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Friday, 3 December 2021

Mail Mardy Strop POINTLESS

Only in the world of our free and fearless press can a group of senior executives foul up so badly that their company ends up being humiliated in court, come back for more and get humiliated once again, and then have the front to claim it was all someone else’s fault. But that is exactly what the Mail on Sunday’s daily sister paper, and its pals at other titles, are doing today. The MoS broke the law, so it’s someone else’s fault.


The MoS, under the less than totally competent editorship of Ted Verity, infringed the copyright of the Duchess of Sussex. She sued. She won. The MoS appealed. They lost. But to hear the tirade of whining victimhood this morning, one might think that the dastardly judges had somehow ganged up on the poor, defenceless press. They hadn’t.


That did not stop the increasingly desperate and downmarket Telegraph becoming highly economical with the actualité as they claimed “A FORMER Culture Secretary said it is a ‘matter of grave concern’ that judges are creating far-reaching privacy laws without Parliamentary scrutiny in the wake of the Duchess of Sussex’s legal victory over the Mail on Sunday”. Their source? John Whttingdale. I kid you not.


This is, let us not drive this one round the houses for too long, a flat-out pack of lies. Judges do not create laws, and so in this case they have not. One interesting detail from the report, though, is to reveal that the MoS is considering taking its petulant mardy strop to the Supreme Court. Where it will lose once more.

No, no new laws are being enacted ...

Meanwhile, the Murdoch Times, which long ago ceased to be a paper of record, has claimed “The Duchess of Sussex’s legal victory over a tabloid newspaper ‘moves the goal posts’ to tighten privacy laws, experts have said”. Except no law has been tightened: it was an open and shut infringement of the Duchess’ copyright.

... no-one is moving the goalposts ...

And, for those who whine endlessly about the MoS and Daily Mail being totally separate entities, the latter has shown that they aren’t, with today’s banner headline thundering “If Meghan really wanted to fight for the truth, she would come to court. And, in a land of liberty, Judges who are not awed by Royalty and cherish a free press would allow a trial”. So speaks Stephen “miserable git” Glover. Who is also full of crap.

... and there is no trial, as there is nothing to try

Why so? Over to Prof Brian Cathcart: “The Mail's tactic in the [Meghan] case was always to pretend, in public, that it was the Duchess who was on trial. She never was. It was the Mail that was required to defend what it had done, and it simply could not … It used to be a key test in British journalism: do you know your law? Mistakes in law, we were told, were usually sackable offences because so much was at stake. Here we have an editor, Ted Verity, who has screwed up on the law spectacularly - and he has been promoted”.


As to the MoS hankering after a trial, “On copyright: ‘Nothing advanced by Mr Speck [counsel for the Mail] suggested that there was any triable issue that would look different after a trial’ … 'The contents of the letter were private when it was written and when it was published, even if the claimant, it now appears, realised that her father might leak its contents to the media’”. Straightforward copyright abuse. So why the protests?


As well. This Tweet from Byline Investigates may shine some light on that one: “Another consequence of today’s judgment is that the Mail on Sunday should now have to publish prominently on its front page and on page three statements acknowledging that it infringed the Duchess’s copyright”. The MoS being forced to give over part of its front page to rather more than one of those “corrections”. They’ll do everything - anything - to prevent that.


The “trial” canard is mere deflection: there is nothing to try. No aspect of the case is open to question. All we have is an entitled media class that believes itself to be rather further above the law than everyone else, but discovering that the law applies to them, just as it does to the little people. Which brings us to the Duchess’ personal statement.


This is a victory not just for me, but for anyone who has ever felt scared to stand up for what’s right. While this win is precedent setting, what matters most is that we are collectively brave enough to reshape a tabloid industry that conditions people to be cruel, and profits from the lies and pain that they create”. There was more.


From day one, I have treated this lawsuit as an important measure of right versus wrong. The defendant has treated it as a game with no rules … Today, the courts ruled in my favour - again - cementing that the Mail on Sunday … has broken the law … as far removed as it may seem from your personal life, it’s not. Tomorrow it could be you”.


All those victims of press abuse - and there are many of them who could not afford to go to law in order to clear their names - will be quietly nodding along with the Duchess’ words. What the press is protesting about today is that they believe they should be able to break the law and get away with it. They can’t. For that we owe Meghan a debt of gratitude.

The MoS and its little Wild West Show has run out of road. Just rejoice at that news.


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Thursday, 2 December 2021

Meghan Beats The Mail AGAIN

Former Guardian man Nick Davies wrote it about the Daily Mail, but it applies equally to its Sunday stablemate: “facts are swept aside or distorted; the story is published; the subject of the story then complains and is confronted by the wealth and cleverness of the Mail which will fight them right up to the point of final defeat, when, if need be, it will surrender and offer some kind of deal”. Beating the Mail titles in court is never the end of it.


So it proved for the Duchess of Sussex, a hate figure of the Rothermere press, but not because she is not white, oh no. Megs had previously beaten the increasingly wayward Mail on Sunday over their publication of a confidential letter from her to estranged father Thomas Markle. And once again, the MoS couldn’t just accept that: they rushed out a load of knocking copy as the judgment was handed down. Which was also untrue.

Moreover, the MoS decided it would fight on: Megs had obtained summary judgment, and the paper decided it would appeal in an attempt to have the matter decided at trial. So, as the Guardian has reported, “at a three-day hearing in November, [the paper] argued the case should go to trial on Meghan’s claims including breach of privacy and copyright”.

There was more. “During the appeal hearing, [Associated Newspapers Limited] argued Meghan had written the letter with the knowledge it could be leaked … ANL said it had new evidence in a witness statement, texts and emails from the Sussexes’ former communications chief Jason Knauf that showed she had sent him a draft of the letter”.

She had, it was claimed, told him “Obviously everything I have drafted is with the understanding that it could be leaked so I have been meticulous in my word choice”. Knauf “had ‘regretted’ not giving evidence before Meghan won her case, the appeal court judges heard”. Did ANL pay him to suddenly and fortuitously appear? We are not told.


As to Thomas Markle, “ANL argued that [Thomas] Markle was entitled to publish extracts from the letter to counter the negative image of him portrayed by five of Meghan’s friends in an article in US People magazine”. But, sad to say, all of these arguments have fallen on stony ground, and the Mail titles have once again lost, as the BBC has reported.

The Duchess of Sussex has won the latest stage in her legal fight against [ANL]. The Court of Appeal rejected [ANL]’s attempt to have a trial over its publication of extracts from Meghan's letter to her father. A High Court judge earlier this year ruled in favour of the duchess in the privacy and copyright case. He said the issues were so clear cut there was no need for a full hearing. That decision has now been upheld”.

So will that be an end to the matter? As if. The Guardian has echoed the BBC’s characterisation: “The Mail on Sunday has lost its appeal in the latest round of the Duchess of Sussex’s privacy battle over a letter to her estranged father”. Latest round. Latest stage. The MoS will want to continue this particular legal offensive.

The legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre is back in the Mail fold, Ted Verity, formerly editor just of the MoS, now has oversight of both daily and Sunday titles, and both have a vindictive itch to scratch. So expect yet more smears and abuse of the Sussexes.

Which will land the Mail with yet more big legal bills. So good news for lawyers, then.


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Wednesday, 1 December 2021

GB News = FAKE NEWS

Concerns have been raised over claims that Covid-19 vaccination increases a person’s risk of heart disease, mainly because there is no evidence to support them. As Reuters has reported, “A research abstract cited by commentators as proof that COVID-19 vaccines increase a person’s risk of heart disease has raised multiple concerns from experts”. A research abstract. And, as the man said, there’s more.


The 319-word abstract, published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, claims its research has found mRNA vaccines 'dramatically increase' inflammation in endothelium cells and T cell infiltration in the heart … However, multiple experts have raised criticisms of the abstract, which does not detail a full study and has not been peer-reviewed”. So who might be promoting this evidence-free idea?


As if you need to ask. Full fact has been on the case, and the source is a familiar one to Zelo Street regulars. “A clip of Dr Aseem Malhotra on GB News talking about research linking heart disease to the Covid-19 vaccines has been viewed over two million times … There are serious concerns about the quality of the research mentioned”.


Yes, it’s Gammon Broadcasting™ News (“Bacon’s News Channel”) once again. The American Heart Association, cited in the abstract, also voiced its concern. “The American Heart Association published an 'expression of concern' in its journal on Nov. 24 to warn that the passage may not be reliable and that a 'suitable correction' was needed”.


There was yet more. “It added: 'Specifically, there are several typographical errors, there is no data in the abstract regarding myocardial T-cell infiltration, there are no statistical analyses for significance provided, and the author is not clear that only anecdotal data was used.’” In other words, GB News and its contributors should not have cited it.


As to who might also be citing this hokum, Lander Foquet, who you can tell as he’s a doctor, revealed “Antivaxxers are sharing a poster abstract from the [American Heart Association] meeting. It might look official, but a poster is never peer-reviewed. And this one is complete crap if you watch it”. It got worse. “Author: Steven Gundry. A well-known food supplement quack whose website mostly sells food supplements”.


And, guess what? The remedy in “the final sentence: take Quercetin food supplements! Something the (only) author of this abstract sells of course to fix everything”. As can be seen, Dr Foquet’s dismantling of the claims dates from November 22 - in other words, more than a week ago. It was known to be crap and GB News still used it.


Worse, the GB News Twitter feed has now claimed “Dr Aseem Malhotra reveals a cardiology researcher found similar results to a new report showing an increase in risk of heart attack following the mRNA COVID vaccine”. Except we don’t get to find out who that might be. Well, excuse me for not giving a rat’s arse for this quack’s scaremongering.


Malhotra is already citing “research” that is nothing more than another quack flogging food supplements, with what looks for all the world like the intention of scaring the easily led from getting vaccinated. That, and GB News platforming him, is beyond unforgivable.

When is Ofcom going to call time on the GB News Fake News wild west show?


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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Jewish Voices Denounce Spectator

The increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine has got away with it for maybe too long: publishing self-confessed anti-Semite Taki Theodoracopulos, Islamophobic bigot Doug Murray The K, casual not-racist-at-all-honestly Rod “a smile, a song and a four pack of Stella” Liddle among others while remaining “respectable” via the presence of faux-posh editor Fraser Nelson and his boss, former Murdoch editor Andrew Neil.

Éric Zemmour ...

There is also the magazine’s summer party, which many in our media class who should know better fall over themselves in order to secure an invite. Sadly, though, the veneer of respectability has fractured badly of late after the Speccy went on a grovelling promo-fest in order to tell Brits who may not have wanted to know about Éric Zemmour.

... and a magazine that's right on his wavelength

Zemmour, as Zelo Street regulars will already know, is a convicted racist bigot. But he has also declared himself to be a candidate for the French Presidency, though his polling numbers have begun to decline of late. That last fact passed Freddy Gray by as he conducted his fawninginterview” of The Great Man. But some journalists were not happy.


It’s not every day that pundits openly call out fellow pundits, so when Helen Lewis passed severely adverse comment on Gray’s less than elegy, those at the Speccy should have taken notice: “The Spectator has made a bad call in commissioning and printing this softball interview with far right French presidential candidate Eric Zemmour”.


It was an interview that followed the Speccy’s modus operandi all too well: Taki praising the Nazis, Murray demonising Muslims, platforming Andy Ngo (that was Gray once more), and so Jonathan Portes was not surprised. “From Golden Dawn to Thierry Baudet to the AFD to the Sweden Democrats, what racist/fascist/far-right European political movement has the [Spectator] *not* endorsed? Responsibility for this lies not with Gray but with editor [Fraser Nelson] and Chairman [Andrew Neil]”. So it does.


But the establishment turns a blind eye, not least followers of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Pawel Swidlicki noted “Last week [Liz] Truss was at Spectator awards praising the Spectator which then published laudatory softball interview with Eric Zemmour who has been described by France's chief rabbi as an anti-Semite. Today Truss writes that ‘There is no place for anti-Semitism anywhere in the world’”.


That, though, may be about to end, as Daniel Sugarman, who is public affairs officer for the Board of Deputies of British Jews, signalled his significant displeasure. “I will certainly accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a Holocaust revisionist … I will also accuse the Spectator of giving a platform to a man who said that the 4 Jewish victims of the 2012 antisemitic terror attack in Toulouse were ‘foreigners first and foremost’ because their families decided to bury them in Israel” (thread HERE).


The Spectator chasing around Europe to find far-right figures which it can shamelessly promote is one Wild West Show on which time ought to be called, but will not be: when those in charge at the magazine discover André Ventura, it would surprise no-one to see Freddy Gray hot-footing it to Lisbon to continue his grovelfest.

It’s high time our media class stopped supping with the Speccy and thereby giving credibility to the mag’s promotion of bigotry. But they won’t. Cos party invites.


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Monday, 29 November 2021

Omicron Face Coverings - Dooda Alert

And so the time approaches for reimposition of face covering rules on public transport and in shops, as part of the measures announced in response to news of yet another Covid-19 variant, this one called Omicron. Some parts of the UK - Scotland, for instance - had never relaxed this particular rule, and for Scots the world had not fallen in as a result. But this most minor of inconveniences was too much for some media snowflakes.

Pretentious? Who, moi?

To no surprise at all, the most high-profile toys-out-of-pram petulance display this morning came from self-promoting TalkRADIO host Julia Hartley Brewer, who has clearly concluded that wearing a face covering for a small part of her day is an unwarranted affront to the freedom, and indeed wellbeing, of Herself Personally Now.


Hence her dedicating her show this morning to platforming the kind of guests who would agree with her that face coverings are unnecessary and ineffective. So off she ranted. “We're told it's just for three weeks, it's just a mask, what's the big deal? Prime Minister, forgive me if millions of us don't believe you anymore. You told us time and again we have to live with this virus, and every time we do, you don't let us do it”. Waaah! Not fair!!


Who would she invite on to sow doubt in her audience’s mind? No, not Mike Yeadon this time. “Face masks return to public transport and shops tomorrow but Prof Carl Heneghan doubts how effective they really are ‘Germany and Austria mandated medical grade masks. They're now bringing in complete restrictions to deal with the rise in cases’”. The Prof loves his selective analysis. And so does Ms Hartley Dooda.


Meanwhile, despite the freezing cold weather, she wants to know Why Won’t They Think Of The Tourists? “Arrivals from overseas must isolate until they get a negative PCR test from tomorrow, but travel expert Paul Charles warns quarantine will kill off in-bound tourism. ‘The Government has taken a safety first approach but it's not the best approach’”. And what, pray, is the best approach? Stats? Analysis? Nah.


Instead, Ms Hartley Dooda has got an MP to speak. Sadly for her, it is the irredeemably batshit Desmond Swayne. “Tory MP Sir Desmond Swayne: ‘I've decided I'm exempt from wearing a mask due to my genetic predisposition to liberty. This is utter hysteria. Every time I ask for the evidence I'm told it's about sending a message. Well I don't like the message’”. Reduce virus transmission? Nah, Des doesn’t like that message.


And just to prove that there is no limit to her shameless spreading of hysteria, Ms Hartley Dooda goes completely OTT. “Some helpful information on mask exemptions for those who find it ‘severely distressing’ to be forced to wear a pointless piece of cloth over their face to go about their normal lives. Remember, they've never worn masks in No10 Downing Street. It's all just the theatre of safety”. Severely distressing? Shine a light.


Wibble, meet hatstand. But the cause of Ms Hartley Dooda’s mardy strop can be described very simply: this is an inconvenience to Herself and so must be challenged by all the means at her disposal. If wearing a face covering cuts down transmission of Covid to the extent that fewer people become severely ill (and worse) then it has done its job. Feeding the non-compliance lobby is grossly irresponsible, whoever does it.

But Ms Hartley Dooda only asks the question, so she’s in the clear. Not good enough.


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Sunday, 28 November 2021

French Could FINISH Priti Patel

As our free and fearless press is once again distracted by the Covid-19 pandemic - with the arrival of a new variant known as Omicron - and the realisation sinks in that the festive season could be derailed, attention has briefly swung away from something that could derail alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of terminal ineptitude for good. And it’s something totally out of their control.

May not be smirking for much longer ...

Until the Omicron story broke, along with the news that scores of those carrying the variant had arrived from South Africa and dispersed among the population, spreading it all over the transport system as they went, the Government’s major headache was the arrival of refugees from France, crossing the Channel in inflatable boats.

The problem for Bozo and his inexplicably elevated Home Secretary, Priti Patel, was not only that the boats kept on coming, but that their attempt to use the pages of the Daily Mail as a form of diplomacy riled the French, so much so that Ms Patel found herself disinvited from a gathering which would discuss ways of tackling the problem.

Added to this was Bozo’s habit of saying one thing to one person, and then a totally different thing to the next person, which in turn alienated French Président Emmanuel Macron, who right now is the last person our PM needs to lose. Because Macron is the only big French name who is not yet advocating scrapping the Le Touquet accords.

What they? This refers to a 2003 treaty that allows the UK to police its border at locations like the port of Calais. Thus it is easy to turn back refugees before they get aboard a ferry. French border controls, conversely, are performed before boarding ferries or Eurotunnel shuttles departing from the UK. But, whisper it quietly, nothing is forever.

... if he has anything to do with it

The constant stream of hostile invective emanating from Bozo and his pals, and directed in the general direction of the French, has become an issue in the upcoming Presidential Election. And one candidate whose name is familiar to UK politics watchers has already asserted that the Le Touquet agreement should be scrapped.

Michel Barnier (for it is he) has done enough to spook the inmates of the Northcliffe House bunker: “The EU's former Brexit negotiator has dramatically urged France to tear up its migrant treaty with Britain and send asylum-seekers across the Channel as tensions between London and Paris boil over … Michel Barnier … vowed that he would pull France out of the Treaty of Touquet governing Anglo-French border relations if he wins the ballot”.

There was more. “Paris has complained that, in practice, they are managing the British border with mainland Europe. They have also claimed that the treaty has resulted in huge numbers of migrants setting up campsites - such as the infamous Jungle dismantled in 2016 - at its ports as they attempt to enter Britain”. Which would mean what, exactly?

Simples. Refugees would be able to board ferries and present their asylum claims on arrival at Dover, or wherever in the UK they land. No more people trafficking, no more inflatable boats, no more needless drownings, and best of all, no endless stream of images for the press to use as it tries to frighten its readers.

The downside? Priti Patel would be toast. Maybe not such a downside after all.


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Friday, 26 November 2021

Left Media Critics In Deep Trouble

Independent press regulator IMPRESS has just published its findings into an investigation it mounted into two of the online publishers it regulates. In doing so, it has not only demonstrated its willingness to cover the territory that press non-regulator IPSO will not, but also has demonstrated a commendable thoroughness and vigour. It has also, whisper it quietly, dropped a number of highly vocal critics of the two sites into the mire.

Doctor, I can't keep my mouth shut

The timeline can be put directly: “Lord” John Mann, the Tories’ unfortunately-titled “Anti-Semitism Czar”, commissioned research from Daniel Allington of King’s College London. The subsequent report, Antisemitism and the alternative media, can be seen HERE. Four publishers were examined: Radio Albion and TR News out there on the far right, alongside The Canary and Skwawkbox on the left. The selection may look familiar.

That is because the tactic used is the same as that used by Stop Funding Fake News, a self-appointed judge and jury representing no-one and hiding its funders behind a wall of anonymity. This, too, used the tactic of throwing in a couple of far-right outlets for alleged balance, but it was all too clear who the real targets were - the left.

One more run out for this faux equivalence

SFFN was enthusiastically endorsed by Countdown numbers person Rachel Riley. It went after The Canary with some vigour, attempting to demonetise the site by frightening off advertisers. And, surprise surprise, the KCL report also talks demonetisation. That report made sufficient noise for IMPRESS to proactively intervene.

It regulated The Canary and Skwawkbox. Did the sites discriminate against Jews? Was there evidence of anti-Semitism? The conclusion from IMPRESS was damning. “The Committee decided that, of the material in remit, none of it reached the threshold which would engage the discrimination clause and, therefore, further investigation would be unjustified. The matter was therefore dismissed”. Publishers exonerated.

Smeared and cleared: The Canary ...

But that will not be the end of it. “Lord” John Mann, who has been so vocal on the subject of anti-Semitism, has also been highly selective in who he pursues: not for him the steady drip of Tories lapsing into anti-Semitic tropes. Worse for him is that he appears to have been prompted, either directly or via his own research, by the SFFN faux campaign.

He also has a grim track record for racism, having been interviewed by the Police over material attacking the GRT Community. Moreover, he has to his name an intervention in an alleged case of anti-Semitic bias that showed a laughable lack of intellectual heft.

... and Skwawkbox

As for Ms Riley and SFFN, the latter apparently linked to the Centre for Countering Digital Hate, they should count themselves lucky: the “fake news” smear against The Canary is potentially actionable, should the publisher find anyone to take on the case. Rachel Riley does not hesitate to instruct lawyers herself: it would be singularly delicious to see how she likes it when the boot is so firmly on the other foot.

One other casualty of the IMPRESS investigation has not yet been named, so I will name it. The Government of alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson and his coterie of ineptitude, by appointing “Lord” John Mann, is also responsible for the smears and the distress caused to two publishers who turned out to have done nothing wrong. The credibility of “Lord” John Mann has finally expired. Put a fork in him, he’s done.


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Covid Is Not The Only Virus

Despite the title of arguably the most OTT Bond film ever produced, you only live once. Sometimes, that one life can seem very precarious, all too easy to let slip in the face of unexpected danger that remains unanswered for too long. When one needs help confronting the danger, it is instructive who comes to your aid.


Put directly, during last week I was aware of some kind of virus-like symptoms which were gradually becoming more serious. A volcanic, ribcage-rattling cough was later joined by a shortness of breath and a seriously snotty cold. Was it Covid? I’d been on a pub crawl with friends the previous Friday. Though, more importantly, had also had a booster jab.

But last Saturday, matters came to a head. The breathing got worse and nothing to hand - inhalers to manage asthma - was any use. By late afternoon I knew that doing nothing would see me exit the house feet first. So a call to 999 it had to be. Within half an hour, an ambulance crewed by two paramedics had arrived to try and turn matters round.

They broke out a nebuliser. They were sure this would be familiar to me. It wasn’t. “But you’ve got asthma!” True, but it was a condition well managed, there had been no serious attack for around 40 years, and so nothing more than inhalers and monitoring was needed. Some improvement was made but the decision was made to take me to A&E.

And so, at around 1800 hours, I was wheeled into Leighton Hospital, a chair having been wheeled out as my mobility was deteriorating rapidly. There was a queue, but not a long one: soon, in a side room, medics and nurses got to work administering a cocktail of drugs. I was moved to a quiet corner of the area to get some rest.

Later in the evening, being wheeled by trolley to X-Ray (chest X-Ray is more or less obligatory in such cases), I saw the A&E queue at its longest, a line of chairs and trolleys waiting patiently for diagnosis. It looked grim. But they would all be seen: if necessary, they would be treated, and a few would be admitted. The NHS sees everyone.

The duty doctor eventually got round to me at around 0100 hours on Sunday morning. There was, he declared, no way I would be sent home in that state. This meant being admitted. Another nebuliser followed, along with a call for a nasal cannula. So began my first encounter with supplemental oxygen. It became quite a lengthy one.

At around 0240 hours, there were two news items: it was a virus, but not Covid (it’s RSV, and especially affects older people with underlying respiratory problems). Also, a bed had been found for me. A nurse wheeled my trolley through a maze of corridors to South Cheshire, formerly a private unit but now used mainly for Covid patients. The individual rooms make distancing between those patients easier to manage. The A&E queue had just been cleared. All who came had been seen and treated.

With the attention of the ward team came a stabilised, and indeed, slightly improving condition. There is not much to do when confined to your room on a hospital ward, but it is infinitely better than chancing your life and not bothering when matters are out of your control. RSV can be fatal; let’s say I got the sneak preview. When I had a real Near Death Experience, and really needed the NHS, it was there for me. For now, at least.

Leighton Hospital, Crewe: aerial view looking south

Why the NHS may cease to be there for any of us in future, at least the 90+ percent of the population unable to shell out and go private, as right-wing parliamentarians, equally partisan members of the media class and their hangers-on are, became clear to me as I watched life in the South Cheshire ward play out over my four days there.

The ward is run by a team, all of whom, whatever their rank, wear similar blue overalls. Some, like specialist doctors, wear badges which you may be able to read close up. Otherwise, cleaner, HCA, Nurse, Doctor, Physio and other specialists are just another part of a team providing care. Tories must hate it. Because their press pals will hate it.

In Daily Mail la-la-land, the ward should be a land of hierarchy, where the colour of nurses’ freshly-starched uniforms clearly shows their rank and seniority. This is an unshakeable part of their Back To The 50s reality, as is the presence of an all-powerful Matron, a presence that in reality would do little more than waste everyone else’s time.

Worse still for those out there on the right, a uniformly non-uniformed team makes a highly egalitarian statement. So does the care they provide: the duty Doctor sees every patient, administering to all, listening to all, and favouring none. All patients select their food from the same menu, and all eat at the same mealtimes. All receive their day’s medication on the same Nurse’s round. All those seeing the Physio do so on the same daily round.

There is no-one paying more to jump the queue, obtain the benefit of a more upmarket standard of cuisine, have a little beer or wine brought to their room, or even have a lot of beer and wine brought to their room. But there is a team of truly diverse age, gender and ethnicity. Many of whom are putting in five 12-hour shifts every single week.

Egalitarian. Teamwork. Equality of care, and care for all. For right-wingers, this is hell on earth, almost a manifestation of communism. It is a manifestation that, in going against the false memory planted by the Mail and other propagandists, those propagandists must oppose and seek to either bend to their will - or have done away with altogether.

You want to know why so many on the right come over all froth at the mouth and blind intolerance at the very mention of the NHS? Spend a few days in an NHS hospital.


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