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The English border - independence

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020

So basically Bozo has just imposed a hard border around England? If you are in England you can drive anywhere you want, you have freedom of movement within your borders. However, if you cross the border into Wales or Scotland without a legitimate reason to be travelling, you can be stopped by the police! I thought it would be Brexit that broke up the disunited Kingdom, but looks like a virus will do it first!

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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I didn't hear anything from him that said people could go anywhere they liked.  As our county is a hotspot with limited health resources for a widespread population I would think our local police force will continue to intercept and fine people travelling significant distance to get here.

Trouble is we can't have rules just set by blurry dictat however hard he tries.

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 1philjones1 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I hate to be picky, and I’m no fan of Boris, but isn’t it the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales who’ve imposed the hard borders, not Boris?

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 AdrianC 11 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

Raab has said there's no limit on driving.  08:28 in the bbc live news.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/world-52612438

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In reply to wercat:

> As our county is a hotspot with limited health resources for a widespread population I would think our local police force will continue to intercept and fine people travelling significant distance to get here.

Your Police can only enforce the law, which is going to be changed from what it was.

If they enforce something that is not the law they MUST be reined in.  There lie rather big, fire-breathing dragons.

Edit: Raab has basically said you can go to the Lakes or Peak if you want.  If that's codified in law, the Police are going to need to be enforcing against the vigilantes, not the visitors.

Post edited at 09:17
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 Oceanrower 11 May 2020
In reply to AdrianC:

I wonder why the Foreign Secretary is the one doing all the advising on travel within England. Do we not have a Home Secretary any more?

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 Oceanrower 11 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

> I didn't hear anything from him that said people could go anywhere they liked.  

"There are no specific limits on distances drivers can travel within one of the UK nations under the new rules, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said.

"You can drive as far as you want to, for example to walk in a park or particular area you're fond of, as long as you maintain the social distancing," he tells BBC Breakfast.

"But obviously if you're going from one part of the UK to another - from England to Wales or Scotland to Wales - different rules are in place because the devolved governments take a different approach."

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 Tom V 11 May 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Looking at the German situation , if I lived in an English tourist area I would find it hard not to feel resentment.

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020
In reply to 1philjones1:

No, I think both of them announced before Boris that there would be no change to the rules. So it is him who has diverged from the general UK stance

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In reply to Tom V:

> Looking at the German situation , if I lived in an English tourist area I would find it hard not to feel resentment.

I'd probably agree, however that does NOT allow people to take the law into their own hands, and any attempts to do so MUST be met with enforcement against it.  Nor is it OK for any Police Forces to be enforcing things that are not the law.

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 Sans-Plan 11 May 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

Agreed but I think people may find themselves very unwelcome in several areas

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 StuPoo2 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> No, I think both of them announced before Boris that there would be no change to the rules. So it is him who has diverged from the general UK stance

That makes no sense girlymonkey ... these are devolved matters there is no "UK stance".

With the new rules - English police aren't going to stop people driving over the border but presumably you are making the case that Scottish and Welsh police might stop residents of England from entering?

Any "hard" border is therefore being imposed only on 1x side ... the Scottish and Welsh sides.

*For clarity .. not suggesting any of this is a good idea ... only that you appear to have this the wrong way round.

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 1philjones1 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

I’m not sure your logic works. For better or worse (and it’s worse!), he is the Prime Minister of the UK. He has decided you can travel unlimited distances (he didn’t exempt Scotland and Wales in his address). The devolved powers allow them to vary provisions in their own countries and they have made that decision. 

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 The Lemming 11 May 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

> I wonder why the Foreign Secretary is the one doing all the advising on travel within England. Do we not have a Home Secretary any more?


Good question.

Maybe the Home Sec is locked up in the same box as Rees-Mogg and can't come out just yet till they learn to play nicely with other children and the media.

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 Tom V 11 May 2020
In reply to Neil Williams:

I'm generally one for keeping the right side of the law but now and again there have been examples of mass protests which were technically illegal having some moral base to them.

If I lived in an area which already has one of the very highest infection rates in the UK, and someone organised a mass show of solidarity which took the form of non-violent road blocking or similar, I'd be tempted to join in.

It's probably true that the hordes will not be descending on Barrow, the worst affected place in terms of infection, but South Lakeland is very close behind it and it simply can't afford to have restrictions lifted , whatever blanket statement the PM issued last night.

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 gravy 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

Raab very impressively stayed on message, "Stay confused, deflect blame, protect our investment portfolios".

Post edited at 10:01
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In reply to Tom V:

Though it's important to remember that there's a big difference between next weekend and the weekend before lockdown - the pubs and cafes are shut.  Shops and chippies might I suppose pose a risk, but it's not like the gear shops are open for a wander round.

People walking up mountains and parking in tourist car parks are not going to be spreading it massively to locals.

I'd be interested to know if Barrow is high with its residents, or if it's because that's one of the major hospitals serving the Lakes (Lancaster and Carlisle I think being the other two).

Post edited at 10:03
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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to AdrianC:

Dictat is no good - it is not law - we'll see. 

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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to Oceanrower:

he doesn't seem to be taking account of the different levels of infection in England's regions and cities.  Also, he isn't a lawgiver.  He's a Foreign Secretary, ahem, "clarifying" a fuzzy statement.

He's the one who keeps referring to a roadmap isn't he?  I wonder how useful a roadmap published by him would be - one could end up anywhere if it is not detailed, precise and accurate.

Post edited at 10:17
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 JMarkW 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-52614204

Looks like I can climb trad at Llanymnech Black Wall but best stay off the sport routes on Grid Iron Wall......

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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

I don;t think people in our "village"  (it lacks any services though it used to have a post office, school, shop, pub etc) were very impressed at the NE couple who spent a nice few days of "Covid Distancing vacation" in their holiday home till they finally heard the messages being broadcast about such behaviour.

If holiday homes now magically fill so soon when we've all been under such restraint here I think you will be proved very very right.

> Looking at the German situation , if I lived in an English tourist area I would find it hard not to feel resentment.

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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

I wouldn't have to drive too far to go climbing from here but I'm not sure that makes it right.  I thought we were supposed to protect the NHS and essential services from unnecessary callouts at the moment and also we're supposed to exercise some "alertness" to infection risk.   Could we all guarantee that we'd go home if we travelled to a series of crags and found that the rest of the climbing world was already at them?

Apart from clarification of what travel is permitted and when being needed.  People are being fined round here every day at the moment for trying to get to the Lakes or pass through Cumbria for inessential reasons.

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 jimtitt 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

What exactly is the "German Situation"? I live there and haven't a clue where I can go and what I can do when I get there.

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In reply to JMarkW:

> Looks like I can climb trad at Llanymnech Black Wall but best stay off the sport routes on Grid Iron Wall......

I don't think its normal to drive from Black Wall to Grid Iron Wall anyway! It's a good few years since I last went but I thought Grid Iron was still in the English end of the quarry?

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In reply to Neil Williams:

I

> Shops and chippies might I suppose pose a risk, but it's not like the gear shops are open for a wander round.  People walking up mountains and parking in tourist car parks are not going to be spreading it massively to locals. <

It will be interesting to see what happens in other major tourist areas, especially the seaside. Probably a green light has been given to people to travel there from cities, which will probably result in very crowded beaches,  Provision of adequate, safe toilet facilities might pose a major problem. Frequent hand cleaning will be impossible. Incidentally since more outlets in general are starting to open, even without guidance from the government, I can't see that gear shops with restrictions on numbers entering would be much of an additional hazard.

The easing of restrictions, which can be differently interpreted to suit, is a gamble. It may be OK but it could easily result in an increase in infections. Of course its partly driven by more and more people breaking the letter and spirit of the original lockdown anyway.

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 Dr.S at work 11 May 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

Jim, please refrain from disrupting the narrative - you are straying off message .

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 Tom V 11 May 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

The situation being reported in the UK press where Germany's easing of lockdown restrictions has led to a fairly quick rise in the national infection rate. (It was a BBC report , I don't know if that makes it more valid or exactly the opposite)

Post edited at 10:48
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 George88 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> No, I think both of them announced before Boris that there would be no change to the rules. So it is him who has diverged from the general UK stance

That's not how devolution works. 

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 DaveHK 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> I thought it would be Brexit that broke up the disunited Kingdom, but looks like a virus will do it first!

Every cloud has a silver lining.

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 Mr Lopez 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> If I lived in an area which already has one of the very highest infection rates in the UK, and someone organised a mass show of solidarity which took the form of non-violent road blocking or similar, I'd be tempted to join in.

> It's probably true that the hordes will not be descending on Barrow, the worst affected place in terms of infection, but South Lakeland is very close behind it and it simply can't afford to have restrictions lifted , whatever blanket statement the PM issued last night.

Way to look at it upside down... If you live in an area which is a hotspot then the town residents should be the ones stayng in, locked down, at home. That area is a hotspot for a reason, and the reason is locals not following the guidelines.

A 'mass show of solidarity' in an area with high infection rates, by people infected and non-infected alike, to stop people from areas with lower infection rates coming to an area of high infection rates is the most retarded thing i heard unless the aim is to make that hotspot even a hotter hotspot for covid. Is like protesting forest fires by making bonfires in the forest.

It takes 2 people flouting the guidelines to transmit covid from one another. If 'locals' don't want to catch it the ways to avoid should be pretty clear by now.

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 Bob Kemp 11 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

I just had a look at the Westmorland Gazette, and there's a statement from the Cumbria Tourist Board saying please don't come to the county - 

https://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/news/18440013.cumbria-tourism-continue-strongly-urge-people-not-visit-county/

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 Tom V 11 May 2020
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> It takes 2 people flouting the guidelines to transmit covid from one another. 

What makes you say that?

Post edited at 11:33
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 neilh 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Bit like France than which has Red, Yellow and Green zones.

Or Germany where its down to local States. or the USA where its down to local States.

Hardly an independence issue. Just confusing.

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 jimtitt 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

> The situation being reported in the UK press where Germany's easing of lockdown restrictions has led to a fairly quick rise in the national infection rate. (It was a BBC report , I don't know if that makes it more valid or exactly the opposite)


The problem is each of the states in Germany have different rules and different times they ease them so it's hard to see any picture. The problem last week was a number of group tests which jerked the numbers up enormously, 45 cases in a care home, 131 in a slaughterhouse, 33 in another and 109 in yet another. None of which could be put down to easing lockdown. To say nothing of the 9 nuns in a closed convent!

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 neilh 11 May 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

Thats a concerning number for a  slaughter house.....

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 Doug 11 May 2020
In reply to neilh:

the 3 colours for France was just temporary, now 'déconfinement' has started there are only 2 colours - red & green. Orange was those départements where a decision hadn't yet been made.

And now I can walk for more than an hour its raining

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In reply to George88:

> That's not how devolution works. 

But they need a mechanism for blaming Westminster, even if the decision making is devolved to them. 

It's funny in a way. They have their little press conferences a day or two before the London ones to try and make it sound like they are in charge and taking control. But then when London says something different two days later, they aren't happy. 

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 Kevin Woods 11 May 2020
In reply to summo:

Wrong. I'm perfectly happy the decision making is devolved to us. And looking at Westminster in disbelief.

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 Danbow73 11 May 2020
In reply to Tom V:

But for how long? These tourist areas rely on visitors and the indicators are that gov financial support is going to be scaled back from July, long before any potential vaccine.

I'd suggest the 'visitors not welcome rhetoric' could pretty much spell the end of these businesses which seems silly as someone coming to spend the day walking the fells is unlikely to pose any risk to the local population 

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In reply to Kevin Woods:

> Wrong. I'm perfectly happy the decision making is devolved to us. And looking at Westminster in disbelief.

Absolutely. If it all turns to shit in England in a couple of weeks with a massively increased infection rate, I shall be very glad to be in Scotland, and, if it doesn't go as badly as I fear, Scotland can relax things slowly from a stronger position and with better information.

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 jimtitt 11 May 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Thats a concerning number for a  slaughter house.....


300 in another in Pforzheim, over 200 in Coesfeld and so on. Naturally once the warning signals came up the mass tedting began. The average Rumanian cheapo worker isn't volountarily going to doctor if he wants to keep his job.

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 Dr.S at work 11 May 2020
In reply to Robert Durran:

But perhaps with more “collateral” deaths and a worse hit to the economy?

Hard choices with no clear best pathway. 

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In reply to jimtitt:

>  To say nothing of the 9 nuns in a closed convent!

Two Nuns in the showers.
One says "Where's the soap"?
The other replies "Yes, doesn't it".

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 Dave Williams 11 May 2020
In reply to TobyA:

> I don't think its normal to drive from Black Wall to Grid Iron Wall anyway! It's a good few years since I last went but I thought Grid Iron was still in the English end of the quarry?

Your memory serves you right.

Grid Iron Wall, Black Wall and indeed all of the main wall are in England. The gate on the path below the crag demarcates the Welsh-English boundary. Cul de Sac quarry, Blind Faith Buttress etc are in Wales. 

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In reply to girlymonkey:

It's time for you lot up there to have another referendum and when / if independence happened draw the line across the south Yorkshire border. 

We would all be happy to be with you and leave the south of the country to do what they like. 

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 cb294 11 May 2020
In reply to jimtitt:

I hope that means an end to the outsourcing of meat processing jobs to Eastern European subcontractors!  Never mind CV, the meat industry dodges social security contributions on a massive scale.

CB

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 Dr.S at work 11 May 2020
In reply to Dax H:

Oi, what avout the lovely South West? We just need to ditch the South East of England and Brum.

Quite a nice shape country actually thinking about it.

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020
In reply to neilh:

But it's not like France as England does not all have the same R rating at the moment. London would be a different risk level to Cumbria, for example.

So this is not an easing based on regional risk. It is an irrational decision which I am glad does not apply to us. 

It is highlighting the difference in leadership (or lack of) in each country and creating bigger differences than already existed between the countries

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 Webster 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

No, he is the prime minister of the UK. he speaks for the UK, not England. this is a global pandemic and global economic crisis. That falls under the jurisdiction of central government not devolved government. The respective first ministers are politicising this to the detriment of national unity. The notion that a person in the boarders/marches can exercise freely on one side of an imaginary line, but not the other is just ludicrous! 

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 Graeme G 11 May 2020
In reply to Webster:

I’d suggest you read up about devolved responsibilities.

The differences aren’t caused by individuals but by the political structural of the UK. A PM who sometimes speaks for the UK, and sometimes for England. Go figure.

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020
In reply to Webster:

It doesn't. It's health, which is devolved. He only has jurisdiction for England.

If he wanted national unity, he would have listened to the other leaders and realised he was in a minority and work out a better method. 

I would agree that some areas could ease off lockdown a bit, but not the whole of England and definitely not the whole of the UK. 

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 ScraggyGoat 11 May 2020
In reply to Kevin Woods:

I'm looking at Westminster and Holyrood in disbelief.  The respective parts of the Uk were put into lock down weeks ago.  It was obvious that at some point, we would need to reverse elements of lock-down, most likely in a series of phases. 

The respective governments and assemblies have had six weeks to decide/plan what should change in each phase, when warranted.  Granted a difficult task balancing health and economy.  They then given the risks, had to communicate that to the public & business, local government, Police NHS ect... in advance so that we could understand, prepare and broadly know our rights and responsibilities. How did our politicians do:

Westminster - no pre-communication, and a muddled speech by Borris.....................

Holyrood - communication / education of the public re- next phase when appropriate; absolutely zilch.

All I see is respective failures of leadership, communication, planning and strategy.

Post edited at 15:53
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 Andy Johnson 11 May 2020
In reply to Webster:

> No, he is the prime minister of the UK. he speaks for the UK, not England. this is a global pandemic and global economic crisis. That falls under the jurisdiction of central government not devolved government. The respective first ministers are politicising this to the detriment of national unity. The notion that a person in the boarders/marches can exercise freely on one side of an imaginary line, but not the other is just ludicrous! 

You're wrong. He is the prime minister of the UK but, irrespective of what you say, the changes he announced today apply only to England. See the official government FAQ updated today:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do

"This guidance applies in England – people in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland should follow the specific rules in those parts of the UK."

> he speaks for the UK, not England

And while I'm here let me just say: I'm English, but our fool prime minister doesn't speak for me.

Post edited at 15:58
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 Graeme G 11 May 2020
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

Not everyone agrees.....from a Guardian article today

“And Prof Susan Michie, of University College London, tweeted: “Lack of clarity can cost lives. Scottish government a good example of clear & consistent messaging. No spin, no self-congratulation, no defence, just honest communication, including of the uncertainties. Engenders trust & adherence; avoids confusion & anxiety.”

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 ScraggyGoat 11 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Do you know what your rights and responsibilities if we ease lock-down a notch in Scotland will be.........................nope neither do I!

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 Graeme G 11 May 2020
In reply to ScraggyGoat:

Has any country managed to produce a ‘plan’? Not arguing, it’s a genuine question. I’m fascinated that people think politicians should be able to predict the future.

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 Doug 11 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

Not sure if plan is the right word, but the French governement have a fairly clear strategy, although inevitably with some parts dependent on what happens to the N° of cases, etc. So today,  I can for the first time in weeks go for a walk of more than an hour, going more than a km from home & without my 'attestation' , pity its been heavy rain all day so far.

I think Germany has a plan/strategy, with a lot left to the individual Lander to organise.

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In reply to 1philjones1:

> I hate to be picky, and I’m no fan of Boris, but isn’t it the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales who’ve imposed the hard borders, not Boris?

There isn't a hard border and AFAIK the Scottish Government has no authority to close the border.

There are different rules on travel within Scotland.   It isn't the same thing as 'closing the border' because the rules in Scotland apply to everyone in Scotland not just people trying to get into Scotland from England.

At the moment with Scotland still restricting travel throughout Scotland there's no need to close the Scottish border.  The situation where closing the border would be useful is if the infection rate in Scotland fell to the point where it was safe to open Scotland up but the infection rate in England was significantly higher.   It looks like Boris is doing his best to create that situation.

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In reply to ScraggyGoat:

> Holyrood - communication / education of the public re- next phase when appropriate; absolutely zilch.

Nicola Sturgeon set out her thoughts on what would happen next a week or so ago.

She's been doing a good job of communicating with documents on Scottish Government website and daily briefings but she doesn't get the same level of attention from the media which is in the pocket of Westminster.   Things like cutting away from an interview with Sturgeon so as to shout a question at Handcock as he walks into Downing Street (which he ignored).

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 Roadrunner6 11 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-10-may-2020

It's worth reading the transcript and not the various interpretations from each political side. 

"And from this Wednesday, we want to encourage people to take more and even unlimited amounts of outdoor exercise.

You can sit in the sun in your local park, you can drive to other destinations, you can even play sports but only with members of your own household.

You must obey the rules on social distancing and to enforce those rules we will increase the fines for the small minority who break them."

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 Roadrunner6 11 May 2020
In reply to Webster:

> No, he is the prime minister of the UK. he speaks for the UK, not England. this is a global pandemic and global economic crisis. That falls under the jurisdiction of central government not devolved government. The respective first ministers are politicising this to the detriment of national unity. The notion that a person in the boarders/marches can exercise freely on one side of an imaginary line, but not the other is just ludicrous! 

You are wrong. Some issues are devolved. Hence why they had different legislation drafted.

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 HansStuttgart 11 May 2020
In reply to Graeme G:

> Has any country managed to produce a ‘plan’? Not arguing, it’s a genuine question. I’m fascinated that people think politicians should be able to predict the future.

This is a reasonably detailed one for Niedersachsen: https://t.co/35U967x5aH?amp=1

5 phases (May 6, May 11, May 25, the later ones not yet decided), plans on 6 aspects of life: Trade, Tourism, Education, Sport/Culture, Events, Personal. And all measures evaluated on corona risk, cost to the economy, and cost to the quality of life.

In BaWu, today is the magic step of opening the outdoor areas of the climbing gyms, on May 31 the indoor gyms are expected to be open again!

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In reply to HansStuttgart:

> This is a reasonably detailed one for Niedersachsen: https://t.co/35U967x5aH?amp=1

> In BaWu, today is the magic step of opening the outdoor areas of the climbing gyms, on May 31 the indoor gyms are expected to be open again!

I don't understand the logic in that, from what I heard the latest measures have put Germany's R slightly > 1.  Which means things are getting slowly worse over time.   Therefore, it would be slightly safer to go indoor climbing tomorrow than it would be next week and if you want to open climbing gyms you may as well do it right now.   It makes sense to delay lifting of restrictions when R < 1 and you expect things to be getting safer over time so something which is unsafe today might be safe in a couple of weeks.

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In reply to ScraggyGoat:

> I'm looking at Westminster and Holyrood in disbelief.  The respective parts of the Uk were put into lock down weeks ago.  It was obvious that at some point, we would need to reverse elements of lock-down, most likely in a series of phases. 

> The respective governments and assemblies have had six weeks to decide/plan what should change in each phase, when warranted.  

Considering we have only just started testing people I would rather have left the lockdown alone for a few more weeks to build a pattern of infection rates based on the testing rather than the current assumption that x amount if people have had it based on the tiny fraction of tests. 

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 Jim Fraser 11 May 2020
In reply to gravy:

> Raab very impressively stayed on message, "Stay confused, deflect blame, protect our investment portfolios".

Post of the week!

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 HansStuttgart 11 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> I don't understand the logic in that, from what I heard the latest measures have put Germany's R slightly > 1.  Which means things are getting slowly worse over time.   Therefore, it would be slightly safer to go indoor climbing tomorrow than it would be next week and if you want to open climbing gyms you may as well do it right now.   It makes sense to delay lifting of restrictions when R < 1 and you expect things to be getting safer over time so something which is unsafe today might be safe in a couple of weeks.


R0 being larger than 1 on one day does not mean things are getting worse. It means that that specific day the prediction for the total amount of new cases was larger than the prediction for 4 days earlier. Things only get worse when R0 is larger than one for a lot of days in a row. R0 now fluctuates between 0.6 and 1.1, the average trend is that the amount of cases decreases.

I agree it would be better to open the climbing gyms now though

Post edited at 18:07
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 Webster 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

the lockdown is not health, its law and order. 

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 Roadrunner6 11 May 2020
In reply to HansStuttgart:

"I don't understand the logic in that, from what I heard the latest measures have put Germany's R slightly > 1.  Which means things are getting slowly worse over time."

1.1 is exponential growth. Not slightly worse, only slightly worse initially.

If that average stays below 1 then yes that's very different to 1.1. 

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In reply to Webster:

All regulations are law and order, these ones are just related to health. We voted for devolved government, and I believe both First Ministers are showing more focussed leadership than the Clown of Downing Street. 

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 baron 11 May 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

> All regulations are law and order, these ones are just related to health. We voted for devolved government, and I believe both First Ministers are showing more focussed leadership than the Clown of Downing Street. 

It’s possibly easier to show focused leadership when you aren’t picking up the bill.

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In reply to baron:

We are all picking up the bill, it is not confined to any single country. 

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 baron 11 May 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

It’s the devolved governments keeping the stay at home policy but it’s central government that will pay the bill.

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In reply to baron:

From our taxes. 

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 baron 11 May 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

That you’re not paying while you’re sat at home.

Don’t worry, the English will bail you out as usual 

Post edited at 19:16
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In reply to baron:

Okay, so when are tw*ts like you going to pay the Scots back for the plundered oil revenues and start paying the Welsh for the water that supplies Merseyside and the Midlands?

People are still working in Wales and Scotland, we are just ensuring that we look after peoples health. 

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In reply to girlymonkey:

So, hypothetically speaking, if an English person drove to Scotland to climb that would be illegal. What about vice versa? If a Scottish person drove to England to climb, is that legally ok?

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 baron 11 May 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

> Okay, so when are tw*ts like you going to pay the Scots back for the plundered oil revenues and start paying the Welsh for the water that supplies Merseyside and the Midlands?

> People are still working in Wales and Scotland, we are just ensuring that we look after peoples health. 

There’s no need to resort to bad language.

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In reply to sharpendclimbing:

Unless they lived on the border it would be illegal.  

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In reply to baron:

You understood, thought it might be beyond your level of comprehension. 

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In reply to HighChilternRidge:

Glasgow's not that far from the border!

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 HansStuttgart 11 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

> 1.1 is exponential growth. Not slightly worse, only slightly worse initially.

Only if it stays 1.1 for a long time.

The problem is the (German) government explains the R0 number in terms of exponentional growth. But the values for R0 published by the (German) health institute are daily values. So they don't have much predictive value because the number is different every day.

It would have been better if the communication had simply focussed on mentioning that over the course of the last x weeks the number of new daily cases decreased from a to b.

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 baron 11 May 2020
In reply to HighChilternRidge:

Nor is there a need to resort to personal insults.

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 Blunderbuss 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Love threads like this, if Wee Jimmy Crankie had t decided to take Scotland down a slightly different path she would have said it was entirely her countries perogative to do so and she would have been 100% right....Boris does it and the whinging starts. 

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In reply to sharpendclimbing:

Just a wee bit too far, unless you have a good excuse for going to Gretna. 

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In reply to Blunderbuss:

Who is whinging?  Makes a change for Westminster not to experiment on the Scots or the Welsh. 

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020
In reply to Blunderbuss:

Not whinging, in many ways the opposite. Great that Bozo has shown us very clearly what he thinks of the UK and has given us clear guidance by closing borders!

And genuinely happy that this doesn't apply to us and our sensible government are continuing to look after people. 

I still think some parts of Scotland could ease up restrictions, we are being treated a bit like we are all thick by the suggestion that we couldn't understand or abide by different instructions in different areas, but I would rather some places locked down longer than needed than easing of lockdown in places which clearly aren't ready for it

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 girlymonkey 11 May 2020
In reply to sharpendclimbing:

> So, hypothetically speaking, if an English person drove to Scotland to climb that would be illegal. What about vice versa? If a Scottish person drove to England to climb, is that legally ok?

No, because the drive to England is an unnecessary journey

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 rogerwebb 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Not whinging, in many ways the opposite. Great that Bozo has shown us very clearly what he thinks of the UK and has given us clear guidance by closing borders!

I don't understand this. If devolution means that it is reasonable for Scotland to make different decisions surely it is reasonable for England to do so too? 

> I still think some parts of Scotland could ease up restrictions, we are being treated a bit like we are all thick by the suggestion that we couldn't understand or abide by different instructions in different areas,

It is hard to understand why Orkney for instance needs to follow the same regime as Glasgow. Maybe next week. 

Post edited at 21:01
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In reply to girlymonkey:

> Not whinging, in many ways the opposite. Great that Bozo has shown us very clearly what he thinks of the UK and has given us clear guidance by closing borders!

Isn't it Sturgeon in your case that has closed the border? 

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 mullermn 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> Great that Bozo has shown us very clearly what he thinks of the UK and has given us clear guidance by closing borders!

When you lock your door at night do you consider your local burglars to be shutting themselves out of your house?

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 Darron 11 May 2020
In reply to sharpendclimbing:

Ahh!......the West Lothian question arises yet again.

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In reply to baron:

> It’s possibly easier to show focused leadership when you aren’t picking up the bill.

We are picking up the bill.  The UK government is borrowing and/or printing this money.  Scotland gets handed a pro-rata share of UK government interest payments.   The idea that the English are paying for unplanned spending on this scale from taxes is bollocks, it is going on the credit card.

It is also bollocks to assume you are saving money by going to work a couple of weeks earlier.  If you fumble and f*ck this up the result will be spending a lot more money.  You'll be paying the medical bills of a lot of people who get it unnecessarily, you'll be losing the productivity of people who need extended convalescence or are too sick to return to work at all and you'll very possibly need a second long lock down to bring it back into control from the spike upwards.

Going slow to reduce the risk of crashing is a less risky approach for the economy as well as people's lives than putting your foot down and hoping for the best.

Post edited at 22:32
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 wercat 11 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Cumbria police issued 100 penalties to people over the weekend.

Judging by the local news Conservative Party Central has not consulted with the regions over the practicality of lifting restrictions at the moment.  (That includes our public health chief who has just expressed surprise at the decision)

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 Dr.S at work 12 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

clearly ‘putting the foot down’ would be an error.

however that is not what BloJo announced - he effectively said stay at home if you can, go back to work if safe, slight low risk easing in exercise.

and

there may be further easing in the future IF things go ok.

if Sturgeons assessment is that R is higher in Scotland than England, then it’s correct for her to hang tough. Just as it may be correct for England to mildly ease off. Surely the point of devolution (or independence) is that we can have some degree of divergence?


And if it happens that the denzins of England are in the happy position that they can get back to work, and if that helps support the U.K. as a whole, then that’s 100% fine by me, and the whole point of the thing.

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 Roadrunner6 12 May 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

"however that is not what BloJo announced - he effectively said stay at home if you can, go back to work if safe, slight low risk easing in exercise."

He didn't.

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-address-to-the-nation-on-coronavirus-10-may-2020

"And we want it to be safe for you to get to work. So you should avoid public transport if at all possible – because we must and will maintain social distancing, and capacity will therefore be limited.

So work from home if you can, but you should go to work if you can’t work from home.

And to ensure you are safe at work we have been working to establish new guidance for employers to make workplaces COVID-secure.

And when you do go to work, if possible do so by car or even better by walking or bicycle. But just as with workplaces, public transport operators will also be following COVID-secure standards."

There's no "if safe". He said they should go back to work, if possible use other means but public transport is there as an option. Many will get COVID.

My issue is expecting teachers, for example, to be in a class full of kids (25-30 in a class). The obvious option is go to outdoor learning. But even so a 60 year old lady can't visit her grandkids as its against the law but she should go back to work, when schools open (3 weeks possibly) and teach 25-30 kids.

She's actually less at risk now and should probably see her grandkids now, before she's back at school teaching.

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 r0x0r.wolfo 12 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> It is also bollocks to assume you are saving money by going to work a couple of weeks earlier.  If you fumble and f*ck this up the result will be spending a lot more money.  You'll be paying the medical bills of a lot of people who get it unnecessarily, you'll be losing the productivity of people who need extended convalescence or are too sick to return to work at all and you'll very possibly need a second long lock down to bring it back into control from the spike upwards.

I'm not sure if the UK can get any less productive. Should everyone go back to work tomorrow the productivity will increase not decrease. The healthcare system will get absolutely hammered and many people will die in undignified ways but productivity will not decrease.

It is about saving lives, at a cost. Whilst we have reacted inexcusablely late to the pandemic, the country has locked down. Unfortunately we cannot afford to carry on like this for the 12 to 18 months to wait for a vaccine. Unfortunately due to bad luck or non-compliance with the lockdown the figures haven't come down as quickly as we would have liked. 

At where we are, we need to keep as much of the economy going as possible whilst balancing the capacity of the NHS to deal with COVID. The healthcare system is currently operating under capacity and is starting to carry out elective procedures again. The UK is only slightly tweaking the dial here and in many cases it's simply permitting what some were doing anyway (e.g. going outside more than once a day). 

There was much speculation months ago about having to vary the lockdown measures back and forth to achieve the balance between healthcare capacity and the economy and now countries are starting to do just that. I don't have the numbers and level of detail that the government has to say whether this tweaking of the dial is a reasonable thing to do at this time. Scotland and Wales have decided to relax lockdown too, a couple of days before England no less, so they certainly agree with the direction of travel and must be basing those decisions off of something. 

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In reply to Dr.S at work:

> however that is not what BloJo announced - he effectively said stay at home if you can, go back to work if safe, slight low risk easing in exercise.

The part of his message about going back to work came close to telling employers to 'encourage' people to go back.   That's 'putting your foot down' in my book as is the way the Tory press has been reporting it.  There's too many ties between cabinet ministers and these papers for it to be a coincidence.

The other problem is the advice in England is now so confused as to be unenforceable.   So people will start doing whatever they want or whatever the tabloid's encourage them to do.

Compared with other countries who have negotiated the end of a lockdown the new infections per day in England/Wales are really high for releasing the lockdown and the uncertainty on the figures is also really high due to lack of community testing.

> if Sturgeons assessment is that R is higher in Scotland than England, then it’s correct for her to hang tough. Just as it may be correct for England to mildly ease off. Surely the point of devolution (or independence) is that we can have some degree of divergence?

Yes.  I think the main problem we have is we haven't done enough testing to really know what R and the percentage of infection in the community is nationally and regionally.  So we are flying blind and we might not notice things going wrong quickly enough.

I would expect the R figures for Scotland to jump about more than those of England when the infection rate is low because the population is 10x smaller and the number of new infections per day is small enough to be significantly changed by a local event like a large care home having an outbreak.  Getting R = 2 because two infections have turned into 4 isn't a big deal compared with R=2 after 2,000 infections turn into 4,000.

> And if it happens that the denzins of England are in the happy position that they can get back to work, and if that helps support the U.K. as a whole, then that’s 100% fine by me, and the whole point of the thing.

It's definitely the case that the deaths have come down significantly and we are on the trajectory to be able to release lockdown.   I think Boris is jumping the gun by not waiting for more testing to quantify R and infections at a regional level accurately, not waiting to get it down to the same level as other countries who have made the transition and not waiting until he's got workable infrastructure for tracing and isolation.   I also think he's changing too many things at once and he's not thought the new rules through enough in terms of simplicity and enforceability.   A more cautious approach would be to try variations out in a single city or region before going national with them.

But it's an English matter, if that's what they want then I hope the risk of going faster works out - maybe it will.  It only becomes Scotland's concern if we are bullied to follow their lead or if our lockdown gets compromised by visitors from England.

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In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> I'm not sure if the UK can get any less productive. Should everyone go back to work tomorrow the productivity will increase not decrease. The healthcare system will get absolutely hammered and many people will die in undignified ways but productivity will not decrease.

It could well do in the medium to long term.

Example: fifty something health visitor catches Covid goes into hospital, two weeks in intensive care, operation on her throat to remove a stuck breathing tube.  Comes out alive but a physical wreck due to the effects of the virus and the long period in intensive care.   After six month's convalescence she still isn't fit enough to go back to work and takes early retirement.

That's a drop in productivity.  The country has lost five, maybe ten years of labour from a skilled worker.  

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 Blanche DuBois 12 May 2020
In reply to Sans-Plan:

> Agreed but I think people may find themselves very unwelcome in several areas

If being unwelcome kept Brits from going places then they'd never go anywhere.  (50% Brit, in case you're wondering).

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> That's a drop in productivity.  The country has lost five, maybe ten years of labour from a skilled worker.  

I'd agree you want a healthy work force. But there is also a massive risk there won't be any employment after this or money to pay for their continued health care. It's a question is balance and risk. 

I can understand why the view of say a 50 or 60 year old will differ from a youngster with 30 or 40 years of potential employment in front of them. 

The best outcome is a 1930s style recession, it could be worse. Many furloughed workers will be made redundant by Xmas, there is a storm coming and whilst everyone is sitting in their gardens enjoying furlough they can't see it. 

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In reply to summo:

> I'd agree you want a healthy work force. But there is also a massive risk there won't be any employment after this or money to pay for their continued health care. It's a question is balance and risk. 

We are getting mentally captured by the financial system and being conditioned to think of it like it was an immutable physical thing like the sun or a virus instead of a fairly crappy piece of human technology that is barely fit for purpose and needs upgraded.

The 'real' things of value: people, knowledge, equipment everything are all still there.  Government needs to step in and suspend the normal workings of debt based capitalism for a few months with money printing or a wealth tax.  Like pressing reset on a cruddy old PC where there is an application with a memory leak.  

We've got absolutely no psychological qualms about pumping up the stock market with central bank money or giving banks bailouts we could do the same for the actual economy if we wanted.  

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 Dr.S at work 12 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

Yes, he’s said go back to work - the “if safe” element comes down to employers and employees making that assessment. 
 

Thats how H&S works, yes? Obviously with guidance which is now published.

take the schools example - maybe years 10 and 12 having some contact this academic year - spread those classes around a comprehensive school and you have a fair bit of space.

If an individual school can’t make that work then so be it, but I struggle to see that really.

years R, 1 and 6 probably much more challenging, but still less than half the population of the school.

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 Dr.S at work 12 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I don’t think that the government communications have been good, but I see us as at about the same point as France we’re a couple of weeks ago - their schools are going back imminently, ours might start, and that’s a big might, in 2-3 weeks.

That seems fairly consistent.

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 wercat 12 May 2020
In reply to Roadrunner6:

The most confusing thing is that he adresses workers with the advice to go to work.   In my simpleton way I would have expected that he might have started by giving advice to regional government and employers that things were coming to a point of change.   It is employers who have the duty to assess whether they can operate within the law and requirements of safety.

An analogy might be someone thinking he is Churchill announcing on the News that Soldiers should go to Normandy and start the Liberation of Europe.  Bugger all military preparation and training, chain of command and logistical organization.  Just stand up as a cardboard cutout leader and tell the troops to go

Ludicrous!   VE day flag waving and mass clapping  and speeches from the top, King of the World.  Meanwhile the good ship heads at full speed ahead to the rocks of No Trade Deal

Post edited at 08:23
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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> We are getting mentally captured by the financial system and being conditioned to think of it like it was an immutable physical thing like the sun or a virus instead of a fairly crappy piece of human technology that is barely fit for purpose and needs upgraded.

Whilst you remodel the global monetary system folk still need to buy food, pay bills and fund a roof over their head. Paying people 80% of their previous salary isn't a long term solution. 

> The 'real' things of value: people, knowledge, equipment everything are all still there.  Government needs to step in and suspend the normal workings of debt based capitalism for a few months with money printing or a wealth tax.  

But in the meantime? 

> We've got absolutely no psychological qualms about pumping up the stock market with central bank money or giving banks bailouts we could do the same for the actual economy if we wanted.  

They have just done the same. The UK has bailed out it's work force, regardless of occupation more than most other countries in Europe, and certainly far more than beyond Europe. The UK has even furloughed industries which clearly have no long term future. Try the US solution, no furlough, straight to the dole queue. 

I'd argue that bailing out a bank to avoid financial collapse is and was a worthy cause. 

I'd hazard a guess, you've retired with a modest to decent pension and have absolutely no skin in the employment game over the next 30 to 40 years? 

Post edited at 08:29
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In reply to Dr.S at work:

> I don’t think that the government communications have been good, but I see us as at about the same point as France we’re a couple of weeks ago - their schools are going back imminently, ours might start, and that’s a big might, in 2-3 weeks.

Maybe.  But how do we know exactly where we are without large scale random testing in the community.

Also, if we want it to be safe enough for kids to go to school in two weeks we shouldn't be loosening up we should be clamping down.  If we could get R lower then the number of infections in the community would fall faster.

The numbers of infections detected per day in the UK has been staying relatively flat where they were falling fast in France and Spain and fell really fast in China after the Wuhan lockdown.   Our lockdown has not been as effective as that in other countries and Boris is setting out to make it even less so.  Either the 'herd immunity' and 'keep the hospitals busy' lobby are still influencing policy or they are just stupid.

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 krikoman 12 May 2020
In reply to 1philjones1:

> I hate to be picky, and I’m no fan of Boris, but isn’t it the First Ministers of Scotland and Wales who’ve imposed the hard borders, not Boris?


In reaction to Boris' ludicrousity though

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In reply to summo:

> Whilst you remodel the global monetary system folk still need to buy food, pay bills and fund a roof over their head. Paying people 80% of their previous salary isn't a long term solution. 

The current system isn't going to work long term either.   We need something that distributes money more evenly, rewards knowledge creators rather than land hoarders, gives everyone a share of value produced by work done by machines and discourages large families.

With modern technology the rich countries can easily provide necessities to their citizens.  It is a failure of distribution of money, not the ability to produce goods that is causing scarcity.

I agree that paying 80% of salary isn't a long term solution.   Allowing important industries which have f*ck all to do with the virus to die because of the logic of debt based capitalism isn't a solution either.  Things like the space industry - its premise is just as valid as it was a few months ago but they are talking about 30% less revenue in a year.  National Trust - its premise is just as good as before but is thinking about laying off half its staff.   This is all bollocks.  Government needs to create money and spend it and let people keep doing useful things.  If National Trust can't open properties it could do more maintenance, do more historical research, digitise artwork/books and get them online.    If the space industry isn't getting contracts to launch satellites its engineers could be figuring out how to get to Mars.   If Universities can't open to students they could put their staff to work creating online education materials.   There's plenty of useful work to be done.  Money is a totally artificial thing, if the system fails to allocate it sensibly because of a pandemic government should step in to put the demand back in the economy until it's ready to reboot.   Preserving the passive wealth of pensioners and the rich as measured by numbers in a bank balance is far less important than keeping the productive economy going and doing useful things.

> I'd hazard a guess, you've retired with a modest to decent pension and have absolutely no skin in the employment game over the next 30 to 40 years? 

You are totally wrong on all counts.

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 Le Sapeur 12 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> but she doesn't get the same level of attention from the media which is in the pocket of Westminster.   Things like cutting away from an interview with Sturgeon so as to shout a question at Handcock 

That's on UK news. Scottish news doesn't cut away from Sturgeon. It's pretty obvious that the person potentially addressing 60 million people will get more coverage than the one addressing 6 million. 

Would you seriously expect an interview with Mark Drakeford on Scottish tv not to be cut short if Sturgeon has something to say? Same thing really.

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In reply to Oceanrower:

> I wonder why the Foreign Secretary is the one doing all the advising on travel within England. Do we not have a Home Secretary any more?

Priti Patel is not a good look just now, if the government wants to maintain the illusion of being caring. 

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I'd suggest now isn't the best time for widespread tax reform but it certainly needs simplifying. Catch more income as it's earned rather than a hundreds clauses and mini taxes to try to claw it back later. 

Yeah. Furlough could be 4 days a week. 1 day a week folk rotate into work and do odd jobs, keeps them in the routine and potential avoids skill fade. 

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In reply to Le Sapeur:

> That's on UK news. Scottish news doesn't cut away from Sturgeon. It's pretty obvious that the person potentially addressing 60 million people will get more coverage than the one addressing 6 million. 

It is grossly discourteous to cut away from an arranged interview with the leader of the Scottish government to take the chance of shouting a question at an English minister walking in the street.

> Would you seriously expect an interview with Mark Drakeford on Scottish tv not to be cut short if Sturgeon has something to say? Same thing really.

I wouldn't expect them to cut away from an organised interview with the Welsh First Minister so as to shout a random question at the Scottish Minister for Health as she walked past in the street.   

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 r0x0r.wolfo 12 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

> The numbers of infections detected per day in the UK has been staying relatively flat where they were falling fast in France and Spain and fell really fast in China after the Wuhan lockdown.   Our lockdown has not been as effective as that in other countries and Boris is setting out to make it even less so.  Either the 'herd immunity' and 'keep the hospitals busy' lobby are still influencing policy or they are just stupid.

To be fair Nicola also relaxed lockdown with the unlimited exercise change, just not as much. According to your argument she should be locking down harder or at least keeping things put.

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In reply to r0x0r.wolfo:

> To be fair Nicola also relaxed lockdown with the unlimited exercise change, just not as much. According to your argument she should be locking down harder or at least keeping things put.

I think there's a good argument that the risks of outdoor activities are low and we could loosen up on that a fair bit without affecting R as long as people are sensible.   However,  I'd also have local lockdowns for dickheads: any street which had a VE Day party would get an automatic 14 day house arrest quarantine enforced by the RAF using Predator drones.

My problem with what Boris did was that far too much changed at the same time, we got rules which are impossible to enforce or remember and there was this insidious 'back to work' message mixed in with the more rational changes.

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 wercat 13 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

ideal way of controlling the stupid would be to use the stocks.   Visible justice, no need for indoors stuff with all its hazards

Could be combined with a socially distanced ducking stool system

Post edited at 12:02
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 MargieB 13 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Disease doesn't recognise borders. A failure to embed track track and trace in any of the societies of UK will effect all on this small island. You can quickly legislate, overnight if you have to, to enforce face masks, social distancing, allow transport police to randomly throw people off public transport to spread everyone out.

But you can't get round a fundamental failure to embed what "who" says is essential to suppress the disease long term.

The only place where I think a borders could stop disease  on the same landmass are in countries as big as Australia where each state is as geographically big as several european countries.

Post edited at 18:38
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 wercat 13 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

The Scots Border Police can check the passengers papers for a right to travel on the night mail as she crosses the border ...

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 MargieB 13 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

Disease will find a way because of transport or delivery. It is the density of population on this small landmass { I once read we are as dense as Indonesia as an overall whole} and it is this that favours disease., especially a highly virulent one. We have got a lot against us . I'm pretty angry at the situation at the moment because there really is only a phantom division -  the least thought out strategy will impact inevitably upon us all- despite the  more prudent strategies. I can't find the reference there was on UKC but someone showed a model to suppress the disease which showed it was the combination of masks, distancing and TTTesting that suppresses the disease best and any laxness in any one of those areas breaks our capacity to suppress it.

Post edited at 22:28
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In reply to MargieB:

> Disease will find a way because of transport or delivery.

There's some states with long land borders doing not to bad at suppressing it.   China to Russia border is immense.   Germany has many long borders.   Italy did a not bad job of geographic containment in terms of protecting the rest of the country when there was a disastrous outbreak in one region.

The border doesn't have to stop the epidemic it just needs to reduce the number of new cases seeded from abroad to below the level that can be managed by contact tracing and isolation.

I think that unfortunately Scotland is going to have its work cut out as it tries to be more prudent managing this than England.    I note that Jacob Rees Mogg is trying to stop virtual attendance by video and force MPs to return to the commons in person to 'encourage' others to do the 'right thing' .   The last thing Scotland needs when its policy is to suppress the virus before raising lock down is MPs commuting long distances to London, which by the look of the pictures of the buses and Underground is about to get a resurgence.

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 Dr.S at work 14 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

Pictures probably misleading.

”Transport for London (TfL) said 5,674 more passengers travelled on the Tube on Wednesday compared to the previous day - a 7% increase.

Passengers journeys are still 93% lower than this time last year.”

rees-Mogg still an issue however

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 MargieB 14 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

RE The length of the border in completely self sufficient countries- yes patroling a border is possible and each country functions independently. 

Inverness, for example has a massive dependency on the transportation of stuff up those arteries called motorways and A9. It is an  outpost of interaction with other parts of UK. It is therefore having to rely on movement of people.

It was surprising how fast Covid 19 got into the Scottish islands- but then they are dependent on the movement of people.

Post edited at 09:40
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 DaveHK 14 May 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

> rees-Mogg still an issue however

That's a given really.

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 Dr.S at work 14 May 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

He’s the next door MP to my constituency.

and I’ve got Fox to the North.

they make my actual Tory MP look like a commie

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 MargieB 14 May 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

7% increase all sitting next to each other........ with a disease with high level of transmission......... not reassuring.

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 Dr.S at work 14 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

To be sure it’s an increase in risk- but compared to when the tubes full those pictures and numbers are nothing.

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In reply to MargieB:

> RE The length of the border in completely self sufficient countries- yes patroling a border is possible and each country functions independently. 

Yes and I think in the next phase we are going to have to face up to a basic choice.  There will be outbreaks seeded from abroad or undetected carriers in the community and from time to time there will be a local flare-up.  When this happens we will either need to put barriers between regions or implement unnecessarily harsh lock-down policies across the whole country.

Ideally this wouldn't be treated as unionism vs nationalism because the most sensible regional boundaries are probably a lot smaller than the whole of England or Scotland.   But it is probably unavoidable that the unionist/nationalist debate will get superimposed on health measures.

I think part of the 'new normal' should be minimising inter-regional travel and perhaps measures like swapping cabs/drivers on lorries at some points rather than have the same driver do the whole trip.  Unless we can prove that previously infected people are now immune and can start selecting immune drivers for long distance journeys.

> It was surprising how fast Covid 19 got into the Scottish islands- but then they are dependent on the movement of people.

Possibly part of that was second home owners using their country cottage to self isolate.  According to Twitter the care home on Skye with the Covid break-out brought staff up from one of the company's other homes in Kent.

There will need to be lessons learned for the next phase.  The more we can control long distance travel the more practical managing with contact tracing and isolation will be.

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 MargieB 15 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

another area will be public transport. Most bus companies have control over behaviour on a bus. If the capacity of the bus is a given number, why not put a clear sign on the bus door that the capacity is exactly half eg 30 and the bus driver has a counting cliker and shuts the door politely at capacity.

Trains or tubes need transport police with powers to control on board numbers and the whole platform needs people control, starting at the station main entrance,.

I heard the deep cough in Inverness city in February/ early March, in fact,I think I caught it,  unaware of the name of the illness or its significance. and I did stay indoors 17 miles away from town because I was taught to stay home with illness which in fact is not really taught today- also work compels people horribly and bosses are insensitive. That is another cultural change- the workplace compulsion to work despite illness- it is the terrible norm here. I had to work throughout with breast cancer/treatment years ago because I had no sickness benefit as a self-employed person. 

There were no tourists about and no second home people in Feb /March. I must have had it because I'm about for a weekly shop and I think I must have had further exposure especially when we were all crammed into shops at the first news of lockdown.  So it must have just travelled up that A9 with our  heavy dependence on deliveries. Driver change seems interesting, if possible at depots. But this immunity test would be best.

Post edited at 09:10
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 mondite 15 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> another area will be public transport. Most bus companies have control over behaviour on a bus. If the capacity of the bus is a given number, why not put a clear sign on the bus door that the capacity is exactly half eg 30 and the bus driver has a counting cliker and shuts the door politely at capacity.

Whilst that is acceptable from the bus company viewpoint from a customer viewpoint it doesnt work well for you. If you are halfway through the route to town there is a good chance you will never be able to get on the bus.

Which is a tad awkward if you need to get in to work for 9am.

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 Dr.S at work 15 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

> I heard the deep cough in Inverness city in February/ early March, in fact,I think I caught it,  unaware of the name of the illness or its significance. and I did stay indoors 17 miles away from town because I was taught to stay home with illness which in fact is not really taught today- also work compels people horribly and bosses are insensitive. That is another cultural change- the workplace compulsion to work despite illness- it is the terrible norm here. I had to work throughout with breast cancer/treatment years ago because I had no sickness benefit as a self-employed person. 

I think this is quite significant - when growing up 30-40 years ago older boys would tell me not to do things like spit because of the associated risk of disease transmission, I often had a hanky, "coughs and sneezes spread diseases" was still a phrase we heard - I think this sort of social background behaviour has diminished significantly.

I've worked through some pretty bad respiratory infections in th elast few years - probably wont again....

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 MargieB 15 May 2020
In reply to mondite:

Routines are working out at the moment but if a few trials of a bus journey means a company must put on more buses on certain routes, that will have to be done. The monitoring by bus drivers relating back to the depot when routes are packed will have to be active - no passively accepting the problem. It may take time to work through but the companies should perhaps be compelled by government to do this monitoring. Passengers can't predict how many people turn up at the bus stop- they are just individuals. When routines are established then a passenger may slightly shift their time to get to bus stop.

Trains- a booking system on tubes like trains .

Post edited at 09:39
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 rogerwebb 15 May 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

Remember this one?

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 MargieB 15 May 2020
In reply to mondite:

A passenger has got power to change. Write to your local councillor , point out the exact route that is crowded, tell them the solution {more buses} suggest to councillor they take this up with depot. Make a complaint to depot yourself. 

This how I got w hole new bus number/route achieved in my local area. Councillors will do this but you need to give them the ideas

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 Dr.S at work 15 May 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

I was really thinking of the Thomas the tank engine book in which the one of the steam engines point out that coughs and sneezes spread diesels!

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 rogerwebb 15 May 2020
In reply to Dr.S at work:

I think the poster was from a bit before your time, sorry! 

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 MargieB 15 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

And on the school run we have two buses, one starts off and then about half way along the journey a 2nd empty bus is waiting , the first bus drives on and the 2nd bus finishes  the journey. You can determine when the first bus would be full by the drivers monitoring the route once or twice and then that information  is used by  the depot to work out the logistics.

A civic minded passenger could monitor their own route and pass info onto the depot.

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 wercat 15 May 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

"The Blood Donor"

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 MargieB 16 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I'm pretty sure I got covid 19 in late Feb in Inverness.And it is an interesting story of ease of transmission.

In feb I  regularly stayed walking  all morning by the Inverness riverside system and then went for a coffee in a petite eco cafe with 5 tables. I'm late morning waiting to go the a carpark to meet daughter after college course finishes at midday. Just me, Amanda who runs cafe and then a single local man came into the cafe. Suddenly he coughed deeply and uncontrollable and tries to cover mouth. I fall ill that week. Amanda fell ill that week and shut the cafe for over a week cause it is the dead time of year. We both drank liquorice root tea [1 cup a day}, I had elderberry tea on top {  1cup a day} echincea drops and I finished off with senna pods because it had not only a chest peculiarity and shortness of breath but a gastric element. I thought is was gastric flu.

If I do have that antibody test and that shows I had it, that is how quickly I caught it. And I ran out of the cafe pretty quickly when he started!And I was lucky to have a spare room with en suite at home where I slept.

Post edited at 09:48
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 MargieB 16 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

Caveat - liquorice is remedial only. It is not a regular tea type as it also is a phytoestrogen and women like me having had estrogen type breast cancer are particularly  careful. My  normal tea is green tea.

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 wercat 16 May 2020
In reply to MargieB:

it's excellent in the mountains!

or as an additive to teas that are slightly bitter

Post edited at 11:25
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 timjones 16 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

> So basically Bozo has just imposed a hard border around England?

With freedom to move goods labour and money I would say that there is no hard border!

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 MargieB 16 May 2020
In reply to wercat:

Scythians used licquorice and it was first recorded by the ancient Greek Herodotus in 200BC in his history of them. It retained water in the body and they lived in arid siberian conditions. They also ate huge amounts of it for this purpose and the men, Herodotus records, had a feminised look! But that is huge amounts. They used it for respiratory ailments.

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 MargieB 17 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

If Sturgeon has half a brain and common sense, which I think she has, her silence on how to come out of lockdown  is because she is observing England and learning from mistakes.

So far she will have learnt that relating to local councils well in advance before recreational freedom of movement is essential to organise preventing hotspots- possibly banning certain areas.

she'll have learnt buses are a big problem  of crowding - and local councils will have to liaise with companies.

She's probably into the Test being embedded  first of all.

She may be setting up regional dialogue forums {weekly} to communicate virus hot spots and give council areas adjacent a chance to block problems of transmission.Communication is key.

I believe her silence is driven by thoughtfulness,  whilst Boris is driven by impulsiveness.

Post edited at 08:51
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In reply to MargieB:

> If Sturgeon has half a brain and common sense, which I think she has, her silence on how to come out of lockdown  is because she is observing England and learning from mistakes.

I think you are right.   I also think that if people remain disciplined - which isn't being helped by the sh*t from London being giving more prominence than our own government on the Scottish media - we are probably only talking about another two or three weeks, by which time infection levels will be perhaps half or a third of what they are now and we will be more ready to do the tracing with some staff hired and trained and some of the bugs worked out of the app.

England's approach to 'go for it' and try and unlock on the same schedule as the Europeans despite having many times the rate of new infections is an unnecessary risk.  Quite possibly they will get lucky but there's no need for luck when a little patience can make success a near certainty.

There's also an increasingly possible scenario where England needs to abort their attempt at releasing lockdown and it is actually Scotland that emerges first.

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In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

This is what the Tories should be doing: calm progress at a practical rate.   Hiring people, training them, testing the apps in a few places *before* talking sh*t about everybody getting back to work and teachers having a duty to reopen schools.   And while it is happening the infection rate will keep falling.

https://www.gov.scot/news/contact-tracing-technology-piloted/

Post edited at 17:14
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 baron 17 May 2020
 Oceanrower 17 May 2020
In reply to baron:

> Always good to see Scotland leading the way!

Well, yes. But that's clearly Westminster's fault because, err, London....

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In reply to baron:

> Always good to see Scotland leading the way!

The papers are full of sh*t as usual.

If you have ever tried to staff up a new organisation you'd realise it isn't about hiring people as fast as possible.  It's about hiring the right people at a manageable rate to train an make productive.  If they need 2,000 people, starting with 600 who already work for NHS in administration roles and have a familiarity with some of the systems, then getting them used to the new software, then taking on the new staff members with a ratio of one trained employee to two new and untrained ones is a hell of a lot more practical than grabbing the first 2,000 untrained people that apply and setting them in front of brand new and untested software with nobody having a f*cking clue what they are doing.

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 baron 17 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

I presume that you will be as understanding if/when the English NHS fails to meet its tracing recruitment targets?

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 alastairmac 17 May 2020
In reply to girlymonkey:

Every poll in Scotland amplifies what I hear and see every day..... the vast majority of Scots have much more faith in the government we elected as opposed to the Westminster government. Being handcuffed to the tragic incompetence of a government in London that we resoundingly rejected, during such  time of crisis, will I believe, illustrate graphically, to those not already convinced, why Scotland needs to escape Westminster rule. 

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In reply to baron:

> I presume that you will be as understanding if/when the English NHS fails to meet its tracing recruitment targets?

The difference is that England is opening up before having the processes in place and while its infection rate is about 5x some of the EU countries which are starting to open and very unevenly distributed across the country.  It may feel safe in London, where the decision makers are based, because many people who make a lot of social contacts e.g. hospital workers and public transport users have already been infected and a currently immune.  That will change if whole new groups are opened up to infection by reopening schools and more workplaces.

Bringing up an organisation with thousands of staff and completely new processes is a big deal.  Being unrealistic about how fast it can be done is not helpful.  You need to be aggressive but not totally crazy when setting targets.

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 rogerwebb 17 May 2020
In reply to alastairmac:

> will I believe, illustrate graphically, to those not already convinced, why Scotland needs to escape Westminster rule. 

Or demonstrate quite clearly that devolution works.

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 alastairmac 17 May 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

Only up to a point.....that's the problem. And it will be a problem that's magnified further by dragging Scottish voters over the precipice of a hard Brexit against their will....and their votes. This tragic pandemic has, in my opinion, explicitly demonstrated that England is a very different country to Scotland, with different priorities, politics and thankfully....politicians. It really is time to stop pretending otherwise. 

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In reply to rogerwebb:

> Or demonstrate quite clearly that devolution works.

If Scotland wants to keep going with lockdown longer than England feels is necessary and the Tories do what they are threatening and cut off the funding for furlough at the same time in the whole of the UK it will totally kill the argument for devolution rather than independence.

At the moment I don't think this is likely, I think Scotland will also be raising lockdown in two or three weeks but it is possible, especially if death rate starts rising and England keeps going with opening up.

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 rogerwebb 17 May 2020
In reply to alastairmac:

I have taken the opposite lesson. The similarities are far greater than the differences. 

Shall we save this argument for 2021, or at least until the current crisis is under control, as the politicians of both sides are doing? 

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 alastairmac 18 May 2020
In reply to rogerwebb:

Agreed...... but on a "point of order" I'm afraid the "Scottish" Conservatives led by Jackson Carlaw are predictably using the current crisis to indulge in dirty politics. Anyway, I hope you and yours are all well and in good spirits...and I'm sure we'll return to some of these themes in the months ahead.

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 MargieB 18 May 2020
In reply to tom_in_edinburgh:

If the infection rate goes up in England, the Scottish hospitality business will be stuffed. We are all looking to a UK internal travel/holiday mentality eventually as the European bookings have all been cancelled heavily, well into August. Over and over the European people tell me they'll see me in summer 2021.You just wouldn't make that much effort, - whilst the UK may need the break and maybe could afford it rather than more expensive trips abroad???? This really is an industry on the knife edge of prudent UK as a whole- we are all in this together- decision making.

And of course, the tragedy of more lives lost.

Today Inverness was keeping the lock-down and masks are becoming the norm. Actually it  feels more tightened up behaviourally, not less!

Post edited at 22:50
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In reply to MargieB:

> whilst the UK may need the break and maybe could afford it rather than more expensive trips abroad???? 

Things may change after covid but holidaying in the UK wasn't cheaper than much of mainland Europe.

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 Doug 19 May 2020
In reply to summo:

visiting the UK always seems a relatively expensive holiday for us compared to staying in France or going to Spain or Italy. Add in the often poor weather & if it wasn't for family & friends I suspect we'd hardly ever visit, much as I love Scotland.

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 JimbotheScot 19 May 2020
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In reply to Doug:

I think you can plan ahead and find bargains, but the idea that if things suddenly open up, people grab a bargain stay in Edinburgh in July or August this summer is the stuff of dreams. 

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In reply to girlymonkey:

Good

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