Category Archives: Covid-19

So what ARE they basing their decisions on, if not the evidence? Welsh government forced to admit it has no idea how many cases of Covid originate from nightclubs

We all know what the state of play has been for the past two years. When Covid hit the UK in March 2020, the whole country went into lockdown. Nightclubs were closed, just like almost everything else did at the time. Given that we knew next to nothing about Covid and how it was spreading, this wasn’t a great surprise.

But whilst the likes of clothes shops and hairdressers got to open up again later, nightclubs remained shut until last summer. England was the only part of the UK not to shut them again in response to Omicron, and I’ve been deeply suspicious of this decision – how were Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland coming to a different conclusion to England on almost identical evidence?

Well, a gentleman called Tom Fletcher decided he wanted to know more about what his local government in Wales were basing their decisions on – and he sent off a Freedom of Information request down to Cardiff. How many Covid cases originate from nightclubs? It’s a fair question and you’d imagine they’d have a good idea, right?

Not exactly…

So “this information is not available” – there it is in black and white. The Welsh government has literally no idea how many people have caught Covid-19 after attending nightclubs. Which begs a question – exactly what were they basing their decision to close an entire industry on, if not the evidence on the ground?

It looks more and more to me like they were working on assumptions – such as that the virus could spread more in a space where people were closer together. And whilst this presumption isn’t entirely wrong, it doesn’t take into account things like ventilation in nightclubs.

I’ll be continuing to keep a close eye on this one…

Does even he know what he’s talking about anymore? A notably gammon faced Danny Rampling is filmed in London talking about being a “sovereign person” – and he sounds pretty irate about it!

Yesterday, I woke up and my back was giving me a little bit of bother. It would play up whenever I attempted certain manoeuvres – something which frequently happens when you look after three small children. I ended up swerving cooking dinner by ordering food from the local Chinese takeaway.

My back is feeling better today, so I suspect I’ll be a bit more active. And that’s how my weekend is going as of this Sunday morning. All the same, I seem to be having a better weekend than Danny Rampling, who attended another protest in London yesterday. Nothing unusual there – but something did seem out of the ordinary, even by his standards.

An anti-fascist reporter called Marc Lister decided to head down there to see for himself what happens at these protests. And lo and behold, he bumped into none other than Danny Rampling – whose face looked distinctly rounder than in recent times and appeared almost gammon like in colour.

Here is his appearance in all its entirely absent glory…

Presumably Rampling means “sovereign” as an adjective – defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “possessing supreme or ultimate power”. But questions over how he defines the word aside, am I the only one sensing he isn’t exactly happy to be asked to speak here?

Perhaps it was the weather – it was a not exactly warm 6°C with mostly cloudy skies in London yesterday. Or maybe it was the whispers going around amongst his fellow anti-vaxxers that Rampling had piled on the pounds which were bugging him.

The last word on this post goes to Louis Barfe, who simply said “As a club DJ in the 1990s, I trust Danny Rampling insisted on a full ingredients list for everything he guzzled or shoved up his not inconsiderable beak.”…

Nightclubs across the UK all reopen next week and vaccine passports are on their inevitable way out – so, when will Danny Rampling apologise after getting it so utterly wrong?

So it’s official. Nightclubs were closed last month in three of the UK’s four countries I response to the Omicron surge. At the time, the anti-vaxxers were foaming in the mouth and telling us the whole nation was about to go into a China style lockdown – where even leaving your house without permission was illegal.

Vaccine passports also came into force in England, having already been in place a few months earlier elsewhere. Now, Danny Rampling has been warning us for months now that vaccine passports were a form of apartheid, and that they would soon lead to other developments such as a social credit rating system as being developed in China.

But was he right? Well, England has announced they’re being scrapped from January 27th. Scotland is keeping them for the time being, but has dropped a plan to expand the scheme. Wales is hanging onto them, but is under increasing pressure from Tories and LibDems in the country to drop them – and Northern Ireland is scaling the programme down from January 26th.

So whilst they haven’t gone away entirely, the general direction is they’re basically on the way out. And I cannot for the life of me see the Tories, currently in the most mutinous mood they’ve been in years, agreeing to the introduction of a social credit rating system. Not exactly what the genius that isn’t Rampling has been saying.

As for nightclubs, England reopened theirs on July 19th last year and didn’t close them during the surge. Northern Ireland shut theirs on December 26th, Wales and Scotland closed them the next day. They reopen on January 24th in Scotland, January 26th in Northern Ireland and January 28th in Wales. In other words, they closed for between 4 and 5 weeks.

Yet again, Rampling has been proven wrong. Then again, it’s much of the story over the pandemic for him – especially given how the volte-face from his position in March 2020 appears to be conveniently ignored. Which just leaves one question.

When this blog gets something wrong, corrections and apologies are published acknowledging and rectifying the mistake. So when will we see your mea culpa, Mr Rampling? Over to you…

That brings the number of vaxxed big name DJs to one! Carl Cox announces his tour of north America – and it includes a date in New York, where if you’ve had no vaccine, you’re not coming in…

There are an awful lot of DJs in the upper echelons of dance music who filled their quiet time during the pandemic by training themselves up as virologists. Or so you’d be forgiven for thinking – although most aren’t quite stupid enough to at least publicly remain quiet.

Thankfully, a few managed to keep their marbles. Well, mostly. When he isn’t accepting gigs from festivals that are least partially funded by a dreadful regime, Carl Cox spoke out against plague raves – and also spoke up in favour of getting the Covid-19 vaccination. This drove the anti-vaxxers crazy, something which I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing.

He’s now just announced he’ll be starting a tour of North America in the next few weeks, starting in Mexico before travelling to various corners of the USA – although stricter coronavirus rules imposed in Canada appear to mean they’ve been left out. And it’s worth taking a closer look at the places the tour is going to…

The dates in Brooklyn have caused some surprise. The city of New York currently requires proof of being fully vaccinated against Covid-19 for everyone going to nightclubs – this includes staff, security and the DJs appearing. Recent infection is not accepted for entry, nor is a negative Covid test of any kind. Quite simply, if you’re not jabbed, New York’s nightclubs won’t let you in.

Exactly what you think of such a policy is up to you, dear reader. But it does, at the least, confirm one thing – at least one DJ has still got some sense…

Is there a Novak Djokovic in dance music’s ranks? As tennis player is deported from Australia for being unvaccinated, some people are keeping very quiet about their own indiscretions…

Last week, the news was dominated by a surprisingly small number of stories – and one of those was to do with a tennis player. Novak Djokovic went to Australia to play at The Open. This is when things started to go wrong.

Firstly, it was claimed the tennis authorities had given him an exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19. Then the Australian authorities detained him due to problems with his paperwork. A briefing war from both the Australian government and Djokovic’s camp ensued – ending up in court. An initial win for Djokovic due to a procedural error from the Australian authorities led to him being allowed to stay.

But just days later, his visa was cancelled again – this time due to “health grounds”. This is presumably due to rules stating anyone entering Australia must be fully vaccinated, and the list of exemptions doesn’t apply to self-entitled tennis players. Djokovic is now back in Serbia, licking his wounds after discovering money couldn’t solve his problem.

Am I alone in noticing how silent the dance music world has been on the entire subject? Even dance music’s anti-vaxxers – and there are far too many of these to count – have been unusually quiet on the subject. And even more odd is the fact Danny Rampling didn’t latch onto the latest anti-vax cause célèbre.

Why the lack of loquacity? Could it be something to do with the fact a number of big name DJs are strongly suspected of having failed to abide to varying coronavirus regulations around the world? Every week, I receive stories about DJs reportedly not following quarantine guidelines – proving people’s movements being notoriously difficult is the only reason these stories remain unpublished.

As we know, the dance music world is essentially a big old boys network, where everyone scratches each other’s backs and few dare to upset the apple cart. Most of them are in each other’s pockets, in other words – and one of them speaking out on issues could put all of them under the microscope from people like me. Hence the collective silence.

I’m also aware of a few people in the dance music world who are publicly anti-vax, yet somehow still manage to gain entry into nightclubs where proof of vaccination is required by all patrons. And these are places which typically won’t accept negative Covid tests or recent infection with the virus to gain entry – so how exactly are they getting in?

Either a lot of venues are accidentally leaving the emergency exit open these days, or these people are pretending to be anti-vax when in reality they’re fully vaccinated. Now if anyone wants to explain to me how this isn’t a form of deception, I’d like to hear it…

As Boris Johnson ponders scrapping vaccine passports for England – if he’s still in his job next week – have they actually done anything to reduce the spread of Omicron?

These days, how much time he spends talking about Covid restrictions is the easiest barometer for measuring how much politcal trouble Boris Johnson is in. We saw this last month – during the first wave of the Downing Street parties scandal, he moved England to Plan B restrictions.

And it appears the same might be about to happen again. Newspapers are full of talk that Plan B could be dropped as early as January 26th. This would mean fewer settings where wearing a face mask is mandatory, as well as ditching vaccine passports – England brought them into force on December 15th last year.

This would mean Johnson’s policy had lasted just 42 days between introducing them and scrapping them. Some might have you believe he’s doing this because the worst of Omicron is behind us. This remains to be seen, but Johnson would be doing it purely to get mutinous Tory MPs who hate the policy off his back.

But if a government policy can be scrapped within just six weeks of its introduction, doesn’t it call into question how effective it was? Because how much vaccine passports do to slow Covid down is highly questionable – with a court in Spain previously saying they could be counter productive.

This is ultimately why this blog doesn’t back them. And with Boris Johnson set to make a move on this next week – assuming Sue Gray hasn’t declared checkmate on his career before then – it raises questions about the three devolved administrations in the UK. Scotland and Wales have given nightclubs the all-clear to reopen on January 24th and 28th respectively, but there’s been no word on vaccine passports.

If anyone can pinpoint me to a study anywhere which shows vaccine passports do actually work, please send it to me. Because I certainly can’t find one…

Aren’t this lot spending £37billion on a test and trace regime that doesn’t work? Sacha Lord’s freedom of information request on the Downing Street parties has been turned down – because it would cost too much to answer it..

The journalists who are meant to be covering British politics have been shown up over the past month as being almost as useless as those in the dance music press. They were hesitant to cover the Downing Street parties at first and only forced to do so due to a public outcry – due to at least one tabloid newspaper holding its own Christmas party at a time when they were banned.

Sacha Lord is a man who gets a lot of stick on this blog – and I firmly believe it’s merited – but I had to praise him to the hilt last month for his decision to submit a Freedom of Information request to the government to see just how many of these parties took place. With this act, he managed what every political journalist in Britain failed abysmally to do.

Speaking to digital magazine About Manchester, Lord said he was meant to receive a reply by Friday 14th January. And indeed he did – on the very last hour of the business day… to tell him his request was being rejected on the grounds it would cost more than £600 for the government to carry out.

In other words, they’ve decided to respond in much the same way anyone else involved has done – by resorting to delaying tactics and obfuscation. Naturally, the line hasn’t worked, but it isn’t stopping them from pursuing this failed strategy to its pathetic end.

Lord says he’s willing to pay the £600 himself to see the answer – although it’s unclear whether this something which is even possible under this system. So for the moment, it looks like this blog is joining the legions of politicians currently waiting impatiently for Sue Gray to finish her report…

What WOULD his old friend Paul Johnson say? After DJ Sneak outs himself as an anti-vaxxer, his comments have been badly received in his native Chicago – a city which lost one of its legends to Covid last year…

Those of you who use Facebook or Instagram this week might have been forgiven for having a startled moment upon seeing posts on Paul Johnson’s socials – they’ve been active again. The man himself died last year after contracting Covid-19 at the age of 50, so what’s going on here?

Well, a relative has access to his account and has been posting information about a tribute event to his life which was due to take place. My sources in Chicago confirm they’re still feeling his loss. As one put it to me anonymously, “he was often the reason I carried on when I felt like giving up”.

One person who doesn’t appear to be involved is another name which came out of Chicago’s underground – DJ Sneak. Many noticed Sneak’s tribute to Johnson after his death was, as one put it, “pretty underwhelming” – and like a number of others at the time, he was careful not to reference Covid-19 in his words.

My sources in Chicago tell me most of the dance music scene there have their reservations about things like vaccine passports, but accept they’re the only way they can keep nightclubs open at present. None of them are prepared to go public at the moment for fear of ramifications – but privately, a number have expressed disquiet about Sneak’s opinion on the vaccine.

One DJ who’s been making house music since the 1980s was pretty angry. He said “What the f*** is Sneak playing at? Has he been smoking too many of his own greens or something? I don’t know what the f*** he’s up to. Maybe he’s missing the days when he used to beef with bigger players than him. Glad we won’t be seeing him around here now. [the state of Illinois demands proof of vaccination to enter nightclubs]”.

Another DJ from the same era is angry that Sneak expressed his opinion so close to the date of a Paul Johnson tribute event. Johnson, like Sneak, was another of the second wave of house music producers to emerge from Chicago – something which hasn’t gone unnoticed. The DJ said “He might as well s*** on his grave. Sneak knew Paul well, and I think this is f***ing disgusting.”

After this, he made a possibly less than polite suggestion that Sneak does something quite unprintable with his next joint – I’ll leave this one to your imaginations…