The Lockdown Diaries 13: Priti Patel Wants Me To Die


Two days ago text messages suddenly poured in from privately-partnered medical companies who are ambulance-chasing unnecessary services. I started to get an inkling of just how far the government was selling the NHS down the river before the virus kicked in.

These have been followed by a sudden flurry of government letters warning me about things that happened months ago, as if someone had poked a snoozing civil servant with a stick. They’re the equivalent of getting something like this :


Last month the SS TITANIC sank after encountering an entirely unexpected health issue in the Atlantic Ocean. If you are one of the passengers affected please self-isolate until you are fully recovered from drowning.

Yesterday’s government panicky post read: ‘It has been determined that you are EXTREME HIGH RISK  – do not leave your home or stand near others and remain there until June 12th. Have your groceries delivered. Do not speak to others. Never go anywhere ever again (especially not to hospital, which our records show you have been attending every day, sometimes via public transport) and you will be safe because safety is much more important than common sense or mental health. Better yet, why mot just die so that Home Secretary Priti Patel can cross you off her nuisance list?

Can you imagine the No. 10 meeting where they sat down to decide who would be the cabinet’s New Public Hate Figure to distract everyone while the real politics was happening elsewhere? Patel: ‘I’ll do it!’

Patel presents us with a sticky race conversation. A clearly intelligent second-generation Indian migrant whose parents purchased their way in via the cliché of a fortune made in corner shops, she is anxious to keep out modern migrants of a certain (ie less educated, poorer) type, even though everyone knows that a few thousand pounds will buy you into the UK. Unfortunately it’s a matter of public record that she is deeply corrupt and has been involved in numerous scandals. In the wake of the latest NHS fees U-turn she might want to step down as No.10’s resident bitch.

Meanwhile, Dominic ‘The Mekon’ Cummings’s ‘One rule for us, one rule for you lot’ failure to follow his own government guidelines on the Lockdown has resulted in predictable pushback – fudged resistance to resignation calls instead of a more nuanced admission that government should side with its people in future. He has killed the nation’s Lockdown, and now it’s down to us civvies to show common sense, since the government has none at all.


37 comments on “The Lockdown Diaries 13: Priti Patel Wants Me To Die”

  1. Cornelia Appleyard says:

    Priti Patel has been comprehensively outvoted by the nation regarding her ‘let people die’ policy. Let’s hope her constituents remember that.
    I have a theory that white male politicians deliberately appoint women who can be used as laughing stocks or hate figures (remember Liz Truss and the cheese?) and if they are BAME, even if male, even better (Diane Abbott and her dyscalculia?).
    Rishi Sunak may have outwitted them in the popularity stakes.

    Selling the NHS down the river started with Blair’s PFI schemes which indebted hospitals to private companies for the foreseeable future.

    Anyway, take no notice of Priti Patel.
    Bryant and May are going to live well into their 90s at the very least, and we need you around to keep us up to date.
    I can imagine Arthur celebrating his 100th birthday raising money for the NHS.Will he get a knighthood for it?

  2. Jo W says:

    That ‘Memo from the White Star Line” shows us that the chemo hasn’t got to your sense of humour, Chris. Nearly choked on my jammy bun!

  3. brooke says:

    Cornelia A.’s theory. Yes, and add minorities.
    PFI scheme has evil siblings on this side of pond (tax free hedge funds buying hospitals); so who’s on government welfare!

    Make a paper Priti doll, get out your Aurora Guillotine and have some fun— it’s a great day.-

  4. Brian Evans says:

    Mr F,

    I don’t know whether you are aware of the fact, but on the BBC sounds app there are three programmes devoted to the “maverick” film maker, Harry Alan Towers. They are concerned mainly with his early years, Two episodes can be listened to now, and the next is in a few days. I though that with your past in the British film industry you may be interested. Episode 2 is the best, as it gives more details of his life. It may cheer you up.

    I really wish you good luck with everything. You really are a very positive bloke, and very much a role model for people with health problems.

  5. Joel says:

    Don’t take it personally – this incompetent bunch of buffoons would like lots of the UK population to die, especially us pensioners and others who they see as a curse on the national wallet. They deliberately downgraded Covid-19 from a pandemic to a dangerous disease so they wouldn’t have to stockpile PPE or put in place other protective measures, like starting lock-down two weeks earlier. This government has murdered (not an exaggeration) at least one third of those who have died from this terrible disease. They won’t make mask-wearing compulsory as they would have to pay for that and supply them free to us. It is never their fault, now blaming “science” for giving them the wrong advice.

    Remember that when Johnson was Mayor of London he blocked stockpiling of emergency equipment for extreme weather because that didn’t happen often enough – nothing’s changed other than he’s got a bigger role to mess up now.

    If this ever blows over, this government will rely on the public’s generic short-term memory, and claim “we got you through this” to those who survived, the basis of their next General Election campaign.

    We HAVE to live through this to show up their lies and incompetence when it next matters, and hope that will be sooner rather than later. Do not give up, do not give in (there is a difference!), and hope no more Trump-like stupidities evolve on this side of the Atlantic.

  6. They are incompetent, corrupt, egocentric, dishonest and thoroughly repulsive. Still, much as I might like to, I can’t make them disappear. We should mock them and highlight their failings, but, to avoid brain implosion, it’s better to spend the majority of our time enjoying the beauty of life and the universe. What we can do is support the less bad politicians in the hope of changing things at the next election. Boris et al (and Trump) are where they are mainly due to the weaknesses of their rivals in their own and in opposing parties. If they win again, the shopkeeper’s daughter might follow in the footsteps of the grocer’s daughter and become the next iron lady.

    In a world where no one would boast of their illiteracy, politicians and influential members of society seem to take pride in being innumerate and unscientific. Who needs to know what they are talking about in order to tell a good lie? As for big numbers, billions and trillions impress the voter, even if they are less than one per cent of the government’s annual spend.

    And remember that one thousand hundred million voters or readers enjoy and depend on your sense of humour!

  7. JanW says:

    What have we learnt today?

    Dominic Cummings says ‘Jump’ and Bojo the Clown says ‘How high?’

  8. snowy says:

    Don’t put the tumbrel back in the shed, just yet. There is blood in the water now….

    If he denies he was arrogant about breaking the rules to self-isolate at home if infection is suspected. He still looks like a complete wet weed for running back to Mummy cos he felt Sicky-Poo. Aw Didums, Mummy make it better.

    [He has a blog, some of it is quite… unhinged.]

  9. JanW says:

    Please look after yourself, your have had a punishing medical regime and it doesn’t sound as if it will be over very soon. I agree that creeping privatisation of the NHS is terrifying and though I find Cummings business is a diversionary tactic while they try and slip things through who knows what, not even using Parliamentary procedure.

    On a more London note, you probably know/have visited Hampstead Garden Suburb with a Lutyens chuch dedicated to St Jude ( patron saint of lost causes) decorated with upside down crosses. I asked the Vicar but he didn’t know why they were upside down. It is at Temple Fortune on land belonging to the Knights Templars then Eton College before the redoubtable Henrietta Barnett just over a 100 years ago. Highly recommened to those who don’t know it, plus ther are care homes…..and it’s a bit of a z list celebrity haven, so who knows who one might bump into ( grammar).

  10. John Griffin says:

    Cornelia the NHS debacle started with Thatcher’s internal NHS market in the late 80s whereby everyone competed for services (e.g. Surgeons competing to have instrument trays sterilised, departments bidding for development money etc). Ken Clarke developed the PFI idea. However Bliar and Brown had the chance to turn the tide but did the opposite, partly because ministers like Milburn and Hewitt became deeply corrupted by private heath companies. My daughter works as senior in prem baby ICU and had to endure meetings last August to justify NOT privatising it; she refused to show Virgin and Allied Healthcare reps round prior to them bidding. As far as she is concerned the NHS has largely been pre-privatised or privatised, and COVID19 has not stopped that process.

  11. snowy says:

    “An upside-down cross? On a Church in Englandshire!”

    [Somewhere in America a man called Dan is flexing his fingers and preparing to rip open a fresh box of crayons.]

  12. SteveB says:

    The masks aren‘t free in Germany you have to buy them and they are quite expensive. (Just the first day of the ‚Maskenpflicht‘ they had people giving them out free at the Hauptbahnhof)
    Here in Frankfurt the lockdown has ended, the streets are crowded with people sitting together, no distancing, eating and drinking. Very few people wear masks outside (just in shops and public transport it‘s compulsory) It‘s amazing how fast things went back to near-normal again.

  13. SteveB says:

    One little rant here! As a small employer in both the UK and Germany, the whole Covid19 thing really brought home to me the differences. It‘s not about the Conservatives or BoJo or whatever. The British administration as a whole is just totally incompetent from top to bottom. Also, the ethos in Germany is completely the opposite: in Germany the public sector is there to support business, and business is the true bedrock of the society. In the UK it‘s exactly the other way round, the public sector is the bedrock and business is tolerated, the few businesses which prosper are often those which hang on like leeches to the public sector and profit from the incompetence of the people at the top (not the politicians, the civil service)

  14. Frances says:

    Lots of Piti Pratel clones around the world. No government wants to admit that their health system has been overwhelmed. Here all state and private clinics/hospitals have been turned over to treat one thing. Since I have a different thing I am on my own. If I should shuffle off during this pandemic, I fully intend to do a bit of serious haunting.I will not be a friendly ghost.

  15. Roger says:

    “Dominic ‘The Mekon’ Cummings”
    I think he looks more like Duke – the stoned corrupt ex-CIA man – from Doonesbury.
    The other astonishing thing about him is how fond of publicity he is for a supposed eminence grise. Walking around Downing Street the way Cummings dresses is like holding a sign saying “Don’t notice nme. I’m not here.”

  16. Roger says:

    “in Germany the public sector is there to support business, and business is the true bedrock of the society. In the UK it‘s exactly the other way round”
    You’re mistaken there, SteveB. In the UK the public sector is there to support business, and business is there to make money out of the public sector. You only need look at the continuing favour given to the corrupt Serco by government agencies and the tale of the PPE stock, privatised, sold off and – it turned out – quietly degraded into uselessness because it was supposedly cheaper for the government and definitely more profitable for the companies involved..

  17. Oh dear, you’ve switched me into ‘the trouble with this country is’ mode. Well it’s none and all of the things you’ve all mentioned. I’ll keep it brief. Fundamentally and simply, our powers that be, corrupt capitalists and vindictive socialists, put making money above making stuff. Almost everything else is a consequence of that one sad fact.

  18. SteveB says:

    @Roger, I’m not mistaken, and companies like Serco are exactly what I was talking about.

    @Frances, where are you (the US)?

  19. Jan says:

    Panto politics nowt like it!
    Boo hiss

    “He’s BEHIND YOU” – yes at the moment he is but soon enough he’ll right beside you + be trying to get you to RESIGN…….

    If you had any honour or anything decent about you at all you just effing would you scrote!

  20. John Griffin says:

    Speaking as a lifelong ‘vindictive socialist’ exactly which party instituted the NHS?

  21. I’m not suggesting that all socialism or all capitalism is bad. But the elements that have wiped out some of the most productive sectors of the UK certainly are. The NHS is a great institution. If you insist on measuring it by its cost, you also have to place a money value on lives improved and lives saved and that’s a lot of cash. We should care for and educate all our people. Neither is all capitalism is rotten. many like Nuffield knew how to spend their fortunes. A few decades ago, there was a concept, notably in Shell and BP, of benevolent self interest: doing good for society pays you back. What good is owning a Rolex if it’s too dangerous to it wear on the street?

    Personally, I’ll never forgive our governments and financiers who have failed to support our great industries or the politicians who have re-organised on the basis of whim or dislike of individuals.

  22. … so much for my grammar when I get excited.

  23. Brian Evans says:

    “Vindictive Socialist”

    I’m a socialist. I have a very comfortable lifestyle. Private healthcare is well within my grasp. But I choose NHS treatment because I prefer NHS treatment. It is better than private. I have absolutely nothing to be vindictive about. Like most socialists, I want people to have more, not less. Why do so many people think it is the other way round?

    All the Tories who stood on their door steps for the last 7 Thursdays clapping for the NHS are unashamed hypocrites. They voted in a government that is dedicated to destroying what’s left of the NHS.

  24. SteveB says:

    Sorry if I made it all a bit tribal…!!!
    i think if you focus on BoJo and Patel and Cummings and all the rest of the pantomime you miss the important trends.
    For instance the points made by Peter Tromans above. Why are those things happening? To me they seem systematic and not the work of individuals.

  25. Frances says:

    @SteveB no, in Chile.

  26. Jan says:

    Well have just watched the trial in the rose garden….why did none of these intrepid journalists ask DOES YOUR WIFE DRIVE?

    I can understand they could not legally pursue this eyesight question you know let’s try a test drive to see if I can see….(DOES YOUR WIFE DRIVE SIR? Does she hold a full driving licence?): but that particular defence threw up a whole bunch of legal and moral ?s. Which were similarly ignored rather than pursued. This man should be interviewed in an interview room and the CPS should be tasked with making a decision as to his conduct and as to whether a
    Prosecution should be pursued.

    How can be believe he acted reasonably?

    The man’s a tit. It’s time there were some Cummings and goings….he’s already shown a flare for flitting about. Time he got gone.

  27. Helen Martin says:

    When the head of government and the head of state are the same person it is difficult to go after wrong actions by the former because there is too much respect for the latter. It’s one reason I have for not wanting our country to become a republic (although France at least had the sense to have two separate heads). By the way, here in British Columbia we’re down to single digit cases but we’ll have to see what happens next weekend when we’ve been open for two weeks. Apparently there was a dance party in Vancouver Saturday night so there’s a group to be tracking in two weeks time.
    Our parliament is only meeting virtually and the opposition are screaming that the government is running a dictatorship and monopolizing the airwaves. Perhaps the opposition should be grateful they’re not having to come up with solutions.
    One solution to the “stay at home if sick” problem is to guarantee everyone ten days paid sick leave so you don’t suffer by losing pay, especially the lowest paid. Just this minute heard that our favourite medic is announcing the training of a huge corps of people to do the necessary tracking of contacts when the fall second wave hits along with the flu.
    I’m afraid to ask about that rose garden episode, although I heard a brief bit of CNN when the commentator said that there was now no doubt that “The President is definitely sick.” And she didn’t mean covid 19.

  28. SteveB says:

    @Jan I saw a bit of it. Did they mention his son‘s autistic? If not, that might be the reason they didn‘t bring up about his wife driving, aiui that was why she didn‘t.

  29. SteveB says:

    @Frances OK I know nothing about Chile except Allendd of course… All the best with your health.

  30. Roger says:

    SteveB: No information about his son. One point to Cummings’s credit – that he didn’t use it as a justification – if it’s true. Some things are much more effective spread as an internet rumour than said outright.
    Cummings himself shows signs of autism – obsessionalism, inability to perceive or allow for other peoples’ views, insistence on dressing in the same way in all circumstances regardless of whether it’s appropriate, for example. Some autistic people literally believe there’s one rule for them and another for everyone else.

  31. SteveB says:

    @Roger Yes it’s true and aiui that was a major factor in the whole thing. FWIW, I never heard it as an internet rumour I just happen to know! So I suppose the press must have agreed not to bring it up. My friend alerted me to the conference saying it’s like “in the thick of it” so I watched a bit on my phone and I thought (whether he did right or wrong) he handled himself pretty well under pressure, I could never have done that, I’d have been shaking like a leaf. (And imagine Donald J taking those questions, it doesn’t bear thinking about)

  32. Alan Morgan says:

    Doing away with the NHS is going to run into one fundamental stumbling block – there won’t be nearly enough nurses.

    My wife is a Nursing Sister. Nurse are not Barbara Windsor giggling and waiting for Doctors to tell them what to do. Unlike other services (Police, Firefighters, soldiers) to be a Nurse takes at least a three year specific degree – during which and on top of taking this degree you also work for nothing doing 12 hours shifts on placements. Long placements, at full time hours. After which you are then able to apply for jobs, assuming you pass, which some in Ruth’s cadre did not. So you work, and study, and pay or ten big ones a year to do so. Imagine if every police and firefighter had to do that.

    Nurse *are* the managers. Ruth had to study nursing as she was managing an admin department in the NHS, but could not be promoted to run that department because she was not a nurse. Her boss now, is a nurse. His boss now, is a nurse, and so on.

    The majority work for the NHS, because it is the NHS. They take the terrible pay, and the fact that if they make a mistake then unlike IT where you get sacked and find another IT job they are instead struck off. And that’s that. No more being a nurse. They don’t work the private sector, because it is not the NHS. If it all went private tomorrow then Ruth would leave nursing. She could always go back to teaching. She is far, far from the only one.

    There is a received truth amongst the shouty internet right wing that nurses all lefties and won’t treat anyone that isn’t a Marxist. There is a bit of truth in that yes, intelligent, dedicated, professionally qualified people that don’t get pay rises and are attacked, regularly, tend also to be very compassionate, driving, women and men. And they don’t work private. Those that would work private, already do so. And there are less and less nurses coming up every year.

    Rant over. Have a lovely day all.

  33. Helen Martin says:

    Thank you, Alan. I won’t alert you to the Canadian Army report on their time helping out in Ontario and Quebec long term care/seniors homes where they documented all sorts of terrible situations and one of the complaints there has been is that there aren’t enough RNs overseeing things. (Imagine a situation so bad that you have to send in the army to back up the people doing the job. Of course we have a history of doing that because peacekeeping is getting harder and harder to do so we send in the army to deal with floods and excessive winters.)

  34. Jan says:

    A big error made by the last Tory government in relation to nurse training was that it was decreed that it would cost the candidate to take a nursing degree just like any other degree. Candidates would pay to train and bursaries were abandoned. Money saved. The loaned money would take some considerable time to collect as the newly qualified nurse would earn wages well below the reimbursement /paying back the loan threshold. So a false saving in truth. The monies still had to be found in the first place though.

    Lots of student nurses – more than in most degree subjects are mature entrants entering via an NVQ3 (advanced National Vocational Training in Healthcare. (A City and Guilds qualification like all other NVQs). This healthcare qualification is equivalent to A levels but obtained whilst working as an H.C.A. ( Health care assistant).

    When it was announced this was going to happen women I worked with as health care assistants who had been waiting for their children to get a bit older before embarking on training simply rethought their plans. One very strong candidate joined the ambulance service. With three kids and self employed hubby forking out for nurse training was no longer a realistic option.

    So good candidates already committed to the NHS choose not to train. There are some moves to bring about an advanced senior level of H.C.A. Near as damn it to the old S.E.N enrolled nurse qualifications. I personally believe the enrolment of nurses should never have been replaced by insistence on registration plus degree and the sole reliance on HCAs without the intermediate enrolled rank of nurse.

    The irony being that suddenly many, many candidates are keen to join the NHS as nurses.

    These candidates who have witnessed a sort of reverence for this institution may be less keen when they experience the reality of bedpans and bedmaking …..we’ll see how they feel about their career choice when the clapping stops.

    Helen I won’t go into the distressing details on here but take a look on the internet – should you want to – at the situations Spanish and Italian troops discovered when they went into care homes in their respective countries at the height of their corona virus first wave epidemics. Not good. Not good at all.

  35. Jan says:

    Steve I just scrolled back to your comment yes accepted. Would the lad not have happily settled with his dad in the back of the car or did it have to be mum supervising? But if the little lad would have only settled with his mam then fair play.

    Cummings does indeed show autistic traits his boredom in the latter part of the trial in the rose garden was something he was unable to effectively hide or suppress. His work, particular talents, and general persona display high functioning autistic traits. Even taking this all on board though this Durham jaunt should signal the end of his contribution to government. If his condition precludes his ability to (A) make any sort of apology for his behaviour or see the reasons WHY he should apologise or
    (B) have the ability to identify his behaviour was rash, ill considered and just plain WRONG.

    Then his genius may be useful but the man himself is not. If he goes on there will be more of this behaviour in store. Hes not worth retaining.

  36. Helen Martin says:

    Jan, it’s very confusing trying to compare qualifications and terminology across nations. – The idea that people should work full shifts for free as part of one’s training is more than a little unfair. Teachers here in our glorious British Columbia take a five year degree and part of the last year is a three month practicum in which you are teaching the class for much of the time and you do it for free because your sponsor teacher is being paid and we can’t add to the cost of staffing, can we? I was coming back to teaching after a considerable hiatus and a change in the degree program so I was very grateful that they allowed my substitute teaching and my practicum years before to count since I had to have whatever income I could amass substituting at the time.

  37. Ian Luck says:

    The rules with Dominic Cummings are easy – if you see him trolling about your town, you are to run up to him, punch him in the face very hard, and then say the following, in a Vyvyan from ‘The Young Ones’ voice:
    “You’re Domcum the irrelevant arsehole. You’re a complete bastard, and I claim my five pounds.”

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