Revealed: PPE stockpile was out-of-date when coronavirus hit UK

By Channel 4 News Investigations Team

Almost 80% of respirators in the national pandemic stockpile were out of date when coronavirus hit the UK.

Channel 4 News has obtained detailed stock lists that reveal exactly what was held, on the day coronavirus was declared an international emergency.

Around 200 million vital pieces of kit – including respirators, masks, syringes and needles – had all expired in the eight months before 30 January.

This included 20.9 million out-of-date respirators, from a total of 26.3 million. The tightly-fitting mouth masks are vital for filtering the air that NHS workers breathe.

The documents also reveal that more than half of the national stockpile of surgical facemasks had also expired.

In total, 45% of the 19,909 boxes holding PPE supplies had exceeded their use-by dates.

The documents suggest a failure by Public Health England and NHS Supply Chain’s management company, Supply Chain Coordination Limited, to maintain the stockpile in a state of readiness.

Expired stock is excluded from distribution, meaning millions of boxes of kit could have been delayed from being sent to hospitals and care homes – just as the virus began to spread.

Millions of expired respirators weren’t cleared for release until they were tested, between 10 March and 19 March. By this time, the UK was already suffering a desperate shortage of PPE.

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‘A Cascade of Human Rights Abuses:’ Why the world must Halt Israel’s Further Land Grab in Palestinian West Bank

‘A Cascade of Human Rights Abuses:’ Why the world must Halt Israel’s Further Land Grab in Palestinian West Bank

Ramona Wadi 05/06/2020

( Middle East Monitor ) – UN Special Rapporteur Michael Lynk’s criticism of the forthcoming US-Israeli annexation of more Palestinian land offers a good start to collective political action against Israel, if only the international community would show that it is willing. “The plan would crystallise a 21st century apartheid, leaving in its wake the demise of the Palestinian’s right to self-determination. Legally, morally, politically, this is entirely unacceptable,” declared Lynk.

The UN official described the repercussions of annexation as creating “a cascade of bad human rights consequences” and insisted that the international community can no longer play its acquiescent role to Israeli violations. “The looming annexation is a political litmus test for the international community. This annexation will not be reversed through rebukes, nor will the 53-year-old occupation die of old age,” he warned.

This is not the first time that Lynk has offered a harsher criticism of Israel than the appeasing commentary which is typical of UN officials and institutions. In the past, he recommended international sanctions against Israel and supported the International Criminal Court (ICC) in its investigation of Israeli war crimes against the Palestinian people.

Lynk’s words draw attention to the UN’s political flaws and the endorsement of human rights violations committed by its member states. As Israel moves towards annexation, the international community is unlikely to assess its own complicity. The US-Israeli annexation plans are built upon decades of international endorsement of Zionist colonisation. To oppose annexation – one of the last steps that Israel is embarking upon to complete its colonial project – is not enough. Diluting settler-colonisation to “53 years of occupation” is also inconsistent and a misrepresentation of the causes of Palestinian displacement.

The US may currently be playing a more prominent role, but the international community has magnified the US-Israeli relationship to deflect attention from the historical process leading to the current dynamic. The international community’s endorsement of the Israeli colonisation project is a major violation that remains overlooked. What the US and Israel have achieved under the Trump administration is a reflection of an ongoing cycle of intentional political oblivion at a global level.

Having shone the spotlight on the US-Israeli collusion, the international community has availed itself of a temporary lull in scrutiny of its action, particularly its inaction when it comes to the Palestinian people’s political rights. In truth, the international community’s action can be summed up in the 1947 Partition Plan, after which reliance on statements and condemnations became the diplomatically-accepted means of purportedly championing Palestinian rights. Lynk’s statements, albeit devoid of direct references to Israeli colonisation, point towards international culpability.

In recent years, the two-state compromise remains the most blatant evidence of international culpability in preventing Palestinian reclamation of their land and rights. Just as annexation has been declared in violation of international law, the two-state diplomacy must also be held accountable for paving the way to annexation. This necessitates a complete reversal of the politics that have sustained the UN so far. There cannot be a unified political front against Israel if two-state politics is not abandoned. Stopping annexation requires a reversal of Israeli colonisation; anything less is an affirmation of treason against the Palestinian people.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

This work by Middle East Monitor is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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One billion people will live in insufferable heat within 50 years

One billion people will live in insufferable heat within 50 years – study

The human cost of the climate crisis will hit harder, wider and sooner than previously believed, according to a study that shows a billion people will either be displaced or forced to endure insufferable heat for every additional 1C rise in the global temperature.

In a worst-case scenario of accelerating emissions, areas currently home to a third of the world’s population will be as hot as the hottest parts of the Sahara within 50 years, the paper warns. Even in the most optimistic outlook, 1.2 billion people will fall outside the comfortable “climate niche” in which humans have thrived for at least 6,000 years.

The authors of the study said they were “floored” and “blown away” by the findings because they had not expected our species to be so vulnerable.

“The numbers are flabbergasting. I literally did a double take when I first saw them, ” Tim Lenton, of Exeter University, said. “I’ve previously studied climate tipping points, which are usually considered apocalyptic. But this hit home harder. This puts the threat in very human terms.”

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Despite Coronavirus being the immediate crisis …

We need to address global warming as the larger crisis

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Zombie Prime Minister Boris Johnson trying to claim that he’s guided by science …

Well FO. He’s trying to say that he’s behaving impartially, following impartial advice beyond question [ed: reproach). Well feck you, scientists are not impartial. The Zombie has recruited the scientists that will support his ideological position.

Herd immunity never had any widespread scientific support. The Zombie has recruited political scientists of his same persuasion to support his and his insane advisor’s prejudices. They decided to go for herd immunity and found scientists to support that position. Herd immunity assumes that there is an antibody response which protects against further infections. That is a ridiculous unproved assumption. Zombie Boris cannot claim that it [is] a response guided by scientific knowledge.

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Coming Soon

Hopefully coming soon, an article about UK facing many crises. While Coronavirus is the immediate crisis, the bigger crisis is Climate Change. While UK faces these two crises, UK government is intent on a no-deal Brexit from Europe.

Climate change should be addressed as part of the response to the current Coronavirus crisis. We should not return to business as usual …

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Can we have another Labour Party leadership election?

Jeremy Corbyn – if you are able to – please consider standing for election as leader of the Labour Party.

I can’t help reflecting on how you and your team would have handled this crisis so much better.

ed: the Labour Party is properly a Socialist Party

… a party of Socialists

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Coming Soon

I’m hoping to send a message to someone very special. It would be great if she could reply but it’s likely that she may have to reply through a different medium and I’ll get the the jist of it anyway.

It’s strange – of course – because you’ll all see what I have to say.

It will be along the lines of I am awfully pleased that she is able to have break since I was very concerned that she was under so much pressure being so young, but she has anyway proved herself to be a tough little one. I ‘m also intending to say that I expect huge progress be accomplished through and despite this adversity


23/4/20 I realise that it’s not about any individual and notice that Greta Thunberg makes efforts to be inclusive in this way. I’m thinking that it will instead be some comments on the many crises that we face, some campaigning suggestions & also trying to understand the opposition which I find very difficult to understand tbh. I don’t think that there are many of them but some are obviously ignorant and stupid, arrogant and pig-headed who have an urge to destroy themselves. later: (Trump supporters) later again: Actually, some Trump supporters.

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Coronavirus UK: Boris Johnson catching Coronavirus and UK’s Herd Immunity Strategy

Boris Johnson is or was insane.

The UK government has claimed that it was not pursuing a strategy of herd immunity but it was. The government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has told Sky News that about 60% of people will need to become infected with coronavirus in order for the UK to enjoy “herd immunity”. See particularly from 4.30 minutes.

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I supported Corbyn, McDonnell and Abbot

Well, that’s what I supported.

ed: Not only supported.

It was great that the Labour Party that we have just lost was a proper Socialist party willing to fight

It would be great – of course – for people to take their place. I’m not sure that we have time for party politics tbh

5.45pm New leader of UK Labour Party is recognised as being far closer to UK ‘establishment’ e.g. by being a privy council member, a Q.C. and previous head of Crown Prosecution Service. His team looks allright, we’ll have to see.

10/4/20 I am regarding the current Labour Party as irrelevant or as the opposition. While I agree with one or two appointments, the message of the appointment of the woofing mad one is received loud and clear.

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is dead

If he’s not dead, he’s as good as .

ed: It comes to us all of course but it’s still should be recognised as a benefit to humanity ;)

He’s dead

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Draft, subject to revision: If I was in charge in UK

This post is definitely subject to revision.

  1. I would not be concerned with repatriating people. States are not responsible for such reckless people. ed: The prime purpose is to prevent spread of the virus. Such reckless people can be detained in appropriate emergency conditions – put them in a cell and feed them. ed: Human Rights is my main concern. Very high on that is the right to life. These people who are far from home have disregarded that, they have been travelling without considering their potential threat to others. The few people who need repatriation now – it’s reasonable to assume that they have not been concerned with restricting infection.
  2. Self-isolation to be maintained. People however must have the opportunity to exercise providing distancing is respected.
  3. UK Government under Boris Johnson simply been lying. While Boris & Co just lied – they just lied, that’s what they did, they don’t know how to tell the truth, it’s that their class believes that what they say is the truth – they’re used to people sucking up to them soooo much. The point is that they believed whatever they said was the truth. Now of course – we have reality. I don’t have time now to work out posh cnut posh cnutness and I don’t have any time for it and of course their posh cnutness is theirs and nothing to do with me
  4. The reality is that we have an extremely serious situation. I suggest that you accept point 1 and that unnecessary movement has ended. I propose that these individuals have brought it on themselves. Since they are so reckless to not care for themselves and others, then they should be detained for their own and others welfare. I propose this only as a suggestion. A cell and food would appear appropriate.
  5. If I was in charge: I recognise that UK government has been BSitting terribly. They have lied about everything. We need ventilators and PPE urgently. UK govt has failed to provide and lied relentlessly. It appears that dead Boris’s UK government refused EU assistance.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson may already be dead. ed: evading scrutiny even in death ;)

00.30 Hear it hear [ed: here} first. BJ is dead. 1.30 You’re still hearing it here first. BJ is dead.

7/4/20 The trouble with a list like this is that it’s the very official and accepted as though people accept it, willing to accept the way things have been.

24/4/20 6. It should be accepted that since Covid-19 is new novel virus very little is known about it. It transpires that UK’s tests for active virus are unreliable, that there is are no reliable tests for antibodies and that the WHO warns that there should not be the assumption that prior infection protects against subsequent infection i.e. antibody tests may be totally irrelevant.

7. Considering point 6, demanding a timetable or schedule for the easing of restrictions is not appropriate. A more sensible approach would be to observe what happens elsewhere.

8. People flouting restrictions and being reckless e.g. surfers, should be given the opportunity, [ed: of} some time to reflect. I am a leisure sailor and fully appreciate that I can’t go sailing currently due to the small risk of making demands on emergency assistance.

9. Restrictions apply to all, rich people driving symbols of status too.

Not 10 but cyclists please take cake. Ignorant motorists are driving very inconsiderately and dangerously, putting your lives at risk.

29/4/20 I am concerned by reports of children developing atypical Kawasaki syndrome related to CV. There will be a medical term for this but the fear is that that their first infection disabled them so that the second infection is far more serious. Worst case scenario (EE) should be considered.

11/5/20 Undead, zombie PM Boris yesterday made some pronouncements on UK Coronavirus. The problem is that very little has changed since the lockdown was imposed – if anything, people are at greater risk of catching CV now since it is more widespread. The “Be alert” message is wrong. At least the promises of imminent vaccines and antibody tests have stopped.

22/5/20 Just changed passwords and restored this blog so some has been lost. Re: my “The problem is that very little has changed since the lockdown was imposed – if anything, people are at greater risk of catching CV now since it is more widespread.” above. Europe should brace for second wave, says EU coronavirus chief

The prospect of a second wave of coronavirus infection across Europe is no longer a distant theory, according to the director of the EU agency responsible for advising governments – including the UK – on disease control.

“The question is when and how big, that is the question in my view,” said Dr Andrea Ammon, director of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

And Ammon, a former adviser to the German government, speaks frankly in her first interview with a UK newspaper since the crisis began.

“Looking at the characteristics of the virus, looking at what now emerges from the different countries in terms of population immunity – which isn’t all that exciting, between 2% and 14%, that leaves still 85% to 90% of the population susceptible – the virus is around us, circulating much more than January and February … I don’t want to draw a doomsday picture but I think we have to be realistic. That it’s not the time now to completely relax.”

26/5/20 Draft, subject to revision

Coronavirus / Covid-19 is a global threatening issue. It is minor in comparison to the global threat of climate destruction.

… to be continued

Please pay attention to point 9 above.

28/5/20 UK suffers highest death rate from coronavirus

The UK has suffered the highest rate of deaths from the coronavirus pandemic among countries that produce comparable data, according to excess mortality figures.

The UK has registered 59,537 more deaths than usual since the week ending March 20, indicating that the virus has directly or indirectly killed 891 people per million.

At this stage of the pandemic, that is a higher rate of death than in any country for which high-quality data exist. The absolute number of excess deaths in the UK is also the highest in Europe, and second only to the US in global terms, according to data collected by the Financial Times.

The country fares no better on another measure: the percentage increase in deaths compared with normal levels, where the UK once again is the worst hit in Europe and behind only Peru internationally.

30/5/20 Thanks to George Monbiot’s Culpable Negligence for bringing this report to my attention. Privatised and Unprepared: The NHS Supply Chain investigates the UK’s absolute chaotic disaster of providing PPE. It’s because NHS’s supply chain has been privatised in a labyrinthine complex manner with the privateers providing an abysmally poor service. The solution is to nationalise the NHS.

Months after the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic, huge numbers of UK health and care workers still lack adequate personal protective equipment (PPE). This is affecting many professions: doctors, nurses, hospital support staff, administrators, mental health workers in the community and primary care, and social care workers in a variety of roles. Nursing Notes reports that Covid-19 has killed 219 health and care workers in the UK as of the 14th of May 2020, and as Alex Bailin QC – an expert in corporate manslaughter law – says, many of these deaths were “avoidable with proper PPE”. This failure to protect health and care workers is a disaster in its own right, and it is contributing to Covid-19’s catastrophic death toll in this country.

The aim of this report is to expose the role that the privatisation of health and social care has played in this preventable catastrophe. Privatisation has created a system which is both chaotic and bureaucratic – both fragmented and sclerotic. There has been an outcry over PPE shortages in media coverage of the pandemic, but little has been said about privatisation. This is a serious oversight, which this report will address.

NHS Supply Chain – the organisation at the centre of this problem – was created in 2018, after years of outsourcing of NHS Logistics. NHS Supply Chain is technically a part of the NHS, headed by the Secretary of State. But this status is merely a fig-leaf for a needlessly complex web of contracts with private companies which answer to shareholders first. Immediately upon its formation NHS Supply Chain outsourced two major contracts for IT and logistics, and then broke up and outsourced the whole procurement system, by delegating eleven supply areas to various contractors. The parcel-delivery company DHL was put in charge of finding wholesalers to supply ward based consumables, including PPE kits. Unipart was given control over supply chain logistics, including the delivery of PPE. The stated rationale for this approach – an almost obsessive drive towards greater outsourcing and greater fragmentation – was “efficiency savings”.

In what follows we examine this heavily privatised, convoluted, and fundamentally dysfunctional system that NHS Supply Chain has created – one which puts layers of corporate red tape between doctors and nurses who need PPE in order to work safely, and the companies making these supplies. The government’s failure to react to Covid-19 shouldn’t be downplayed, nor should the inherent complications of procuring PPE during a pandemic. But in order to make sense of these factors we need to understand how NHS Supply Chain itself was supposed to work, why it hasn’t worked, and what must be done differently in future.

There are plenty of “bad apples” in this story – companies whose track record, philosophy, and priorities mean that they shouldn’t have been entrusted with the responsibilities they were given. But this isn’t just a story about bad apples. It is a story of a flawed system that has helped turn the pandemic into an utter disaster. This system offers few advantages over in-house NHS provision, and it creates a range of risks. It undermines coordination and accountability. It is a system in which a “just in time” ethos – devised by logistics companies in order to win contracts and enrich shareholders – takes priority over public health.

The Independent SAGE group has called for reform to this system. “There must be reform of the process of procurement of goods and services to ensure responsive and timely supply for primary and secondary care, and community infection control.” This is especially important, they argue, “in anticipation of a second wave of infection.” Our report echoes this call, and strengthens the case for it. We call on the government to simplify the NHS Supply Chain and bring it back into NHS control, as well as increasing overall NHS capacity, particularly locally, to deal with the virus. As soon as possible, the whole NHS should be reinstated as a fully public service and outsourced contracts across the board should be brought in house. That’s what NHS staff and health workers deserve after all they’ve done for us.

13/6/20 A better podcast. I recommend from 0.51.20 – stop when you’re bored? although Chumbawumba is worth hearing. [2.18am that ‘official’ Brexit podcast used to bore me senseless, at least you won’t fall asleep to this one )

(later: Ignore the shouty bloke? ;) later still: Even the shouty bloke talks some sense.

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Coronavirus UK:

I’ve experienced huge problems understanding UK government’s response. I’ve reached the conclusion that it’s because the UK’s response is incomprehensible.

The UK government has been promising antibody tests for weeks. I understood then and it is clear now that antibody tests don’t exist. The UK government has been BSitting.

I suggest that UK government should be investigated for criminal negligence.

ed: There’s much more than that: It appears that UK govt has done nothing i.e. been totally negligent. The immediate issues were increasing the number of ventilators and providing PPE. I am surprised that this pandemic has taken so long to spread but the point is that I am not a government with so many advisors that they must have ignored.

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Change the World

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Apologies that I’m delayed …

I’m working on it but finding the issue of Coronavirus UK overwhelming tbh

I’ve found it difficult to unravel UK government’s response although it appears to be deficient. Working on it …

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Coronavirus UK: Background

Suggested background for you to watch or not.

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Coming soon: Coronavirus UK

Coronavirus UK is a big issue so there will be a series of posts. I intend to explain in some detail why UK is pursuing it’s current course (essentially the NHS is totally overwhelmed so the purpose is to reduce infection as far as possible), how the Coronavirus crisis is also a crisis for Capitalism (and compare and contrast to the previous crisis of Capitalism 2008). Hopefully people are realising that good health and an adequately funded and otherwise properly resourced health system is of paramount importance.

One issue to note now: Official guidance to wash hands often is simplified. The reason behind it is that viruses spread through fomites – objects that are shared by people. The obvious ones I can think of are shared rails and handles on public transport, buttons on intercoms, elevators, entry or exit to blocks of flats, handles on supermarket baskets and trolleys. It is suggested that Coronavirus / Covid-19 can remain viable on metal and wood fomites for up to 48 hours.

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(Reuters) – An Apple Inc shareholder proposal critical of the company’s app removals in China received a relatively high level of support at the iPhone maker’s annual meeting on Wednesday, enough to push the company to respond, experts said.

The proposal, which called for Apple to report whether it has “publicly committed to respect freedom of expression as a human right,” was defeated, but 40.6% of votes cast supported the measure, according to company figures.

The proposal highlighted Apple’s 2017 removal of virtual private network apps from its App Store in China. Such apps allow users to bypass China’s so-called Great Firewall aimed at restricting access to overseas sites, and Apple’s action was seen as a step to preserve access to the country’s vast market.

Wednesday’s vote stood in contrast to previous years when critics made little headway with big investors on the issue.

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We are in transition to a new World order

We are in a period of transition

to a new World order

i.e. from the Old to the New (or at least to the revised) [ed: Hopefully not revised. We need a new World order to replace these shits that have destroyed Our World for wealth).

and we should shape this new World

in our image

I suggest

that Human Rights and Nature

are paramount.

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Greta Thunberg in Bristol for climate protest this Friday 28 Feb

11am at College Green, Bristol.

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