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Welcome to Issue Nine:

Because it takes more than the biggest global crisis in a century to stop the Faversham Eye.

In just a few brief months, Coronavirus has transformed so much. As if to remind us of the fragility of everything we took for granted, it has turned our whole world upside down.

The Covid-19 virus doesn't care about Taking Back Control, Getting Brexit Done or even Making America Great Again. All the contrived rancour and division of recent years has been exposed for the idiotic sound and fury it always was by something barely bigger than a molecule.

Here in Faversham, we are luckier than most. There are far worse places to sit out a lockdown. Ours is – at least on the surface – a very English apocalypse. The sun is shining, the sky is clear, furloughed young dads push strollers and the empty roads are one long peloton of carbon fibre and lycra.

The weekly shop may have taken a turn for the weird but thanks to those still turning up for work in pharmacies, post offices and supermarkets or delivering our letters, parcels or meals, for most of us the new normal still bears a comforting superficial resemblance to the old one.

But what makes us really fortunate is our community spirit. It's what makes Faversham special. As soon as the crisis hit, mutual aid groups sprang up, volunteers came forward and foodbank donations went up. Most people's natural instinct was to do anything possible to help.

With so much to be grateful for, it would be easy to forget the hidden horror faced by our frontline doctors nurses and carers every day they report for work. But let us never forget the PPE and testing scandal putting lives at risk is the direct result of the Conservative government starving the NHS over at least a decade. This has been compounded by three months of spectacular mismanagement by Boris Johnson and the clown circus currently occupying the seats of government.

Nationally, the picture is terrifying. The way we are heading, Britain may soon be dealing with one of the worst outbreaks anywhere in the world. At times like this, decisions dictate life and death on an almost incomprehensible scale. Yet we have worst possible people making them at the worst possible time. At best, our Government is shockingly ill-prepared, chaotic and incompetent. At worst, they may be trying to kill us.

Let's be clear. 'Herd immunity' is a pseudoscientific euphemism for condemning tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of British people to death. It is unthinkably cruel. A sick state crime. The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens, not bury them in mass graves.

And yet Downing Street's actions suggest it is very much in play. As we go to press, a story is about to break linking the Department of Health to a string of fake social media accounts using photos of actual NHS staff to post pro-'herd immunity' propaganda.

Faversham MP Helen Whately is a minister in the Department of Health. She must bear her share of responsibility for this.

Stay home, stay safe, ask questions and demand the truth.

Enjoy the issue.


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