Coronachat - vents, whines, flummoxes & miscellaneous

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Good Law Project

 

Hi

This week’s Panorama gave us the extraordinary tale of a dog food supplier turned PPE broker bagging herself millions acting as a ‘bridge’ for a Hong Kong supplier. Details of the largest contract - worth £178m - came to light only after the BBC’s probing prompted the Government to publish. 

It sought to explain its failure as an “admin error.” But even if true - which we doubt - this doesn’t justify a further breach of the law on transparency. Despite the High Court ruling in our favour last month that Matt Hancock had broken the law in failing to publish pandemic contracts, the failures continue. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson and his Minister mislead Parliament about the scale of the breaches. And refuse to come clean about the beneficiaries of its ‘VIP’ lane. 

In his judgment, Judge Chamberlain said “The Secretary of State spent vast quantities of public money on pandemic-related procurements during 2020. The public were entitled to see who this money was going to, what it was being spent on and how the relevant contracts were awarded.” We agree. And so we have written to Matt Hancock launching new legal proceedings for his continuing failures to comply with the law. 

Our grounds focus on two key issues:

  • First, the Secretary of State’s failure to comply with his obligations to publish Contracts Finder notices (CFNs) within the requisite 90 days. In relation to contracts entered into on or before 7 October 2020, he had failed to do so in well over 50% of cases.
  • Second, the Secretary of State’s decision to obscure the key provisions in contracts. Many contracts are being published in heavily redacted form - one example from December shows the quantity, unit price, size and colour of gowns being redacted; another contract entered into almost a year ago but published only this month is so heavily redacted that no information whatsoever is visible regarding what was even purchased. Publication in this form isn’t transparency; it is advertising the lack of it.

“One unfortunate consequence of non-compliance with the transparency obligations…is that people can start to harbour suspicions of improper conduct...” said Judge Chamberlain in last month’s judgment. 

We agree. If they have nothing to hide why won’t they publish?

Jolyon Maugham 
Director of Good Law Project

 

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sack.jpg?resize=600%2C452

 

Yes, I know I posted on January 20 that I sincerely hoped I'd never post another Trump cartoon; but this one spoke to me. Don't forget that before leaving the Presidency, Trump and his wife had publicly unacknowledged vaccinations against the virus.
Although Trump has now said that he urges everyone to be vaccinated, 50% of Republican men, including most GOP Congressmen, have declared they are unwilling to take the jab. 

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Post split from topic: Conspiracy Theorists

 

I hope it's OK for me to put my own nonsense in here, it certainly doesn't warrant its own thread :lol: and is kind of (but not really) meant as a joke.  (no it's not) (it is if you think it's funny)

 

I don't believe Merkel & co. sat in their little secret cabal tower for 11 hours and then made such a stupid, superfluous, and weird decision (adding Thursday to the days businesses are closed over Easter) only to make a huge deal of taking it back two days later.  With APOLOGY and all.  If they were up to nothing, they would have found a reason to justify taking it back.  Blamed it on something or someone and taken it back and simply carried on.  But sooo ostentatiously taking the responsibility and then asking for FORGIVENESS... for something that's seriously not that big of a deal... she's been in the game way too long to make such a dumb mistake.  I don't buy it at all.

 

They are up to something, but I don't know what.  I *think* they're going to somehow use it to sell a harder lockdown to the people, but I haven't worked that part out yet.  I am positively spellbound by the process though, the press conference statements and the media's reactions as well.  Fascinating.

 

What do you think?  Will someone play "guess what they're really up to" with me?

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I reckon they were afraid of the hundreds of court cases that could have resulted. You can't just declare a holiday AFAIK.

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14 minutes ago, dessa_dangerous said:

I *think* they're going to somehow use it to sell a harder lockdown to the people, but I haven't worked that part out yet. 

I thought this when they announced the extra day.However now they`ve taken it back I can`t see that`s how they will sell a harder lockdown.

That is often Johnsons trick when announcing lockdowns.Carrot and stick although the carrots never actually appeared yet.

Also let`s not forget Merkel is not standing again so maybe she was actually trying to do something for the citizens before she goes and maybe her party reigned her in.

 

 

 

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Merkel was hesitant about relaxing the lockdown, and it was agreed if numbers went over 100 they would reverse ferret.  Not a surprise.  It turns out it would create logistical problems for business deliveries, etc, so it has been softened.  It really is a good idea not to do mix in the next few weeks.  I have somehow caught a cold. 

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1 hour ago, Keleth said:

.However now they`ve taken it back I can`t see that`s how they will sell a harder lockdown.

 

I know it sounds absurd, but what about this:

 

They take 11 hours to deliberate.  They propose something in the first place so mind-numbingly stupid that people *immediately* responded with "wtf is one day going to do?"  Two days later Merkel overturns the decision, saying it would be logistically impossible at this late date to carry it out.  Makes no sense.  To get the money promised by the state for months of closures businesses had to apply and then wait another few months.  They had to take out loans to pay their fixkosten while waiting for the subsidy.  Businesses are used to waiting for their money.  Now they're telling us that closing stuff for one day is more than the country can handle.  Merkel--almost unheard of for politicians and Germans alike--apologizes... for what exactly?  For not doing it?  For wanting to do it?  Politicians run entire countries, economies into rubble and hardly seem to bat an eye.  In this case the hand-wringing could be used to make the appearance of a really tough decision that was made, and, when something doesn't work, taking it back.  We're not above taking back a faulty plan and even taking accountability for it.  Something along those lines.

 

Over the Easter holiday numbers shoot up.  They KNOW the numbers will shoot up.  Yes, restricting contact will help stem the wave but it needs to be longer than a day, it needs to be longer than five days, it needs to be tight enough to actually stop the chains of infection.  The health system--thanks in part to the NOT tightening restrictions over the Easter holiday--is completely overburdened.  People are dying, young people, healthy people.  We need a better solution.  We need a hard lockdown!  But it has to be longer and tighter than what we've seen!  We know this is not a decision to be taken lightly because Merkel begged forgiveness once on television!  We will stop being anti-maskers and will stay home and wash our hands--finally.

 

or so.

The nationwide Ausgangsperre and tightly closed borders is almost certainly coming, and it's going to be a very hard sell.  I think this pony show is just the warm-up.

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1 hour ago, dessa_dangerous said:

They propose something in the first place so mind-numbingly stupid that people *immediately* responded with "wtf is one day going to do?" 

Usually though to sell a harder lockdown for example something would leak along the lines of "next lockdown is coming,ausgangsperre from14.00-08.00,no mixing with other people at all etc etc" and people would be so outraged at this they would welcome the real 22.00-05.00 etc lockdown because they`d be relieved that it wasn`t as bad as was heard about even though the bad one wouldn`t really have happened anyway.

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3 hours ago, fraufruit said:

I reckon they were afraid of the hundreds of court cases that could have resulted. You can't just declare a holiday AFAIK.

I have just declared tomorrow a public holiday!

Sue me!😂

 

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Keleth, I agree.  However, the lengths that politicians have gone to to cover up scandals for the express purpose of NOT having to apologize are incredible.  Why they made such a huge deal out of this non-issue is beyond me but it does make me think they're up to something.  Like I have had it explained to me by Germans that the reason many people are hesitant to apologize is because they don't want to appear ineffective or incompetent or lose face.  They think their position will be diminished by copping to mistakes.  In almost every case I am in favor of an apology/acknowledgement of responsibility.  However, this is one time I would have completely accepted just barreling through with the thing because it's more important at this point than ever for the people to have trust and confidence in the government.  Making this big deal out of this non-issue has made many people, including me, question what the hell they're doing, and I'm even one who believes they do know what they're doing but aren't telling us why.  Many more just think they're fully incompetent. 11 hours deliberation with what one hopes are the top minds in medicine, virology, economy and public opinion to advise them, and then to come out with this stinker of a spectacle... doesn't make sense.

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Ok, I'm going to guess something with aliens and an anti-covid spray.

 

Because, like you say, Germans don't apologise ever for anything. So clearly something spectacular is on it's way and that's what she's really apologising for, in advance.

 

Just in case the aliens aren't on their way with the answer, I will get some more bog roll in because we are down to 3 rolls and I can see that going badly. I truly cannot believe we are back to the start but worse this time round. Sheesh. 

 

Stay home, wear your sodding mask and stop breathing on other people already, how hard can it be. 

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Globally, there is always this eternal debate, would you rather die of hunger or from corona. Corona is a maybe but hunger a definite yes. Businesses are reaching their limits, parents are reaching their wits end handling children at home and spouses are into each others hair trying to make zoom calls from their small 1-2 room apartments.

 

doctors and virologists are no better - starting with masks do not help to masks are compulsory to predicting a dooms day scenario for the 3rd world countries without the resources and efficiency to do testing or social distancing for their teeming population.

 

The truth is - NO ONE REALLY KNOWs. They all are fumbling in the dark - lets try maybe this or maybe that. And no politician worth his/her salt wants to have lots of dead people on his/her watch.

 

But all said and done, i have not heard for quite some time now, any politician from any of the 196 plus countries apologising - not when they were caught with their pants down but for a mistake or error of judgement. So my hats off to MERKEL. 

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10 hours ago, RajeshG said:

Globally, there is always this eternal debate, would you rather die of hunger or from corona.

 

Absolutely.

 

Not here in Germany at the moment, though - no-one here has to make that literal choice and for me it's the frustration of knowing that the spread is partly, maybe even mostly from people doing unnecessary crap because they are special snowflakes and the rules don't apply to them and this is leading to external rules having to be applied, leading in turn to the forced closure and eventual demise of some businesses. How depressing is that.

 

Elsewhere in the world, given a choice between a meal and the possible risk of death from Corona the decision is obvious, and hence vaccinations need got to those places asap.

 

https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covax  donate and make it happen 

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13 hours ago, Keleth said:

Usually though to sell a harder lockdown for example something would leak along the lines of "next lockdown is coming,ausgangsperre from14.00-08.00,no mixing with other people at all etc etc" and people would be so outraged at this they would welcome the real 22.00-05.00 etc lockdown because they`d be relieved that it wasn`t as bad as was heard about even though the bad one wouldn`t really have happened anyway.

 

While your argument is valid I see no connection with what happened.  The purposed and failed lockdown was just 5 days of lockdown in which 3 days were public holidays.   So if that's the plan what's the real hard sell?   To have a 1 day lockdown on a Sunday?

 

 

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Oh God... now the German media are dropping hints foreign travel may be restricted or forbidden.... I can't decide if it's "too little, too late" or " too much, but useless" ...

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