A Political Scandal

A Political Scandal

I don’t normally write political blogs on this site but for once some political hard truths need to be faced.

Seven weeks ago, today I was advised by my Difficult Asthma nurses at Barts to start amending my behaviour. I was advised against using the Tube, advised not to attend for the time being Football matches and other common-sense precautions.

The problem was that at the time the national conversation did not accommodate this at all. This was the week that the BBC’s Moral Maze debate was whether anticipated measures against CoronaVirus were likely to be an over reaction causing economic harm, when only older people with limited life expectancy anyway were at real risk. This was a period where the Government was confidently departing from WHO Guidelines and talking about developing “herd immunity” to allow a uk designed “nuanced approach” of managing the Virus and at the same time minimise economic disruption. Briefings abounded that there was much to be said for what was describe as “taking the hit” in order to achieve this herd immunity. This was the period in which the government confidently decided it did not need to participate in EU schemes to purchase either Ventilator or protective Equipment.

This was the period when people were referring sneeringly to the failures in Italy to control the outbreak.

When I tried on various Forums to start ringing alarm bells, I was accused of inducing unnecessary panic or even on a couple of times accused of affecting people’s mental health.

I have kept quiet about this for some weeks despite the scandal of an under provisioned NHS with staff being forced into lethal harm’s way because of lack of protective equipment.

However, what I want to say just once is to try and burst the absolute fiction that the “Government has done everything it can do”.

This is manifestly untrue and even the Government’s own advisors are now admitting that the UK’s record is likely to be the worst in Europe. No longer at we are sneering at Italy as we will fare far worst. This crisis was born not last week, or even 4 weeks, ago but complacency 7 weeks ago and earlier.

There is a hidden scandal of this Government’s record which weeks ago showed incredible arrogance as well as ignorance in celebrating the distance they were making from the World Health Organisation in following their self-described “nuanced” position of promoting “herd immunity” as opposed to the WHO recommended suppression and testing regime.

The results are clear to see from the statistics and is a national scandal.

Just compare how Germany – which is already emerging from their crisis with the UK stats below. Germany has tracked thousands more cases and suppressed more than the UK and identified cases through testing but have a dwindling death rate approaching zero with an overall death tally only a quarter of the UK. By the time the death tally lowers to similar levels in the UK it is likely that we will have suffered 10 times more deaths than people in Germany.

These figures are current as of today. They speak for themselves April 14th 2020.

Country

UK

Cases

93,873

Active Cases

81,422

Cases Reported Today

5,252

Deaths Today

778

Overall Deaths

12,107

Germany

Cases

131,170

Active Cases

59,698

Cases Reported Today

1,098

Deaths Today

78

Overall Deaths

3,272

David Griffith

Sent from Mail for Windows 10

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Singing to My Guide Dog

Singing to my Guide dog

Last week Bill Withers died. Bill Withers was part of the soundtrack to my life. He was the soul background to hot chaotic Parties during my last summer in Liverpool, easing out the driving rhythms of The Clash, Sex Pistols and tom Robinson as seemingly never-ending parties wound down to an early morning close.

1978 was a year of personal transition, traumatic in the leaving of Liverpool but ultimately a year of reaffirmEnt as I built a new life in London, a city I have lived in until this day.

Bill Withers and his haunting tones of Lovely Day alongside Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street were familiar friends accompanying me down the M6 motorway to an initially unfamiliar city.

Over the years as I built my life in London Wither’s “Lovely Day” was a song I resorted to whenever I wanted to elevate my mood. However, the song was a Trojan Horse for the unwary singer, melodic and apparently easy to sing along to in its initial bars it had a trap waiting for us all. The song is notable for Withers’ sustained note towards the end, which at 18 seconds long, is, according to Wikipedia, one of the longest ever recorded on a song.

For me and thousands of unwary emulators the result is that we collapse in an asthmatic wheeze as we struggle to maintain the final notes alongside Wither’s masterful rendition.

This did not stop me unfeasibly trying to match Withers performance, provoking, I suspect dirty looks from neighbour’s family and friends. One of the benefits of later life blindness is that I was of course oblivious to this disapprobation.

However just one creature seemed to respond positively. During the hot Summer of 2013 as I took possession of my guide Dog Nyle, he alone seemed to appreciate my efforts. I noticed that whilst he was struggling up a hill in the heat of a London August afternoon that he appeared to flag.

The heat was such that I also was panting. In order to motivate both of us I started a rendition of Lovely Day. To my amazement Nyle immediately perked up and strode purposefully up the hill.

It was with high emotions that I returned home. I was astounded that, for the first time, a creature on this Earth had been motivated by my singing. I eagerly sought out my Wife Sue to express my pride.

Sue just sniffed and said he was probably just trying to get away from you.

Deflated I concluded that she was probably right.

It doesn’t stop it being a great song though.

David Griffith

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