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13 minutes ago, A Red said:

Fish and chip shops always seem the best way to me of laundering money

Sun beds by miles.   Open long hours, replacement bulbs, no staff, 10 min appointments.  

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11 minutes ago, A Red said:

Fish and chip shops always seem the best way to me of laundering money

Hairdressers definitely. Especially the Turkish barbers that used to be near mine in Southsea. It's still open, it's been there about 12 years. I don't think I ever saw a single person in there just the barber sat playing on his phone with sky sports news on the biggest telly in the west on the wall. 

8 minutes ago, Strontium Dog™ said:

 

Because if the authorities interfere, they'll get battered.

Give peas a chance 

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Test and trace is a national scandal.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/oct/21/government-covid-contracts-britain-nhs-corporate-executives-test-and-trace

 

Quote

The government's secretive Covid contracts are heaping misery on Britain

George Monbiot
 
 

Bypassing the NHS and handing crucial services to corporate executives has led to the catastrophic failure of test and trace

 

If you are not incandescent with rage, you haven’t grasped the scale of what has been done to us. The new surge in the coronavirus, and the restrictions and local lockdowns it has triggered, are caused in large part by the catastrophic failure of the test-and-trace system. Its £12bn budget has been blown, as those in charge of it have failed to drive the infection rate below the critical threshold.

Their failure was baked in, caused by the government’s ideological commitment to the private sector. This commitment had three impacts: money that could have saved lives has been diverted into corporate profits; inexperienced consultants and executives have been appointed over the heads of qualified public servants; instead of responsive local systems, the government has created a centralised monster.

The Conservative mantra, repeated for 40 years like a stuck record, is that the public sector is wasteful and inefficient while the private sector is lean and competitive. Yet the waste and inefficiency caused by privatising essential public health functions is off the scale. This isn’t like rail or water privatisation, where failure has caused dysfunction within a single public service. This is about the escalating collapse of national life.

The government’s irrational obsession with the private sector is symbolised by its appointment of Dido Harding to run NHS test and trace. She worked at McKinsey, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and as chief executive of TalkTalk. After a disastrous hack of the TalkTalk database, exposing both the details of 4 million customers and Harding’s ignorance of the technology, she acquired the moniker Dido, queen of carnage, a nice pun on Christopher Marlowe’s play. In 2014 David Cameron, an old friend, made her a baroness; she sits in the House of Lords as a Conservative peer.

It would be wrong to claim she had no experience relevant to the pandemic. She sits on the board of the Jockey Club, which runs some of the biggest and most lucrative horse racing events in the UK. Among them is the Cheltenham Festival. By 10 March, it was clear that Covid-19 was a massive problem. Public health experts were frantically urging the government to take action. The epidemiology professor Neil Ferguson estimated that 20,000 lives would have been saved if the government had locked down a week earlier than it did. Many events had already been cancelled, for fear of spreading the disease.

Then we watched aghast as the Cheltenham Festival went ahead, and 250,000 people packed the terraces “like sardines”. It appears to have been a super-spreader event, blamed by some for a spike in infections and deaths.

The racing connection might not have commended her to doctors, but could it have commended her to the health secretary, Matt Hancock? For a long time Hancock, the MP for Newmarket, where the Jockey Club has major infrastructure and investments, has drawn a large proportion of his political funding from the horse-racing industry. An investigation by the Mirror estimates that he has received £350,000 in donations from wealthy people in the racing business. Before the last election he announced: “I’ll always support the wonderful sport of horse racing.”

Harding’s appointment is not the only intersection between racing and tracing. The Jockey Club’s premier annual event is the Grand National. Or, to give it its full title, the Randox Health Grand National. One of the government’s most controversial contracts is with Randox. It gave the global healthcare firm a £133m deal, without advertisement or competition, to supply testing kits.

Randox employs as a consultant the former Conservative environment secretary Owen Paterson. It pays him £100,000 a year for 200 hours of work. Neither he, nor Randox, nor the health department answered the Guardian’s questions about whether he had helped to secure this deal. In July, following a series of errors, the government withdrew Randox testing kits, on the grounds that they might be unsafe.

These apparent connections may be entirely coincidental. But in an emergency, when decisions must be made with the utmost rigour and a relentless focus on public health, there should be no possibility that other interests might intrude, or that ministerial judgment should in any way be clouded.

Like so much surrounding this pandemic, the identity of Harding’s team at NHS track and trace was withheld from the public, until it was leaked to the Health Service Journal last month. Clinicians were astonished to discover that there is only one public health expert on its executive committee. There is space, however, for a former executive from Jaguar Land Rover, a senior manager from Travelex and an executive from Waitrose. Harding’s adviser at the agency is Alex Birtles, who, like her, previously worked for TalkTalk. She has subsequently made a further appointment to the board: Mike Coupe, an executive at another of her old firms, Sainsbury’s.

The “world-beating” test-and-trace system she oversees has repeatedly failed to reach its targets. Staff were scarcely trained. Patients have been directed to nonexistent testing centres, or to the other end of the country. A vast tranche of test results was lost. Thousands of people, including NHS staff, have been left in limbo, unable to work because they can’t get tests or the results of tests.

Having demonstrated, to almost everyone’s dissatisfaction, that she was the wrong person for the job, Harding has now been given an even bigger role, as head of the National Institute for Health Protection, to run concurrently with the first one. This is the government’s replacement for Public Health England, which it blames for its own disasters. Harding’s appointment looks to me like a reward for failure.

The test-and-trace system might be a public health fiasco, but it’s a private profit bonanza. Consultants at one of the companies involved have each been earning £6,000 a day. Massive contracts have been awarded without competitive tendering. Astonishingly, at least one of these, worth £410m and issued to Serco, contains no penalty clause: even if Serco fails to fulfil its terms, it gets paid in full. Serco has indeed missed its targets, achieving an average by September of only 58.6% of contacts traced, against the 80% it was meant to reach.

Though this is an issue of great public interest, the contracts have been shrouded in secrecy. We have not been allowed to discover how the contractors were chosen, or why the government has repeatedly appointed them without competition. Time and again, in contracts for both the test-and-trace programme and protective equipment, sums of £108m have been disbursed. No one can explain why this magic number keeps recurring. Does it lie just below some threshold of accountability? Or is the government simply handing out standard wads of money to favoured companies, regardless of the cost of their work?

What is this about? Why is failure rewarded? Why are contracts issued with so little accountability or transparency? There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, but you might expect the government’s Anti-Corruption Champion to investigate. Or perhaps not. He is John Penrose MP, Dido Harding’s husband.

The anti-corruption champion sits on the advisory board of a thinktank called 1828. It campaigned ferociously against Public Health England, on the grounds that its efforts to regulate junk food and reduce obesity “curtail personal liberty and undermine parental responsibility”: a standard industry talking point. It called for the body to be scrapped: this happened, and Penrose’s wife is running its replacement. It claims that “the NHS’s record is deplorable” and proposes that it be replaced with a social health insurance system. It champions the idea of outsourcing patients to the Cayman Islands for treatment. When I asked the thinktank who its major funders are, it told me, “1828 does not disclose information regarding donations.”

Penrose and Harding met when they were both employed as consultants at McKinsey. You’d never guess which company got the contract for advising on the “vision, purpose and narrative” of the National Institute for Health Protection, the new body that Harding runs. OK, you would. McKinsey was paid £563,000. Again, this work was neither advertised nor subject to competitive tender. I expect Penrose will look into it.

The head of Serco, Rupert Soames, is the grandson of Winston Churchill and the brother of a former Tory MP. His wife, Camilla, is a Conservative party donor. An email of his, leaked in June, suggested that the coronavirus pandemic could go “a long way in cementing the position of private sector companies in the public sector supply chain”. It seems to me that the emergency is being leveraged by the government for this purpose. Our crisis is the privatiser’s opportunity.

The government has bypassed the lean and efficient NHS to create an outsourced, privatised system characterised by incompetence and failure. The system’s waste is measured not just in pounds, but in human lives. It is measured in mass unemployment, economic crisis, grief, isolation, long-term illness and avoidable death. So much for the efficiencies of privatisation.

 

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In my opinion we should throw disabled and elderly people down a well because normally healthy people can’t handle a few restrictions on their day to day life for a while.

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2 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

In my opinion we should throw disabled and elderly people down a well because normally healthy people can’t handle a few restrictions on their day to day life for a while.

And get Serco to do it.

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4 minutes ago, Duff Man said:

And get Serco to do it.

Pay them a few billion quid to say they’re going to throw them down a well then just start piling their carcasses up in supermarkets.

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57 minutes ago, A Red said:

Fish and chip shops always seem the best way to me of laundering money

Did you just accuse Rick Stein of money laundering?

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What the fuck has £12bn gone on?! Its a fucking app and a call-centre of people calling people up. What do the consultants do???? 7k a day????? I've never seen one or heard from one once. I got a couple of phone calls off test & trace neither of who were aware I was already positive, neither had the same dates I'd been told when I got the positive result. They were basic level script-readers who both said they only have whats in-front of them as info. They only asked about body temperature, not any other symptoms they just didn't care.

 

A fuck load of people have got very very rich off all of this and yet again this will get swept under the carpet. You've got the PM in PMQ's today yet again lying through his teeth (This time blaming Sadiq Khan  for cost hikes because TFL are losing money) as if he is ever going to allow a proper inquest. Its all well and good the Guardian or the Independent having articles informing us but when the DM, the BBC, Sky News and the s*n dont hammer home this scandal nobody en masse knows or gives a fuck because its all "woke lefties" trying to politically point score during a national crisis therefore they are the bad guys. Johnson every week "question yes or no PM?" "Last week he said this this week he says that the leader of the opposition doesn't know what he's doing" repeat to fade. 

 

Where is the impartial nation-wide platform? Laura Kuensberg was just on politics today faking dismay at a tory saying they wont back-track on school dinners for hungry kids over xmas not doing what she should be doing and sitting there pointing out the lies the PM has just less than an hour before she was on told in PMQ's. The chief political correspondent is on of their biggest mouthpieces. I'd like to switch off. I'd like to ignore the news.

 

I'd like to let it wash over my head and just deal with the cards dealt to me personally but then I remember Phil Collins not making the top 64 and feel the need to call my TV/ some cunt on the DM comments section / a tory cunt on twitter a fucking horrible cunt. 

 

People talk about mental health and the impact covid and restrictions are going to have on people. It's these fucking cunts that are doing the damage. Thick 'I'm alright jack' wankers clouding the reality, a government not knowing its arse from its fucking elbow and a media driven campaign to confuse people into casting the blame everywhere but on the sleazy corrupt cunts who've been handed the keys to our physical, financial and mental welfare. 

 

Covid deniers like people on different political spectrums are more interested in making sure they or their side are correct that they are ignoring facts put in-front of them.

 

"Boris just lied about the mayor of London in PMQ's" "Oh he is under a lot of pressure, it isn't lies, leave I'm done its your party who are making things worse" 

 

"Lockdowns don't work, prove me wrong I'll wait" "Ok here is a scientific study signed off by 50 top qualified people full of statistics proving a case where lockdown absolutely worked" "I'm not engaging with a two year old" 

 

It is 50/50 right now the reason why this country is in such a fucking shit state. 50% the governments greedy corrupt fault and 50% brainwashed selfish dickheads following their own narrative and not stopping to see the bigger picture or try and use a smidgeon of humility just because they cant be seen to be wrong. 

 

Never has the phrase "Stop the world I want to get off" been more apt than right now. 

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Those types of articles always baffle me a bit to be honest when I see people online getting outraged about them, it's like being surprised that your pet wolf has eaten your kid while you were at the shops. Tories in big business and private donors shocker. All you can do is try and vote against them, if you do and you still not only end up with the cunts still around - but actually with their ranks swollen and their mandate to do more of the same seemingly approved of, then you just pretty much have to take it on the chin and accept the fact you live in a corrupt state. You can't blame the Tories for being the Tories, they've never hidden their nature, it's not like they were the Green party and got in on a mandate of saving the planet and then pulled on their jackboots. With that in mind, you can't be angry at them, you can though be angry at everyone who voted for them, especially those who should have known better. Not to mention all the media outriders who've run interference for them, or done their best to torpedo any effective opposition to them. 

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5 minutes ago, Section_31 said:

Those types of articles always baffle me a bit to be honest when I see people online getting outraged about them, it's like being surprised that your pet wolf has eaten your kid while you were at the shops. Tories in big business and private donors shocker. All you can do is try and vote against them, if you do and you still not only end up with the cunts still around - but actually with their ranks swollen and their mandate to do more of the same seemingly approved of, then you just pretty much have to take it on the chin and accept the fact you live in a corrupt state. You can't blame the Tories for being the Tories, they've never hidden their nature, it's not like they were the Green party and got in on a mandate of saving the planet and then pulled on their jackboots. With that in mind, you can't be angry at them, you can though be angry at everyone who voted for them, especially those who should have known better. Not to mention all the media outriders who've run interference for them, or done their best to torpedo any effective opposition to them. 

So we should just accept it and ignore it? 

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34 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

In my opinion we should throw disabled and elderly people down a well because normally healthy people can’t handle a few restrictions on their day to day life for a while.

It's the easiest thing in the world to put them all in solitary confinement, whilst healthy people continue living their lives as normal. Why hasn't anyone thought of that idea?

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35 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

In my opinion we should throw disabled and elderly people down a well because normally healthy people can’t handle a few restrictions on their day to day life for a while.

As someone who is overweight am I going down the well as..er..well?

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3 hours ago, Colt Seavers said:

Kid in my lad's year has tested positive, but school have said none of the year have to isolate as when he took the test he was not at school and he wasn't in for 2 days before he got the results.

I'm not really sure how that works as surely no one is going to be still going in to school once they have symptoms 

fuck knows mate. this kid in my girls school had a day off to go the hospital for something else on thursday, got ill friday, tested over the weekend, results yesterday and they sent home the bubble with the instructions to self isolate from 14 days from when they last saw him - so they were 6 days into the self isolation before they started self isolating. 

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22 minutes ago, Duff Man said:

Not really sure what you're arguing, there. It's massively important this kind of thing is reported on.

 

Yeah agree that it's important the news is out there, but I'm always shocked that people are shocked. It'll be doing the rounds on social media as scandal of the century. 

 

"Can you believe the Tories funneled off public cash and gave it to their mates?" 

 

"Well, yeah." 

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49 minutes ago, Dr Nowt said:

In my opinion we should throw disabled and elderly people down a well because normally healthy people can’t handle a few restrictions on their day to day life for a while.

Good call. The deaths of a thousand vulnerable people will be worth it if I don't have to wear a mask for a couple of minutes in the offie.

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9 minutes ago, Barrington Womble said:

fuck knows mate. this kid in my girls school had a day off to go the hospital for something else on thursday, got ill friday, tested over the weekend, results yesterday and they sent home the bubble with the instructions to self isolate from 14 days from when they last saw him - so they were 6 days into the self isolation before they started self isolating. 

Apparently, my lads school is just isolating the kids we sit next to them in class and not the whole bubble, even though they all go on break and lunch together.

It's as if they are making it up as they go along...

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1 minute ago, Colt Seavers said:

Apparently, my lads school is just isolating the kids we sit next to them in class and not the whole bubble, even though they all go on break and lunch together.

It's as if they are making it up as they go along...

really? both my kids schools it's the whole bubble. maybe that's a local authority difference. Although I have one in a Liverpool school and another in a Sefton school.  

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7 minutes ago, Section_31 said:

 

Yeah agree that it's important the news is out there, but I'm always shocked that people are shocked. It'll be doing the rounds on social media as scandal of the century. 

 

"Can you believe the Tories funneled off public cash and gave it to their mates?" 

 

"Well, yeah." 

I don’t think shocked is the right word. Anyone with half a brain will know they would find ways to profit for them and friends of the party. The word you should use though is outraged and I’d be shocked if anyone wasn’t outraged anyway. 

6 minutes ago, Mudface said:

Good call. The deaths of a thousand vulnerable people will be worth it if I don't have to wear a mask for a couple of minutes in the offie.

Hang on offie..... office or offy? 

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Just now, Bjornebye said:

I don’t think shocked is the right word. Anyone with half a brain will know they would find ways to profit for them and friends of the party. The word you should use though is outraged and I’d be shocked if anyone wasn’t outraged anyway. 

Hang on offie..... office or offy? 

Off licence.

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Just now, Section_31 said:

Yeah agree that it's important the news is out there, but I'm always shocked that people are shocked. It'll be doing the rounds on social media as scandal of the century. 

 

"Can you believe the Tories funneled off public cash and gave it to their mates?" 

 

"Well, yeah." 

I don't know how many people (especially politics nerds) are shocked by the dynamics of what's going on, but the sheer scale and brazenness of it, during a global health crisis the likes of which most of us have never seen, is pretty jarring.

 

Anyway, hopefully one of the few positives to come out of all this is that more people become aware of exactly what the Tory party represents, and that their MO doesn't change even at a time like this.

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Surely there must be a way to deep freeze all the oldies, sorry Stringy?

Put them all in massive warehouse freezers and thaw them out when the virus has vanished

If some of them don't make it then that's a price they'll just have to pay so we can all get back to commuting 2 hours a day, spending cash on overpriced shit at Costa and not having to wear a mask for 5 minutes, which, is the worst thing in the world and an affront to all our hard earned liberties

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