Analysis comment

Tories pour contempt on safety of our kids; Streeting uses London u-turn to pretend Labour didn’t cheerlead and even push Johnson to keep schools open

Tories close London primary schools because of the pandemic but ignore danger to children in the rest of the country – so Labour decides to pretend it had opposed Johnson’s strategy, only a fortnight after siding with him against councils and unions on school closures

The dire Wes Streeting has been accused of trying to ‘gaslight’ the UK public as the Tories yet again pour contempt on most of the country – and, even worse, on the safety of our children.

After months of insisting that schools must stay open, Boris Johnson and Gavin Williamson have finally admitted that keeping schools open is fuelling the pandemic and putting children at risk – but their u-turn only affects London, where primary schools will remain closed in the new year. Children in the rest of the country will still return, with only a minimal delay in the worst-affected regions and none elsewhere.

Keeping schools open when they are not remotely safe has always been insanity, as they were always liable to pass the virus to more vulnerable members of their family and the scientific consensus has long been that schools have been the driver of the second wave of the pandemic. And now even the Tories have been forced, with even their own ‘SAGE’ committees clamouring for closures, to recognise the facts – but they are protecting London and leaving children and their families elsewhere at the mercy of the virus.

How has Labour reacted to being exposed by yet another Tory u-turn after Keir Starmer has spent so long enabling and even demanding schools stay open? Shadow Schools minister Streeting has tried to rewrite history, pretending that Starmer’s Labour was not in lockstep with Johnson – or even running ahead and dragging him along.

Streeting tweeted a response, accusing the Tories of ‘dither and delay’ on the schools issue – and criticising Johnson for not ‘listening to the professionals’:

But Streeting seems to want us all to forget that when unions were demanding safety measures in schools, Starmer and his Shadow Education Secretary Kate Green didn’t ‘listen to the professionals’ – they sided with the Tories against the unions on the issue of masks – and only u-turned on the issue after the Tories did.

Streeting’s criticism of ‘dither and delay’ on ‘school safety measures, mass testing and remote learning is obscene – when Keir Starmer demanded schools return ‘no ifs, no buts‘ when it looked like Johnson might prolong the summer holidays.

And it looks like a sick joke when Starmer sent Johnson a secret letter promising support on schools – and was eager to agree with the Bullingdon boy that ‘schools are safe’ during PMQs:

The sheer perversity of Streeting’s whitewash led to accusations that he was ‘gaslighting’ the public – “a form of psychological manipulation in which a person or a group covertly sows seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or group, making them question their own memory, perception, or judgment“:

And Streeting convenient forgets even his own recent history, when he was accused of siding with the government against London’s mayor and councils on the Tories’ unwillingness to let schools close a week early for Christmas to help stem the pandemic:

Streeting is following his boss’s line, as Starmer did not stop at ‘no ifs or buts’ – and took the same line against London’s Labour councils:

But if Streeting and Starmer are hoping that this tack will somehow play well with the die-hard Tory voters they seem to want to appeal to, yet again they are screwing up atrociously – because even among Tory supporters, a huge majority wants to see the opening of schools at least delayed:

This country is in horrific trouble having Boris Johnson in Downing Street during a national crisis. That trouble is exponentially increased by having the likes of Starmer and Streeting as the misnamed ‘opposition’, more concerned with gaslighting the public and undermining the Labour movement than actually hitting the Tories on the countless disasters and tens of thousands of needless deaths they continue to cause.

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    1. Screeching’ll probably feel complimented by that, the dumb sumbitch.

  1. Streeting you twat , remember this little statement ,,, No IFS NO BUTS NO EQUIVOCATION , now which so called Political leader said that then ehh ?
    This little weasel epitomises all that I detest with our politicians , vain , vacuous , shallow , dishonest , cowardly
    Dishonest in what he is trying to do here and now with this statement , cowardly over his actions marching down the street as part of the possy of RW MPS “protecting ” Berger in the Marc Wadsworth case ,,,,, you know what I can’t be arsed to waste further of my time on this little tit of a so called man , you can add your own case history of examples re this douchebag .

  2. I hope everyone will join with me in a class action against the Criminal Cabinet and their wanton display of abandoning society during this pandemic. Whilst they continue to empty the public purse into theirs and their friends pockets, the virus is being encouraged by the Criminal Cabinet to spread and kill thousands of citizens through laughable decisions, if hey we’re not killing people. Thousands more starving from want of food, thousands more facing eviction, thousands more unemployment. Plague Island is an open prison run by a Criminal Cabinet and backed up by Israeli trained police, who are happy to target single old men and women pedestrians and single young women pedestrians by ten officer snatch units. We also have Israeli drones flying over us carrying out surveillance. The same drones fly over Palestine carrying out surveillance and assassinations.

      1. I would be very interested in getting together with citizens across the UK to raise a court action against the Cabinet. The BMA is setting up a court action on behalf of the medical staff who have been sacrificed. I have through Facebook tried and tried to garner support but have come up against exhaustion and apathy. Granted we are all exhausted but we do need to take back control. The politicians and Police are PUBLIC SERVANTS. They are accountable to us. We are not their peasants. Austerity saw some 100 000 citizens abandoned and left to die. 70 000 plus citizens are dead from the pandemic. 70 000 nurses are currently off work due to illness. 50 000 nurses walked in 2019. I walked in 2000 after damaging my spine in an ITU work related incident. The NHS is on its knees. Time for a revolution. London’s Burning Part Two or….a court case to end all court cases.

      2. barrieried, so sorry to hear about your accident, on top of all the covid casualties of care staff from covid. One doctor is taking the government to court over the death from the virus in a care home. She is crowd funded it. We just need some legal advice as to what the government can be charged with. They’re also being taken to court over the lack of transparency on the awarding of pandemic related contracts contracts (see open democracy website).
        I would like them to be held account for their reckless handling of this pandemic where they have ignored expert advice time and time again, going back to their baseless ‘hurd immunity’ experiment in the spring. Perhaps some charges of malfeasance , or misfeasance, we really need some legal advice. Surely, thousands of resulting deaths with thousands more suffering permanent disability can not be allowed to go unchallenged, I keep thinking.

  3. A thought; – Might it be the case that locking everyone down but keeping the schools open applies a selective evolutionary pressure for the Virus to mutate with the specific effect of infecting the under -18-year-olds asymptomatically (as it has) & thereby actually causing the infamous mutant virus that is now super spreading?

    1. You are likely correct. An asymptomatic host generally puts greater evolutionary pressure on a parasite or virus to be able to spread where the symptoms in a host are the method long evolved to maximise the spread. If it doesn’t spread it cant survive. An asymptomatic person is generally less likely to spread the virus than a coughing host (in non medicaly intervined conditions). The natural mutation rate puts evolutionary pressure on an ever replicating virus toward those mutauons that allow greater spreading and replication in host cells. This happens either through creating the symptoms that maximise spread (as with sneezing in rhinovirus/cold) or other means – in this case it is not yet fully understood how this spreads faster, but I’m willing to bet it evolved in asymptomatic people (statistically , in evolutionary and epidemiological terms that would be most probable pressure point for this kind of mutation).

      1. M, in evolutionary terms an infinitely virulent and deadly virus would seem to be the least fit for purpose – it being an evolutionary dead end to kill the host.

        A sentient virus might debate the possibility of restricting its own replication in order to preserve the host.

        This written by a member of the most intelligent virus species in the entire Universe (or so it thinks) which has, in an evolutionary INSTANT, driven itself and its host planet towards extinction in so many different ways it can only guess which of its fuck ups will kill it first.

  4. It has been suggested that Streeting was the Chair of the NUS at the time of student fees were introduced. Guess what side he sat on…,,,,hoorah for student fees Streeting said

  5. Sorry to go off-topic but Frankie Boyle’s having a right go at Sir Keith Stalin on BBC2 at the moment. Best line so far is about how this is the first time the Labour Party has been lead by an “unpainted fence post”!

    1. That’s a better description than my “Mr Woodentop” …. but at least Frankie and I see him made from the same material. And as well all know, an unpainted fencepost is rotten to its very core long before it is 55 years old!

  6. On a previous occasion, didn’t Boyle refer to KS as “having the look of a person who says he’s a go-getter and a winner immediately before being fired in Week One of The Apprentice”…?

    1. Quite possibly! God bless Frankie Boyle. Since the Beeb, in their wisdom, decided to can Stewart Lee’s show a few years ago, Boyle is the only decent stand-up comedian left on tv.

  7. Screeching – the Frank Sidebottom head to stammer’s Easter Island head.

    Both as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike.

      1. rob, ask The Toffee where he stole it from 😉
        ps you need to get out more – I’m an old stick-in-the-mud and even I’ve heard that old thing…

      2. Aye, Mac’s right; that one went out with Nelson’s eye!!

        …Good lord! I’m startin to make ‘The thief of bad gags’ (tarbuck) sound novel 🙄

  8. What do you expect from a titled leader and a pm leader both who attended private schools ,The knight Reigate independent grammar school for the knight and Eton for the other apparthied education supporter Johnson.They are both products of a Class based society and both are ignorant of the plight of the working-class and both show contempt for ordinary people.They are both guilty of supporting mass murder of the vunerable and both should in a just society suffer the same has those who are victims of the Conservative and Labour party…!like my elderly brothers alone and in despair with isolation from the family and denied even the “Last Rites” which for any Catholic is a frightening end R.I.P….Human rights and freedoms are being trampled on the alter of neo liberal alliance and propoganda

    1. Nor yet forget the number of multi millionaires and Sirs/Dames in the House of Not-so-Commons. Then we have the House of Lords that every government no matter its colour promises to close down, yet continues to fill it with friends of friends.

      1. barriereid I have been chatting to a long term friend and Labour party councillor as to the possibility of a Class action lawsuit against the Health Secretary,My friend is actually a well known lawyer in London and like all lawyers anything is possible except when I mention class action or a no win ,no fee.basis.We were supposed to meet before the years end but due to my reticence in returning to Britain the meeting of the possible has been proposed in the spring.I am told that action against the Health Secretary is no longer safe due to a immunity clause in the last condem goverment,protecting the Health Secretary from prosecution.I have in the past wasted a lot of money in the London high court on lawyers and barristers and QCs…It seems. Mi lords only like to speak to QCs,who speaks to the barrister,who is briefed by the Solicitor…who translates to of the common folk….keep me posted and I will likwse post here if we can move forward.I will one way or another make sure that somone somewhere pays or suffers for what my relatives have gone through. and many others who have been brushed aside…we are also looking at the government Health advisors and other “professional” criminals.

      2. Nevermind no win – no fee.

        stammer’s always bragging about his ‘pro bono’ work he did for ‘McLibel’. He’s also a former DPP (Allegedly).

        He should be put on the spot and publicly interrogated as to whether he thinks there’d be a case for a class action against the ‘rags and their cronies

        I’m dying to watch the bastard struggle to squirm out of that one…Because we all of us KNOW he’d want to them to avoid being put in the dock, the rat.

        But then again; even if he came out with a straightforward and abrupt: ‘No’ , who among us would be remotely surprised?

        He wouldn’t see any of them prosecuted; not even for a big clock. He’ll allow them tocontinue to profit at the expense of you and your loved ones’ lives and not bat an eyelid.

        It’s inherent in stammer’s species.

  9. Sorry, this is completely off topic but if my guess is correct we’re all about to see some big price hikes.
    I buy stuff from Far Eastern/Chinese sellers on ebay quite often and have done for years – this morning I noticed all the current prices of items I bought over the last couple of months have JUMPED – by almost exactly 20% – either yesterday or today.
    There could be any number of reasons – it could even be coincidence – but my suspicion is that those sellers or some Chinese export control authority believe post-Brexit, post-Covid prices in the UK are going to rise by a similar amount and consequently China can raise its export prices to UK and remain just as competitive in our market as before. UK and EU sellers will presumably also notice that they no longer need to try quite as hard – competition in reverse.
    I haven’t looked yet at US sellers to see if import duty and VAT have changed.
    Because of those taxes and the Pitney Bowes ripoff Global Shipping Program on ebay goods from US I buy probably only 5% US goods compared to what I buy from China/FE.

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