Saturday, 14 November 2020

Pfizer will save us from COVID!

 What, this Pfizer?

A team of Pfizer doctors reached the Nigerian camp just as the outbreak, which killed at least 11,000 people, was peaking. They set themselves up within metres of a medical station run by the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières, which was dispensing proven treatments to ease the epidemic.

From the crowd that had gathered at the Kano Infectious Diseases Hospital, 200 sick children were picked. Half were given doses of the experimental Pfizer drug called Trovan and the others were treated with a proven antibiotic from a rival company.

Eleven of the children died and many more, it is alleged, later suffered serious side-effects ranging from organ failure to brain damage. But with meningitis, cholera and measles still raging and crowds still queueing at the fence of the camp, the Pfizer team packed up after two weeks and left.

That would probably have been an end to the story if it weren't for Pfizer employee, Juan Walterspiel. About 18 months after the medical trial he wrote a letter to the then chief executive of the company, William Steere, saying that the trial had "violated ethical rules". Mr Walterspiel was fired a day later for reasons "unrelated" to the letter, insists Pfizer.
(That's from the Independent back in 2009 - as reported on the ever prescient lefthandpalm.)

Hopefully, because lots of the people needing the putative vaccine will be wealthy white Westerners Pfizer won't try any of their old tricks.  But let's not pretend that a massive international drugs company is anything other than a savage money making enterprise with the moral instincts of a psychopath.

Monday, 2 November 2020

The anti-Semitism report and Corbyn's suspension

It seems pretty clear to me that the outpouring or rage, directed at Jeremy corbyn, following the publication of the long awaited report on anti-Semitism in the Labour party is a phoney whirlwind, a sort of twitterstorm of the mainstream.

This isn't about anti-Semitism.  This is about making sure Corbyn is left holding the blame and - taking a longer term view - the leadership of the Labour Party.

As the report confirms:

The Labour party had - prior to Corbyn - inadequate processes for dealing with anti-Semitism. I don't see any claims that he took a good system and trashed it.  This was a party that had failed ot set up adequate processes for years - years and years - before corbyn became leader.  But it only became an issue after he was elected ... hmmmmm.

Things started to get better from 2018 after Formby took over. Before that, of course, the system was over seen by the likes of McNicol and 'whistleblower' Sam Mathews, who was meant to be overseeing the response to anti-Semitism ...

(as an aside, I'm bemused by the criticism of LOTO 'interfering' with the disciplinary process to speed it up so more anti-Semites could be expelled from the party, in a report that criticises the party for not dealing with complaints swiftly enough.)

This isn't about Corbyn. He's a scapegoat for the people who set up an inadequate system to deal with anti-Semitism,then tried to weaponize it to damage the leader.

None of this needed to happen, except, from the point of view of the self-proclaimed 'centrists' it did.

If Corbyn had been left to his own devices, he would probably have been leader for 3 years, stepping aside before the putative 2020 election to let someone younger and less controversial take over. In all probability, he'd have been content to see through the 'McDonnell amendment' so the left would always have been able to field a candidate.

Instead, the 'centrists' of the party decided to make a fight of it. You will recall they started tweeting their resignations and refusal to serves during his victory speech. No "Well, let's see where he's going with this" - just straight in with the attempts to sabotage his leadership, from the get-go. Then there was the conspiring, the planned rebellion before the referendum, the Chicken Coup, the second leadership contest, the deliberate breaking of the discipline system with the intention of making the party look anti-Semitic and so on, all sauced with briefings and leaking and so on, which the rightwing media lapped up and which the Labour 'centrists' were too dim-witted to think 'why?'

So instead of May trundling along with the majority she inherited from Cameron until 2020 and suffering the same fate as John Major, we had the 'blood in the water' election intended to finish Labour off, which instead broke May's government. Then suddenly Corbyn looked potentially electable - so the campaign intensified, culminating in the 2019 election and the election of a thumping Conservative majority.

The concern for the 'centrists' was that Corbyn would stand down to be replaced by an ideological soul-mate.  So getting rid of corbyn wasn't the point.  The point was to get rid of him and make sure no-one from the left ever wanted to be Labour leader again.  So the demonisation and the undermining was ramped up, resulting in the disaster of 2019.

That's all down to the 'centrists' and their dim-witted 'grown up' politics. I hope they are pleased with what they achieved.

Though I suspect they actually are - leftists will look at how Corbyn was monstered and think twice about standing for the leadership, even though they know they will be in with a good shout. Because who would want to go through what Corbyn was put through, and is still being put through, by the right wing media and their enablers in the Labour Party?

This isn't about anti-Semitism, or even Corbyn per se, but about showing any prospective leftwing leadership candidate what they are in for.

The 'centrists' can't win under one-person-one-vote, so they are making sure no-one from the left will ever want to be Labour leader again. 

Song for Georgia