Boris Johnson ‘clapping for Tom’ is the most twisted thing this week

Captain Tom Moore and Boris Johnson
Steve Topple

Captain Tom Moore sadly died on Tuesday 2 February. And now, Boris Johnson and his government will be leading a national ‘clap‘ for the veteran and fundraiser. There’s a sickening hypocrisy infesting the Tories. And it represents the most twisted moment of the week so far.

RIP Captain Tom

BBC News reported that:

The 100-year-old [Moore], who raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking laps of his garden, died with coronavirus in Bedford Hospital on Tuesday.

Captain Tom caught the national mood last year. Many hailed his resolve to help others in the face of adversity as inspirational. So, it is right and understandable that many members of the public would want to honour his death. But, as out of touch as is expected, enter Johnson to besmirch Captain Tom’s legacy.

BBC News reported that the PM was ‘encouraging’ the public to go outside at 6pm on Wednesday 3 February and clap for Captain Tom. It noted that:

Mr Johnson said the clap would also be for “all those health workers for whom he raised money”.

He added Capt Sir Tom’s life was “a long life lived well”.

Sorry, what…?

‘Sorry, what?’ sums up the general reaction from some people on Twitter.

Brendan May has this to say of the Tories:

StarPower summed up some of the issues well:

And Clifford K tweeted about the state of our government more broadly:

But rapper and activist Lowkey perhaps hit the nail on the head best:

Nudging the public

At points during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the Tories have used behavioural science to try and mould the public’s actions. The Conversation noted that:

According to the principles of behavioural science, people don’t act rationally. But if we can understand people’s actions, and how they act irrationally, then we can intervene to change behaviour. Such interventions are typically called “nudges”.

Some example nudges in response to the novel coronavirus include singing happy birthday while washing your hands or using funny alternative “handshakes”. These strategies emphasise the need for good hygiene, and create memorable rules of thumb which encourage people to participate.

The Tories co-opting of the “Clap for Carers” was possibly another example of this.

Normalising chaos

By trying to create a feeling of national unity at a time of crisis, the government could have been trying to foster a notion of us ‘all being in this together’. That way, we would all think that we were collectively responsible for how the UK dealt with the pandemic. And so, by default, the Tories absolved themselves of some responsibility – when in fact, the blame for the UK’s catastrophically high death rate lies firmly at their doors.

It also normalised the NHS being under strain – but holding up and doing its best regardless. As Lowkey alluded to, these actions attempt to push us to believe that somehow successive governments’ chronic underfunding of the health service is a separate issue to its coronavirus response.

Twisted and mendacious

We’re witnessing the same with ‘Clap for Tom’. By endorsing it, the Tories are trying to push the idea that NHS funding is no longer solely its responsibility – that we all have to dig deep into our own pockets and get charities to prop it up. This twisted and mendacious agenda is nothing short of cynical. And it is disrespectful to Captain Tom’s legacy.

So, by all means clap to honour him. But make sure it’s under no illusions. It’s the Tories’ fault that a 100-year-old man had to walk up and down his garden for NHS charities in the first place. And any of them clapping is a disgrace.

Featured image via BBC News – YouTube and Sky News – YouTube 

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  • Show Comments
    1. Doesn’t seem odd to anyone that the fuss about this old codger took off so quickly ? It did so because it was a put up job. His family own a successful PR company that donates to the Tory Party.
      It was a publicity stunt to take attention away from the out of control Tory CV19 Catastrophe & the worst death toll in Europe & brought about by the Butcher of Britain (as I call him) & the Tory Party of Death.

      1. …would that be the Maytrix Change Managment Ltd PR company?

        publicy stunts appear to have dominated Ukania since 23/3/20. Bozo hadn’t been up to scratch initially. However,m once he got the bit into that gob it was all very Tally-Ho!!!!!!!!!!

        I think he had that deadly combination of pneumonia and had been diagnosed with Covid-?. Most of us will go via pneumonia.

        Obviously, according to the experts flu is not a SARS virus, so Covid-? is NOT like flu. Even though the annual flu season produces many deaths via pneumonia.

        The crisis is structural not medical and the annual mortality rate has been steadily increasing over the last decade. I’m not sure – memory not being what it was – but I think there has been another steady process that parallels that. I’m sure it’ll come back to me…

        {https://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/article/PIIS1473-3099(20)30484-9/fulltext}
        Key messages


        The basic reproductive rate (R0) of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is similar to, or higher than, the R0 of SARS-CoV and pandemic influenza

        Mortality due to SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV is strongly skewed towards people older than 70 years, dissimilar to the 1918 and 2009 influenza pandemics

        The proportion of symptomatic people requiring hospital admission is higher for SARS-CoV-2 infections than for the 2009 influenza pandemic

        The population risk of admission to the intensive care unit is five to six times higher in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 than in those with the fairly mild 2009 influenza pandemic

        The case fatality rate is probably around 1% after adjusting for asymptomatic and mild illness; serological studies will aid in refining this estimate
        ;o)

    2. They love it: an old man raises £43 million. Huge money for an individual effort, chicken feed in the national picture. The richest 1,000 have their hands on more than £500 bn. £43 million? They wouldn’t notice. That’s the trick. We all put our hands in our pockets and give to a fiver to Sir Tom and the super rich add vastly to their wealth (Branson has just got richer by more than a billion – why doesn’t he give it to the NHS? ) It’s a distraction tactic. Clap Sir Tom but kick the Tories. The rich may have money to burn, but we have the matches.

    3. There are at least two Tom Moores though aren’t there. Not meaning to speculate about someone recently dead and in no small discomfort as he died, but almost none of us know anything about this person, and that’s normal and natural and not thinking or believing otherwise is where the boundary is really – one or two members of his family might be outside of that. Nobody else.

      People die, and more often than not invisibly, and often having lived very admirable lives, or lives of suffering, quietly, often silenced. Before Covid we had 130,000 deaths as a result of ‘austerity’ policies, and 69 suicides. The Sun didn’t pump air into any figure for them, and that is no accident or human ommision, but is as filthily ideological as the tabloid and its readers getting behind one of the Tom Moores.

      Imagine if the pubs were open at present and someone said this kind of entirely reasonable and still compassionate thing (seeing as we should seek to humanise by separating a man from a media creation). They’d get a punch in the face at least, maybe barred if it’s a pub with a Help For Heroes pot – wherever you stand I’d find it hard to believe anyone would doubt that this would happen, and the strong likelihood of it is founded on the hysteria of this situation, of these situations – Covid and a media fabrication of a man who is an unknown.

      And if there _were_ skeletons in the closet, what would come of that? Just supposing, for the sake of argument, to underscore the hysteria. And where is the line between anything that might be true of him and what is true – he was and his family are supporters of the party responsible for the 130,000 deaths and the 69 suicides and for the extent of this country’s experience of Covid. How much support is all right? As someone pushed very near being number 70 several times by ATOS and Maximus, am I meant to feel nothing or something neutral about him, when I can’t even feel that about my family, who voted for all these things and who swallow The Sun whole and do everything it orchestrates?

      Whoever and whatever Tom Moore was, there might be about three people who legitimately mourn right now, and perhaps with some ambivalence, as a one-coloured cipher is one thing he certainly was not. What is anyone else’s business is the still dehumanising nature of media practices and their consequences, of the kind I’m having a stab at describing.

      Ultimately while flustered for a proportion of this period by what I can see of how this is being lived I won’t allow myself to commit to thinking or feeling anything much about this other than what is undeniable and what there is evidence for in the above – quite a feeling of horror at the absurdity and the hysteria. I feel more marginalised now than I had even a year ago, and that is another strand of how many of us feel and have felt since the deaths came to light, or since the referendum, since the last few elections and certainly the last one. How the public and the government are negotiatiing Covid is being steered largely by people within both categories who create this marginalisation – aggressive, ignorant or gullible people, who just didn’t give a shit about anything this time last year.

      Rest in peace, my 130,000 brothers and sisters.

    4. The money raised by Capt Tom went to NHS charities who provide support to frontline workers such as rest areas, books, quiet places and many other very important elements needed at this difficult time. What it does not do is fund hospitals, NHS care or salaries. There are many medical charities who prefer remaining a charity rather than receive state funding, I should know as I work for one.

    5. This is part of the Tory conspiracy to persuade us, the people, that it is our responsibility to ‘protect the NHS’. So don’t go to hospital or bother the doctor. Just keep fundraising so the Tories don’t have to.

      The slogan should be ‘Protect the NHS from the Tories.’

    6. Tories telling people to clap for Sir Tom, what a sick joke that is.
      Trying to get a Doctors appt today, just been told to phone again tomorrow.
      I wish my Dad hadn’t died at 60 and 3 months old. 32 years ago, I wish he had lived until he was 100 years old.
      He only had an inside toilet sink and bath,fitted 3 years before he died. Oh and some hot water too.
      Get stuffed you old Etonian gob shite. You entitled little prick
      My Dad was a million times better than you and Sir Tom had bigger bollox than you will ever have.
      Actually it’s a not much of a killer virus if Johnson and Trump both survived it..Or did they?

    7. This, apparently is an comment worth investigating by The Canary:
      … it’s an addition to the charade of empathetic sympathy for the families of ‘the 100,000’. Yet we have never had a national empathy day for the 600,000+ people who died in the previus four or five years. I must say thatI hope all the comments here might represent a tip of an iceberg. Is possible that ‘the cult of personalities’ is part of the fog of misinformation. Why is there nomention of the Amnesty International report on the shunting of hospital patients into care homes circa april 2020 and the sudden surge of deaths attributed to Covid-19 in The Canary? Does anyone know of a discussion forum beyond this sorry excuse for a left-leaning news outlet that facilitates discussion?

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