'Russ in Cheshire's' latest update on what has been happening in the UK
1. The govt said they had to "balance the nation’s health with our economy", and in that respect, they have succeeded: both are evenly balanced as the worst in the G7
2. So Boris Johnson went on holiday. See if you even notice.
3. Britain’s death toll, pretty much the worst per-capita in the developed world, rose again to the levels it was 2 months ago
4. Fortunately, the govt solved those deaths by the simple expedient of publishing the figures on a different website and not telling anybody
5. A mere 6 months into the Covid-19 crisis, the govt advertised for a "Head of Pandemic Preparedness" with a salary of – honest to god – less than mine. And I do colouring-in for a living.
6. In Feb the govt said "nobody will go hungry as a result of Covid-19"
7. The FSA said 7.8 million Britons had skipped meals or eaten unsafe food as a result of skyrocketing “food insecurity” since the outbreak
8. So the govt is planning to stop the furlough scheme to force us to go back to jobs that don’t exist
9. Britain’s GDP fell 21%, more than twice as much as Germany or the USA, and even more than Spain, which we keep telling ourselves is doing terribly, whilst avoiding mirrors
10. And an IFS study showed UK can expect to be permanently 9% poorer if we have no Brexit deal by Nov
11. So naturally, Liz Truss paused a £14bn trade deal with Japan over concerns for the fate of Stilton, which is 0.007% of the deal. But she’d made a big deal over Brexit saving Britain’s vast and vitally important Stilton industry, and everything else comes second
12. Liz Truss suggested increasing the speed limit to 80mph could be the solution to all our economic woes
13. And then The Express – yes, them – suddenly discovered the USA favour a deal with the EU over a deal with the UK because, and this will shock you, the EU is much bigger
14. Boris Johnson insisted the central Test and Trace system was "still world-beating" after it traced only 56% of cases
15. Local councils set up their own tracing in Lancashire, Liverpool and W Yorkshire and traced 98%. "World-beating" isn’t even beating Blackburn council
16. NHS Providers said Test and Trace is “not fit for purpose, let alone world class”
17. A month after knighting Sir Tom for raising £32m, the govt gave 10x as much to company valued at £100, and with no expertise in producing PPE, for 50m masks we can’t use
18. By one of those massively rare coincidences that happen 9 times out of 10, the owner is a close friend Liz Truss
19. And then it was revealed the govt didn’t just sign one inexplicable contract with a useless and inexperienced supplier: they had at least 20 contracts
20. One of the contracts is for £108m, paid to a pest control company with assets of just £18,000. The company is now using money from that contract to threaten legal action against a lawyer who asked what it is doing with the money. I kid you not.
21. Education news, and in the beginning, the govt opposed adjusting A-level grades
22. Then top fireplace salesman and irony no-fly-zone Gavin Williamson said “The danger is that pupils will be over-promoted into jobs that are beyond their competence”
23. And then the govt introduced a “moderating” algorithm to adjust grades
24. Then the Tories told the Scottish govt to abandon its own adjusted grades
25. And when the Scottish govt did Tories had asked, the Tories said it was a disgrace and they should resign
26. Then multiple Tories called for Gavin Williamson to do exactly the same thing
27. The Assoc of Headteachers said the govt’s handling of this is "a rolling disaster"
28. Things are moving fast. But not as fast as the contents Gavin Williamson’s small intestine
29. The govt’s algorithm awarded twice as many grade increases to pupils from private schools as it did to state schools.
30. And an Education Policy Institute report found wealthy pupils get 1/3 more funds from the "levelling up" budget as poor pupils get
31. Scrupulous honesty news: property developers gave the Tories £11m in the last year, and then, miraculously, the Tories relaxed rules on planning permission
32. Amongst the regulations they tried to scrap was the one requiring dwellings to have at least 1 window
33. Robert Jenrick said "you can trust me on housing", 3 weeks after he admitted wrongdoing in helping a Tory donor avoid £45m tax
34. To be fair, he then denied admitting wrongdoing, even though he had admitted it on camera, and that's always the mark of a man you can trust
35. The Royal Institute of British Architects said the reforms were "shameful" and would "lead to a generation of slum housing"
36. Housing charity Shelter said the reforms "will mean the end of affordable housing" and force more than 1m people onto housing waiting lists
37. But Priti Patel said Syrian refugees were the real cause of our national housing crisis
38. She asserted that people claiming asylum in the UK was illegal, which it absolutely is not, under any circumstances, ever
39. Then she appointed an excitingly-titled "Clandestine Channel Threat Commander" tasked with, amongst other impossible things, pushing migrant boats back out to sea, in direct contravention of international law and British Navy regulations
40. A leak from inside the MoD said Patel’s plans were "completely potty", "inappropriate, impractical and unnecessary” and had "more holes than a slice of Swiss cheese". I’ll put them down as a 'maybe'
41. Priti Patel then had an argument about this with some ice-cream
42. James Cleverley, a hugely successful one-man campaign against nominative determinism, joined in, but confused "virtue signalling" with "obeying the law"
43. Tory MP Sir Edward Leigh had a solution: "We should never have lost Calais in 1558. Why not take it back?"
44. Then Sir Edward, a vocal, life-long Brexit fan, said we should pay the EU to manage migration for us, but it has been very warm, and he does look like a man who has been in the sun far too long
45. Speaking of Brexit, it was revealed Tate and Lyle, Tory donors and No Deal cheerleaders, will gain £73m if we get No Deal, because they can import more of the very unhealthy sugar they supply
46. So obviously, the govt started a TV campaign telling us to stop being fat
47. The govt condemned the Russian state, which said it had a vaccine that hasn’t been approved by regulators
48. And then it was revealed UK’s much-vaunted 90-minute rapid Covid test has not been approved by regulators
49. The govt said children would be safe if we re-opened schools
50. And then Boris Johnson said he would "bulldoze schools" in which there were Covid outbreaks, which seems a smidge excessive if Covid can’t spread in schools
51. The govt said there was no evidence any children had caught Covid in school. Schools are closed, so it would be difficult right now, but let’s not try to apply logic any more
52. An international study found pupils over 12 are just as susceptible to Covid-19 as any adult
53. Scientists called for routine testing of teachers and pupils
54. The Schools Minister said no because, I’m sorry, I have no idea why the Schools Minister said no, and neither does he. People asked. He didn’t have an answer.
55. And then Immigration minister Chris Philp asked if he could re-record a live interview, after he forgot what country he was from
I’m sure it’ll be fine.
MaizieD Thu 13-Aug-20 22:39:56
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