Analysis comment

Video: Johnson wants to blame you if 12-week tide-turn fails while he isn’t doing what WHO says – and BBC is helping him

PM forced to admit he had no grounds for his 12-week ‘turn the tide’ claim – but broadcaster’s headlines make no mention

At his press conference last night, Boris Johnson told the nation the UK can ‘turn the tide’ of the coronavirus pandemic in twelve weeks – but only if the country’s people follow the government’s advice.

Within minutes, he was forced to admit – live on the BBC itself – not only that he had no basis for his 12-week timescale, but that “we don’t know where we are” in terms of who is infected and how fast the virus is spreading. Which is no surprise, when there is no meaningful testing even of almost certain sufferers.

Five hours later, after plenty of time to analyse Johnson’s claim and subsequent admission as well as the many parts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations that the government is not carrying out, the BBC’s 10pm news headlines broadcast Johnson’s claim – without challenge or qualification:

Further into the programme, the BBC did briefly touch on concerns about the government’s handling of the crisis – before going on to defend the government’s slowness to impose the more extensive distancing measures recommended by the WHO.

However, the many who will have tuned in only for the headlines would have missed even that diluted scrutiny – and the analysis did not go into the continued failure to ‘test, test, test’ and trace, which the WHO says must be the ‘backbone’ of any effective response to the pandemic.

Tories always devolve blame, but not power – and Johnson’s statements now are preparing the ground for more blame-dodging when the consequences of his inaction inevitably bite.

Boris Johnson is failing or refusing to take even some of the most fundamental steps in fighting the virus – he appears not even to be investigating the drugs successfully used by China – but he wants all the onus to be on you if the UK coronavirus crisis cuts deeper, lasts longer and costs more lives than it needs to.

And the ‘impartial’ BBC is helping him.

The UK’s message to Boris Johnson is simple: we’ll do our part, but if it’s going to work, you must do yours – and you must carry the blame for your own failures.

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24 comments

  1. Johnson’s first instinct is to set up scapegoats in the inevitable event he fails. Here we have ‘Science’ which he says he’s slavishly following, ergo if it fails it’s the bloody scientists fault (especially Whitty). But his real scapegoat is us the citizens; if we don’t do what he advises then it’s our fault. But as his system of quarantine is voluntary those Scientists will say it isn’t going to work. According to the RW press he’s doing a great job by giving ‘optimism’ by saying he’d send the virus packing. The Brazilian President would be a safer pair of hands.

  2. The worst of it is that even by following the government’s advice it won’t necessarily help the situation as the following piece from an actual doctor in the front-line explains:

    “We are being treated as cannon fodder”

    ‘After a decade of austerity, NHS doctors feel they have been abandoned by the government in the face of Covid-19’.

    https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/treating-the-crisis-we-are-being-treated-as-cannon-fodder/

  3. Behavioural Fatigue v Reducing variables which will lower the bottom line(Deathrate).

    I hope the incumbent government policy of not investing in the WHO strategies was underpinned by financial constraints in the beginning

    This article was recently in the Lancet and the subject matter is imposed quarantine.

    Psychological trauma or Catastrophic death rate?

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30460-8/fulltext

    Even the cliches of the Classic degree,Bullingdon Old Etonian are wearing thin. But apparently not with the MSM.

    1. FFS two wars ago (real wars) people ‘suffering from PTSD’ were shot. In the last war they just got on with it, went back to real life and shut up about it.
      Now we can’t cope with staying indoors for a fucking month without having a psychologist on call and phone in programmes to blub about how hard it is.
      I’ve gone a month on a couple of kilos of pasta when I was skint.
      A fat bloke turned into a thin bloke after walking lost in a desert for a month with NO food a few years back.
      Seriously, why is everyone making such a big deal of this?

  4. I watched him amazed that nobody picked up on the blindingly obvious flaw – that by “the people” he means ALL the people.
    Every last one of them.
    This is to virus control what his girlfriend’s fishnets were to birth control.
    He’s fucking useless at both.

  5. Its a great shame that our imbeciles in Whitehall don’t heed advice from Chinese peers with first hand knowledge of observing and treating those infected with Covid-19 – we need to also heed said advice down in the HKSAR also if I’m blunt, and here’s why.

    Today in the HKSAR we witnessed the largest number of clinical/laboratory confirmed number of Covid-19 infections, 92% of these imported by residents returning from overseas visits – presently the HKSAR has now implemented a 14 day quarantine policy for all arrivals in to the Territory, which, is now clinically insufficient, and this fact needs to be considered when discussing all UK Government policy in relation to Covid-19 and its spread.

    Latest research from the China-Japan friendship Hospital, Beijing, has underscored the fact that the shredding of the virus from the human body once it begins replicating in host cells is actually 20 days, with a number of patients expressing the virus shredding for 8 days and one expressing the virus for 37 days, the median average of all those now included in the trial was 22 days.

    In other words, and without mass testing, the UK has infected persons running around shredding the virus for an average 22 days, with many of these infections not exhibiting symptoms – so, the current 14 day quarantine standard needs to be increased to 21 days at a minimum if the virus spread is to be curbed.

    Again, and with a focus on the HKSAR, we now have clusters of infections in persons below 35 years of age who have been visiting local gyms and a nightlife hot spot, these being areas our more wealthy workers congregate after work hours – seems the rich think they are immune from infection, which, they certainly ain’t.

    Again, and I emphasise, the HKSAR has had stringent containment controls and aggressive contact tracing in place since late January following our first confirmed case on 23 January – we now have more than 250 infections, 42 of which within the past 36hrs, which indicates even after nearly a full two months that the pathogen remains active within our community – thankfully, local person-to-person transmissions have been steady – alas, our Centre for Health Prevention expects many more infections before this crisis abates over the next 14-21 days.

    So, if the HKSAR can’t get a handle on this outbreak in a 2 month timeline and stringent containment in place, how the heck do the UK authorities hope to put a lid on it within 12 weeks being behind the curve by a minimum six weeks?

    Here’s the China-Japan Friendship Hospital Report I’ve been referencing: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30566-3/fulltext

  6. OK, Boris ‘We’ll get Covid done’ Johnson is a lamebrain, but we knew that when we voted him in. The problem is that his cronies made cuts to the NHS so deep (many hospitals just swept away) that we are now the worst-placed country in the western hemisphere to deal with the pandemic. Never mind, the army has plenty of tents!

    1. OK, Boris ‘We’ll get Covid done’ Johnson is a lamebrain, but we knew that when we voted him in.

      Speak for yerself.

      Yes, WE know he’s a lamebrain. but ‘WE’ DIDN’T vote him in. Not even the ‘Tripartite Axis’ on here went THAT far*

      *Well, they get the benefit of the doubt, like. 🤔

    1. Apparently, netflix will be lowering the resolution quality: ‘to take stress off their servers.’ or something.

      …I wonder if they’ll be lowering their prices for people who’ve paid for the 4k then?

      I know one thing; branson wouldn’t.

    1. Jan,

      I could have actually said China, but the HKSAR, which of course is part of China, has been doing things a little bit differently to our peers on the Mainland and has different data sets.

  7. The Torys invented “Social distancing years ago,Surely they should be experts by now and if not why not?An awful lot of public money has gone over the years into “Social distancing” for the Tory boys who now want it exclusively for the elderly and vulnerable .Should we be flattered or more likely dead in bed trying to get warm round a cup of bovril.

  8. Regular ‘Tests’ must be carried out on ‘anyone’ who ‘serves the public’, or is in regular contact, but especially medical practitioners & ‘care workers’ An excellent criteria of how serious BoJo & the ‘Bash Street Gang’ are about stopping the pandemic here in Britain can be measured by how efficient the testing programme is. BoJo just keeps washing his hands..

  9. Jeremy will be making a speech at 6pm this evening

    We’re pushing the government for bold action on Coronavirus. It needs to suspend rents. It needs to support workers.

    But we also need to support each other, as so many Labour members are already doing in their communities.

    So I’ll be on a video call with Labour members up and down the country tonight from 6pm. Can you join us?

    https://action.labour.org.uk/page/m/6e8a9895/52f82d59/2417c818/2c8dc8b/196255365/VEsE/

    You’ll be able to hear from fellow Labour supporters who are finding ways through the crisis, as well as post comments and questions so we can discuss how we cope and move forward together.

    Generations to come will look back on this moment and judge us on what we do next. Our movement must stand up for what is right. Stephen, our movement must leave no one behind.

    See you tonight,

    Jeremy Corbyn

  10. The Press Conferences have been a Masterclass in how to alienate an entire country. But the journalists are even worse. Barely an intelligent question among them and nothing even tending to criticism. British deference to those In Charge has never died away. Quite a few ‘questions’ only require him to repeat how Wonderful and Fantastic everybody is, Incredibly hard working of course. It seems ‘follow up’ questions aren’t allowed thus spiking anybodies gun. When it goes remote will Mr Cummings have the pause button in his hand or will it be recorded for ‘technical reasons’? The British Upper Class have always preferred control of the inky oiks. What a bunch of useless tossers and collaborators!

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