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-   -   Covid-19 and Politics (http://www.internationalskeptics.com/forums/showthread.php?t=342577)

The Don 28th May 2020 01:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13104421)
I suspect that Sajid Javid's enduring legacy will be that his sudden resignation lead to Boris Johnson making a fatal mistake, promoting someone competent and without a massive black mark on their career. If he can keep from being drawn into Boris' misadventures I would not be at all surprised if we're looking at the next leader of the Conservative Party. He's already managed to 'accidentally' vote against the destruction of British agriculture contrary to Johnson's wishes.

I don't think that the party rank and file will be comfortable with a party leader from his *ahem* "demographic" whatever his personal qualifications.

The Don 28th May 2020 01:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13104419)
Oh yeah, I agree. But it is worth noting that Johnson's message for a couple of days now has been "shut up and **** off", and MPs and the papers aren't.

Give it a few more days and the MPs will get bored and the papers will have moved onto something else - like the delicious prospect of pubs opening soon :rolleyes:

Tolls 28th May 2020 03:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104427)
Give it a few more days and the MPs will get bored and the papers will have moved onto something else - like the delicious prospect of pubs opening soon :rolleyes:

It just needs to keep going until Sunday, as that's when DC said he'd resign if it was still news.

I mean, I don't expect him to resign, but his failure to do so would give the story some more legs.

Of course, Sunday's a long way away...

Darat 28th May 2020 03:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104332)
Have to distract people somehow.



Implement a tracking and tracing system where few of the major components are in place. Open up far too early, trigger a second wave and then blame the public for being insufficiently alert.

And listen to Hancock this morning still making up the new "guidelines" as they asked more questions about it! And if you are contacted by the tracers it won't be compulsory so forget most people being able to tell their employees they have to stay at home, and we know when someone gets it in say a distribution centre for the likes of Amazon or Very there is no way any "local shutdown " will go into action.

Plus where is this app that was going to be ready, still not seeing it in the App store...

They screwed up the initial contact tracing so you'd have thought they'd have learned from that screw up, but no.

3point14 28th May 2020 04:47 AM

Someone clearly threatedd to defund the BBC.

Emily Maitlis won't be doing her job this evening, she 'just wants the night off'

Cummings is still doing his job.

This is petrifying.


https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-52824508

The Don 28th May 2020 05:23 AM

Text of a tweet from LibDem MP Daisy Cooper:

Quote:

Dido Harding just told me that the #NHSX app described by PM a week ago as “world-beating” is in fact just a “cherry on top” of the tracing system: which itself won’t be fully operational until end June... 4 weeks after lockdown restrictions ease. This is a high risk strategy.

And one from Labour MP Ben Bradshaw

Quote:

Dido Harding just told me on an MPs’ conference call that Test, Trace & Isolate won’t be fully operational at local level till the end of June. Not sure where that leaves Johnson’s promise of a fully operational “world beating” system by Monday.#Covid19UK
I guess my error was assuming that "world beating" was going to be world beatingly good, not top of the global list when it comes to incompetence. :mad:

The Don 28th May 2020 05:31 AM

Mrs Don asked me again at lunch why the UK's per capita Coronavirus death rate is so bad.

A recent Financial Times analysis has come to the following conclusion (should not be paywalled):

Quote:

Examining the cause of the high death rates in certain countries, the strongest link appears at this stage to be between the date of a country’s lockdown and the probable number of infections that already existed when restrictions were applied.
https://www.ft.com/content/6b4c784e-...2-648ffde71bf0

It's also worrying that the number of excess deaths has started to tick up again everywhere except Scotland. Perhaps it's just coincidence that Scotland is the country which has lifted the lockdown restrictions least.

P.J. Denyer 28th May 2020 05:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104425)
I don't think that the party rank and file will be comfortable with a party leader from his *ahem* "demographic" whatever his personal qualifications.

I think that will depend on how poor their chances of re-election become. If it's that or lose power I think a certain amount of pragmatism will creep in.

P.J. Denyer 28th May 2020 05:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104547)
Text of a tweet from LibDem MP Daisy Cooper:




And one from Labour MP Ben Bradshaw



I guess my error was assuming that "world beating" was going to be world beatingly good, not top of the global list when it comes to incompetence. :mad:



Johnson's mouth writes more bad cheques than Al Bundy let loose with Marcy's cheque book.

Darat 28th May 2020 05:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lothian (Post 13104416)
It was originally billed as a World Class test, track and trace system. We have lost the world class and the track and it is now test and trace, where people testing positive will get a phone call asking where they have been and who they have been in contact with. Therefore it is important that you get the phone number of everyone you come into contact with and more importantly you need to give them your phone number.

Unfortunately the automated track part, due to be released mid-May has been a cluster **** . Search 'UK Covid tracking app' on Google for details. The UK decided to go our own way on tracking and friends of Handcock were given the contract. Once they cocked up and failed to deliver they were given another contract to find some else to build it. The last launch date from the Government was 1 June but that appears to have been scrapped and they are no longer talking dates. This app which 2 months ago was described as a necessity for us to leave lock down in the absence of a cure is now an unnecessary 'icing on the cake'.

The person Handcock put in charge of the app is Dido Harding wife of a Tory MP and the person who was running Talktalk until she lost her job after a hack cost the company 60m and 95,000 customers. Our data and health could not be in better hands.

Slight correction, it is going to be a "world-beating" system.

One of my producers proudly had a sign on his desk for a game that read "Game of the year". It was from a poll on the worse game of the year award....

People have just made assumptions about how and why our system would be "world-beating".....

The Don 28th May 2020 05:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13104576)
People have just made assumptions about how and why our system would be "world-beating".....

Yes, and sadly I'm one of them....:o

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104547)
I guess my error was assuming that "world beating" was going to be world beatingly good, not top of the global list when it comes to incompetence. :mad:


The Don 28th May 2020 06:12 AM

The R-number here in Wales is still worryingly high - especially considering that our lockdown restrictions haven't been lifted to the same extent as those in England:

Quote:

The latest analysis from experts at the Welsh Government's Technical Advisory Cell (Tac) on 26 May suggested the rate of reproduction or R remained between 0.7 and 1, "but still below 1".
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52574859

I wonder what factors are in play here. The epicentre of Welsh infection are "The Valleys" where incomes are low and health is poor. Communities like this will have more than their share of essential workers who are exposed to infection more regularly. There are also anecdotal accounts of widespread non-conformance with lockdown rules.

Either way, with the R-number so close to 1, I won't be agitating for a significant lifting of restrictions in Wales, whatever the English decide to do*.

* - of course, being so close to the border, I could choose to largely live by the English rules.

Darat 28th May 2020 06:29 AM

My mother is included in the North West area and that is remaining very high, overtook London now, but hey it's past Watford so what does it matter.

The Don 28th May 2020 06:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13104621)
My mother is included in the North West area and that is remaining very high, overtook London now, but hey it's past Watford so what does it matter.

If it's any comfort for me, the North East probably gets a lot more attention at the moment ;)

Captain_Swoop 28th May 2020 07:36 AM

This is interesting, during the time they were hiding in Durham, Cummings' wife was writing a 'London Lockdown Diary' in The Spectator magazine claiming they were in lockdown in London! Why deceive if you have nothing to hide and are behaving lawfully?

Darat 28th May 2020 08:00 AM

Facts and truth are for the little people.

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th May 2020 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104427)
Give it a few more days and the MPs will get bored and the papers will have moved onto something else - like the delicious prospect of pubs opening soon :rolleyes:

Probably, although I did hear a quote that struck a chord with me the other day - "this isn't going to go away for them, as long as anybody knows what a Zoom funeral is".

Captain_Swoop 28th May 2020 08:25 AM

Todays distraction in the papers is that the pubs will re open in june and the 2m rule will be 'reviewed'

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th May 2020 08:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13104852)
Todays distraction in the papers is that the pubs will re open in june and the 2m rule will be 'reviewed'

So look forward to a massive resurgence in July, then.

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th May 2020 09:03 AM

You know, looking at the worldometer, the current government undermining of their own message, and that we're coming out of lockdown early (including a relaxing of the advice on social distancing!), I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with the third highest per capita death toll in the world.

We're currently 5th, with 558 deaths per million.

Spain in 4th place has 580. There's a few things squiffy with Spain's numbers recently, but in general their deaths per day over the last couple of weeks appear to be under 100. Ours are generally between 300 and 400. So I think it's entirely credible that we'll overtake them before this is over.

Then there's Andorra with 660, but that's a special case. Small population with only 51 deaths. Their daily death toll has never been higher than 4, and their last recorded death was almost 2 weeks ago. So I think it's credible that we'll overtake them, too.

Belgium is second with 808, and even with their daily death count being less than a tenth of ours, I'd hope we don't manage to get that high. Although perhaps it's a vain hope that a second wave would see the public and the government starting to take it seriously at last.

I hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised to be right.

Captain_Swoop 28th May 2020 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13104863)
So look forward to a massive resurgence in July, then.

I'm going to restock my TP ahead of the next panic.

The Don 28th May 2020 09:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13104916)
You know, looking at the worldometer, the current government undermining of their own message, and that we're coming out of lockdown early (including a relaxing of the advice on social distancing!), I genuinely wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with the third highest per capita death toll in the world.

We're currently 5th, with 558 deaths per million.

Spain in 4th place has 580. There's a few things squiffy with Spain's numbers recently, but in general their deaths per day over the last couple of weeks appear to be under 100. Ours are generally between 300 and 400. So I think it's entirely credible that we'll overtake them before this is over.

Then there's Andorra with 660, but that's a special case. Small population with only 51 deaths. Their daily death toll has never been higher than 4, and their last recorded death was almost 2 weeks ago. So I think it's credible that we'll overtake them, too.

Belgium is second with 808, and even with their daily death count being less than a tenth of ours, I'd hope we don't manage to get that high. Although perhaps it's a vain hope that a second wave would see the public and the government starting to take it seriously at last.

I hope I'm wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised to be right.

If excess deaths rather than Coronavirus deaths are considered, we're ahead of Belgium and Spain already in deaths per capita. :(

Nessie 28th May 2020 09:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104558)
Mrs Don asked me again at lunch why the UK's per capita Coronavirus death rate is so bad.

A recent Financial Times analysis has come to the following conclusion (should not be paywalled):



https://www.ft.com/content/6b4c784e-...2-648ffde71bf0

It's also worrying that the number of excess deaths has started to tick up again everywhere except Scotland. Perhaps it's just coincidence that Scotland is the country which has lifted the lockdown restrictions least.

What did for the UK was we are a major travel destination and UK people are major travellers. Lots of people got infected in China and the Alps and then came to the UK, which combined with dithering over the lockdown, allowed the infection lots of time to spread.

catsmate 28th May 2020 09:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104547)
Text of a tweet from LibDem MP Daisy Cooper:




And one from Labour MP Ben Bradshaw



I guess my error was assuming that "world beating" was going to be world beatingly good, not top of the global list when it comes to incompetence. :mad:

Also it won't comply with any Data Protection rules; data is held for twenty years and no opt out.
:rolleyes:

catsmate 28th May 2020 09:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Captain_Swoop (Post 13104753)
This is interesting, during the time they were hiding in Durham, Cummings' wife was writing a 'London Lockdown Diary' in The Spectator magazine claiming they were in lockdown in London! Why deceive if you have nothing to hide and are behaving lawfully?

Complaints have been made to Ipso.

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th May 2020 10:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104963)
If excess deaths rather than Coronavirus deaths are considered, we're ahead of Belgium and Spain already in deaths per capita. :(

Well, that explains why we're easing lockdown earlier and more completely than other countries...

Squeegee Beckenheim 28th May 2020 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13104986)
Also it won't comply with any Data Protection rules; data is held for twenty years and no opt out.
:rolleyes:

The latest on the app was that they were going to use the Apple/google API after all, so no data storage.

P.J. Denyer 28th May 2020 11:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13104964)
What did for the UK was we are a major travel destination and UK people are major travellers. Lots of people got infected in China and the Alps and then came to the UK, which combined with dithering over the lockdown, allowed the infection lots of time to spread.

But at least the Government quickly jumped on this obvious source of infections and quickly put... Never Mind.

P.J. Denyer 28th May 2020 11:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13104988)
Complaints have been made to Ipso.

She's a columnist so she'll be under no obligation to write non fiction. Plus it's the Spectator so as long as it's 'True Blue' that's probably good enough.

Captain_Swoop 28th May 2020 11:22 AM

Guess who’s a director of Cheltenham racecourse? Dido Harding.

ctamblyn 28th May 2020 11:29 AM

In today's Spectator:

"Boris Johnson isn't fit to lead"

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...-t-fit-to-lead

Quote:

...

But no mere advisor should ever be thought indispensable and any prime minister so wholly dependent on a single advisor, no matter how brilliant he or she may be, is a weak one. If Boris Johnson cannot function without Cummings he is not qualified to be prime minister. The price of defending Cummings is admitting Johnson’s inadequacy.

...

GlennB 28th May 2020 12:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ctamblyn (Post 13105093)
In today's Spectator:

"Boris Johnson isn't fit to lead"

https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/...-t-fit-to-lead

Paywalled, sort of, but astonishing.

McHrozni 28th May 2020 11:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104963)
If excess deaths rather than Coronavirus deaths are considered, we're ahead of Belgium and Spain already in deaths per capita. :(

I listned to an EFLM lecture the other day, it was explained the excess deaths in Italy (according to a scientific article in NEJM) was due to a combination of two factors:

1. Covid-19 tends to cause blood clotting even in asymptomatic individuals, leading to more myocardial infarctions than you'd otherwise expect.
2. Overburdned hospitals were less capable of dealing with myocardial infarctions, leading to fewer successful outcomes.

It's a rather nasty combination, basically unprecendented in modern times.

McHrozni

Aber 28th May 2020 11:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13104602)
The R-number here in Wales is still worryingly high - especially considering that our lockdown restrictions haven't been lifted to the same extent as those in England:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52574859

I wonder what factors are in play here. The epicentre of Welsh infection are "The Valleys" where incomes are low and health is poor. Communities like this will have more than their share of essential workers who are exposed to infection more regularly. There are also anecdotal accounts of widespread non-conformance with lockdown rules.

The article does give some explanation:

Quote:

The Tac group says social distancing and lockdown measures have led to the fall in the R number but that we are likely to be seeing three different outbreaks at the moment:
  • In the community, where the R number is falling and is likely to be below 1
  • In hospitals where the R may be between 0.1 and 0.5
  • Care homes where infection can spread rapidly

Lockdown rules don't really affect the second and third points.

For context new cases reported yesterday were 72 (1 in Monmouthshire) implying less than 500 live cases in Wales.

https://public.tableau.com/profile/p...eadlinesummary

Captain_Swoop 29th May 2020 12:00 AM

The lockdown is not being eased because the time is right or the conditions are right, it's being eased because some popular headlines are needed.
"Pubs Open in June"

Squeegee Beckenheim 29th May 2020 12:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GlennB (Post 13105128)
Paywalled, sort of, but astonishing.

Doubly astonishing given that Cummings' wife is the commissioning editor. So either the magazine commissioned that without her knowledge, or Cummings thinks that going on the attack against Johnson is a strategic advantage of some kind.

The Don 29th May 2020 12:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Aber (Post 13105806)
The article does give some explanation:

It does and having the R-number in the community being "likely to be below 1" for Wales as a whole is hardly reassuring when other countries have a much firmer grip on R and it's very much lower.

Regarding the current number of cases - who knows ?

Just under 70,000 individuals have been tested in Wales, between 2% and 3% of the population. There could be only 500 active cases, then again there could be several thousand, especially if those infected have mild symptoms or are asymptomatic.

In any case, with an R-value so close to 1, I'm happy that the Welsh government is lifting the lockdown slowly and cautiously and isn't, like Westminster, seemingly trying to generate positive headlines about the country opening up despite the previously published conditions for reopening not being met.

edited to add.....

It seems that the R-number isn't falling in Wales :(

Quote:

Mark Drakeford also said part of the reason there was only limited lifting of the restrictions was because the R rate was "no better than three weeks ago" and there was "very little headroom".

The R rate refers to how coronavirus spreads in the community and how many people each person infects.

Mr Drakeford said it was 0.8 three weeks ago and remained at that level across Wales, with it slightly higher for care homes and slightly lower for hospitals.

He said: "It is falling slower than we had hoped."
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-w...ost_type=share

ceptimus 29th May 2020 01:00 AM

You wouldn't expect R to alter just by the passage of time. To change R you need to change people's behaviour. Why doesn't Mark Drakeford understand that?

Captain_Swoop 29th May 2020 01:26 AM

Todays papers headlining with end of lockdown. Football is starting, NT is opening parks and gardens, Pubs opening, BBQs allowed, families reunited, "Happy Monday"

It's all over folks, we survived!

The Don 29th May 2020 01:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ceptimus (Post 13105856)
You wouldn't expect R to alter just by the passage of time. To change R you need to change people's behaviour. Why doesn't Mark Drakeford understand that?

I'm sure he does understand that, which prompts the question "Why, given the lockdown instructions in Wales, hasn't the R-number dropped ?"
  • The lockdown instructions in Wales were inadequate - Wales needed even more stringent lockdown rules than the rest of the UK - which would then pose a further question as to why.
  • The lockdown instructions in Wales were inadequate but the Welsh people weren't adhering to them sufficiently well - which would then pose questions of messaging vs. enforcement

The reported situation in Wales is that the vast majority of people are adhering to the lockdown rules and it's only a tiny minority of people who are not. If that truly is the case then the Welsh lockdown rules are too lenient. My suspicion is that lockdown rules are being much more widely flouted than is being reported and that the flouting is endemic rather than a few "yooves" gathering in parks to drink.

In our village, entire streets turn out to cheer the NHS and I'm not convinced that social distancing is being properly maintained. We often see two or three cyclists or runners exercising together. Of course they could be from the same household but if so there are a lot more same sex couples than I expected.

From personal experience I know of two mates from different households who went out mountain biking together (Mrs Don and I bumped into them while we were out for a walk) and who were then going to drop in to visit a neighbour and his family. I'm sure this kind of thing is happening all the time, out of the sight of the authorities.

As you correctly point out, it's behaviour that needed/needs to change. No amount of enforcement is going to address this, it has to come from the individuals involved.


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