Sunday, 15th November, 2020

[Day 244]

I must say we have had a lazy, but fairly typical, Sunday engaged in a thorough trawl through the newspapers. I have marked out one article that I must read in the next few day, which is an account in his own words of Barak Obama’s first few years in the White House – Meg had previously read Michelle Obama’s autobiography and really enjoyed it when it was published last Christmas time. The political news from America is quite interesting today. Although Donald Trump has not (and may never) offer a concessions speech having lost the Presidential election, he has admitted for the first time that Joe Biden may have won the election but fraudulently blaming the ‘Fake and Silent Media’. I might add that the Sky news channel is running an item under the headline ‘US Election results – Donald Trump’s voter fraud claims debunked‘ which examines every fraud it can find and systematically examines them all to find that no claims of fraud can be proved. Later, Trump was to tweet ‘I concede nothing‘ perhaps in case his previous recognition that Joe Biden had won the election might be misinterpreted. A thought just occurred to me, however. If Donald Trump can get financial support of, say, $10 from each of the 70 million voters who voted for him, then he could fund a media channel (a string of TV and radio stations) which could pump out a stream of pro-Trump/anti-Biden propaganda for the next four years – just in time for the next Presidential election and for one of the Trump family to ’emerge’ as the standard bearer of the Trump legacy. I think this scenario is not too improbable – of course, we need to work out whether Donald Trump is successfully pursued and sued by all kinds of individuals once he does have the immunity offered to him by the Presidency. Given what Presidents of the US do in the final days of their regime and before a handover, could Donald Trump pardon himself for any misdemeanours before he actually leaves office – an interesting question?

More COVID-19 related news is the fact that euphoria over a potential vaccine is now abating somewhat under the realisation that the vaccine alone is only a part of the solution and has to be placed in the context of other measures such as social distancing and face-masks which seem bound to continue for the months ahead. A more sombre item of news is the fact that there is now a strong ‘anti-vaccination’ moment building up, with may of the population (17%-20%) refusing a vaccine even when it is offered. The social media platforms (FaceBook and Twitter) have already agreed to remove items posted on their websites which would appear to deny the efficacy of any vaccine (or even worse assume may consider the vaccine as actually harmful) but the time such posts have been removed, the damage is already done. The Labour Party is suggested criminal prosecutions for staff in the social media who do not comply – but is this closing the stable door once the horse has bolted?

Breaking news – to the second! I had just heard on the Sky rolling news programme that Boris Johnson has been asked to self-isolate for the next two weeks as he has been in contact with a MP who had tested as positive. Apparently, the ‘Test-and-Trace’ routine had caught up with him at just at the start of one of the most critical weeks that the government has to face.