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At last! Positive front pages for the PM but will the polls turn? – politicalbetting.com

SystemSystem Posts: 8,489
edited December 2021 in General
imageAt last! Positive front pages for the PM but will the polls turn? – politicalbetting.com

This morning’s front pages are quite unusual for the PM in that his announcement on Christmas mostly gets generally positive coverage. Given the way his personal ratings have plummeted in recent weeks the Tories must be hoping that this might turn the tide.

Read the full story here

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Comments

  • Test
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321
    First
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    Third rate newspapers, swinging from one extreme to the other on a daily basis.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074

    Your column has been a great source of spot-on political analysis for me and my A-Level Politics students out here in Abu Dhabi. We have been following the Owen drama closely and have been comparing the sliding polls for Boris and negative media coverage to that which Major and the Tories received in the early 1990s. Two months ago, my students felt that Boris was invincible and I said "not quite so fast" - especially when the media narrative turns against you as PM. They have truly been fascinated. Thank you.

    Greetings, from an expat up the road in Dubai. :+1:
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321

    Your column has been a great source of spot-on political analysis for me and my A-Level Politics students out here in Abu Dhabi. We have been following the Owen drama closely and have been comparing the sliding polls for Boris and negative media coverage to that which Major and the Tories received in the early 1990s. Two months ago, my students felt that Boris was invincible and I said "not quite so fast" - especially when the media narrative turns against you as PM. They have truly been fascinated. Thank you.

    Excellent work! And welcome. Your students’ next assignment must surely to be to assess whether it is possible to recover a reputation just as quickly?
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 35,758
    Sandpit said:

    Third rate newspapers, swinging from one extreme to the other on a daily basis.

    You are in a generous mood.

    The media has had a dreadful crisis
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321
    Marina Hyde: WHY – were these people not even professionally self-interested enough to realise that as the setters of the rules in a deadly pandemic, it was mission-critical that they adhered at all times to both the letter and spirit of them? What a stunning failure of the imagination. Maybe they just thought they’d never get caught.

    Either way, as we await the known unknowns of the Omicron wave, it’s wild that No 10 staff have done as much to undermine trust in vital public health messages as mad conspiracists on YouTube. These Downing Street geniuses have yet again dealt a body-blow to longterm levels of trust in politicians and the political class in this country – and with the odd exception, they all still work there. Forgive me; they all still work “for us”. Have they finally now caught on that careless cheese and wine costs lives? I wouldn’t bank on it. They evidently didn’t learn the lesson even after discovering that careless automobile-based eye tests cost lives.

    Anyway, speaking of work meetings, weakling king Johnson is now reduced to holding two-hour-plus cabinets at which the decision is not to make a decision yet.
  • I am not sure Johnson's popularity is linked to what he says about Christmas. Isn't it more about the fact that his very profound limitations and general disdain for the electorate have finally been exposed for all to see?

    The good news for the Tories is that it does all seem to be about Johnson rather than them generally. That means they should get a very strong bounce once he is gone. However, they need to get the timing of that right as beyond Sunak - who is himself exceptionally limited - there do not seem to be any even remotely credible candidates to replace him.

    Long-term, though, Johnson has done exceptional damage to his party and to the country. The Parliamentary party is packed full of populist nationalist culture warriors with a very strong aversion to geopolitical and trade realities, the rule of law, liberty and democracy. That will not end well for either the Tories or, more importantly, for all of us.

    I'm not sure, his limitations have always been obvious to anyone who was paying attention but somehow the right-wing press didn't mind - until they wanted to stop him doing something. I doubt they'll be consistently hostile if he does what they want.
  • Agree with the poster who said the media in general and in particular the national press and the BBC( excepting only the Telegraph) have had a truly dreadful crisis. The tendency to focus on worst case scenarios at all times has destroyed their credibility.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    Thanks to whoever it was ( @AndyJS?) who linked yesterday to the long-read Unherd article about the interactions between science and politics. https://unherd.com/2021/12/how-science-has-been-corrupted-2/

    A very worthwhile 15 minutes’ reading, not just a rant about how science has been corrupted by large companies and the need for funding, and by activist groups, but also a useful analysis of how we can use the experience of the pandemic to positively influence scientific advances in future.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 56,656
    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    The timing just doesn't work out though. It'd have to go through cabinet, and then parliament would have to be recalled.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150
    FPT - i don’t think much comforting can be deduced from the reduction in isolation period (with negative LFT). It just says that they think that the infection period is shorter, and possibly that they need to do it because they are anticipating an absolute tsunami of cases that will put basic functioning of society at risk.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Good morning everybody, and especially Mr DofA. Always good to see new posters!

    I refer everyone to OGH's last paragraph, viz
    'The big shadow hanging over the latest announcement, of course, is that it is a gamble. It might just further the spread of the latest variant, lead to more infections and put greater pressure on the NHS. More people might die.'
    Which is, of course, correct. And even if fewer people die, and, because the impact of the disease on the individual is less, and the NHS can 'just about' manage, there's still going to be an effect on ;life generally. Teachers are going to be off, so schools will be disrupted, workplaces are going to have to cope with staff shortages, goods won't arrive because drivers (etc) are sick; the list goes on.

    I posted yesterday something to the effect that I never thought I'd have much sympathy for the selfish wrecker currently posing as PM, but this definitely wasn't what he signed up for, and I very much doubt that this will be his happiest Christmas.

    The various Cole households, similarly are hoping for the best, enjoying each others company and hoping, hoping to get through to New Year without our plans being disrupted!
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 1,617
    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    edited December 2021
    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.
    It was the Civil Service, not the government, that was agitating to keep schools open this time last year when shutting them a week early for Christmas might have kept cases under control, including using very illegal methods to do so. It was Civil Servants who forced through the extremely reckless (although fortunately not disastrous) decision in early February about reopening them on March 8th regardless of the situation.

    Admittedly this seems to have been because certain fairly senior civil servants couldn’t bear the thought of home schooling their own children again rather than any epidemiological or wider educational reason, but it’s not true to say they’ve always advocated tighter restrictions.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150
    edited December 2021
    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    And it’s even scarier this time, because this time realistically any lockdown of any form comes without an obvious exit point. There may be talk of new improved vaccines or whatever, but that is not an exit point. Because any restrictions now are being proposed without any obvious evidence that the existing vaccines don’t actually provide significant and sufficient protection against serious illness (except for the unlucky - which is an issue with no solution) and anyway even if they do, on the basis that the pool of voluntarily unvaccinated is large enough to create problems that justify restrictions anyway. Which means, at the very minimum, compulsory vaccination in the face of expulsion from normal society, for all.

    And even if hospitality and cultural businesses manage to survive in the short term, the long term effect of the precedent for default policy approach to similar threats (backed up by models not populated by data but merely “uncertainties”) will make most permanently unviable.

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”). If they are allowed to make their own models on the basis of their own agreed guesstimated inputs, and use them to urge pre-emptive (“earlier the better”) action then where are the competing economic models that can be offered up as counter to it. I suppose nobody in This Govt is interested in those because of what they tell them about Brexit...
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 42,552
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.
    It was the Civil Service, not the government, that was agitating to keep schools open this time last year when shutting them a week early for Christmas might have kept cases under control, including using very illegal methods to do so. It was Civil Servants who forced through the extremely reckless (although fortunately not disastrous) decision in early February about reopening them on March 8th regardless of the situation.

    Admittedly this seems to have been because certain fairly senior civil servants couldn’t bear the thought of home schooling their own children again rather than any epidemiological or wider educational reason, but it’s not true to say they’ve always advocated tighter restrictions.
    It's also a mistake to think of the Civil Service (like the Conservative Party or indeed the Cabinet) as a monolithic block.

  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 42,552
    Sandpit said:

    Third rate newspapers, swinging from one extreme to the other on a daily basis.

    It's clickbait for an analog world.
  • ChrisChris Posts: 7,779
    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 1,617

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    The refusers deserve to be punished, but there will be no action against them. Too many libertarian concerns from the Tory side, and it'll hit too many poor and ethnic minority people for Labour to stomach action either.

    The public mood might shift sufficiently to get politicians to reconsider, should we end up back in lockdown and the Government decides to try to heap the blame for it on the refusers, but right now it ain't happening.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150
    edited December 2021
    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
  • moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 21,301

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    The Govt have acted to “save Christmas”. Even though everyone knows that if restrictions are justified it should have been cancelled. There’s absolutely zero way that they can let New Year’s Eve survive as well, and STILL introduce restrictions afterwards. Even if it is difficult they will find a way. But there is an enormous chance it will cost Johnson his job.
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 1,617
    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The booster campaign is still working its way through the middle aged at the moment and, once administered, they still need some more time to work. I'm also in total agreement that we can't keep going through this over and over again but, given conditions as stated above, I think that the Government might (and only might) be able to get away with doing this one more time, without the wheels falling off the wagon.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Chris said:

    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
    Some of them have. Dorries volunteered I think. Certainly Rosena Allin Khan has been working on the wards during the Covid crisis.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150
    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    The Govt have acted to “save Christmas”. Even though everyone knows that if restrictions are justified it should have been cancelled. There’s absolutely zero way that they can let New Year’s Eve survive as well, and STILL introduce restrictions afterwards. Even if it is difficult they will find a way. But there is an enormous chance it will cost Johnson his job.
    I don’t think it’s an enormous chance, it’s a stone certainty.

    But then, he should have resigned last Friday anyway. He’s been a dead man walking since that result was announced, as the cabinet demonstrated on Monday.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    The Govt have acted to “save Christmas”. Even though everyone knows that if restrictions are justified it should have been cancelled. There’s absolutely zero way that they can let New Year’s Eve survive as well, and STILL introduce restrictions afterwards. Even if it is difficult they will find a way. But there is an enormous chance it will cost Johnson his job.
    Well, if Scotland can cut back on Hogmanay.......
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
    Some of them have. Dorries volunteered I think. Certainly Rosena Allin Khan has been working on the wards during the Covid crisis.
    IIRC Dorries was the first MP to get Covid, she was a health minister and spent her days ‘on the job’ at the start of the pandemic, feeding back from the front line straight to the government decision-makers.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
  • UK gross domestic product (GDP) is estimated to have increased by 1.1% in Quarter 3 (July to Sept) 2021, revised from the first estimate of a 1.3% increase.

    The level of GDP is now 1.5% below where it was pre-coronavirus (COVID-19) at Quarter 4 (Oct to Dec) 2019, revised from the previous estimate of 2.1% below, because of upward revisions to growth in 2020


    https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/grossdomesticproductgdp/bulletins/quarterlynationalaccounts/julytoseptember2021
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    Chris said:

    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
    Some of them have. Dorries volunteered I think. Certainly Rosena Allin Khan has been working on the wards during the Covid crisis.
    IIRC Dorries was the first MP to get Covid, she was a health minister and spent her days ‘on the job’ at the start of the pandemic, feeding back from the front line straight to the government decision-makers.
    It does occur to me though that both Dorries and Khan have been pushing for more, sooner in terms of restrictions, which would definitely support the point Chris was making.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 14,756

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Agree 100%. It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far. On this occasion the so-called gammons have mostly done the right thing. The areas where they tend to live have pretty high rates of vaccination.
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 21,301
    alex_ said:

    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
    You misinterpreted what I meant. Yes, some will die, more will get seriously ill, but more importantly, most will get some immunity to future strains. In six weeks from now, there won’t be anyone who has had no exposure to COVID-19.
  • alex_alex_ Posts: 7,150
    Chris said:

    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
    Or if they were forced to serve in the Army. Or work in schools. Or as a zero hours worker. Or live on the average wage. Or run a small business. Or...

    We can all play this game. Of course they would. But it still doesn’t mean that the decisions that they take would be good ones for the country as a whole.

    And I suspect that even those in hospitals would like such things to result in funding them properly, with sufficient spare (or at least some sort of reserve) capacity and resources to respond to national emergencies, not to shut down society every time they get stretched to the limit. Which in the long run will only make the former more of a pipe dream.
  • SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    edited December 2021
    tlg86 said:

    alex_ said:

    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
    You misinterpreted what I meant. Yes, some will die, more will get seriously ill, but more importantly, most will get some immunity to future strains. In six weeks from now, there won’t be anyone who has had no exposure to COVID-19.
    It's becoming noteworthy among what might be described as my extended family that some people are exposed to the virus, but don't seem to develop any symptoms. However sometimes, at a later, unrelated, date, they do.
  • Andy_JS said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far.
    NIMS vs ONS - London shows the biggest discrepancy between the two. It may not be quite as bad as NIMS suggests.
  • Israel to offer fourth coronavirus vaccine dose to over-60s, saying it is first nation set to roll it out
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 42,552
    Andy_JS said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Agree 100%. It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far. On this occasion the so-called gammons have mostly done the right thing. The areas where they tend to live have pretty high rates of vaccination.
    I suspect it's not as bad as the headline figures suggest: simply London's population is smaller than you think, as people have left during the pandemic.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    Boxing Day Cabinet, Parliament recalled on the bank holiday. Job done.

    Also he knows he has the numbers thanks to Sir Kier. So he could very easily just say “the numbers mean we can’t delay”, impose it and then validate it after the event.

    This said, it’s really hard to believe the data will be any more supportive of restrictions by Boxing Day than they are today. I think they’ll wait for the post Xmas case uptick, show a zoomed in graph of an “exponential” increase in hospitalisations over 3 days and see if that gets it over the line.
  • alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    The Govt have acted to “save Christmas”. Even though everyone knows that if restrictions are justified it should have been cancelled. There’s absolutely zero way that they can let New Year’s Eve survive as well, and STILL introduce restrictions afterwards. Even if it is difficult they will find a way. But there is an enormous chance it will cost Johnson his job.
    Well, if Scotland can cut back on Hogmanay.......
    I find the “Hogmanay cancelled” headlines very odd. Hogmanay is not cancelled. It is, and always has been, an intimate, spontaneous celebration for family and neighbours. As long as you regard certain wise precautions, these celebrations can continue.

    What has been cancelled are large-scale municipal and state events, which are in most cases a very modern invention. They’re rubbish anyway.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108

    alex_ said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    Can't see the 28th as realistic. Parliament will need to be recalled, won't it, before any further restrictions are imposed. That surely would not happen until 29th at the earliest. Looks like new year is when something would kick in - if it does at all.

    The Govt have acted to “save Christmas”. Even though everyone knows that if restrictions are justified it should have been cancelled. There’s absolutely zero way that they can let New Year’s Eve survive as well, and STILL introduce restrictions afterwards. Even if it is difficult they will find a way. But there is an enormous chance it will cost Johnson his job.
    Well, if Scotland can cut back on Hogmanay.......
    I find the “Hogmanay cancelled” headlines very odd. Hogmanay is not cancelled. It is, and always has been, an intimate, spontaneous celebration for family and neighbours. As long as you regard certain wise precautions, these celebrations can continue.

    What has been cancelled are large-scale municipal and state events, which are in most cases a very modern invention. They’re rubbish anyway.
    Point of order. I used the words 'cut back'. I recognise that Hogmanay, qua Hogmanay cannot be cancelled. Celebrations around it can be cut back, as I suspect they were, for example, in wartime.
  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 1,130
    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 28,869
    Shortening isolation to 7 days with negative LFT on days 6 and 7 is welcome news.

  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Foxy said:

    Shortening isolation to 7 days with negative LFT on days 6 and 7 is welcome news.

    Following the science?
  • rcs1000 said:

    Andy_JS said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Agree 100%. It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far. On this occasion the so-called gammons have mostly done the right thing. The areas where they tend to live have pretty high rates of vaccination.
    I suspect it's not as bad as the headline figures suggest: simply London's population is smaller than you think, as people have left during the pandemic.
    The pandemic seems to have exposed how poor demographic (and electoral) records are in many areas, primarily large urban areas.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    Does that mean you think it is, or you think it isn't?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985
    Foxy said:

    Shortening isolation to 7 days with negative LFT on days 6 and 7 is welcome news.

    Shame it's so delayed, really. Should have been announced a week ago.

    If it had been available yesterday @MaxPB and his missus could have gone to visit family.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 28,869

    Foxy said:

    Shortening isolation to 7 days with negative LFT on days 6 and 7 is welcome news.

    Following the science?
    Yes, so it seems.

    We don't seem to have many off yet in Leicester.
  • Sandpit said:

    Your column has been a great source of spot-on political analysis for me and my A-Level Politics students out here in Abu Dhabi. We have been following the Owen drama closely and have been comparing the sliding polls for Boris and negative media coverage to that which Major and the Tories received in the early 1990s. Two months ago, my students felt that Boris was invincible and I said "not quite so fast" - especially when the media narrative turns against you as PM. They have truly been fascinated. Thank you.

    Greetings, from an expat up the road in Dubai. :+1:
    Am curious. When Brits move abroad for work they are expats. When foreigners move here for work they are economic migrants / a threat to our very existence. Why is that...?

    Not a pop at either of you. Its prodding the language that has Brits abroad considered in a completely different way to every other nationality living here.
  • Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the number one reason.

    Personally, I have zero problems with needles. Any residual fear totally dissolved when I received chemotherapy and subsequently had to self-inject blood thinners twice a day for half a year. Easy peasy. Saved my life.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 26,108
    Foxy said:

    Foxy said:

    Shortening isolation to 7 days with negative LFT on days 6 and 7 is welcome news.

    Following the science?
    Yes, so it seems.

    We don't seem to have many off yet in Leicester.
    Good.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    rcs1000 said:

    Andy_JS said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Agree 100%. It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far. On this occasion the so-called gammons have mostly done the right thing. The areas where they tend to live have pretty high rates of vaccination.
    I suspect it's not as bad as the headline figures suggest: simply London's population is smaller than you think, as people have left during the pandemic.
    The pandemic seems to have exposed how poor demographic (and electoral) records are in many areas, primarily large urban areas.
    Even more shocking given we had a national census only eight months ago.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    It wouldn’t surprise me if it’s the number one reason.

    Personally, I have zero problems with needles. Any residual fear totally dissolved when I received chemotherapy and subsequently had to self-inject blood thinners twice a day for half a year. Easy peasy. Saved my life.
    You can get nasal Covid vaccines already.
  • moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    MPs debated the last set of regulations and demanded / pleaded that the House be recalled should there be further measures during recess. The government have no such assurance - they intend to rule by decree.

    What happened to our democracy? Boris Johnson.
  • Sandpit said:

    Your column has been a great source of spot-on political analysis for me and my A-Level Politics students out here in Abu Dhabi. We have been following the Owen drama closely and have been comparing the sliding polls for Boris and negative media coverage to that which Major and the Tories received in the early 1990s. Two months ago, my students felt that Boris was invincible and I said "not quite so fast" - especially when the media narrative turns against you as PM. They have truly been fascinated. Thank you.

    Greetings, from an expat up the road in Dubai. :+1:
    Am curious. When Brits move abroad for work they are expats. When foreigners move here for work they are economic migrants / a threat to our very existence. Why is that...?

    Not a pop at either of you. Its prodding the language that has Brits abroad considered in a completely different way to every other nationality living here.
    Straightforward xenophobia.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 28,869
    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    Nearly all of it seems to be anti-science from "research" on Facebook.
  • The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 27,139

    SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/

    Yeah, the mildness is positive. But the negative is a simple equation: does the increased infectivity of the bu**er offset the milder disease?

    That's the central question IMO - and we don't know yet.

    (There are other questions, such as whether Omicron causes long Covid, or whether it has other effects. But these are long-term unknowns and can't really influence policy making as much as the immediate potential hospitalisation crisis.)
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    It would be so lush to have a universal coronavirus and rhinovirus vaccine. What would you pay for that each year if it was 95% efficacious against symptoms?

    Even if it made you feel rough for a couple of days every year, you could time it for when most convenient.
  • tlg86 said:

    alex_ said:

    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
    You misinterpreted what I meant. Yes, some will die, more will get seriously ill, but more importantly, most will get some immunity to future strains. In six weeks from now, there won’t be anyone who has had no exposure to COVID-19.
    It's becoming noteworthy among what might be described as my extended family that some people are exposed to the virus, but don't seem to develop any symptoms. However sometimes, at a later, unrelated, date, they do.
    Probably when they fancy a week off work
  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 1,130
    ydoethur said:

    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    Does that mean you think it is, or you think it isn't?
    I suspect that it's a factor in some cases.

    I get jabbed on a regular basis and am astonished how painless the process is, compared to my recollections of 60+ years ago.

    My sister-in-law never gets jabbed and I strongly suspect that it was a fear of needles is that prevented her getting vaccinated. Once she'd caught Covid she was full of regret, and she was lucky not to be hospitalised.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Not quite the new year, but a new start anyway?
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482

    SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/

    Yeah, the mildness is positive. But the negative is a simple equation: does the increased infectivity of the bu**er offset the milder disease?

    That's the central question IMO - and we don't know yet.

    (There are other questions, such as whether Omicron causes long Covid, or whether it has other effects. But these are long-term unknowns and can't really influence policy making as much as the immediate potential hospitalisation crisis.)
    What a shame we are having to make wild guesses, rather than having a country with 60 million population that has already gone through this that we can refer to.
  • JonathanJonathan Posts: 17,094

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    edited December 2021

    Sandpit said:

    Your column has been a great source of spot-on political analysis for me and my A-Level Politics students out here in Abu Dhabi. We have been following the Owen drama closely and have been comparing the sliding polls for Boris and negative media coverage to that which Major and the Tories received in the early 1990s. Two months ago, my students felt that Boris was invincible and I said "not quite so fast" - especially when the media narrative turns against you as PM. They have truly been fascinated. Thank you.

    Greetings, from an expat up the road in Dubai. :+1:
    Am curious. When Brits move abroad for work they are expats. When foreigners move here for work they are economic migrants / a threat to our very existence. Why is that...?

    Not a pop at either of you. Its prodding the language that has Brits abroad considered in a completely different way to every other nationality living here.
    It’s a fair question. The way I see the distinction, is that the arrangement is legally seen as temporary.

    I will never be an Emirati, and neither will my children and grandchildren, even if they are born here and live their whole lives here.
  • ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    Andy_JS said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Agree 100%. It's difficult to believe a third of Londoners haven't had a single jab so far. On this occasion the so-called gammons have mostly done the right thing. The areas where they tend to live have pretty high rates of vaccination.
    I suspect it's not as bad as the headline figures suggest: simply London's population is smaller than you think, as people have left during the pandemic.
    The pandemic seems to have exposed how poor demographic (and electoral) records are in many areas, primarily large urban areas.
    Even more shocking given we had a national census only eight months ago.
    They won't have finished crunching the data yet, even at a high level.
  • SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/

    So the first few headlines of the story are good. A less severe version of Covid says the UK data that various posters have been attacking on here endlessly. Then you keep reading - not mild enough to avoid large numbers in hospital and the ones who get there just as likely to die as before. So if infection rates grow exponentially there's our risk to the system.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321

    I am not sure Johnson's popularity is linked to what he says about Christmas. Isn't it more about the fact that his very profound limitations and general disdain for the electorate have finally been exposed for all to see?

    The good news for the Tories is that it does all seem to be about Johnson rather than them generally. That means they should get a very strong bounce once he is gone. However, they need to get the timing of that right as beyond Sunak - who is himself exceptionally limited - there do not seem to be any even remotely credible candidates to replace him.

    Long-term, though, Johnson has done exceptional damage to his party and to the country. The Parliamentary party is packed full of populist nationalist culture warriors with a very strong aversion to geopolitical and trade realities, the rule of law, liberty and democracy. That will not end well for either the Tories or, more importantly, for all of us.

    I'm not sure, his limitations have always been obvious to anyone who was paying attention but somehow the right-wing press didn't mind - until they wanted to stop him doing something. I doubt they'll be consistently hostile if he does what they want.
    It was noticeable, if possibly coincidental, that some of the popular press turned against the PM at the same time as the (totally unfounded) rumours began circulating that there was something big about his behaviour that they were unable to tell us.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074
    moonshine said:

    SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/

    Yeah, the mildness is positive. But the negative is a simple equation: does the increased infectivity of the bu**er offset the milder disease?

    That's the central question IMO - and we don't know yet.

    (There are other questions, such as whether Omicron causes long Covid, or whether it has other effects. But these are long-term unknowns and can't really influence policy making as much as the immediate potential hospitalisation crisis.)
    What a shame we are having to make wild guesses, rather than having a country with 60 million population that has already gone through this that we can refer to.
    Because looking at the evidence from the other country, gives the ‘wrong’ answer.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321

    Agree with the poster who said the media in general and in particular the national press and the BBC( excepting only the Telegraph) have had a truly dreadful crisis. The tendency to focus on worst case scenarios at all times has destroyed their credibility.

    Just as well that none of us is like that.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482

    Jonathan said:

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
    Don't want to have my real life name used.
    Darn it. It’s reset your comments tally back to 1! That must be a kick in the nuts.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074

    Jonathan said:

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
    Don't want to have my real life name used.
    But then how are fellow PBers supposed to settle their bets with you? ;)
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 28,869

    tlg86 said:

    alex_ said:

    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
    You misinterpreted what I meant. Yes, some will die, more will get seriously ill, but more importantly, most will get some immunity to future strains. In six weeks from now, there won’t be anyone who has had no exposure to COVID-19.
    It's becoming noteworthy among what might be described as my extended family that some people are exposed to the virus, but don't seem to develop any symptoms. However sometimes, at a later, unrelated, date, they do.
    Yes, I never caught it when Mrs Foxy did, and am increasingly seeing people who are on their second bout. I am not that convinced that Omicron will act like an infectious vaccine. Immunity between strains does seem limited.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 42,552

    SCOOP: The Omicron coronavirus variant is causing a milder disease than the Delta strain in most Britons, U.K. government scientists are set to conclude. The U.K. Health Security Agency is due to publish its early real-world data on the severity of the disease before Christmas, and Playbook is told the experts are likely to offer a mixed outlook, with some positives and some negatives.

    https://www.politico.eu/newsletter/london-playbook/scoop-omicron-milder-in-uk-new-years-fireworks-liz-vs-no-10/

    Yeah, the mildness is positive. But the negative is a simple equation: does the increased infectivity of the bu**er offset the milder disease?

    That's the central question IMO - and we don't know yet.

    (There are other questions, such as whether Omicron causes long Covid, or whether it has other effects. But these are long-term unknowns and can't really influence policy making as much as the immediate potential hospitalisation crisis.)
    That's a very fair question:

    3x as many infections * 50% fewer hospitalisations per case...

    Still equals a 50% rise in hospitalisations.

    And we don't know anything for sure yet.

    But we do know South Africa (and Guateng province) have survived Omicron without restrictions. And we do know that hospitalisations aren't much lagged.

    So, given that Omicron is a massive share of cases, if we don't see hospitalisations ("for", not "with") soaring in the next day or so, we can probably start to breath a sigh of relief. In London, for example, we're probably not much more than a week or ten days away from Omicron peaking.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    Jonathan said:

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
    Don't want to have my real life name used.
    And there was me assuming that the likes of @YBarddCwsc, @Big_G_NorthWales and I had convinced you of the natural awesomeness of the Welsh and so you had decided to join us. Illusion shattered :disappointed:

    Ah, well, welcome anyway Barti Du.
  • GadflyGadfly Posts: 1,130
    edited December 2021
    Foxy said:

    Gadfly said:

    ydoethur said:

    alex_ said:

    pigeon said:

    Sandpit said:

    moonshine said:

    On Alison Pearson and lockdown from the 28th according to the supermarkets.

    I have heard similar third hand from a senior civil servant.

    Which if true, given the way Cabinet played out and the views of backbenchers, does make me wonder just what the feck happened to our democracy.

    It’s the civil service again trying to bounce the politicians into tightening restrictions, as they have done at every stage of the pandemic.

    I suspect that, after the fractious Cabinet meeting the other day, there will be resignations if more severe restrictions are to be imposed.

    Given that the Opposition are all in favour of the increased restrictions, it will probably take Graham Brady to point out that there will be a hundred letters on his desk if the government goes ahead.
    I think that Johnson might be able to get away with a circuit breaker, but only under the following conditions:

    1. An obvious and substantial uptick in the total number of Covid patients clogging the hospitals, which can be directly attributed to the rise in cases
    2. Cases haven't peaked and started falling again as in South Africa, i.e. there's good evidence that the pressure isn't going to ease anytime soon
    3. A generous business support package to stop half the hospitality and leisure sector being wiped out this time. Claiming that furlough (or, failing that, very generous grants to cover wages instead) is not needed if, for example, restaurants are still technically allowed to trade - but only with the rule of six, 2m distancing, and outdoors in January - won't cut it with anyone
    4. That the Parliamentary vote approving the lockdown states that it is strictly time limited, and that all of the restrictions are going to be dumped at the end of it, so that both people and businesses know when all the Covid crap is going in the bin and can plan with confidence accordingly

    Much of the Tory Party, the economy and the citizenry are reaching the end of their patience with being told to keep making sacrifices every time the hospitals get busy. But if all of the above conditions are met then I think Johnson's fractious backbenchers might be willing to wear one more lockdown, of no more than four weeks' duration, if it's presented as a means to defer some of the infections whilst the booster campaign is still in progress. And that's it.
    Who is the booster campaign still serving? Largely people who won’t get sick. Who are getting it to “do their bit to avoid lockdowns” etc. Introduce lockdowns anyway and they won’t bother. And Israel is about to commence boosters of boosters. It’s never ending. Johnson’s already played the “irreversible, no going back” card. I don’t see how he can play it again.
    The first company to produce a combined Covid, flu and rhinovirus jab will make a fortune.

    The first to produce a similar vaccine administered nasally will make a much bigger fortune.
    I do question how much vaccine hesitancy is simply down to people being 'scared of needles'.
    Nearly all of it seems to be anti-science from "research" on Facebook.
    That's certainly what refusers tell us, but it could be a face saving way of hiding their fear of jabs.
  • President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no room to retreat in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and would be forced into a tough response unless the West dropped its ‘aggressive line’ https://reut.rs/3Ewglnz

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1473560185109041153?s=20
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,334

    Israel to offer fourth coronavirus vaccine dose to over-60s, saying it is first nation set to roll it out

    On fairly limited evidence.
    That cohort were largely boosted over the summer, and they are worrying about fading antibody levels. Whether it's necessary isn't really possible to say for now.
  • FoxyFoxy Posts: 28,869

    Jonathan said:

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
    Don't want to have my real life name used.
    Taken up flint knapping perchance?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 35,334

    President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no room to retreat in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and would be forced into a tough response unless the West dropped its ‘aggressive line’ https://reut.rs/3Ewglnz

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1473560185109041153?s=20

    What's he on about ?
    We're just asking that he doesn't advance.
  • Jonathan said:

    The only slim chance the government have of regaining any credibility is to have no further lockdowns, and to gain credit for that as a vaccine success. Even then, they're on thin ice.

    It was good to see last night in America Joe Biden tackled Omicron in a very Presidential way: recommending booster jabs and the unvaccinated to get jabbed; activating FEMA to boost supply for hospitals, ambulances and vaccination centres; and telling people to be calm and that this is not March of last year. Not a hint of talking about restrictions or lockdowns or any other madness.

    The scientists, Civil Service, media and politicians here have become addicted to restrictions, to demand-side measures to manage the NHS. That's not their job, or their right. Post-vaccinations the politicians, scientists etc need to firmly be told that their job is to manage the supply side of the NHS. If that means taxing [preferably antivaxxers] and spending then that's their responsibility, lockdowns and restrictions are not. They need to rule out completely further restrictions.

    If Whitty and Vallance or Gove or anyone else can't get on board with that, then they should resign or be fired.

    Why the name change PT?
    Don't want to have my real life name used.
    So are you The Master to Sean's The Doctor, or is it the other way round? Two regenerating buccaneers slugging it out across time and space PB - lets hope its Moffatt writing in not Chibnall.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 36,074

    President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no room to retreat in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and would be forced into a tough response unless the West dropped its ‘aggressive line’ https://reut.rs/3Ewglnz

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1473560185109041153?s=20

    This is going to kick off over the holidays. It’ll start with what looks like a coup in Ukraine, to get a Russian-backed leadership in place, and if that fails it will be tanks over the border at Donetsk.

    All with the background of massively rising gas prices in Europe, and Putin threatening to restrict supplies further in the event of Westerners challenging what’s going on.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 44,985

    President Vladimir Putin said that Russia had no room to retreat in a standoff with the United States over Ukraine and would be forced into a tough response unless the West dropped its ‘aggressive line’ https://reut.rs/3Ewglnz

    https://twitter.com/Reuters/status/1473560185109041153?s=20

    If you don't stop telling me to do the thing I'm planning on doing, I'll be forced to do it anyway.

    If you don't stop telling me to be a twat, I'll be forced to be a bigger twat.

    He's totally lost the plot, hasn't he? I wonder if he's scared of disorder at home over his calamitously inept Covid response. But if he is, it's a bit stupid to send his entire army to try and control Ukraine.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 3,482
    Foxy said:

    tlg86 said:

    alex_ said:

    tlg86 said:

    It's time to deal with antivaxxers.

    "The chief operating officer at CUH, Dr Ewen Cameron said: "About 80 per cent of the people admitted to Addenbrooke’s with Covid, to intensive care units and general Covid wards, are unvaccinated." (*)

    If the NHS fails due to Omicron, a vast proportion of that failure would be down to the selfish fools (Hi, Dura_Ace!) who choose not to get vaccinated when they can. If we go into a lockdown (**), it will be because of the pressure they are putting on the NHS. And you don't even have to get Covid to be affected by them: get ill for another reason, or have an accident, and you may not get the treatment you require. And is we are forced into a lockdown, we all suffer.

    Their mindless, stupid selfishness will harm all of us. It's time they paid for their arrogance. Tax the fuc*ers. Treat them not with understanding for their scientific illiteracy and [email protected] they spread: treat them with the contempt they deserve.

    (*) https://www.cambridge-news.co.uk/news/cambridge-news/cambs-man-told-he-could-22518001
    (**) Hopefully not.

    Don’t worry, omicron will deal with the anti-vaxxers in short order.
    I hope not. Schadenfreude (or something related) it might be, but for all our futures we need omicron to prove to be fairly harmless.
    You misinterpreted what I meant. Yes, some will die, more will get seriously ill, but more importantly, most will get some immunity to future strains. In six weeks from now, there won’t be anyone who has had no exposure to COVID-19.
    It's becoming noteworthy among what might be described as my extended family that some people are exposed to the virus, but don't seem to develop any symptoms. However sometimes, at a later, unrelated, date, they do.
    Yes, I never caught it when Mrs Foxy did, and am increasingly seeing people who are on their second bout. I am not that convinced that Omicron will act like an infectious vaccine. Immunity between strains does seem limited.
    It doesn’t need to provide sterilising immunity. Only to build up sufficient stocks of T-Cells in everyone so that any future variant exhibits an even milder effect at a population level.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 38,321
    alex_ said:

    Chris said:

    alex_ said:

    I sometimes wonder if the “scientific” advice to ministers would be different if they were forced to confront the short and long term economic and societal consequences of what they are proposing (rather than just blithely dismiss as “not a matter for them”).

    I sometimes wonder whether politicians would act differently if they were forced to work in a hospital.
    Or if they were forced to serve in the Army. Or work in schools. Or as a zero hours worker. Or live on the average wage. Or run a small business. Or...

    We can all play this game. Of course they would. But it still doesn’t mean that the decisions that they take would be good ones for the country as a whole.

    And I suspect that even those in hospitals would like such things to result in funding them properly, with sufficient spare (or at least some sort of reserve) capacity and resources to respond to national emergencies, not to shut down society every time they get stretched to the limit. Which in the long run will only make the former more of a pipe dream.
    You are missing the vital point that it is so important that our politicians are more professional and more competent than those of previous generations, that they absolutely must be trained up by working in politics or campaigning or lobbying from the moment they leave education.

    At least I think that is the point?
This discussion has been closed.