Analysis comment

Omicron’s likely origin reveals yet again the danger to all of global health inequality

Profit has no place in healthcare – and treating it as a business puts us all in danger

The likely origin of the ‘Omicron’ coronavirus variant has shone a stark light yet again on how global health inequality is a threat to everyone, whichever part of the world you live in. The new variant is growing exponentially and is expected rapidly to become the dominant form in the UK and elsewhere.

According to a Financial Times article this morning, scientists have observed that the new variant actually more closely represents the early forms of the virus than the recent strains including the currently-prevalent ‘Delta’ – and they believe that this means it is an early version that spent a long time mutating in a single, immunocompromised individual before breaking out.

Omicron appears to have emerged in southern Africa where HIV infection is widespread. South Africa, where the initial outbreak was noticed, is believed to have almost two million people infected with HIV and either unaware of it or not being properly treated.

HIV patients treated properly can live normally and are not infectious – and their immune systems would ultimately defeat a coronavirus infection rather than allowing it to remain active and mutate.

But in Africa and other poor regions, the prohibitive cost of such effective treatments puts them out of the reach of most sufferers. Drug companies have been heavily criticised for pricing policies driving this inequality, while western governments have been unwilling to force them to change their behaviour.

When Omicron first emerged, scientists pointed rightly to the widespread infections driven by unavailability of coronavirus vaccines as a key cause, pointing out that the more the virus is allowed to spread the more opportunities it has to mutate into forms that can evade existing immunity from previous infection and vaccination.

Now it appears that the similar health-apartheid of HIV treatment is yet another driving force for the emergence of Omicron, a variant that is able at least partially to evade existing immunity. If early hopes that it causes less severe illness are borne out – although experts are still predicting 75,000 deaths from it by April – the world will have dodged a bullet or at least only have been grazed by it.

But as long as such mad inequality and injustice is allowed to continue, it will only be a matter of time before another variant breaks out – and that one might be far more deadly.

Health inequality – health apartheid is a more apt term as it is both severe and avoidable and therefore a political choice – is alongside climate change as one of the most pressing problems facing humanity. Tragically, there seems to be little will among governments – and in this country at least, the ‘opposition’ – to change their habits of kowtowing to big business in order to perform their primary function of keeping us all safe and well.

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  1. It’s a huge ask to say Big Pharma should reduce its profits. They just won’t. It needs a Govt strong enough to enforce new rules. The Tories won’t because it’ll knock donations and dividends and Labour won’t because they’re sticking as close as possible to the Tories in the belief that it’s a successful popular policy. And there ain’t anybody else. A pipe dream.

    1. Sadly Paul, Capitalism is literally killing us all. The Dragon’s going to eat it’s own tail.

      Nobody listened to Corbyn.

      1. Wasn’t Labour calling for our own pharma in the 60’s?

    2. It’s being reported – as of about four hours ago – that Julian Assange had a stroke in Belmarsh Prison.

      As per usual, the Mail shills post derogatory comments (which just repeat falsehoods about Julian), and the Mail keeps some of them at the top of the ‘Best Rated’ comments. Yep, the Mail is STILL a big supporter of the Nazis!

      1. Thanks for the update Allan Howard,and once again I come back from Phenom Penn with more bad news by the day now.No one can be surprised its written on the face of a old man whos still relatively young.and put through hell no doubt…No one doing the job of investigative journalism should be broken down the way Assange as been.especially in a country that prides itself on its democracy and legal system….Shame on journalists who have ignored him and shame on the establishment.

      2. It just occurred to me to check out the ‘Worst rated’ comments in the DMs Comments section, and here’s the top three:

        ‘Hes a brave whistleblower and no more. Lying murderous governments and their militaries were exposed by him and they dont like it.!!! He a modern day hero.’

        ‘If he dies in prison… one will believe it……its disgraceful, he is being detained for political reasons only. Its time he was released…..’

        ‘Julian will never come out of prison. He is being made an example of by Boris and his US friends. He hasn’t had any charge brought against him and yet he has been imprisoned. You should all be concerned about your own liberty. Not such a free country after all.’

        Believe me, I know for a fact that the Mail manipulates the Likes and Dislikes to further and fit with their agenda!

        And as I’ve pointed out before, isn’t it remarkable that Julian should be invited to Sweden to give a speech, and ALL that then happened – and has happened SINCE – should happen. How fortuitous for the PTB! I mean it couldn’t have worked out better for them if it had all been planned…… And I have no doubt whatsoever that it WAS!!

  2. Respect!- but an unprecedented number of people did listen to Corbyn – and liked what they heard which is why he so very nearly won the ‘17 GE. The elites, especially in the Labour Party, were shocked and made damn sure it didn’t happen again by sabotaging him in the ‘18 election with a sudden pull back from Brexit that unsurprisingly upset working class Brexiters. The result was what the BBC delights in calling the worst Labour result since 1935 (ignoring the fact there were two Labour Parties then, National Labour and Independent Labour, it’s never clear which they are referring to). Now Starmer is making it harder for any left of centre Labourites with a policy of expulsions and the rest of it.

    1. Apart from the 24/7 International MSM Assault on Corbyn, The 24/7 Antisemitic abuse of fake Antisemitism against Corbyn and all supporters of Corbyn’s Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party Government, the Remoan Bandwagon became extraordinarily hysterically loud! Ironically about something they already had, Corbyn had Confirmatory Vote written into the Brexit Plan February 2018.
      Driven by the Masters of Hysteria Spin Blair, Mandelson and Campbell Amplified by Handpicked TV types for the Sheeple, they had the Remoan Bandwagon in a state of frothing hysteria, about what they already had. As planned masterfully by The Spinmeisters, they freaked out the already freaked out (about the Confirmatory Vote) Brexiteers. Thanks to all the Anti Corbyn Democratic Socialism, and all MEP candidates being Neo-New-Labour Party Parasite TORIES, we lost our MEP seats to UKIP. In all the hysteria, froth flying and clanging of empty tin cans, Galloway started crowing Corbyn does not understand “The Working Class” blah, blah. He went mad and jumped on the UKIP Vote Brexit at any cost Bandwagon. This saddest Irony is that if Corbyn could only be heard under the cacophony of hysterics and froth splattering, everyone’s fears would have been addressed as nobody was left out in either Manifesto.
      Now a lot of MSM Sheeple, Remoaners and Brexiteers are walking about with noses missing and lots of egg on their faces, as they cry rivers of tears.
      This all done on the last, once in a lifetime vote where The PEOPLE had a CHOICE! Thatcher’s Neoliberal Conservative TORY Party or Democratic Socialist UK Labour Party.
      43 More Years of TORY HELL! Thatcher’s Neoliberal Conservative TORY Party or Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neo-New-Labour Parasite TORY Party!
      NO CHOICE!
      TORY or TORY

  3. The HIV influence in Africa rings true – I think that TB is
    common among those with HIV ?

    They can’t say they were not warned – It has always been said that
    no-one in the world is safe till everyone is safe ..

    Give him his due – Gordon Brown has been campaigning for a fairer
    distribution of of vaccines including the third world.

    1. The thing with TORIES is that they will go anywhere and everywhere to speak what people are desperate to hear. The only thing that means anything is doing/actions, what they did historically and, what they are doing now. Like all TORIES Brown talks for money, influence and seats not action.

  4. Just off the ‘phone with my cousin, Rachel, a GP in the Western Cape province, South Africa, who told me that since the omicron variant covid19 surfaced up the road from her (1st case, 01-11-2021), she’s been dreading the worse. She’s delighted (well, relieved) that so-far (6 weeks in) although testing is telling us that more people are being infected (than in either of the two previous variants) they’re mostly asympomatic, fewer severe cases are occurring and fewer people need hospitalisation and that so far not a single fatality has occurred. Of course, she pointed out that it will still take time to gauge the full impact of Omicron on hospitalisations and fatality. (I told her that omicron’s being lazy in SA – the British strains here are so virulent that already 3 of the 27 various “vaccine” suppliers have already developed an omicron fix/booster for which a re-jab will possibly be needed every month or two for ever and a day. We don’t mess about, we don’t!

    She has two houseguests too. A husband and wife couple of doctors sent by Cuba. Apparently South African health minister Zweli Mkhize requested assistance from Cuba which sent SA 212 doctors including infectious disease and community health experts pretty much straight away. Cuba sent about 800 doctors to other parts of Africa too.

    How do these people manage it with no profit motive to encourage them? Mystery. Must be a mental disorder.

  5. All you need to do is look at who sends billions of home grown vaccines out to the poorest of countries as humanitarian missions, to see which vaccines are safe for human consumption! So far China sent Billions to Africa, Iran to Afghanistan, I am sure Russia did their bit, Cuba never disappoints, now with most of South America Socialist, they probably did their thing.
    Yet all those Anti American Greed-Capitalism & Faux “Democracy” are somehow the bad people.
    The trouble is that the Real Bad people learnt how to “be the victim” and how to convince themselves and others that ‘they’ are the Victims!
    Whilst ‘their’ Bad People are doing humanitarian missions, THEY drop bombs, shoot dead, beat up on Children, Women, Elderly and Civilians! That’s The NEW definition for The Meaning of GOOD PEOPLE!

  6. ‘We don’t have to worry too much Bill Gates already said it will end 2022…’

    The “acute phase’ of the epidemic is scheduled to end in 2022, he says. I suspect the covid “narrative” stuff has years and years of life left in it, decades even. We’re sicker than we know, you know. Anyway, Monday, I’ll get a test to see if I am ill – and on the way home, I’ll pop into the cemetry to see if I’m dead. Needs must.

  7. Fact check. It originated in Botswana, the most vaccinated country in Africa by far. It came to South Africa via 4 x fully vaccinated diplomats. The South African health minister went onto the record, stating “the symptoms are extremely mild”. Beware the hype or perish via your own credulity, laziness or inability to function as a thinking individual.

    1. The “extremely mild symptoms” were an early impression from an initial sample size of about two dozen people. That is nowhere near large enough to draw such definitive conclusions.

      Stop plumping for whatever confirms what you’ve already chosen to believe.

      1. Don’t patronising me. I had Covid myself, and I’m fed up of being told that I didn’t, as if you’d know better.

      2. I had it. My whole family had it, badly. So we were told. We got over it. We feel lucky because the honest medical people now reassure us we’ll have a good build-up of natural t-cells and antibodies to fight it off in the future. Whereas, I assume you’ll be reliant upon a failing, profiteering gene therapy concoction courtesy of some criminal outfit that is now creating cases as opposed to reducing them and causing many serious adverse events and deaths. Still, the world never could cater for stoopid. Thanks.

      3. Wirral – That may have been the case for earlier versions but the latest research shows that whilst the ‘booster jab’ give 70% protection Omicron easily evades the immunity from a previous infections and only offers a 20% protection

      4. But SA is still reporting mild symptoms and NO deaths, weeks later. Here the Health Secretary confirms 10 hospitalised with Omicron- but NO deaths. Only Johnson triumphantly spots a death ‘somewhere’. No details of course. Tossing a dead cat on the table is a well known dodge for politicians in trouble but Johnson gives us about 10 dead pussies just to make sure those headlines about what a lying bastard he is are swamped before Thursday’s vote. ‘Panic now, you’re all going to die’ was the first dead cat but he did need an actual death so it looks as if he made one up.

      5. There is no confirmation of a U.k death here. Is that your point?

      6. It just says “1” in deaths box. Is that as good as it gets? If it was indeed the Worlds first confirmed death from the new variant might we not expect some detail such as location, gender, age and whether there were other factors? The suspicion remains that this was another Govt lie to high ten the hysteria and distract attention from the absurd policy to keep ‘hospitality’ running. It’s not as if Johnson doesn’t make it up sometimes!

      7. Not at all, just looking at the obvious. The absence of info allows the space to be filled as it has been today in the DM by a man who says he’s a relation saying the deceased was in his 70’s and against vaccination. But we don’t know if that’s true or not. There is a concerted effort ‘at the top’ to ignore those who die, to erase them from history. No names, no detail. And especially no grieving relatives. When people die in an accident we soon get full biographies and the sympathy they deserve. Covid victims, many who can point to Johnson for those deaths and even more those to come in January, are released from our history. In WW1 every casualty was published, filling pages of newsprint. If you die in war for the home side you are lauded for ever; if you die in your bed in 2021 to protect the hospitality industry and save Johnson from the Tory Bully Boys it won’t be remembered. “Never happened old boy! Most of then got run over by a bus when they had the virus”. The trouble with Johnson’s faux hysterics on Sunday is his form for straight out lies; you can’t know if it’s true or not. And that lonely ‘1’ in the column you reproduce isn’t a great assistance TBH!

      8. ………………. So anyway, you’re wrong, there has been a death, and so the Omicron variant is still potentially lethal. It may prove less lethal than previous variants, but until we know for sure, it makes sense to take some precautions, given how easily it spreads. I don’t agree with some of the precautions the Government are pushing through, but pretending the pandemic is nothing to worry about, like the patronising idiot from Wirral, won’t protect anybody.

      9. I long for the day when arrogant fools like you stop just arrogantly assuming they know better than the experts who’ve spent their entire lives studying diseases.

        Go to hell.

    1. The shite that you are shovelling is, whether intentionally or not, obscuring the two key points in this story:

      1/ The profit motive should be banished from healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry-which lives off publicly funded research- should be publicly owned and socially controlled.

      2/ There is an urgent need for international cooperation to eradicate public health threats such as this virus (which does exist),HIV and the deadly plagues that we are currently allowing to mutate rather than confront capitalist and imperialist greed defended by the political caste.

      The past two years and the spread of Covid have demonstrated, in the most dramatic and tragic fashion, the urgent necessity of building socialism. Climate change underlines these lessons.

      The only purpose served by Covid denial is to protect capitalism from the revenge of its victims. We are all in this together: if we do not unite around socialism the barbarism surrounding us- barbarism exemplified by our governments’ refusals to waive medical patents- will overwhelm us.

    2. @Bevin

      A tad harsh. Especially when you provide no solution to your first point. It’s a very imperfect world.

      As for the second point. I don’t think anyone is saying that covid doesn’t exist. I’ve had it. But the stink around it is conspicuous. Two weeks to flatten the curve. The same voices telling us jabs will stop it following up with the nugget that they won’t stop it. DNR orders. Midazolam (spelling?( the death row drug)). Now it’s 4 or more a year for life. Immunity from prosecution. Redacted contracts…

      Modern pharma is no different than banks, hedge funds and associated spivvery. Why trust them now?

      I will finish by saying it is beyond obscene that they are socialised for their research whilst keeping the proceeds.

    3. We need to look at the Humanitarianism of “The Very Bad People” The stricken by sanctions to points of poverty, yet whenever there are humanitarian crises, they are almost instantly there to send out medical relief. Cuba, China, Iran, I think Russia does their thing. Those are the countries with safe medicine, I would be willing to bet that their medicine for Mental Health are not a nightmare to quit taking like Big Pharma, because they don’t want you to get better, that would lead to massive losses! They keep us hooked to make their Big Bucks, off our suffering and probably deliberately cause adverse longterm side effects and diseases that will require MORE Big Pharma Big Bucks, NASTY! NASTY! FUCKERS!
      The model we should be looking at are 1) Cuba 2) China. Also Corbyn’s Manifestos, with the addition National Pharma, all linked and controlled from one central Laboratory, Manufacturing, Supply Pharmacy and Mega Data Center. That would’ve saved the NHS on it’s own, we wouldn’t need to pay some Fat Rich Bastard £10.00 for a Bloody Paracetamol!
      China and Cuba are the only two Nations, perhaps Iran and even Russia, who’s vaccine will go in my living veins!
      NHS like so called “Labour” needs to be broken down to the Bare Bones, and stripped clean of Parasites, leave standing only those with a passion for Medicine and healing the sick! Fling Out ALL The RATS who are causing more damage than starting all over from scratch. With a handful of People passionate about The PEOPLE people! EXACTLY the same with Thatcher’s Neoliberal Neo-New-Labour Party TORIES, we need to Tactically. Vote them out of their seats so that they can’t continue their disgraceful Thatcherite Neoliberal Devastation forcing The PEOPLE blindly into another 43 Years of TORY HELL!
      Just imagine what we would have achieved by now, with a Democratic Socialist Labour Government, ironically especially in the forgotten wasteland of “The Red Wall”

      1. nellyskelly – “Vote them out of their seats.”

        Not an option that is available in the states you rather perversely admire.

  8. Really? Makes sense. A very expensive private doctor in South Africa, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, claimed to have been the first to ‘identify’ the symptoms of the new variant on 1st Nov 2021 . (Different variants produce different symptoms? That’s good to know, but almost certainly untrue). Anyway, this was heavily reported – with the date – by the UK MSM two Sunday’s ago). Now, please note, Dr. Coetzee is chair of South African Medical Association, exactly the calibre of GP a national diplomat or two (or 4) might consult. This is where the timeline starts getting wobbly. The World Health Organization has recorded that the variant was detected and announced by South Africa’s National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) on Nov. 25 from samples taken from a laboratory from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16. Where does the widely cited 1st Nov bit come from? Dates being re-specified to ensure that fully vaccinated Diplomats are no longer part of the point-origin of omicron? We used to call things like this ‘cover-ups’ (back when the Labour party was a ‘broad church’) and facts had to kinda make sense.

    PLUS – as any medic or epidemiologist will tell you – it takes between 2 and 3 months to identify a new variant’s infectivity and usually a tiny bit longer to identify its fatality, so how have pfizer and AZ and another already been able to complete this AND verify the precise level of protection their as-is products provide against omicron? We’re only talking 3-and-a-bit weeks to 6 weeks elapsed time on the new WHO and NICD dates.

    I’m smelling something fishy – and it isn’t pharmaceutical grade choline and alpha lipoic acid.

      1. quertboi …mm I would be suspicious of any Afrikaans Doctor..Does that mean I am a racist?Contrast the magnificent splender of the Pretoria suburbs of Waterkloof with the Tin shacks of mamelodi township only two miles away and one must wonder just what is going on in SAfrika that little has changed so I am told from the perspective of assimilation of the population and the sharing of the great wealth inside the S African state.ITs over thirty five years since I fled S.Afrika with a criminal conviction against the pass laws and a very much altered opinion of a group of White natives of the leafy suburbs of Pretoria with their Jackerandas in full bloom next to the swimming pool and a lifstyle the envy of the West….I never ever returned to a beautiful country with some of the ugliest people on the planet…The cape may be different just like Durban but Pretoria and the Boars are basically like the DUP people trapped in a time warp and both have a similar problem religion that believes in the cain and Abel and the biblical narrative of the underclass.and those that must be punished.Their are liberal Afrikaners as their are liberal DUP affiliates but I never met any on my travels.. ..The dream of a successful wealthy people of
        S.Afrika seems to be a difficult transition for the ANC The fact that the Omicron virus is invented there by a member of the old Afrikaans tribe comes as no surprise…..but thats the result of sampling the Apparthied system thats gone hasn’t it?

  9. Joseph – I thought this might interest you

    The Cost of Covid: A Year on the Frontline
    For over 12 months, the BBC joined a vicar and a pastor on the frontlines in Burnley, struggling in a pandemic-fuelled crisis as lockdowns were imposed and Covid rates soared. What they witnessed was the heartbreaking stories of those who feel left behind and the inspiring, continuous care offered by two men of faith, despite feeling themselves, at times, terrified and alone.

    1. Thanks querboi….😴zzz …. is coming up or down as the sun 🌞 dissapears behind the boker mountains .Busy day today last minute xmass shopping in a country that doesn’t do Christmas.Looking forward to the documentary you have recommended but that will be Monday morning now as the body weakens especially in the heat and age saying bed time for oldys like me.We tend to do as the locals who go to bed when the sun goes down around sevenish.. and rise at five when the dawn comes…and its the same year round sat on the equator.We are spraying the snow stuff on the windows on Christmas eve and the grandchildren are toting up the presents they are due.We are also going to distribute presents to the kids of our commune but being careful not to tread on the monks toes at the local Wat who don’t want or need anymore Christian Propoganda from westerners who also have a political agenda as well.especially the America evangelical ones that I managed to evict..without too .much cursing about popery and how my church and me .was the devil incarnate…Happy ☺Christmas everyone.and I will remember Julian Assange in our prayers god help him..

      1. No Joseph, the link is certainly not from me. You’ll recognise it within seconds for what it is, but don’t waste your bandwidth on it.

      2. qwertboi – Your response was disappointingly predictable

      3. Yes quertboi noticed this morning that it was not you but mr Hall.I will take it in the spirit of Christmas and make no judgment on Centrist Dad Steve H Must have been more tired than I should have been….Certainly the news of Assange is very depressing but its difficult for most to understand what its like to be incarcerated using laws that don’t classify as a criminal,but treat you like a mass murderer.Keep strong in mind and body regards and happy Christmas to you all.

  10. Big Pharma, with its research facilities & sponsorship in British Universities, subsidised by British taxpayers in Private educational institutions. Give the patents to the world.

  11. Medicine is for making money, not curing.

    Take cancer. Why would they arrive at a cure when they can milk so much with attempts? It’s no great loss if they die as cattle are easily replaced. Great cash cows though…

    @Steve Richards

    What patents do you mean? The patents for the (supposed) cure? Or the ones starting in 2002 where the US patented SARS?

    1. NVLA – What is it with you, why do you insist on spreading easily checked lies?
      Fortunately not everyone is as gullible or as needy as you
      Multiple social media posts are spreading a bogus conspiracy theory about the deadly Wuhan virus. The posts falsely claim that the virus has been patented and a vaccine is already available. That’s not true; the patents the posts refer to pertain to different viruses.”

      Unfortunately, believers in conspiracy theories are not only more likely to see illusory connections, research shows they are also less likely to have had the kind of education or have the critical thinking skills necessary to help them see the glaring holes in their wild theories.
      At the same time, believers in conspiracies often have an inflated sense of their own intellectual competence – research led by the late Scott Lilienfeld at Emory University in Atlanta showed that in personality trait terms, believers tend to be lower in ‘intellectual humility’. Ignorance combined with overconfidence creates a fertile ground for unsubstantiated beliefs to take hold.
      There is also a powerful emotional component to conspiracy theory beliefs, which helps explain why they can be so difficult to challenge. Believing in a widely discredited theory – and feeling part of a community of fellow believers – can help to satisfy some people’s need to feel special, according to research.

      1. Excellent points stevieh. Did you copy/paste from the official Behavioural Phsychology ‘Nudge-for-health’ page at SAGE (shills only), or was it just a guardnog/BBC/Spectator rework of it for general circulation?

        Being a scientist and having worked on a particular coronavirus vaccine 18 years ago – and now pointing out that the current crop of them have never been madatorily tested and can only be given to people because the Coronavirus Emergency Act enables it (and provides the pharmaceutical suppliers of them, the NHS and the Gov. with full Indemnity), that the disease they are supposedly required for has a 99.5+ percent survival rate, and that a mRNA vaccine is unproven on humans, and possibly very, very dangerous, does not make me (or NVLA) a “conspiracy theorist”.

        I’d drop that ‘conspiracy theory’ label as a put-down if I were you stevieh, because the evidence suggests it is becoming a bit of a ‘No Pasaran!’ resistance symbol – for liberals, conservatives and libertarians more than for socialists and democratic socialists, who – by and large are ‘buying’ the ‘Covid Narrative’ crap, its lockdowns, masks, never-ending jabs and non-medical (PCR) testing that show how serious the “pandemic” is (or whatever else the covidians select).

      2. “you are not claiming that this isn’t supported by more than enough scientific papers.?”

        He,he, of course not, stevieh, although I respect Sigmund Freud as a ‘soft scientist’, I draw the line at behavioural psychology being considered a “science” the same way that biochemistry and physics are, but in either case I really don’t know enough about it or whether it belongs to the genus called “knowledge” (pistos/epistemology) or “Belief”.

      3. qwertboi – I have yet to see any credible claims that conspiracy theorists are predominantly well educated and emotionally stable individuals, have you?

      4. Well, given that “conspiracy” theory/theorist is not a factual description, but an accusation of motive, I wouldn’t know, but on the coronavirus front, three nobel laureates who are very accomplished chemists and biochemists have been ‘dismissed’ as conspiracy theorists, so I’d say it means nothing significant (except that it opposes or challenges a authoritarian position).

        Interestingly enough, the now-deceased ‘inventor’ of PCR technology (as used to identify and synthesise DNA/gene material), Kary Mullis, who was also a nobel laureate, said that in a fascistic anti-science setting, anyone who challenges authority or its account of things, should be proud to be mislabeled as a ‘truth denier’ or ‘conspracy theorist’, as science will always defend and promote them (eventually).

        Covidian ‘TheScience ™️’, of course, is not Science, so that might not make sense to you.

      5. qwertboi – I really can’t be bothered with your nonsense at the moment.
        I’ll leave others to decide for themselves whether your self-proclaimed expertise that is derived from alternative quack 🦆 medicine and a first aid certificate are of any value or you are just another fuckwit anti-vaxer.
        Another dangerous idiot.

    2. A virus cannot be patented NVLA – for exactly the same reason as vitamins, minerals, amino-acids and any particular oxidant or antioxiants cannot – they are not the intellectual property of anyone, but instead natural ‘products’ of the Universe.

      You’re maybe thinking how the CIA tried to ensure the Wuhan lab which supposedly either ‘extracted’ or ‘isolated’ the ‘novel’ SARS-CoV-2 virus – restricted its publication to themselves and approved US and UK agencies? And that on the back of that extraction or isolation US Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer patented aspects of its description (not the virus itself, which cannot be patented)?

      1. qwertboi – As was clearly explained in the article that I linked to.

        Coronaviruses are a group of viruses that tend to cause respiratory illnesses in humans and a variety of other illnesses in animals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains on its website. The name comes from the crown, or corona-like appearance of infective viruses when seen under a microscope.
        One patent is for a genetic sequence of the virus that causes SARS, or severe acute respiratory syndrome, a disease that spread to dozens of countries in 2003, sickening more than 8,000 people and killing 774.
        “The sequencing was done at the CDC during the SARS outbreak and they were the ones that filed the patent,” Matthew Frieman, a coronavirus researcher at the University of Maryland, explained in an email.
        The CDC told the Associated Press in 2003 that the agency was claiming ownership to ensure access, and to prevent others from controlling the technology. In a phone interview, Columbia law professor Harold Edgar told us that following a U.S. Supreme Court case decided in 2013, U.S. patent law no longer allows for patents on viral sequences as they exist in nature.
        The other supposedly related patent is for a mutated form of avian infectious bronchitis virus, or IBV, which infects poultry, but not people. The patent was filed by the Pirbright Institute, a research institute in the U.K. whose mission is to prevent and control “viral diseases of livestock.” The mutations were created to attenuate, or weaken, the virus, so that it could be used as a vaccine to protect chickens from the disease.
        “Neither of these has anything to do with the new 2019-nCoV virus,” said Frieman. “This is clearly a bogus theory that this virus was created in a lab, patented and has a vaccine already made to it.”

      2. Steve H Hall…You are again playing follow my leader.The evidence is out there on what as happened to a virus that as been flogged for purley profit and control motive.Johnson and your leader have had the virus like me and recovered.You are basically using the conspiracy and nut job acussations because some of us don’t follow the narritive by the media and our “betters” in parliament.Your leader the knight of the realm as had the virus numerous times especially when a important vote comes before parliament.Does pointing that out make me a conspiracy theorist?..I can see that you have evolved since the end of the socialist revival under Corbyn but thats no longer a excuse for your unthinking support for the narrative that being used to bring in draconian laws and measures on the back of the exploited virus….You can’t shelter from reality in your Caribbean bolt hole any more than I can in a Cambodian jungle..

      3. Joseph – Keir has had to isolate on a number of occasions but to the best of my knowledge has only tested positive once for Covid-19. I too have had Covid-19 and it has left me with some very unpleasant long-covid symptoms which have persisted from Oct20 to date.

      4. Joseph – ps: You shouldn’t let others or our continuing disputes put you off watching the BBC documentary that I recommended to you. It is an emotional journey, I found myself welling up on a number of occasions.

      5. Steve H covid as left me with some unpleasant long lasting symptoms….You have my sympathy .I lost the sense of taste and smell and youve just lost the sense of “Taste” but like the draconian laws and measures youve no right to exploit the virus with cruel and unthinking comments..Actually I am suprised your forensic leader hasn’t tried to market covid as a dieting aid to full fitness knowing how much money means to your lot.

      6. Joseph – “youve no right to exploit the virus with cruel and unthinking comments”
        I wasn’t aware that I had.. Could you give some examples?

      7. Steve H Hall….I tried to watch the BBC documentary but unfortunately the BBC didnt allow me in this region…!I would like to draw your attention whilst we are all being helpful and polite in the seasonal spirit to the editorial in the morning star “As Johnson freefalls labours poll leads almost meaningless” .very astute reading of the situation being a ex activist and campaigner myself for the Labour party who has been deserted by the “Plant” leader of the Labour party alarmingly….IF the polls are correct then the N.Shropshire bye election may not be just a warning sign for Johnson but a reality check for yourself mr H.Also it occurred to me that the devil himself Luck of Johnson for the Christmas break soon.

      8. Joseph – I can’t see much point in spending the next 4 days speculating. We’ll know the actual result of the by-election soon enough.

      9. Steve H Hall “cant see the point in speculating” Okay bye bye back to bot sentinal and Steve H Hall whos ouoted recently “Some people think I am a establishment troll” …I wonder why..but then again I wouldnt want to speculate I might be acussed of being a conspiracy theorist or god forbid an establishment troll.

      10. “I can’t see much point in spending the next 4 days speculating. We’ll know the actual result of the by-election soon enough.” Yes SteveH we will.

        Does StarmerLabour’s reported nine point poll lead mean that next Thurday’s by-election isn’t going to the LibDems after all, but to Sir Keir’s posterior party instead?

    3. Patents equal control….give the knowledge to poorer countries to allow them to produce vaccines for themselves, to save us all from a pandemic & learn the lessons of how we can save the world together. We are not safe until everyone is safe. Simples?

  12. Oh joy of Joys

    Boris Johnson will give a televised address to the nation tonight on Covid as the UK’s threat level was raised.
    The Prime Minister will give a Covid update at 8pm from Downing Street, which is expected to focus on ramping up the booster rollout to battle the new Omicron variant.

    1. SteveH
      It’s a Black Friday event for the kleptocracy, Baby Trump is on commission

    2. ITs not necessary to go all Tory yet mr Steve H Hall they are on a looser pushing the case for socialism for Big pharma and old Chumocray,the battles not lost yet for a civilized welfare system from cradle to grave even if your knight walks into Drowning street by default..settle down and get a grip of yourself and theres no need to be estatic just because the Tory PM as sobered up enough to give a “proclamation”to the unwashed….

      1. Joseph – I thought it was obvious that I was being sarcastic.

  13. This is an excellent documentary where the link was
    originally provided by SteveH – I have already watched
    some of this – yesterday

    tt seems it is now being dismissed out of hand .. I dont know why?

    And now it looks as if we are in for further problems related to
    the new variant and all because Big Pharma were too greedy to
    aid in the alleviation of Global Health Inequality .. the subject of
    this article,

    1. As the description that I posted above says, these are the “heartbreaking stories of those who feel left behind and the inspiring, continuous care offered by two men of faith, despite feeling themselves, at times, terrified and alone

      1. Steve H its not just the men of “faith” who have been left behind its Bolton,Burnley,Blackburn Oldham Rochdale Wigan and many other old mill towns across the pennine divide that your Labour party insulted in the brexit debate but abandoned donkeys years ago in taking the Labour vote for granted whilst these former industrial powerhouses of the working-class sunk into decay and dispair.You don’t need a degree to see why the Labour vote disappeared or the stupidity of replacing a socialist leader with a knight of the realm….bloody well political suicide comrades.if you think that a title and privalaged upbringing in the leafy lanes of Surrey would impress pie eaters of Nandys Wigan or the “Trotters” of Bolton..I would be very 😟worried miz Nandy pandy and the few Labour mps who survive in the old red wall and that includes Liverpool and Manchester.

    2. PS Of course this documentary also demonstrates the disastrous reduction
      in the NHS because of Austerity and the resulting deprivation for the nation.

    3. Holbyfanmw….in my few years in RSA before liberation the wealth of the whole of Afrika was centred there.They exploited their natural resources in minerals and diamonds and gold.Despite sanctions they were the bread basket of Afrika and extremely advanced in medicine,fuel development from coal far cheaper than the uk at that time and a arms development that was second to none.They developed nucleur weapons at pilindaba near Pretoria before many other countries in the western world and although cut off and isolated they had the potential to dominate and attack fellow neighbours at “will” in the African continent.although initially a supporter of the ANC I think that the natural resources of the people and the land of S.Afrika has been thrown away by ANC infighting and corruption.Nelson Mandela was more than just a leader of the ANC the loss of him too soon after the years of imprisonment on Robbin island as left a country with many tribes including the white tribes infighting and disorganised.

  14. I don’t know who is the science correspondent for the FT. However, if s/he is like most of the science correspondents in the media, then it’s not surprising that we get a report like this. The Omicron variant has multiple changes to the spike protein, rendering it very different from the, so cslled, wild variety,. There is good evidence to indicate that the Omicron mutation could have developed in an individual who happened to have caught a common cold at the same time as Covid – the Omicron variant has a number of features that are found in the common cold virus. This could easily be where it achieved its high transmissibility, and there are good indications that it could have become a less severe infection as a result of this interaction. We should know by Christmas/New Year.
    Be cautiously optimistic.

    1. I suppose the worry is that with so many infections there comes the chance that it will morph into something more serious with the same high infection rate.

      1. SteveH
        How are we as a race still here, how do viruses die a ‘natural’ death
        We tolerate you because you serve a purpose on this board
        On the improvement in Labour polling, if you think it is anything other than a drop in Tory support, then your delusional
        Labour and Temporary Embarrassment haven’t done anything, New New Red Tories hide in a cupboard until they are told to come out
        Will they defeat Baby Trump and call a vote of confidence this week
        Methinks not

      2. Doug – Oh please get a grip of yourself, you are not in a position to dictate who comments on these pages

      3. Happily SteveH, respitory viruses that cause the ‘flu and covid19 don’t ever morph in that way. When their infectability increases, their pathogenic abilities decrease. Computer modelling undertaken at Southampton University shows this very clearly.

      4. qwertboi is essentially correct. Viruses mutate and, because those which are best adapted to reproduce effectively outcompete those less well adapted, the most infectious strain will dominate. It appears, from all our experience of studying viral mutations, that more highly infectious variants tend to lose a degree of pathogenicity, and that the greater the infectiousness the lesser the pathogenicity..
        Modelling can be useful, but it is simply logic, based on “best guess” estimates of all the factors which are known about..Empirical data is always better if it can be found. Currently we have empirical data regarding Omicron from South Africa and we get more of it every day, and there are no great horrors yet.

      5. @ goldbach ” Modelling can be useful, but it is simply logic, based on “best guess” estimates of all the factors which are known about…..”

        Small point, but massively important to applied biology and chemistry esp in the study of genes, genetic variation, heredity in organisms and virology: computer modelling techniques are not only used to “fill the gaps” or to simulate decision ‘fields’ (like in (say) marketing, stock control or social planning), computer modelling has, since Crick and Watson’s massive research on nucleic acid, been used to move the horizon of scientific understanding (genetic code, for example, would have remained elusive and contentious without the development of computer modelling) And your bigger point is def. true and something I need to remind myself about much too often 😡 – greater scientific minds than mine always push the ‘suck it and see’ testing BEFORE any model/hypothesis is accepted/acceptable. (I just wish the pharmaceutical/vaccine suppliers were adhering to it for their covid products today) and that they submitted their mRNA-changing experiemntal chemicals to mandatory human testing before launch.

    1. Thanks for that Stevieh. I’d nearly forgotten Mike Sivier and the sterling work he does online at voxp. I wonder whether the DWP xmas rave extended to the good people at centrica and associates plc- the people who do the important work of extractong and accumulating the shakels from our public spend before it iss allowed to serve any social purpose? Thanks again


    The reasons behind Paul Holmes’ suspension have been leaked.

    “Kirklees senior union rep faces allegations of bullying
    A confidential investigation that has seen a senior union man suspended for two years involves allegations of bullying and intimidation, the Local Democracy Reporting Service can reveal.
    Paul Holmes, secretary of the Kirklees branch of public service union Unison, was suspended on full pay by Kirklees Council in December 2019 pending an investigation into “serious and confidential issues”.
    The reason has not been made public until now.

    Following the receipt of a leaked dossier into the case, the LDRS can report that Mr Holmes has faced complaints of:
    Bullying, threatening and intimidating behaviour towards colleagues.
    That he made repeated and unreasonable work demands on colleagues, behaving in a controlling and coercive manner.
    That he made sarcastic and demeaning comments towards colleagues, including constant and unjustifiable criticism.

    The union suspended Mr Holmes along with Kirklees branch chairman Nick Ruff and assistant branch secretary Cath Kinder.
    Mr Holmes, a council employee, was also suspended by the authority.

    1. Does any of that unsubstantiated claim (the bullying) not strike you as defensively dodgy stevieh? Reach PLC (the business that owns the Hudderfield examiner /yorkshireLive operations) outdid even the BBC in its anti-Corbyn bile from 2015 to 2019, so, of course the RWLabour anti-democrats at Kirklees DC and within Unison would call on it for help when their shocking behaviour can no longer be ignored..

      Details – we need collaborative details of who has allegedly been bullied, the nature of the bullying, etc., etc..

      1. qwertboi – I don’t know any details beyond what is contained within the article so I can’t comment on the veracity of the accusations.

      2. SteveH
        Listen and learn, always start any sentence from the RW with the word FALSE
        At your house the lights are on but there’s nobody in

      3. Doug – I’m listening but you don’t appear to actually know any more than I do. The reality is neither of us is in a position to pass judgement until further details emerge. Discounting the accusations of the alleged victims on the basis of nothing but factionalism and next to no knowledge of the details doesn’t appear to be a very socialist thing to do.

      4. SteveH
        I’ve always thought if you believe in God then to you he is real
        Shit Shite Amen

      5. Doug – Who invited the sky fairies into the conversation.

  16. Breaking News

    [The] first Omicron death in UK is confirmed by Prime Minister Boris Johnson

    Speaking during a visit to a vaccination clinic near Paddington, in west London on Monday morning, the Prime Minister said: “Sadly yes Omicron is producing hospitalisations and sadly at least one patient has been confirmed to have died with Omicron.
    “So I think the idea that this is somehow a milder version of the virus, I think that’s something we need to set on one side and just recognise the sheer pace at which it accelerates through the population. So the best thing we can do is all get our boosters.”

    1. Stop it Stevieh. It’s not clever to try and panic people unnecessarily.

      The covidians at Imperial College, SAGE and at MSM branch-offices up and down the country will all be massively relieved that somebody died with omicron. Did the deceased even have covid in any meaningful sense? Did s/he die OF covid (and how can they know whether it was omicron variant covid unless they dissected several organsof the deceased and subjected it to very detailed analysis?

      In order for us to know whether the unfortunate individual died of coronavirus, a pathologist would need to dissect the remains and identify the mode and manner of death. Has that occurred? Probably not.

      The synchronised MSM has a purpose in feeding you the news it gives you. Here, it almost certainly has more to do with keeping you scared and panicky rather than well informed. In other news today (on the BBC) ‘massive queues at vaccination centres’ are being processed efficiently. The 3 vax centres across a NHS Foundation Trust near me are actually quieter today than they’ve been for months (and that ‘s saying something).

    2. What are the chances Johnson is making it up about the World’s first death from Omicron which came shortly after his ‘everybody Panic!’ speech?

    3. Roll up roll up get your booster jag here
      Apart from the fact that those with boosters have already been infected
      Which part of it doesn’t work ?

      1. Doug – I don’t think anyone is claiming that the vaccines are 100% effective at stopping infection, all that is being claimed is that you are much less likely to need to be admitted to hospital or to die if you are.

      2. SteveH
        I could accept the marginal gains argument if it was based on the vulnerable who have nothing to lose
        Where I was brought to tears was when it was given to the bairns to protect adults

      3. Doug – You are the one claiming marginal gains, not me.

      4. So, vaccines make you ” less likely to need to be admitted to hospital or to die if you are”?

        Much less likely to die than 0.040 percent is not much at all, stevieh. Also, the NHS is not disclosing how many people are in hospital with covid (funny that, this is the first time they have ever not reported how many beds are being used and the illness type that causes each bed to be used) – BUT

        – over 85% of covid ‘cases’ are “asymptomatic” – that means they have no symptoms because the virus isn’t causing any.
        – 99.5 % percent of people who get covid and have symptoms (i.e. up to 15% of all people who get covid) fully recover.

        So, the cost/benefit of taking an untested vaccine that is possibly dangerous is not as obvious as you seem to think.

        And you are right, no vaccine can ever say it reduces infection/infectability, but if a covid vaccine increases a person’s sensitivity to covid (and causes them to be sicker as a result), then it wouldn’t be a very good vaccine would it?

        Sadly, the evidence suggests that this is happening in both USA (VAERS data) and UK (yellow card system). Look it up. The synchronised MSM, it seems, would rmuch rather you didn’t know. I wonder why?

      5. qwertboi – You already know how little I value your fuckwit anti-vax nonsense.

  17. It is easy to view the whole Covid matter as consisting of 2 mutually exclusive possibilities.
    Some consider it all to be a conspiracy. Others consider that there is no conspiracy.
    My view is that both perspectives contain some truth.
    There is ample evidence to support the view that Covid has proven to be a dangerous pathogen to human beings and that significant measures must be taken to ensure its effect is not too drastic for humankind.
    I think that there is also what could be viewed as a “conspiracy”. It is the typical conspiracy of capitalism in that as soon as Covid appeared there were those who saw it as an opportunity to make huge profits. As usual in capitalism, there are those who want to promote one agenda for their own benefit (Pfizer say everyone will need a booster vaccine and we should all be very frightened) and those who will promote a different agenda (the travel companies will say we really should go back to “normal” as soon as possible). Virologists and epidemiologists are trying to work in the context of a good degree of partial information that is being spun, and complete misinformation. Add to that the fact that science reporters in the MSM generally haven’t got a clue and that we are getting (and will continue to get) new data daily, and it is no surprise that opposed “camps” appear.
    We all have our opinions but nobody can be absolutely sure yet so let’s not be disparaging towards those we disagree with on this matter.
    One point for Doug. Yes, some people who have had boosters have tested positive. Having immunity to a pathogen doesn’t mean that we can’t become infected. It means that, when we become infected, our immune system can kill the pathogen. The question is who will become ill/most ill. Currently it looks as if those with the best immune response are people who have been vaccinated (2 or 3 times) and have also had the infection – that’s from the South Africa data, not because I’m one of those.

    1. goldbach
      The advice I have read in the BMJ is for those who have natural immunity NOT to have the vaccine, risk of complications are much higher and you simply do not need anymore immunity
      We should concentrate minds and triage those affected by lockdown who are now the priority

      1. “We should concentrate minds and triage those affected by lockdown who are now the priority” – I guess that you mean those who are at greatest risk. Is that right? If so, I agree. Regarding vaccination plus infection. Very many people simply ended up in that position. Some caught Covid early and then were vaccinated. Some were vaccinated and then caught Covid (with minor or no symptoms)…….. and there were those who got the full house – Covid, vaccination and then Covid again (with minor or no symptoms).
        Have you gat a link to the BMJ article?
        If it becomes (probably has already) endemic and Omicron proves to be a relatively mild disease, then we’ll all be getting boosts of immunity from reinfections whether we like it or not.

      2. SteveH
        Twas The Lancet, I have a screenshot, I quote
        In fact one study found that previous Covid19 was associated with increased adverse events following vaccination with the Comirnaty BNT 162b2 mRNA vaccine
        In addition there are rare reports of serious adverse events following Covid19 vaccination

      3. SteveH
        Got it, ‘
        Protective immunity after recovery from SARS Cov 2 infection
        Jeffrey D Klausner November 8th
        Up yer kilt

      4. Doug – Whats with the silly ‘Up your kilt’ rubbish. I politely asked for the link (still not given) because I wanted to read the article not because I thought you were lying.

        After searching out the original source material and having a quick scan read my initial impression is that this extra ‘risk’ amounts to little more than a few extra people getting flu like symptoms for a relatively short time. Hardly the end of the world.

      5. I’ve just given the article a good read through.
        I will read it again tomorrow because I didn’t spot the reference to the serious adverse events.
        It appears to be a well designed study with good statistical analysis though, as the authors recognise, there needs to be further investigation for a number of reasons, the primary one of which is that much of the data comes from self-reporting rather than being independently verifiable.
        Also, I can’t find any reference to it having been peer reviewed. (I can only say “It appears to be” whereas peer review would be able to confirm whether or not it is well designed and the statistical analysis stands up.)

  18. The World’s first ‘confirmed’ case of death by Omicron comes shortly after Johnson wound up the hysteria with his ‘Be very afraid’ TV address. Who confirms it? Where did it happen? What age, gender and other conditions did the person have? We can hardly rely on Johnson, a serial liar, to be telling the truth! Let’s see at least two doctors confirm it.

    1. No Paul. The language was used carefully. What was said was that it was a “death with Omicron”. In other words the person who died tested positive for Omicron. S/he could have died from cancer or a heart attack. We don’t know. It’s simply that the person had Omicron at the time. Nobody has said it was a “death from Omicron”. In South Africa the recorded deaths “with Omicron” are exactly that. There is no data yet as to how many were actually caused by Omicron and how many were caused by other factors. Certainly, to date, the great majority of the people in hospital in SA who have tested positive for Omicron were taken into hospital for other reasons and, because all hospital admissions are tested, were then found to have Omicron. So I guess that Johnson was telling the truth but, at the same time, creating an impression in order to get people to sign up for vaccination .

  19. Something for you all to look forward to on BBC1 tonight at 7pm

    Keir Starmer will address the nation tonight at 7pm in response to Boris Johnson ’s statement on Covid.
    The Labour leader will make a rare statement via a pre-recorded message on BBC One reacting to the Prime Minister and speaking directly to the British people.

      1. Thanks for that link. I watched the video. I find it’s better like that because you pick up all the body language, the stress and intonation and the expression in the voice. I really enjoyed it. A true parody of himself.
        He will certainly have convinced some of the waverers ………….. that he is, indeed, inept.
        But, thanks again for my laugh at bedtime.

      2. I was thinking about who you reminded me of Steve – then I got it; Uriah Heep!

      3. Paul – It is gratifying that I am in your thoughts but Uriah Heep aren’t my scene I prefer ‘The Blues’ to rock

      4. I was thinking of the original one in Great Expectations I believe

      5. Paul – I’d never have guessed 😏
        Ah you mean Uriah Heep, a Dickens scapegoat figure on a grand scale, grotesque, deviant and monstrous (not identified as Jewish but one who has all the stereotypical features),

      6. “grotesque, deviant and monstrous (not identified as Jewish but one who has all the stereotypical features)”

        As a Jew, Stevieh, may I ‘umbly point out that that was very possibly an antisemitic trope? I’d never thought of Uriah’s scheming and cheating and absolute self-interest as particular traits of my people, but, it seems, you do.

        😀 I’m joking (and not inclined – or right wing enough – to report you to the party for racism), but I think Paul might have been alluding to other aspects of the personality that you sometimes project here.

      7. qwertboi – You can please yourself my conscience is clear, it doesn’t take much research to appreciate that this portrayal of the fictional Uriah Heep character is a very common theme in academic papers on Dickens and that this characterisation of UH was Dickens reflection of the contemporary views in the society of those times.. Also I’m not one who was likening another person to Uriah Heep with the intention of it being an insult..

      8. I don’t thimk ‘insult’ is the right word Steve. If someome called me a Uriah Heep chararcter/ or said I put them in mind of it, I’d spend a long time mulling over it or maybe needing to do research on it BEFORE dismissing it out of hand as an ‘insult’ lik a Daily Mail curtain twitcher responding to a perfectly clear factual comment with “I have never been so insulted. Very rude!”

        It’s good that we’re all different though, but I genuinely believe Paul wasn’t intentionally ‘insulting’ you. He was simply pointing out that on some issues you come across as sycophantic, which, clearly in the context of Sir Keir or the covid non-medical scam and social control project, cannot be a good thing.

        If Paul is Jewish, then I can relate to his thinking: Winners always Kvetch, i.e. question and distrust authority (If he isn’t Jewish, then he’s just a very wise man).

        (There was probably an antisemitic trope or 2 in there someone. Where’s Margaret Hodge and Rachel Riley when we need ’em?)

  20. You learn from the past, you celebrate the advances and vow never to repeat the atrocities
    Unfortunately we all have it in us to do just that

  21. SteveH
    I didn’t come here to be insulted by the likes of you
    Why where do you normally go

  22. Re: “Previous COVID-19 infection, but not Long-COVID, is associated with increased adverse events following BNT162b2/Pfizer vaccination”
    Despite having conducted a thorough search, I can find no indication that a peer review has been conducted.
    I have looked into the 5 contributors to the paper and they are all affiliated to Newcastle University, James Cook University Hospital and Sunderland University. It looks like they are a team who work together. That is no criticism, but it does suggest that it would be wise to get the thing peer reviewed.
    Re: the argument about Uriah Heep.
    This reminds me of –
    “Two major law firms have withdrawn funding from the Royal Court Theatre in the fall-out from the row over the naming of a billionaire villain as Hershel Fink.
    The firms Kirkland & Ellis and Weil, Gotshal & Manges confirmed they will no longer fund the Sloane Square theatre.”
    So it would have been OK to call the villain Gerard O’Mahoney. The madness continues.

  23. A record-breaking 78,610 new Covid cases emerged as of 9am on Wednesday – the highest daily total since the pandemic began.

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