Passports for what?

Government, even in Wales, are hesitant about vaccination passports. Why?

I am travelling to Spain and I have been given no option other than to get vaccination certificates, or vax passporta by any other name. The government, at least in Wales, insists I pay through the nose for Covid tests after my return, it is compulsary! So why not have a vax passport, while we are excluding choice.

We all received little cards recording our vaccination and apparently these cards can’t be used as passports because they can be forged or copied.. Anybody with the slightest wit would have secured the original card and we’d be all done.

These shortfalls in Government forward thinking would not be tolerated in any half decent business. A simple process has become impossibly complicated because the Governments of the UK are flaffing about the restrictive issues associated with vaccination passports. Again, why?

On my travels I wield my UK passport with a certitude that the Uk is respected, and that I will be given elemental safe passage as a citizen of the UK.

If I were not vaccinated, by choice , then surely the powers that be have the duty to protect the majority and insist that I can prove my vaccination status. Not to do so is a free license to spread the disease and maybe kill my fellow citizens.

I am aware that a minority cannot receive Covid vaccinations, if there is just cause it should be noted. Otherwise I see no reason that the Governments in the UK pander to the balmy conspiracists who insist on avoiding vaccination. It is their choice and if they want to be excluded from social interaction or travel then fine, let it be so.

Liberty, antivaxers,conspiracies, and the law.

Following Matthew Syed’s article regarding fundamentalist religious founded terrorism, I was intrigued to understand the limits of freedom to cause harm, whether through assassination by gun or by lie.

My premise is, that though blowing people up is evil and obvious, antivaxrs for example, cause multiple deaths but in a less obvious and indirect way. Many of them claim that compulsary vaccination is a breach of civil rights.

As for the conspiracists and the snake oil brigade, then any wild assertion such as the establishment injecting poisons and chips (electronic) so that they can spy on us. Well, they are clearly fabricating harmful lies which influence the vulnerable and contribute to the spread of pandemics and multiple deaths.

The issue here is, causing the deaths of unknown humans is by any definition is wrong. However, the right wing lobby insists that vaccinations should be a free choice. They are aginst vaccination passports despite the well known fact that Corona virus kills.

Matthew Syed point is that we should recognise that terrorist attacks are very much driven by religion. That the terrorist who kowingly blow themselves up, really are driven by religious fervour. I agree with him.

What then drives the antivaxers, the freedom from government and the conspiracist lobbies? Their beliefs are in most cases firmly held. Many to a fundamental beleif that is unmoveable. They share that fundamental belief with their kind. Some refuse to acknowledge the immutable fact that pandemics kill. Others acknowledge the danger but are committed to the belief that freedom of choice is a fundamental and immutable right, even if it kills tens of thousands of people.

I might argue that killing is wrong either through religious fervour of obstinate defense of individual right. Is it their right to kill by denying fact, as witnessed by the millions of deaths around the world?

Do those who lead us politically, have the guts and gumption to see that sometimes there must be clear leadership? An ethical decision must surely be made to protect and defend all of us from proven danger. Terror and lies both kill, we should defend against both.

Who will put out the fires?

Has the USA conciously given up the role of the leader of the free world? Does the shambles in Afghanistan signal a surrender to the angst and loathing of idealist states, they vary from Totalitarian to Theocracy, all convnced of their infallibiity. China to Iran and noow Afghanistan, Venezuala to Brazil. All, wild examples of belief and political systems, that many think are out of balance with the perceived needs of humanity.

In Europe, The British are having an identity crisis ex Brexit, (where has the Great gone in old Great Britain?) as is most of Europe, from the Gaulist elitism of the French to the German fear of their future now that the Chancellor Merkell is coming to the end of her reign. The PIGS and Euro crisis is still very much alive, and battles about sovereinty rage amongst several members of the club.

Africa, with few exceptions is locked in corruption and violence, whilst Australia is shackled in the fierce embrace of a coal burning China, struggling to resist their almost total reliance on Chinese exports. The examples are just a few of the many strains that exist

The world is physically and literally on fire, and can such a disparate group of political systems have any chance of coming together to save humanity from itself? It does not look good.

The upcoming conference on climate change may possibly bring these disparate factions together in order to save the planet. Let’s hope so, but if human history is anything to go by, the premise is set to fail. The nearer we get to conflagration of our species the more likely we are to recognise our desperate mutual dependency.

This is an idea that has escaped President Biden of America, let us pray that the future will be led by wise men who recognise their destiny.

How liberal are we?

As we pull out of Afghanistan, following American leadership, is it time to ask ourselves whether democracy should evolve, or be imposed? It seems that the Taliban have complete control of Afghanistan, and maybe their influence is their business and not ours. After all, I hear you say, it’s their country and no business of ours.

I guess we could say the same thing about China and the Uighers, or the Christians in Iraq, or the Kurds, or people of colour in America. Now there’s a progression that is very uncomfortable. The good old USA has been a beacon of democracy for the rest of the world. Or has it?

A tragic mass shooting in the UK this weekend was the first fot many years, we are all moved with sorow and horror. Yet in the liberal USA mass shootings are a regular ocurrance, apparently gun control has nothing to do with these awful happenings and the right to bear arms is more valuable than the innocent lives lost. (My assumption)

Mr Xi in China has created hundreds of thousands of middle class chinese, lifted from dreary poverty. He has done this by absolute rule. What he says, goes! He beleives he’s a good guy, and the persecution of the non conformist is OK for the good of the majority. This guy is Karl Marx and Jesus Christ all rolled into one, he is the absolute ruler of China and is, right now, steam rollering the world in China’s favour.

It all boils down, the cynic would say, to shooting folk if it suits or doing what one man says. Stark choices to be sure, the middle road seems obscure, yet it’s what many of us seek to do. Don’t kid yourself, liberism and democracy have their extremes too.

Killing the sacred cow.

We all love the NHS. We all know that nurses and doctors have worked heroically throughout the pandemic. Yet, we know that the NHS fails to deliver a satisfactory support service in so many ways, not least the failure of a multitude of Governments who have all failed to sort out the intergration of medical and social care.

The consequence of this shortfall is that many people find it difficult to see a doctor, many people are waiting for ambulances for hours, others wait in ambulances outside hospitals, and people wait in A & E sometimes with dire consequences, for hours.

Don’t blame us, they say, the hospital is full, there are no beds. There are no beds because we cannot let chronically unwell people go. It is not our fault. But it is someone’s fault, or something of the system’s fault. The fault exists. Our usual reaction is to pour more money into the NHS.

This is not a question of ‘nobody cares’, of course they do, but nevertheless the whole system, health and social care falls short of what Nye Bevan had in mind. Adequate care that is free at the point of delivery. Even with enormous charitable support, the Hospice movement is buckling under the strain of the demand of the chronically ill, not to mention those who just about manage a declining and misreable old age.

Care workers are undervalued and under paid, many are wonderful a few are not. Why are we surprised? The Local Authorities are charged with providing care packages, whilst the NHS have responsibility for ‘Continuous care plans’. It is clearly a nonsence.

Increasingly, due to the short falls in the system, many are turning to private medicine. Many people even those of a deeply socialist nature are increasingly turning to private medical insurance. Many are re-mortgageing their homes to fund elective surgery. “Elective” it often is not, as the persons concerned are suffering really badly, ruining longevity and what quailiy of life they have left.

A word about carers. The word Carer applies to a huge range of activities that take place in hospitals, hospices and homes. They include assisting in meal preparation,, bathing, dressing, mobility and communication support. The work is intimate and exhausting. Not all of us are physically or mentally equipped for these roles, we must cherish and reward those who are blessed with patience, kindness and generosity of spirit to carry out this important work.

By doctors, (GP’s) not seeing patienst, the strain on A&E and ambulances increases. By not intergrating continuous care and social care we are blocking up valuable beds. So from both ends the NHS is squeezed. The ever increasing take up of private medicine increases strains on the avialbilty of specialists. Walk in to any private consulting room, it will be crowded!

The ageing population is a challenge that is only going to increase, so the pressures on the system in UK is only going one way – up and up! A radical review including the place of insured medical care is not only necessary, it is inevitable. Not only that, the Care sector must be intergrated with that of Health. It will cost, we must pay, and the government must face that. The Government must not rest, and we must sustain a viligence, until we have a sytem that works a good deal better than the one we have now.

Remind me, am I depressed?

Since the lockdown it has been a difficult time for everyone. It seems we have little else to talk about or write about for that matter. I sometimes think, that we are in a national wallowing in self pity. Everything seems about self awareness and group sensitivity. Wokeness and focus of individual issues has ballooned during our recent hideaway culture.

Is it not time we woke up, not Woke up, I mean be aware of the good things in life, the good we receive and the good we can do. Yes, of course many have suffered and many have mourned the premature passing of a loved one, there can be little consolation for them. But the rest of us! Let’s get to it.

Many of us are confused, about Covid and its consequences. Some, a minority, are locked in conspiratorial cabals of delusional nonsense, lets hope they do not infect the rest of us with their nonsense and their real threat of carrying and nurturing of the Covid virus in all its forms.

Now is the time for the majority to give thanks for their deliverance by vaccine and to think positively about rebuilding our lives , even if that does mean permanent change. The lockdown has been for many an excuse to do nothing, a time to switch off. You could call this depression, if you will. I prefer to think of it as laziness of spirit.

This idleness has truly infringed our life styles, it has paralysed our sense of initiative and closed us behind the cold doors of fear. All this has been stoked up by such luminaries as the Duke of Sussex and his mate who have rambled on about how hard the world is and how beastly everyone has been to them. Is it not time we all woke up and see the sun shine, watch the leaves change, watch the birds fledge, see the cricketers, and hear the choirs. For Goodness sake – wake up and lets get on with our wonderful lives.

In the UK we have a Government lead by a buffoon, who makes things up as he goes along. Probably as good a way as any, no one really knows. Devolution illustrates once and for all our tribal desires to be at odds with paper tigers and the fripperies of liberal politics.

In the long term we believe what we are conditioned to believe, the more we read of national depression, the ruination of education, the more we tend to absorb the bad news. Good new seldom make good headlines. The Vaccines works, there are matters as yet unresolved, but so there are about the mutations of influenza and pneumonia, yet we don’t harp on about then every day. Like ‘Flu we have to live with Covid. Let’s us face it, get on with it. It is after all a problem the human race has positively faced and is on the way to solving.

Tomorrow is another day full of opportunity or woe depending on your view. We are doomed if woe shuts out the light of opportunity.

Cummings and goings!

Are we surprised by the utterances of Mr Cummings, probably not! Do we believe him? Probably not!

Dom Cummings is a bright intelligent man who is obviously a huge egocentric believer in all things that Cummings sees and hears, whether real or imagined. This is a man who like Boris Johnson, who thinks what he says goes. Irrespective of considered logic.

Both Johnson and Cummings have common fetures mainly based around their super egos. Cummings is unpopular because he is humourless and Boris is popular because he is humorous. That tells us more about ‘us ‘ in general that it does about either of these figures.

Of course there were grains of truth in what Cummings told the select committee, I have no doubt that there were speculative thoughts about ‘what if’ scenarios. What if we did nothing? What if we allowed herd immunity? How many would die if…? What will be the cost to the economy if…? Of course there must have been scenario projections about all sorts of things, including travel restrictions, Mr Mohdi’s visit, etc etc.

Bye and large the UK has done well in terms of immunisation and curtailment of the corona virus, yes we have made mistakes, of course we have.

Sadly the truth will not out, nor, would some say. does it matter. Of course it does matter because as we screw up the planet more plagues will come and we had better be ready. The amazing thing is that the English will vote for centrist economics, the Welsh will vote for dependency of socialism and the Scots and Northern Irish for their nationalist causes, come what may. Overarching all these issues will have little to do with truth and fact.

Is it true that the NHS is wonderful? Yes and no. Is it true that UK is a international and leading power? Yes and no. Is it true that the Brexit issues are good for UK? Yes and No. All this ambiguity is too much for the average voter.

They are dominated by the cults of personality and tradition. Right now smiling at the PM dangling from a zip line is more appealing than a wrecked labour party. Mr Cummings has a point, but he is not a laughing matter.

A false injection of nationalism.

The elections are done, and the United Kingdom remains united for now. Boris the buffoon has consolidated his hold on the majority of the former working class ‘so called’ red wall, whilst Scotland and Wales have remained largely unchanged with the SNP and Welsh Labour firmly in control.

All in all, the electorate felt their leaders were doing a good job especially when it came to managing the Corvid pandemic and the immunisation programs. That the supply of vaccines was almost entirely the responsibility of the UK government went largely unnoticed, while Sturgeon and Drakeford lauded their management of the pandemic. In reality they doled out the vaccines and followed the Westminster lead with occasional minor initiatives of their own.

What we have witnessed is a weirdly shallow response that has taken no interest in the sharper and more important issues facing the British democratic model. No mention of fiscal deficit from either Scotland or Wales. No mention that Johnson is a superficial wit who will say anything to get a vote or a laugh. Both seem equally important to him and surprisingly to the electorate too. No mention of the nature of the union, no real response to the blunders in the results of the Brexit compromise.

All the political leaders gained from the national pandemic, all were praised for their leadership, when all that’s really changed is that they appeared on TV at least once a week. Every time their primary concern has been their personal commitment to the safety of those in their care. ‘I’m looking after you.’ has been the mantra of all those in power. All those aspiring to challenge have been at a huge disadvantage, since any criticism has taken on the impression of treasonous, selfish ambition.

It has always been the UK prime Minister Johnson’s way to say whatever comes into his head. Some ideas are good, i.e. reform of social care, (not yet thought through) some less good at least to some, i.e. leaving the EU, (definitely not thought through)and some definitely bad such as his throw away remarks condemning Nazanin Zaghari-Radcliffe to years in jail.

All these so called leaders Johnson, Sturgeon and Drakeford have one thing in common, – power in the time of adversity. Their personalities are all different, but they have all received masses of exposure to a scared electorate.

No wonder then we got the results we did. It shows that the electorate votes not for ideas but for illusions. Illusions about who will lead us to a better place. The characters who come into our homes every day and tell us what a great job they are doing. The heroism ascribed to the regional (national) leaders is largely circumstantial, it is only in Northern Ireland that a national leader has lost the patina of leadership, where real political fervour has been exacerbated by Brexit mistakes that really make a difference.

Both Wales and Scotland have massive fiscal deficits with the Westminster Government, it must be time where it is obvious to all that the United Kingdom has resources that need better distribution, not separation in to smaller units. Yes, the South East of England has the largest economy, the greatest wealth and the most people. That wealth though is used to support all areas of the United Kingdom. All the three national entities Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are supported from Westminster, all have massive fiscal deficits.

Scotland’s drive for independence seems to pose more questions than answers, Wales determines to stay at arms length stubbornly declining initiative to open up, these are illusions of tribal grandeur. We all have our nationalities of which we are rightly proud, but voting for braggarts and eccentrics is no way to enhance our futures.

No, it won’t be alright! Ireland will return to troubled waters.

When Boris once again, sold the DUP down the river, he assured Arlene Foster that it would all come good. Nothing to worry about, after Brexit it will all settle down.

Well it’s all going predictably pear shaped, the Northern Ireland situation is teetering towards mayhem once more. The Brexit so called compromise resulted in a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Boris as ever bumbled round the situation and claimed it would all settle down and return to normal (whatever normal means). Of course it has not. The whole of Northern Ireland properly feels affronted by being treated differently to the rest of the UK. The Unionists are about to be caught in a vice between Sinn Fein and their own disenchanted followers. Violence and insurrection are almost inevitable.

It is obvious to everyone that the Peace Process is and has always been imperfect. Now the the apparently sacrosanct promise that there will never be a hard border between the North and Ireland is proving an impossible hurdle. The original peace agreement chose to ignore the possibility of Brexit. There has never been a solution which satisfies the EU, the Unionists and the UK Government.

There are only limited options 1) the unification of Ireland, and 2) An agreement between the EU and UK that all destination documents and taxes are carried out in UK ports, according to the overall Brexit agreement.

Either solution needs early and urgent attention, if Boris and his crowd of chums don’t hurry up it will be back to mayhem. Boris will bumble on.

The Downing Street Flat – Who cares? – Ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe!

The common herd, which excludes the Bullingdon Boys and their like, apparently don’t give a toss about Boris’ complete disregard for rules whether he tells lies or bends the system. After all he’s full of charm, wit, and comic bluster. Those qualities are apparently just what we need in a Prime Minister.

Not a week ago, David Cameron was in the spotlight for his dishonesty in using his position as an ex-PM to influence his former buddies. (Not breaking the rules mind you!) The stories go on and on, whether its track and trace or Healthcare supplies. As far as Boris is concerned, no one cares as long as his Government achieves their goals which includes lining the pockets of their chums.

We can all understand Boris’s thinking, I can do what I like as First Lord of the Treasury and Prime Minister, or even as Foreign Minister when his unprepared gaff, committed Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe to more years of savage imprisonment. The Tory party didn’t give a damn they voted him in to lead and everyone then were so pleased he got a thumping majority.

What does it tell us about ourselves as a democracy? Well, firstly poor old Mrs. May was hopeless, secondly we wanted out of the EU, and thirdly Bonhomie counts more than substance.

Well, we had better wake up or Boris and Cameron and their like will soon be running an autocracy where honesty doesn’t matter a jot. I am a life long Tory who believes in conserving what is good and improving where we need to, but enough is enough. Get rid of Boris or lose my vote.