I guess this could be considered a continuation of the article Are they really this incompetent? in which I posed the question of competency of Boris Johnson and the British government over their handling of the Covid-19 crisis. I also asked whether it was incompetence or whether there was hidden agenda behind their actions. I am still asking those questions 3 weeks after writing that article and I still cannot help but feel that their ‘strategy’ has a eugenics feel about it especially after my attention was drawn to an article by James Tapper on 13 February 2021.
According to this article, in December 2020 the Care Quality Commission (CQC) said that “inappropriate Do Not Attempt Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (DNACPR) notices had caused potentially avoidable deaths last year.” DNACPRs are usually reserved for those who are too frail to benefit from CPR. The charity Mencap has said that in January 2021 it had received reports from people with learning disabilities that they had been told that if they became ill with Covid-19 they would not be resuscitated. This is despite widespread condemnation when the same thing happened during the first wave of the epidemic and the fact that an urgent investigation was conducted by the care watchdog. The CQC has said that it will be publishing a report on this practise within the next few weeks.
The government has not given priority for vaccination to those with learning disabilities despite the growing evidence that even those with a mild disability are more likely to die from Covid-19. Data released by the NHS last week, shows that in the five weeks since the third lockdown began, Covid-19 has accounted for 65 per cent of deaths for those with learning disabilities. According to Public Health England, those aged 18-34 with learning disabilities are 30 times more likely to die from Covid-19 infection than others the same age. Those with Down’s Syndrome were in one of four groups set by the Joint Commission for Vaccination and Immunisation to receive their vaccinations by 14 February 2021. Many others who have different learning disabilities were classified as lower in need and are still waiting. You would think with figures that high the government would prioritise people with all learning disabilities in the same way they did people over 80 but they did not. This is just too reminiscent of how disabled people have been treated until the movement for disabled people and their rights began in the 1960-70s.
In Britain before the Community Care Act 1990, people with learning disabilities were often placed in large mental health institutions along with those with mental health issues. It could be said that they were hidden away from the public. In Nazi Germany it was the disabled people that were murdered in the first experiments with gassing when lorries were converted into gas chambers and carbon monoxide was used to kill them. This happened to both physically disabled people and those with learning disabilities. This was part of the Nazi plan to eliminate those who did not fit their image of Aryan perfection and it would have also fitted in with the eugenics idea of only those genetic lines with no disabilities being allowed to continue.
The governments health and safety watchdog, the Health and Safety executive (HSE) has not shut down any workplaces that put employees at risk of catching Covid-19. This is despite the fact that there has been over 3,500 outbreaks at work since the start of the pandemic. An employment minister stated that Covid had been classed as ‘significant’ rather than ‘serious’ as it “best supports” inspectors in making sensible regulatory decisions. She also said that effects of Covid were “non-permanent or reversible, non-progressive and any disability is temporary” for the working population as a whole. This would imply that the effects of ‘long Covid’ have never been taken into account during the process of making these decisions. Jennifer Trueland wrote “It’s becoming accepted that long COVID is a serious problem. The Office for National Statistics said in December that an estimated one in five people testing positive for COVID-19 exhibit symptoms for five weeks or longer, with one in 10 exhibiting symptoms for 12 weeks or longer.” Severe Covid-19 can cause pneumonia and respiratory failure, which can result in permanent damage and scarring to the lungs. But Covid-19 is not only a lung illness: it can cause other life-changing complications. In particular, because it can increase the risk of blood clots, it can lead to deep vein thrombosis, heart attacks and stroke. Less commonly, it can cause heart muscle inflammation and heart rhythm disturbances, such as atrial fibrillation. None of those complications appear to have been considered when classifying Covid-19 let alone the symptoms of long Covid which can include fatigue, breathlessness, joint and muscle pain, anxiety and depression, chest pains and palpitations and not being able to focus or think straight.
The lower risk designation seems to be interfering with enforcement and some inspectors have said that it restricts their ability to issue prohibition notices or to prosecute. There has been an outbreak of Covid at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in Swansea where there are 500 cases reported. This is the largest outbreak in a work place yet and it has happened within a government agency. The inadequate classification and the lack of a hard lockdown shows just how much the government has wanted to keep work places open regardless of the risk posed to workers and their families. It would appear that the economy is of more importance to the government than the lives of employees and their families. The fact that there has never been a hard lockdown in Britain, as there has been in other countries, has meant that Britain now has the highest death rate per capita and and is still fighting Covid after 12 months.
Hopefully with the rollout of vaccines there is now light at the end of a very long tunnel and life may soon return to some semblance of ‘normal’ but things will not be the same. So many businesses have had to close which has meant the loss of thousands upon thousands of jobs; so many lives have been lost and a lot of them needlessly if only the government had acted sooner and done things properly and in the way other countries have; so many people now have had to wait too long for medical procedures or have died due to not being able to get the treatment they need. Boris Johnson and the Tory government have to be the worst in the history of prime ministers and an elected government. They have lied and lied and attempted to distract us from the shambles created by either their sheer incompetence, their laissez-faire attitude or the fact that they just do not care about those most impacted by Covid-19 … the elderly, the disabled, the BAME community and those who are socio-economically disadvantaged. I know I only covered two subjects but they are important ones and I hope that we have no more major outbreaks and will come out of lockdown soon so we can all catch up with loved ones and have lives again. I have 3 family members who have been on the frontline through all this and I will be glad when my family can relax and know they are safe. As ever a lot of this is my opinion and I have included links for the information garnered from other places. Stay safe everyone.
The world, as I see it, has become more intolerant, more bigoted and more racist. There is a rise in all forms of racism but two cultures/religions seem to be under attack more than others. I have already written about one in “The Damage done by False Antisemitism Claims and the Weaponisation of the Holocaust”. Muslims are the second community being subjected to more racist attacks worldwide. I will be using information I have found on sites around the internet and I will provide links within the text so readers can also look at the sites, the rest is my opinion and should be treated as such.
The increase in Islamophobia first became apparent after the events of 11 September 2001 (9/11) in which 2,977 people lost their lives. Immediately after the attacks America went on the offensive and began its endless war against terrorism mainly in Iraq and Afghanistan. There was also a dramatic rise in Islamophobia throughout the USA fuelled by ignorance and bigotry as a result of political and social reactions. This rise in hate crimes against Muslim did not just last for the weeks that immediately followed 9/11, they have continued throughout the 20 years since then. In 2000 the number of reported hate crimes against Muslims was just 28, that number jumped to 481 in 2001. Before 9/11 hate crimes against Muslims were the second-least reported religious-biased incidents but afterwards they were the second most reported.
In the week that followed 9/11 3 people were killed in America because of Islamophobia. Balbir Singh Sodhi was killed in Arizona on 15 September 2001. He was actually Sikh but Frank Roque, who shot and killed him, thought he was Muslim because of the turban he was wearing. Roque had been drinking at a sports bar and had been ranting about immigrants and saying that he wanted to “kill a Muslim”. Roque was later tried and imprisoned for life for first degree murder. On the same day Waqar Hasan and Vasudev Patel were shot and killed in Texas by Mark Anthony Stroman who said he did it because he wanted to “avenge” the United States for 9/11. He was later tried for the murder of Vasudev Patel but not Waqar Hasan. He was found guilty and sentenced to death. He was executed on July 20 2011 by lethal injection. The hatred towards Muslims has not stopped and in 2017 75 per cent of American Muslims said there is a lot of discrimination against them and 48 per cent of those who responded said that they had experienced at least one incident of discrimination during the previous year.
After the start of Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign in 2016, Islamophobia peaked and the number of assaults on Muslim Americans rose appreciably between 2015 -16. In 2016 there were 127 reports of aggravated or simple assault against Muslims compared with 91 in 2015. Intimidation would appear to be the most common type of hate crime against Muslims and other religious groups, and the reported number in 2016 was 144 compared with 120 the year before. Overall there were 307 reported incidents of anti-Muslim hate crimes which was a 19 per cent increase from the previous year. On January 27 2017 Donald Trump signed an Executive Order that banned nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries for 90 days. Entry for all Syrian refugees was suspended indefinitely and all other refugees were prohibited from entering America for 120 days. Although this executive order was challenged by ACLU in Washington and other organisations it fuelled anti-Muslim feelings in America, particularly amongst those who had voted for Trump. When Joe Biden became the American President one of the first things he did was to issue an Executive Order ending Trump’s Muslim ban which was one of several positive immigration policy changes.
A week after the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand in 2019, the number of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK increased by 593 per cent. The majority of the incidents were acts of intimidation and verbal abuse but some mosques and Muslims were physically attacked. In the week following the attack on the Manchester Arena the reported number of hate crimes against UK Muslims rose by 700 per cent. Some believe that the rise in anti-Muslim feelings in the UK is being fuelled by irrational fears among the middle-class. According to statistics, 18 per cent of people in the UK have very negative views about Islam and 44 per cent of them fear that Islam is a massive threat to the Western way of life. On the positive side 32 per cent of people in the UK believe that Islam is compatible with the British way of life compared to 31 per cent who don’t.
In January 2021 Sofia Akel conducted research about The Rise of Islamophobia in Higher Education at London Metropolitan University. In November 2020 London Metropolitan University became the first UK university to adopt the working definition of “Islamophobia” as offered by the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims. Some Muslim students who responded remarked on how their academic spaces could often become places where they were ridiculed and could be subjected to injustice and discrimination. Some of them recalled lectures where their beliefs had been called “medieval” and “not compatible with the modern world” by their lecturers under the guise of “academic discussion.”
“A lecturer made a remark ‘I bet you get searched everywhere you go with a name like that’ to a student in a large gathering. The student was lost for words and clearly upset.“
5.4 per cent of students felt that their contributions to academic discussions were disproportionately scrutinised by lecturers and their peers due to prejudice against Islam. Some felt unable to research topics of interest because they were afraid of being branded as radical or dangerous. As somebody who thoroughly enjoyed their time in college and at University I was saddened by this. Having access to materials that enable students to research topics that really interest them is one of the great joys of being a student and I feel that the students who made those responses were deprived of that experience. I was also disturbed about the fact that lecturers are displaying their prejudice and are discriminating against students because of the students religious beliefs.
A poll conducted by Hope Not Hate in 2018, found that of those who voted Tory in 2017 49 per cent thought Islam was a real threat to the British way of Life. Of the Labour voters who responded, 22 per cent thought Islam was a threat. The report stated that the Conservative party could do more to challenge this negative view of its voters. Hope Not Hate also suggested that Brexit could be exploited by the far-right and stated that “Divisions within Britain are likely to increase and this will further split communities and boost the far-right’s populist anti-politics message.” In February 2020 Abdul Rahman al-Hussein wrote “In the shadows of the Brexit vote and a new movement toward nationalism, the U.K. has seen a significant increase in the number of hate crimes against Muslims in the past few years.” He went on to say that it was Muslim women that are targeted the most in recent hate crimes so some have started to wear caps instead of the traditional hijab. In 2018 Tasnim Nazeer wrote that “Former foreign secretary Boris Johnson’s Facebook page has played host to hundreds of Islamophobic messages following his comments where he described Muslim women who have chosen to wear the burka as looking like “letterboxes” and “bank robbers.” She goes on to write “He cannot deny the fact that his comments have fuelled the recent spike of anti-Muslim hate in the UK.” In my opinion, his racist views and his campaign slogan “Get Brexit Done” is what won the Tories the general election in December 2019. It appealed to the right wing, racist element of this country who have blamed immigrants and even British born people from ethnic minority communities for all that is wrong in their lives. This is fuelled by right wing mainstream media like the Daily Mail and The Sun with banner headlines. On 30 May 2018 the Daily Mail’s headline was “Most Brits believe that migration has harmed communities and fear the nation’s culture and traditions are being lost, Left-leaning think-tank claims” The so called left-leaning think-tank was Demos which was once thought of as being close to Tony Blair who is centrist. How many people were polled? Where in the country were they? Was it a good representation of communities within Britain? I could not find answers to those questions so for all I know it could have been members of EDL or the National Front questioned. This seems to be a trait of right wing media … banner headlines and no actual facts or evidence to back up these headlines.
The cross government working group on Anti-Muslim hatred commissioned new research, and found that Covid-19 sparks online Islamophobia as fake news and racist memes are shared online. The research showed that Islamophobic online ‘Cyber Hubs’ were being created which linked Muslims to the spread of Covid-19, spread fake news and shared anti-Muslim memes. Among fake news theories being shared were – Mosques are responsible for the spread of Covid-19; Muslims are super-spreaders of the virus; Muslims are not observing social distancing rules and police give favourable treatment to Muslims for fear of being classed as racist. One video that was shared on the Tommy Robinson News channel on the messaging app Telegram, claimed to show Muslim men leaving a secret mosque in Birmingham after prayer. Although West Midlands police have checked and confirmed that the mosque is closed and the fact that the video is a fake, it has been watched more than 14,000 times. This type of bigotry reinforces the “us vs them” narrative by referencing issues like poverty, social standing, social mobility and cohesion as well as deprivation. This fuels the hatred and bigotry and leaves Muslims more at risk once lockdown is finally lifted. One particularly foul, offensive tweet stated “We all need to avoid muzrats who are still attending mosque. They believe allah will fly down from his rainbow and save them while infecting infidels.” Muzrat is a word that bigots use to label Muslims as vermin and a disease. I am both saddened and angered by this blatant display of hatred and ignorance. Studies and statistics have shown that people from BAME communities are more susceptible to Covid-19. The first 11 doctors who died were all from BAME backgrounds. Would these bigots refuse treatment from Muslim doctors and nurses if they were unfortunate enough to catch Covid-19? Of course they wouldn’t because they value their lives and are not beyond hypocrisy.
Lizzie Dearden wrote about the use of old and fake videos being used to blame Muslims for the spread of Covid-19. She stated that Tommy Robinson, Gerard Batten (former leader of UKip) and Katie Hopkins were all sharing posts that targeted Muslims. Bigotry seems to have become almost socially acceptable and not only is it fuelled by fake news, racist memes and ignorance, it is also being fuelled by right wing mainstream media and politicians, and so called celebrities, like Katie Hopkins, on social media. Mainstream media and far-right groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) made a “hero” out of Tommy Robinson when he was arrested whilst filming outside a court during a trial for grooming underage girls. He was courted by Gerard Batten and became a social media star with many followers who all thought of him as a patriot and a hero.
I could write a lot more on this subject as it is not only America and the UK that has seen a rise in Islamophobia but basically it will just be more of the same which is just so very frustrating and disappointing. We are now in the 21st century and the time of bigotry and hatred should have been over long ago. It seems that every time something out of the ordinary happens, like a pandemic or bombing, or when peoples lives are not going the way they wanted them to, then some of us have to find somebody to blame. They seem to always end up blaming on people who follow a different religion or live in a different way to them. Is it fear or is it ignorance and the need to lay blame at another’s door? Maybe it is all of them or maybe it is something completely different. All I know for sure is that I do not and never will understand this almost pathological hatred that some people have for others.
I am going to begin this by stating my objection to China being referred to as “communist”. When Marx and Engels first wrote ‘The Communist Manifesto‘ (1848) they viewed communism as a political and economic ideology that aimed to replace private property and a profit based economy. They would be replaced with public ownership and communal control of at least the major means of production, and of the natural resources available to a society (Richard Dagger Professor of Political Science). China is in fact a “totalitarian” state which runs on state capitalism. Totalitarianism is centralised control by an autocratic authority and the political concept is that the citizens should be completely subject to an absolute state authority (Merriam Webster). In my opinion this is a very accurate description of the sort of state that China actually is and should be referred to as such.
As usual this piece of writing is my opinion and should be treated as such. I will insert links where possible to give readers the opportunity to do more reading. I am going to begin by writing about what happened on June 4th and 5th 1989 in Tiananmen Square in Beijing. The death on 15th April 1989 of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang was the spark for the protests that led to the Tiananmen Square massacre. Hu had worked to introduce democratic reform in China and pro-democracy protestors, who were mainly students, mourned him by marching and calling for a more open and democratic government. In the 1980s China was already going through changes as some private companies and foreign investment were allowed in. By doing this the then leader Deng Xiaoping hoped that the economy would be boosted and that living standards would be raised. Unfortunately this move also brought corruption as well as the hope for more political openness. The ruling CPC (Communist Party of China) was divided between those wanting more change and those wanting to preserve strict state control. Student led protests began in the mid 1980s and included those who had lived abroad and been exposed to higher standards of living and new ideas.
In the weeks following the death of Hu Yaobang protestors gathered at Tiananmen Square and it was estimated that up to a million people had gathered when numbers were at their largest. The protests were proving to be an embarrassment to the Chinese government, especially with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev due to visit China, which would plunge China into the global media spotlight. The military were called in after the ruling CPC declared martial law in Beijing on May 20th in an attempt to restore order and to clear the streets before the visit of Gorbachev. The Tiananmen Square massacre, referred to as “the 4th June incident” in China, is remembered as being one of the bloodiest events in modern history. At 1am on June 4 Chinese police and troops stormed Tiananmen Square firing live rounds into the crowd. Members of the 27th Group Army opened fire on the crowd just five minutes after they were told they had one hour to leave the Square. Snipers shot at protestors from rooftops and troops on the ground bayoneted any wounded. Armoured personnel carriers then rolled in running over protestors who had linked arms to form human chains. Reporters and Western diplomats who witnessed the events estimated that hundreds to thousands of protestors were killed in the Tiananmen Square Massacre and as many as 10,000 were arrested.
“Historically, China has proved to be covetous about occupying foreign lands.” The People’s Republic of China maintains that Tibet is an intrinsic part of China whereas the Tibetan government-in-exile maintains that Tibet is an independent state under unlawful occupation. The Chinese regime began their invasion of Tibet in 1949 and reached complete occupation in 1959. From then until November 2017 1.2 million people (20 per cent of Tibet’s population) have died as a result of China’s invasion and occupation. over 99 per cent of Tibet’s six thousand religious monasteries, temples and shrines, have been destroyed or looted resulting in the loss of hundreds of thousands of Buddhist scriptures. Occupying Tibet gave China access to rich, natural resources and allowed it to militarise the strategically important border with India. Tibetans rebelled against the PRC in Lhasa on March 10 1959 and the Dalai Lama ( a teenage boy) left Lhasa on March 17 1959 and went into exile in India on March 31 along with about 80 followers. Rebels then launched an attack on Chinese officials and troops on March 19 1959 and the Chinese launched their response the following day. Chinese troops captured Lhasa on 25 March 1959 killing about 2,000 Tibetan rebels in the process. On March 28 the Dalai Lama led government was dissolved and the Panchen Lama assumed control of the Tibetan government on April 5 1959. Between March 10 and March 31 1959 it is estimated that about 87,000 Tibetans died and 100,000 fled to India, Nepal and Bhutan.
The PRC closed all monasteries and imposed Chinese law and customs in Tibet. The General Assembly of the United Nations condemned China’s disrespect for the human rights of Tibetans on October 21 1959. China imposed economic reforms in Tibet between 1960 – 62 which resulted in famines and the death of about 340,000 Tibetans. Tibet is still classed as an independent state but it is under illegal occupation. This means that Beijing’s transfer of Chinese citizens into Tibet is a violation of the fourth Geneva convention of 1949, which prohibits the transfer of civilian population into occupied territory. The issue of human rights along with the right to self-determination and the right of the Tibetan people to keep their own identity and autonomy are, of course, matters for legitimate international concern regardless of how Tibet’s legal status is regarded.
It is not only Tibet that China has had disputes with over territory, on land and at sea. It also has had disputes with Taiwan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, North Korea, Nepal, Bhutan, Laos, Mongolia Myanmar and India. In June 2020 there were protests by ethnic Mongolians as China tried to replace the Mongolian language with Chinese Mandarin in some of the school subjects. Mongolians were afraid that their language would be relegated to a foreign language as part of government plans to assimilate ethnic minorities into Chinese Han culture. China’s reason for the change to the bilingual education system was to ensure that the curriculum and textbooks were of “high standard”.
“It doesn’t matter where I am, or what passport I hold. [Chinese authorities] will terrorize me anywhere, and I have no way to fight that.“(Uyghur Muslim with European citizenship, Washington, September 2019). The atrocities administered to Uyghurs have been described as “the most pressing human rights crisis of our time” by Irwin Cotler, a renowned legal expert and civil liberties champion. A parliamentary committee in Canada made a landmark decision when they labelled the atrocities being inflicted upon the Uyghurs as “genocide” and government ministers and experts from around the world have called for joint action against the CPC. In November 2020 the Halifax International Security Forum held its annual summit and warned the world that “Modern-day China has emerged as the most powerful authoritarian state in history and the major challenger to the liberal world.” During the summit top national security, foreign policy officials and activists called for there to be a joint initiative to regenerate international institutes and pursue new, more adaptable methods do governments can work together to confront China’s “economic and technological warfare and aggressive military build up”,
In the HRW (Human Rights Watch) World Report 2020 it is stated that “China’s government sees human rights as an existential threat. Its reaction could pose an existential threat to the rights of people worldwide“. The CPC is worried that allowing political freedom would threaten its hold on power. To counter this it has developed a high-tech surveillance state and a state-of-the-art internet censorship system so as to monitor and suppress any public criticism. Abroad it uses its ever growing economic power to silence critics, and continues to attack the global system for enforcing human rights in a manner that has not been seen since the system began to appear during the mid twentieth century. In October 2020 forty countries criticised China’s treatment of minority groups, especially the Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang and the citizens of Tibet. They also expressed grave concern over the impact that its new security laws in Hong Kong would have on human rights. The mainly Western statement said that its 39 signatories shared the concerns that had been expressed in a letter written by fifty independent United Nations human rights experts. The letter urged the international community to take appropriate measures to monitor China and to act together to ensure China’s government respected human rights. These experts expressed concern over allegations of excessive force against protesters, reports of retaliation against people who spoke out about the coronavirus outbreak, and Hong Kong’s then proposed new security law.
This leads to the most recent episode concerning China, human rights, attempts to silence critics and also lies and cover ups. On February 20 2020 Aylin Woodward wrote about 5 Chinese citizens who had disappeared, been arrested or been silenced after speaking out about the coronavirus (Covid-19). On 30 December 2019 Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang wrote a message to a group of medical school alumni warning them about an outbreak of a mysterious new illness and warned them to wear protective clothing to avoid infection. Three days later he was reprimanded and silenced by local police. He was forced to sign a letter in which he was accused of “making false comments” which had “severely disturbed the social order.” He returned to work at the hospital in Wuhan and caught the infection from a patient. Chinese law professor Xu Zhangrun posted a review criticising President Xi Jinping and the CPC for the way they had handled the coronavirus outbreak. He wrote “They all blithely stood by as the crucial window of opportunity to deal with the outbreak of the infection snapped shut in their faces,” which implied that the government’s censoring of information about the virus had impaired its ability to control the spread. This was posted online on February 10 2020 but was taken down immediately and Xu was placed under house arrest. He was also cut off from the internet and scrubbed from all social media sites. In addition to Li and Xu at least 3 citizen journalists have disappeared or were arrested after sharing information about the outbreak on social media.
During his time as a patient in Wuhan hospital Li Wenliang posted his story on social media site Weibo. It was a disturbing insight into the badly managed response by the local authorities in Wuhan during the first weeks of the coronavirus outbreak. Dr Li was working at Wuhan hospital when he became aware of 7 cases of a virus which looked like SARS. The cases were thought to have come from the Huanan seafood market in Wuhan and the patients were in quarantine at Wuhan hospital. When Dr Li was reprimanded by local police he was told that he was one of 8 people being investigated for “spreading rumours”. For the first few weeks of January 2020 local authorities in Wuhan were insisting that the virus could only be caught through contact with infected animals. Doctors were not issued with any guidance to protect themselves. Dr Li caught the virus from a woman he was treating for glaucoma just a week after being reprimanded after the police. On 10 January 2020 Dr Li developed a cough, the next day he developed a fever and 2 days later he was admitted to hospital. It was not until 10 days later, on 20 January 2020, that China declared the outbreak an emergency.
On February 13 2020 Professors Ruipeng Lei and Renzong Qiu of the Hastings Center stated that the reprimand and silencing of Dr Li by local police was an unlawful and unethical infringement on his right of expression and also impeded early control of the epidemic. During the weeks that Dr Li was ill in hospital, local authorities had apologised for the way he had been treated but by that time it was too late. Dr Li died on 7 February 2020. In May 2020 former lawyer turned citizen journalist Zhang Zhan was detained by by Chinese authorities. After spending 7 months in detention she was sentenced to 4 years imprisonment. She was found guilty of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” which is a common charge used against activists in China. In June 2020, Sir Richard Dearlove ( a former head of MI6) cited a study by British and Norwegian researchers which he thought could “shift the debate” on the origins of the coronavirus. He stated that he believed that the coronavirus pandemic could have “started as an accident” after the virus escaped from a Chinese laboratory. The researchers had claimed that they had found clues that suggested key elements had been “inserted” into the genetic sequence of the virus but their study did not seem to indicate that the inserts were man-made. The study was rejected by several journals and revisions were made to remove claims that accused China. At that time the consensus was still that the virus had originated in bats and had crossed species in a “wet market” in Wuhan and then made the jump to humans.
On October 17 2020 the Financial Times published the first part of a series they called “Coronavirus: could the world have been spared?” They sent reporters to Wuhan to investigate what happened in the first weeks of the epidemic. They spoke to medical professionals, government officials and members of the public in Wuhan and found that several of the people they approached were then threatened by police who said that the FT had gone to Wuhan with “malicious intent”. They also discovered that the police were still intimidating and threatening virus victims, their families and anybody who wanted to talk to them about the virus. The reporters from the FT felt that this behaviour raised doubts about the willingness of Xi Jinping’s administration to help with the impartial investigation into the pandemic that China had promised the world. This could also be inferred from the way China delayed the investigation by making WHO go through months of negotiation in order to gain entry into China, and then access to Wuhan and the people they needed to speak to. Robin Brant (BBC correspondent in Wuhan) was of the opinion that China had resisted the investigation because it saw the potential for further blame from foreigners and it already had its own official version of what happened. The WHO team finally arrived in China on 14 January 2021 and had to spend 14 days in quarantine before continuing on to Wuhan. Earlier in January the team had been denied entry into China because one of the team was turned back and another was stuck in transit. China claimed that it was all a misunderstanding and that discussions about arranging the investigation were still underway. The two week quarantine period ended on 28 January 2021 and the investigation is now underway although the team says that it will not be investigating the possibility that the virus originated in a lab and escaped.
On 9 February 2021 the WHO team who had gone to China to investigate the origins of China held a media briefing and spoke about what they had found. They stated that SARS-CoV-2 (Covid-19) may have originated from zoonotic transmission but the reservoir hosts had not been identified. Basically this means that they think the virus jumped from animals to humans but they do not know what animal yet. They did rule out bats and pangolins though so hopefully this may lead to an end to the slaughter of both species. They said that the virus did not originate in a Chinese laboratory. On 10 February 20121 Massimo Introvigne wrote that the reasons that WHO says that the virus could not have originated in a Chines laboratory is because China told them so. Introvigne also claims that Dr Peter Ben Embarak who headed the WHO team is by trade a food safety expert. The investigation was carried out by a joint WHO-China team and it was decided before the investigation began that laboratories would not be visited.
I lost my father on 5 April 2020 and my partner on 15 May 2020 and both of their deaths were the result of the coronavirus epidemic. In my opinion not only does the British government have to be held to account for the number of loved ones lost due to their shamefully abysmal handling of the epidemic, China also has to be held to account for their attempts to hide the outbreak by silencing people like Dr Li during the first weeks when the epidemic could have been brought under control. China lied about and hid important information which could have changed everything, and people like me, and so many others, would not have had to say goodbye to their family members during a 17 minute rushed funeral which had to be streamed for those who could not attend due to the limit on numbers allowed to attend. China should also be held to account for its continuing human rights violations and the atrocities visited upon Tibetans and Uyghurs. China continues to act with impunity and with scant regard for how they are viewed by the rest of the world. As I said at the beginning, apart from the facts I have used the rest is my opinion and should be treated as such. Next time you go out to buy something try and find something that has not been made in China… I wish you good luck with that.
I have never been one for believing in conspiracy theories but after the past twelve months I am beginning to wonder if the Tories can really be as incompetent as they appear to be. I have hesitated and procrastinated before sitting down to write this because I fear I may well end up by being viewed as a total crank by some who read this … BUT I have nothing really to loose and writing this may stop me thinking about it instead of sleeping. As ever all of this is just my opinion and I will try and insert links for you to click on and read what others have to say.
I am sure that you are familiar with the term ‘eugenics’, if not then here is a quick definition for you:
“Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenics was coined in 1883 by British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow “the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable” Philip K Wilson (Medical Historian).
Eugenics is a racist pseudoscience which groups people together according to their “position on an evolutionary hierarchy” which associates value with being white and able, and labels ethnic minorities and the disabled for “eugenic deselection”.
Michael Rosen, a well known and respected author and poet, shared this comment on Twitter ““Not to put too fine a point on it, from an entirely disinterested economic perspective, the Covid-19 might even prove mildly beneficial in the long term by disproportionately culling elderly dependents.” (Jeremy Warner Daily Telegraph March 3 2020). Having had a long battle with Covid 19 himself, Michael Rosen (aged 74) was understandably disgusted and horrified by this remark by conservative business and economics commentator Jeremy Warner who is assistant editor for the Telegraph. I lost my dear Dad on April 5th 2020 and my partner on may 15th 2020, both died because of Covid 19, my Dad was 79 and my partner 71. To say Warner’s comment made me angry and disgusted would be an understatement, but, it did make me wonder if maybe I was not as mad as I thought when thinking that maybe the Tories had some kind of nasty grand plan going on.
Michael Rosen, astute and wonderful man that he is, also posted this on Twitter on December 22nd 2020 “In early March 2020 a fascistic (not fascist) crept up on us: that 100s of thousands of people were dispensable; that Britain knew better than WHO how to deal with Covid; we didn’t all need to test, trace, isolate; we didn’t need to mask, distance, wash”. This described the general laissez-faire attitude of Boris Johnson and the Tory party when talking about Covid 19 at that time.
On 16th March 2020 Matt Hancock, the so called Health secretary, told the House of Commons that all social contact should cease but it was not until March 23rd 2020 that Boris Johnson told us that we should all stay at home and non-essential businesses should close. It took the Tories from 29 January 2020, when the first two cases of Covid 19 in the UK were reported, until 23 March 2020 to take any kind of action over Covid 19. (These first two patients were Chinese nationals from Wuhan which is, of course, where Covid 19 first appeared.) British Airways took action immediately, after these patients were confirmed as having contracted Covid 19, and suspended all flights to and from mainland China. If an airline company could take action that quickly why didn’t the Tory government?
The first eleven doctors to die from Covid 19 in the UK were all from ethnic minority backgrounds. There is indisputable evidence that BAME communities are disproportionately affected by the Covid 19 pandemic. This highlights the existing inequalities within our society and supports the strong links between ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and health outcomes. The council areas where there is ethnic diversity are suffering from Covid 19 infections up to four times more than white areas only a few miles away and health experts have said that the UK has paid the price for not tackling structural racism. In Blackburn the Covid 19 ‘hotspots’ were in the poorest and most ethnically diverse communities. The lack of real support from the government has meant that those who are in receipt of benefits or on zero hours contracts have suffered disproportionally throughout the crisis with few signs from the Tory government that they are doing anything to help or support them.
There have been reports of little or no help or support for the disabled in our communities. On 24th June 2020 Inclusion London published its interim report based on responses to their Social Care survey. The report painted a picture of a heartless government with little or no compassion, or understanding of the needs of disabled people. The report states that “disabled people have been discriminated against, forgotten, and in some cases abandoned as policy makers have ignored our needs”. Disabled people have seen the loss of rights, and resource rationing which has led to many disabled people struggling to get the bare necessities and losing any support they had as well as their independence. One group that has remained completely absent from any of the Tory government’s Covid strategies is people with learning disabilities. There have even been reports of people with learning disabilities living in care homes being told that they are “unlikely to be prioritised for hospital care if they develop Covid 19“. I have no words to convey my severe disgust at that attitude.
On 19 March 2020 it was government policy to send elderly patients back to care homes without being tested for Covid 19. In fact there was no requirement to test patients being discharged from hospital to return to care homes until 15 April 2020, although some trusts were testing patients before that date. In the week ending May 1 2020, there were 2,423 Covid related deaths in UK care homes. That week 38% of deaths in care homes were Covid related, the week before it was 35% and the week ending 17 April 2020 it was 28%. There was a feeling that older people living in care homes had been abandoned and left to die amongst government failings during the Covid 19 pandemic. As well as the lack of testing of patients before discharging them back to care homes there was also the introduction of blanket DNARs without the consultation of family members or in most cases the person themselves. Only a doctor can make a DNAR decision or issue a DNAR form BUT wherever possible this should be done in consultation with the patient and/or those close to them.
What I have written is a very brief synopsis of what I have discovered when researching this piece of writing but it has made me question the Tory motives even more. Can any Prime Minister or government really be this grossly incompetent? It all reminds me too much of eugenics programs in the USA and more obviously Nazi Germany. The USA had a brief fling with eugenics in the early 1900s. The movement was lead by Charles Davenport, a biologist (1866-1944) and Harry Laughlin, a former teacher. Eugenicists in the USA believed in the genetic superiority of Nordic, Germanic and Anglo-Saxon people. They supported strict immigration laws and the forced sterilisation of the poor and disabled.
We are all familiar with the atrocities performed by the Nazi party under the rule of Adolf Hitler. The belief of Adolf Hitler, and other high ranking members of the Nazi party such as Heinrich Himmler, that the Aryan race was a genetically superior race led to one of the darkest periods in human history. This belief coupled with Hitler’s pathological hatred of the Jews led to what was termed as the Final Solution. Hitler had also admired the eugenics program in the USA. Jews, those from Slavic regions, Jehovah Witnesses, Roma gypsies, ethnic minorities, homosexuals, communists, Poles, Russian prisoners of war, the sick and the disabled were all thought of as untermenschen (racially or socially inferior). The Nazi’s embarked on the most brutal eugenics program and it is virtually impossible to say how many people were actually murdered by them. Not only were there six death camps but thousands were murdered in villages and towns, on the roadside, in forests and in lorries ( which were adapted to be the first gas chambers). It is estimated that over 6 million people were murdered between 1941-45.
The way the Tories have not made provision for the elderly, ethnic minorities, those who are disadvantaged socioeconomically, the sick and disabled has seen me comparing their lack of provision and their total lack of any remorse to those who have used eugenics programs to get rid of those they consider unworthy or a burden on society. You are probably thinking I am a crank by now but as I said at the beginning I am not one of those ‘flat earther’ types and I do not hold with conspiracy theories but I cannot help but wonder just how incompetent a nations leader and government can actually be.