Tag Archives: testing

Hancock’s NHS

The people Hancock calls “Our NHS”
Are a litany of corporate interests.
For example, here’s a sample:
Deloitte, KPMG, Serco,
Palantir, Mitie, Sodhexo;
Providing PPE, testing, track and trace.
More wrong ‘uns than on Michael Gove’s bookcase.
So, heavy is the heart that understands
That we really are not safe in his hands.

gove books

Tell ‘Em We’ll Test ‘Em Tomorrow

Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow, Matt
Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow
Gove’s conferences fell quite flat, Matt
He won’t be a tough act to follow
And Boris promised ‘em millions, Matt
But he ain’t got much truth left to borrow
So tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow

Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow Matt
Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow
The Mail are beginning to turn on us, Matt
And that’s hard for us Tories to swallow
Tell ‘em the Germans have got all tests, Matt
While our industry laid fallow
And tell ‘em well test ‘em tomorrow

Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow, Matt
Tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow
We know that they’re needed right now, Matt
And so do the WHO
Tell ‘em there’s no point in blame, Matt
Do a cover up job for the shit show
And tell ‘em we’ll test ‘em tomorrow

Fly ‘Em Home

They were on the beach when the border closed
The trip of a lifetime they supposed
Cut short when the lockdown
Was imposed

Can they get to the airport, get on a plane?
Someone official needs to explain
Someone official needs to help
To get’em home

Fly ‘em home, to a country that won’t test ‘em
Home, to a country that knows best, and
Home to a country, stressed
By captivity

Fly ‘em home to lousy isolation
Home, to a divided nation
Home, to friends, relations
That they can’t see

Masked and gloved the driver came
At the airport they were all dressed the same
Waiting for a flight
To the infected zone

Tuned in to the expert’s soothing words
And the journalist’s questions dodged, deferred
The death toll’s rising
But they’re going home

Fly ‘em home, to a country that won’t test ‘em
Home, to a country that knows best, and
Home to a country, stressed
By captivity

Fly ‘em home to lousy isolation
Home, to a divided nation
Home, to friends, relations
That they can’t see

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.