Tag Archives: Covid stuff

Directions to the nearest job centre, please! With talk that the pandemic could be nearing its end, what could conspiracy theorist DJ Danny Rampling fill his days with next?

The Covid-19 pandemic has been going on now for the best part of two years – and there is some talk in the scientific community that it could now be nearing its end. Increasing levels of immunity due to vaccines and infections mean the virus has far fewer options than in the past, if they’ve got this right.

It sounds logical – but as I’m not a virologist, I’m making no assumptions. But with there being a clamour to get our lives back to something more normal than at present, it’s leading people to ask questions about the future. And one question I briefly had on my mind earlier was this – what is Danny Rampling going to do with his time once all this passes?

For much of the past two years, he’s created a line of work for himself in the campaigning industry – talking about how vaccine passports are a danger to civil liberties and why restrictions breach our human rights. And to be fair to Rampling, not everything he says is wrong – but he’s got involved with some seriously dodgy types over the past two years.

But what will he do when this historic period in time is itself history? Going back to DJing full time is an option, although his name is not what it was with the newer generation. And he can’t even rely on an archive of music that he can rinse all over again for cash – Carl Craig style.

He’s been involved with property before, so a return to this is possible. Perhaps he could do something with Midnight Oil Productions, the company which he owns. However, a return to the restaurant trade – which is currently undergoing difficult times – seems less likely.

Alternatively, he might just move on to a new subject – like many a conspiracy theorist before him has done. The environment is a possible subject, or possibly the rise of the Metaverse – two things which I anticipate will be big issues over the next few years.

And all his words over the past two years? He’ll conveniently forget everything he said – just like he did with his views when the pandemic landed on British shores…

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…

The Flying Lotus used the pandemic to make changes which brought him a Grammy nomination – what a contrast to the lazy so-called innovators of dance music…

I’m going to start this post with a passage from The Bible, of all places. The book of James, chapter one, verses two to four state “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything”.

It’s a good lesson in life. Character is built during tough times, not the easy ones. And the pandemic over the past two years has been one of the toughest periods of history for quite some time. Living under all kinds of restrictions – where things you could do and previously took for granted weren’t there anymore – has taken its toll.

A lot of the best music that we know comes from hard times – look at the number of songs which are about relationships breaking up or about death, for example. So the past two years should have brought about a lot of innovation within music – with many of the usual revenue streams out of action, there was never a better time for taking a risk. Nothing to lose, potentially a lot to gain.

But what has happened? Very little. A friend sent me an article recently about a producer called The Flying Lotus. I’ve heard the name, but know little about him – but he spoke last year to Vice and talked about the changes he’d made to stay afloat during the pandemic. And not only did they work, they led to a Grammy nomination.

Compare and contrast with the dance music world which this blog covers. The difference could not be more stark. Instead of pushing the envelope and trying something different and new, most producers responded by becoming even more conservative than they were before. And this is something which applies across the board.

Whether it be newbies who are trying to make their mark on the digital stores or veterans of the scene, the story is the same. For example, look at Carl Craig – a producer who undoubtedly did show innovation back in the 1990s. Instead of showcasing his latest innovations, he responded with a remix contest for a track he released back in 1989.

What’s innovative about getting a bunch of people to rework a decades old track? What’s forward thinking about endlessly trying to rinse your own archive? Even Craig’s own friend, Alan Oldham, can see “it’s all about what the new stuff”.

The same story can be seen in the charts, which are filled with remixes of decades old records. Dave Lee, Dr Packer and Michael Gray might be doing nicely out of this trade, but that’s no reason the rest of the scene should go the same way. Rehashing old glories is obviously easier than creating new ones, but there are only so many oldies which can be dusted off.

If a global pandemic doesn’t encourage producers to get off their backsides and make something new, I don’t honestly know what will…

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…

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…