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  AMY WINEHOUSE AT THE BBC

  Joe Bonamassa Live!

  Rodrigo Y Gabriela Interview

  Arial East Tries Harder

  Amy Macdonald Rescheduled Gig

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  Ariel Posen New LP

  Young Knives Are Back!

  Montreux Jazz Festival 2021

  Music & Brexit

  Ani DiFranco New LP +

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  Happy New Year?

  All Things Must Pass 50th

  My Best Albums for 2020

  Joe Bonamassa Guitar Man

  Is The USA Nightmare Over?

  Download Back in 2021!

  On Barbra Streisand

  Roger Waters Us + Them Review

  Skunk Anansie 2021 Tour

  Metallica’s S&M2 Review

  The State We’re In…

  Welcome Back! But To What?

  What Have We Done?

  A RISK TOO FAR

  Photojournalism Hero

  Samantha Fish Live

  Gill Landry Live in Chester

  Noah Gundersen Live

  David Gilmour’s Interview

  Snow Patrol Live in Manchester

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  John Lennon Interview

  My 100 Favourite Albums

  Ray LaMontagne Live

  Satriani’s G3 Live

  Jim White Live in Manchester

  Tori Amos Live

  Bush & RavenEye Live

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  Jimmy Eat World Live

  Roger Waters on Amused To Death


A RISK TOO FAR

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A Risk Too Far

We are told by UK government ministers that we have:

World leading health service
World leading technology
World leading science
World leading biotech

So why is it that the UK and its population has suffered more deaths than any other European nation from Covid-19? And that several South East Asian countries have beaten the UK in the fight to defeat the virus?

I’d go back over three years to the Brexit debate and vote. Prime Minister Johnson and friends declared that leaving the EU would be good for the UK; that the UK would become a global free-trader and that UK citizens would be better off. That shoes would be cheaper. That the UK would ‘take back control’.

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But the big question that was never really asked by the political opposition and the media was: what was the risk to the UK economy, security, jobs and civil society. Those who voted to leave believed the leave propoganda and that ‘taking back control’ was real and risk-free. How wrong, how stupid. In truth we have risked our future and especially the future of the younger generation on the alter of ‘taking back control’.

And this on the back of ten years of austerity that has seen the UK’s most important, respected and valuable institutions paired to the bone, and as a result a nation increasingly  characterised by fear, debt, insecurity and poverty.

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A Risk Worth Taking?

Then in January 2020 China experienced a new Coronavirus and by January 24 the country was in lockdown and especially at the virus epicentre. The UK looked on and waited. The government then assembled a group of health specialists, scientists and mathameticians to offer their advice to government as to strategies to combat the virus. The government’s main thrust was to ‘protect the NHS’ in the full knowledge that following years of austerity and cut-backs that there was a distinct probability that the virus could cause the NHS to collapse. The government mantra was ‘follow the science’. Or was it really ‘follow the politics’?

The Labour opposition offered little additional advise or debate and largely went along with the government’s policies. Technology has helped us all keep in touch with family and friends, and help in creating engineering and chemical solutions, but here in the UK deaths continue to rise and people feel more isolated and poorer.

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Once again those currently in charge chose to take more risks, as they did in the Brexit debate. It chose to wait to allow hospitals to clear high dependency bed spaces and enlist more medical workers from the retired ranks. It chose to protect the NHS rather than protect people. Late lockdown, no wide testing and tracking regime, no early ordering of safety and treatment equipment, almost total ignorance of the social care sector.

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It didn’t end there though. Care Homes, Nursing Homes and elderly/sick/disabled home caring was ignored (despite the lie that these areas were a ‘government policy focus’) - the most vulnerable people most likely to contract this dreadful and deadly desease. Care workers (and their patients and families) were also ignored and their safety not secured through the lack of PPE and testing.

It is claimed that out of the blue 30,000 extra treatment beds were found implying that many patients were sent to care/nursing homes (having not been tested for the virus) and other requiring treatment were added to the already extended waiting list, including cancer patients. In addition, I have noted up to eight medical staff attending single Covid-19 intensive care beds which implied that medical staff were transfered from other departments.

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And still the government hesitates on the universal use of protective face masks. Surely such a move would reduce the risk of viral infection spread? It doesn’t take a scientist to work this out surely…

Risk after risk has been taken with the almost inevitable result that many more lives have been lost (probably in the thousands). I now even question that Johnson was ‘near to death’ as the media proclaims. After having a temperature for more than ten days (unusual to say the least) and spending three days in intensive care without intubation, could he really have been at death’s door? Could this have been another example of media manipulation? I have watched many of the daily government Covid-19 briefings and noted that seldom, if ever,  were direct press questions given direct answers.

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The UK has now the largest virus death rate in Europe and despite the claims of being the best has failed on a grand scale to protect people. Large scale testing and tracking is yet to emerge some four months after the emergency was declared by the World Health Organisation (and after several Asian countries and Germany). And the death rate is still high, especially amongst care institutions.

With both Brexit and Covid-19, this government has taken unnacceptable risks with the UK’s security, life, welfare and the economy. And yet it seems immune from strong criticism or public censure.

WHEN WILL WE LEARN?

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