Well I see that the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden is having talks today with football administrators and medical experts over the possibility of allowing top class English football to return next month behind closed doors and at neutral venues. Now nobody would be happier than me to see football’s return – so long as it is safe for all concerned. Indeed yesterday the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab, was gushing about how the Premier League’s return could ‘lift the spirits of the nation’. Wow it only seems a few days since Matt Hancock publicly pilloried top flight footballers for their wealthy lifestyles and shaming them into making a bigger contribution towards the cost of the NHS (that is in addition to the heavy tax they pay on their massive earnings) which many were already doing privately. It makes you laugh doesn’t it. The Government targets easy scapegoats but with 30,000 covid-19 deaths already on their watch (the largest in any country bar the USA which does have 4 times our population) they are suddenly in need of those overpaid footballers to take the attention and the pressure off them. And people accuse me of being cynical. Pah
So it appeared from yesterday’s briefing that the number of daily tests went up from just over 50,000 on 28th to more than 80,000 on 29th. Blimey that’s an astonishing 60% increase in a single day, a huge jump, but I didn’t catch a single note of comment on it. That’s a massive leap forward in achieving Mr Hancock’s target. But not one bit of hoopla. Odd? I just hope they aren’t doing tests for the sake of delivering a number such as compulsory testing for all army personnel. I’m not saying army people aren’t important (and I just made that idea up of course for the sake of context ) but let’s just pray these new tests are being carried out on people who are in greatest need of them – frontline staff, new admissions, key workers and their families, recent victims previously untested etc. Continue reading →
I almost forgot to mention the other thing that really got my goat up with the Minister for Health’s pronouncements this week. Basically we all wanted his answers to two key questions:
when will the NHS staff in all positions of the service get their essential personal protective equipment?
when will we have sufficient stocks of testing equipment available firstly to carry out essential tests on all NHS staff and then on the general public to meet and if possible exceed the target of 100,000 per day?
and as I’ve made clear in the earlier posting he couldn’t give any clear reassurances on either. But to deflect attention he then proceeded to play to the public gallery and vilified footballers for not accepting substantial pay cuts at this difficult time, when many people are being laid off etc. It’s such an easy target and I thought it was a really cheap shot.