A couple of weeks ago, Nissan announced to great fanfare that it was investing £1 billion in a new battery gigafactory in Sunderland.
Backed by a reported grant of £100 million from the Government, this was hailed as a convincing vote of confidence in post-Brexit global Britain.
This week, 900 staff at the car company’s existing plant on Wearside have been sitting at home idle after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS’s Test and Trace app.
Production has been seriously disrupted and there are predictions that factories all over Britain, not just Nissan, will be forced to shut down as hundreds of thousands of employees are ordered to self-isolate.
According to the latest figures available, 520,000 people were told to quarantine last week after receiving Covid alerts on their mobile phones. That figure is expected to increase dramatically.
Soon there may be two or three million perfectly healthy employees stuck indoors doing sod all, when they could be helping Britain get back on its feet. Anyone discovered to have been in brief contact with an ‘infected’ person has to self-isolate for ten days, even though they have been double-jabbed and have no symptoms themselves.
This week, 900 staff at Nissan’s existing plant on Wearside have been sitting at home idle after being ‘pinged’ by the NHS ’s Test and Trace app
Dido Harding’s trigger-happy Test and Trace system is causing chaos, as commerce grinds to a halt. Supermarket shelves are emptying because of a shortage of delivery drivers. Retailers such as Iceland have had to close some stores altogether as a result of supply difficulties and lack of staff.
The travel and hospitality industries are in utter disarray. Trains are being cancelled and the airports are in meltdown, with queues up to six hours at Heathrow because security staff are off work. The summer holiday plans of millions, who have been confined to barracks for the past 16 months, are being ruined at a moment’s notice.
How the hell is anyone supposed to plan anything while Test and Trace remains in place? Yet it should have been scrapped months ago.
Test and Trace was supposed to be our safeguard against the spread of Covid before the vaccines were developed. Now that virtually everyone at risk has received both doses, it’s effectively redundant.
But far from winding the scheme down, it’s full steam ahead.
Having spent billions on the technology, the bureaucrats are determined to use it — regardless of the widespread damage it is causing. Next Monday was supposed to be ‘freedom day’ when we finally cast off the shackles of lockdown and the economy roared back into life at warp factor nine.
This time round, the pingers are doing more damage to industry and the economy than Arthur Scargill’s pickets ever did
Yet ministers insist that Test and Trace will stay in place for at least another month and reports that the app would be adjusted to make it less sensitive seem to have been wide of the mark.
Now there’s a surprise. I’ve been warning you for more than a year not to expect a return to the Old Normal. The politicians, the so-called ‘experts’ and the standing bureaucracy were never going to relinquish the power they have seized since last March. The restrictions on our liberty have merely been repackaged and made even more complicated and confusing.
Meet the new rules, worse than the old rules.
Far from granting our ‘freedom’ they are already gearing up to reintroduce lockdown in the autumn, peddling horror stories about a coming explosion of respiratory diseases such as flu. Why? Covid no longer poses a widespread mortal threat, no matter how many blood-curdling variants they invent. The latest is the Lambada Variant. Next week, presumably, it’ll be the Macarena.
As far back as anyone can remember, tens of thousands of people have been dying of flu and pneumonia every year without the Government considering it necessary to force the entire population to stay indoors indefinitely. Not so long ago, if someone caught the flu, they’d go home to bed with a hot toddy.
Their workmates wouldn’t be required to knock off, too, and self-isolate for a week and half.
There’s been a cornucopia of fishy material for Gary to get his teeth into lately. It’s difficult to know where to start
It used to be said that the post-war town planners did more damage to the landscape of Britain than the Luftwaffe managed. This time round, the pingers are doing more damage to industry and the economy than Arthur Scargill’s pickets ever did.
Who needs a general strike when you’ve got Test and Trace?
Once upon a time, shop stewards had to blow a whistle or secure a show of hands at a mass meeting to empty a factory floor.
Today, thanks to modern technology and a bureaucratic culture of blind panic, one ping on a mobile phone app and (for those of you who remember The Rag Trade) it’s:
As Peter Cook once observed wisely, on the Derek and Clive Tapes, this is not a way to run a ballroom. On the one hand, the Government is forking out £100 million of taxpayers’ money to encourage inward investment and ‘level up’ Britain.
On the other, it’s also spending billions on a bonkers Test and Trace system that is closing down businesses at the ping of an app and sending the economy to Hell in a handcart.
Under the current knee-jerk regime, why would anyone bother to open a whelk stall, let alone a £1 billion gigafactory?
There’s been a cornucopia of fishy material for Gary to get his teeth into lately. It’s difficult to know where to start.
A lake in Buckinghamshire has been colonised by terrapins believed to have been dumped by former Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fans who once kept them as pets but have now grown up and left home.
In Minnesota, they are having similar problems with abandoned goldfish, which have grown to the size of rugby balls.
Back home, in Brixham, Devon, they’re hunting for a venomous viper the size of the Loch Ness Monster. And scientists report that trout are hooked on crystal meth which has entered rivers via the sewage system. That echoes the news a couple of years ago that eels in the Thames were getting high on cocaine.
No species is immune from the knock-on effects of human narcotics. Researchers at the University of Florida say crayfish which have ingested anti-depressants are becoming bolder, leaving them vulnerable to predators. Still, while anti-depressants in rivers are a death sentence for crayfish, they can only be good news for our old friend the Depressed River Mussel.
Speaking of the inconvenience caused by the Test and Trace app, a holiday park in Cornwall has asked guests to clean their own toilet block after staff were pinged and forced to isolate
Speaking of the inconvenience caused by the Test and Trace app, a holiday park in Cornwall has asked guests to clean their own toilet block after staff were pinged and forced to isolate.
Charming. You spend an arm and a leg on a staycation because foreign travel is a non-starter, and then find you have to pack a pair of Marigolds and a Toilet Duck along with your bucket and spade.
Sounds like a sequel to Carry On Camping and Carry On At Your Convenience, starring Babs Windsor and Sid James as W.C. Boggs. Carry On Scrubbing!
As petrol and diesel vehicles are phased out and Britain goes green, there are plans to install overhead cables on motorways to power a new generation of electric lorries.
Talk about back to the future.
Isn’t that what we used to call ‘trams’?
Who’s running our education system — Alice Cooper?
The school holidays start today in most areas. But will anyone actually notice?
Thanks to Covid, school’s not only out for summer, it’s out for ever.
Who’s running our education system — Alice Cooper?