Life on Transphobia Island

It is fairly well known now that the UK has become one of the most transphobic countries in the world. We aren’t as bad as places like Russia or Hungary yet, but the situation is not good. Most of you will probably think that the bulk of the problem is lack of reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and the constant flow of anti-trans propaganda in the mainstream media. Some of you may be aware that there is now around a 5 year waiting list to get a first appointment at a UK gender clinic, and that in five years time that delay will be much longer. These are the things that hit the headlines, but they are not all that is going on. Behind the scenes, much worse is happening.

I’m writing this post today because today is the first time that I have resorted to ordering medication over the internet. I’m hoping that I won’t have to use it, and there are some helpful people within the NHS who are trying to get me a new hormone prescription. But without the cooperation of a GP local to me they will probably fail.

The GP services in the UK are currently organised through things called Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). There are lots of these around the country. While patients have a free choice of GPs within their local CCG, it is difficult to get care from anywhere else. A recent survey by Gender GP has discovered that 83% of CCGs in England do not have any policy in place regarding healthcare for trans people. That doesn’t necessarily mean no treatment. If you have a friendly GP whom you have know for years they will probably still prescribe. But increasingly GP services are run through large, multi-doctor surgeries where you never see the same doctor twice, and without an official trans healthcare policy from their CCG they will probably refuse treatment.

Note that I’m not asking for anything highly specialist here. The gender transition process is still handled by Gender Identity Clinics. But if, like me, you have had your gonads removed, you need an alternative source of hormones to stay healthy. In theory I should be getting a regular prescription of oestrogen. In practice GPs refuse to prescribe, even though they know I will get quite ill without it.

There are parts of the country that are not so bad. There’s that 17% of CCGs that do have a trans policy. Plus, if you happen to live in London, Manchester, Brighton or Liverpool there are specialist GP services you can go to. But for much of England there is a huge problem.

You might think that, in such a situation, someone in private practice would leap in to take advantage, but that doesn’t happen. I’ve tried three private GP services, including BUPA. All three said that they would not accept a trans person as a patient. Anyone who sets up in private practice specifically to help trans people is quickly hounded out of business by the medical authorities.

So healthcare is a problem, but a potentially far worse one is the removal of trans people’s civil rights through changes in police policy. The UK now has elected Police & Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for each local force. In England, inevitably, the majority of these are Conservatives. Recently there has been a coordinated push by these people to redefine the law as it applies to trans women. In a recent post on the right-wing website, Conservative Home, several PCCs stated their opposition to trans rights, and to the LGBT+ charity, Stonewall.

The reason for the complaints against Stonewall is that their training on the Equality Act correctly explains that trans women can only be excluded from “women-only” spaces if there is a good reason for doing so. This is in line with the official guidance regarding the Act produced by the Equality & Human Rights Commission (EHRC). Earlier this year an anti-trans lobby group spent a large amount of money to bring a court case demanding a judicial review of the EHRC guidance. The claimed that, under the Act, trans women should always be excluded from women-only spaces. The judge described their argument as “absurd” and “wrong in law”. Nevertheless, the media continues to put forward this anti-trans position as if it is fact, and now several PCCs have done so too.

The most extreme example is Philip Wilkinson, the PCC for Wiltshire, which happens to be where I live. He stated that he does not believe that “biological men” should be allowed into women-only spaces. The term, “biological men” is a favourite of anti-trans campaigners. Its meaning varies quite a bit. Some people say it means people with a Y chromosome, others that it means people who do not have ovaries, and others also want to exclude anyone with above average levels of testosterone in their body. But all of them agree that the term absoutely excludes all trans women.

Currently in the UK the Gender Recognition Act allows trans people to change their legal gender. That should allow them to be treated as an ordinary person of that gender in almost all circumstances. Equally, the Equality Act says that it is illegal to discrimiate against a person on the grounds that they have undergone, are undergoing or plan to undergo gender reassignment. By saying that he will bar trans women from women-only spaces, Mr Wilkinson is saying that he wants the police under his command to ignore the Gender Recognition Act and Equality Act, and to act with prejudice against any trans women they encounter.

Of course this is illegal, but if there is one thing that the current government in the UK has shown it is that they have no respect for the law, and believe that they can break it with impunity whenever they wish. The same is apparently true of Conservative PCCs. And while a trans woman who is arrested for using a toilet, or trying to buy clothes, might eventually have her day in court and win, that won’t make up for the trauma of the experience.

It is probably no accident that Mr Wilkinson’s statement was quickly followed up by the launch of a campaign by Wiltshire Police to target “sex offenders”. How they are likley to be able to spot potential rapists before they commit any rapes is a bit of a mystery. But it is axiomatic amongst the anti-trans movement that they “can always tell” if someone is trans, and Mr Wilkinson clearly believes that all trans women are, by definition, sex offenders. It is pretty obvious who the Wiltshire police will be on the lookout for.

Sadly the “we can always tell” manta is nonsense. The vast majority of people who get harrassed in public toilets and other women-only spaces on suspicion of being trans are cisgender women. They might have short hair and a fairly masculine style of dress; they might be wearing a wig for some innocent reason; or their might have lost their breasts to cancer. Many trans women are quite safe in comparison, but it doesn’t feel that way when you know that you are being hunted by the police.

So yeah, life here on Transphobia Island is not much fun right now. My advice to young trans people is to get out if you possibly can. It will get worse before it gets better.

Coronavirus – Day #503

Gosh, I went over 500 days and didn’t even notice. The pandemic has become a way of life.

Of course I would have been more likely to notice if I’d be posting about other things more often. Its not that nothing is happening in my life. It is partly that I’m very busy, and partly because most of what is happening in my life is stuff I can’t talk about.

Some of that, however, is Wizard’s Tower stuff. Look out for some exciting announcements soon. Including, of course, the new Green Man book.

Meanwhile we all try to get used to living with the virus. Last Friday I had dinner with friends in Bath. I traveled by train, and I took one of those home tests the day before, just in case. The tests are horrible to do, but much better than infecting your friends.

In theory, life should ramp up more in September. I have a couple of work things in London I should go to, and there’s FantasyCon at the end of the month. Then I look at the virus stats and worry. There was a huge spike in the UK due to the football, and a drop again once the tournament was over. But now cases are rising steadily again. Over 100 people are dying every day. Its only likely to get worse over the winter. Is it wise to go anywhere? I really don’t know.

Coronavirus – Day #466

It is a time for experiment here on Plague Island. For the few weeks we have been running an experiment involving huge crowds at sporting events, and large numbers of people getting very drunk and running around the streets. That is set to continue throughout the summer, though probably with not quite the same level of drunkeness and violence now that the football is over.

As of this time next week, pretty much all COVID restrictions in England will be removed. We are apparently still encouraged to wear masks in high risk locations such as on public transport, but it won’t be mandatory and the government is crowing about it being “Freedom Day” so lots of people will doubtless stop doing it.

In view of this you will doubtless expect that the pandemic is well under control here and all of the danger indicators are at very low levels. You would be exactly wrong.

Today we had almost 34,500 new cases of COVID and are now over 300 cases per 100,000 people. The rate is rising fast. Hospitalisations are now shooting up, with over 550 today. Deaths are still quite low — only 6 today — but everything will ramp up as the restrictions come off. The good news is that last time we had this many infections the death rate was over 600/day. Clearly the vaccines are having a major effect on the lethality of the disease. But government scientists are apparently predicting we could get up to as many as 200 deaths per day in the near future.

Bozo is telling us that this is a risk we must take for the good of the economy. It is very much a case of, “You people must die so that my share prices can remain high.”

Technically I still have in-person conventions planned for September and October, and I’d still love to get to Canada for World Fantasy in November. I have no idea what will happen with any of them, though I suspect that the Canada trip will be the least likely because other countries will not want people from the UK visiting them.

For comparison, the UK had the second highest number of COVID cases of any country in the world today. Only Indonesia had more. I believe that we have more cases per day than the rest of Europe combined. I would love to be heading to Rome this week to enjoy Eurocon and to congratulate my Italian friends on their victory in the football, but that isn’t going to be possible.

Coronavirus – Day #455

Now that the third wave is well underway here we have some interesting data. The daily infection rate is now over 27,000, which is where we were in mid-December last year. However, at that time we were seeing a death rate of over 400 per day. Yesterday’s death count was 22. Equally in mid-December the hospitalisation rate was just short of 2000/day. Currently it is under 300.

Obviously I’m not an epidemiologist, so my analysis of this data should probably be taken with a very big pinch of salt. But what I think I am seeing is that the pandemic is once again raging out of control, but amongst a population that is far more resistant to its effects. Vaccines work.

Is that a good thing? I guess that depends. It should mean that more people can feel safe going to work, going to entertainment venues and so on. But it will also mean that there will be less concern about biosecurity, and therefore those at risk will be more likely to get sick when they are less able to fight it off.

Anyway, it doesn’t make much difference to me. I’m old. My lungs are distinctly dodgy. And I’m highly likely to be discriminated against in a healthcare setting. I’m taking no risks.

Coronavirus – Day #439

Well, here we go again. To very few people’s surprise, the current levels of Lockdown restrictions in the UK are being extended, rather than being eased next Monday as was originally planned. Why? Because infection rates are soaring, as they have been for around 3 weeks now. The current restrictions haven’t slowed that, so there is no reason to think that simply extending them will have any effect. Things will have to get substantially worse before the government will admit that there is a problem.

I must admit that I was a little nervous about going to Clevedon on Saturday, but I also knew that it was likely to be my only chance of any sort of break. Also I am fully vaccinated which ought to count for something. But from now on it is back into security mode.

That means definitely no Eurocon for me. Probably no Bristol Pride, which is currently scheduled for July 10th. Further out on the planning horizon I have FantasyCon in September, BristolCon in October, and World Fantasy in November. I’m much less hopeful for all of those now, but at least come August we’ll have a better idea of what this current wave looks like.

In the meantime, if you haven’t booked up for my trans Romans talk on Thursday, there is still time to do so. Remember that you don’t have to listen live, you have a whole week to watch it on replay. Tickets available here.

Coronavirus – Day #426

It has been a while since I did one of these, but I had my second vaccination today and I figured that was worth marking. For the record, I’m fine, other than being very tired, which may be a result of it being warm and muggy today rather than the virus.

Other than that, life on Plague Island is pretty much as usual. Not content with trying to be responsible for more deaths than Winston Churchill, Bozo is also trying to have more wives than Henry VIII. Here in the South West we are currently in a mostly COVID free phase, but elsewhere the new Delta Variant is running amok with the result that national infection rates have been rising for several days now. Those with long memories will remember that Bozo delayed imposing travel restrictions from India for many days because he was planning a visit to that country, and that’s the main reason why we are heading into a new wave of infections.

The big difference this time is that our vaccination rate is pretty good. As of today, almost 75% of the country has had one dose, and almost 50% has had both. It will be interesting to see what difference that makes to the spread of infection.

Anyway, we have sunshine, which is good. Also I still have plenty of work and don’t need to go anywhere. And if I have got through 400+ days of this I’m sure I can do a few hundred more if need be.

Coronavirus – Day #398

Slowly but surely, infection and death rates continue to fall, at least they do in this country. Are we getting back to normal? How would we tell?

Well, one of the potential signs is people feeling confident enough to hold coventions. Not here, just now, I hasten to add, but this year’s Eurocon, to be held in Fiuggi, Italy, has announced that they have permssion to go ahead. Their dates are July 15-18.

Data point: infection rates in Italy are currently four times what they are in the UK. That’s not huge. The USA and France are much higher, and India is off the scale, but it is still an interesting level of confidence from their government.

Currently us Brits are forbidden from going on foreign holidays (unless we are very rich or related to a Cabinet minister). We are due an announcement on the 17th about possible loosening of those restrictions. Whether Italy will be on the list of permitted destinations is another matter.

Am I going? I don’t have a clue. It would be lovely, but I haven’t had my second vaccination yet and I would not put it past our disaster of a government to suddenly stop second injections for anyone they deem expendable so that can save a bit of money. Ordinarily wild horses couldn’t stop me from taking a trip to Rome, but these days going anywhere still seems potentially unwise. FantasyCon in Birmingham in September seems like a more realstic goal.

Coronavirus – Day #376

Today there has been great celebration in England, because non-essential shops, restaurants and pubs have re-opened, sort of. Pubs and restaurants can only serve people sitting outside, and it snowed in many parts of the country today, but at least they are open. My hairdresser sent me a text this morning saying that they could take bookings again. I phoned after lunch and the earliest appointment they had was in early May.

So has Bozo “saved summer”? Well maybe. There were over 3,500 new cases of COVID-19 registered today. Thirteen people died from it in the last 24 hours. That is by no means zero COVID. The government is banking on the fact that a sigificant proportion of the population has now had at least a first vaccine jab. The assumption is that this will slow the rate of infection, and reduce the serverity of cases for people who do catch the virus. If that doesn’t work, we could be back in full Lockdown fairly quickly.

Thankfully I don’t need to go out much. Once a week to Tesco is still mostly all that I need. It does, however, make me more confident about just popping out for a walk. I’ve signed up to do the sponsored walk for One25 again in May, which means that for a month I will have to average 4 miles a day. Right now I am so unfit from a year of hardly leaving home that I’m struggling to manage two, so it is just as well that I have a few weeks to get in training.

Coronavirus – Day #370

Oh look, a year has gone by. Are we still deep in the shit? Why yes, so we are.

The good news is that all of the major COVID in the UK are still falling. Trowbridge is officially “suppressed”, but this does no mean zero COVID. There could be at least 10 cases in town.

More worryingly, the UK is still registering over 2000 new cases a day, and the media is talking about how the virus has been beaten and everything is going “back to normal”. Bozo is talking breezily about people being able to go on summer holidays abroad. We don’t really know how the vaccine will change things, but some sort of third wave seems inevitable.

Of course the likelihood of anyone from the UK being able to travel internationally in the near future is not very high. Bozo will doubtless blame this on the EU. The people who voted for Brexit still don’t understand that “taking back control” of our borders does not mean taking control of everyone else’s borders as well, and the freedom of movement whose ending they cheered so loudly included their freedom of movement as well.

Coronavirus – Day #337

Wow, it is a long time since I did one of these. Of course I was crazy busy during February, but to a large extent nothing much has changed. We are still in Lockdown and will be until April. Infection rates have been falling steadily for a couple of months, but are still scarily high. And locally they are not going down. Having had rates well below the national average over the winter, we are now well above the national average. If nothing else that shows that the Track & Trace system is not worth a dime, let alone the £22bn that the government spaffed away on it.

Meanwhile Bozo has ordered schools to re-open, and I’m already seeing claims that the infection rate is surging amongst young children.

We had a budget, apparently. It seems like no one is happy about it. And yet the supposed opposition party is doing such a bad job that the Tories now have a much bigger lead in the polls than they did when they won an 80 seat majority back in late 2019. It is almost as if refusing to challenge the government on any of its policies isn’t a vote winner. Who would have thought it?

In much less good news today I learned that the Loyalist Paramilitaries in Northern Ireland have denounced the Good Friday Agreement. That is, they are blaming the Catholics, and the South, for Bozo’s complete disaster of a Brexit agreement which saw a border created in the Irish Sea, something he had promised would never happen. It seems entirely in keeping with modern Britain that someone else is getting blamed for a government screw-up. But the outcome is likely to be renewed sectarian violence in Northern Ireland, which will please no one except a few die-hard survivors of The Troubles, and the Tory right wing who have always hated the fact that peace was declared.

Ah well, at least I still have work, which is getting me to talk to people, even if it is seriously interfering with my book-reading habit.

Coronavirus – Day #306

Greetings once more from Plague Island. I am pleased to report that Lockdown is definitely having an effect now. All of the major indicators are dropping. The national case rate is only 273/100k, and locally we are down to 137. Parts of Bath are being marked clear.

Of course this is normally the point at which Bozo announces that, thanks to his super-manly chromosomes (XYYY or something, I guess), he has personally defeated the virus and we must all go back to school, work, restaurants, pubs and so on. He’s never learned from any of his failures in life before, so I don’t suppose he will have learned from the “Saving Christmas” disaster.

Coronavirus – Day #301

Here in Plague Island we have passed the milestone of 100,000 deaths. Bozo says that he is terribly sorry, but he’s done everything he can so it can’t be his fault. His loyal newspapers are saying that it is entirely our own fault that we are dying because we are too fat.

In other news, a new anti-trans organisation has been founded here. It’s stated objectives are to obtain the repeal of the Gender Recognition Act and to “eliminate transgenderism”. They have immediately received enthusiastic support from all of the usual suspects. I’m looking forward to seeing film of one of their rallies. I will be very disappointed if they don’t all chant, “ELIMINATE! ELIMINATE!!!” in silly voices. At least that will give them a good excuse to be on the BBC.

Coronavirus – Day #295

Dearest readers, a terrible tragedy has occurred. Late yesterday, President Biden signed a number of executive orders. One of those was an anti-discrimination order that gave LGBT+ people in the US some protections. They are similar to, though not as wide-ranging as, those we have here under the Equality Act.

This morning it was revealed that this action by the incoming President had erased every single woman in America. (Well, the cisgender ones, I assume.) Just like that. Over 150 million people vanished, Thanos-like, from the face of the Earth. I know that it sounds unlikley, but just about every female member of the chattering classes here in the UK is repeating the same story, so it must be true, mustn’t it?

Anyway, our Thoughts and Prayers are with the American people. I understand that President Biden is planning a number of sweeping immigration reforms, which will be necessary if there is to be any hope of there being little Americans in the future. I can only hope that the effects of this executive order don’t linger, and that newly arrived women are not vanished as well.

In other news, Downing Street has denied reports that the Prime Minister wishes to rename our country Little Trumplandia in the East. Apparently there is already an existing town name of Trumpton that he feels would be appropriate for the country as a whole, and doesn’t include the word “little” which may cause offence in certain quarters.

Coronavirus – Day #294

And lo, Britain became a World Beater! There was much rejoicing in Westminster.

Yes folks, the word is that the UK now has more deaths per million of the population than any other country in the world. Bozo must be so proud of himself.

This achievement came courtesy of a couple of days of very high death counts. We are fast closing in on the 2000 a day mark. However, sad though this is, the long-term prognosis should be better as the death curve always lags a week or two behind the infections curve, and the latter has been dropping steadily for several days now.

Unfortunately the local situation is not good. Infections here are continuing to rise. There’s obviously some sort of local outbreak happening, and I’m planning on hunkering down for the duration. Even if that means having to do without a haggis for Burns Night.

Meanwhile, over the Atlantic, President Biden has been sworn in, as has Vice President Harris. Little Donny The Loser has thrown a massive sulk, and we are all waiting for him to finally be brought to justice for the significant number of crimes he appears to have committed. They got Al Capone for tax evasion. I’m sure something similar will work on Loser.

The word is that Biden will reverse many of Loser’s awful policies in his first week in office. Hopefully that means doing something about those poor kids in concentration camps. Both major UK parties have done the traditional thing of sucking up to the new US leader, but Bozo is doubtless distraught that his best buddy is no longer in power. Meanwhile Labour has accused Biden of being “woke”. Given that they are trying to reinvent themselves as the party of bigoted white men, this does not surprise me. We may have finally reached the point where both main UK parties are to the right of the Democrats, which is quite an achievement.

And finally, if anyone out there is a GP, or knows one who might be willing to take an elderly trans woman as a patient, please let me know because apparently I need a new doctor again. I’m willing to move home if necessary, but note that I can’t afford to live in Bristol, let alone London.

Coronavirus – Day #292

A piece of good news for once. I now have a new stock of hormone patches sufficient to last me another 3 months. Hopefully by that time the current surge of infections will have died away.

The not so good news is that I had to walk to Boots because, despite having been to Bath and back on Friday, my car would not start today. A battery should not drain from being fine to having zero charge in just 2.5 days. So there’s probably an electrical fault somewhere. The nice man from the garage is going to pick her up on Thursday and take a look.

The COVID data suggests that Lockdown is definitely biting at last. Trowbridge is still well below the national average, but the infection rate is still rising here so I’m in no hurry to go out unless I have to.

Politics is much of the same. I am looking forward to Andrew Lloyd Webber penning Brexit: The Musical, in which all of the cast are British fish suffering under the tyrannical rule of the evil giant squid, Cthul-EU, but are liberated by Brave Sir Boris and his Merry Men. It will, of course, end with a rousing rendition of Rule Britannia. Sadly the production will become embroiled in a massive lawsuit when it is discovered that all of the songs written for Rees-Smug have been filched from the catalogue of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society.

Coronavirus – Day #289

Well this has been a week. As I mentioned on Wednesday, I was expecting to drive to Bristol today to get a new hormone prescription. It turns out that I hadn’t had a blood pressure test in a while, and the doctor wanted to make sure I was OK, even if that meant me risking a long trip in the middle of a pandemic. So yesterday I look the car for a run, so as to give the battery a bit of a boost to make sure it would start this morning. Also I needed fuel. And when I got home the oil and engine service warning lights came on.

Fortunately I have a very good garage. The boys took a look yesterday afternoon and pronouced the car probably OK to drive. I came up with a new plan which was to drive to Bath and get the train from there. That way I would only be 10 minutes each way on a train rather than 45. It worked, and I note that the trains were practically empty. They may be busier in peak hours, but I very nearly had a carriage to myself both ways.

I don’t quite have the hormones yet. Boots didn’t have any in stock, but they put in an order and it went through, so presumably there are supplies in the country.

Meanwhile the FT, which is much more reliable than the government when it comes to COVID data, says that the number of cases in the UK is coming down at last. Where I live is still fairly safe. Our last reported number was 283 cases per 100,000 people, which is a lot less than the national average of 555, but well up from just over 100 at the turn of the year. Many parts of London are over 1,100.

Of course I still have to go out to get the prescription when it arrives, and to drop off the car for a service, but at least I don’t need to go to Tesco again for a couple of weeks at least.

Also in the FT is news that the government plans to rip up all of the UK’s employment protection laws. This, like the move to allow bee-killing pesticides, is definitely in breach of the withdrawl agreement that Bozo signed with the EU just before Christmas. Interesting times, eh?

Coronavirus – Day #289

Rejoice, fellow inmates of Plague Island. We are once again World Leaders! Today we achieved a new record for the daily death count due to COVID-19. We are now running at over one death per minute. Our government is so proud of us.

Yes folks, things here are steadily going from bad to worse. We are in Lockdown, but there are so many exemptions, and so little financial support, that loads of people are having to go to work anyway. Which means that they are having to send their kids to school. So Lockdown is kind of not a thing. But never fear. The government has come up wit a brillant idea. They are going to test people entering the country to make sure that they are COVID-free. I’m sure no one ever thought of that before.

(I remember well arriving in Melbourne when the SARS epidemic was just starting. The immigration process was terrifying. Australia knows how to do biosecurity.)

Just in case you were wondering, the Home Secretary says that this is all the fault of people being badly behaved, and that we all need more Discipline!

The nation’s fishermen are up in arms because it turns out the the great deal that Bozo made such a fuss of negotiating on their behalf is complete crap and they are all going bankrupt.

The nation’s musicians and performing artists are up in arms. Apparently the EU offered us a reciprocal deal whereby our people could go and perform over there without needing a work visa, provided that their people could do the same here. Bozo turned them down. Presumably he was worried about ABBA or Mozart doing a comeback tour or something. Surely crippling the British pop music industry is a small sacrifice to pay in return for keeping foreign musos from our shores.

It was Prime Minister’s Question Time today. Bozo, you will remember, did a spectacular u-turn on the issue of free school meals for kiddies during Lockdown. Poor families were going to get £30 a week. Then some smartarse suggested that if you gave money to poor people they would spend it on drugs and porn, and the kiddies would get nothing. So Bozo arranged for some of his mates to take the money, buy food and distribute it. The resulting food packages appear to contain about £5 worth of food. Everyone is wondering what happened to the other £25.

But not Bozo. No sir, he is concerned about the failings of the Leader of the Opposition. It has been pointed out to Bozo that a young footballer from Manchester United has been making our beloved PM look an idiot. Why can’t Mr Starmer do that, eh? Perhaps the Labour Party would be better off making young Marcus Rashford their leader. Then everyone will know what a fool the PM is.

It is, I think, the first time ever that a Prime Minister has attacked the Leader of the Opposition for failing to make clear what an idiot the Prime Minister is.

Closer to home, I braved Tesco today. I think I have enough food for 3 weeks. I’d like to say that I can now stay at home, but I’m almost out of hormones and for reasons I don’t want to bore you with I have to drive to Bristol on Friday to get a repeat prescription because the surgery is unwilling to do a video consultation. And then when I have the prescription I will have to go to Boots twice: once to leave it with them, and once to collect the medication. So much for Lockdown.

Coronavirus – Day #283

Well, yesterday was quite something.

Of course no one should have been surprised. Dear Leader was egging people on to do it for days in advance. The attempted coup was openly planned on Facebook and other right-wing social media. But despite having a lot of inside help, the supposed revolutionaries were extremely inept.

Part of that, I suspect, is because they were too middle class. My Twitter feed had several mentions of a woman called Eizabeth who had complained bitterly that it wasn’t fair that she’d been tear-gassed when all she was doing was starting a revolution. Many of the perps were going around unmasked, and even streaming on their own social media channels. If there is any will to bringing them to justice, it should be very easy.

Therein, however, lies the problem. I gather than one of them, a lawyer, has lost his job. Another has been identified as a Republican state legislator. These are not working class revolutionaries. They are “nice” wealthy white people who could afford a trip to DC by plane to have their little revolution. Will they be prosecuted? Remember that kid who shot a couple of BLM protestors?

As for Dear Leader, I suspect he’ll get away with it too. The 25th Amendment has to be invoked by Pence and the rest of the Cabinet. They might be very angry about nearly getting lynched, but they won’t want to antagonise the Trumpists any further. That leaves Impeachment, and I don’t think there are sufficient votes to get that through the Senate, given that it requies a two-thirds majority. Pelosi should probably do it anyway to force the Trumpists in the Senate to identify themsleves, but it won’t pass.

All of which is bad, because this is not going to go away. Dear Leader has made it clear that he intends to continue the fight. The next outrage will be better planned, and more bloody. And the next one after that will be worse again. Appeasing Fascists never works, but it sometimes takes a long time for people to learn that lesson.

Meanwhile there was a significant drop in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the UK today. One day does not make a trend, and the 7-day average is continuing to rise, but I hope that’s a sign of Lockdown begining to bite.

Over here we have our own insurrectionists. They are not attacking the government because they have the government they want. Instead they are picketting hospitals and abusing NHS staff, whom they believe to be perpetrating a hoax. Nigel Garbage has founded a new political party with the express intention of opposing all lockdown restrictions. And there’s a new far-right TV news station launching soon. I suspect it won’t be long before NHS staff start getting physically attacked.

Coronavirus – Day #281

Hello, and greetings from Plague Island. 2021, eh? Meet the new year, same as the old year.

Things here have been moving with some rapidity, mostly the number of new COVID-19 cases where the chart is looking steadfastly vertical. But politics, too…

On Sunday morning Bozo went on national television to reassure that nation that he had no doubt that it was safe for our children to go back to school for the new term starting Monday.

Later that day, Nicola Sturgeon announced that she was recalling the Scottish Parliament and having an emergency cabinet meeting about the ongoing pandemic crisis.

By Sunday evening Bozo had achieved the unprecedented result of uniting all of the UK teaching unions against him. Many schools were saying that they were refusing the re-open.

The Scots spent Monday deliberating and planning. In the afternoon Nicola Sturgeon announced new lockdown provisions.

On Monday evening, Bozo went on national television to explain that it was far too dangerous to send children to school and that a new national lockdown was being put in place for at least 6 weeks (i.e. until mid-February).

This morning Wormtongue Gove went on the radio to say that the new lockdown would last at least into March.

Today my Twitter feed has been full of people in England trying to find out what the new lockdown regulations are, who they affect, what government support there will be for affected businesses and so on.

Meanwhile it was leaked that Fake President Loser was planning to flee the US on the 19th and would be hiding out on his golf course in Scotland. Today Nicola Sturgeon announced that he would not be allowed into the country. Perhaps he will go and stay with his friend Bozo instead.

Politics, eh? The only thing anyone is certain of is that we have no idea what Bozo will do next, but whatever he does it is certain to be too late and the implementation will be bungled.

Yesterday I had planned to do a big shop before the virus situation got any worse. But my car wouldn’t start and the jump starter was out of juice so I figured I would go today instead. Then Bozo made his announcement. Tesco is likely to be mad right now, and definitely out of toilet roll. I have enough food to last at least another week, possibly two. So I’m going to hunker down and hope that a bit of sanity returns after a while.

Coronavirus – Day #275

It is a week since Christmas eve, and the effects of the holiday are starting to be felt. For the past two days we have had over 50,000 new cases of COVID-19 per day. Deaths yesterday were just short of 1000. I suspect it will get worse over the next week. Posts from NHS staff in my twitter feed are starting to sound desperate.

So what is the government doing? It is ramming through a bill to approve Bozo’s Bexit deal, which also happens to be stuffed full of various provisions allowing the government to create new laws without reference to Parliament.

Well someome appears to have taken back control, but it is certainly not us. And what they have taken control of is certainly not the response to the pandemic.