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How would a “progressive alliance” work? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited December 2021 in General
imageHow would a “progressive alliance” work? – politicalbetting.com

The recent by-elections have prompted a rash of discussions about whether and how the non-Tory parties can work together. It’s something I’ve thought about a lot over the years, with experience of both seats where Labour was the leading non-Tory party (Broxtowe, Islington North) and seats where it wasn’t (Chelsea, SW Surrey). A few facts to start off with: Historical comparisons make it implausible that Labour will win an absolute majority at the next election. In our volatile climate, you can’t rule anything out, but the wall to be climbed is staggeringly steep. Relations between the Labour and LibDem parties at national level are reasonably cordial.

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Comments

  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975
    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 5,153
    edited December 2021
    I might consider voting LD. They're in the lead at the moment for me, given their record on voting for lockdowns. But I wouldn't if they were going to prop a pro-lockdown Labour up. And I definitely wouldn't if they were going to get into bed with the Greens. And I definitely definitely wouldn't if they were getting into bed with the SNP. (Not that I am against an independent Scotland in principle, just against the SNP having any fingers on the levers of power in the UK.)

    The problem with alliances is that they alienate as many as they attract.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
  • https://fabians.org.uk/moving-the-marginals/

    Very interesting.

    The Fabian Society commissioned a GB-wide poll from YouGov with a specially-commissioned sub-group of the 125 seats in England and Wales where Labour came closest to winning in 2019. The survey was conducted on 8 to 13 December before the North Shropshire byelection and 668 people living in the Labour target seats took part.
    We found that Labour leads the Conservatives by nine percentage points in the 125 seats (Labour 43, Conservative 34). By contrast, at the 2019 election the Conservatives led in these seats by 12 points (Labour 37, Conservative 49).

    The Tories are in big big trouble

    6/1 Lab Maj looks value on those figures.

    What does ex-MP Nick “Historical comparisons make it implausible that Labour will win an absolute majority at the next election” Palmer say?
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 11,975

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    Only an enemyoftherpeople would say such a thing.
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710
    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Not a problem with local elections - the Home Secretary quietly made future mayoral elections FPTP without anyone really caring - you could easily do the same in reverse.

    and once it's done locally, you can then do it again nationally once it's obvious that it works.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    It wouldn’t.
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    And no sane Government is going to call a referendum ever again.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 993
    For Labour, surely something like STV is the route to becoming relevant again in Scotland. They would never get back all the seats they used to rely on North of the border, but it would surely break the current pattern of Tories lapping up all the anti-SNP votes and would enable Labour to make inroads back into the central belt cities again. Even putting aside Lib Dem pressure there seems to be a partisan benefit to Labour from PR.

    The biggest downside I expect would not be Lib Dem gains at Labour's expense (which seem doubtful anyway, more likely the Lib Dems would benefit from a lot more representation in multi-member constituencies in Southern Tory shires). It's that they ship vast amounts of votes and seats to the Greens, driven by young urban voters. Labour would need to sharpen up its act to keep hold of these. I think I agree that it's the Labour centrists with the most to fear. On the other hand, if the goal isn't tribal success but policies that are good for the country, then I imagine Labour centrists would be pretty happy with the likely outcome of a post-PR election.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    eek said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    And no sane Government is going to call a referendum ever again.
    Intriguing caveat. What do you expect Johnson to call a referendum on next?
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 14,756
    The Fabian marginals report is another reason for Tory MPs to depose Johnson.
  • eek said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    And no sane Government is going to call a referendum ever again.
    Or least, if they do, set a benchmark like other countries do of 66% of the electorate
  • TimSTimS Posts: 993
    Cookie said:

    I might consider voting LD. They're in the lead at the moment for me, given their record on voting for lockdowns. But I wouldn't if they were going to prop a pro-lockdown Labour up. And I definitely wouldn't if they were going to get into bed with the Greens. And I definitely definitely wouldn't if they were getting into bed with the SNP. (Not that I am against an independent Scotland in principle, just against the SNP having any fingers on the levers of power in the UK.)

    The problem with alliances is that they alienate as many as they attract.

    Hopefully by the time of the next election lockdowns will no longer be a relevant policy issue. In an even more ideal world nor will Brexit, though I expect that will continue to rumble on.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    Only an enemyoftherpeople would say such a thing.
    That's me :+1:
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710
    eek said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    And no sane Government is going to call a referendum ever again.
    This / next weeks Omicron lockdown is almost a referendum - how many people will treat it with utter contempt.
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?
  • A non aggression pact should be quite easy to set up between Labour and the Lib Dems in England as there are hardly any 3 way marginals, there is almost one already. Although I don't see how the Greens come in to it. I dont think there's any deal that be done between Labour and the Greens though at a national level (I think Labour made a mistake not doing local deals/pacts with the Greens in May's elections in places like Derbyshire though to establish good will).

    I don't think the Greens can gain any seats apart from Bristol West and would be wise not to stand in Tory-LD marginals like they did last time and at least soft pedal in Con-Lab marginals.
  • Well, speaking as a LD member, I would be against any formal arrangement.
    It is bad enough having to defend anything daft said by LD candidates in elections, without having to defend things said by Green and Labour candidates. As a last resort we can deselect/disown our own candidates, but not those of other parties.
  • TimSTimS Posts: 993

    A non aggression pact should be quite easy to set up between Labour and the Lib Dems in England as there are hardly any 3 way marginals, there is almost one already. Although I don't see how the Greens come in to it. I dont think there's any deal that be done between Labour and the Greens though at a national level (I think Labour made a mistake not doing local deals/pacts with the Greens in May's elections in places like Derbyshire though to establish good will).

    I don't think the Greens can gain any seats apart from Bristol West and would be wise not to stand in Tory-LD marginals like they did last time and at least soft pedal in Con-Lab marginals.

    Ideally a non-aggression pact, with one or two agreed exemptions - such as Sheffield Hallam for the Lib Dems and Bristol West for the Greens - where the parties are allowed to fight it out bare knuckle, like a kind of electoral fight club.
  • Beibheirli_CBeibheirli_C Posts: 5,411
    edited December 2021

    Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
  • IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    Future parliaments will be bound by the current one for a very very long time thanks to gettingbrexitdone. (I love these new-fangled compound nouns. No-one can say they're a waste of space.)
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 6,849
    edited December 2021
    TimS said:

    For Labour, surely something like STV is the route to becoming relevant again in Scotland. They would never get back all the seats they used to rely on North of the border, but it would surely break the current pattern of Tories lapping up all the anti-SNP votes and would enable Labour to make inroads back into the central belt cities again. Even putting aside Lib Dem pressure there seems to be a partisan benefit to Labour from PR.

    The biggest downside I expect would not be Lib Dem gains at Labour's expense (which seem doubtful anyway, more likely the Lib Dems would benefit from a lot more representation in multi-member constituencies in Southern Tory shires). It's that they ship vast amounts of votes and seats to the Greens, driven by young urban voters. Labour would need to sharpen up its act to keep hold of these. I think I agree that it's the Labour centrists with the most to fear. On the other hand, if the goal isn't tribal success but policies that are good for the country, then I imagine Labour centrists would be pretty happy with the likely outcome of a post-PR election.

    You fail to identify the key problem with PR for Labour (and the Tories): it encourages splitting.

    Look at Sweden’s parliamentary parties:

    2 Labour parties - a Left one and a Social Democrat one

    2 Liberal parties - an agrarian one and an urban one

    2 centre-right parties - a Moderate one (think Tory Wet) and a Christian Democrat one

    1 Green party

    1 anti-immigration party

    So yes, Scottish Labour would shift tons of votes to the Scottish Greens, but they would also probably split into Red and Blairite varieties.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 10,235
    A formal alliance makes no sense.

    An informal arrangement for Lab not to compete hard in the top ?50 LD seats (and vice versa) is a necessity.

    Greens are tactically irrelevant, and their voters are harder to redirect anyway. Lab needs a “big offer” to students to attract younger voters away from them.

    Lab and LD can’t afford to touch SNP with a barge-pole, indeed they need to take them head on in Scotland by portraying them as the Tory’s secret weapon.
  • Thanks Nick, very interesting.
  • Mr. Dickson, maybe, but don't forget this is the height of an anti-government moment and halfway through the Parliamentary term. I'd expect quite some swingback.

    Labour winning a majority without a Scottish renaissance is not impossible, but it is improbable.

    Agreed.

    But we’ll be seeing a lot more of this type of Marginals/Red Wall polling. Until we do, keep a close eye on the Midlands and North splits: truly terrifying for many Con MPs.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 68,582
    edited December 2021
    Former Corbyn Aide Laura Murray has lost her libel battle against Countdown star Rachel Riley, resulting in a £10,000 payout.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult for Laura to stump up the money, given her family previously sold a Picasso portrait for £50 million in 2013 – they must be able to find £10,000 down the back of the sofa…

    https://order-order.com/2021/12/20/rachel-riley-wins-10000-pay-out-from-former-corbyn-aide-laura-murray/

    What is it with these Corbynistas being filthy rich....Also its of course its all a very small world, Laura is Andrew Murray's daughter, who was married to Susan Michie.
  • IshmaelZ said:

    How do you get electoral reform though? The AV referendum surely sets the rule that it is an issue on which therwilloftherpeople must be ascertained.

    Just do it. No parliament can bind its successors
    Future parliaments will be bound by the current one for a very very long time thanks to gettingbrexitdone. (I love these new-fangled compound nouns. No-one can say they're a waste of space.)
    Become a programmer - Camel Case hasBeenAroundForAges ;) I think I first came across it in the late 80s
  • YBarddCwscYBarddCwsc Posts: 6,128

    There won't be electoral reform

    Neither the Tory party or the Labour Party are going to sit in the electric chair and turn the switch on.

    They are stupid, but not that stupid ...

    (It so happens that I support electoral reform, but I can see that it won't happen).
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 21,301
    edited December 2021
    Cookie said:

    I might consider voting LD. They're in the lead at the moment for me, given their record on voting for lockdowns. But I wouldn't if they were going to prop a pro-lockdown Labour up. And I definitely wouldn't if they were going to get into bed with the Greens. And I definitely definitely wouldn't if they were getting into bed with the SNP. (Not that I am against an independent Scotland in principle, just against the SNP having any fingers on the levers of power in the UK.)

    The problem with alliances is that they alienate as many as they attract.

    I think we’ve all been working on the assumption that the next election will be post-COVID. I think we need to re-evaluate that assumption and your point about the Lib Dems voting against the government is a good one. Now, is this a genuine point of principle for the Lib Dems, or are they just voting against the government for the sake of it? That, could quite possibly be a crucial question.
  • Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    In Bozzaland, maybe.

    Meanwhile, in the sane parts of Her Maj’s disunited realm, folk like to look after one another.
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    You assume that the EU can 'shunt' the UK anywhere. Thankfully since we left that is no longer their choice.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 10,235
    NZ went from FPP to PR.

    There was period of party fragmentation and instability which lasted about 10 years or so.

    We used to have 2.5 parties (sound familiar?)
    We now have 2 big ones and 3 or 4 small ones.

    In the U.K., we could confidently expect permanent and much fuller representation in Parliament for the Greens, RefUK, and various nationalists.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,331

    TimS said:

    For Labour, surely something like STV is the route to becoming relevant again in Scotland. They would never get back all the seats they used to rely on North of the border, but it would surely break the current pattern of Tories lapping up all the anti-SNP votes and would enable Labour to make inroads back into the central belt cities again. Even putting aside Lib Dem pressure there seems to be a partisan benefit to Labour from PR.

    The biggest downside I expect would not be Lib Dem gains at Labour's expense (which seem doubtful anyway, more likely the Lib Dems would benefit from a lot more representation in multi-member constituencies in Southern Tory shires). It's that they ship vast amounts of votes and seats to the Greens, driven by young urban voters. Labour would need to sharpen up its act to keep hold of these. I think I agree that it's the Labour centrists with the most to fear. On the other hand, if the goal isn't tribal success but policies that are good for the country, then I imagine Labour centrists would be pretty happy with the likely outcome of a post-PR election.

    You fail to identify the key problem with PR for Labour (and the Tories): it encourages splitting.

    Look at Sweden’s parliamentary parties:

    2 Labour parties - a Left one and a Social Democrat one

    2 Liberal parties - an agrarian one and an urban one

    2 centre-right parties - a Moderate one (think Tory Wet) and a Christian Democrat one

    1 Green party

    1 anti-immigration party

    So yes, Scottish Labour would shift tons of votes to the Scottish Greens, but they would also probably split into Red and Blairite varieties.
    Is that a bad thing ?
    It would show the various factions just how popular they are, or aren't. Which is sort of the point of democracy.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 15,094

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    In Bozzaland, maybe.

    Meanwhile, in the sane parts of Her Maj’s disunited realm, folk like to look after one another.
    I’m talking liberal London AND leaverish Cornwall. There is much resistance this time which simply didn’t exist before. As the polls imply
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472
    edited December 2021

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have two key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 56,656

    NZ went from FPP to PR.

    There was period of party fragmentation and instability which lasted about 10 years or so.

    We used to have 2.5 parties (sound familiar?)
    We now have 2 big ones and 3 or 4 small ones.

    In the U.K., we could confidently expect permanent and much fuller representation in Parliament for the Greens, RefUK, and various nationalists.

    The SNP would be big losers from PR at the moment.
  • Andy_JS said:

    https://fabians.org.uk/moving-the-marginals/

    Very interesting.

    The Fabian Society commissioned a GB-wide poll from YouGov with a specially-commissioned sub-group of the 125 seats in England and Wales where Labour came closest to winning in 2019. The survey was conducted on 8 to 13 December before the North Shropshire byelection and 668 people living in the Labour target seats took part.
    We found that Labour leads the Conservatives by nine percentage points in the 125 seats (Labour 43, Conservative 34). By contrast, at the 2019 election the Conservatives led in these seats by 12 points (Labour 37, Conservative 49).

    The Tories are in big big trouble

    6/1 Lab Maj looks value on those figures.
    If you think mid-term polling is valid for a general election. Kinnock was 20% ahead in 1990 of course.
    Don’t encourage him! The Clown would gleefully send the armed forces to war if he thought it’d save his career.

    Coffins for Votes.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709
    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    You assume that the EU can 'shunt' the UK anywhere. Thankfully since we left that is no longer their choice.
    I think you are taking it a bit too literally.

    They can block us from rejoining - DeGaulle did it before, so we either have a CU&SM special on their terms (because it is their market) or join the EEA and become rule takers.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321
    edited December 2021
    A good lead, with two caveats.

    People in both parties make the mistake of looking for a deal that looks symmetrical, whereas the reality is that an effective deal will be intrinsically asymmetrical:

    - in terms of seats, the minor parties and especially the LibDems will be the principal beneficiaries, both because they have the greater disadvantage from the electoral system to overcome and because votes will transfer more effectively to them than to Labour.

    - in terms of power, Labour is the principal beneficiary, since they get to choose the PM and have the lion's share of influence and almost all of the credit; as the LibDems have already demonstrated, being the junior partner is a poisoned chalice.

    The other point is that Labour is a party that has already promised national PR, when previously in opposition, and took it as far as a formal commission with a firm recommendation, before abandoning it. "Looking at it again in four years" isn't going to cut it (both because it's not enough and because Labour faces the issue of trust). PR for local elections is what Clegg should have demanded from the Tories, instead of AV, but that was then and was negotiating with reform's historical opponents. Negotiating now and with reform's at least part-time supporters should be expected to deliver much more.

    Especially since - given the few policy differences - there is relatively little else the LibDems have to ask for. They'll be interested to curb Labour's instinctive centralism and authoritarianism, with more focus on localism and civil liberties, and they'll want to move quicker toward re-aligning with the EU than Labour. But that's about it.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 68,582
    edited December 2021
    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Is it like Brexit in that a lot of people don't want to be seen to admit they are against a lockdown for worry of being lumped in with the loony bin lot, so they aren't 100% honest in the polling?

    I honestly have no idea on this. If I had to guess, the public will see scary big numbers and graphs and again be onboard with a lockdown, again blaming the government for being too late and too relaxed.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 2,485
    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709

    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Is it like Brexit in that a lot of people don't want to be seen to admit they are against a lockdown for worry of being lumped in with the loony bin lot, so they aren't 100% honest in the polling?

    I honestly have no idea on this. If I had to guess, the public will see scary big numbers and graphs and again be onboard with a lockdown, again blaming the government for being too late and too relaxed.
    Don't know either. Definitely been a case of people wanting restrictions for everyone but themselves.

    @Leon is wrong about London, too. That's the area most keen on lockdown in that polling.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have two key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
    Who and why is doing this though Max? I was only half joking the other day when I asked whether Putin has kompramat on some of these geeks and the odd cabinet minister. It all just seems so totally self defeating, I just can’t wrap my head around it.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 15,094
    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Hmm. And yet other recent polls show the opposite

    One thing I am sure of is that the opposition has grown, both in number but also in determination. It may still be the minority view, but those opposed to lockdown are now much more vocal and bolshy
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,331
    edited December 2021
    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties - or the votes - would remain the same under PR.

    Which well illustrates one of the principal faults of the current system; parties take the opinions of their voters for granted.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 93,284
    edited December 2021
    Post Brexit it is certainly hard to see the LDs doing a deal with a still Boris led Tories, they would certainly prefer Starmer to him in a hung parliament. However if say the more Cameron like Sunak became Tory leader and won most seats but just short of a majority it is not impossible Davey would give him confidence and supply in some issues.

    In 2010 too had David Miliband been Labour leader not Brown a Labour-LD coalition not the Clegg-Cameron deal could have been the end result
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 2,485
    edited December 2021
    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
  • A fifth wave of Covid-19 infections has begun in Israel due to the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709
    Leon said:

    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Hmm. And yet other recent polls show the opposite

    One thing I am sure of is that the opposition has grown, both in number but also in determination. It may still be the minority view, but those opposed to lockdown are now much more vocal and bolshy
    We few, we happy few ...
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    He’s not always my cup of tea but can Fraser Nelson get a question today rather than the usual halfwits?

    Also I’d much prefer it if rather than being cherry picked by the PM’s staff, the public’s questions were run on the same way as retail investor questions are on say.com: an online poll for publicly submitted questions ranked by votes.
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 3,359
    Leon said:

    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Hmm. And yet other recent polls show the opposite

    One thing I am sure of is that the opposition has grown, both in number but also in determination. It may still be the minority view, but those opposed to lockdown are now much more vocal and bolshy
    Large parts of the lockdown support comes from people for whom it makes no difference. Opposition can be a minority and yet render it meaningless if all the people who actually go out crack on.
  • HYUFD said:

    The potential replacements for Johnson don't look much better:

    In no particular order

    Truss: PPE
    Sunak: PPE
    Javid: Economics
    Gove: English
    Raab: Law
    Patel: Economics
    Wallace: Sandhurst
    Barclay: History
    Kwarteng: Classics/History
    Sharma: Applied Physics & Electronics
    Dorries: Nursing
    Treveleyan: Accountancy
    Coffey: Chemistry
    Zahawi: Chemical Engineering
    Shapps: HND in Business
    Lewis: Economics/Law

    So what? Most of SAGE have science degrees
    Yes - and the Cabinet are largely not well equipped to challenge them.
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710
    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have two key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
    Who and why is doing this though Max? I was only half joking the other day when I asked whether Putin has kompramat on some of these geeks and the odd cabinet minister. It all just seems so totally self defeating, I just can’t wrap my head around it.
    I don't know but whoever is doing this is a grade A idiot.

    If we lockdown for this and the reality matches the reduced hospitalisation that @MaxPB is talking about (which is exactly what I suspect is going to be the case) it would be very hard to issue a lockdown request if Omega arrived and it once again caused hospitalisations through attacking the lungs.
  • moonshine said:

    He’s not always my cup of tea but can Fraser Nelson get a question today rather than the usual halfwits?

    Also I’d much prefer it if rather than being cherry picked by the PM’s staff, the public’s questions were run on the same way as retail investor questions are on say.com: an online poll for publicly submitted questions ranked by votes.

    The problem is it you be gamed by the twatter mob and antivaxxers....so the questions would end up as party, party, party, bill gates, soros, the jews, microchips....
  • LeonLeon Posts: 15,094
    edited December 2021
    You won’t believe this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709

    HYUFD said:

    The potential replacements for Johnson don't look much better:

    In no particular order

    Truss: PPE
    Sunak: PPE
    Javid: Economics
    Gove: English
    Raab: Law
    Patel: Economics
    Wallace: Sandhurst
    Barclay: History
    Kwarteng: Classics/History
    Sharma: Applied Physics & Electronics
    Dorries: Nursing
    Treveleyan: Accountancy
    Coffey: Chemistry
    Zahawi: Chemical Engineering
    Shapps: HND in Business
    Lewis: Economics/Law

    So what? Most of SAGE have science degrees
    Yes - and the Cabinet are largely not well equipped to challenge them.
    It's fun wondering what Thatcher would have done.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Leon said:

    You won’t be in this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations

    You're right, we're not in this. There wouldn't be room for us.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 5,519
    edited December 2021
    HYUFD said:

    Post Brexit it is certainly hard to see the LDs doing a deal with a still Boris led Tories, they would certainly prefer Starmer to him in a hung parliament. However if say the more Cameron like Sunak became Tory leader and won most seats but just short of a majority it is not impossible Davey would give him confidence and supply in some issues.

    In 2010 too had David Miliband been Labour leader not Brown a Labour-LD coalition not the Clegg-Cameron deal could have been the end result

    The Liberal Democrat base, grassroots and membership have been strongly opposed to any more co-operation with the Tories, all the way since 2015, and after Brexit and the new populism, doubly so. I very much doubt that would be possible.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472
    moonshine said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have two key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
    Who and why is doing this though Max? I was only half joking the other day when I asked whether Putin has kompramat on some of these geeks and the odd cabinet minister. It all just seems so totally self defeating, I just can’t wrap my head around it.
    I'm going to give the modellers the benefit of the doubt here and put it on some DoH bod and The Saj simply asking the wrong questions. It's almost certain that the questions are all "well how bad could it get?" rather than "what's the most likely scenario?" though I think the data modellers have got a professional duty to provide all of the scenarios rather than a very narrow answer to what they were asked for. I'd hazard a guess that it's a civil servant in the DoH who think they know best and is fully signed up to all lockdowns and wants to present the minister with two or three doom laden scenarios.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,331
    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
    Or rather it's saying we can't have people voting for who they really want, because we might not like the result.
    It's a fundamentally undemocratic argument.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 27,139
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have to key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
    There will be a time lag between the results from models and the current knowledge. Take the UK study into how Omicron affects the upper respiratory system. You cannot just plug that into the model: you need to ask a whole series of questions. Is it relevant? What's the effect in people? Are there other effects? Is this study likely to be accurate? How do you account for this new information in the model? You then need run the models, discuss what the results, and disseminate.

    The study was only reported on in the last day or so (following on from the HK study four or five days ago); it's a bit much to expect it to be factored into decision making immediately.

    I think stating that scientists are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown is unsubstantiated.
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 3,359

    A fifth wave of Covid-19 infections has begun in Israel due to the Omicron variant, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has warned

    Hasn't Israel suffered enough, getting Grren party cast offs as leader.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 68,582
    edited December 2021
    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages. In a modern economy having sufficient expertise in science is crucial.

    I guess the problem is say a STEM PhD from a top tier university is going to have a range of well paid opportunities, i doubt the civil service ranks very highly on that.
  • Scott_xPScott_xP Posts: 18,607

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Leon said:

    You won’t believe this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations

    You're right with your edit too, we still don't.
  • EndillionEndillion Posts: 4,255
    I think I'd be OK with PR for Westminster elections, as long as it was national PR with a 5% threshold, to keep the nationalists out of Parliament forever.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 69,349
    edited December 2021
    The best twitter source of the whole pandemic to follow, @sailorrooscout has done a thread on South Africa. Very encouraging.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 2,485
    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
    Or rather it's saying we can't have people voting for who they really want, because we might not like the result.
    It's a fundamentally undemocratic argument.
    If PR led to the fracturing of the party system, and you ended up with a literal Fascist party securing 5% or more of the vote, how comfortable would you be with them entering government to satisfy your "fundamentally democratic" principles.

    Per the other night's discussion, I know we're not supposed to say "beyond the pale" any more but I do think one of the benefits of our current electoral system is that it keeps the far right and far left fringes far away from the levers of power.

    You may see that as a flaw in the system - I see it as one of its virtues.
  • Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 11,471
    edited December 2021

    Former Corbyn Aide Laura Murray has lost her libel battle against Countdown star Rachel Riley, resulting in a £10,000 payout.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult for Laura to stump up the money, given her family previously sold a Picasso portrait for £50 million in 2013 – they must be able to find £10,000 down the back of the sofa…

    https://order-order.com/2021/12/20/rachel-riley-wins-10000-pay-out-from-former-corbyn-aide-laura-murray/

    What is it with these Corbynistas being filthy rich....Also its of course its all a very small world, Laura is Andrew Murray's daughter, who was married to Susan Michie.

    IANA(libel)L and have not followed the case but from reports it sounds like a lot of fuss over nothing that would concern the voter on the Clapham omnibus, reflected in an award that will doubtless be dwarfed by costs on both sides. Do we really need to tie up the courts over a two-tweet Twitter spat? The more disturbing part is, as you imply, that politics is dominated by a few small cliques. Perhaps it was ever thus.
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    We have the exciting prospect in a few years time of the types who have been in permarage mode about the evil EUSSR for decades directing their pique at the EU for being uninterested in the UK rejoining as a full member.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 5,519
    edited December 2021
    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
    Or rather it's saying we can't have people voting for who they really want, because we might not like the result.
    It's a fundamentally undemocratic argument.
    If PR led to the fracturing of the party system, and you ended up with a literal Fascist party securing 5% or more of the vote, how comfortable would you be with them entering government to satisfy your "fundamentally democratic" principles.

    Per the other night's discussion, I know we're not supposed to say "beyond the pale" any more but I do think one of the benefits of our current electoral system is that it keeps the far right and far left fringes far away from the levers of power.

    You may see that as a flaw in the system - I see it as one of its virtues.
    Well, Germany has the AFD and Die Linke in parliament, and the system seems to be functioning fairly well - in fact, better than ours, like much of the rest of their polity, too.

    At the present moment I actually think parliament might be better and in fact healthier for a few Green and Reform Party MP's encouraging other MP's on the left of Labour and the right of the Tories in towards a broader alignment.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Cyclefree said:

    kinabalu said:

    Cyclefree said:

    eek said:

    Cyclefree said:

    On topic there is little practical benefit to putting in restrictions for Christmas at this stage. Plans have been made. People are travelling as we speak. Food has been bought.

    The chances of getting the population to comply this year are nigh on impossible, given how late it is in the day and all the news stories that are coming out about last year (“it was OK for you guys then,” etc…)

    I suspect we’ll get advisory warnings not to mix more than 2 households or whatever which will be promptly ignored by all and sundry.

    I’m not even sure restrictions after Christmas are going to be particularly closely followed. The festive season isn’t just Christmas Day: it’s often a chain of events leading up to and including New Year’s Day.

    The first day where meaningful restrictions can probably be introduced is from 2 January - the miserable weeks where nothing much happens anyway.

    Does Daughter - and all those in her position - order in food and drinks and risk finding herself with unsold stock because at the last minute a curfew is imposed or venues are told to close like last year?

    Or does she simply keep the place closed to minimise losses? It's not as if there are only 5 working days before 4 days of holidays and plans to be made and deadlines to be met. I mean, all the time in the world for governments to faff around like clueless idiots.
    And it's not as if she needs to order food for the 27th / 28th now because suppliers won't be open on then.

    It's a tough decision with zero right answers - personally I would probably be skipping the food and doing drinks (but I know that's not where the profit is).
    Closure looks the most likely. What on earth is the point of carrying on? She may as well have some rest at home. She certainly deserves it.
    That does sound perhaps the way to go.

    Just a question from somebody who knows not much about the catering trade -

    Would an option be to just shut down, lie low or do something else for a while, then when Covid looks reliably over, and if the desire and ambition remains, fire up again using the contacts and expertise amassed?
    Her lease comes to an end in March. She will not be renewing. She will be using the contacts she has amassed and the experience she has gained to move on to something else - as yet undecided. Certainly many of her customers - experienced professionals not prone to giving undeserved compliments - have said that she should have no difficulty getting something worthwhile and will succeed at whatever she does.

    She did originally have plans to expand the venue - and had lots of ideas for it - and was thinking of getting someone to invest with her and she would move into being an overall manager rather than doing all the day to day stuff, having first built up the business and reputation. She has certainly done the latter but it is hard to see who would want to invest in this sector at such a time.

    Though in reality it is - if you can get in at the right price - quite a good time to develop the venue. Where we live will soon be in the Lake District National Park, tourism is expanding and there is some government investment in the area. But another year of fighting to keep the place alive with all this uncertainty, no support, price increases etc - no, she's had enough of that. Time to take stock and do what is best for her.
    Every pub landlord/lady in UK must be thinking that at the moment. Sad times.
    Every restaurant, cafe, travel business, hotel too. And many in the arts sector too.

    It is indeed very sad.

    I want to have a relaxing time at Xmas for her and her siblings above all. They have had a shitty two years. I am beyond depressed at this continuing.
    Come to the Algarve; take your whole family.

    It’s sunny and airy and nobody cares about the insane incompetence of Boris-land. There’s an element of surreal hysteria permeating the whole U.K. right now.

    Seriously. My grief and stress collapsed the moment I exited Faro airport.
    The hysteria is primarily driven by the dodgy data models and ministers too stupid to ask the right questions of the modellers. The scientists really will have a lot to answer for in the post-COVID inquiries, especially now that we know they are deliberately excluding likely but favourable scenarios from their forecasts.
    I part ways from you a bit on this.

    I think the modellers are pushing out what they are asked to, and they have simply taken an agnostic approach to what remains an unconfirmed variable (“mildness”).

    There are, I think, several questions which I haven’t seen good responses on.

    1. Why is there not more sensitivity analysis around the four or five key variables? Although it would simply increase the confidence intervals wider, it would give a fuller picture to decision makers.

    2. How confident are modellers on the impact of further restrictions, given the known speed and infectiousness of Omicron.

    3. The relationships between peak day versus total wave deaths, and the extent to which restrictions simply defer those deaths.

    4. The impact on hospital capacity, and the impact on non-Covid health services

    5. The cost of restrictions, which must be weighed against any impact.
    So the mildness is now "confirmed" by a UK study looking into how Omicron operates within the respiratory system, it seems to have a big advantage in the upper tract (which is why we get coughs an sore throats) but also a big disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract (which is why few people in SA needed mechanical ventilation or oxygen). That finding was thrown out by the modellers and they used the assumption that Omicron manifests identical symptoms and severity to Delta.

    1. It won't lead to decisions being made, so they don't do it.
    2. They say it would halt it, but other models non-SAGE and non-UK disagree and say Omicron takes to well to the nasal pathways to avoid infections even with very low social interaction.
    3. Interesting exercise, not carried out
    4. They say it will be a disaster, but they also threw out the evidence that Omicron requires less intense use of healthcare services due to having a big disadvantage in lung tissue compared to delta, so who knows whether it actually will. Experiences in SA vs the SA delta wave are quite favourable, average length of stay is down, use of mechanical ventilation is down, need for oxygen is down and survival rates are up. That could be explained by lots of factors though.
    5. The big one I guess, the Bank is no longer going to simply print Rishi £40bn per month of restrictions so the money will need to be raised through tax. Can the UK really afford an additional £40bn in tax for COVID measures to continue indefinitely?


    The reason I'm unconvinced by the models is because we have to key observations from Omicron, vaccine efficacy is between 93% and 95% with three doses against severe disease and a UK study showing that it has a disadvantage in the lower respiratory tract and a big advantage in the upper respiratory tract. The SAGE models used modelled vaccine efficacy of 85% rather than the observed VE of 93-95% and as I said above they also gave Omicron identical disease characteristics to Delta, which we now know not to be true.

    To me it feels like the scientists (or at least whoever has asked for these specific scenarios to be modelled) are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown. Using modelled rather than observed VE is weird and throwing out favourable data and replacing it with unfavourable data is also weird. It also helps them get to the conclusion that we need to lockdown yesterday. Changing those inputs would result in a very large decrease all of their scary numbers, I wonder whether any of the Cabinet will force the issue and ask for the models to be redone with the correct inputs.
    There will be a time lag between the results from models and the current knowledge. Take the UK study into how Omicron affects the upper respiratory system. You cannot just plug that into the model: you need to ask a whole series of questions. Is it relevant? What's the effect in people? Are there other effects? Is this study likely to be accurate? How do you account for this new information in the model? You then need run the models, discuss what the results, and disseminate.

    The study was only reported on in the last day or so (following on from the HK study four or five days ago); it's a bit much to expect it to be factored into decision making immediately.

    I think stating that scientists are trying to bounce the UK into a lockdown is unsubstantiated.
    You plug it in as a scenario, though. I'm not saying that it should be used as the central forecast, but they should at least be saying "this could also happen according to our latest studies on Omicron symptoms".

    In a situation that we're in with decision making needing the best available data I'd say that plugging in the latest and most up to date information into models is absolutely necessary. If we lockdown for whatever period at a cost of £8bn per week to the economy and, yes, it turns out that Omicron hospitalises at a significantly lower rate because of the mechanism outlined in multiple studies that were known at the time then it's on whoever decided to throw those findings out and use assumed rather than observed data.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 68,582
    edited December 2021

    Former Corbyn Aide Laura Murray has lost her libel battle against Countdown star Rachel Riley, resulting in a £10,000 payout.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult for Laura to stump up the money, given her family previously sold a Picasso portrait for £50 million in 2013 – they must be able to find £10,000 down the back of the sofa…

    https://order-order.com/2021/12/20/rachel-riley-wins-10000-pay-out-from-former-corbyn-aide-laura-murray/

    What is it with these Corbynistas being filthy rich....Also its of course its all a very small world, Laura is Andrew Murray's daughter, who was married to Susan Michie.

    IANA(libel)L and have not followed the case but from reports it sounds like a lot of fuss over nothing that would concern the voter on the Clapham omnibus, reflected in an award that will doubtless be dwarfed by costs on both sides. Do we really need to tie up the courts over a two-tweet Twitter spat? The more disturbing part is, as you imply, that politics is dominated by a few small cliques. Perhaps it was ever thus.
    Although i agree in general, i guess the problem is twitter is such a sewer that largely goes unchecked, that eventually somebody says enough is enough and takes action.

    As for cliques, i am sure it was, the difference is now, it isn't hard to find this stuff out.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472

    Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
    So now they can't even question the scientists? Boris really is trying to bounce the Cabinet into this and make the likes of Rishi own it. I really hope they have the stones to tell him to get fucked.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 5,153
    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
    Or rather it's saying we can't have people voting for who they really want, because we might not like the result.
    It's a fundamentally undemocratic argument.
    If PR led to the fracturing of the party system, and you ended up with a literal Fascist party securing 5% or more of the vote, how comfortable would you be with them entering government to satisfy your "fundamentally democratic" principles.

    Per the other night's discussion, I know we're not supposed to say "beyond the pale" any more but I do think one of the benefits of our current electoral system is that it keeps the far right and far left fringes far away from the levers of power.

    You may see that as a flaw in the system - I see it as one of its virtues.
    The thread header is talking about an arrangement which would accommodate the Greens. Would you not describe them as 'fringe far left'?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 15,094
    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    You won’t believe this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations

    You're right with your edit too, we still don't.
    Well I’m in the Groucho club now, about to have a very boozy Xmas lunch with old mates, and I imagine you won’t find THAT hard to believe
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 31,040
    edited December 2021

    A formal alliance makes no sense.

    An informal arrangement for Lab not to compete hard in the top ?50 LD seats (and vice versa) is a necessity.

    Greens are tactically irrelevant, and their voters are harder to redirect anyway. Lab needs a “big offer” to students to attract younger voters away from them.

    Lab and LD can’t afford to touch SNP with a barge-pole, indeed they need to take them head on in Scotland by portraying them as the Tory’s secret weapon.

    Look how well that's worked for SLab for the last 40 years.

    I'd suggest such a tack for the SLDs might be less than fruitful, insofar as anyone gives a fcuk what they think.

    'I can work with Tories to save the Union, says Lib Dems’ next leader Alex Cole-Hamilton'

    https://tinyurl.com/2yhz3mkk
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    We have the exciting prospect in a few years time of the types who have been in permarage mode about the evil EUSSR for decades directing their pique at the EU for being uninterested in the UK rejoining as a full member.
    That sounds about right :D
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710
    MaxPB said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
    So now they can't even question the scientists? Boris really is trying to bounce the Cabinet into this and make the likes of Rishi own it. I really hope they have the stones to tell him to get fucked.
    Isn't cabinet at 2pm - so Vallance is cancelling the MPs to brief cabinet.

    Is Rishi even in the country at the moment as he isn't going to want to say Yes to a lockdown.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 21,866
    Alistair's SA update:

    Predicted week 50 admissions: 8146 (massive fall from yesterday's projection. Now only +13% week on week)
    Predicted week 50 deaths: 391 (slightly down from 400 yesterday. a +77% week on week so still a big rise)

    Percentage Ventilated: 2.7%
    Percentage Oxygenated: 14.5%

    Basically it looks like other regions that are not Gauteng have not seen the steep rise in admissions that you would have been expecting.
  • Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    You assume that the EU can 'shunt' the UK anywhere. Thankfully since we left that is no longer their choice.
    I think you are taking it a bit too literally.

    They can block us from rejoining - DeGaulle did it before, so we either have a CU&SM special on their terms (because it is their market) or join the EEA and become rule takers.
    The two flaws in your argument are firstly that I can't see us even asking to rejoin for the next few decades - if ever - and secondly that the EFTA members of the EEA are not 'rule takers'. This was the myth put about by the anti-Brexit lot prior to the referendum. The EEA via EFTA is a far better result than EU membership and the only barrier to EEA membership for many in the UK would be freedom of movement. Something which I would see as a plus not a minus. Trade and freedom of movement without all the political and social interference is just right for me.
  • EabhalEabhal Posts: 709
    MaxPB said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
    So now they can't even question the scientists? Boris really is trying to bounce the Cabinet into this and make the likes of Rishi own it. I really hope they have the stones to tell him to get fucked.
    I read that more as Boris is worried about a cabinet rebellion at 2, and needs Vallance to hold his hand.

    On the modelling side, at the back of everyone's mind will be the inquiry. The judge will be reading the names of those who died before the start of each evidence session, not those of the businesses bankrupted or the children without qualifications.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 56,656
    Alistair said:

    Alistair's SA update:

    Predicted week 50 admissions: 8146 (massive fall from yesterday's projection. Now only +13% week on week)
    Predicted week 50 deaths: 391 (slightly down from 400 yesterday. a +77% week on week so still a big rise)

    Percentage Ventilated: 2.7%
    Percentage Oxygenated: 14.5%

    Basically it looks like other regions that are not Gauteng have not seen the steep rise in admissions that you would have been expecting.

    A bit more good news re: Omicron?
  • MaffewMaffew Posts: 221
    MaxPB said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
    So now they can't even question the scientists? Boris really is trying to bounce the Cabinet into this and make the likes of Rishi own it. I really hope they have the stones to tell him to get fucked.
    Eh I'd read it the opposite way, given the signals being given out by the more anti-lockdown cabinet members, it would suggest to me that they're not even going to try to go beyond guidance for now.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472
    RobD said:

    Alistair said:

    Alistair's SA update:

    Predicted week 50 admissions: 8146 (massive fall from yesterday's projection. Now only +13% week on week)
    Predicted week 50 deaths: 391 (slightly down from 400 yesterday. a +77% week on week so still a big rise)

    Percentage Ventilated: 2.7%
    Percentage Oxygenated: 14.5%

    Basically it looks like other regions that are not Gauteng have not seen the steep rise in admissions that you would have been expecting.

    A bit more good news re: Omicron?
    What difference does it make if the government simply ignores it?
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    You won’t believe this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations

    You're right with your edit too, we still don't.
    Well I’m in the Groucho club now, about to have a very boozy Xmas lunch with old mates, and I imagine you won’t find THAT hard to believe
    Good for you.
  • eekeek Posts: 17,710

    Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    You assume that the EU can 'shunt' the UK anywhere. Thankfully since we left that is no longer their choice.
    I think you are taking it a bit too literally.

    They can block us from rejoining - DeGaulle did it before, so we either have a CU&SM special on their terms (because it is their market) or join the EEA and become rule takers.
    The two flaws in your argument are firstly that I can't see us even asking to rejoin for the next few decades - if ever - and secondly that the EFTA members of the EEA are not 'rule takers'. This was the myth put about by the anti-Brexit lot prior to the referendum. The EEA via EFTA is a far better result than EU membership and the only barrier to EEA membership for many in the UK would be freedom of movement. Something which I would see as a plus not a minus. Trade and freedom of movement without all the political and social interference is just right for me.
    But not right for lower paid UK workers given how our benefits system attracted so many Eastern Europeans once they discovered it.

    That really is an issue that would need to be fixed (heck it may already be) were we to head in that direction.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Leon said:

    ydoethur said:

    Leon said:

    You won’t believe this, I’m in an Uber (actually a Bolt) with a kosovan driver who is very eloquent about vaccinations

    You're right with your edit too, we still don't.
    Well I’m in the Groucho club now, about to have a very boozy Xmas lunch with old mates, and I imagine you won’t find THAT hard to believe
    You get full Marx for that one :smile:
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 33,472
    Maffew said:

    MaxPB said:

    Scott_xP said:

    Re lack of science in cabinet. My understanding is there a similar dearth across the civil service and it is something Patrick Valence in particular has been raising for ages.

    Sir Patrick Vallance briefing with MPs today (scheduled for 2pm) has been called off “due to scheduling constraints”
    https://twitter.com/kateferguson4/status/1472921211797753857
    Convenient.....
    So now they can't even question the scientists? Boris really is trying to bounce the Cabinet into this and make the likes of Rishi own it. I really hope they have the stones to tell him to get fucked.
    Eh I'd read it the opposite way, given the signals being given out by the more anti-lockdown cabinet members, it would suggest to me that they're not even going to try to go beyond guidance for now.
    I'm extremely pessimistic about all of this after reading how the SAGE process works. Someone in the DoH has asked for them to provide decision making evidence to enable a lockdown, so they did that by throwing out observed evidence in favour of worse modelled assumptions. There can only be one reason to do that, to force through a lockdown.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 93,284

    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Nigelb said:

    kyf_100 said:

    Your friendly reminder to all those salivating for electoral reform that in 2015 the Tories + UKIP + DUP would have got them to 50%. I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale.

    Be careful what you wish for, a "progressive alliance" under proportional representation might very well mean a "reactionary alliance" where the Tories bring people much further to the right into government in order to win.

    One of the best things about our current system is that it generally keeps the extremists on both sides out.

    That is to assume the parties would remain the same under PR.
    That is what I said in my original comment.

    "I know it's not ceteris paribus because people might have voted differently under a different electoral system. But it is a cautionary tale."
    Or rather it's saying we can't have people voting for who they really want, because we might not like the result.
    It's a fundamentally undemocratic argument.
    If PR led to the fracturing of the party system, and you ended up with a literal Fascist party securing 5% or more of the vote, how comfortable would you be with them entering government to satisfy your "fundamentally democratic" principles.

    Per the other night's discussion, I know we're not supposed to say "beyond the pale" any more but I do think one of the benefits of our current electoral system is that it keeps the far right and far left fringes far away from the levers of power.

    You may see that as a flaw in the system - I see it as one of its virtues.
    Well, Germany has the AFD and Die Linke in parliament, and the system seems to be functioning fairly well.

    At the present moment I actually think parliament might be better and in fact healthier for a few Green and Reform Party MP's encouraging other MP's on the left of Labour and the right of the Tories in towards a broader alignment.
    If we had PR then yes the Greens and a new Corbynite party would get seats as would RefUK (which some rightwing Tories would join as the Corbyniyte wing of Labour left to start their own party).

    However in terms of government we would generally have centrist coalition governments of Lab-LD or Tory-LD, maybe on occasion propped up by the Greens and Corbynites in terms of the former or RefUK in terms of the latter.

    We would not have majority Labour or Tory governments again. As Germany and NZ and Spain and Italy and Sweden and Ireland and Israel have found, full PR generally means the government is determined after the election in the coalition negotiations more than it is in the election itself by the voters unless there is a huge swing.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 93,284
    Endillion said:

    I think I'd be OK with PR for Westminster elections, as long as it was national PR with a 5% threshold, to keep the nationalists out of Parliament forever.

    UKIP got 12% in 2015 and would have won seats even with a 5% threshold
  • maaarsh said:

    Leon said:

    Eabhal said:

    Leon said:

    Lockdown skepticism is like Brexiteering on steroids


    It's gone from fringe lunacy to absolute mainstream in about a year


    Everyone I know, bar a few die-hards, and some old or fearful types, is saying Fuck it I won't do it again

    Whether they will walk the talk, who knows, but this is yet more dangerous territory for HMG. The public is not behind the lockdown ultras, this time

    I'd love it if you were right. But:

    https://comresglobal.com/polls/lockdown-snap-poll-december-2021/
    Hmm. And yet other recent polls show the opposite

    One thing I am sure of is that the opposition has grown, both in number but also in determination. It may still be the minority view, but those opposed to lockdown are now much more vocal and bolshy
    Large parts of the lockdown support comes from people for whom it makes no difference. Opposition can be a minority and yet render it meaningless if all the people who actually go out crack on.
    Is it true though? Lots of cancellations are reported by restaurants but surely these cancelled bookings were initially made by people who did want to go out.
  • eek said:

    Mrs C, even if rejoining the EU?

    I never left. I am still an EU citizen

    You also assume that the EU would have the UK back. It is far safer to shunt the UK into the EEA
    You assume that the EU can 'shunt' the UK anywhere. Thankfully since we left that is no longer their choice.
    I think you are taking it a bit too literally.

    They can block us from rejoining - DeGaulle did it before, so we either have a CU&SM special on their terms (because it is their market) or join the EEA and become rule takers.
    The two flaws in your argument are firstly that I can't see us even asking to rejoin for the next few decades - if ever - and secondly that the EFTA members of the EEA are not 'rule takers'. This was the myth put about by the anti-Brexit lot prior to the referendum. The EEA via EFTA is a far better result than EU membership and the only barrier to EEA membership for many in the UK would be freedom of movement. Something which I would see as a plus not a minus. Trade and freedom of movement without all the political and social interference is just right for me.
    But not right for lower paid UK workers given how our benefits system attracted so many Eastern Europeans once they discovered it.

    That really is an issue that would need to be fixed (heck it may already be) were we to head in that direction.
    Yep so we fix it. It is not by any means an insurmountable problem and would be good to sort it out irrespective of any future EEA moves.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 11,911

    https://fabians.org.uk/moving-the-marginals/

    Very interesting.

    The Fabian Society commissioned a GB-wide poll from YouGov with a specially-commissioned sub-group of the 125 seats in England and Wales where Labour came closest to winning in 2019. The survey was conducted on 8 to 13 December before the North Shropshire byelection and 668 people living in the Labour target seats took part.
    We found that Labour leads the Conservatives by nine percentage points in the 125 seats (Labour 43, Conservative 34). By contrast, at the 2019 election the Conservatives led in these seats by 12 points (Labour 37, Conservative 49).

    The Tories are in big big trouble

    Can some polling nerd help me here?

    A sample of 668 across 125 seats - 5 samples per seat on average - gives a result accurate to within a % or three.

    What are the error margins here?
This discussion has been closed.