No he doesn't as it turns out, he can't hold his own in Parliament, he prefers prerecorded Facebook posts.
One of the reason testing capacity is down is that it's all temporary contracts in private labs. Now if you are a qualified biochemist working in the NHS or on a permanent contract with a company how much more than your current salary would they have to offer you for 12 hour shifts with SERCO on a temporary contract.
They recruited a lot of staff to work over the summer from universities, but now they've gone back to their normal workplaces, therefore there's a staff shortage.
I have been told that 12.01am is a good time to book a test and also that pretending to be a key worker is a trick lots of people are using.
There's a bloke on Twitter does a thing he calls The Week in Tory. This is the latest:
Here comes another #TheWeekInTory, and I'm afraid it's quite lengthy.
The positive we can take from this is that if you start now, you can probably get through the 2 bottles of gin you'll definitely need before the end.
Uncork and begin... 1. Boris Johnson announced a new 3 Tier lockdown system, with the lowest Tier being “medium”, like at McDonalds
2. As part of the announcement, the Chief Medical Officer reassuringly said the plan wouldn’t work
3. The govt said “in all cases, we are following the science” 4. It was revealed the SAGE science committee told the govt to lockdown weeks ago, but that bit of science wasn’t followed very far
5. SAGE went on to say the govt’s “world-beating” £12bn Test and Trace system was having only “a marginal impact on transmission rates” 6. Dido Harding, head of Seemingly Everything, said Test and Trace would be “local by default” and be “highly efficient”
7. She then handed £12bn to Serco, which is highly efficiently charging us £7360 per day for consultants. To trace Covid infections. Which they aren’t doing 8. Serco’s CEO is the brother of an ex-Tory MP. His partner is a Tory donor. Serco’s ex-head of PR is now a Tory Health Minister
9. If you feel all this is a bit corrupt, you can complain to the govt’s Anti-Corruption Champion, John Penrose, who is married to Dido Harding 10. Meanwhile an investigation by the Good Law Project found PPE suppliers owned by Tory donors or associates were paid 30% more per item than similar businesses globally. I'm talling you: John Penrose. He’s your fella. He’ll get to the bottom of it, fo shizzle 11. And only 34 days since the announcement of Boris Johnson’s "brainchild", the £100bn Operation Moonshot, it was quietly scrapped, along with (apparently) Boris Johnson’s brain and around 28% of his children 12. A Tory MP said Boris Johnson’s “personal skillset this doesn't play to this. He's not a details, manager type. He's a picture painter”. On the side of wine-boxes, mostly.
13. Another said “I think it's obvious this is a government happier picking fights than governing” 14. Another said Boris Johnson “prefers to get on with dog-walking” and “let’s Dominic do the work”
15. Chastened by reports local authorities were given only 5 minutes notice of previous lockdowns, this time the govt gave them ... 7 minutes notice of the meeting to discuss it 16. Except some MPs didn't even get that, and were only invited after the meeting had started
17. And the govt invited the MP for Sunderland, who had to inform them she was only of 3 Sunderland MPs. The govt was “surprised to be informed” of this 18. The dep Chief Medical Officer said the infection rate in the north “never dropped” meaning the relaxation of lockdown was at the expense of lives oop north
19. Then the govt said they would “devolve more decision-making” and “give more financial aid to local authorities” 20. But the aid is conditional on the "devolved" local authority doing what the govt wants, which is quite a novel a definition of "devolved"
21. So, following criticism, the govt briefed the press that it was going to consult more with regional govts 22. Literally 2 hours later, the govt briefed the press that Manchester was moving into Tier 3 restrictions. The Mayor of Manchester was not consulted (or even informed) about a decision he must implement, and which affects the largest city-region outside London. 23. A Tory MP, anxious about the lockdown affecting businesses over the party season, asked the PM “what can you tell us about Christmas”. Boris Johnson replied, “it’s a religious festival that’s been celebrated 2020 years”, which I’m sure helps us all 24. Matt Hancock insisted we all follow the science and adhere to the 10pm pub curfew that scientists say makes absolutely no improvement on infection rates
25. Then Matt Hancock broke that curfew, in a House of Commons bar 26. And then Matt Hancock said “The drinks are on me but Public Health England are in charge of payment methodology so I will not be paying anything”
27. In August, Public Health England was scrapped by [checks notes ] Matt Hancock 28. But prior to that, Tories imposed budget cuts of 5% to 10% on Public Health England for each of the previous 7 years
29. Unsurprisingly, it was reported that hospitals in the north of England would run out of beds within 7 days 30. The govt said "Hospital Trusts should consider cancelling all non-urgent treatments"
31. The govt then refused to drop fines it imposes on Hospital Trusts which cancel non-urgent treatments 32. So Matt Hancock announced the reopening of Nightingale Hospitals, which were closed last time because nobody could send patients to them, due to them not being staffed
33. They still aren’t staffed: Matt Hancock's' "urgent boost to nursing training" doesn’t start until 2021 34. Fortunately, the govt began a campaign to get ballerinas to retrain, and then scrapped the campaign 24 hours later
35. In June, Boris Johnson announced an "urgent" £1.57bn Arts Rescue Plan
36. A mere 127 days later, it "urgently" got around to paying out some of that money 37. Except by now the £1.57bn had become £257m, which is 16% of the plan they originally announced
38. Meanwhile, in news that will surely leave you all stunned and astonished, a month after work began on HS2 the budget for it has already risen a further £800m 39. Boris Johnson congratulated Marcus Rashford on the MBE he was awarded for his efforts to overcome the cruel policies of Boris Johnson
40. The Law Society raised concerns about the “dangerous rhetoric” of Home Office Minister and Mouth of Sauron, Priti Patel 41. The next day, a migration lawyer was victim of a knife attack, and senior lawyers said “Responsibility and accountability for this attack lies squarely at the feet of Priti Patel”
42. The Home Office announced plans to catch migrants in a big net and OH MY GOD 43. And then Lord West reassuringly said, “we need to deal with migrants in a concentrated place, a camp or whatever”. He didn’t mention whether Arbeit Macht Frei, but it’s still only Thursday, and who can tell what the remainder of the week will bring?
[ Open 2nd bottle now ] 44. Speaking of dates: today is 15th Oct, the absolute, immoveable deadline for trade talks that mighty, fearsome Boris Johnson laid down to the cowed and quivering EU
45. Talks continue tomorrow. Because obviously, duuur 46. This is the third absolute deadline imposed by the British that has been missed because the British have temporarily inverted arse and elbow
47. This didn’t stop Cabinet Office minister Lord Agnew from berating haulage businesses for not being ready for Brexit on 1 Jan 48. The Road Haulage Assoc pointed out we have only 1,668 of the 33,000 EU Haulage Permits we need on 1 Jan
49. Software to control our borders won’t be ready until 4 months after 1 Jan
50. And the govt is “still in the planning stage” of the “Kent Passports” we need on 1 Jan 51. And construction of Kent's “world’s largest lorry park” is behind schedule, so probably not ready on 1 Jan
52. Fortunately the govt is well-prepared, and plans to install 1000s of Portaloos in Kent, the garden of England, to be used by lorry drivers trapped in 2-day queues 53. And our food standards will still be fine, as Tory MP Nadhim Zahawi tweeted “Our manifesto was clear. We will not compromise our animal welfare and food standards”
54. He then voted to compromise our animal welfare and food standards, as did the rest of the Tory Party 55. And then govt used an obscure rule to deny MPs a vote on whether to allow chlorinated chicken
56. Meanwhile, 20 years after North Sea Cod became so overfished the WWF declared it “economically extinct”, Tory MPs voted to reduce protections designed to let fish stocks recover 57. So, after Brexit, our current plan is to accept tariffs that will destroy our manufacturing sector, and border delays that will destroy farming exports and imperil food supplies, and destroy the farming sector ... all so we can go and catch a fish that doesn’t exist 58. But at least we’ve now "got back control", and therefore we can level up the playing field by implementing the govt's landmark “digital tax” policy on giants such as Amazon
59. This week it was announced Amazon will be exempt from the digital tax 60. Speaking of tax exemptions, it was revealed Dominic Cummings has had a £30,000 council tax bill “written off” because he built the house illegally, so it doesn’t count as a real house, or summat. Sorry, my hurricane-force sarcasm briefly turned me more northern. 61. And on the subject of extreme dodgy dealing, let me direct your attention to Robert Jenrick, who set up the £3.6bn “Towns Fund” for the 101 most deprived town, and then gave the maximum grant of £25m to his own constituency, which is the 270th most deprived town 63. His explanation was that he, Jenrick, did not make the decision. It was made by a colleague, Jake Berry.
64. Jake Berry also got money for his constituency. By a dazzling coincidence, that decision was made by – you guessed it – Robert Jenrick 65. Finally: at a meeting led by Liam Fox, the TaxPayers Alliance (insanity-pushers to the Tory Party) advocated cutting pensions immediately because half of old people “won't be around to vote against you in the next election”, and the other half “will have forgotten by then”
I read that whole piece about what has been happening with the government and it makes frightening reading. It is outrageous! Our local council has decided to buy all councillors new laptops, because they will need them for online meetings. It's only about four years ago, they bought all councillors Ipads to save paperwork. They even pay the mobile phone bills for councillors - because some of them need to call each other.(And their families overseas.) Talk about the gravy train!!