Unions outraged by callous but revealing statement
Civil service union PCS has warned that the government’s attempt to force around 2,000 passport office staff back to work – in spite of the government’s coronavirus lock-down instructing workers to stay home – is putting lives at risk.
Workers have asked how they are supposed to get into the 500 or so offices the Home Office wants them to staff without using public transport or needlessly exposing themselves and others – and their families – to infection, after a leaked Zoom meeting transcript revealed the government’s plan.
A ban on international travel means that processing passport applications does not constitute ‘essential work’. Staff reacted with horror to the danger to themselves and their families.
But the leaked meeting also revealed that – as the SKWAWKBOX warned readers three weeks ago – the government’s ‘herd immunity’ plan is very much still in place, with nothing changing but the language and charts used to describe it.
The government’s Deputy Chief Scientific Officer (CSO), Rupert Shute, was recorded telling the meeting:
We are working on the assessment that 80% of us, if we haven’t already, will get the virus.
We cannot hide away from it forever.
‘Herd immunity’ is the idea that if enough of the population – normally 95% but the government is claiming 60-80% – have antibodies against the virus, it will be unable to continue spreading. However, it is normally achieved by vaccination.
Without a vaccine, given the death rate of the virus, reaching the required levels of community immunity would mean hundreds of thousands – as many as two million – people in the UK would die.
Three weeks ago, after the consequences of the plan were exposed – again, weeks after the SKWAWKBOX revealed them – the government claimed that it was no longer following its intended course of action.
But this was a lie – and the Home Office gave away the game in the comments of the Deputy CSO.
Only three days ago – on Tuesday of this week.
The BBC reported the leak and its contents – but still regurgitated the government’s claim to have abandoned its herd immunity plan.
But the reality is clear: that plan is still very much alive – and right at the centre of the Tories’ thinking. A plan that will result in an unthinkable number of innocent deaths if they are allowed to pursue it.
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