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General British politics discussion thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    Rjd2 wrote: »
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/mar/04/prof-chris-whitty-the-expert-we-need-in-the-coronavirus-crisis

    Profile of the CMO in the pro Brexit Guardian.:)


    He seems hugely impressive and I hope is right, because his life won't be worth living if wrong.

    the problem is the Chief Science Officer seems to be barely qualified to hold his
    position

    and this thing about behaviour science, surely decisions should be based on medical grounds?


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,148 ✭✭✭✭Lemming


    20silkcut wrote: »
    They are acting on the advice of their highly respected chief medical officer.

    But perhaps , he is a highly respected eminent chief medical officer with Brexity Tory leaning inclinations. He probably has, considering this government has culled pro EU people from positions of power.

    The WHO have questioned the plan around introducing herd immunity for the simple point that this virus' immunology effects are unknown at this point so any notions of herd immunity are guesses and assumptions.

    There was a spokesperson from the WHO on the BBC4 radio earlier this morning talking about it.

    When I first heard the proposal I was appalled at the brutal simplicity of it - something straight out of the Cold War UK civil defense nuclear attack planning for "looking after" the populace. Basically, they expect 80% of the population to be exposed to and get the virus with a mortality rate of 1%; roughly 500,000 people. Summed up quite eloquently by the "Yes Minister" scene being parodied about social media: URL="https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/coronavirus-pandemic-yes-minister-boris-johnson-uk-testing-outbreak-symptoms-a9396511.html"]link from Independent.co.uk[/URL


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,652 ✭✭✭serfboard


    Lemming wrote: »
    When I first heard the proposal I was appalled at the brutal simplicity of it - something straight out of the Cold War UK civil defense nuclear attack planning for "looking after" the populace. Basically, they expect 80% of the population to be exposed to and get the virus with a mortality rate of 1%; roughly 500,000 people.
    Sean Whelan of RTÉ has a good article about it here. He reports the number as 200,000 deaths - still pretty shocking.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    serfboard wrote: »
    Sean Whelan of RTÉ has a good article about it here. He reports the number as 200,000 deaths - still pretty shocking.

    That is a shocking number and wholly irresponsible for the UK Gov to accept that as a likely possibility, or even as a worst case number.

    Will they bother counting the number of dead if it gets that bad, particularly in poorer areas with high numbers of illegal immigrants?


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,206 ✭✭✭AllForIt


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    Sunak (Winchester College (head boy) and Lincoln College, Oxford; MBA from Stanford; investment analyst with Goldman Sachs) is not really a plausible representative of the working classes. On top of the advantages of his birth and education, he had the foresight to marry a billionaire's daughter that he met while studying at Stanford, which must led to family connections helpful when raising the $700 million seed capital with which he launched his hedge fund firm in 2009.

    Well, what kind of working class person is capable of being Chancellor of the Exchequer, when that job requires a wealth of knowledge and understanding of how business's and the economy works.

    I'd hardly expect Sunak to mingle in some working class pub with a view to picking up a bird, just like working class people don't mingle in high society for same, which they despise. I've never heard of a man marrying a woman for dosh, that's a new one, it's usually the other way around.

    More that that, working class people dropped the Labour party in droves in the last election like never seen before. Seems the working classes are pretty okay with upper middle class ppl managing their country.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 625 ✭✭✭farmerval


    Very interesting article on the Guardian about the theory behind the UK Governments stance on Covid 19

    Basically saying that this policy is being put forward by a Behavioral insights team, and their theory is that if bans are introduced too soon people will tire of the restrictions and stat to ignore them. Therefore delaying restrictions until nearer the crises peak may be better. ( I think this is total b******ks by the way)

    The article goes on about this "nudge" theory, as a way of influencing peoples behavior.

    At the end theirs a neat line about Boris Johnson appearing with experts beside him on Covid 19 announcements , showing he is using experts advice. The article neatly says how this is in total contrast to Brexit where he thought experts were completely wrong and to be ignored.


  • Registered Users Posts: 33,167 ✭✭✭✭listermint


    But all the advice from all quarters is that isolation action should be done up front not at the last minute. The strategy would make zero sense for pandemic control.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,657 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Perhaps the logic (such as there is/may be) lies in a beautiful phrase used by a Sky commentator the other day: in the US, healthcare is an industry, not a service. Let's imagine for a moment that you had friends in the US healthcare industry, who desperately wanted an entry point into your country's healthcare service, what better way to prepare the terrain than to allow a disease to take hold, one that could be prevented with a newly-patented vaccine or treated with expensive anti-viral medications. As long as you can justify your action on the basis of "scientific advice" then it'd be perfectly reasonable to take a different approach to your neighbouring countries, wouldn't it?

    I fully acknowledge that this kind of comment would be more at home in the conspiracy theories thread ... but the recently published Brexit negotiating position did make reference to decisions based on scientific advice, using language that reflected the US's approach of assuming that everything's good and safe unless proven otherwise.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 90,409 Mod ✭✭✭✭Capt'n Midnight


    PommieBast wrote: »
    Probably because it would involve ripping out a load of kit that is already in place.
    It's state of the art electronics so all that kit has to be ripped out every few years anyway.

    And they are only at the start of the 5G rollout so it's not huge amounts of kit.

    But they need Chinese money to pay for nuclear power construction, steel works, possibly even HS2 construction.

    It's a huge gamble. Ask most African countries. It's like that bit at the start of Lucky Number Slevin
    Just to be clear, if you lose...

    ...you're gonna owe a lot of money to the kind of men you do not want to owe the smallest amount of money to.
    -


    We use the Chinese kit too BTW


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    the problem is the Chief Science Officer seems to be barely qualified to hold his
    position

    and this thing about behaviour science, surely decisions should be based on medical grounds?

    Barely qualified?

    I'd love to see what you think over qualified would mean
    From 1986−95 he taught at St George's Hospital Medical School. From 1995−2002 he was Professor at UCL Medical School, and Professor of Medicine from 2002–2006, and Head of Medicine.[2] Prior to joining GSK he was registrar of the Academy of Medical Sciences.[1]

    From 2006−10 he was Head of Drug Discovery at GSK, then from 2010−12 he was Head of Medicines Discovery and Development. In 2012 he was appointed head of R&D at GSK.[8][9][10][11] Under his leadership of GSK, new medicines for cancer, asthma, autoimmune diseases and HIV infection were discovered and approved for use worldwide. He championed open innovation and novel industry-academic partnerships globally,[6][11] and maintained a strong focus on discovery of antibiotics and medicines for tropical diseases.

    In March 2018, Vallance left GSK and was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK Government, where he leads the Government Office for Science.[12][13]


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    Aegir wrote: »
    Barely qualified?

    I'd love to see what you think over qualified would mean

    Most public health doctors don't go off to work for a pharma company

    How come he was never involved with the European or world bodies for disease control?


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Most public health doctors don't go off to work for a pharma company

    How come he was never involved with the European or world bodies for disease control?

    Most politicians (and the general public) are confused be the difference between 'Health' and 'Public Health'.

    Health (starting with GPs) is concerned with the health outcome for the patient.

    While Public Health is concerned with the outcome for the public at large, taking into account cost, general health, what screening and vaccination programmes are worth doing, and who should be eligible. It requires a very good grasp of medicine coupled with an high expertise in statistics.

    Yer man sounds as if he has no Public Health expertise.


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    sweet ****ing jesus.

    There is also a Chief Medical officer for the UK.

    Plus one for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    There are also deputies.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,746 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    AllForIt wrote: »
    Well, what kind of working class person is capable of being Chancellor of the Exchequer, when that job requires a wealth of knowledge and understanding of how business's and the economy works . . .
    Dear God, the snobbery.

    There have been many working-class Chancellors. Sunak's immediate predecessor, Sajid Javid, is the son of a bus-driver. John Major is the son of a music-hall performer and trapeze artist. James Callaghan was the son of a sailor. Denis Healey's father was a mechanic.

    All this is richly ironic, given that I posted in response to this post of yours:
    AllForIt wrote: »
    All I hear from that is a typical lefty disdain for ppl who have had an education.
    Up the working classes.
    It seesm the disdain here is yours. And your advocacy of the working classes is less than convincing, given your conviction in the teeth of the easily-observed evidence that they couldn't possibly aspire to competence in a high office of state.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,847 ✭✭✭✭looksee


    Just as a bit of an aside, has anyone noticed how Johnson keeps referring to 'the four nations' when talking about the UK recently? Almost as if he his trying to spread responsibility - or something. Scotland and Wales seem to be more in line with Ireland in terms of covid 19 deaths, they need to feel that they are tied in to England rather than possibly thinking of closing borders to the much more affected (plague pit) country.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,657 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Peregrinus wrote: »
    10. Some have suggested that NI could join the EU+ area, even if the rest of the UK does not. I don’t think this is likely. It would mean an entry ban on NI affecting travellers from GB. I can’t see the NI executive agreeing to do it and, even if they did, I don’t think they have the power; Westminster would need to agree also. The Commission communication does not mention the possibility.

    If Johnson's delay in imposing social isolation (as opposed to suggesting that it'd be quite nice if people kept themselves apart) sees England become Italy-on-Thames, especially compared to a Republic of Ireland that's got a handle on things, then I can easily imagine unionists adopting an attitude akin to Ian Paisley's "our cows are Irish" stance. Reluctantly, but with grim resignation.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,422 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    What makes you think Ireland has a handle on things?

    Lack of testing, lack of ICU, there are clear gaps in the planning for stuff like social care, welfare officials etc.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    What makes you think Ireland has a handle on things?

    Lack of testing, lack of ICU, there are clear gaps in the planning for stuff like social care, welfare officials etc.

    Watch the number of deaths. That number is irrespective of testing, and is a week or more behind the onset of symptoms. Currently 2, and hopefully does not rise.

    If everyone followed the advice - wash hands, do not touch one's face, and keep isolated by at least 1 metre - then after the incubation period, the virus should be finished (we hope).

    For everyone who deviates, it is another opportunity for this virus to spread. Everyone should be aware of this so, everyone, please treat everyone else as if they are infected. If we all do this we can get through this quickly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭moon2


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    What makes you think Ireland has a handle on things?

    Lack of testing, lack of ICU, there are clear gaps in the planning for stuff like social care, welfare officials etc.

    We're doing comparatively well when you look at the policies being adopted by other countries.

    Compare our testing to the US or UK testing rates and we're ahead.

    Compare our ICU bed count to Scotland, which has roughly equivalent population count, and we have multiples of what they have.

    Compare our response to paid sick leave with that of the US OR UK.

    Compare our handling of large public gatherings with the plans in place for either the US or UK.

    Where exactly do you see us falling short when compared to other nations? You can definitely point to gaps, but since this is a plan being created and enacted more or less on the fly, do you think the ordering in which these gaps are being plugged has been better, or worse, than our neighbours?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,422 ✭✭✭✭Leroy42


    It's not about comparison, the post I replied to stated Ireland had a handle on it.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 668 ✭✭✭moon2


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    It's not about comparison, the post I replied to stated Ireland had a handle on it.

    Oh, I read all of this and think "Ireland does have a handle on covid". What's you're interpretation of that phrase in this context? What makes Ireland *not* have a handle on things? Are you looking for the infection rate to hit nearly zero before you'll say "ireland has a handle on it", or what's your criteria?


  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Watch the number of deaths. That number is irrespective of testing, and is a week or more behind the onset of symptoms. Currently 2, and hopefully does not rise.

    If everyone followed the advice - wash hands, do not touch one's face, and keep isolated by at least 1 metre - then after the incubation period, the virus should be finished (we hope).

    For everyone who deviates, it is another opportunity for this virus to spread. Everyone should be aware of this so, everyone, please treat everyone else as if they are infected. If we all do this we can get through this quickly.

    This won’t finish the virus, it just stalls it. The only thing that will actually end it is if we have sufficient immunity through either infection rates or a vaccine.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,283 ✭✭✭beggars_bush


    U TURN

    They were actually using the wrong data

    Tom Hancock (@hancocktom) Tweeted:
    Incredible detail in this FT story: up until last week, the UK was basing its coronavirus control policy on a model based on hospitalisation rates for ��a different disease�� with lower rates of intensive care need than coronavirus https://t.co/7rJYh9sqg2 https://twitter.com/hancocktom/status/1239669605586604032?s=20


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Aegir wrote: »
    This won’t finish the virus, it just stalls it. The only thing that will actually end it is if we have sufficient immunity through either infection rates or a vaccine.

    It is not certain that we would ever get immunity because it is a corona virus like the common cold and we do not have long term immunity from that because it mutates.

    Stalling will do for now.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,657 ✭✭✭CelticRambler


    Leroy42 wrote: »
    What makes you think Ireland has a handle on things?

    I used the word "if" to start my sentence! ;)

    In any case, although testing is important, by far the most effective control measure is the separation of infected and vulnerable populations, and every day that passes without this being done sets up problems for the future. Johnson's dither and delay will have cost lives. Whether there are other factors in play that might reduce the advantage of Ireland's reactivity in this regard remains to be seen.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    GBP continuing to slide. In the last month, it has gon from 83p = €1 to 91.4p = €1.

    Not a good time for the Tories. Herd immunity will cost 250,000 lives.

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/uk/coronavirus-uk-had-no-time-to-lose-to-prevent-thousands-of-deaths-1.4204987
    The Imperial College Covid-19 response team – which is one of several scientific teams advising UK ministers – published a paper showing that 250,000 people could die if efforts were focused only on delaying and slowing down the spread of coronavirus, also known as Covid-19.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,768 ✭✭✭timsey tiger


    This is really worrying for us. With the unionists blindly following, because like British right. We will end up with a huge number of cases spilling across the border, making it very difficult for us to manage.

    This herd immunity thing really shocks me, have these people ever heard of vaccines, that thanks to science is how we achieve herd immunity. Not by allowing the thing we're trying to avoid with herd immunity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,768 ✭✭✭timsey tiger


    Aegir wrote: »
    This won’t finish the virus, it just stalls it. The only thing that will actually end it is if we have sufficient immunity through either infection rates or a vaccine.

    No this will finish the virus. If nobody has it then it cannot be spread. Unless there is a reservoir, that causes reinfections.

    This could be travelers coming from an area of infections or it jumping the species barrier again.

    Also, herd immunity is a joke given how quickly viruses in this family evolve. Are you immune to the common cold, and how many times have you had one?


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,768 ✭✭✭timsey tiger


    Aegir wrote: »
    This won’t finish the virus, it just stalls it. The only thing that will actually end it is if we have sufficient immunity through either infection rates or a vaccine.

    No this will finish the virus. If nobody has it then it cannot be spread. Unless there is a reservoir, that causes reinfections.

    This could be travelers coming from an area of infections or it jumping the species barrier again.

    Also, herd immunity is a joke given how quickly viruses in this family evolve. Are you immune to the common cold, and how many times have you had one?


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 19,131 Mod ✭✭✭✭Sam Russell


    Today, the Irish people stayed home instead of out celebrating the day that is in it. A remarkable result.

    I hope that this shows we all mean to kill this virus and intend to stop it spreading. Everyone should be following the advice - wash hands properly, do not touch you face or eyes, and keep well away from others. Assume everyone else is infected.

    I hope the numbers stay down, for the sake of all, but particularly the elderly and those with compromised health. Many I know will not survive if they catch it, and I am concerned for them.


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