Loading Notifications...

Robert Jenrick

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.

Seems like Boris's lapdog has conveniently disappeared from everywhere. No more daily updates, R4 appearances, TV interviews or even parliamentary attendance.

What a shite govt we have when questions are to answered but then, like Will O The Wisp, poof! Never to be seen.

Post edited at 09:27
1
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The most corrupt, inept, incompetent, malicious, hypocritical, amoral, aimless bunch of wasters in my lifetime.     

8
 Blunderbuss 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> The most corrupt, inept, incompetent, malicious, hypocritical, amoral, aimless bunch of wasters in my lifetime.     

...and they don't care! 

3
 baron 21 Jun 2020
3
In reply to baron:

One minister behaving badly vs. an entire government avoiding scrutiny, lying, undermining institutions, being grossly incompetent, bullying civil servants etc etc.  I don't think there is much comparison.

 baron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to MG:

> One minister behaving badly vs. an entire government avoiding scrutiny, lying, undermining institutions, being grossly incompetent, bullying civil servants etc etc.  I don't think there is much comparison.

One minister?

I thought that it was a far longer list than that as described in the linked article.

It was the corruption and sleaze of the Major government that made me vote Labour for the only time in my life just to see the offenders removed from power

2
In reply to baron:

If you did that with Major's government, how you can remain a supporter of this lot is utterly beyond me.  The main problem Major had was on the one hand promoting the "back to basics" social policy while having a string of ministers caught shagging donkeys (or something).  Hypocritical, sure, but hardly corrupt.

 baron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to MG:

> If you did that with Major's government, how you can remain a supporter of this lot is utterly beyond me.  The main problem Major had was on the one hand promoting the "back to basics" social policy while having a string of ministers caught shagging donkeys (or something).  Hypocritical, sure, but hardly corrupt.

Matrix Churchill?

Pergau Dam?

Homes for votes?

Cash for questions?

etc

There’s a fairly long list of corrupt practices listed in the Independent article.

And who says I’m a supporter of the present government?

I was simply replying to the Rob Exile Ward’s point that these were the worst government in his lifetime.

2
 stevieb 21 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

> Are you forgetting these events? - 

Ah, the old days, when ministers (sometimes) resigned when they were caught out lying and cheating. 

 baron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to stevieb:

> Ah, the old days, when ministers (sometimes) resigned when they were caught out lying and cheating. 

Indeed.

1
In reply to MG:

Just so. 

In reply to baron:

I remember it well, but even by those low standards the current Government appear utterly incompetent and utterly corrupt. Major appears to be a great leader in comparison.

In reply to baron:

I don't see why the actions of Westminster Council or individual MPs make you think the government was corrupt.  MC and Pegau  were indeed bad but not close to the current situation.

In reply to baron:

> And who says I’m a supporter of the present government?

For a critic, you hide it well!

1
In reply to baron:

'I was simply replying to the Rob Exile Ward’s point that these were the worst government in his lifetime.'

There may have been lots of sexual shenanigans going on - I'd forgotten about some of them, so thanks for reminding me - but broadly speaking the government of the day was still functioning, working its way through a legislative programme and being exposed to democratic scrutiny.

Yes the pandemic was an unexpected crisis but the way it has been dealt with has been the epitome of poor management, and a frigging tragic conflation of PR manoevering and public health policy. Everywhere you turn there is just more incompetence - Test and trace, tracing app, discharge into care homes, inaccurate and obscure statistics, confused messages  - and the irrefutable evidence is the number of excess deaths, compared to just about anywhere else in the world. Truly world beating. In so far as there is any other business being conducted at the moment, it seems that we are headed full speed ahead for a no-deal Brexit. I'm not sure whether this is by accident or design; I suspect the cock-up theory - they just don't get how complex, closely related economies work - it'll certainly be blamed on the EU when the start of next year is a further catastrophe.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Probably worth reminding people that the report in to Russian interference in our democratic processes still hasn’t been published. Only 9 months after it completed.

 wbo2 21 Jun 2020
In reply to baron: you're arguing corruption versus fecklessness and incompetence.   Enjoy 😉 😉 

 MonkeyPuzzle 21 Jun 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> Probably worth reminding people that the report in to Russian interference in our democratic processes still hasn’t been published. Only 9 months after it completed.

And Villiers has been removed from the absolutely-non-partizan-dont-look-at-me-like-that committee because she voted against the govt on lowering food standards. Stuff like this used to be a scandal in itself. It's just background noise with this lot. The damage done to our institutions built on trust is immeasurable at this point.

 profitofdoom 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> The most corrupt, inept, incompetent, malicious, hypocritical, amoral, aimless bunch of wasters in my lifetime.

Don't go so easy on them Rob. Say what you mean

Can I please add "arrogant", and "lying". Thank you

 Trangia 21 Jun 2020
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

I wonder how Corbyn, Abbott and co would have coped with the Pandemic had they won the last election?

Just idle speculation, but could they have been even worse? Who knows?

8
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It's the weekend. Send in Robert Generic.

Surprised Johnson managed to rouse himself to comment on the Reading stabbings. Although that was a pretty generic comment in itself...

Post edited at 11:45
In reply to profitofdoom:

Lying, definitely. Arrogant - I don't get that. Chaps and Patel, maybe. The rest look rather pathetic to me, even Johnson; you get the impression that they will burst into tears or throw a tantrum if people don't start liking them more.

 baron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> For a critic, you hide it well!

Thanks.

1
 baron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> you're arguing corruption versus fecklessness and incompetence.   Enjoy 😉 😉 

I’m not sure that feckless and incompetent is an accurate  description for the Major government. Surely corrupt needs including as well.

2
 stevieb 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> I wonder how Corbyn, Abbott and co would have coped with the Pandemic had they won the last election?

> Just idle speculation, but could they have been even worse? Who knows?

Remember, that wasn’t the only option. 
We could’ve had Rory Stewart who called for lockdown 2+ weeks before it happened, and seems to put actions ahead of PR. 
Personally I think Corbyn would’ve called for lockdown far earlier too. Not because he’s more competent that Johnson, but because he has very different core beliefs. Johnson doesn’t believe in much, but he does believe hugely in personal freedom to make your own mistakes, which isn’t helpful in a pandemic. 
O’Donnell would’ve been crucified for a budget as left wing as Sunak’s emergency budget though. 

 jkarran 21 Jun 2020
In reply to The New NickB:

> Probably worth reminding people that the report in to Russian interference in our democratic processes still hasn’t been published. Only 9 months after it completed.

It's doubtless big and embarrassing, it'll be taking ages to colour in every line with a big black marker pen before it can be published for scrutiny. What a shower of cnuts.

Jk

Post edited at 12:36
 jkarran 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> I wonder how Corbyn, Abbott and co would have coped with the Pandemic had they won the last election?

> Just idle speculation, but could they have been even worse? Who knows?

I doubt it, most of our current problems seem to stem from laissez faire tenancies, laziness, Cummings' weird obsessions with nudge and his own brilliance and a false dichotomy between economy or populous that can only exist where you don't recognise the people are the economy. 2019 Labour's top team may not have been to your taste or the most dynamic and decisive, I'd argue it was pretty hollow after years of ideological infighting but it didn't suffer the particular flaws manifest in this government and their bungled pandemic response. Putting people first would have been a massive step in the right direction for saving lives and jobs.

Jk

Post edited at 12:45
 Ian W 21 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

That is one hell of a list - and pretty entertaining. They were clearly the sleaziest lot.

 profitofdoom 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> .........Arrogant - I don't get that.....

That was aimed at Cummings. IMO

In reply to thread:

Sometimes I wonder if several other posters are stealing my thoughts.  Take some of my despair too, I’ve got plenty to spare...

 Timmd 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Ian W:

> That is one hell of a list - and pretty entertaining. They were clearly the sleaziest lot.

If it's sleaze of the bedroom type, I vaguely think we need to mind less about that kind of thing if people are good in their government jobs, which is more important to the functioning of our country? It never really registers with me as something to mind about.

Post edited at 19:47
 Timmd 21 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Sometimes I wonder if several other posters are stealing my thoughts.  Take some of my despair too, I’ve got plenty to spare...

Same here. The pandemic is bad enough, but with Brexit happening like it is, it's hard to feel optimistic about the economy and what might happen in society as a consequence.

Post edited at 19:53
 Darron 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Timmd:

Which is, of course, how the French view the indiscretions of their politicians. It’s worth remembering though that John Major had launched his ‘Back to basics’ campaign. Hypocrisy was a big part in public annoyance at the sleaze.

 Timmd 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Darron: Yes, there's a lot I quite like about the French. I'm just about old enough to remember Back To Basics, but I wasn't engaged enough politically to remember what followed things coming out about their hypocrisy, it makes sense there was a backlash.

 Ian W 21 Jun 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> If it's sleaze of the bedroom type, I vaguely think we need to mind less about that kind of thing if people are good in their government jobs, which is more important to the functioning of our country? It never really registers with me as something to mind about.


Well we have moved on in that respect wuite a bit. There is no way BoJo's shenanigans would have been tolerated from a cabinet minister back in Major's time - although dont forget even he was also getting supplementary legover courtesy of Edwina Currie......

 cb294 22 Jun 2020
In reply to Darron:

Mitterrand openly spent his free time with two families throughout his presidency, plus various other affairs resulting in children. Helmut Kohl always booked three bedrooms on his travels, his in the centre, "secretary" and wife to the left and right....

These are all open secrets, but noone cares. On the continent, we tend toelect these guys for governing the country, not for their bedroom performance. Being less stuffy and prudish also helps national security, as it essentialy makes it impossible to blackmail a politician with knowledge about an extramarital affair.

CB

In reply to cb294:

> On the continent, we tend toelect these guys for governing the country, not for their bedroom performance.

If only Johnson was as effective at governing as he is with impregnating women.

1
 Trevers 22 Jun 2020
In reply to Timmd:

> If it's sleaze of the bedroom type, I vaguely think we need to mind less about that kind of thing if people are good in their government jobs, which is more important to the functioning of our country? It never really registers with me as something to mind about.

Bear in mind that Johnson himself has enough bedroom sleaze to make up for the rest of his cabinets of losers and freaks.

 Baron Weasel 22 Jun 2020
In reply to Trangia:

> I wonder how Corbyn, Abbott and co would have coped with the Pandemic had they won the last election?

> Just idle speculation, but could they have been even worse? Who knows?

I think we'd have had a response similar to Jacinda if Corbyn had won the last election. I'm also convinced that the tories rigged the postal votes in all the marginal seats then wound up idox to cover their tracks. 

3
In reply to Trevers:

The rest of his cabinet have their own sleazy pasts, though...

 bonebag 22 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

The most corrupt, inept, incompetent, malicious, hypocritical, amoral, aimless bunch of wasters in my lifetime.     

Having an opinion is fine but how would you have done anything different. Tell us that. Not something you ever do is it in any of your posts on any thread in the last three months to do with the pandemic or this government. 

By the way I've voted labour all my life so have no special liking for Boris.

12
In reply to bonebag:

> but how would you have done anything different

I would have dug put the findings of the previous pandemic exercise to see what our weaknesses were.

I would have locked down earlier.

I would have ramped up local PPE supply immediately.

I would have coordinated test laboratories' efforts in situ.

I would have started more than one T&T app development.

I wouldn't have gone shaking people's hands, or saying 'take it on the chin'; I would have given a clearer explanation of the problem, and better guidance.

I would have sacked Cummings.

...and most of the cabinet, and tried to bring in a cross-party cabinet of intelligent people rather than feckless sycophants.

I would have combed my f*cking hair, and tried to look like a serious, responsible adult, not a rebellious 13 year old schoolboy having jolly japes with his pals.

1
 George Ormerod 23 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

And you could now admit the understandable mistakes that have been made in the heat of the crisis, have a short lessons learnt enquiry and implement the findings, so saving thousands of lives in the coming second wave.  

In reply to bonebag:

Have you checked my posts from March? 

In reply to captain paranoia:

Quite.  There was no shortage of many people saying many of these things weeks before lockdown, with rational justifications and an evidence base.

Exceptions:  Nobody was saying "Publish the Cygnus exercise" back then because even its existence was secret from us [1].

To add to your list - I would have re-formed my pandemic guidance panel so that it was led by diseases control experts and not modelling hobbyists.  I would hope that someone somewhere in government still understands that modelling is speculative and modelling of a largely unknown virus in it's earliest pandemic stages is an electronic version of pulling numbers out of ones arse.

[1] apart from a claim from DancingOnRock that it could and can be found online, for which they provided zero substantiating evidence when asked...  

1
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

> > but how would you have done anything different

> I would have dug put the findings of the previous pandemic exercise to see what our weaknesses were.

> I would have locked down earlier.

> I would have ramped up local PPE supply immediately.

> I would have coordinated test laboratories' efforts in situ.

> I would have started more than one T&T app development.

> I wouldn't have gone shaking people's hands, or saying 'take it on the chin'; I would have given a clearer explanation of the problem, and better guidance.

> I would have sacked Cummings.

> ...and most of the cabinet, and tried to bring in a cross-party cabinet of intelligent people rather than feckless sycophants.

> I would have combed my f*cking hair, and tried to look like a serious, responsible adult, not a rebellious 13 year old schoolboy having jolly japes with his pals.

You forgot the bit about correctly picking all of the lottery numbers plus the bonus ball.

Hindsight, eh?

20
In reply to bonebag:

> Having an opinion is fine but how would you have done anything different. Tell us that

In early February I over-shopped for several weeks to ensure we could sit out the coming panic buying period and make the problem less bad for other people, rater than making it worse.

I disengaged from my workplace as much as possible several weeks before lockdown and pulled Jr out of daycare some time before.  I am lucky that my situation allowed me to do this and recognise that without government support many people couldn't realistically do this.

Several weeks before lockdown I started lobbying my employer hard with evidence to shut down or reduce face-to-face teaching in small rooms with poor ventilation and large numbers of young adults, as this was already recognised with medical evidence from Japan to be a likely route for widespread transmission from individuals without symptoms.  Enough people did this that despite the usual stock of people not willing to learn enough to understand and saying things like "don't worry there's only 51 cases in the UK" [1] we shut down all face-to-face teaching about 10 days before lockdown, removing something like half a million contact hours and almost certainly saving a lot of lives.  We led the sector in the UK (some leading institutions in the USA shut down a week or two earlier), others followed and many did this before the lockdown.  This happened across other sectors too and perhaps made the difference between a very hair raising two weeks post lockdown and the near-total collapse of the NHS.  I think it really taxed some of our administration to listen to and acknowledge the views of the people who they call "world leading experts" in their marketing brochures over the government advice, it goes against every fibre of their systematic views and I'm quite proud of them.

For some weeks before lockdown I produced and interpreted all the evidence I could find to explain what was happening to much derision from some posters who didn't want to understand - which is a different and somewhat less supportable position from the entirely normal situation of not understanding something that blows up from nowhere and is totally outside your sphere of knowledge.  However, I can see why it was hard for people to want to understand when the god damned PM was telling people he was shaking hands in a hospital with Covid infected in it.  A key part of preparing the pubic to accept lockdown before lots of people are dying - i.e when it can be most effective - is clear and consistent messaging from every government person every time they open their mouth or put pen to paper.  The really frustrating thing to me is that manipulating the public through messaging is core to what the conservative party have been doing for some years.  I'm starting to think the reason Cummings is such a fan of 3-word catch phrases is that it's the most complex level of messaging his lap dogs in cabinet can't f**k up, and try as he might he couldn't reduce the messaging for Covid to 3-words so he decided "f**k it, herd immunity it is" and being far less scientifically literate than he thinks he is, he didn't understand what an unachievable pipe dream herd immunity was likely to be.

[*] That being detected cases not total, and under-detection being a common factor in the early stages of a pandemic especially one where transmission by individuals without symptoms had already been identified and communicated multiple times by medical researchers.

Post edited at 10:11
In reply to baron:

> Hindsight, eh?

Can I give you lines to write on the board 100 times? - "It's not hindsight when people were saying all this before the event. "

By people I don't just mean UKC punters but hundreds and hundreds of scientists end epidemiologists and medics and other world leaders - e.g. a letter being put together from around March 3rd and published March 14th - http://maths.qmul.ac.uk/~vnicosia/UK_scientists_statement_on_coronavirus_measures.pdf

1
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > Hindsight, eh?

> Can I give you lines to write on the board 100 times? - "It's not hindsight when people were saying all this before the event. "

No you can’t.

17
 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

It's a type of hindsight that is still happening. I've lost count this week of Tory MPs using the discredited Prof Gupta Oxford study (which does not meet evidence in several key respects) as an example of diferences in 'Science' to encourage a faster opening. It is far worse modelling than the early models that informed bad decisions in SAGE. The consequences of opening too fast are being played out across the world most notably in places like Texas. Deaths lag case increases by several weeks.

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/texas/

In reply to Offwidth:

Jayyyzus that Texas plot looks a lot worse than when I last looked a week ago.

I don’t know what Gupta is playing at; some of her claims on the bounds for a fatality rate could be trivially demolished with readily available data using zero assumptions.  I hope there is going to be a reckoning within academia after this, it seems to me that there have been multiple serious failings in multiple places which I think have been carefully masqueraded by MPs and others as you suggest to quite deliberately further agendas.  

I’ve been distressed to see various colleagues pile in to the RAMP effort to make even more complex models.  We should be leading with “actual” not “theoretical” epidemiology, medical studies and biophysical studies over droplet formation, viable lifetime in air and vs temperature and contact surface, droplet distribution, mask efficacy of different covering and filter types and so on.  This is all the data missing to make super clever fine grained models useful, and with it such models aren’t needed.
 

 MonkeyPuzzle 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Who decides on the make up of SAGE? As in who decides which disciplines are represented and by whom? I'm struggling to find that info and you seem knowledgeable on the subject.

 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

Hardly unexpected. It's where science meets opinion. The science of psychology shows us opinions can incredibly difficult to shift even in the face of clear evidence of them being wrong. Those March letters were there and Wintertree wasn't the only one here pointing them out. The analysis of what went wrong because the government trusted faulty models is already pretty clear.

I hope we can avoid making more mistakes, as in the end the human and economic damage of another lockdown will be way more damaging than a little more caution now. If I could trust our government I'd be more confident we could quickly adjust to evidence changes. Currently we are in a situation where Boris might be 'lucky' but if he is 'unlucky' again, the human and economic consequences will be very severe.

In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Who decides on the make up of SAGE? As in who decides which disciplines are represented and by whom? I'm struggling to find that info and you seem knowledgeable on the subject.

Not much is published that I know of.  There were hints in the papers a couple of months ago about a rift between traditional epidemiologists and those turned modellers in the pandemic sub committee.  Much of my opinion on the modelling comes from reading through the heavily edited source code release, various old papers and the RAMP communications (effort to recruit more people to make cleverer models and to test existing ones).

My key suspicion is that the modellers came in on their epidemiology chops and then pushed the modelling. There should be a complex systems modelling person on there to interpret the bounds of applicability or modelling for the rest of the committee so they can present balanced evidence to government.  Given the rising use of modelling everywhere cabinet should probably be trained in understanding the bounds of applicability or models.  As it stands they’ve got Cummings to help with this, he who read some books on science and history in a swimming pool converted into a bunker and who I am starting to suspect isn’t really endowed with sufficient understanding of the nitty gritty.  

Post edited at 10:50
 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

The government through their leading scientific advisors formed SAGE

 MonkeyPuzzle 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree and Offwisth:

Okay thanks. Just trying to get my head round how we end up in a situation where there are questions by many former SAGE members why there aren't any (any?) Public Health experts sitting on SAGE during what is obviously first and foremost a public health crisis. I understand Jenny Harries background to be Public Health but she has shown herself to be so pliant with reinforcing the government's political view at each point, I'm definitely not alone in worrying about the strength of her input behind closed doors.

It does feel like all the chips went on the data modelers and much-vaunted nudge unit, and an attempt to "finesse" and therefore minimise the lockdown, rather than apply the precautionary principle for a disease we don't understand, which has obviously spectacularly backfired.

I'm also wondering if there were any politically set constraints within which the scientists were asked to work (lockdown as last resort, pursue herd immunity, whatever) which have affected SAGE's output, or whether it's simply by virtue of the type of experts involved that meant we took the root we did as opposed to that of nearly every other normally functioning country.

 MonkeyPuzzle 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Hardly unexpected. It's where science meets opinion. The science of psychology shows us opinions can incredibly difficult to shift even in the face of clear evidence of them being wrong. Those March letters were there and Wintertree wasn't the only one here pointing them out. The analysis of what went wrong because the government trusted faulty models is already pretty clear.

Jon Ashworth, Shadow Health Sec. questioned Hancock (or maybe Raab) directly in the HoC on 9th March why we were not cancelling large events and already shielding over-65s. Most of the people I'm friends with and work with also questioning the lack of a lockdown and had started to go into it voluntarily. Just thinking the numbers would be even worse had people not locked down and isolated family members off their own backs before the govt acted.

 a crap climber 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> There should be a complex systems modelling person on there to interpret the bounds of applicability or modelling for the rest of the committee so they can present balanced evidence to government.  Given the rising use of modelling everywhere cabinet should probably be trained in understanding the bounds of applicability or models. 

I do modelling and simulation in the engineering sector, I've come across many modellers and even some self-proclaimed modelling experts who don't understand this. Getting the current cabinet to understand it seems beyond the realms of possibility.

Modelling often seems attractive to those who don't thoroughly understand the limitations - you just crank the handle and get the answer out. I've written reports full of caveats and assumptions, but then these get referenced by someone else who just cherry picks a graph that supports what they want to say. By the time it reaches a decision maker all the nuance is lost. If the person writing/running the model already has their own agenda then you have no chance.

Yeah you need someone to interpret the results, but that's easier said than done. Particularly when said person ends up being someone who reached a senior position through self promotion and telling those above what they want to hear. But anyway, I'm digressing into a rant about my own experiences here... 

 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to a crap climber:

Thanks for you post; I’m glad it’s not just me ranting on this front.  I also have serious concerns about the traits that put people in a position of influence with governments like ours and the direction of the university sector.

In reply to wintertree:

Yes we have seen what can happen when a modest and mild man who is nonetheless an expert in his field diverges from desired government policy:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert)

:

 cb294 23 Jun 2020
In reply to a crap climber:

Just because it is topical:

https://xkcd.com/2323/

 Postmanpat 23 Jun 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I'm also wondering if there were any politically set constraints within which the scientists were asked to work (lockdown as last resort, pursue herd immunity, whatever) which have affected SAGE's output, or whether it's simply by virtue of the type of experts involved that meant we took the root we did as opposed to that of nearly every other normally functioning country.

>

  I'm confused. How does that happen? I thought that SAGE never recommended lockdown but the government went ahead with lockdown. If the government had influenced SAGE's view (not to recommend lockdown) why wouldn't they just ask SAGE to recommend lockdown when it changed its mind?

  I note that Camilla Stoltenberg , who runs Norway's public health institute, thinks they might have locked too hard and too early and is not convinced that the differences between countries comes down to early and strong action – it could be just as much luck.

Can one of you get in touch to put her right?

Post edited at 14:46
12
 jkarran 23 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

> No you can’t.

I remember sitting down mid-late Jan to discuss whether we should cancel or insure our early Feb wedding. As it goes we made the wrong call and got very lucky, the first confirmed cases arrived in town (and UK) the same day as my elderly relatives. I'm a pretty average nobody, this disaster shouldn't have come as any surprise to those professionally tasked with our protection! It was clear what was necessary weeks before the public eventually lead government by the nose into 'lockdown'. 

Jk

Post edited at 15:42
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to jkarran:

On March 22nd I was on holiday in Scotland, my mother was in France and my next door neighbours were in Mexico. Other friends were in the Caribbean, Patagonia and India.

With the exception of me none of them would you consider to be reckless, ignorant or selfish. In fact quite the opposite.

Yet we’d all found ourselves away from home and only returned as the death toll rose.

Had the government announced an earlier lockdown then it’s likely that hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers both home and abroad wouldn’t have complied. The large number of people making their way into Scotland as lockdown was being considered and announced is proof of that. Even ‘Scotland is shut, go home! ‘ signs didn’t stem the flow.

It was the quick rise in the death toll that was the convincing factor.

Just because the science is clear on what should be done doesn’t mean that action, as in a lockdown, what will be a workable solution. 
As you said the people led the government into lockdown which, given the nature of our society, was probably the only way that it would work.

Lockdown by public consent.
And now lockdown is being eased, possibly against some scientific advice, because it appears that is what many of the people want. The vocal ones at least.

7
 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to jkarran:

Back to Robert Jenrick. I failed to realise he is the Southall MP until chatting to one of his constituents today I was told the MP promised his constituency that his Southall house would be his main home.... until caught out in Herefordshire. So did he lie to his constituents or to the country?

In reply to Offwidth:

c) both...?

In reply to baron:

> It was the quick rise in the death toll that was the convincing factor.

A shame the quick rise in death toll in China and then in Italy didn’t convince people.  A capable government could have used those cases to do exactly that.  Many other governments did exactly that.  Ours had a PM ignoring every opportunity to do that and doing the exact opposite with things like the hand shaking comment.

 toad 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

Southwell!!

 MonkeyPuzzle 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

>   I'm confused. How does that happen? I thought that SAGE never recommended lockdown but the government went ahead with lockdown. If the government had influenced SAGE's view (not to recommend lockdown) why wouldn't they just ask SAGE to recommend lockdown when it changed its mind?

I'm interested in any constraints that may or may not have been set. Setting constraints helps rules out wasting effort on scenarios deemed unacceptable beforehand. Maybe there were no constraints. I'm interested. You're not. Fine.

>   I note that Camilla Stoltenberg , who runs Norway's public health institute, thinks they might have locked too hard and too early and is not convinced that the differences between countries comes down to early and strong action – it could be just as much luck.

That's interesting. I like finding out more information.

> Can one of you get in touch to put her right?

Sorry, did I come to a conclusion?

In reply to baron:

I returned from Scotland on 9th March. I was sent home from work on 13th March. Since I had used public transport to get to Scotland, and the wife of one of my companions had come back from a Spanish resort with a significant outbreak, I chose not to go to my sister's 60th on the 15th, as I would have to use public transport to get there, and I didn't want to risk the possibility of me being unwittingly infectious, and spreading to my vulnerable family members or other passengers. Work had started planning a response at the beginning of Feb, rolling out increasingly strict measures until we shut down, and started working from home. Significantly ahead of Government advice.

A friend returned from Wuhan in mid Feb, and self isolated for two weeks.

 MonkeyPuzzle 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > It was the quick rise in the death toll that was the convincing factor.

> A shame the quick rise in death toll in China and then in Italy didn’t convince people.  A capable government could have used those cases to do exactly that.  Many other governments did exactly that.  Ours had a PM ignoring every opportunity to do that and doing the exact opposite with things like the hand shaking comment.

Well this is the cause for concern, isn't it? On modelling, track and trace app, contact tracing, testing etc. the govt has sought to bring everything in house at every step even if there's pre-existing data or structures. We were doing our own modelling based on influenza, whilst there were real world outbreaks happening out there which seem to have gone unheeded. Were we overconfident in our world-beating expertise to the exclusion of external voices? Were we overconfident in general, trying to catch the outbreak *just right* rather than apply a precautionary principle for something we didn't understand?

 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to toad:

I know.. bad eyesight and weird predictive text on my new tablet. What's an MP telling porkies on really serious issues, compared to UKC pedantry eh?

In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Were we overconfident in our world-beating expertise to the exclusion of external voices? Were we overconfident in general, trying to catch the outbreak *just right* rather than apply a precautionary principle for something we didn't understand?

This is the key question to me. There are a range of possibilities I see; I make no comment as to which is most likely.  The other thing to consider when weighing up possibilities is that many contracts like the app development and contact tracing didn’t start going out two months before lockdown but one or even two months after lockdown.  Even PPE orders went in inexplicably late.

  1. We were overconfident in the views of the modellers is that somehow it would not explode in our face, despite evidence from other countries and internal experts.
  2. Government were perusing a “herd immunity” strategy and wanted infection rates as high as manageable without crashing the NHS, and gradually back-pedalled as the reality bit.
  3. Rush efforts on vaccines need lots of people catching the virus for stage 3 clinical trials.  A successful vaccine will be a big global earner post brexit completion.
  4. Government are just doing what they’re told by some bad actor who is pushing the envelope of plausible deniability with a goal of stalling the UK economically and ultimately militarily.  Remind me again when the ISC last sat...
  5. Government is being manipulated unwittingly by the bad actor from above.

We could be anywhere on a spectrum from total incompetence to treason.  

Post edited at 17:32
 Postmanpat 23 Jun 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> I'm interested in any constraints that may or may not have been set. Setting constraints helps rules out wasting effort on scenarios deemed unacceptable beforehand. Maybe there were no constraints. I'm interested. You're not. Fine.

>

  I'm fascinated. That's why I am asking what the logic could possibly be.

> Sorry, did I come to a conclusion?

No, better get one of the others to make the call.

3
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> > It was the quick rise in the death toll that was the convincing factor.

> A shame the quick rise in death toll in China and then in Italy didn’t convince people.  A capable government could have used those cases to do exactly that.  Many other governments did exactly that.  Ours had a PM ignoring every opportunity to do that and doing the exact opposite with things like the hand shaking comment.

Weren’t China reporting falling infection and death rates throu March?

1
 toad 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

in fairness, the two places are a long way apart with  very different demographics

In reply to baron:

> Weren’t China reporting falling infection and death rates throu March?

Where did I mention March?  We had evidence of fast rising infection rates well before March.

China had falling numbers *after* committing to a massive lockdown.  They had rapid rises then lockdown then falling numbers.  All good evidence for our government to use to convince people of the necessity of a lockdown, or to at least try.  

Post edited at 17:47
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Where did I mention March?  We had evidence of fast rising infection rates well before March.

> China had falling numbers *after* committing to a massive lockdown.  They had rapid rises then lockdown then falling numbers.  All good evidence for our government to use to convince people of the necessity of a lockdown, or to at least try.  

Are you suggesting that we should have locked down in February?It would have been very difficult if not impossible to impose a lockdown in the U.K. in February even with China’s figures and even harder in mid March when China was reporting falling numbers.
How a U.K. government could impose a lockdown without the support of the Major of the population I’m not sure and I don’t think that support was there long before the 23rd.

2
In reply to baron:

I am suggesting that the information and evidence was there from mid January onwards for our government to engage in planning for a major pandemic in the UK and to engage in clear and consistent messaging and communication with the people of the UK so that they would be prepared to accept lockdown before UK local deaths started spiking and we got to the brink of NHS collapse.  Your thesis is that people would/could only accept lockdown by this point.  Mine is that the government had everything they needed to prepare people for an earlier lockdown for at least 7-8 weeks in advance of lockdown and that they could have done masses to prepare people.

The subtleties of this point seem complete lost on you I’m afraid. You keep reading things in to my posts I have not said, and not taking them as further to my previous posts and your responses to them.   The only recourse I have to such a style of argument is to lay my points out in every post I make in ever increasing detail; this is very tiresome and seems to get me labelled as a borish windbag... 

> and even harder in mid March when China was reporting falling numbers.

Evidence that lockdown worked in China would make it *harder* to impose lockdown here?  You’ll have to explain that one to me really clearly.  Again it’s all down to messaging, communication and preparation.  Not only did we have evidence lockdown could suddenly become necessary over a month before we needed to lockdown, we had evidence that such a lockdown could be highly effective.  Everything the government needed to prepare people for lockdown 1-2 weeks earlier - net result of which could have been 30,000+ lives saved and out of a very economically damaging lockdown over a month sooner.

Post edited at 18:18
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I started one of my previous posts by explaining how a number of people I know were not convinced enough by the available data to cancel their plans to travel around the world. These were careful, considerate, conservative, well educated people.

Yet you seem to think that the government could have used the available data to convince the population not just to cancel their holidays but to endure a severe curtailing of their everyday freedoms and incomes. I’m still not convinced.

Especially as many people don’t think much of the government’s communication skills.

4
In reply to baron:

> I started one of my previous posts by explaining how a number of people I know were not convinced enough by the available data to cancel their plans to travel around the world. These were careful, considerate, conservative, well educated people.

> Yet you seem to think that the government could have used the available data to convince the population not just to cancel their holidays but to endure a severe curtailing of their everyday freedoms and incomes. I’m still not convinced.

Thought experiment.   

  1. Your friends see the PM on the news saying “I went to a hospital.  I think it had covid victims in. I shook hands everywhere”
  2. Your friends see the PM on the news saying “I had a video call with the doctors at the hospital who have covid victims.  I made the unusual step not to visit as we must all take steps within our power to slow the transmission of the unusually lethal and transmissible virus. We do this to reduce the odds of deaths exploding beyond our ability to cope and forcing us into lockdown, as happened in Wuhan province”

If the message had been more like 2 instead of 1 throughout February and early March I hope many more reasonable people would have been convinced of the necessity of lockdown sooner - yet the time at which it would have been needed would have been later due to more people cancelling travel and big events sooner.

I have every reason to believe that people can accept an earlier lockdown, as it has happened in other countries that have a lot of shared heritage with us. 

Post edited at 18:41
 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

Well if they were that well informed those people seem to have been stretching cognitive dissonance to double-think. Most well informed people around me who believe in science had changed plans from weeks to a month earlier. If you were looking the warnings were there to see in those public letters. Frankly I think you must be confused about how well informed they actually were as you seem to be spinning arguments so fast to dodge the evidence you must be getting dizzy.

 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to toad:

Hmmm... as some locals might ask, do you mean the metaphorical distance between 'suthull' and ' south well'

 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> Thought experiment.   

> Your friends see the PM on the news saying “I went to a hospital.  I think it had covid victims in. I shook hands everywhere”

> Your friends see the PM on the news saying “I had a video call with the doctors at the hospital who have covid victims.  I made the unusual step not to visit as we must all take steps within our power to slow the transmission of the unusually lethal and transmissible virus. We do this to reduce the odds of deaths exploding beyond our ability to cope and forcing us into lockdown, as happened in Wuhan province”

> If the message had been more like 2 instead of 1 throughout February and early March I hope many more reasonable people would have been convinced of the necessity of lockdown sooner - yet the time at which it would have been needed would have been later due to more people cancelling travel and big events sooner.

> I have every reason to believe that people can accept an earlier lockdown, as it has happened in other countries that have a lot of shared heritage with us. 

While Johnson’s approach has been his usual cavalier one I do seem to remember the government scientists on the BBC explaining how outdoor events posed little risk.

Maybe if their message had been different more people would have listened.

2
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Well if they were that well informed those people seem to have been stretching cognitive dissonance to double-think. Most well informed people around me who believe in science had changed plans from weeks to a month earlier. If you were looking the warnings were there to see in those public letters. Frankly I think you must be confused about how well informed they actually were as you seem to be spinning arguments so fast to dodge the evidence you must be getting dizzy.

Hundreds of thousands of people ignore medical advice every day even though by doing so they risk their long term health.

Smoking, drinking, lack of exercise, poor diet.

Just because people know what’s good for them doesn’t mean they’ll take the necessary action.

Take the recent BLM protests as an example.

3
In reply to baron:

> While Johnson’s approach has been his usual cavalier one I do seem to remember the government scientists on the BBC explaining how outdoor events posed little risk.

At the time accurate, now still accurate, not dangerously wrong unlike Boris’.  By implication indoors is not so safe.  

> Maybe if their message had been different more people would have listened.

I see your point that we should blame the behind the scenes people suddenly thrown into the media spotlight and not the leadership for a lack of, er, leadership.   Edit: expanded on what I meant by “little people”.

I think it’s horseshit but I see it.

Post edited at 20:08
 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

> At the time accurate, now still accurate, not dangerously wrong unlike Boris’.  By implication indoors is not so safe.  

> I see your point that we should blame the little people and not the leadership for a lack of, er, leadership.  

> I think it’s horseshit but I see it.

I wasn’t trying to blame the little people - the government is where responsibility lies - but I’m guessing that scientists come higher up the believeability scale than politicians

1
 Offwidth 23 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

Absolutely... out of addiction, mental health problems, emotional difficuties or plain selfishness but not to quote you directly as characteristically "careful, considerate, conservative, well educated people".

 baron 23 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Absolutely... out of addiction, mental health problems, emotional difficuties or plain selfishness but not to quote you directly as characteristically "careful, considerate, conservative, well educated people".

You don’t think that being careful, considerate, etc means that you can’t also suffer from addiction, mental health problems, etc, do you?

In reply to cb294:

> Just because it is topical:

Wow; my rants over the last month preceded an XKCD.

For the record I deny any and all rumours that I am Randall Monroe.

In reply to Offwidth:

> I know.. bad eyesight 

Trip to Barnard Castle for you, then...

 mondite 23 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

> Yet you seem to think that the government could have used the available data to convince the population not just to cancel their holidays but to endure a severe curtailing of their everyday freedoms and incomes. I’m still not convinced.

The government could have taken action with regards to holidays by saying dont travel. At which point the travel insurance companies would trigger their escape clauses and so people would be given a very clear hint. In theory I guess they could say sod it but most wouldnt.

> Especially as many people don’t think much of the government’s communication skills.

An interesting defence of the government by admitting they are shit at one of their core jobs.

Could I do it? Nope but I dont have the arrogance to think I could and so havent tried to become an MP.

They clearly think they are good enough so its not unreasonable to expect them to be more competent than joe public and be able to make those hard decisions and, if necessary, piss off the public to do so.

 Offwidth 24 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

Of course not but I would forgive them for their bad decisions rather than painting them as well informed people acting on good reasons.

 Offwidth 24 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Given the etymology for 'doing a Barnard Castle' are you implying my eyesight problems are made up ? ;-)

 cb294 24 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

I have printed it for my lab door, as it is also a pet peeve for me: Model a cell as a sphere, and you can learn something about spheres not cells...

CB

 neilh 24 Jun 2020
In reply to wintertree:

Vaccines are not  really a  big profit earner for pharma, drugs are( One of the well recognised issues with vaccines is that pharma have chosen to ignore developing them). For example they are usually sold at cost or given away. Have a dig round for articles over the past few years on this issue.It is a bit of an eyeopener and there has been little press on this subject recently.

It does not mean that there will be considerable soft power kudos from bringing out the vaccine.Just imagine how China /USA is going to laud it. Same with the UK or France or India.It will be a huge win if the Oxford one is succesful for Uk life sciences.But global earner- debateable. And we all want them to be succesful.

This is from the economist a relaible source on info

Because profits in vaccine making are low, not many Western companies find such capabilities worth the candle. Almost all the pharmaceutical industry’s vaccine-manufacturing know-how is concentrated in just four companies: GSK, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Sanofi. And these four are generally wary of developing vaccines for pandemics, not least because developing vaccines for diseases that then vanish is even less profitable. “Look at what happened with the excellent Zika vaccine as soon as it turned out America wasn’t going to get slammed. Look at the 2009 flu pandemic vaccine,” says Laurie Garrett, author of “The Coming Plague”, a prescient book published in 1994. A decade ago, after the H1N1 influenza pandemic fizzled out, the governments of America and various European countries backed out of promised contracts, leaving pharmaceutical companies holding the bag which contained hundreds of millions of dollars of development costs. Nevertheless, all four are contributing to covid-19 vaccine efforts. In an unusual collaboration, GSK is providing a particularly promising adjuvant to Sanofi’s protein subunit programme.

https://www.economist.com/briefing/2020/04/16/can-the-world-find-a-good-covid-19-vaccine-quickly-enough

In reply to neilh:

Good post and link, thanks.  In general I agree with you about vaccines I think but this is a rather exceptional case.  For what it’s worth this is a very low option in my guess except for cumming’s trip to Barnard castle leading to a bit of nagging doubt.  After all, clinical trials can always happen abroad.

In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Im really starting to get pissed off with this government now.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-53158002

It seems that they now decide when the end of an issue is, not the people wanting the information.  As a previous Tory voter, my vote is going to Starmer until I see this govt gone.

I really, really should stop reading the news.

Post edited at 12:29
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

It is time, surely, for this government to move on.

Edit: a dislike already?  It’s not often I try and be funny, cut me some slack!  Edit 2: I’ve done it now by mentioning dislikes...

Post edited at 13:28
3
 Bob Kemp 24 Jun 2020
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Until we get shot of them, the only panacea is mocking laughter...

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/23/richard-desmond-mutating-affliction-fifth-spike-porn-publisher-robert-jenrick

Marina Hyde's latest column.

 Offwidth 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Bob Kemp:

Robert was chosen to be suitably useless, like the rest of the cabinet, to flatter Boris. Control will be centralised.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/24/dominic-cummings-could-face-inquiry-over-special-advisers

In reply to Offwidth:

I can't believe I'd doing this, but what's this all about? Has the Earth wobbled on its axis?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8443747/LORD-JONATHAN-SUMPTION-people-no-idea-theyre-doing.html

Even the comment are sensible. 

 Postmanpat 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I can't believe I'd doing this, but what's this all about? Has the Earth wobbled on its axis?

>

  So you agree that the government was following scientific advice in not locking down early. So if lockdown was late and caused tens of thousands of avoidable deaths we should blame SAGE?

By the way, this stuff has been in the public domain for weeks. Why didn't you know this?

5
 JimR 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

Not only are this govt corrupt, they are thick as shit and twice as cheap. £12k donation saves £40m tax, what a bunch of tossers.. I’d be looking for the rest of the quid pro quo if I ere an investigative journalist

Post edited at 21:36
1
 Bob Kemp 24 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

> Robert was chosen to be suitably useless, like the rest of the cabinet, to flatter Boris. Control will be centralised.

Agreed. The centralisation is particularly disturbing. And it reminded me of this Guardian article last week:  "Incompetence is a built-in feature, not a bug in Boris Johnson's government":

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jun/17/incompetence-boris-johnson-government-cabinet-britain

 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

More importnayly how come you read this, are you a secret DM reader?LOL

Sumption is a clever bloke.

 Offwidth 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Postmanpat:

I've been saying that something was fishy with the UK scientific front men from the start. All this nonsense about herd immunity and being 4 weeks behind Italy was clearly wrong.  After the famous Times article it was crystal clear SAGE, not Boris, were mainly to blame for the timing. The government can't escape all blame though: Boris didn't exactly encourage people to take the virus seriously; the government in-built the faults to SAGE (too much focus on models, not enough on experience from fighting outbreaks from virologists and public health and not enough scientific openness to confirm the approach); working with Sweden on exceptionalism counter to WHO advice; and subsequent massive failures on testing, PPE and returning the hospitalised to care homes, that killed many more than needed given that timing. I'm very disappointed with the scientific leadership subsequently appearing to back the government when they do stupid shit, especially the leaders of Public Health England. I've been banging on for years about how putting Public Health into austerity hit councils was a disaster waiting to happen and PHE leadership helped implement that when they should have been resigning in protest.

Post edited at 09:42
 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

The testing programme also only got going when the Office of Life Sciences which was more nimble and could work with Unis and the private sector became involved and overrode PHE.

The Economist has expressed views that SAGE were trying to second guess the politicians ( probably because the govt was not making any decisions).

1
 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to baron:

I think you maybe wasting your time here. 
 

it’s very clear that several factors play out in the timing of a lockdown, not just some scientific evidence of what might happen if/when it arrives. 
 

The major and overriding factor is the effect it has on the economy. If we can’t eat, we die, it’s as simple as that. Locking down without the consent of the people and without careful consideration of who locks down and how, would kill thousands of people and result in civil unrest. 
 

You can’t just lockdown because a disease in China has spread to Italy and is killing a lot of old people. 
 

Yes, lots of companies were preparing, it took us 3-6 weeks after the lockdown to have our building of 10,000 people working properly from home. Despite making preparations well before lockdown. 
 

Lockdown will have been led based on SAGE advice who must have advisors consulting with industry and commerce on how resilient their supply chains were. 

8
 MargieB 25 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

I learn quite a bit of UKC. What about this App fiasco? Germany versus our attempts. Starmer is bringing this into sharp critical focus.

 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

Jenrick seems to be involved in a lot of odd deals. He’s just rubber stamped a housing estate near us that has been being batted and forward for years. It meets non of the local government planning criteria and has had loads of sound legal objections. It went to him to try and get it stopped. Classic. 

 Offwidth 25 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

Undeniably clever but also a complete arse at times. Sometimes a dangerous one when he places personal freedoms above public health.

https://thecritic.co.uk/why-lord-sumption-is-wrong-about-the-coronavirus-shutdown/

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/30/covid-19-ex-supreme-court-judge-lambasts-disgraceful-policing

 Offwidth 25 Jun 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

If we look at Europe and see what happened to those countries who locked down earlier based more on WHO advice and were more careful with their borders, the period of lockdown would have been shorter, deaths an order of magnitude lower and the economic damage much reduced.

 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

What we didn’t know was that the disease was already here and in the community well before the first case was presented. 
 

It’s why it suddenly exploded, we based everything on the idea that it would start in one area from a single case and spread exponentially. Not start in 1400 separate areas. We aren’t China, Italy, France etc. Lots of other countries saw what happened here and based their lockdowns on what happened here. Don’t kid yourself they acted on WHO advice. 

Post edited at 10:39
8
In reply to neilh:

> Sumption is a clever bloke.

Perfectly possible to be clever and wrong.  Especially when comes down to something emotional rather than logical, like the relative importance of personal freedom when it conflicts with the public good.

 Offwidth 25 Jun 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Yes we do: the understanding of the basic science of the pandemic virus is clear. The disease kills from 0.5 to 3% of those infected (higher levels where hospitals get overwhelmed) and unchecked it doubles every few days. What the science doesn't know fully is the very different characteristics of these earlier infections but by far the most likely explanation is the virus mutated into its current lethal form. The idea you express is that of the Oxford study and Prof Gupta which has been thoroughly debunked and doesn't even meet basic evidence compliance.

In reply to DancingOnRock:

> Jenrick seems to be involved in a lot of odd deals.

I had been inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt and put this one down to inexperience and being bounced by an old pro like Desmond (“I’d love to provide lots of affordable housing but if they clobber me with this new tax I’ll have to walk away”).

However, having read his Wikipedia page, I’m more inclined to think it’s exactly what it looks like.

Post edited at 10:55
 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Or was it nimbyism that stopped the development. We need to be building morre houses in the UK and its one of the reasons why local planners have had to be overruled. Where I live everybody moans about lack of housing for families yet oppose any local developments saying they can be built elsewhere. You cannot have it both ways.

 JimR 25 Jun 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

> What we didn’t know was that the disease was already here and in the community well before the first case was presented. 

> It’s why it suddenly exploded, we based everything on the idea that it would start in one area from a single case and spread exponentially. Not start in 1400 separate areas. We aren’t China, Italy, France etc. Lots of other countries saw what happened here and based their lockdowns on what happened here. Don’t kid yourself they acted on WHO advice. 

load of bollox. Large organisations (including govt departments) were locking down based on medical advice weeks  before the govt announced it. Cummings participated in the SAGE meetings`, Johnson failed to attend any Cobra meetings .. what a shambles.

In reply to JimR:

>load of bollox. Large organisations (including govt departments) were locking down based on medical advice weeks  before the govt announced it.

Quite.  My employer shut down face-to-face teaching about 10 days before lockdown cancelling on the order of 200,000 contact hours largely in small, poorly ventilated classrooms.  The world and their dog saw the exponential phase coming to the U.K. at some point from mid-January; it was basically impossible to predict when it would start, but really very simple to predict what would happen once it did.  We were forearmed by early March with extensive, documented studies of transmission by individuals not displaying symptoms.  It came as a surprise neither to me nor to many of my colleagues, nor to the hundreds of scientists and medics producing open letter before lockdown.

Post edited at 11:23
 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to JimR:

Read my previous post about shutting down the economy. You can’t just pull the plug. Many organisations were already ramping down and getting ready. Would they have been ready if in February they just locked down. 
 

What would the effect of Panic buying of laptops, home broadband, home office furniture have had? How would people have transported files they needed from office to home. 
 

Please have a little bit of a think about the logic of just locking down first. Were you involved in the high level discussions being made within your organisation? 

8
 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

No. It’s a green belt land with special scientific interest. They’ve moved a district boundary to fit the development into a different district which doesn’t have the infrastructure, one council is pocketing all the cash and another is shouldering all the cost. 
The independent traffic studies have all been ignored while the developer has put forward their own. 
 

Building on the land in question has been fought over for 25 years as far as I know. He stamped it through in a day. There’s no way he has considered any of the evidence. 

In reply to Postmanpat:

> So you agree that the government was following scientific advice

I suspect Rob was making a point about the fact of the Daily Heil attacking the Tory government in such strong terms, rather than the actual content of the article...

 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I see they are talking about restructuring the Cabinet office as it has proved unfit for purpose and this was all highlighted by Covid. " A scientific clique entrehcnhed within a managerialist Whitehall culture" apparently.

Not inconsistent with what TBliar was suggesting needed to be done.

1
 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Offwidth:

I see they are talking about restructuring the Cabinet office as it has proved unfit for purpose and this was all highlighted by Covid. " A scientific clique entrenched within a managerialist Whitehall culture" apparently.

Not inconsistent with what TBliar was suggesting needed to be done.

1
 JimR 25 Jun 2020
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Were you? If so judging by the quality and fact checking in your posts, no wonder we are in the mess we are in now. Most other countries managed it why are we different? That’s a rhetorical question btw.

 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to JimR:

Yes. I am involved in facilities and I know lots of people who are. I also know many people involved in supply chains. You can’t just put the locks on buildings and tell people not to use public transport. It’s just not possible, everything falls apart. Couple that with people out of the country. 
 

Did your company just shut? No! As you say they were making preparations, like many others. 

1
In reply to captain paranoia:

Actually I agree with much of the content of the article I'm afraid! I was advocating the same measures back in March - ramp up PPE, focus on protecting the vulnerable - with one other twist that Sumption doesn't mention - get a handle on the stats, which have been inconsistent and unreliable from Day 1.

I'm pretty sure that we history will show that we destroyed our economy and blighted the lives of 95% of the population, without managing to give sufficient care and support to the 5% who really needed it.

 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

The stats were that 20% of people would need hospital care and 10% would need ventilation. Double cases every 3 days and within a month the entire population would be infected meaning 12m people in hospital with 6m on ventilators. 
 

2m dead and 4m+ with permanent lung damage. 

Post edited at 15:57
3
In reply to DancingOnRock:

Those aren't stats they are models. They haven't been born out by the evidence.

The massive initial rise in infections certainly wasn't helped - was in fact created - by wholesale discharging of hospital patients to the perfect environments for spreading the virus. And the inability to supply regular testing for at risk workers - particularly but not exclusively NHS - and abject failure to stockpile, procure or manufacture adequate PPE compounded the early surge.

Compared to those, the effect of locking up everyone from 0 - 70 was I suspect a bit marginal - more coherent and effectively communicated PH messages about social distancing, regular hand washing and uses of handkerchiefs would have had far greater effect. (Our local branches of the CoOp and B & Q STILL don't have adequate hand sanitising, if ever there was scope for legislation surely it is there? )

 neilh 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

I am not sure we could have ramped up PPE....irrespective of stockpiling issues. The global manufacturing capacity was not readily available at the press of a button..we have discussed this before.It would take a couple of months to get it really going, even then there is a limit.

Out of interest my business has been targetted by sellers  touting KN95 respiratory masks which are not CE compliant. The market is full of rogues at the moment seeking to off load very dodgy certified PPE equipment.I have even taken to reporting them to Trading Standards and HSE. Time these rogues were closed down.

 jkarran 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

> I'm pretty sure that we history will show that we destroyed our economy and blighted the lives of 95% of the population, without managing to give sufficient care and support to the 5% who really needed it.

Ivm sure it will but I think it's wrong to suggest we could protect the '5%' while the virus runs rife for a number of reasons:

We don't know who they are, we now have a good idea of the risk factors and that age is a very good proxy but these risk factors aren't uncommon, it's not 5% and we have learned quite a bit since Jan. 

A half on, half off society with one group of voters, broadly those whose party is in power cooped up safe, the other supporting them and suffering for months if not years, that won't hold together.

Vulnerable people don't and can't live in bubbles, they need carers and carers have lives out in the world full of virus.

We're not Guinea pigs, we would seeing other nations controlling their outbreaks and returning to safe near normal lives have not stood for getting ill and dying en masse. Indeed we didn't we took individual and corporate action dragging the government into implementing national control measures way way before it got bad and as bad as it got it was still an order of magnitude better than pushing for natural herd immunity would have been.

The economy would have been radically disrupted anyway as people took sick, shielded their vulnerable staff, stayed out of social businesses in fear, as Britain was sealed off from the world like a plague village.

If people won't tolerate being sacrificed for the economy there is no choice between lives and the economy, the people are the economy and we voted with our feet.

Jk

Post edited at 16:27
 MargieB 25 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

 judging honesty, maturity, thoughtfulness, selflessness and practicality.Some women made a mistake and realised it too late-but a whole country!!

(well a substantial minority  did if you use the PR system} 

Post edited at 16:38
 DancingOnRock 25 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

Those were the stats from Italy and China that everyone seems so keen to use for their evidence for lockdown. 
 

What up to date stats do you have from around the world and the U.K.? 

In reply to jkarran:

I'm not sure that anyone has voted for anything, they've been dragged from pillar to post as the government - or rather the PM - jerked on various random levers, rather than taking stock, putting together a coherent strategy and keeping it constantly under review as the situation unfolded.

I'm also not sure you're correct about risk factors, I thought there were well understood even back in March and I still don't understand why primary care services weren't roped in to provide increased care for the significant at risk groups: the over 70s, the morbidly obese, those with significant immunological problems... the list isn't endless.

 mondite 25 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

> I see they are talking about restructuring the Cabinet office as it has proved unfit for purpose and this was all highlighted by Covid. " A scientific clique entrenched within a managerialist Whitehall culture" apparently.

A cursory look at the source of that report should make anyone sensible suspicious and certainly not quote it approvingly without question.  Its from civitas which is one of the tufton street lobby organisations, sorry, think tanks and so will try to push the group line.

In reply to MargieB:

> judging honesty, maturity, thoughtfulness, selflessness and practicality

Sorry, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

 MargieB 25 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Well, it was the idea that women were falling for Boris when in fact they were finding out what a problem he can be  and leaving.......Marina made no bones about that. Hence his very complex  personal history. Hence a rather chaotic personal history . The possibility of distraction from the PM job in hand because of his personal complexities??. I recall  reading about  an ex-adviser that said Johnson was in mid divorce and new parenthood right at the crisis point of the covid outbreak and , in his opinion, Johnson was not fully focused. I can't recall where I read that . 

Good leadership is personal qualities as well as political qualities at that level. Different if you're at a party.

Post edited at 00:13
 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Isn't it odd how Johnson deliberately apes Churchillian mannerisms  in an attempt to raise his own worthiness in the public mind when in fact worthiness is   earned by each generation through  judgements and actions? Trump also put a bust of Churchill in the oval office presumably for the same attempt to equate himself with an historic figure before he earned his stripes.....

In reply to MargieB:

The interesting thing about Johnson is that he does have a way with words - wack-a-mole, squash the sombrero, world beating etc etc - but it's easy for him because it never has to be true.

What we're seeing is the totally inability of a professional critic to actually make things happen, to actually run things. He won't change; he will have to go.

Post edited at 07:46
In reply to MargieB:

> Well, it was the idea that women were falling for Boris when in fact they were finding out what a problem he can be  and leaving...

Ah, I see. The nation falling for the 'charming rogue' schtick?

I never fell for it. I've always thought he was an idiot; a figure of fun. An amusing idiot, sometimes, in the earlier days, but an increasingly dangerous idiot as he smarmed his way up the greasy pole.

Post edited at 09:12
 neilh 26 Jun 2020
In reply to MargieB:

Most USA Presidents have a bust of Churchill , it is not unique to Trump  

 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

Trump made a newsworthy public show of himself and the churchillian reference. It was a deliberate act of association. A PR act. They have to look at their own substance as leaders. The reliance on someone else is a trick of this current age's political promotion. They know that. They use it. Same as they rely on the short terminism of news stories to try and move the public on from lingering too long on a subject. No public enquiry in what happened this year. Rely on the temporpary nature of the press mindset. Which is about 5 minutes  and most people fall for it.

Post edited at 09:49
 jethro kiernan 26 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

Obama had it removed it, something to do with his Grandfather being put in an internment camp and tortured as part of the brutal put down of the Mau Mau uprising, something his grandfather never recovered from. Not everyone has a rosy view of Churchill.

1
 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to jethro kiernan:

Agreed. It is about how these two Premiers are very manipulative and avoid being held to account.Their use of  PR.

This relates to the start of this thread as well. We're being subtly driven off focus. Very Cummings. Very effective. How bad does it have to be to get, for instance, to trigger a public enquiry in a big event with an  extraordinarily high death toll  that has just happened? I would expect one eventually.But that will be passed over.If I had a close relation who had died in this, I'm sure I'd like a public enquiry eventually.And there would be lessons to learn. But I'm not sure such a serious exercise is a priority- just keep the two dimensional image.Is this the state of our politics?? Should it be.

Post edited at 10:03
 Sir Chasm 26 Jun 2020
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Obama had it removed it, something to do with his Grandfather being put in an internment camp and tortured as part of the brutal put down of the Mau Mau uprising, something his grandfather never recovered from. Not everyone has a rosy view of Churchill.

No he didn't https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-winston-churchill-bust-oval-office-britain

 neilh 26 Jun 2020
In reply to MargieB:

Just shows how Churchill is highly regarded. 

In reply to Sir Chasm:

Johnson, making an incorrect claim? I'm shocked...

 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

And now we've all taken our focus off Robert Jenrick, - even me! So I'm going to say that the Jenrick case is important because of the values it displays. I'm not surprised by the lack of total governmental response because it seems to me they agree with these values. Now there is a surprise...... but what would one expect from a very far right type of conservative government.... what are those values and should we be surprised if they are what they are?

In reply to MargieB:

I think the military refer to it as a 'target rich environment'; there are so many targets, it's hard to decide which is the greatest threat at any one time...

 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to neilh:

That's why they are using it. But back to Robert Jenrick.........

 MargieB 26 Jun 2020
In reply to captain paranoia:

Interesting - didn't know that. So is camouflage, removal from the public gaze to make us move on, as the OS pointed out. Tactical. 

Starmer isn't letting go.

Post edited at 13:04
 neilh 26 Jun 2020
In reply to MargieB:

He vanished off his thread a long time ago,lol.

 jethro kiernan 26 Jun 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

No he didn't https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/22/barack-obama-winston-churchill-bust-oval-office-britain 13

We’ll split the difference, as whichever Churchill bust we’re talking about he wasn’t in the Oval Office during Obama’s time.

But it does Also prove that Mr Johnson has long and consistent form as a bulls£&@er and  liar and has surrounded himself with colleagues willing to morally accept that, so back to Mr Robert Jenrick

Post edited at 13:51
 deepsoup 26 Jun 2020
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> .. so back to Mr Robert Jenrick

I don't think anyone has posted this link yet, so here's what John Crace had to say about 'Honest Bob' yesterday: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jun/25/starmer-strikes-without-warning-while-johnson-hangs-on-to-honest-bob

 wercat 26 Jun 2020
In reply to TheDrunkenBakers:

The rottenness at the top in this country trickles down in a way that those at the top allege their weakth to trickle down.

Unfortunately, lower down the rottenness in the hierarchy leads to the police having officers and superiors in a chain upwards.

There used to be a saying "no bad soldiers, just bad officers".

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-53007189

The treatment meted out to the mother (a former C of E Archdeacon)  and lack of investigation which the mother attributed to assumptions by the police based on address and ethnicity on a heartbreaking interview on PM a few minutes ago is horrifying.

But with corruption at the top, corruption of democracy and bad intentions against Britain's future what the hell do we expect ?

this post is not anti police but anti those in authority who fail to maintain decent standards from the TOP down.

Post edited at 18:06
 MargieB 27 Jun 2020
In reply to MargieB:

Corruscating analysis of Jenrick in today's ST. 

 MonkeyPuzzle 28 Jun 2020
In reply to Rob Exile Ward:

John Sweeney keeps referring to him as "Moscow Bob" and I'm *dying* to find out what he knows.

1
 wercat 28 Jun 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

another set of treasons why the Russ Report won't be seen too soon?

1
 stevieb 28 Jun 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> That's why they are using it. But back to Robert Jenrick.........

So, does anyone know if Desmond got away with it? 
I thought the council won in court to rescind the planning permission? Has he still avoided the £40m fee, or is it all back to square one now? 

 JimR 28 Jun 2020
 MonkeyPuzzle 28 Jun 2020
In reply to JimR:

Interesting, thanks!


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.