Who’s in charge in London? It shouldn’t be necessary even to ask the question, but we’ve been through an extraordinary week in Britain following the Prime Minister’s admission to St Thomas’ Hospital for ‘tests’ last Sunday night. According to the Official Version of Events Boris is sitting up in his hospital bed eating his Easter eggs. The reality is that even his own father, Stanley, hasn’t been able to speak to him.
Verification is the key to intelligence work, something the Thames Valley rozzers never grasped. (They never accepted the possibility that an intelligence analyst might say something is worth investigating – they only understood black or white concepts.) None of the statements about the PM this week has been verified.
Think about it. For a publicity-mad PM we’ve had no photos, not even a selfie taken by another patient, although Boris was supposedly moved to an unnamed general ward on Thursday. There have been no phone calls, even to members of the Cabinet, although no Acting PM has been appointed and Boris is nominally in charge of the government.
That in itself was a nonsense. It’s perfectly clear that last Sunday’s move to St Thomas’ was an emergency admission. Boris was almost certainly moved straight into intensive care. How on earth can you govern a country, let alone a nuclear power, whilst in intensive care? No doubt red boxes are being delivered to the hospital but frankly it makes little difference in the case of most ministers whether they’re conscious or not whilst they read them. Indeed with politicians determining brain death isn’t a straightforward task. Joe Biden is still alive on most tests of brain functioning.
The Russian news agency Novosti reported on Tuesday that Boris was on a ventilator. I think that was reliable reporting. Various statements have been made from Number 10 about Boris breathing unaided, but where’s the evidence? I’m sure he came off the ventilator at some point, but was that because brain activity had ceased?
It’s always possible that the Cabinet Office and Number 10 are leading people along and that Boris will emerge smiling and triumphant from St Thomas’ on Easter Monday. However I strongly suspect that’s he’s not as happy an Easter bunny as is being pretended.
I am not prepared to say that he’s now an ex-Prime Minister and has fallen off his perch, poor chap, but I don’t think that he’s any longer able to discharge the heavy burdens of his office. My view is that Dominic Raab, the First Secretary of State and Foreign Secretary, should have been appointed Acting Prime Minister as soon as Boris was taken to hospital.
The reality is that there’s been a power struggle since Sunday between the Foreign Secretary and Ritter Mark ‘von’ Sedwill, the oleaginous, Hun-loving Cabinet Secretary, no offense intended. The stakes are huge. Boris Johnson’s government is largely a collection of house-trained idiots, no offense intended, and bar Brexit he has not been an effective Prime Minister. The Cabinet Office undoubtedly fears the possibility of Britain becoming once again a genuinely self-governing democracy.
Known cases of concealed deaths
We’ve been here before. I can think of five cases where the relevant authorities have concealed the deaths of prominent people for one reason or another. When the Egyptian (nominally Palestinian) terrorist Yasser Arafat finally snuffed it in a French hospital in November 2004 the French and the PLO continued to claim that he was alive. Whilst they were able to pretend that he was alive his signature counted on certain offshore bank accounts of course.
It was rather funny, really, except for poor old Yasser, but then he was dead anyway. The French kept saying that “there was no change to his condition overnight”. Of course there wasn’t – he was still dead! Downing St have been using the same formula this week in respect of Boris Johnson, that is to say their official pronouncements are equally consistent with his being dead or alive.
I well recall being patched through to Sky’s correspondent in Paris, who was outside Yasser’s hospital, telling him that the media were being sold a pup. He didn’t dispute what I was saying but Sky wouldn’t break the story without a second source, which of course they never got. Everybody wants second sources, but sometimes you only get one, so Sky News just warmed over the Official Version of Events, which was bollocks.
I sincerely hope that the Cabinet Office aren’t planning to do an Ariel Sharon on Boris. Poor old Ariel’s arteries were in a bad way and he died on the operating table in January 2006. The Israelis kept him hooked up to a ventilator for 8 more years however, claiming that he was in a ‘coma’. Actually he was dead.
The Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez popped his clogs, no offense intended, in Havana, Cuba, in December 2012, dying of complications from cancer surgery. Operating to Cabinet Office standards of transparency the Venezuelan government pretended that he was alive until March. I can’t recall if they said that he was waving to nurses and watching videos.
Nelson Mandela, the most famous Nelson since, well, Nelson, expired in the ambulance taking him to hospital in Pretoria, in fact the ambulance driver, having been told that his famous patient was now an ex-patient, actually pulled over to the side of the road. This is never a good sign. Bizarrely the South African ANC government pretended that the poor man was still alive for another six months. This was accompanied by the usual “we’ve been to see Mandiba and he’s sitting up in bed talking” nonsense. How could he talk if he was dead?
It wasn’t a very dignified end, which is a shame, because he was a dignified man. We never met, sadly, although I knew his former law partner Oliver Tambo’s wife, Adelaide, who was a really lovely person. (My favorite memory of Adelaide is of her coming over to hug me at an Anti-Apartheid Movement AGM, to the utter astonishment of some of the more left-wing AAM members, who’d been having a go at me, which is why she gave me the hug of course!)
German racing driver Michael Schumacher sadly killed himself whilst skiing off-piste in the French Alps in December 2013, following which he was a bit piste off, as it were. Jerry is still pretending that the poor chap is still alive. Even today the Daily Express is reporting on his recovery, by which they really mean his resurrection. I know that it’s Easter but I think that’s going a bit too far. He too has been sitting up and having posthumous chats with his nurses.
Unlike the other cases I’ve mentioned there is no obvious political or financial reason to pretend that Michael is still alive and kicking. (Nelson Mandela, sadly, was taking a small cut from Colombian cocaine moved through South Africa when he was president and had an offshore USD account.) The ex-racing driver is a German icon, however, and it seems that Jerry is reluctant to let him go.
Ironically the PM might have survived/got well sooner (we don’t actually know whether he’s alive or dead) had he been given Hydroxychloriquine, in combination with Azithromycin and Zinc Sulfate. As Carol Duffy has reported on these pages a large-scale formal trial has finally started in the US, although it should have started much sooner.
None of the state medical providers in the UK or Europe is using Hydroxychloriquine. Put shortly, they’re killing their patients. That’s when they admit them at all. If you’re elderly, Spanish and you’ve got Covid-19 you’ll probably be told to stay at home, take an aspirin and start your funeral planning, as long as the plans don’t involve actual mourners coming to church.
Mind you the medical staff aren’t faring that much better. The desperate desire of the authorities to conceal the Chinese development of Covid-19 as a bio-weapon means that British and European medical personnel are being sacrificed in large numbers through the simple expedient of not warning them that the virus is airborne. The reaction when they learn the truth is likely to be severe.
A big well-done to Fox News for reporting this story. Channels with a lesser regard for the truth are running around saying that reports about the effectiveness of Hydroxychloroquine are ‘anecdotal’, even if they come from doctors! The Marseilles trial I reported on was published and peer-reviewed. You’re entitled to query the science, but not to call it anecdotal.
Probable death toll
I still estimate the true death toll as being between 100,000 and 150,000, still enough to get the ChiComs into real trouble. The official death toll will probably be of the order of 250,000.
Why the difference? Official figures include everybody who has died following a positive test for Covid-19. To take an extreme example, if you test positive and get run over a by a bus on the way home, you’ve died from Coronavirus, not bad driving.
It would be most helpful if the authorities could break down the deaths into say three categories – deaths due solely or primarily to Covid-19, deaths where Covid-19 has accelerated death by a matter of days or weeks and deaths where the disease has played no meaningful role at all.
The British Government’s loan scheme
This scheme, administered by the banks, was launched amidst much fanfare last month. The government offered to underwrite 80% of loans to small and medium-sized enterprises. It’s being reported this weekend, for example in the Sun, that 300,000 enquiries have led to just 2,500 loans! We will probably find that most of these have been backed by the security of borrower’s own homes in the early days of the scheme.
Put another way all the banks are doing is making secured loans they probably would have made anyway. Now that loans secured on homes have been banned such lending as there was has probably dried up. The failure of the scheme, and the humiliation of the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, was predictable, sadly.
The level of ignorance of economics and finance amongst ministers is pitiable. Rishi Sunak has never read Spyhunter and is probably wholly ignorant of offshore high-yield trading programs. There’s more cash offshore than there is onshore. I’ve never seen an onshore bank account with a balance of over $100 billion, but I’ve seen an offshore account with that much in it! (It belonged to SBC Charcol SA in Geneva.)
Since the programs are controlled from Frankfurt Germany and since banks can make more money (tax-free) offshore than they can onshore it follows that major banks are effectively controlled from Germany. It should come as no surprise that given the choice between taking their lead from the Chancellor or Frankfurt, British banks chose Frankfurt. Effectively they’ve told the Chancellor to take a running jump.
The Chancellor meanwhile doesn’t even know who started the Great Depression, never mind the 2008 crash. He’s a nice enough chap, with respect, but crippled by ignorance. Even worse he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, so he’s not taking steps to find out.
I’ve made an application to my offshore (USD) bank and made an enquiry to my onshore sterling bank, since I’m a small business and I qualify for a loan under the business interruption scheme. The application hasn’t even been dealt with and the onshore bank has taken two weeks, so far, to ring back. Both banks are treating the scheme as a joke, which in fairness it is.
I don’t know what American credit card companies are doing but British ones are irritating their customers by sending out meaningless emails offering all help short of actual help whilst refusing to lower their interest rates or declare a general payment holiday. If I see an email from a credit card company now I simply delete it. I know in advance that it’s just going to more meaningless gibberish.
Cardinal Pell’s acquittal
I respectfully welcome the decision of the High Court of Australia to allow the appeal of His Eminence Cardinal Pell against the majority decision of the Victorian Supreme Court. There was always a doubt in this case. The prosecution failed because it never really engaged the defense arguments.
I was surprised, because this is not a particularly strong court, with respect. Sir Owen Dixon’s court it ain’t. However their decision is rational and fully accords with the principle that an accused person is entitled to an acquittal if there is room for reasonable doubt.
The prosecution was political and should never have been brought. There was no way that the DPP’s office were ever going to prove their case after 24 years. The failed prosecution of Cardinal Pell once again highlights the urgent need for reform of sexual offenses law. Every jurisdiction ought to have a statute of limitations of say six years, or three years after a complainant has attained his or her majority. ‘No smoke without fire’ prosecutions are simply an abuse of process.
The idiot rozzers, no offense intended, aren’t having a good Coronavirus. Their latest stunt has been to charge a young man from Worthing with dangerous driving. All he had been doing was riding his superbike at a reasonable 150 mph on the M23.
The rozzers said that he could have killed himself, which was silly. All he did was to demonstrate his impressive bike riding skills on a nearly deserted motorway, on a dry day, with excellent visibility, on a fast bike which could safely be ridden at 150 mph. The fact that the rozzers would have probably have fallen off it if they tried to ride the bike back to the station (they seized it, the meanies!) is neither here nor there.
These aren’t the only silly rozzers. Others are busying themselves inspecting people’s shopping trolleys or arresting them for the ‘offense’ of sitting in their front garden. The sensible Home Secretary, likely to be Boris’s successor, deserves credit for trying to rein these idiots in.
This Week’s Movie Review: Coastal Command (1942, dir. Ian Dalrymple)
Starring real Coastal Command aircrew Roger Hunter and Charles Lewis this documentary style drama was shown on Talking Pictures in the UK today as part of their effort to boost morale. For some reason they warned viewers that it might contain upsetting scenes, as though the sight of Junkers 88s being shot down and a German ship being sunk would be upsetting! Maybe they were thinking of Remain viewers.
Roger Hunter was obviously a first-class chap. He flies and commands his Short Sunderland flying boat beautifully and doesn’t shy away from confronting Jerry.
The movie contains some lovely scenes of Lockheed Hudsons and Bristol Beauforts. Charming old kites that they were, they had no business still being in front-live service, in the form that they were, as late as 1942. The Abwehr however were determined to keep the RAF flying obsolescent kites if they could. Since their men Archibald Sinclair and Edward Bridges were in charge of the Air Ministry and Cabinet Office respectively they got their way.
Made by the Crown Film Unit Coastal Command is still worth watching, for the Sunderland scenes alone. (They’re early Sunderlands, by the way, Mark IIs I think.)
Michael Shrimpton was a barrister from his call to the Bar in London in 1983 until being disbarred in 2019 over a fraudulently obtained conviction. He is a specialist in National Security and Constitutional Law, Strategic Intelligence and Counter-terrorism. He is a former Adjunct Professor of Intelligence Studies at the American Military University.