Can we start 2021 again please?

Even one of my favourite folk music bands has gotten in on the latest scandal embroiling the Conservatives.

People familiar with their music won’t be surprised to see them calling out an unjust and incompetent Conservative government – they did the same back in the 1980s and 1990s – have a listen to Jam Tomorrow.

Their version of Coal not dole / Bells of Rhymney is particularly haunting – especially with this montage.

Only in 2019/2020 it was the shops that closed as the over-leveraged high street brands imploded under the weight of their own debts.

Policy rubber marks all over the political road

Eat out to help out, prepare for the second wave, but don’t cancel Christmas – and legal action to keep the schools open until a last minute decision to close them and now we find ourselves with ministers having completely lost control of the virus as well as their own policy objectives – having achieved the opposite of their aims for both controlling the virus and the damage to the economy. And to remind everyone, it’s not like ministers were completely unaware of the threat posed by a pandemic. It was at the top of their National Risk Register for 2017. How did they get things so badly wrong?

Because the incompetence and the mistakes by ministers have been on a phenomenal scale. They have also been repeated, and they have been over an extended period of time. And tens of thousands of people have paid with their lives.

I’m not going to go into the detail of the policy and politics. If you want to go there, here’s Brighton MP Caroline Lucas of The Green Party.

Oh – and don’t get me started on everything that’s going wrong with Brexit. It’s too depressing. A bit like the uncertainty from the alarming news that has been coming from the USA over the past week or so. Again, I won’t go into the detail other than to say Eugene Goodman – remember his name. (The Black police officer who faced down a racist mob, distracted them and gave the US Senate valuable extra time to evacuate).

Being locked down all over again in the face of an even more virulent strain of CV19

None of us want to be, but we have to be. I have to be. And it’s crushing me emotionally. But I have to do it, not least for those I live with and also because I found out today that at current rates, Addenbrooke’s has about seven days worth of beds left that can take CV19 patients before they have to turn patients away. Not in my lifetime have I come across a scenario where the hospital that has *always been there* has had to turn patients away because it is beyond full. And let’s face it, Addenbrooke’s has been around a lot longer than me. (As early as 1719 claim some documents).

In my case the activities I’d normally undertake have all been shut down either temporarily or semi-permanently until/unless the country is inoculated. And there are so many unknowns – including how long the immunity lasts for, and whether it provides immunity for the new strains that seem to be emerging. (So far, the news is positive). It also means the health-related actions I had on my list of stuff to do have to be put back a further 6-12 months on top of the 12 months already delayed. And it’s not just me. For some, delays to things like operations and urgent treatment is the difference between life and death, or losing the use of a limb, an eye, a lung, and so on. Too many people are paying too heavy a price for ministerial incompetence and indecision.

Delayed local elections.

We find out on Wednesday 13 Jan whether the local elections are being delayed or not. By the looks of things they are going to be postponed again – an Urgent Question has been tabled by Cat Smith MP for after Prime Minister’s Questions. When they will be postponed to remains to be seen. Much will depend on how successful the vaccination programme has been alongside how the NHS is doing. Will it be safe to do door-to-door campaigning? Will it be safe to have hustings and public debates in community venues?

In the meantime, it’s the middle of January and it looks like the lockdown conditions will not be lifted until the end of February. The regulations as they stand keep things in place until 15th February – if not making the restrictions even tighter. It’s a grim start to the year.

%d bloggers like this: