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

Blue Mountain 6th April 2020 07:10 PM

What a difference here in Canada. When our prime minister's wife tested positive for covid-19, the prime minister himself went into self-isolation. Sophie has now recovered, but Justin is still practising social distancing.

Arcade22 6th April 2020 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13047511)
News reporting isn't the place for editorials (which most "news" reports seem to have forgotten).

Apparently "news" according to BBC standards is simply quoting the government verbatim even when it's clear that the government is lying. Doing otherwise would be tantamount to political bias and partisanship.

This of course completely unrelated to the fact that BJ and the conservative party has put the BBC in their crosshairs.

Arcade22 6th April 2020 08:23 PM

Meanwhile Trump says American CEOs are lining up to offer BJ the enviable position of being a human guinea pig for experimental treatments. Yay!

Arcade22 6th April 2020 08:37 PM

Quote:

The first indication that*Boris Johnson was sicker with coronavirus than either he or his aides were letting on came on Thursday morning. The suggestion made by a source was specific: a bed was being prepared at St Thomasí hospital for the prime minister, whose condition had worsened during his seven-day period of isolation in Downing Street.
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-to-hospital

This is the kind of biased, partisan and unfair editorializing that you won't find in the latest official government press release quoted by the BBC.

Steve 6th April 2020 08:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blue Mountain (Post 13047658)
What a difference here in Canada. When our prime minister's wife tested positive for covid-19, the prime minister himself went into self-isolation. Sophie has now recovered, but Justin is still practising social distancing.

Indeed. When Trudeau does his daily hour long press conference he is alone - no posse. He answers every question and has not once criticized any member of the press. Quite refreshing.

Planigale 6th April 2020 11:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dudalb (Post 13047350)
SO the UK has no legally established line of sucession if the PM is incapicated from performing his office?
In the US it's clear; THe Veep, then the Speaker of the House, then the President pro tempore of the Senate ,then the secrataries of the major government departments in the order of their founding,with Secratary of State being the first.
Maybe the UK should have a legal "continuity of government " line of sucession in a crisis?
I know the Brits love to "muddle through" but they are playing with fire here.

Yes we have a very clear line of succession of the head of state, which is the equivalent. Elizabeth, Charles, William, George etc. The head of state will appoint his or her first (prime) minister. If there were a real crisis then the Queen (or King) in council has authority. Cabinet government is not the same as presidential government, most ministers as ministers of the crown have authority in their own right derived from the sovereign.

Planigale 6th April 2020 11:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13047364)
I just love how the BBC grits it's teeth and plays along with the official narrative coming from the government, not even acknowledging that they have been lying about his poor condition.

"With No 10 saying..." "The message from Downing Street is..."

They must be terrified of the potential consequences of pointing out that they are not being truthful.

FWIW since I and other doctors can't tell who will deteriorate and become ill, I don't know how you expect a journalist to. Certainly no doctor would be telling a journalist about their patient's condition. That a fifty year old male had deteriorated after two weeks of being ill with covid-19 was no surprise, but the day before I could not have predicted that. Once he had deteriorated at that stage to needing oxygen, I thought that was serious and he might need ITU. Yes he now has a life threatening illness. I can't give you real odds, but he might need ventilation in the next two or three days. The problem is people with this condition 'drop off the perch' to use a technical term with little warning.

FWIW in this situation the security issues may have precipitated early transfer to ITU; ITU areas are easy to maintain security access than general wards.

Squeegee Beckenheim 7th April 2020 01:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Atheist (Post 13047598)
That's excellent news. I hope it catches on, because unemployment will be severe across the world.

Yes, I've been advocating for UBI for quite a while now. I was primarily looking at things like automation, but this current crisis certainly has exacerbated things.

The good news is that Spain is looking to make it permanent. That's good news for the Spaniards, and good news for the citizens of other countries whose leaders might take it already being an established model as a sign that it could work in their countries too.

I don't know whether it'll happen in other countries, but it happening in Spain makes it more likely. The longer the pandemic continues to disrupt life, the more necessary other countries may see it as being. The fact that it's not just the poorest people who are being affected should also help provide some impetus.

catsmate 7th April 2020 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by a_unique_person (Post 13047491)
He should be handing over the job of pm immediately till he recovers.

The BB is not parting with power. I expect even when he's intubated and drugg he'll still "be in charge".

Darat 7th April 2020 02:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13047624)
You could have mentioned that six months ago!

:p

Darat 7th April 2020 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13047693)
Apparently "news" according to BBC standards is simply quoting the government verbatim even when it's clear that the government is lying. Doing otherwise would be tantamount to political bias and partisanship.



This of course completely unrelated to the fact that BJ and the conservative party has put the BBC in their crosshairs.

Of course the BBC should report what the government actually says without alteration.

You are mixing up investigative journalism, journalism, news reporting and editorial, they are all distinct aspects of related topics.

I don't want the BBC to tell me what I should think about what the government is saying, I want them to accurately report what the government is saying. I can make my own mind up as to the truthfulness of the what the government is saying.

It appears the knowledge that he was more seriously ill than what Downing Street was saying was known by many newspapers and so on. None of those chose to break the news.

Now if they had then the BBC when reporting the news would have covered that.

Darat 7th April 2020 02:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Arcade22 (Post 13047710)
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...on-to-hospital



This is the kind of biased, partisan and unfair editorializing that you won't find in the latest official government press release quoted by the BBC.

When was that published?

Squeegee Beckenheim 7th April 2020 02:59 AM

Gove self-isolating

Darat 7th April 2020 03:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13047910)

Was that by popular demand?

Darat 7th April 2020 03:14 AM

This is a short video report of what ICU is like at the moment in a London hospital.

BBC News - Coronavirus: Inside an ICU fighting Covid-19
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-52190961


No way has Johnson been taken to ICU because of who he is as a precaution or for security reasons and so on. He is in a ICU because he is critically ill.

Darat 7th April 2020 03:17 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Squeegee Beckenheim (Post 13047910)

Have you seen the photo in that article of Raab and the lack of social distancing? I am absolutely flabbergasted, even with Johnson critically ill they still don't think the rules should apply to them!https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/202...08c316658f.jpg

Squeegee Beckenheim 7th April 2020 03:23 AM

https://twitter.com/i/web/status/1247466300236017664

Quote:

NEW: Latest ONS data on #Covid19 shows much higher death rate figures than even we thought. On 27th March the Dept of Health reported 926 total deaths in England. NHS’ revised figures say that in hospitals alone that figure was in fact 1,649.
More in subsequent tweets.

Tolls 7th April 2020 04:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13047906)
When was that published?

According to the page (it's to the left of the article, under the author names...bit faint, click o the date and you get the original published date):

First published on Mon 6 Apr 2020 20.23 BST

So yesterday evening, after we all found out he was not doing all that well.

Giordano 7th April 2020 06:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13047904)
Of course the BBC should report what the government actually says without alteration.

You are mixing up investigative journalism, journalism, news reporting and editorial, they are all distinct aspects of related topics.

I don't want the BBC to tell me what I should think about what the government is saying, I want them to accurately report what the government is saying. I can make my own mind up as to the truthfulness of the what the government is saying.

It appears the knowledge that he was more seriously ill than what Downing Street was saying was known by many newspapers and so on. None of those chose to break the news.

Now if they had then the BBC when reporting the news would have covered that.

Based on what other information? How can you know the truthfulness of what the government is saying unless news outlets also rigorously analyze the official government statements and provide a broader perspective?

But is your argument that the BBC, supported by taxes, is not a real news agency and is really just another arm of government? And must therefore be some completely bland conduit of whatever is fed them? Their reputation in the past in the USA is far higher. And people deserve more from their taxes IMHO.

So yes, the BBC should report press releases and official statements by the government. But they should also provide relevant facts that support or question the governmentís position. This is the true role of journalism.

William Parcher 7th April 2020 06:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BBC News
A spokesman said Mr Johnson, 55, was stable overnight, is being given oxygen and is not on a ventilator...

In a statement on Tuesday, a Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister has been stable overnight and remains in good spirits. He is receiving standard oxygen treatment and is breathing without any other assistance....

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52201048

SuburbanTurkey 7th April 2020 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by William Parcher (Post 13048075)

Is there any reason to believe this is true?

Pixel42 7th April 2020 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 13048066)
So yes, the BBC should report press releases and official statements by the government. But they should also provide relevant facts that support or question the governmentís position. This is the true role of journalism.

News bulletins do the former, programmes like Panorama do the latter.

Darat 7th April 2020 08:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 13048066)
Based on what other information? How can you know the truthfulness of what the government is saying unless news outlets also rigorously analyze the official government statements and provide a broader perspective?

But is your argument that the BBC, supported by taxes, is not a real news agency and is really just another arm of government? And must therefore be some completely bland conduit of whatever is fed them? Their reputation in the past in the USA is far higher. And people deserve more from their taxes IMHO.

So yes, the BBC should report press releases and official statements by the government. But they should also provide relevant facts that support or question the governmentís position. This is the true role of journalism.


Nope my point is that news reports should report the news. Part of that news will be reporting on what the government is saying. That is not being a mouth piece for the government it is reporting what is happening. There is nothing to stop the news report to also cover what (for example) the opposition has to say about a government statement.

Other aspects of the BBC news departments do fantastic work in investigative journalism and reporting on that, often to the embarrassment of governments and people in power.

In summary news REPORTS should be about the actual news not editorial content about that news, that belongs in other programmes.

Darat 7th April 2020 09:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey (Post 13048077)
Is there any reason to believe this is true?


They are obviously being very careful on how they are wording things, but I consider that is being dishonest in this type of situation. They have been avoiding for example saying that he is critically ill, which is the only reason he would have been moved to a ICU. They report it as him being stable over night, that actually means there has been no improvement in his conditions, so he remains critically ill.

So they are being careful to not directly lie but not being honest.

dann 7th April 2020 09:12 AM

What does Britain know about coronavirus that the rest of Europe doesn't? (CNN, March 14, 2020)
Nothing at all, apparently ...

SuburbanTurkey 7th April 2020 09:14 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Darat (Post 13048231)
They are obviously being very careful on how they are wording things, but I consider that is being dishonest in this type of situation. They have been avoiding for example saying that he is critically ill, which is the only reason he would have been moved to a ICU. They report it as him being stable over night, that actually means there has been no improvement in his conditions, so he remains critically ill.

So they are being careful to not directly lie but not being honest.

If he, or any other head of state, were placed on a ventilator, I wonder if the public would be informed. I could easily see the temptation to downplay severity right up until the point of death.

angrysoba 7th April 2020 09:34 AM

I'm watching this Downing Street briefing.

I have appreciated the fact that the government is doing this, but...

...Dominic Raab looks very nervous in this briefing, and is speakingveryfastwithoutverymanypauses while denying that he has any veto power in the cabinet (which seems odd when he was essentially given that power by the PM - is this a constitutional issue that he is trying to tiptoe around?). Also, I like his diplomatic way of saying he is sending his best wishes to his girlfriend and his "whole family" (however many people that may be).

Then Chris Whitty said that it appears Germany got ahead in testing, hence the lower death rate, which is something that government ministers have been trying hard not to admit. (I remember one minister saying that Germany did more tests, found more cases but "sadly had more deaths" - What?! They have a way lower number of deaths!)

Planigale 7th April 2020 10:35 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey (Post 13048251)
If he, or any other head of state, were placed on a ventilator, I wonder if the public would be informed. I could easily see the temptation to downplay severity right up until the point of death.

The Queen is head of state.

Planigale 7th April 2020 10:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13048281)
I'm watching this Downing Street briefing.

I have appreciated the fact that the government is doing this, but...

...Dominic Raab looks very nervous in this briefing, and is speakingveryfastwithoutverymanypauses while denying that he has any veto power in the cabinet (which seems odd when he was essentially given that power by the PM - is this a constitutional issue that he is trying to tiptoe around?). Also, I like his diplomatic way of saying he is sending his best wishes to his girlfriend and his "whole family" (however many people that may be).

Then Chris Whitty said that it appears Germany got ahead in testing, hence the lower death rate, which is something that government ministers have been trying hard not to admit. (I remember one minister saying that Germany did more tests, found more cases but "sadly had more deaths" - What?! They have a way lower number of deaths!)

Constitutionally no one has a veto, or everyone does in a cabinet government. All cabinet decisions are collective ie unanimous; if you do not agree you resign. All cabinet ministers (including the prime minister) are technically equal as ministers of the crown. The concept of veto does not exist in the UK governmental system, this is something that occurs in the US presidential system.

catsmate 7th April 2020 10:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SuburbanTurkey (Post 13048251)
If he, or any other head of state, were placed on a ventilator, I wonder if the public would be informed. I could easily see the temptation to downplay severity right up until the point of death.

I cannot see most countries hiding such information, or even trying to. Macron, Merkel, Varadkar, Trudeau for examples. It strikes me as a "cult of personality" measure that would happen in Russia, North Korea, the Philippines, the USA or Britain.

catsmate 7th April 2020 10:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13048281)
I'm watching this Downing Street briefing.

I have appreciated the fact that the government is doing this, but...

...Dominic Raab looks very nervous in this briefing, and is speakingveryfastwithoutverymanypauses while denying that he has any veto power in the cabinet (which seems odd when he was essentially given that power by the PM - is this a constitutional issue that he is trying to tiptoe around?). Also, I like his diplomatic way of saying he is sending his best wishes to his girlfriend and his "whole family" (however many people that may be).

Then Chris Whitty said that it appears Germany got ahead in testing, hence the lower death rate, which is something that government ministers have been trying hard not to admit. (I remember one minister saying that Germany did more tests, found more cases but "sadly had more deaths" - What?! They have a way lower number of deaths!)

Germany is showing a much shallower modeled infection curve as against the UK.
I think BoJo and UKGov are terrified; 66,000 deaths would be a society changer.

crescent 7th April 2020 10:57 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by angrysoba (Post 13048281)
...(I remember one minister saying that Germany did more tests, found more cases but "sadly had more deaths" - What?! They have a way lower number of deaths!)

My spitball guess:

Some corona victims don't seem extremely ill for some time, then develop breathing issues and die quickly, within a few hours.

In places where tests are in short supply, such victims are just never tested, they are diagnosed based on signs and symptoms but not test results, or are just never diagnosed.

Germany may be testing more of those victims than other places, they may be getting more posthumous test results in. Depending on how they are reporting the numbers, this may result in Germany reporting cases that other places would not have reported. (we see similar issues here in America, with differences apparent even from one county to another).

P.J. Denyer 7th April 2020 12:51 PM

Anyone else concerned that the government is potentially being headed by a man who can't be trusted to organise a booze cruise to Calais (since he apparently had difficulty with the concepts of 'us being an island' and 'we import through ports')?

Darat 7th April 2020 02:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13048504)
Anyone else concerned that the government is potentially being headed by a man who can't be trusted to organise a booze cruise to Calais (since he apparently had difficulty with the concepts of 'us being an island' and 'we import through ports')?


Yes. He was obviously only given this position as Johnson and/or Cummings felt he could never be a threat to Johnson.

Captain_Swoop 7th April 2020 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giordano (Post 13048066)
So yes, the BBC should report press releases and official statements by the government. But they should also provide relevant facts that support or question the governmentís position. This is the true role of journalism.

They do but not in news bulletins.

angrysoba 7th April 2020 08:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13048363)
Germany is showing a much shallower modeled infection curve as against the UK.
I think BoJo and UKGov are terrified; 66,000 deaths would be a society changer.

Yeah, it certainly looks horrific.

However, this is strange. I looked at Sweden's projection. They predict 134 deaths at the peak (27th April), yet 19 days out and they already reported 114 deaths. That seems to be almost double the projection. :jaw-dropp

https://covid19.healthdata.org/sweden

The Don 8th April 2020 12:17 AM

Once again the dailymash nail it. This time Dominic Raab is learning about Britain:

https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/polit...20200407195259

Quote:

There aren’t any factories

I had this brilliant brainwave – the North. It’s full of cotton mills and factories so they can knock us up all the PPE we need in no time. Bet no-one else has even remembered the North. But I checked, and the factories are all closed, and we import everything? Uh?
Quote:

We import food

There’s loads of farms in Britain, I’ve been past them on trains. But when I gave the order to turn off the tap, stop exports and if Europe suffers so be it, I found out we actually import food? Not just BMWs and Audis? I wish someone had told me all this earlier. Why was it a secret?
It's funny because it's true.....

Pixel42 8th April 2020 12:26 AM

Long but very informative article about the reaction of both scientific advisors and politicians to the unfolding crisis in the UK:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN21P1VF

Nessie 8th April 2020 01:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by catsmate (Post 13048363)
....
I think BoJo and UKGov are terrified; 66,000 deaths would be a society changer.

The Tories, who are responsible for Brexit and austerity, which have damaged the NHS (primarily loss of staff and beds), which has then struggled more than it should have to cope with the virus, are themselves going to struggle, especially since Labour now has a more effective leader.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-eu-staff-quit

"More than 10,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum, including almost 5,000 nurses. These new figures will add fuel to concerns about a wider staffing crisis.
So far this year more than 3,250 EU staff have left the NHS, according to data released under the Freedom of Information Act"

P.J. Denyer 8th April 2020 03:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Nessie (Post 13048990)
The Tories, who are responsible for Brexit and austerity, which have damaged the NHS (primarily loss of staff and beds), which has then struggled more than it should have to cope with the virus, are themselves going to struggle, especially since Labour now has a more effective leader.

https://www.theguardian.com/society/...-eu-staff-quit

"More than 10,000 EU nationals have left the NHS since the Brexit referendum, including almost 5,000 nurses. These new figures will add fuel to concerns about a wider staffing crisis.
So far this year more than 3,250 EU staff have left the NHS, according to data released under the Freedom of Information Act"


You're assuming people will actually blame the people and party responsible rather than voting for the leader of the party responsible because they've be sold the idea that that voting for the Conservative Party is an anti establishment protest vote.

Garrison 8th April 2020 03:26 AM

I really have to wonder about the description by Raab of Johnson as a 'fighter', everything I've read about Johnson points to a man who just quits when the going gets tough. Lazy, entitled or dishonest are terms I would associate with Johnson, not fighter.

P.J. Denyer 8th April 2020 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13049081)
I really have to wonder about the description by Raab of Johnson as a 'fighter', everything I've read about Johnson points to a man who just quits when the going gets tough. Lazy, entitled or dishonest are terms I would associate with Johnson, not fighter.

I don't think that's quite right,he has a certain dogged tenacity when it comes to his own interests, otherwise he wouldn't have made it to PM. It's just when it comes to serving the interests of constituents he can't really be bothered.

P.J. Denyer 8th April 2020 07:13 AM

The Dyson Respirator seems to have gone a bit quiet. Aside from the issue of whether contracts might be directed to doners, I don't understand why at a time when huge numbers of respirators are needed as fast as possible we'd be looking at new designs from non medical companies rather than existing designs that have passed regulatory scrutiny. Is it just me or does anyone else feel there's a touch of Elon Musk's 'cave submarine' to all this?

ceptimus 8th April 2020 07:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pixel42 (Post 13048967)
Long but very informative article about the reaction of both scientific advisors and politicians to the unfolding crisis in the UK:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN21P1VF


It's a good article, but cut-and-paste the names and you could apply it equally to most other countries.

Most countries are on the same COVID-19 trajectory as the UK - some are a few weeks ahead and some a few weeks behind - but that seems to be more down to international travel habits and luck than anything else.

A few countries appear, so far, to have done markedly better - but we don't yet know if that is down to inaccurate reporting of figures (Iran? North Korea?) or whether they have only managed to delay a severe prolonged lockdown rather than avoid it (Japan? Singapore?)

South Korea is currently the best example of how to successfully handle the virus - but even they have had to close schools and impose some other restrictions. It will be interesting to see whether any other countries (Germany?) are able to get back to the low infection level South Korea currently enjoys, and what the countries with those low levels will then have to do to maintain them.

The Don 8th April 2020 07:24 AM

Not really politics, but IMO a clear indication that there is a class of people who believe that rules only really apply to the little people:

Quote:

Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho accepts he was in the wrong for holding a one-on-one training session with record signing Tanguy Ndombele in a public park.

Mourinho was pictured on social media flouting UK government rules by meeting the midfielder on Hadley Common on Tuesday.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share

angrysoba 8th April 2020 07:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Garrison (Post 13049081)
I really have to wonder about the description by Raab of Johnson as a 'fighter', everything I've read about Johnson points to a man who just quits when the going gets tough. Lazy, entitled or dishonest are terms I would associate with Johnson, not fighter.

True, but it would have been pretty astonishing and maybe even bad taste for Dominic Raab to have said at the briefing.

He'll probably save it for the memoirs.

Darat 8th April 2020 07:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by The Don (Post 13049219)
Not really politics, but IMO a clear indication that there is a class of people who believe that rules only really apply to the little people:



https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/worl...ost_type=share


Hey they are probably very stressed out, some of them have taken a 30% pay cut and canít even earn money from personal appearances!

dann 8th April 2020 07:53 AM

U.S. Now Leads the World in Confirmed Cases (NYT, March 26, 2020)
Coronavirus: US records highest death toll in single day (BBC News, April 8, 2020)
"We're gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning!"
And nobody can claim that it wasn't due to Trump's performance.
YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE

Squeegee Beckenheim 8th April 2020 08:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by P.J. Denyer (Post 13049206)
The Dyson Respirator seems to have gone a bit quiet. Aside from the issue of whether contracts might be directed to doners, I don't understand why at a time when huge numbers of respirators are needed as fast as possible we'd be looking at new designs from non medical companies rather than existing designs that have passed regulatory scrutiny. Is it just me or does anyone else feel there's a touch of Elon Musk's 'cave submarine' to all this?

Would it help your understanding if I told you that Dyson was a huge donor to the Tory party?

Doghouse Reilly 8th April 2020 08:59 AM

Cnn reports today that the cdc is already beginning to revise downward their expected US death toll. Now saying 82,000.


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