Today I received an email from the Government “strongly recommending” me to download the “NHS Test and Trace Covid-19 App”.
It seems they got my email from my GP. (Local doctor).
That would all be fine – an app that is something to do with the NHS (National Health Service) that will help prevent the spread of Covid-19. Who wouldn’t take part?
Except, the app is precisely not the “NHS” app. The app when first launched did not accept tests produced by the NHS.  It only worked with tests produced by a network of mostly private laboratories.  It is as if the producers of this thing simply didn’t consider the NHS. The ‘oversight’ has now been ‘fixed’ – though the fix is a manual one; there is no sign that anyone at any point considered integrating the app’s software with the NHS.
Anyone looking at the UK’s handling of Coronavirus can notice that there has been one consistent thread. Through all the disasters, needless deaths, u-turns on policy, procurement failures, false starts with herd immunity and so on the one consistent theme is that a number of privately run government contractors and large businesses have received staggeringly large contracts. Under special Covid rules government has been able to place some (or all? – I am not sure) of these contracts without a formal procurement process.
It comes as no surprise then to learn that it is now not permitted for teachers in schools to use materials from organisations which criticize capitalism.  This is the guidance issued by the Department of Education:
Schools should not under any circumstances use resources produced by organisations that take extreme political stances on matters.
Examples of extreme political stances include, but are not limited to: a publicly stated desire to abolish or overthrow democracy, capitalism, or to end free and fair elections, opposition to the right of freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of assembly or freedom of religion and conscience.
Let’s be clear; this is saying that schools cannot use materials from organisations which seek to “abolish” capitalism. The guidance doesn’t say “by violence”. This means, for example, that a school-teacher could not use any materials from this blog in a lesson. It means that if the Labour Party had not abolished Clause 4 (which sought to give the workers control of the means of production) under Tony Blair then it would be not permitted to use materials produced by the Labour party. It isn’t just about capitalism. This ‘guidance’ (which is obligatory for schools) means that organisations which promote a political system which is not our current one are barred from schools. However absolute a value so-called ‘democracy’ is it is totalitarian (and strange) to ban questioning of it.
(Meanwhile of course schools can – maybe even must – use materials produced by organisations which promote weird ideas about gender fluidity to very young children).
This is just like the Soviet Union making it illegal to criticize the party ideology. It is a defining moment and one at which we can witness the final slide into a totalitarian capitalist dictatorship.
[Image: Eucalyp and Freepik edited by Bruce The Deus / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D