/ Should Boris resign?

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stp 20 Mar 2020

The government are now saying that a good outcome for Britain is to come through the Coronavirus epidemic with 20,000 deaths. It could obviously be higher but that is the optimistic, low estimate. That's about 6 times the number that China has currently had (currently 3,248). China's population is about 20x what ours is and they had zero time to prepare for this whereas we had weeks/months for preparation plus the benefit of all the knowledge learned so far.

Boris and his advisers instead chose to follow 'the science', claimed to be based on computer models. These have not been produced, if they even exist. But you don't need a computer model to see that with a minimum death rate of 1% and an infection number of 80% of the population (to get herd immunity) large numbers of people will die. 1% of 80% of 68m = 544,000. That's 167 times the current number of deaths in China AND in a country with one-twentieth the population.

So it seems like they have now abandoned the herd immunity plan but the delay in following real science mean thousands of extra deaths are now inevitable.

The real science, the science of modern epidemiology, that used by the WHO, has been around and studied for decades has been completely and irresponsibly ignored.

If we achieve that now low estimate of 20 thousand deaths then it seems fair to say that at least half of them could have been prevented if the government hadn't opted for its own madcap, maverick, untested scheme. My thought is that shouldn't any leader whose decisions have lead to the unnecessary deaths of perhaps 10 thousand plus people step down? After all that's the equivalent of more than three 9/11's. Clinton's leadership was under pressure for merely having an extra-marital affair. And shouldn't those who advised him be sacked immediately too?

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ClimberEd 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Don't be ridiculous. 

At the moment everyone needs to pull together, not play at politics.

10
gribble 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Yep, he should be sacked, along with all his advisors.  But not for this.  Let's just try to all work together at this stage, and do headhunting after the headcount if you really want to.

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MG 20 Mar 2020
Lemony 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

> If we achieve that now low estimate of 20 thousand deaths then it seems fair to say that at least half of them could have been prevented if the government hadn't opted for its own madcap, maverick, untested scheme

You wouldn't just be making up numbers based on no evidence would you? That would make you seem a bit hypocritical.

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

> Boris and his advisers instead chose to follow 'the science', claimed to be based on computer models. 

Sweden is following a similar route, although far more social and sports venues have closed. Schools for younger kids are open so folk can work. Older kids, colleges etc closed as they don't need parental supervision. It is thought that the younger kids schools will close this week for all but key workers too, but the knock on effect will be minimal as all kids over 10 have a school laptop and do lots of work online already. 

Swedes do love a rule to follow though, so the bars, cafes everything are closed and or deserted. Even group activities of way less than a hundred are all cancelled. Decisions about sporting events in June or July are being made now, whilst the UK premier league still thinks they can pause for 5mins are carry on.

Home working is widespread, there is certainly no packed public transport like London. There is more testing and even one suspected case is enough to send hundreds home from work, until it's confirmed either way. 

The UK problem is it's half hearted, neither one measure fully implemented or another. The virus doesn't care for well meaning sentiment. It's great that 5 or 6 people sat metres apart for Question Time, but right now 100s or 1000s are crammed on the underground. The UK quotes the science but isn't necessarily following it as strictly as it could.  

2 weeks ago sweden and UK had the same number cases, now the UK has 3 times as many. So something in science is working if followed. 

What the world needs now is a new Hans Rosling to explain it all. 

1
hbeevers 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

You believe China's reported numbers??

2
kirsten 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

The answer to the question of should Boris resign won’t be known for several months until this is (hopefully) over. If the outcome here is broadly similar to countries where there was total lockdown for weeks, then you could argue we did the right thing. 

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to hbeevers:

> You believe China's reported numbers??

No one's numbers are precise.

They've just done a field test in a town not far from Venice, they tested the entire population, and unsurprisingly there are a large number of cases that haven't shown any symptoms. Even the way deaths are counted varies around the world. 

With global internet access it would be hard to suppress China's death count if it was massively wrong. Look at the protests over Hong Kong last year, the authorities don't have sufficient control to stop all media. 

Post edited at 09:10
1
wintertree 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

There are much broader questions to be asked, when the time is right.  

> Clinton's leadership was under pressure for merely having an extra-marital affair.

The real problem for many was that he lied about it.

nikoid 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

A couple of points, based on my understanding of the Imperial College paper:

You are comparing apples with pears, the 20,000 deaths is a best case estimate over 2 years, informed from the modelling. So comparing that with deaths so far in China doesn't make sense.

Your 544,000 figure is a prediction based on no interventions, but that's not what we're doing is it?

In reply to stp:

North Korea are reporting zero (0) cases, everyone else should resign.

1
stevieb 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

Sweden may have taken a similar approach with population wide actions, but your government appear to have been far more on the ball from a medical / case handling point of view. 
A friend of mine took his baby to Malmo in early February. In Sweden, they discovered that the baby had chicken pox so could not fly home. They were put up for nearly two weeks in an otherwise empty infectious diseases ward which was ready and waiting for the Coronavirus. I don’t think the UK had anything like that level of preparedness. 

In terms of the number of cases, Germany and the Nordic countries appear to have high numbers of cases but lower mortality. There are a number of possible explanations for this, but part of it is probably that they are identifying a higher proportion of cases. 

Sir Chasm 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> 2 weeks ago sweden and UK had the same number cases, now the UK has 3 times as many. So something in science is working if followed.

So the UK, population 66 million, has 3 times the number of cases as Sweden, population 10 million? 

1
summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> So the UK, population 66 million, has 3 times the number of cases as Sweden, population 10 million? 

You need to read better. I said 3 weeks ago they had the same number of cases, early Feb I think sweden had more. Now they don't. 

stp 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Lemony:

Not made up any numbers. They're estimates based on quotes and articles.

Seems fair to assume that we should have a lower mortality rate than China given the advantages we have (knowledge) and the much smaller population.

Of course this can only be based on the current figures so we don't know what will happen in the future, but so far China looks to have an effective strategy in place that could be reused in any future outbreaks.

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neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

Think you are over egging the pudding there on London. My daughter lives there. It is not packed , barely any one on the streets etc etc. Just the same as you.Bbc showed films of deserted street around the city mile etc etc. 
 

Sir Chasm 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

I copied what you typed, you clown, "2 weeks ago sweden and UK had the same number cases, now the UK has 3 times as many. So something in science is working if followed". The UK has 6 times the population of Sweden, and you're saying that 2 weeks ago both countries had the same number of cases. Now you're saying that because a country with a population 6 times that of Sweden has got 3 times the number of cases that is a success for Sweden? What did you do wrong in the first place to get as many cases as the UK? 

Sir Chasm 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

Oh, and as for me reading better, you said 2 weeks not 3, try reading what you post. 

Moley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Public Health England estimates that on average 17,000 people have died from the flu in England annually between 2014/15 and 2018/19. However, the yearly deaths vary widely¾from a high of 28,330 in 2014/15 to a low of 1,692 in 2018/19. Public Health England does not publish a mortality rate for the flu.

You could sack Boris for this as well, in fact why not sack PMs annually for not sorting the flu out.

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summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> What did you do wrong in the first place to get as many cases as the UK? 

Lots of folk travelling in from Iran, Italy, Austria and Asia, possibly related to a high migrant population but of sufficient wealth to be able to afford foreign travel etc... The key is detection and isolation, so they don't spread it once home. 

But something else must differ in the two countries processes as the UK is in danger going out of control. Norway and Denmark were in a similar position and they've enforced even stricter measures across their country and borders, their numbers are improving too. 

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> Oh, and as for me reading better, you said 2 weeks not 3, try reading what you post. 

Doesn't really matter 2,3,4 weeks the numbers were broadly similar. It's only in the last week or so the UK has started to spike. 

stp 20 Mar 2020
In reply to nikoid:

> Your 544,000 figure is a prediction based on no interventions, but that's not what we're doing is it?

That's on the idea of spreading the virus to get herd immunity, something which yes they now appear to have abandoned. Whether the spread is fast or slow that low death rate estimate (1%) seems unlikely to come down further. The current WHO estimate is 3.4%. Though of course it could easily go up with a healthcare collapse etc..

One figure I saw was maybe 261,000 but I was never sure how they arrived at that ( an optimistic .5% death rate perhaps?).

1
Sir Chasm 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> Doesn't really matter 2,3,4 weeks the numbers were broadly similar. It's only in the last week or so the UK has started to spike. 

So you post a number, tell me I've read it wrong, and when I point out you have got your own number wrong it doesn't matter. Clown. 

stp 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Moley:

I'm not arguing he should be sacked for not sorting it out. More that poor decisions could lead to a large number of avoidable deaths.

Deaths from seasonal flu are not due to poor government decision making (as far as I know).

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Sir Chasm 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> Lots of folk travelling in from Iran, Italy, Austria and Asia, possibly related to a high migrant population but of sufficient wealth to be able to afford foreign travel etc... The key is detection and isolation, so they don't spread it once home.

You're claiming there's more travel to Sweden from those countries than to the UK? Seems unlikely, but I'm prepared to be convinced. 

> But something else must differ in the two countries processes as the UK is in danger going out of control. Norway and Denmark were in a similar position and they've enforced even stricter measures across their country and borders, their numbers are improving too. 

Yes, yes, run along with the scaremongering, it isn't helpful. 

gezebo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

In 2018 there were 533,253 registered deaths in England and Wales which was a small increase on the year before.

Across the year that works out as 1460 per day or around 43,000 a month, but more people die in the winter than summer due to seasonal illness.

Whilst saying that 20,000 deaths maybe headline grabbing a bit of perspective is important, as is considering the overall health of these people who die as a large number will be significantly ill already and either would have died soon anyway or died at the hands of any cough, cold etc.
 

Comparing the UK to Italy is also like comparing apples and pears as their population is proportionately significantly older than ours who will naturally be more at risk. 

https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregistrationsummarytables/2018

TobyA 20 Mar 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Think you are over egging the pudding there on London. My daughter lives there. It is not packed , barely any one on the streets etc etc. Just the same as you.

It might depend where you are. My mate was saying yesterday where he is in S London it felt very edgy, not much available in the shops and people getting angry/upset. His local hospital has topped out is capacity and is sending cases to other hospitals. My friend is a very calm guy, climbed big alpine routes, a very experienced paraglider pilot, etc. but he said he was feeling unusually wound up by it. He reckoned it was still busy around him.

Just one persons experience though, so good hear where your daughter is things are calm.

Moley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

> I'm not arguing he should be sacked for not sorting it out. More that poor decisions could lead to a large number of avoidable deaths.

> Deaths from seasonal flu are not due to poor government decision making (as far as I know).

How on earth do you know that the number of corona virus deaths will be due to poor decision making, we haven't got there yet or know what is going to happen.

1
nikoid 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

> That's on the idea of spreading the virus to get herd immunity, something which yes they now appear to have abandoned. Whether the spread is fast or slow that low death rate estimate (1%) seems unlikely to come down further. The current WHO estimate is 3.4%. Though of course it could easily go up with a healthcare collapse etc..

Yes that's right, the UK is going for a suppression strategy as letting everyone get ill to attain herd immunity will overwhelm the NHS.

> One figure I saw was maybe 261,000 but I was never sure how they arrived at that ( an optimistic .5% death rate perhaps?).

I'm not sure about the 261,000 number. If you haven't already looked at the Imperial College paper, I recommend you do. Depending on the combination of intervention and reproduction number the deaths predicted over two years vary between 5,600 and 120,000. I suspect the numbers are massively sensitive to behavioural aspects, ie level of compliance with the different interventions.

JimR 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Agree completely with the original post. Johnson etc chose their own path out of egotistical arrogance ignoring the rest of the world. 

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JimR 20 Mar 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Think you are over egging the pudding there on London. My daughter lives there. It is not packed , barely any one on the streets etc etc. Just the same as you.Bbc showed films of deserted street around the city mile etc etc. 

My daughter lives there and has just sent us a picture of completely empty shelves in her local Waitrose, says atmosphere on street is very edgy.

neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to JimR:

I assume it will calm down as people  gets their act together.

Full shelves up here in Warrington ( Morrsions) and Congleton ( M and S) at lunchtime and evening. People learning to stop panic buying. Just grumbling shop staff saying if the idiots did not panic buy there would be plenty. I reckon there is a deliberate policy not to restack to get the message across.

mondite 20 Mar 2020
In reply to neilh:

> Full shelves up here in Warrington ( Morrsions) and Congleton ( M and S) at lunchtime and evening. People learning to stop panic buying.

I dont think it is "learning" as such so much as running out of space to store.  The media still really arent helping and neither are the shops with their half arsed publicity stunts rather than really slapping down the offenders (since that will mean they lose them as customers forever).

Toerag 20 Mar 2020
In reply to gezebo:

>

> Comparing the UK to Italy is also like comparing apples and pears as their population is proportionately significantly older than ours who will naturally be more at risk. 

UK has 18% over 65, Italy has (had) 23% over 65.  That's not wildly different. You can pro-rata the numbers and it's still bad for the UK.

Post edited at 11:04
neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to mondite:

Agree with you. I fail to understand why store managers are not using common sense. 

cb294 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

The tested every single person in Vo (one of the two towns with the initial outbreaks in Italy) right away. They found the asymptomatics, isolated them along with the sick, quarantined everybody else, and now have no new infections.

The place was small enough, though, good luck trying this in London or Berlin. It was not even feasible in Bergamo, with the well known consequences.

The UK response seems a bit half arsed, though. Germany is largely closed down. No more pubs, sports clubs, gyms, church services, schools, etc. Public transport is strongly scaled back, and everyone who can is asked to work from home. All nonessential shops are closed, so no chance to use the enforced downtime for some DIY work on the house.

We expect a full curfew, where leaving home is only allowed for work or limited shopping for medication or food, to come in place this weekend. It is already in place in towns with higher than average infection rates (weird clusters e.g. in rural Bavaria close to the Czech border. No idea how that happened!).

Fortunately the short window of good climbing weather is over. Day 3 of my self isolation / working from home only, and I am getting stir crazy already!

CB

Point of View 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

I'm rather impressed with the way Boris has handled it. He is following the scientific advice he has been given and ignored the temptation to go in for dramatic headline-grabbing gestures,, which is what politicians usually do.

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neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to cb294:

It is startling how much has closed down voluntarily. My view is that they are managing this deliberately so that people get the message.Its allowing people a little bit of time and space to rethink a big issue, a few days panic to get things in order.

You only have to go on the Motorways etc to figure it out.

Tringa 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

As the government won't bite the bullet and stop certain activities I think we should do it ourselves, ie not go to pubs, cafes, cinemas, museums, etc and stop all non essential travel.

Dave

neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Point of View:

I am no fan of Cummins( nor did I vote Tory), but Cummins is a science supporter, and I suspect Boris is being told the hard facts by his key Adviser.

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mondite 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Point of View:

> I'm rather impressed with the way Boris has handled it. He is following the scientific advice he has been given

It isnt clear what advice is being followed.

It would require something extremely stupid for the CMO and co to give up and walk away but that doesnt necessarily mean all their advice is being followed. Chances are they will be giving a range of options and its for the politicans to choose from that.

There was an interesting comment from one of them saying they were on the side of pushing for more tests to be done when the approach wasnt quite matching that. That is about as far as its likely they would go in contradicting the government line since, after all, if they did so it would heavily damage public confidence.

cb294 20 Mar 2020
In reply to neilh:

In the exponential phase of the current pandemic, 4 days is a bit longer than the average doubling time of the infection rate. Because we are largely detecting symptomatic cases only, this will be last week's numbers due to the incubation time. If you do something, do it now. Wait 4 days, and you double your cases. Wait a week, and you have tenfold (ish) more.

Bavaria (who are currently taking the lead in the German federal system) have just announced a full curfew with a few essential exceptions starting Saturday.

CB

neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to cb294:

The exponential rate is well known.Germans like a curfew ( I say tongue in cheek).

neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to mondite:

Body language etc would suggest in their daily presentation that they are all going along the same lines.Otherwise some media pundit would have commented on it.

Anyway there are bound to be different views, that is good, even heaven forbid Churchill had to contend with that.

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

Clearly I'm wrong. The UK is doing an amazing job introducing the most extreme and appropriate measures in Europe. I'm sure we can all look forward to the stats plummeting in no time at all and no more needless loss of life. 

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cb294 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

Remember, the death clown said it would over in 12 weeks time, so no worries.

CB

1
neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to cb294:

Did he? It was flexible and vague, you could read into it what you wanted.

1
MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

We can't add to the turmoil by sacking the PM in the middle of a crisis, but I wish he'd step away from these briefings and let someone with an ounce of seriousness and a skill for communication that exceeds, what, a cat's?

The comms are so confusing that they are undoubtedly causing this thing to spread more quickly than it otherwise would have done. Today, a "Whitehall spokesman", whatever that means, declined to contradict Tim 'twat' Martin's opinion that people should be going to the pub and that hardly any transmission of the virus had happened in a pub.

They are f*cking this up.

3
cb294 20 Mar 2020
In reply to neilh:

Sure, vague and flexible. This is precisely what is not called for under the circumstances. Not surprised, though.

CB

neilh 20 Mar 2020
In reply to cb294:.

Yes it is suitably vague, why commit when you do not know if its going to be 12 weeks or 24 weeks or longer. Of course its bluff. Plan Brexit with an 80 seat majority has been completely " fu..ed" blown totally off course.

I would expect Germany to be better. How long has Merkel been in power, and she knows how to use it.

Never a fan of popularism, now its the return of the technical advisers.Big style.

Always thought that something would blow popularism off course, this is it. Wake up time.

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Moley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

There's tw*ts in every country, have a look at these considerate young Yanks, helping the cause! 

  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmm2se1HXOM

wbo2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Sir Chasm:

> . Now you're saying that because a country with a population 6 times that of Sweden has got 3 times the number of cases that is a success for Sweden? What did you do wrong in the first place to get as many cases as the UK? 

Earlier awareness and thus testing.  Total infections is guesstimated really 

MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Moley:

Exceptionalism's a hell of a drug.

1
Richard Horn 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> , a "Whitehall spokesman", whatever that means, declined to contradict Tim 'twat' Martin's opinion that people should be going to the pub and that hardly any transmission of the virus had happened in a pub.

Well I hate to break it to you but right now I would think hardly any transmission is probably happening in pubs (given they are nearly empty). Do we shut them completely to help put them out of business for a negligible change to the level of overall spread?

Where should the focus be - I am not an expert but now that schools have closed I would guess workplaces, hospitals, public transport and supermarkets (esp the panic buying early morning surge) are responsible for the bulk in transmission - but all of these mechanisms would still be active to a degree even in a more stringent lockdown. 

Any measures we take need to be sustainable if they are going to work, and probably over a period of 2-3 months minimum. Our measures may not appear as stringent as other countries but the important thing is that they are fairly drastic (its about getting R0 lower), but also they are more sustainable as they give people some semblance of controlling their lives to make the best of the situation. The European lockdowns are not sustainable because their populations are going start melting down after three or four weeks max (these are not Chinese people willingly subservient to their state) - people in Italy are already describing the situation as unbearable and the lockdown is increasingly being ignored before 2 weeks are out, after a month there is a good chance it will break down completely. 

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MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> Well I hate to break it to you but right now I would think hardly any transmission is probably happening in pubs (given they are nearly empty). Do we shut them completely to help put them out of business for a negligible change to the level of overall spread?

They're nearly empty because the advice has been to not go. Mr Wankerspoon was saying that people should go to the pub, i.e. directly contradicting the previous advice. The govt should shut the pubs and provide economic support for those affected.

> Where should the focus be - I am not an expert but now that schools have closed I would guess workplaces, hospitals, public transport and supermarkets (esp the panic buying early morning surge) are responsible for the bulk in transmission - but all of these mechanisms would still be active to a degree even in a more stringent lockdown. 

> Any measures we take need to be sustainable if they are going to work, and probably over a period of 2-3 months minimum. Our measures may not appear as stringent as other countries but the important thing is that they are fairly drastic (its about getting R0 lower), but also they are more sustainable as they give people some semblance of controlling their lives to make the best of the situation. The European lockdowns are not sustainable because their populations are going start melting down after three or four weeks max (these are not Chinese people willingly subservient to their state) - people in Italy are already describing the situation as unbearable and the lockdown is increasingly being ignored before 2 weeks are out, after a month there is a good chance it will break down completely. 

If we're going to avoid complete lockdowns the clarity of official messaging will become even more essential and it's the comms that our govt are currently ballsing up: Health Secretary writing an article sat behind a paywall at the Telegraph; "Downing St sources say.."/"Whitehall spokesman says..."; a closed lobby briefing to journalists in the morning and then a direct public address 7.5 hrs after that; Johnson's inability to clearly convey an idea; Johnson blarting "12 weeks" yesterday and now the advisers saying "most of a year" less than a day later.

They're f*cking this up.

1
felt 20 Mar 2020
Wiley Coyote2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Don't be ridiculous. 

> At the moment everyone needs to pull together, not play at politics.


I see your argument but Johnson is clearly out of his depth. Just watch his press conferences if you can bear to. When someone is screwing things up this badly in a life and death situation for thousands of people how long before you have to say we need someone more competent in charge?' (pls don't ask me to name one on either side. I think most of the grown ups were culled at the last election) What was is Brown said during the financial crisis?  "This is not the time for beginners"

3
Richard Horn 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

What exactly are they doing to f*ck this up? What would you do better?

2
Wiley Coyote2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> What exactly are they doing to f*ck this up? What would you do better?

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/20/boris-johnson-covid-19-prime-minister-brexit

1
Richard Horn 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

I cant read any point that this article is trying to make, its just a slagging off. Like MoneyPuzzle above the author doesnt actually come up with anything constructive that they would do better...

1
summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> What exactly are they doing to f*ck this up? What would you do better?

There are a few stable doors like pubs opening that could have been shut weeks ago. 

If announce you are closing schools, have your key worker list already drawn up and published at the same time.

The same goes for business and worker financial support, it's simply having the answers ready for the obvious questions that will follow any major announcements. 

The scientific and medical advisors have done 90mins press conferences and fielded all questions with precise, articulate and clear responses. Boris would be lucky to last 10 mins. 

1
MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> What exactly are they doing to f*ck this up? What would you do better?

- Clear, concise statements in unequivocal language

- Consistent messaging, i.e. not "don't go to the pub" and yet leave the pubs open

- No anonymous briefing to favoured journalists. Public, official statements only. Certainly nothing behind a f*cking paywall in the Telegraph

- Rapid response to quash any rumours. People in London half expecting a lockdown of the city for 18hrs without official comment is how we get panic buying or worse

- Repeat "There's enough supply to go around and grocery shops will never be locked down" until I was blue in the face and legislate on it if needs be

- Confirm people will be supported financially, so we don't have scenes like the crammed tube trains this morning

I'm sure I can think of more but I'm doing this on my phone.

They're f*cking this up.

Post edited at 16:50
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summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> What exactly are they doing to f*ck this up? What would you do better?

And... if you announce that all over 70s might need to self quarantine for 12 weeks, don't be surprised if they fill their shopping trolleys the next day. 

David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> - Consistent messaging, i.e. not "don't go to the pub" and yet leave the pubs open

This is not North Korea.  It's not simple.  What about pubs for food ?  What about pizza outlets ?  How do you discriminate between those and food shops ?

Doug 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

Countries like France, Germany, Italy etc seem to have managed

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> This is not North Korea.  It's not simple.  What about pubs for food ?  What about pizza outlets ?  How do you discriminate between those and food shops ?

Easy. Ban the sale of all on site alcohol and eating. Only allowed to open as takeaways. Break the rule, lose your licence. Next please.... 

MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> This is not North Korea.  It's not simple.  What about pubs for food ?  What about pizza outlets ?  How do you discriminate between those and food shops ?

I was writing bullet points not writing detailed policy.

The point is saying "Don't go to pubs, restaurants, cafes" but not closing them or restricting them to takeaway only is mixed messaging and will be responsible for faster spreading.

It's not North Korea but it is a national emergency and so certain restrictions needs to be put in place to preserve public health and NHS capacity.

2
David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

Yes, I might agree with that.  It was just MonkeyPuzzle's simplistic, pubs should have been closed,  I referred to.

MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

Looks like the govt agrees with me. Pubs/cafes/restaurants to close and the govt to pay wages up to £2500/mth.

Doug 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

seems the UK is now like  N Korea

Post edited at 17:24
1
cb294 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

But pubs should indeed have been closed. First thing to shut everywhere else, but excellent scientific reasons.

Owing one to Mr Weatherspoon's over Brexit is a shit basis for public health policy,

CB

1
Stuart (aka brt) 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Doug:

> seems the UK is now like  N Korea

Socialism coming to the rescue...

David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Looks like the govt agrees with me. Pubs/cafes/restaurants to close and the govt to pay wages up to £2500/mth.

More to the point.  You now agree with the government.  Shock, horror.

ClimberEd 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> I see your argument but Johnson is clearly out of his depth. Just watch his press conferences if you can bear to. When someone is screwing things up this badly in a life and death situation for thousands of people how long before you have to say we need someone more competent in charge?' (pls don't ask me to name one on either side. I think most of the grown ups were culled at the last election) What was is Brown said during the financial crisis?  "This is not the time for beginners"

I disagree. 

Oceanrower 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Should Boris resign?

No. He should be shot. Then resuscitated. Then shot again. Continue ad infinitum...

Post edited at 17:32
11
summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> Yes, I might agree with that.  It was just MonkeyPuzzle's simplistic, pubs should have been closed,  I referred to.

It's hardly the end of the world if they do. But employment should be protected where possible. 

I think many still lack as sense of what they are up against. There are Italians who have just passed week 4 of being house bound, whilst 100s die every day. Their local pub staying open probably isn't top of their worries. 

Stuart (aka brt) 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> More to the point.  You now agree with the government.  Shock, horror.

Shock horror, you're still the Tory fan-boy. 

1
David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

I don't care if the pubs are open.

2
Timmd 20 Mar 2020
In reply to ClimberEd:

> Don't be ridiculous. 

> At the moment everyone needs to pull together, not play at politics.

I wouldn't want resignations at the moment, but everything is politics, politics just about runs through all of life.

Post edited at 17:39
1
Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to cb294:

Italy waited until they had over 10,590 active cases and over 800 deaths before they shut down bars etc.

What are our figures?

Just thought I'd point this out, the way people are banging on.

David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

What makes you think that ?

Moley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

It's a bit ironic really, 100 years ago men were being recruited for the war and then blown to bits over the next 4 years. After which the remains caught flu which wiped out a further xx million souls.

Now people are being asked to sit at home and watch the TV for a few weeks and there's hell to pay, no bog paper, can't go to the pub. Hard times indeed.

summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> I don't care if the pubs are open.

You might not be old enough to be in a high risk bracket etc.. But the longer the country is gripped by the virus, the bigger the economic mess, the greater the borrowing and the more years all the care free youngsters will be paying all the national debt off. There aren't just health costs accruing at an incredible rate. The pensioners won't be paying off the debt, it'll be the younger workers over the next 20 years. This is ignoring the job losses in the near term, where thousands if not a million folk will be chasing employment from companies that went bust, because the virus was prolonged by foolish decisions and the irresponsible.  

1
David Riley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

I mean I don't want them open.

Wiley Coyote2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Richard Horn:

> I cant read any point that this article is trying to make, its just a slagging off.

The point it makes it the same one many on this thread have made.  There is a complete fiasco on the comms. Idiotically-mixed messages (keep pubs open but please don't go in is just Pythonesque),  No need to shut pubs then two days later it changes to  Oh sorry, yes we do need to shut pubs.. Anon briefings from 'sources' to fly kites and then deny it was ever an idea if there is too much opposition. half-baked plans (Oh, we'll get back to you on that) etc etc. Small wonder people are confused or just listening to the bits they want to

The scary thing is that this should be the easy bit. It's page one stuff. The govt has a wel-established, heavily staffed  information machine yet they are still screwing it up. Johnson already has a huge credibility problem (£350m a week for the NHS, oven-ready deal anyone?) and it is getting worse by the the day.  No wonder he is not trusted and people are entitled to ask if he can't get this stuff right what the hell is happening on the hard stuff?

1
summo 20 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> I mean I don't want them open.

Ah. I'm with you on that one. 

pec 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> Johnson already has a huge credibility problem (£350m a week for the NHS, oven-ready deal anyone?) and it is getting worse by the the day.  No wonder he is not trusted and people are entitled to ask if he can't get this stuff right what the hell is happening on the hard stuff?

Do you have any evidence for that or are you just making it up because that's what you want to believe?

https://www.standard.co.uk/news/politics/ipsos-mori-boris-johnson-poll-coronavirus-crisis-handling-a4392021.html

Seems to me most people's view is coloured by their pre existing political persuation. So no surprise this from the link:

"The young are much more critical of the Government on coronavirus. Overall, 49 per cent think it has been handled well but this plunges to 28 per cent of 18- to 34-year-olds.

Only 34 per cent of Londoners think the PM has handled the virus situation well, compared with 47 per cent of Great Britain as a whole."

Pretty much in line with how people voted last December. There's certainly no evidence he "has a huge credibility problem", "and it is getting worse by the the day".

Personally I'm reserving judgement. He's been striking an appropriate sober serious tone but as to whether his strategy is right, it's far too soon to tell. He's almost certainly done some things right and some things wrong, as will have most national leaders but we won't know which is which for some time yet.

1
gezebo 20 Mar 2020

Regardless of if Boris should resign just imagine if Corbyn was in charge...

Given the option in December was Boris or Corbyn I am glad Boris is in number 10 at the moment. I’d be interested to hear who would be a suitable replacement? 

1
MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> Pretty much in line with how people voted last December. There's certainly no evidence he "has a huge credibility problem", "and it is getting worse by the the day".

You do know he's PM of the people who didn't vote for him as well, yes? I can't think of any other PM of my lifetime who I wouldn't rather have in charge. I'm almost certain to never vote blue, but even May, hell even Cameron had a real sense of duty, whether I agreed with their politics or not.

3
RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Nobody can doubt that the U.K.  will now spend 100s of Billions to fight the coronavirus while spending would have been minimal if you had taken drastic action in Jan, not to mention all the lives that would have been saved.

So yes, he should most absolutely go, but I suspect he won’t.

Should have would have doesn’t sound particularly helpful now, but it’s extremely important that we learn from it for the next time. If we don’t keep people accountable  and keep discounting their failure on so called “black swans” which are in fact as white as the snow, we will never learn.

Post edited at 20:12
3
Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

So what would have been this drastic action that the UK should have taken back in January, when there were only 9 confirmed cases up to the 22nd of February?

edit: said 9 who were possibly in isolation on the Wirral etc.

Post edited at 20:27
5
Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Can't think of anything, Rom, eh, can't think of anything to worm yourself out of your little hole to prove yourself right?

Losing your touch, boy!

4
RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> So what would have been this drastic action that the UK should have taken back in January, when there were only 9 confirmed cases up to the 22nd of February?

Closing the borders, or implementing systematic testing of new arrivals, as well as social distancing and larger testing would most likely have nipped it in the bud.

Instead we kept completely open borders for weeks.

The fact that they were only 9 detected cases isn’t even remotely an excuse. It’s the rate of spread that matters.

Post edited at 20:48
RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> Can't think of anything, Rom, eh, can't think of anything to worm yourself out of your little hole to prove yourself right?

> Losing your touch, boy!

Wow. You need serious help.

pec 20 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> You do know he's PM of the people who didn't vote for him as well, yes? I can't think of any other PM of my lifetime who I wouldn't rather have in charge. I'm almost certain to never vote blue, but even May, hell even Cameron had a real sense of duty, whether I agreed with their politics or not.


Well all I can say is thank god Corbyn isn't running the show. With the instant capital flight that would have resulted from his victory and the likely ensuing run on the pound (when else in history did a shadow chancellor have to make contingency plans for that in the event of them winning?), the economy would have been screwed before this even started.

9
Deleted bagger 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

How is this helping?

MonkeyPuzzle 20 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

Is every criticism of Johnson going to go the route of "Well Corbyn would have done X"? Because that just sounds like an excuse to avoid due criticism.

Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

The pandemic of 1918/9 resulted from the lack of knowledge of viruses and the ignorance of our mighty leaders of the time, like Haig, who treated soldiers like cannon fodder and kept shipping them from wherever they could get them into the Western Front, and onto the wider world.  It originated in an American army camp, in case you you didn't know.

Current events are directly a result of your capitalist God of Globalisation.  A world without borders and total freedom of movement for all people over all countries is one of your mantras. (you're on record)

Blaming individual Govts is basically irrelevant, the root cause lies on the doorstep of the likes of you.  They're just trying to clean up the mess that your ideology has created.

The Chinese appear to put a lid on their outbreak.  Now, how did it leak out of China again?
It wouldn't surprise me if they've outbreaks in past and they've contained them when they were a closed country.

4
Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Wow. You need serious help.


Thank God the pubs are shut.
You don't know who you could bump into when you're out for a laugh!

2
RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Deleted bagger:

> How is this helping?

It is helping. You must make people accountable otherwise we’ll make the same errors next time.

RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

Sure, coronavirus is my fault now. What a load of rubbish, the rest of the post is so out there I’m not even sure it warrants a response.

The point is very simple: the government had the power to stop covid19 spread in the U.K. when we had the first few cases, but instead did not do much appart from tracing until much later.
This is a choice that they made and must be held accountable for at some point.

Post edited at 21:54
2
Deleted bagger 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

But are you helping; anyone?

1
RomTheBear 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Deleted bagger:

> But are you helping; anyone?

I do my bit.

Archy Styrigg 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> I do my bit.


How many USD have you donated to date?

2
DaveHK 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Looking at him tonight I think he probably wants to resign but can't see how. I suspect that he's realising that running things isn't quite the spiffing lark he thought it would be and that we'll be expecting some real leadership and not just sound bites and a bit of school boy Latin.

Post edited at 22:21
1
Moley 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> The Chinese appear to put a lid on their outbreak.  Now, how did it leak out of China again?

> It wouldn't surprise me if they've outbreaks in past and they've contained them when they were a closed country.

Sure China has put a lid on it, because 11 million people in Wuhan would do exactly as the state says - or else. Too petrified to do otherwise or question anything, never mind fighting over bog rolls. Not sure what happens next, pretty much a closed community now if they want to stay free.

In the UK much of the public are so dumb**** stupid nothing voluntary is likely to work and if the powers have made any big mistake then it is overestimating the intelligence of our population to carry out simple procedures.

wbo2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:its ages since we blamed Jeremy Corbyn for anything .🙂🙂

But actually I like a lot of these solutions as consumer based economies dont work too well when a significant lump of your consumers are poverty stricken.

Deleted bagger 20 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Such as?

1
Wiley Coyote2 20 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> Johnson already has a huge credibility problem (£350m a week for the NHS, oven-ready deal anyone?) and it is getting worse by the the day.  No wonder he is not trusted and people are entitled to ask if he can't get this stuff right what the hell is happening on the hard stuff?

> Do you have any evidence for that or are you just making it up because that's what you want to believe?

>

Are you being serious?!?!? Johnson's lies are attested to by almost everyone he has ever come into contact with.

Exhibit A A bloody great bus plastered with the £350m for the NHS.  Every reliable sauthority has  said that figure was always untrue and he knew it.

Exhibit B: 'An oven-ready deal'  'So over-ready' we are running out of time to noegotiate.

Fired from his newspaper for making up quotes

Filmed by a BBC news crew telling an irate parent during a hospital visit that the BBC news crew was not there!

And so ad infinitum

Dave the Rave 20 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

No. He should be backed like Man Utd have backed Solskjaer. 
 

In Boris I trust. And that’s from a lifelong labour voter.

Stuart (aka brt) 20 Mar 2020
In reply to Wiley Coyote2:

> > Johnson already has a huge credibility problem (£350m a week for the NHS, oven-ready deal anyone?) and it is getting worse by the the day.  No wonder he is not trusted and people are entitled to ask if he can't get this stuff right what the hell is happening on the hard stuff?

> Are you being serious?!?!? Johnson's lies are attested to by almost everyone he has ever come into contact with.

> Exhibit A A bloody great bus plastered with the £350m for the NHS.  Every reliable sauthority has  said that figure was always untrue and he knew it.

> Exhibit B: 'An oven-ready deal'  'So over-ready' we are running out of time to noegotiate.

> Fired from his newspaper for making up quotes

> Filmed by a BBC news crew telling an irate parent during a hospital visit that the BBC news crew was not there!

> And so ad infinitum

You can probably add on to the list: shaking hands with Coronavirus patients and getting it done in 12 weeks. Unbelievable. 

The brief he gave on Thursday, have a look for it if you didn't see it. His opening remark about not wanting to keep journalists long as he was sure they're all weary of it. Staggering.

And what's with all the war and enemy stuff? 

1
jkarran 20 Mar 2020
In reply to hbeevers:

> You believe China's reported numbers??

I do.  I think China learned from SARS1. 0, we will learn from this.

Jk

jkarran 21 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> This is not North Korea.  It's not simple.  What about pubs for food ?  What about pizza outlets ?  How do you discriminate between those and food shops ?

They're licenced differently.

They've f*cked this up so we have gone from controllable with the right messaging and restrictions to second worst growth rate on record in a couple of weeks by playing risky games. The cost of those mistakes and delays will be 10's of thousands minimum but early over-reaction has costs too. 

If Johnson wants to hand the reins on to someone more able I would be supportive but frankly I'll settle for him eventually taking scientific advice ahead of political. They could be doing much worse. 

Jk

Post edited at 00:03
jkarran 21 Mar 2020
In reply to DaveHK:

> Looking at him tonight I think he probably wants to resign but can't see how. I suspect that he's realising that running things isn't quite the spiffing lark he thought it would be and that we'll be expecting some real leadership and not just sound bites and a bit of school boy Latin.

Hard to take any joy in his fantasy of wartime leadership being dashed by being called to lead us into battle. He's what we've got for better or worse but at least he's apparently now listening more and blagging less. Progress.

Jk

Post edited at 00:09
Archy Styrigg 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

You keep coming out this 'we'.  Cyprus is 1000s of miles away from the UK.

Are the airports shut on Cyprus?

4
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Archy Styrigg:

> You keep coming out this 'we'.  Cyprus is 1000s of miles away from the UK.

So ? Not sure what is your point.

L rinkymehra 21 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

They've just done a field test in a town not far from Venice, they tested the entire population, and unsurprisingly there are a large number of cases that haven't shown any symptoms. Even the way deaths are counted varies around the world. 

lorentz 21 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Buffoon, 

Overpromoted,

Regrets

It

Suddenly 

1
pec 21 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

> Is every criticism of Johnson going to go the route of "Well Corbyn would have done X"? Because that just sounds like an excuse to avoid due criticism.


No, only when it's appropriate.

2
mondite 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

> You can probably add on to the list: shaking hands with Coronavirus patients and getting it done in 12 weeks. Unbelievable. 

Didnt he lie about shaking hands with the Coronavirus patients? Not sure that makes things better though.

> And what's with all the war and enemy stuff? 

Because he sees himself as a modern day Churchill.

Stuart (aka brt) 21 Mar 2020
In reply to mondite:

> Didnt he lie about shaking hands with the Coronavirus patients? Not sure that makes things better though.

Yeah, that was my point really. He's not quite up to Trump's level of mendacity but it's close. 

> Because he sees himself as a modern day Churchill.

Which of course.. 

pec 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Closing the borders, or implementing systematic testing of new arrivals, as well as social distancing and larger testing would most likely have nipped it in the bud.

> Instead we kept completely open borders for weeks.

What a surprise, Rom thinks Britain is sh*t and doing it all wrong. Good job you don't live here any more then.

So which European countries did close their borders immediately? None.

Have you any idea how you would go about systematically testing all new arrivals to a country the size of the UK at such short notice? It would take months to set up such a regime, we're not just some tiny little island with a few tourists coming and going, like say Cyprus.

The virus is so new that the testing wouldn't even be reliable anyway and without 100% accuracy some cases would inevitably slip through and multiply below the radar until we had an epidemic on our hands.

Of course the government will have made some mistakes just as they will have got some things right, just like the other governments dealing with an event the like of which we haven't seen for a hundred years.

Your response is so tediously predicatable, it could have been written a year ago before the Chinese had even identified the virus.

Post edited at 10:29
4
Stuart (aka brt) 21 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> What a surprise, Rom thinks Britain is sh*t and doing it all wrong. Good job you don't live here any more then.

> Of course the government will have made some mistakes just as they will have got some things right, just like the other governments dealing with an event the like of which we haven't seen for a hundred years.

The problem is pec this government went against all evidence that was put in front of them and went off in a different direction - take it one the chin, herd immunity. And no, the science didn't change.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/18/coronavirus-uk-expert-advice-wrong

Whilst that was going on, Boris was lying about getting it done and shaking hands with coronavirus patients (he didn't, but it's what he said). 

For what it's worth I think the chancellor is handling this in the correct way. 

Post edited at 10:40
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> What a surprise, Rom thinks Britain is sh*t and doing it all wrong. Good job you don't live here any more then.

> So which European countries did close their borders immediately? None.

No, you are just projecting your own little pathetic prejudice.

The fact that other Europeans countries have been as complacent and incompetent or more than we have been is not an excuse for our own.

> Have you any idea how you would go about systematically testing all new arrivals to country the size of the UK at such short notice?

Quarantine all arrivals, reduce travel significantly, and test. That’s what Hong Kong did.

> The virus is so new that the testing wouldn't even be reliable anyway and without 100% accuracy some cases would inevitably slip through and multiply below the radar until we had an epidemic on our hands.

Well, you can keep burying your head in the sand and see any criticism of the U.K. approach as nothing but an an affront to your pathetic, misplaced jingoism.
But the numbers don’t lie, countries like Hong Kong or Singapore took early action and it paid off, and this is very visible in the trajectory of cases.

https://amp.ft.com/content/e015e096-6532-11ea-a6cd-df28cc3c6a68

Their governments took the right decisions, and we didn’t, and now we have a bigger problem. As simple as that.

I’m sorry, but I prefer basing my opinion of the U.K. government course of action on tangible  results rather than on your little miserable, pathetic, laughable patriotic pride that is ho so easily hurt.

Post edited at 11:03
3
pec 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> The fact that other Europeans countries have been as complacent and incompetent or more than we have been is not an excuse for our own.

No, but it doesn't make us uniquely bad or mean that our politicians are uniquely incompetant as  you always seem to imply.

> Quarantine all arrivals, reduce travel significantly, and test. That’s what Hong Kong did.

And how much easier is it for a place like Hong Kong to do that with a population 9x smaller than ours that's used to living with the threat of such viruses - its probably in a semi permanent state of preparedness because it's had to be, unlike ALL European countries.

> But the numbers don’t lie, countries like Hong Kong or Singapore took early action and it paid off, and this is very visible in the trajectory of cases.

For the reasons I've given. What we don't know yet though is what will happen in subsequent waves of infection, that will be the true test.

> Their governments took the right decisions, and we didn’t, and now we have a bigger problem. As simple as that.

For the reasons I've given which you refuse to acknowledge and which again, its far too early to really know. How can you be so certain that as China comes out of lockdown there won't be yet another wave of infection?

> I’m sorry, but I prefer basing my opinion of the U.K. government course of action on tangible  results rather than on your little miserable, pathetic, laughable patriotic pride that is ho so easily hurt.

No, you base your opinions on your pre-existing predjudice that everything we do is always wrong and then selectively choose your evidence to fit the facts.

To be clear, I'm not saying we've got everything right. I'm saying that we will have done some things right and some things wrong but it's far too early to know which is which yet. Anyone who thinks they can sit in judgement on this matter and state with any certainty how well we've done is a fool.

3
wercat 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Stuart (aka brt):

we've definitely had at least one lie from a minister over testing.

Secretary of state for Transport tells the R4 Today Audience that after China and Italy we are testing more cases than any other country.

This morning Jeremy Hunt tells R4 that the reason German cases to deaths ratio is better than ours is because Germany is doing 4 times as much testing ....

I cannot take at face value anything said by this government

Post edited at 11:54
Wanderer100 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> No, you are just projecting your own little pathetic prejudice.

> The fact that other Europeans countries have been as complacent and incompetent or more than we have been is not an excuse for our own.

> Quarantine all arrivals, reduce travel significantly, and test. That’s what Hong Kong did.

> Well, you can keep burying your head in the sand and see any criticism of the U.K. approach as nothing but an an affront to your pathetic, misplaced jingoism.

> But the numbers don’t lie, countries like Hong Kong or Singapore took early action and it paid off, and this is very visible in the trajectory of cases.

> Their governments took the right decisions, and we didn’t, and now we have a bigger problem. As simple as that.

> I’m sorry, but I prefer basing my opinion of the U.K. government course of action on tangible  results rather than on your little miserable, pathetic, laughable patriotic pride that is ho so easily hurt.

Is there really any need for that last paragraph? You'll never win an argument by being rude and offending people.

5
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> No, but it doesn't make us uniquely bad or mean that our politicians are uniquely incompetant as  you always seem to imply.

The problem is that NOWHERE have I implied that the incompetence of the U.K. government was unique to the U.K.
In fact I’ve specifically said the exact opposite, but you are just projecting your own little prejudice on every single thing I say, so no surprise there, you missed that.

Dozens of other people on here have been repeatedly critical of UK government approach. In many cases on an unfair basis, and you didn’t lift a finger.

But when it comes from me, suddenly you can’t swallow it, just because I wasn’t born in the UK, and this, really, is the only thing that tickles your pitiful miserable little prejudice.

> And how much easier is it for a place like Hong Kong to do that with a population 9x smaller than ours that's used to living with the threat of such viruses - its probably in a semi permanent state of preparedness because it's had to be, unlike ALL European countries.

Are you joking ? This one of the most connected country in the world especially to China, and they had earlier exposure than us. Also population size has nothing to do with it in early epidemic stage.

Post edited at 12:17
3
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Wanderer100:

> Is there really any need for that last paragraph? You'll never win an argument by being rude and offending people.

No it just happens to be rude, but it’s also 100% true.
If he didn’t want to be called out on his prejudice, he shouldn’t have started the hostilities with me. 

If you are going to police politeness, then at least do it properly and fairly.
 

Post edited at 12:19
3
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

> No, you base your opinions on your pre-existing predjudice that everything we do is always wrong and then selectively choose your evidence to fit the facts.

Well, I guess you are going to have to send a formal complaint to the BBC for hurting your pitiful, worthless, patriotic pride, because they have made exactly the same observations as mine here.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-51970379

Post edited at 12:12
3
Blue Straggler 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Why are you always so hostile and angry? It’s weird 

MonkeyPuzzle 21 Mar 2020
In reply to pec:

Sounds like a lot of Tory MPs and advisors agree that the response has been poor. Maybe it's their prejudice against, erm, themselves.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/amphtml/alexwickham/10-days-that-changed-britains-coronavirus-approach?__twitter_impression=true

BnB 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Although it’s undoubtedly preferable to stamp on the numbers quickly, it isn’t clear to me that the economic impact would end up any lower, indeed it might be worse. Just look at Hong Kong, where absolute numbers of infected have been very effectively suppressed, but they are having to enter a second period of isolation strategies owing to a “second wave” of imported cases. And the early and extended suppression strategy means that immunity is not building in meaningful numbers, leaving the population very vulnerable. It’s a catastrophe of relentless economic privation instead of spiralling casualties.

Jeez what a nightmare for governments across the world, so let’s cut them some slack, show a little understanding for their mistakes, support their science-backed decisions, and keep our distance.

summo 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

It's been a 102 years since the last pandemic, 80 years since schools were forced to close etc.. I don't think many governments have any staff who have had to deal with these kind of global problems before, there is just ever such a small chance they are having to try and fix problems as they go along, there is no plan or rule book. 

RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> It's been a 102 years since the last pandemic, 80 years since schools were forced to close etc.. I don't think many governments have any staff who have had to deal with these kind of global problems before, there is just ever such a small chance they are having to try and fix problems as they go along, there is no plan or rule book.

We know this happens and we know this can kill millions. We had SARS and MERS as early warning. Experts have warned against this risk many times.


We ignored it, and that is complacency/incompetence and we are paying the price.

1
summo 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> We know this happens and we know this can kill millions. We had SARS and MERS as early warning. Experts have warned against this risk many times.

> We ignored it, and that is complacency/incompetence and we are paying the price.

Yes, it's a question of balancing risk I guess. Do countries fund 100s of unused ICU beds just in case? 

Yeah, I'll agree some countries have been slower to quarantine than others, but sars and mers were contained, this is clearly a different fish and requires measures no one has really experienced before in the West.

There is no standard rule book for lock downs, financial aid, or even working out how we reverse lockdown avoiding flare ups. The idea that this is a 12week event by some is pretty short sighted. 

Post edited at 14:00
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Although it’s undoubtedly preferable to stamp on the numbers quickly, it isn’t clear to me that the economic impact would end up any lower, indeed it might be worse. Just look at Hong Kong, where absolute numbers of infected have been very effectively suppressed

We had a month extra compared to Hong Kong to prepare and Europeans did close to nothing. 

Especially for us, an island outside Schengen, we would have been in an excellent position to stop it from even entering. Back then I was already hearing experts ringing the alarm bells about the huge potential of this virus.

> Jeez what a nightmare for governments across the world, so let’s cut them some slack, show a little understanding for their mistakes, support their science-backed decisions, and keep our distance.

When I hear a « science based decision » it increases my suspicion 100 fold. It’s just a way for politicians to absolve themselves of responsibility for their decisions.

Epidemiologists and doctors will help us understand and model the phenomenon, but at the end of the day, what we do with it, the risk management we apply, this is political.

As you had the experience of running a business, you’ll know that full well, making good decisions isn’t about acting solely on what you know, you need to deal with the numerous unknowns too.

And no, now isn’t the time to cut slack, it’s the time to have maximum accountability and scrutiny so that the incentives are very clear.

RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> Yes, it's a question of balancing risk I guess. Do countries fund 100s of unused ICU beds just in case? 

 

Well, you should. How many billions do we spend to protect ourselves against nuclear welfare just in case ?

Part of the problem is the general assumption that we have to run « optimised » services. With everything at near 100% capacity to maximise efficiency. At the slightest surge it all comes crashing down.

> Yeah, I'll agree some countries have been slower to quarantine than others, but sars and mers were contained, this is clearly a different fish and requires measures no one has really experienced before in the West.

We had the Spanish flu. 100 millions death I think. We never learn.

With fast transportation we can only expect these to be more and more frequent.

> There is no standard rule book for lock downs, financial aid, or even working out how we reverse lockdown avoiding flare ups. The idea that this is a 12week event by some is pretty short sighted.

Indeed. The short sightedness and complacency is still there despite the slap in the face.

Post edited at 14:41
BnB 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Yes, all very well. But you didn’t address my question, which was to ask whether, if* the UK does flatten the curve sufficiently, albeit with a slow start, to avoid overload of critical care, then does Hong Kong end up any better, or even possibly worse off?

* a big “if” granted, there’s no doubt the risks soar with a later mobilisation and I’d rather we’d have been more proactive.

Post edited at 14:32
RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Why are you always so hostile and angry? It’s weird 

Well, sorry, but what grinds my gear you see, is that bashing the Tory government is the UKC full time No1 sport of choice even before climbing, but for some reason if I make the mildest occasional suggestion that the government may have been somewhat incompetent, I’m immediately branded a Britain hater by people like pec.

What the hell, really.

Post edited at 14:28
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RomTheBear 21 Mar 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Yes, all very well. But you didn’t address my question, which was to ask whether, if* the UK does flatten the curve sufficiently, albeit with a slow start, to avoid overload of critical care, then does Hong Kong end up any better, or even possibly worse off?

Hong Kong has flattened the curve from the onset. They had very few deaths, and are not in lockdown anymore.

Now the main thing they have to be careful of really is imported cases.

Of course they haven’t won the battle but they are certainly in a much better position than we are in Europe and the US, despite the fact that we had so much more warning and time.

To be clear this isn’t only the government fault, it’s also the population at large, people probably would have branded tough restrictions early as madness, even though they are rational from a risk point of view.

That’s kind of the problem with those epidemics. It always seems like you are overreacting massively, because of the lagged and exponential nature of the phenomenon.

Post edited at 14:56
BnB 21 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

Good points. Thanks.

jkarran 21 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

> Yes, it's a question of balancing risk I guess. Do countries fund 100s of unused ICU beds just in case? 

Perhaps we could build really close ties with large number of other capable closely connected countries, pool resources and expertise... 

No country is ever going to be competitive and trulely ready to cruise through something like this but the hollowing out of our public services and welfare system has left with a real problem.

Jk

1
summo 22 Mar 2020
In reply to jkarran:

> Perhaps we could build really close ties with large number of other capable closely connected countries, pool resources and expertise... 

I'd agree, but you probably wouldn't need to have the same currency, subsidise farmers etc. Just an asset sharing agreement. 

> No country is ever going to be competitive and trulely ready to cruise through something like this but the hollowing out of our public services and welfare system has left with a real problem.

I'd agree, but it's likely many factors. The volume of tax paid by residents to fund healthcare and welfare, how healthy your population is, lifestyle and social habits, willingness of it to follow basic rules. 

At present Germany appears to be bucking the trend, many cases, but high survival rate. Time will tell why. 

neilh 22 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

They were pretty early in the curve of clamping down on Chinese being allowed in. And in view of recent political events this went down well. 


it’s also a city with people living in apartments. Maybe easier to manage?

BnB 22 Mar 2020
In reply to RomTheBear:

> Hong Kong has flattened the curve from the onset. They had very few deaths, and are not in lockdown anymore.

> Now the main thing they have to be careful of really is imported cases.

> Of course they haven’t won the battle but they are certainly in a much better position than we are in Europe and the US, despite the fact that we had so much more warning and time.

> To be clear this isn’t only the government fault, it’s also the population at large, people probably would have branded tough restrictions early as madness, even though they are rational from a risk point of view.

> That’s kind of the problem with those epidemics. It always seems like you are overreacting massively, because of the lagged and exponential nature of the phenomenon.

Unfortunately it looks today as though HK is heading back towards another lockdown. Of course, if it is only for another three weeks, that is preferable to the situation across Europe and the Americas.

RomTheBear 22 Mar 2020
In reply to BnB:

> Unfortunately it looks today as though HK is heading back towards another lockdown. Of course, if it is only for another three weeks, that is preferable to the situation across Europe and the Americas.

Indeed, and it’s perfectly possible that we end up having to ju-ji-tsu this virus over a long period of time, with period of lockdown followed by release, which hopefully can be varied between regions of the U.K.

But we will get incrementally and rapidly better and smarter about it, buy time, learn more, and find new treatments.

However what we know is that you need to hammer it early if you want to be able to do that, otherwise you’ll just be dealing with chaos and death on a scale none of us experienced, with no control over the situation.

I know which I prefer. I am actually quite alarmed that so many people are suggesting to give up this fight already, when there are so many reason to be confident that we would win it.

I think the government instigated this defeatist mood in its early reaction to the virus, and that, in my view was a grave failure of leadership.

Post edited at 09:47
wercat 22 Mar 2020
In reply to summo:

4 times as much testing as the UK?

summo 22 Mar 2020
In reply to wercat:

> 4 times as much testing as the UK?

It must be a factor, tracking and testing all possible contacts, at least whilst the new case numbers are low that is viable. 

The UK with 1000 'known' new cases, tracking and testing all contacts in that person's last 7-14days, impossible. The battle is already lost. 

MonkeyPuzzle 22 Mar 2020
In reply to stp:

Pretty incendiary story in the Sunday Times today apparently confirming our worst fears over Cummings' strategy for herd immunity. He's said to have outlined it at a private function and described by an attendee as "herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die too bad". This was against the advice of the majority of scientific opinion at the time. That was February and took until March the 12th for the "penny drop" moment.

He has to resign if remotely true, but still more questions about why one unelected man, still in contempt of parliament from refusing to answer committee questions, has been given so much influence.

https://twitter.com/paul__johnson/status/1241643814739206145?s=20

2
David Riley 22 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

Not supporting anyone, merely assessing your principle "He has to resign if remotely true".

You are stating it is not acceptable to suggest any strategy or theory that is not completely correct first go. No field of activity would see any progress with that attitude.

wercat 22 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

someone who acted so dangerously with people in Europe dying at a rate unseen since WW2 should be treated as people were then who were traitors.  reminds me of someone who once said that his country should, paraphrasing, be more interested in the bigger picture of the completion of an antitank ditch rather than the death of a Jewish worker incidental to that

The man is an utter bastard

Post edited at 10:55
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RomTheBear 22 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle:

That’s what happens when you are led by nihilist psychopaths and ideologues. It’s not like we weren’t warned.

wbo2 22 Mar 2020
In reply to MonkeyPuzzle: How was it 'against the majority of scientific advice? '.  I'd say it wasn't a plan based on saving maximum lives, but on retaining maximum economy (and votes).  Different objectives mean different sacrifices.

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MonkeyPuzzle 22 Mar 2020
In reply to wbo2:

> How was it 'against the majority of scientific advice? '.  I'd say it wasn't a plan based on saving maximum lives, but on retaining maximum economy (and votes).  Different objectives mean different sacrifices.

As in most scientific advisers were pushing for a European-style suppression response rather than the crank herd immunity route.

MonkeyPuzzle 22 Mar 2020
In reply to David Riley:

> Not supporting anyone, merely assessing your principle "He has to resign if remotely true".

> You are stating it is not acceptable to suggest any strategy or theory that is not completely correct first go. No field of activity would see any progress with that attitude.

A strategy of knowingly allowing significant numbers of people die might make sense to a sociopath but would brutalise us all. Are you really defending this, or is it an instinctive response just because it's "your side"? 0.5m+ dead. Planned. You sure?

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