if we strip out all deaths where Covid was named at all, we still see an unusual excess.There is a rising trend in deaths from all causes from 2010 onwards, perhaps because our population is increasing in numbers and also growing older; but even ignoring the pandemic, the weekly non-Covid figures for Q3 of 2021 are clearly above that trend:

There is also a total of 992 cases in Q3 where Covid was mentioned but not named as the underlying cause, so if anything the anomaly is slightly higher than shown.

How do we explain this? Is it the indirect result of the disruption to GP and hospital services, and/or of the disruption to normal social and working life and people's behavioural responses to that? Should we speculate that the 'worst cold ever' reportedly raging in e.g. Devon https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/worst-cold-ever-rips-through-6041062 is a sign of immune systems weakened by restricted lifestyles and even possibly by mass vaccinations?

At what point is the cure worse than the disease?

Saturday, October 16, 2021

WEEKENDER: Covid Mismanagement - The Smoking Gun, by Wiggia

                                                        

'Smoking gun': not a phrase I have heard lately, probably because it could be applied to so many things today; we seem to be in a sea of mendacity corruption and unbelievably poor governance.

The report from the  parliamentary committee on the Covid handling is just another, well, report. It has no clout, it is just a self-serving pile of paper of politicians' views on other politicians' cock-ups or worse. Why bother? No report or inquiry on anything has had the desired effect. The Jay report on the mass rape of young girls is an obvious case: no report has spelled out its findings in a more forthright way yet apart from the next day's headlines it soon disappeared down that well-worn memory hole; not a single issue has been tackled in any meaningful way, hence the never-ending photofits of the next trial of these undesirables.

The report on the Covid crisis conveniently starts out with the presumption that lockdowns actually work so by saying we should have locked down earlier they cover themselves from any criticism that the lockdowns just might have been not necessary at all, after all Sweden managed well enough with light touch measures as did several states in the US. Lockdowns were never a done deal yet the magic words ‘saving the NHS’ make everything OK like sprinkling fairy dust on us all.

So MPs have decided the mistake made by Government wasn't 'lockdowns kill more than virus', it was not being draconian or fascistic enough - lockdowns should have been enforced before the virus got into the country or even earlier if they could have had their way, despite the WHO stating lockdowns were not the answer...


We can argue till the cows come about what or what not the right approach to dealing with the virus should have been, somehow I cannot see there ever being a consensus, but one thing is for sure: there is a stench lurking behind all this. With the exception of Sweden and a few states in the USA plus a couple of other countries there was a general consensus that lockdowns were the way to go. Was this just a follow my leader approach after China locked down hard and these countries worldwide decided this was the best approach, or was it lack of time and a desire to all be seen doing something, our excuse being to save the NHS? The same NHS that every winter gives out the same 'can’t cope' message.

One thing is for sure: once this route was taken our government or any other wasn’t going to go back and admit it was wrong. All dissent was erased and they carried on spaffing enormous sums of money on failed methods of control as well as shutting down the economy to a degree never seen before. The question has to be why? Despite what has been said this was not anywhere near the worst pandemic we have had - during the last one in 68/69 which I remember, the country carried on as normal - or anywhere near the consequences of the Spanish flu. Despite many including our own PM bigging up Covid as the biggest health threat this century, it simply isn’t. No real answers as to why this was different have been given, but the costs are horrendous and the Swedish model of control has not even been discussed, it has been totally bypassed; that can only be because to discuss it would have been to admit we and many others got it wrong and no politician is going to do that. Claiming to be 'following the science' when different views from the scientific and medical fraternity were refused airtime or any semblance of recognition, and shutting down any dissenting voices on all media platforms, was and is Orwellian.

I am as I have said before not one for conspiracy theories, yet so much that was derided eighteen months ago is beginning at least in part to be accepted as true. The cheap remedies written off as some sort of witchcraft now are appearing in some countries as a method to alleviate symptoms of the virus, again you will not see a change of direction from our experts or even a suggestion that just perhaps they were a little too quick to condemn these cheap remedies, 'cheap' being the word no pharmaceutical company wants to hear.

To me though the worst of all has been the appalling decision to decant hospital patients into care homes. Once more this has not been something we have been alone in doing, it would appear to  have been a coordinated approach; it cannot be a coincidence that so many countries took the same route at the same time. Did no one anywhere query that this might not be a good thing to do? Not one of the medical bodies involved in decision-making, not one eminent medical practitioner, no one in Health England or any equivalent bodies worldwide had a doubt about it all; I find that difficult to swallow. Or did they all take that same position from a global body such as the WHO?

This reveals the fact in the USA, starting around 4.40 in:
 

In Canada……


Across the globe the elderly were either neglected wilfully or there was an orchestrated agreement that they would be sacrificed, an appalling indictment of all those health services involved either way.


In Spain they just abandoned the elderly.


If we believe that this was wilful decisions were made at a high level and coordinated early into the pandemic, somewhere there are people in power who should be in jail by now, but already that part of the general mismanagement, an understatement if ever there was, is being sidelined: 'yesterday's news', 'lessons learnt', 'we had so little time' and on and on.

The reasoning and actions given in the report are amateurish to say the least. 'We had options' is actually said and 'hang on this could be dangerous', yet they all went ahead anyway. It's quite alarming that should have been the decision: if correct, the old were indeed sacrificed for a bed shortage that has been a feature of the NHS for years, the extra capacity supplied by the Nightingale Hospitals was never even used even in a way to provide a sanctuary for the same vulnerable patients. Why? The NHS said it never had the staff to utilise the Nightingale Hospitals, no it didn’t as Covid Centres but it did as overflow general hospitals, after all apart from front line staff the rest of the NHS was at home twiddling thumbs for months on end, even at that later date they could have been put to some use to give safe refuge to the elderly. I do not believe their was no other way other than to sacrifice those care home inhabitants as the result of total inaction.


The tragic consequences of that action will never be pinned on anyone or any group despite the size of the tragedy. The smoking gun will never be uncovered, too many reputations and positions rely on obfuscation in the matter. Already here Boris has said about the inquiry to be held, 'there is no rush to start'; no, of course there isn’t, there never is; it will be a complete waste of time and money as all the other inquiries are, but we are used to that by now, they have become theatre.

Friday, October 15, 2021

FRIDAY MUSIC: Fado with Mariza, by JD

 A visit to Portugal for this week's music courtesy of Mariza https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariza who I discovered on last week's BBC2 show "Later With Jools Holland."

This introduction to her music is from the 2005 archive of the show - https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p09xq517