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THE WUHAN LAB THEORY IS BACK

By Pete Moore On April 5th, 2020 at 7:25 pm

Six weeks ago the Washington Post took Senator Tom Cotton to task for apparently spreading a “debunked” conspiracy theory –

The Washington Post now resurrects that debunked theory, tellling us that “scientists don’t rule out that an accident at a research laboratory in Wuhan might have spread a deadly bat virus that had been collected for scientific study”.

It appears that no firm link to a wet market can (yet) be established, but the Wuhan Institute of Virology was certainly in possession of bat coronaviruses. It’s a short and interesting read.

DR CALDERWOOD’S REAL CRIME

By Pete Moore On April 5th, 2020 at 6:58 pm

Police have issued a warning to Scotland’s chief medical officer for visiting her second home in Fife during the coronavirus lockdown.

Dr Catherine Calderwood has been heavily criticised after pictures of her family trip to Earlsferry were published in The Scottish Sun.

She apologised “unreservedly” and said she would continue to focus on her job.

Oh dear, Scotland’s Chief Medical Officer has flouted some new pass laws. I didn’t know about them this morning when I had a lovely long stroll in the country here. Come and get me rozzers.

Dr Calderwood has been piled on all day. I’m not at all bothered by what is really just hypocrisy. I’m sure it was all perfectly safe. Her real crime in the People’s Republic of Scotland is having a second home. That’s what gets some people’s goat.

“BUT WHO WILL PICK THE FRUIT N VEG?”

By Pete Moore On April 5th, 2020 at 3:04 pm

Remainers continuously warned us that leaving the EU will mean that there will be no-one to pick seasonal harvests. Lately, some have claimed that cheap labour needs to be flown in to avoid disaster. It’s just as well that these siren calls were ignored, because necessity turns out to be the mother of invention. It turns out that we never needed that cheap labour all along, and that we would have done the job ourselves.

Scottish fruit farmers have solved a recruitment crisis which could have resulted in this year’s harvest of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries being destroyed.

Several thousand people, including students and restaurant and bar workers laid off due the coronavirus outbreak, have taken low-paid fruit-picking jobs in Tayside and Fife normally done by seasonal workers from Bulgaria and Romania.

Palm Sunday

By Mahons On April 5th, 2020 at 12:11 pm

Apologies for an atypical post but with all the anxiety and worry this day may not feel like Palm Sunday to everyone. However it is the start of the traditional Christian Holy Week which coincides with the Passover celebration of the Jewish faith. The symbolism or meaning of the passing over of the Angel of Death, the passing over from Egypt to Israel and the passing over of Christ from torture and death to the resurrection I’ll leave to theologians and more serious venues. But whether you believe in all or none of the above, whether you consider them true or fables, isnt really my point here today. It is a celebration of a fundamental human spirit to go on through a storm and get through it. To continue, to persevere, to overcome. We shall.

FOOTBALL ON VERY BAD FORM

By Pete Moore On April 4th, 2020 at 8:07 pm

Liverpool Football Club has joined Newcastle, Tottenham, Bournemouth and Norwich on furloughing non-playing staff.

Reminder: the government brought in emergency legislation allowing firms to furlough staff at immediate risk of losing their job because of the Wuhan virus. It is meant for hard-pressed firms. The government pays 80 percent of their wages. The employer can choose whether or not to top it up.

So those five Premier League clubs are billing the taxpayer for non-playing staff, i.e the people in the back offices and the like on average wages. These are clubs with mega incomes and, in the case of Liverpool and Sperz, billionaire owners. I expect nothing less of Newcastle. It’s owned by Mike Ashley. No further explanation required.

Few Premier League players are not multi-millionaires. The average weekly wage at Liverpool must be at least £100,000. It spends scores of millions on one decent player, plus millions to agents to get the deals done. So to bill the taxpayer for the rest of the staff is egregious and betrays a lack of self perception. Social media shows that even Liverpool fans are dismayed, and there are none so myopic and one-eyed as Liverpool fans.

Football really does itself no favours sometimes.

SHIVER ME TIMBERS!

By Pete Moore On April 4th, 2020 at 6:43 pm

WSJ: Germany Cries Foul Over Berlin-Bound Masks Diverted to U.S.

German officials said a shipment of face masks destined for Germany was seized at Bangkok airport and diverted to the U.S. in an act of “modern piracy”—the latest accusation that the Trump administration is throwing its weight around in the global scramble to secure scarce protective equipment needed in the fight against coronavirus infections.

It’s a rum do, if the German accusation is correct. But I can’t find too much sympathy for a country which stiffed the Swiss by cancelling contracts for medical supplies, even turning back trucks at the border, and which stiffed the Italians in multiple ways.

Maybe President Trump is on a mission to waste all that goodwill that other countries have expressed for him. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation reports that Trump is to stop the export of masks and other medical equipment. It comes after Canadian government officials said that they were pressing the U.S. not to block shipments of N95 masks to Canada. Good luck with that request.

It’s every country for itself at the moment.

IT’S SIR KEITH

By Pete Moore On April 4th, 2020 at 6:34 pm

The Labour Party was irrelevant following its drubbing in December. Today it announced that Sir Keith Starmer has been elected the party’s leader following Corbyn’s resignation. And the Labour Party will continue to be irrelevant.

That’s just as well for our sanity, because Starmer is the dullest man in Westminster. A dull man with a dull face, dull hair and a dull voice with which he says dull things.

The interesting thing is that this “progressive” party could have chosen its first woman leader. There was the gobby one from Birmingham, the gobby one from Yorkshire and the gobby one with a squint from Manchester.

And faced with that array of talent the comrades chose a multi-millionaire Knight of the Realm who went to a grammar school. Up the workers.

assassination of martin luther king jr april 4th 1968

By Patrick Van Roy On April 4th, 2020 at 6:05 pm

His last speech the night before he was murdered.

 

ATW FRIDAY NIGHT JUKEBOX

By Pete Moore On April 3rd, 2020 at 8:16 pm

Because Friday night is Music Night

Another week done at the rapidly vanishing coalface of capitalism. I’m beginning to feel like Hiroo Onoda. Remember the checkout ladies. They’re doing their bit too, at great risk. A little thank you can go a long way. Especially when you politely don’t get too close.

I haven’t given a moment’s thought to this week’s jukebox. My mind has been wondering instead where I’m going to get some eggs this weekend. Every supermarket has a queue. All access is controlled now and I don’t have time to join a queue of people who should be at home instead. Those checkout dollies need to work faster.

So just one chosen at random this week, for no other reason than I like it. But it’s still a great song by a great songwriter. Have a good weekend whatever you’re up to at home. As always, do share your top sounds down below –

Fauci’s advice the day of the first American CASE of Chicom Flu being reported

By Patrick Van Roy On April 3rd, 2020 at 8:08 pm