Today started off as rather a gloomy and ‘glowering’ kind of day but brightened up latter on so by mid afternoon, it was actually quite a pleasant day. The news came through mid-morning that the government had been found guilty in the High Court of discharging patents from hospital to care homes even though they had tested positive for COVID-19. More of this later but Meg and I thought we would like to get home to see Questions to the Prime Minister which typically takes place on Wednesdays just after 12.00. I popped into town to get our newspaper and a few things from Waitrose and we got back to see the bulk of PMQ. This particular one is quite significant because there are going to be no more PMQs for three weeks, local elections being in about eight days time so we expect the questionning to be particularly pointed as each side tries to put on its best possible face just before the political parties have to come face-to-face with the electorate (admittedly only local elections in Scotland, Wales, most of London and a few more elections for mayors in England) The High Court judgement was put to Boris Johnson who managed to bat it away quite easily (‘we will study the judgement with care’) whilst also conveying another mistruth to the house of Commons. It was claimed that not much was known of asymptomatic transmission of COVID at the time and Matt Hancock – the then Health Secretary – is putting the blame on Public Health England claiming ‘we were not told’. But some of the UK’s biggest care home operators have told the Guardian they repeatedly warned Matt Hancock’s department about the risk of not testing people discharged from hospitals into care homes in March 2020. Care England, which represents the largest private chains where thousands of people died in the first months of the virus, told the Guardian it raised ‘the lack of testing in hospitals and in the care sector’ several times in correspondence with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) as well as NHS England in late March 2020. The bottom line to all of this is that 20,000 care home residents died of COVID in the Spring of 2020 – some may have been infected by care staff bringing the virus into the home but the care home sector were forced to receive COVID positive patients as the Government were in an absolute panic and desperate to clear the wards of many cases as it could before the full force of the pandemic was to strike. The implications of this are so huge that the government may well appeal but if their appeal fails, then will the government be liable to be taken to court and compensation demanded in view of their illegal behaviour?
This afernoon I set myself the task of two further ¾ hour tranches of time to reduce our old and decrepit clematis to little pieces. This I finished off this afternoon and this just leave the huge old roots to be taken out tomorrow. Whether this is going to be easy or difficult, I cannot say at this stage but all will be revealed tomorrow. I have my clippings all stored in some garden sacks and they will deposited in neighbours’ garden waste bins in about a week’s time. Whenever I am engaged in a routine but monotonous procedure, my mind inevitably toys with a well known phrase or saying which, in this case, was ‘death by 1000 cuts’. I estimated, though, that it took well over 2,000 snips of the secateurs and about three hours of work to get this partiicular task acomplished. I have in mind buying a good ceramic pot from Wilco and then planting a single clematis in the same spot as there are still supports in the walls that can be utilised. However, if we choose our plant carefully we should still see the beauty of the house brick behind the plants but having its roots in a pot may restrict its growth somewhat. I decided to Google the well known phrase ‘death by 1000 cuts’ to ascertain the origins of the phrase. I have discovered that it refers to a traditional Chinese form of torture and execution in which the perpetrator of a particular heinous crime was tied to a structure like the Roman crucifixion cross and then chunks of flesh were removed, first from the chest, then the arms and finally the legs until the unfortunate vistim died. Some people are reported to have endured this form of torture and still be alive after 2,000 cuts. This method of execution known as ‘ling-chi’ had been in use since the 7th century but was officially abolished in 1909.
Meanwhile, as though things could not worse for the Tory Party, a male MP has been accused of watching pornography on his mobile phone whilst in the Commons. Two women MP’s have reported him to the Tory chief whip – will his identity be revealed by the newspapers before local election day in eight days time?