Government Ministers in the UK, fully understanding their supporting role in the interests of global capitalism and finance have long since been seeing any potential vaccine against Covid-19 in terms of profit and stock-market gains. From the outset the Health Secretary was telling the world how a British vaccine would be good for British business. “After all, the upside of being the first country in the world to develop a successful vaccine is so huge that I am throwing everything at it.” 
The CEO of Pfizer sold millions of dollars of stock on the day his company prematurely announced a “90% efficacy rate” for his vaccine.  The company explained that there was nothing untoward about this. He had set up an automatic selling option back in August and the shares were sold when the price reached a certain level. Obviously the two actions (the announcement and the ‘automatic’ share selling system) have no connection. The corporate media dutifully reported this shifty tale without asking any further questions.
Continue reading “Pfizer vaccine and greed”
This is written by the ‘Science Editor’ of the Daily Telegraph:
“The Oxford jab is cheaper because it relies on traditional methods of vaccine production. In this case, the spike protein of coronavirus, which helps it attach to human cells, has been inserted into a common cold virus”. 
It is wrong. The Oxford ‘jab’ works by inserting into the deactivated chimpanzee virus the genetic instructions to produce the spike protein.  It is not the spike protein of Sars-Cov-2 which has been inserted. A fundamental error. The Science Editor. But this kind of sloppy reporting is the norm these days – and is indicative of the general collapse in values in public life.
Continue reading “Sloppy journalism”
At the start of the current epidemic The Department of Health and “Social Care” released untested Covid-19 patients into care homes long after it was well-known that Covid-19 transmits asymptomatically. This resulted in thousands of “totally avoidable” deaths in an event described by Amnesty International as a “scandal of monumental proportions”. The summary of their report makes distressing reading. The facts are basically indisputable.
Old people in care homes were sacrificed to “Protect the NHS”. A political goal.
I have not seen a single MP making a fuss about this. There is a Parliamentary Inquiry into the government’s response to the pandemic which plods along. But I simply haven’t see any MP making a fuss about 18,000 + “totally avoidable” deaths of elderly people in care homes.
Contrast this with this story in today’s Guardian. A peer, in the House of Lords, put out a “tweet” in which he referred to the new Vice-President Elect of America as “The Indian”. Most likely he forgot her name and couldn’t be bothered to look it up. Maybe it is a bit offensive. And if you really want to probe it probably it reflects a slightly racist attitude. But no one has died. It is a Tweet. It will be forgotten in a few days and the mob will get outraged about the next offensive Tweet. But MPs and members of the House of Lords are complaining bitterly and demanding an apology and a retraction. Phrases such as “utterly unacceptable”, “no place in British society” and “I am so angry about this comment” abound.
I wish that at least some MPs and members of the House of Lords found the “totally avoidable” deaths of 18,000 old people in ‘Care Homes’ which resulted from a government decision “utterly unacceptable”. But it seems they don’t. They are too busy scanning Twitter for the next comment to get offended about.
I give you “British society”.
- Delayed initial lockdown and failure to implement a quarantine system in early March. Result: tens of thousands more dead than need be.
- Transfer of untested Covid-19 infected patients to Care Homes up until mid-April. About 16,000 totally avoidable deaths. (Amnesty)
- 7 Nightingale Hospitals built at huge cost and hardly used. Apparently because they didn’t think about how to staff them.
- £12 billion on a Test and Trace system which is not fit for its stated purpose and has in fact failed. (Failure to use local Health Boards). 
- Basic failures building an app. outside of the manufacturer APIs even though a simple test (and/or checking experience in other countries) would have told them that Bluetooth doesn’t work on Apple phones when the app is running in the background.
- Any number of purchases of inadequate equipment. Just one example; the Ayanada Capital scandal which involves a government adviser.  This is just one of many such dubious contracts for the purchase of substandard equipment made with normal procurement rules suspended. Billions of pounds wasted.
- Second lockdown implemented several weeks after SAGE advised need for a ‘circuit-breaker’ lockdown. Thousands more needless deaths.
- Passenger Locator Form system still not working so even 6 months in the Dep of Health can only take a wild guess as to how many people have come in from Denmark (where there is a new and dangerous strain of the virus).
None of the above depend on an interpretation or point of view. These are all simple errors in decision making and implementation. The result has been tens of thousands of people needlessly dying and billions of pounds needlessly wasted. It is to my mind extraordinary that anyone in the country still has trust in the government. Of course it is partly explained by their friends in the media covering up for them. But even so. The population is like sheep being led to the slaughter.
I’ve said litany of errors. But let’s not be naive. This is from the point of view of an ordinary taxpayer or relative of someone who has died. From the point of view of the shareholders of any one of a number of large international companies (such as Serco, Sitel, Perkin Elmer) or of many management consultants and media consultants who have benefitted from extraordinary largesse all this is cause for huge celebration. They will be whooping for joy. (As will Pfizer with their proof-of-concept vaccine which needs to be stored at -70°C but which populist governments will be obliged to buy).
So – perhaps not so much a litany of mistakes as a carefully managed transfer of £ hundreds of billions from the British taxpayer to (often US) shareholders and UK management consultants.