Tag Archives: government

What’s Going to Happen When the Clapping Stops?

You can talk about a target that turned into a boast
You can talk about a test kit that’s still in the post
You can talk about them not controlling the disease
You can talk about them not controlling the economy

You can talk about the hairdressers, talk about the shops
But has anybody thought about
Is anybody talking about
What’s going to happen when the clapping stops?

You can talk about flattening or fattening the curve
You can talk about typically medical reserve
You can talk about passing at least the first peak
You can talk about avoiding media critique

You can talk about the hairdressers, talk about the shops
But has anybody thought about
Is anybody talking about
What’s going to happen when the clapping stops?

You can talk about maybe easing the lockdown
You can talk about the circus that was missing its clown
You can talk about sending the kids back to school
You can talk about suspending the two-metre rule

You can talk about the hairdressers, talk about the shops
But has anybody thought about
Is anybody talking about
What’s going to happen when the clapping stops?

You can talk about your temperature getting on the tube
You can talk about your fellow passenger being true
You can talk about publishing an exit strategy
You can talk about doing it without a vaccine

You can talk about the hairdressers, talk about the shops
But has anybody thought about
Is anybody talking about
What’s going to happen when the clapping stops?

Corona Universe

fury

The government have called in NERVTAG
The government have called in SAGE
The government have called in SPIB and SPIM
As the virus continues to rage
So when the government meet at COBRA
And tell us they’re calling in SHIELD
You’ll know they’ve really lost it
If they think Fury’s the real deal.

Quietly Terrified

Jason’s lucky, he’s been working from home
He can do a Teams meeting or talk on the phone
He’s available by email but never alone
With his wife and kids in the background
But there’s some work that he needs to see
Something that can’t be done remotely
He’s gonna ask them for another nominee
Because he’s quietly terrified

Joanna’s going supermarket shopping
She lost an online spot, but a least no one’s coughing
A good hour’s queue is still pretty shocking
But at least they’re two metres apart
She’s got gloves and a mask off the internet
So she don’t get infected by the people that she might’ve met
Her precautions are about as good as she can get
She’s quietly terrified

Jason and Joanna have key worker status
They’re part of the local government apparatus
But they’re unlikely to actually say to us
They’re working on the frontline
Jason and Joanna should try being a nurse
Or a doctor in the NHS or driving a hearse
Or driving a bus which is probably worse
They’re quietly terrified

Quietly terrified, the state of the nation
Doing their best in lonely isolation
Slowly losing their anticipation
That the government would know what to do
Quietly terrified, and losing their confidence
In the daily government press conference
No exit strategy that makes any kind of sense
They’re quietly terrified

 

NB Jason and Joanna are fictional characters. The government, on the other hand, are terrifyingly, incompetently, real.

The Lockdown, Week Two

lockdown 2

Week two of the lockdown brought no more certainty. It became clear that the rules of work had as much to do with protecting the economy as protecting the population. Businesses that involved face-to-face contact with the public, unless deemed essential, were closed, but if your job otherwise couldn’t be done from home, you still had to go to work, and building sites, call centres, warehouses all remained operational.

Chat show host, former radical and Liberal Democrat candidate, Maajid Nawaz, notorious for straw-manning callers that he disagreed with, broadcast, unchallenged, an economic expert who claimed that a six-point drop in GDP would kill more people than would be saved from the virus by closing their workplaces. Transport Minister, Grant Shapps echoed this sentiment in the Huffington Post. The tone was being set.

Elsewhere, trade union membership was rising. Construction workers, angered by the lack of social distancing on sites, the continued use of fingerprint scanners to clock in and out and the dangers of their journey to work on crammed underground trains, organised and started walking off sites. Blacklisted engineer Dave Smith was, as ever, on hand to offer sage advice and to amplify their campaigns with the hashtag #shutthesites.

The real scandal, though, was lack of testing for the virus unless, it appeared, you were rich or influential. Actor Idris Elba reported that he’d experienced no symptoms despite testing positive, while thousands of frontline NHS staff remained untested.

With the Prime Minister and Health Secretary both in isolation, Cabinet Office Minister and less accomplished liar, Michael Gove took centre stage at the daily government press conference. He told the nation that ten thousand tests had been conducted the previous day when the figure was less than eight thousand, and that the failure to conduct more tests was due to short stocks of the necessary reagents, a claim denied by the Chemical Industries Association. In the media, lack of lab time and lack of political will were also blamed. The doomed herd immunity strategy may not have been completely abandoned, as we learned that the Germans were conducting 70,000 tests per day.

And the morning news broadcasts told us that otherwise healthy 13-year old Ismail Mohamed Abdulwahab was now the youngest victim of the virus.

Shut Down the Sites

 

A fake lockdown for the fake self-employed
In the cracks between the government guidance
In the shadows, lobbying money deployed
As contractors look after their clients
Tube trains packed with construction workers
Denied their basic rights
It’s time to take matters seriously
It’s time to shut down the sites

The prime minister corrects his speech
He’s avoiding saying “must”
The position “if you can’t work from home” is reached
It’s unfair and unjust
That works canteens are full to bursting
Infection’s a throw of the dice
It’s time to take matters seriously
It’s time to shut down the sites

They shut all the non-essential shops
And places where the people go
But non-essential work’s not stopped
‘Cos they still need their cash to flow
Support for the economy
Versus workers’ right to life
It’s time to take matters seriously
It’s time to shut down the sites