Clap a Tory, Pay a Nurse

Week after week
They clapped their hands
And banged their pans
From rainbow bedecked windows
And cars and vans.
Hundreds of thousands
Acting with care, thought, and precision
Led to this decision.
“The NHS saved my life” Spaffer said
But what he meant
Was all they’re worth to him is one percent.

And Hancock,
Responsible personally
To the horse racing fraternity,
Pays tribute with words,
His deep pockets reserved
For contracts for corporate chums.
“Get out there and tell them you saved lives” he said
But what he meant
Was all they’re worth to him is one percent.

Nadine “I’m a former nurse, me” Dorries,
The first Covid MP,
Seeks to defend the economy.
Never surprised
By an MP’s pay rise,
But with Rishi is in accord
That this is all they can afford
While recognising sacrifice, commitment and vocation
Tells the nation
What she meant
Was all they’re worth to her is one percent.

When they tell you “level up”
What do they mean?
The numbers dead hid behind
A vaccination screen.
No money for heroic nurses’ pay
When Dido’s folly costs a million pounds a day.
There is a simple message delivered in this verse:
Next time, clap a Tory, pay a nurse.

One Zero Zero, Zero Zero Zero

There’s blood on the hands of Boris Johnson
Blood on the hands of Dominic Cummings
Blood on the hands of Therese Coffey
Who says that we’re all to blame

There’s blood on the hands of Matt Hancock
Blood on the hands of Dominic Raab
Blood on the hands of Boris Johnson
For whom it’s always been a game

If most of the people follow most of the rules
Most of the rules most of the time
When the rule makers blame the rule breakers
Whose is the greater crime?

One zero zero
Zero zero zero
He’s sticking firmly to his line
On mistakes, now is not the time

There’s blood on the hands of Boris Johnson
Blood on the hands of Priti Patel
Blood on the hands of Gavin Williamson
And Duncan Smith’s hands as well

If most of the people follow most of the rules
Most of the rules most of the time
When the rule makers blame the rule breakers
Whose is the greater crime?

One zero zero
Zero zero zero
He’s sticking firmly to his line
On mistakes, now is not the time

Behave as if You Have the Virus

Behave as if you have the virus, they said.
So, I went back to bed.
They said,
Work from home if you can work from home.
So, I got my work on the phone
And said,
I’ve got the virus
Because they said
Behave as if you have the virus
And if I had the virus
I’d be certain to tell my work on the phone
Who then sent everyone else home,
Because they clearly hadn’t been
Behaving as if they had the virus
Well enough.

Will it End in Tiers?

The move from local lockdowns in parts of the north of the country and the Midlands came fast, the move from tier 1 to tier 2 in London, York and other areas came even faster, as if the Government had miscategorised certain areas in the first place which of course they had. The people, needing clear, simple, effective guidance in the face of rising case numbers and hospital admissions didn’t get it. The rules, no longer guidance and now enforceable by law, were complex and it was difficult to understand how they would work. The balance of protecting the nation’s health against protecting the economy weighed heavily in favour of the latter. Confidence and compliance were low.

As families and communities considered the impact of the new rules on their lives and how they might bend or break them, open rebellion in the Westminster-governed political sphere was seen for the first time, echoing the previous divergence of the devolved administrations. Andy Burnham, the mayor of Manchester, declared that he would resist a move from tier 2 to tier 3 unless the Chancellor found some money to support those affected. You can’t instruct people to stay at home, he argued, if to do so deprives them of an income. Correct, of course, but falling on deaf ears, or tin ears as Kier Starmer like to refer to them as during Prime Minister’s Questions.

Sir Kier, leader of the workers’ party and knight of the realm, was not in favour of the tiered approach and argued instead for a short total shutdown, the “circuit breaker” approach, which would at least hurt the economy as much as it would the people. It was an argument that had previously been put forward by the Government’s own scientific advisors, the SAGE group, who were also ignored.

In Liverpool, the first area to enter tier 3, we discovered that there were two mayors, a Conservative mayor for the Liverpool city region with whom the Government maintained a dialogue and a Labour mayor for the city of Liverpool with whom they did not.

Britain was a nation fractured and exhausted. The arts had been written off as unviable, the hospitality industry dealt yet another blow by the tier 2 restrictions which didn’t shut them down but discouraged customers from going out and thus killed their trade without compensation, and football failed to emerge from behind closed doors.

The twin saviours of mass testing and comprehensive contact tracing still seemed a distant dream. Both were in the purview of Tory darling, corporate and political failure and baroness, Dido Harding.

Earlier in the crisis, Prime Minister Johnson and his sidekick, Health Secretary Matt Hancock, were at pains to demonstrate how they’d “ramped up” the testing regime, setting their own targets and celebrating when they achieved them but under Harding’s regime the swabs were all tested at centralised, privatised “lighthouse” laboratories, standing down the previous NHS and university collaborative effort and when laboratory capacity looked close to being exceeded the system started to restrict access to tests, sending symptomatic people hundreds of miles to testing centres and cancelling walk-in appointments. The Government issued a stern message that you should only apply for a test if you really needed one.

Hapless Harding, abetted by an equally hapless Hancock, took a cue from their boss and spaffed £12 billion on a test and trace system that didn’t work, including an app that failed and a centralised contact tracing system that couldn’t find any work for full-time private sector contact tracers. Although comparisons with spending in the Republic of Ireland were misleading, the rumours that some consultants earned in the region of £7000 per day proved true.

Populist Prime Minister Johnson had got it wrong at every turn, from herd immunity to world beating test and trace. Even the appointment of a vaccine tsar and the promise of a jab by September had come to little, but at least the news from China was more encouraging.

They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

What’s the connection
Between the new head of the National Institute of Health Protection
(Set up in the middle of fighting the infection)
And the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care?
Is there something of which we should be aware?

Well, he’s MP for Newmarket and his campaign was endowed
With lots of money from the horseracing crowd,
While she’s on the board of the Jockey Club
And, ay, there’s the rub,
The Cheltenham Festival
Which you might recall
Went ahead when cancellation was the call
And infected a load of people.

And as head of app-less Test and Trace
(Which isn’t in world-beating first place)
Gave ten billion quid of public dough
To Serco, whose CEO
Is Rupert Soames
From one of the country’s most famous homes
And whose brother Nick, I quote
“Is a main investor in the Tote”.

While Randox, who sponsor Aintree,
Are another company
Awarded considerable public money
With very little scrutiny.
A hundred and thirty-three million pounds, in fact,
Is the value of their contract
For testing kits that didn’t work,
And worse
They pay an eight grand a month fee
For consultancy
To another Tory MP.

At Talk Talk she won the wooden spoon,
Which is coming to Dido’s Test and Trace soon
And she’s head of NHS Improvement as well
As this new role, can you hear the death knell?
Because her husband is on the board of 1828
Who called for PHE to meet its fate
And are advocates for a change in Britain
To an insurance-based healthcare system.

So who’s looking after your health today?
Because this lot shoot horses, don’t they?

Ayanda Capital

Welcome to the Ayanda family
Focussed on investment strategy
We specialise in trading currency
You see

Welcome to the Ayanda family
We specialise in offshore property
And private equity
But we’ve never bought any PPE

How can that be?

Welcome to Ayanda Capital
We’ve no PPE experience at all
But there’s 250 million quid on the table
Some haul

Welcome to Ayanda Capital
Kings of remaining profitable
There’s public money there for us to trawl
And a government advisor that we can give a call

The stakes ain’t small

Here’s Andrew Mills, he’s a member of our board
What he knows about facemasks ain’t been explored
But if there’s money to be made then rest assured
He’s on board

Here’s Andrew Mills our deal deviser
ProsperMills’ influence exerciser
And business advisor
To Liz Truss, Secretary of State, for International Trade

That’s how the deal was made

Now if you think that this ain’t corrupt
Then protest singers might as well give up
And turns out the masks ain’t even good enough
And that’s fucked up

The victims of COVID still regularly cop it
While folks like Ayanda are making a profit
Matt Hancock ain’t gonna do anything to stop it
So if you want to protect the NHS as well

Don’t lose your sense of smell

Local Lockdowns, Part One

Go back to your northern powerhouse homes
Unless you are going to the pub, which you should visit alone,
Or work, which you must not shirk.
No visiting family or friends
Unless, we guess, you work with them
But we say again:
No socialising in houses or gardens
No if’s or but’s or beg your pardon’s,
But if you’re one of the shielding folk
Your rights to help have been revoked
And you should come out, your race is run,
Just try not to come into contact with anyone.
Because Hancock, a politician
At home with confusion and contradiction
Accuses you of a lack of compliance
With his social distancing guidance
And has identified some high-risk zones
So go back to your northern powerhouse homes.

Trust

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Dominic to take a knee
Or any of the three with PPE

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Jacob not to take a nap
Or any of that world beating crap

You can’t trust anything they do or say
I never trusted Tories anyway

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Dominic with an eyetest
You can’t trust Priti in the slightest

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Rishi with the dinero
Or any of that world-beating crap

Ideology or incompetence, you choose
Whichever way your coin toss lands
It’s heads they win and tails you lose

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Michael with anything vital
Or any of that world-beating crap

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Gavin with your schools
You can’t trust this cabinet of fools

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Grant, you just can’t
And none of that world-beating crap

You can’t trust anything they do or say
I never trusted Tories anyway

You can’t trust Bozo to squash a sombrero
You can’t trust Matt with an app
You can’t trust Michael with anything vital
Or any of that world-beating crap

Another Day, Another Press Conference

Can we have the first slide please?
It’s Hancock so it must be Thursday
But it could be Monday or Tuesday
It’s another day but the same disease

Can we have the first slide please?
This one shows lies, as you can see
It continues to rise, exponentially
It’s our one area of expertise

Can we have the first slide please?
It’s Hancock so it must be Thursday
But it could be Monday or Tuesday
It’s another day but the same disease

Can we have the next one please?
This one shows complacency
That we’ll display quite shamelessly
While easing the lockdown aimlessly

Can we have the first slide please?
It’s Hancock so it must be Thursday
But it could be Monday or Tuesday
It’s another day but the same disease

And here’s what the data tells us
With the scientists here to help us
It was business that compelled us
To let the virus overwhelm us

Can we have the final slide?
The one that shows how many died
The one that lacks the interventions
The one with all the unanswered questions

Can we have the first slide please?
It’s Hancock so it must be Thursday
But it could be Monday or Tuesday
It’s another day but the same disease