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politicalbetting.com » Blog Archive » Suddenly the possible economic catastrophe becomes centre stag

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  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,945
    TGOHF666 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    I regret to say that I am far more pessimistic about our economic prospects than the OBR. I just do not see this immediate and enormous bounce back coming. What is going to happen, despite the excellent efforts of Rishi, is that hundreds of thousands of businesses are going to fail and not re-open. This is not only going to give us the immediate unemployment shock that the OBR has identified, it is going to wipe out the life savings for a generation of entrepreneurs whose houses will be at risk, whose retirement plans will be shot to hell and who face ruin. Our High streets, already struggling, are going to be boarded up on a scale we have never seen before.

    Added to this will be a very large number of self employed people like, well, me, who are going to lose 3 months income. Basically we are living off the tax money we had put aside for July. I am not sure how we are going to pay that debt to HMRC when it falls due in January. What I do know for a fact is that we, and millions like me, will be living extremely frugally for the next two or three years whilst we try to recover from this.

    I also think it is unrealistic to assume that those businesses that do survive will be able to carry on as normal. Many of their debtors will have gone bust or will simply not be worth suing if they continue in some form of zombie mode. Some of their suppliers will have gone bust and finding adequate replacements is going to be a challenge.

    In short there is not just going to be a massive reduction in income. There is going to be a long tail of weak or poor demand and extremely poor creditworthiness which means those businesses that survive will move cautiously, invest slowly and struggle.

    This is not the government's fault, they are doing more than most. I pity those countries in the EZ whose central bank is simply not helping while the likes of Germany look after themselves. This too will be a problem for us as our major market remains embroiled in a depression which active monetary policy could at least have mitigated. But charts like that on the front page of the Telegraph are just hugely optimistic, unrealistically so.

    Despite the huffing of certain Hard-Left Monetarists on here, if the above prediction comes true then governments around the world are going to prefer my solution of colossal, globally-coordinated money-printing to replace lost output rather than a decade-long Greater Depression. Hear me now, quote me later.
    The Conservatives are going to take all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. They will either impliedly default on their debts by printing money or expressly do so.

    The levels of taxation, borrowing and cuts required just aren’t going to be electorally tenable for long.
    Exactly so. And for the second time in 12 years politicians will (hopefully) find that large scale QE is much easier and less politically damaging than huge tax increases. How long will we need to wait for a third opportunity? What are the risks (Weimar Republic being one) and how do we mitigate them? Pandora has not just opened her box, she has taken charge. We need new economic thinking (and to remember some old economic thinking as well) about how to handle this.
    A bold Chancellor would be borrowing to the hilt now (at the current basement level rates) in preparation for stiffing the government’s creditors to the max when the inevitable is in due course required. If lenders are too dopey to see what’s coming, it’s acceptable to shoot sitting ducks.

    It will be a lot harder afterwards to borrow, but that’s true either way. You may as well fleece the dupes now.
    The problem is that its already a kind of Ponzi trick. Demand for UK gilts is being supported by the BoE's undertaking to buy them as a buyer of last resort. Without that I fear there would be very little uptake. But yes, get what you can now.
    There are worse investments than gilts out there at the moment.
    Certainly index linked gilts.
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 45,811
  • Options
    TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 40,670
    kle4 said:

    Meanwhile on LBC they keep playing Bet Victor adverts "Hey Harry, who will win the football tonight?"

    Who is managing the media campaign for Bet Victor? Who manages ad scheduling for LBC? Have neither of these stopped to think that they make their companies sound like utter tools playing out this stuff? They're telling everyone what we can't do any more. Whilst debating the impacts of the lockdown on people...

    I've gone through our social media plan with a fine toothcomb and weeded out stuff that just isn't appropriate any more. And we're only "broadcasting" on Facebook Twitter and Instagram. I'd be horrendously embarrassed to be responsible for playing out stuff on the radio to millions. Repeatedly. Every Day.

    The TV schedules are still packed with programmes like 'Escape to the Country', 'A Place in the Sun' and 'Cruising with Jane MacDonald'.
    Escapist fantasies.
    Or nightmares..
  • Options
    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Singapore makes wearing of face masks outside compulsory:

    The Singapore authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. Until at least 4 May all but essential workplaces, including most shops, are closed, as are all schools and education institutions.

    You should not socialise with anyone outside your immediate household. Unless your workplace is deemed essential you should stay in your place of residence other than for essential journeys for food, medical needs and exercise, and stay at least 1 metre away from anyone when out. The wearing of facemasks is compulsory for everyone when leaving their place of residence, except children under 2 or those engaged in strenuous exercise.

    Those who do not comply with these measures will be fined. Repeat offenders will face further fines and/or prosecution. Be aware that restrictions and penalties are subject to change at short notice.


    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/singapore/coronavirus
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488

    We know that Sweden is following a different path to most other countries, but I was very surprised to discover that my colleagues there are still working in the office rather than WFH.

    Getting desk jockeys out of circulation would appear to be an obvious thing to do with no economic downside.


    You would be astonished, I think, at how many people have

    1) Never worked from home, while spending most of their career in jobs which are trivial to WFH.
    2) Have not got the equipment required at home. No, I do not jest...

    It's a big jump for a lot of people. Just like not flying everywhere on premium airlines was after 9/11...
    I can't WFH, partly because I can't do much of my normal job from home, but partly because I am not considered "mobile" staff (despite currently working from 2 offices and recently 3) so I have not been issued with the mobile kit, which is required to dial in over WiFi. So I am currently off on paid special leave rather than WFH.

    But as someone who lives on his own, going to work is a way of having casual social contact. In normal times there is also my running club three times a week and parkrun, but if I don't feel like going down the pub then work is a normal part of my contact with people. And I suspect that people who don't live on their own like to get away from their partner/family. (I don't understand all the couples exercising and going shopping together, if you are banged up together 24/7 surely you need some time to yourself?)
    I quite understand your case. One problem is that many people have jobs that can be trivially turned to WFM - they do not understand that many can't.

    Part of the problem is that modern living - especially in London - has changed the home into a compact box where you sleep. You *live* outside it.
    In which case, expect many people to move out of London, getting themselves a bigger home with a bigger "office" - something more than just a place to sleep. If people still aren't going out to bars and concerts and movies and nightclubs of an evening, what is the pull of living in a shoebox in Covid Central?
  • Options

    eek said:



    This is one of those occasions where economists have only a step or two’s advantage over everyone else. There isn’t exactly much data on the economic effects of pandemics in a globalised economy.

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you, though for different reasons.

    The question of the government lifting the lockdown is a red herring. The question is when the public will feel safer and what economic activities they will start to resume. Different people will go at different paces but as a general rule, the wealthiest - the older generations - will be the most cautious.

    There is another bit that DavidL is missing even though I'm in the exact same boat. As soon as money starts coming in I'm saving it for the probably second lockdown later this year.
    A flip side too this is many will be spending far less than normal this spring, no holidays, commuting costs, pubs, restaurants, activities adds up. Most of those still have their normal incomes coming in (at this stage).

    Expecting the economy for the next year to be quite different to 2019 seems sensible. Exactly how it will pan out is possibly beyond our analytical capabilities, there is way too much uncertainty in how the virus, govts, businesses and consumers will interact. Some guesses will largely predict what happens, others not, but with a sample of one and lots of volatility, none of the guesses can be proven as accurate forecasts.
    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning. I was an advocate for HS2 - we need capacity on the lower WCML and if you are building capacity it makes sense to build high speed. Yet in this country we have utterly lost our ability to build infrastructure - we have endless hand-wringing both financial and environmental. And then do a half-job (witness the new A14(notM) Huntingdon bypass.

    However, CV19 is smashing 1/3rd off the size of our economy and stress testing a significant organisational change as to what kind of economy we have. We need HS2 because of the ocean of people commuting from Milton Keynes and similar towns into that London every day. Even a 20% drop in commuter numbers frees up capacity enough. Same with the extra runway at Heathrow - are we ever going back to the world of everyone flying everywhere everywhen? Commerce and business will resume. But as it was?

    If nothing else the revelation of this crisis has been the transformation in the air. The lack of pollution will save so many lives and improve so many more. Have more people work from home. Which means less offices and commuting. Which frees up urban places for people to live. Which regenerates localism and the high streets. Less travel and pollution. More live/work/shop local. The switch will drive a huge amount of economic activity, just not the same we had before.

    Or, we rush headlong back into status quo ante, knowing that it didn't work before.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,945

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    .

    Despite the huffing of certain Hard-Left Monetarists on here, if the above prediction comes true then governments around the world are going to prefer my solution of colossal, globally-coordinated money-printing to replace lost output rather than a decade-long Greater Depression. Hear me now, quote me later.
    Printing money only boosts demand if it retains its value. If it doesn't it simply wipes out existing capital. I have been going on for years that not enough attention has been paid to what happened to QE post 2008. Was it ultimately just too small a scale to make much difference? Did the sterialisation policies actually work? What about the countries that didn't use such policies (eg USA)? We are heading into unchartered waters and signposts are hard to find.
    But this is the part I (and probably most lay-persons) don't understand. Coronavirus is a completely exogenous shock - it came out of nowhere, and has nothing to do with the state or structure of the existing economic system. So in what way is it different to, for example, a hacker breaking into your bank account and taking £10K (or deleting it somehow, since CV doesn't use the money it destroys)? If £10K is then magically printed and deposited into your bank account, why would that cause hyperinflation a la Weimar, since all that is happening is a like-for-like restoration of the status quo ante?
    The distribution in your case is identical but also the hacker has £10k to spend as well so inflation apart there is an increase in aggregate demand. In the real world millions will suffer losses that they don't get back. The government will pump money into the system but it will be differently distributed. This will be highly disruptive. But I am not an economist, I just find it interesting.
  • Options
    rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 59,271
    DavidL said:

    TGOHF666 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    I regret to say that I am far more pessimistic about our economic prospects than the OBR. I just do not see this immediate and enormous bounce back coming. What is going to happen, despite the excellent efforts of Rishi, is that hundreds of thousands of businesses are going to fail and not re-open. This is not only going to give us the immediate unemployment shock that the OBR has identified, it is going to wipe out the life savings for a generation of entrepreneurs whose houses will be at risk, whose retirement plans will be shot to hell and who face ruin. Our High streets, already struggling, are going to be boarded up on a scale we have never seen before.

    Added to this will be a very large number of self employed people like, well, me, who are going to lose 3 months income. Basically we are living off the tax money we had put aside for July. I am not sure how we are going to pay that debt to HMRC when it falls due in January. What I do know for a fact is that we, and millions like me, will be living extremely frugally for the next two or three years whilst we try to recover from this.

    I also think it is unrealistic to assume that those businesses that do survive will be able to carry on as normal. Many of their debtors will have gone bust or will simply not be worth suing if they continue in some form of zombie mode. Some of their suppliers will have gone bust and finding adequate replacements is going to be a challenge.

    In short there is not just going to be a massive reduction in income. There is going to be a long tail of weak or poor demand and extremely poor creditworthiness which means those businesses that survive will move cautiously, invest slowly and struggle.

    This is not the government's fault, they are doing more than most. I pity those countries in the EZ whose central bank is simply not helping while the likes of Germany look after themselves. This too will be a problem for us as our major market remains embroiled in a depression which active monetary policy could at least have mitigated. But charts like that on the front page of the Telegraph are just hugely optimistic, unrealistically so.

    Despite the huffing of certain Hard-Left Monetarists on here, if the above prediction comes true then governments around the world are going to prefer my solution of colossal, globally-coordinated money-printing to replace lost output rather than a decade-long Greater Depression. Hear me now, quote me later.
    The Conservatives are going to take all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. They will either impliedly default on their debts by printing money or expressly do so.

    The levels of taxation, borrowing and cuts required just aren’t going to be electorally tenable for long.
    Exactly so. And for the second time in 12 years politicians will (hopefully) find that large scale QE is much easier and less politically damaging than huge tax increases. How long will we need to wait for a third opportunity? What are the risks (Weimar Republic being one) and how do we mitigate them? Pandora has not just opened her box, she has taken charge. We need new economic thinking (and to remember some old economic thinking as well) about how to handle this.
    A bold Chancellor would be borrowing to the hilt now (at the current basement level rates) in preparation for stiffing the government’s creditors to the max when the inevitable is in due course required. If lenders are too dopey to see what’s coming, it’s acceptable to shoot sitting ducks.

    It will be a lot harder afterwards to borrow, but that’s true either way. You may as well fleece the dupes now.
    The problem is that its already a kind of Ponzi trick. Demand for UK gilts is being supported by the BoE's undertaking to buy them as a buyer of last resort. Without that I fear there would be very little uptake. But yes, get what you can now.
    There are worse investments than gilts out there at the moment.
    Certainly index linked gilts.
    Perhaps the finance gurus on here could help me. I had a look at indexed gilts, with a view to helping a family member who has some savings. The gilts have different redemption dates. If one is buying these as a hedge against run away inflation in say next five years does it matter too much what redemption date you are buying?
  • Options
    FoxyFoxy Posts: 45,811
    HYUFD said:
    Currently we cannot re swab patients because of capacity issues, and Social Care cannot isolate patients awaiting results as inadequate PPE and training.

    Why promise something that is certain to be undeliverable?
  • Options
    QuincelQuincel Posts: 4,020

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    We also need the Govt. to source enough temperature check devices, so that every office, restaurant, cinema, club, bar, bus, tube station, railway station has the means to check for fever.

    I can also see a world where if you have a temperature above x, you cannot legally leave home, other than to go to hospital. Every home is going to need a thermometer if you are going to enforce that. Great news if you make thermometers....
  • Options
    geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,298
    Coming out of the virus-induced slump will involve some "scarring to the economy" according to the OBR. This eye-catching phrase implies that we will not return to the status quo ante. Parts of the economy will be permanently damaged. It used to be called "hysteresis". Some activities/firms/jobs will be lost forever. This will happen to most economies whatever their comparative performance in dealing with the pandemic. Even the likes of South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore, whose management of the emergency appears to be exemplary, will suffer.

    The key to a good economic recovery will be flexible labour and capital markets able to adapt rapidly to the changes and opportunities that arise in the new economic landscape. Our government's policy of preserving jobs via publicly funded furlough should not be used to keep things preserved in aspic. There will be changes, and the rules and regulations set by the government (e.g. on planning, green belts, job protection and so on) should adapt pari passu. The restoration of the public finances must not damage enterprise and innovation.
  • Options
    rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 59,271
    Foxy said:

    HYUFD said:
    Currently we cannot re swab patients because of capacity issues, and Social Care cannot isolate patients awaiting results as inadequate PPE and training.

    Why promise something that is certain to be undeliverable?
    Struck me as near impossible the second I read it. Where are they going to be isolated?
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,945

    Singapore makes wearing of face masks outside compulsory:

    The Singapore authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. Until at least 4 May all but essential workplaces, including most shops, are closed, as are all schools and education institutions.

    You should not socialise with anyone outside your immediate household. Unless your workplace is deemed essential you should stay in your place of residence other than for essential journeys for food, medical needs and exercise, and stay at least 1 metre away from anyone when out. The wearing of facemasks is compulsory for everyone when leaving their place of residence, except children under 2 or those engaged in strenuous exercise.

    Those who do not comply with these measures will be fined. Repeat offenders will face further fines and/or prosecution. Be aware that restrictions and penalties are subject to change at short notice.


    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/singapore/coronavirus

    This is common sense but when we have care workers in the low millions going in and out the homes of the frail and elderly residing at home is it the priority? I was in the chemists yesterday for a prescription. They were wearing masks but there were none for sale.
  • Options
    SlackbladderSlackbladder Posts: 9,713
    Foxy said:

    Mortimer said:

    DavidL said:

    I regret to say that I am far more pessimistic about our economic prospects than the OBR. I just do not see this immediate and enormous bounce back coming. What is going to happen, despite the excellent efforts of Rishi, is that hundreds of thousands of businesses are going to fail and not re-open. This is not only going to give us the immediate unemployment shock that the OBR has identified, it is going to wipe out the life savings for a generation of entrepreneurs whose houses will be at risk, whose retirement plans will be shot to hell and who face ruin. Our High streets, already struggling, are going to be boarded up on a scale we have never seen before.

    Added to this will be a very large number of self employed people like, well, me, who are going to lose 3 months income. Basically we are living off the tax money we had put aside for July. I am not sure how we are going to pay that debt to HMRC when it falls due in January. What I do know for a fact is that we, and millions like me, will be living extremely frugally for the next two or three years whilst we try to recover from this.

    I also think it is unrealistic to assume that those businesses that do survive will be able to carry on as normal. Many of their debtors will have gone bust or will simply not be worth suing if they continue in some form of zombie mode. Some of their suppliers will have gone bust and finding adequate replacements is going to be a challenge.

    In short there is not just going to be a massive reduction in income. There is going to be a long tail of weak or poor demand and extremely poor creditworthiness which means those businesses that survive will move cautiously, invest slowly and struggle.

    This is not the government's fault, they are doing more than most. I pity those countries in the EZ whose central bank is simply not helping while the likes of Germany look after themselves. This too will be a problem for us as our major market remains embroiled in a depression which active monetary policy could at least have mitigated. But charts like that on the front page of the Telegraph are just hugely optimistic, unrealistically so.

    This is one of those occasions where economists have only a step or two’s advantage over everyone else. There isn’t exactly much data on the economic effects of pandemics in a globalised economy.

    For what it’s worth, I agree with you, though for different reasons.

    The question of the government lifting the lockdown is a red herring. The question is when the public will feel safer and what economic activities they will start to resume. Different people will go at different paces but as a general rule, the wealthiest - the older generations - will be the most cautious.
    I totally agree with you both. Economically, this is the calm before the storm. The storm comes when we're supposedly released from lockdown, but 20% of the population stays in and 80% of the population cuts back its discretionary spending...
    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
  • Options
    malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 42,462
    edited April 2020
    eek said:

    malcolmg said:

    Gompels have been leant on big time and told to change their tune or else. Stronger Together , pooling and sharing my arse.
    You always have to be right even when it's the SNP that have been caught out lying to cover their incompetency.

    Of course your typical SNP support hears the word independency and ignores the complete incompetency of those who are shouting it to distract from their mistakes.

    What's worse is that by falsely blaming others, those people will no longer be interested in helping you out - I know that were it my company any Scottish Government order would be automatically rejected - I have enough customers that I refuse to deal with troublesome ones. Life is too short even before a virus could kill me in a week times.
    Even though they had letters stating that government agencies told them not to supply Scotland. The sooner we are away from the corrupt rotten UK the better.
    PS: WTF had it to do with independence
  • Options
    NigelbNigelb Posts: 64,109

    We know that Sweden is following a different path to most other countries, but I was very surprised to discover that my colleagues there are still working in the office rather than WFH.

    Getting desk jockeys out of circulation would appear to be an obvious thing to do with no economic downside.


    You would be astonished, I think, at how many people have

    1) Never worked from home, while spending most of their career in jobs which are trivial to WFH.
    2) Have not got the equipment required at home. No, I do not jest...

    It's a big jump for a lot of people. Just like not flying everywhere on premium airlines was after 9/11...
    I can't WFH, partly because I can't do much of my normal job from home, but partly because I am not considered "mobile" staff (despite currently working from 2 offices and recently 3) so I have not been issued with the mobile kit, which is required to dial in over WiFi. So I am currently off on paid special leave rather than WFH.

    But as someone who lives on his own, going to work is a way of having casual social contact. In normal times there is also my running club three times a week and parkrun, but if I don't feel like going down the pub then work is a normal part of my contact with people. And I suspect that people who don't live on their own like to get away from their partner/family. (I don't understand all the couples exercising and going shopping together, if you are banged up together 24/7 surely you need some time to yourself?)
    I quite understand your case. One problem is that many people have jobs that can be trivially turned to WFM - they do not understand that many can't.

    Part of the problem is that modern living - especially in London - has changed the home into a compact box where you sleep. You *live* outside it.

    In the WFH world - well, everyone will need a home office....

    I was speaking of people I know - they spend the day on the phone/on the computer. No visitors to the office. No on sites. Occasional trips to meet the people on the other end of the phone - to build working relationships.... WFH is technically trivial for them, but they have never done it and are not setup. It is a big step for them.
    Given the crap broadband I've experienced in various locations (including London), it's not entirely trivial, technically.
  • Options
    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    edited April 2020
    malcolmg said:

    eek said:

    malcolmg said:

    Gompels have been leant on big time and told to change their tune or else. Stronger Together , pooling and sharing my arse.
    You always have to be right even when it's the SNP that have been caught out lying to cover their incompetency.

    Of course your typical SNP support hears the word independency and ignores the complete incompetency of those who are shouting it to distract from their mistakes.

    What's worse is that by falsely blaming others, those people will no longer be interested in helping you out - I know that were it my company any Scottish Government order would be automatically rejected - I have enough customers that I refuse to deal with troublesome ones. Life is too short even before a virus could kill me in a week times.
    Even though they had letters stating that government agencies told them not to supply Scotland. The sooner we are away from the corrupt rotten UK the better.
    Was a dead cat to distract from the overpromoted *history graduate's massive U-turn on supporting Scottish business.

    *MSc in Diaspora and Migration History
  • Options
    DavidLDavidL Posts: 51,945

    DavidL said:

    TGOHF666 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    I regret to say that I am far more pessimistic about our economic prospects than the OBR. I just do not see this immediate and enormous bounce back coming. What is going to happen, despite the excellent efforts of Rishi, is that hundreds of thousands of businesses are going to fail and not re-open. This is not only going to give us the immediate unemployment shock that the OBR has identified, it is going to wipe out the life savings for a generation of entrepreneurs whose houses will be at risk, whose retirement plans will be shot to hell and who face ruin. Our High streets, already struggling, are going to be boarded up on a scale we have never seen before.

    Added to this will be a very large number of self employed people like, well, me, who are going to lose 3 months income. Basically we are living off the tax money we had put aside for July. I am not sure how we are going to pay that debt to HMRC when it falls due in January. What I do know for a fact is that we, and millions like me, will be living extremely frugally for the next two or three years whilst we try to recover from this.

    I also think it is unrealistic to assume that those businesses that do survive will be able to carry on as normal. Many of their debtors will have gone bust or will simply not be worth suing if they continue in some form of zombie mode. Some of their suppliers will have gone bust and finding adequate replacements is going to be a challenge.

    In short there is not just going to be a massive reduction in income. There is going to be a long tail of weak or poor demand and extremely poor creditworthiness which means those businesses that survive will move cautiously, invest slowly and struggle.

    This is not the government's fault, they are doing more than most. I pity those countries in the EZ whose central bank is simply not helping while the likes of Germany look after themselves. This too will be a problem for us as our major market remains embroiled in a depression which active monetary policy could at least have mitigated. But charts like that on the front page of the Telegraph are just hugely optimistic, unrealistically so.

    Despite the huffing of certain Hard-Left Monetarists on here, if the above prediction comes true then governments around the world are going to prefer my solution of colossal, globally-coordinated money-printing to replace lost output rather than a decade-long Greater Depression. Hear me now, quote me later.
    The Conservatives are going to take all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. They will either impliedly default on their debts by printing money or expressly do so.

    The levels of taxation, borrowing and cuts required just aren’t going to be electorally tenable for long.
    Exactly so. And for the second time in 12 years politicians will (hopefully) find that large scale QE is much easier and less politically damaging than huge tax increases. How long will we need to wait for a third opportunity? What are the risks (Weimar Republic being one) and how do we mitigate them? Pandora has not just opened her box, she has taken charge. We need new economic thinking (and to remember some old economic thinking as well) about how to handle this.
    A bold Chancellor would be borrowing to the hilt now (at the current basement level rates) in preparation for stiffing the government’s creditors to the max when the inevitable is in due course required. If lenders are too dopey to see what’s coming, it’s acceptable to shoot sitting ducks.

    It will be a lot harder afterwards to borrow, but that’s true either way. You may as well fleece the dupes now.
    The problem is that its already a kind of Ponzi trick. Demand for UK gilts is being supported by the BoE's undertaking to buy them as a buyer of last resort. Without that I fear there would be very little uptake. But yes, get what you can now.
    There are worse investments than gilts out there at the moment.
    Certainly index linked gilts.
    Perhaps the finance gurus on here could help me. I had a look at indexed gilts, with a view to helping a family member who has some savings. The gilts have different redemption dates. If one is buying these as a hedge against run away inflation in say next five years does it matter too much what redemption date you are buying?
    The longer the redemption date the better your "hedge" against that runaway inflation is. Of course shorter redemption rates means that you are guaranteed to get your capital back quicker but this is less important so long as the market for UK gilts remains liquid. I am not in a position to give financial advice but if I were and had capital to invest at the moment I would be looking hard at longer dated index linked gilts.
  • Options
    malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 42,462
    Carnyx said:

    TGOHF666 said:

    Hopefully the scales are falling from the eyes of those outside Scotland who can’t see Nippy for the decisive figure who will play the bigot card when under pressure.



    She was saying "I Haven't heard of this and I need to know more before I can comment"!

    And it's no good citing the firm at the centre of the row when it is saying the complete opposite of what it said 1-2 days ago. Plainly there was something odd happening.

    If that's bigoted ...!
    It is your typical unionist response when caught red handed. They have been leant on heavily by Westminster. You can always expect Harry to be anti Scottish.
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    BannedinnParisBannedinnParis Posts: 1,884

    Singapore makes wearing of face masks outside compulsory:

    The Singapore authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. Until at least 4 May all but essential workplaces, including most shops, are closed, as are all schools and education institutions.

    You should not socialise with anyone outside your immediate household. Unless your workplace is deemed essential you should stay in your place of residence other than for essential journeys for food, medical needs and exercise, and stay at least 1 metre away from anyone when out. The wearing of facemasks is compulsory for everyone when leaving their place of residence, except children under 2 or those engaged in strenuous exercise.

    Those who do not comply with these measures will be fined. Repeat offenders will face further fines and/or prosecution. Be aware that restrictions and penalties are subject to change at short notice.


    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/singapore/coronavirus

    This is Singapore, who had previously seen to be on top of it, moving to lockdown.
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    felixfelix Posts: 15,125

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    We also need the Govt. to source enough temperature check devices, so that every office, restaurant, cinema, club, bar, bus, tube station, railway station has the means to check for fever.

    I can also see a world where if you have a temperature above x, you cannot legally leave home, other than to go to hospital. Every home is going to need a thermometer if you are going to enforce that. Great news if you make thermometers....
    Well - we have 2 in the house and in our area I know of no-one without one. I suspect in the last 3 months a very high proportion of households will have done it - certainly among these who can easily afford them.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    DavidL said:

    Singapore makes wearing of face masks outside compulsory:

    The Singapore authorities have introduced a number of measures to limit the spread of the virus. Until at least 4 May all but essential workplaces, including most shops, are closed, as are all schools and education institutions.

    You should not socialise with anyone outside your immediate household. Unless your workplace is deemed essential you should stay in your place of residence other than for essential journeys for food, medical needs and exercise, and stay at least 1 metre away from anyone when out. The wearing of facemasks is compulsory for everyone when leaving their place of residence, except children under 2 or those engaged in strenuous exercise.

    Those who do not comply with these measures will be fined. Repeat offenders will face further fines and/or prosecution. Be aware that restrictions and penalties are subject to change at short notice.


    https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/singapore/coronavirus

    This is common sense but when we have care workers in the low millions going in and out the homes of the frail and elderly residing at home is it the priority? I was in the chemists yesterday for a prescription. They were wearing masks but there were none for sale.
    The worry is that "wearing masks outside the home" leads symptomatic people to believe its ok to go out with a mask on. The messaging in this is very tricky and the further you get from very simple messages (which even now some are not adhering to) the more control is likely to break down.
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    Nigelb said:

    Given the crap broadband I've experienced in various locations (including London), it's not entirely trivial, technically.

    Something that 5G has the ability to fix for good. Providing that people stop burning down the masts.
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    NerysHughesNerysHughes Posts: 3,375
    edited April 2020

    rkrkrk said:

    Nigelb said:

    Good long read article in Nature, which delves into the complexities of testing.

    https://twitter.com/NatureNews/status/1250129207189032962

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    I still don't understand why the UK is unable to do more testing. If we have 50 labs doing this, how come we are only doing 15,000 tests/day?

    One lab mentioned in the article can do 2,000 tests/day.

    There's clearly some bottleneck, but I haven't yet seen an article that explains it.
    My other half works as a geneticist in an NHS lab where PCR machines are used in the diagnosis of genetic cancers. A couple of weeks ago, she was fully expecting that they would be switched to Covid-19 testing. This never happened, and she's somewhat baffled as to the reason why, especially as their regular work is drying up due to the lack of samples arriving.
    I'm prepared to give something of a pass this time around, just because of the "We're all about to die!" tone of the political response to Covid-19 and the NHS. But the way in which some hospitals have paused everything and - because of the lack of local Covid cases - are effectively doing nothing, needs to be examined and lessons learnt.

    You would hope that in any second wave, the Nightingale Hospitals would be sufficiently staffed up and able to take the load that other hospitals would be able to return to much of their usual workload. That in itself would be an immense relief to many people whose more immediate health worry has been something other than the virus, and in many cases has condemned them to months more of pain.

    There will also be quite a head of steam to see how we lock in this change from people just rocking up to A&E. It has clearly had an immediate and massive impact on numbers. It may in some cases lead to bad outcomes long term, but ther ehas to be an examination of the previous and subsequent caseloads. Who isn't turning up pany more, what ailments? It can't be as simple as heart attack victims just staying home to die.
    I did say thee weeks ago that hospitals were extremely quiet but was shouted down by Tyson and Co and told that I was just giving misinformation. Even now that we are at "peak" there is still plenty of capacity in hospitals.I know many nurses who say they have never done so little at work. Its really odd that we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century apparently, yet our hospitals have far more capacity than they would have had 6 months ago.
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    malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 42,462

    Scott_xP said:
    Complete with dig:

    “Our support for business now exceeds the £2.2 billion passed on from the UK Government and actively works to fill the gaps in the UK schemes.

    If grievance was a cure for Covid-19 we'd know where to find it.

    With Brent Crude at $28......
    Typical jingoistic unionist, Scottish Government enhance their scheme but still unionists whine and whinge. How are loans going in Engerland , has anybody got any money yet.
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    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.
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    tlg86tlg86 Posts: 25,460
    On the economy, it all comes back to mortgages and the banks, doesn’t it? The government will do whatever it takes to prevent repossessions and bank failures.
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    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    malcolmg said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Complete with dig:

    “Our support for business now exceeds the £2.2 billion passed on from the UK Government and actively works to fill the gaps in the UK schemes.

    If grievance was a cure for Covid-19 we'd know where to find it.

    With Brent Crude at $28......
    Typical jingoistic unionist, Scottish Government enhance their scheme but still unionists whine and whinge. How are loans going in Engerland , has anybody got any money yet.

    Was some U-turn though malc -surprised Ms Forbes hasn't got whiplash.
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    nichomarnichomar Posts: 7,483

    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.
    Who gets the money? If the NHS what is it spent on? Whilst a Nobel effort it would be better going to bereaved realatives of NHS workers.
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    eekeek Posts: 25,848
    edited April 2020

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Vue furloughed all their staff until at least the end of June yesterday
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    rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 59,271
    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    TGOHF666 said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    DavidL said:

    I regret to say that I am far more pessimistic about our economic prospects than the OBR. I just do not see this immediate and enormous bounce back coming. What is going to happen, despite the excellent efforts of Rishi, is that hundreds of thousands of businesses are going to fail and not re-open. This is not only going to give us the immediate unemployment shock that the OBR has identified, it is going to wipe out the life savings for a generation of entrepreneurs whose houses will be at risk, whose retirement plans will be shot to hell and who face ruin. Our High streets, already struggling, are going to be boarded up on a scale we have never seen before.

    Added to this will be a very large number of self employed people like, well, me, who are going to lose 3 months income. Basically we are living off the tax money we had put aside for July. I am not sure how we are going to pay that debt to HMRC when it falls due in January. What I do know for a fact is that we, and millions like me, will be living extremely frugally for the next two or three years whilst we try to recover from this.

    I also think it is unrealistic to assume that those businesses that do survive will be able to carry on as normal. Many of their debtors will have gone bust or will simply not be worth suing if they continue in some form of zombie mode. Some of their suppliers will have gone bust and finding adequate replacements is going to be a challenge.

    In short there is not just going to be a massive reduction in income. There is going to be a long tail of weak or poor demand and extremely poor creditworthiness which means those businesses that survive will move cautiously, invest slowly and struggle.

    This is not the government's fault, they are doing more than most. I pity those countries in the EZ whose central bank is simply not helping while the likes of Germany look after themselves. This too will be a problem for us as our major market remains embroiled in a depression which active monetary policy could at least have mitigated. But charts like that on the front page of the Telegraph are just hugely optimistic, unrealistically so.

    Despite the huffing of certain Hard-Left Monetarists on here, if the above prediction comes true then governments around the world are going to prefer my solution of colossal, globally-coordinated money-printing to replace lost output rather than a decade-long Greater Depression. Hear me now, quote me later.
    The Conservatives are going to take all of Jeremy Corbyn’s policies. They will either impliedly default on their debts by printing money or expressly do so.

    The levels of taxation, borrowing and cuts required just aren’t going to be electorally tenable for long.
    Exactly so. And for the second time in 12 years politicians will (hopefully) find that large scale QE is much easier and less politically damaging than huge tax increases. How long will we need to wait for a third opportunity? What are the risks (Weimar Republic being one) and how do we mitigate them? Pandora has not just opened her box, she has taken charge. We need new economic thinking (and to remember some old economic thinking as well) about how to handle this.
    A bold Chancellor would be borrowing to the hilt now (at the current basement level rates) in preparation for stiffing the government’s creditors to the max when the inevitable is in due course required. If lenders are too dopey to see what’s coming, it’s acceptable to shoot sitting ducks.

    It will be a lot harder afterwards to borrow, but that’s true either way. You may as well fleece the dupes now.
    The problem is that its already a kind of Ponzi trick. Demand for UK gilts is being supported by the BoE's undertaking to buy them as a buyer of last resort. Without that I fear there would be very little uptake. But yes, get what you can now.
    There are worse investments than gilts out there at the moment.
    Certainly index linked gilts.
    Perhaps the finance gurus on here could help me. I had a look at indexed gilts, with a view to helping a family member who has some savings. The gilts have different redemption dates. If one is buying these as a hedge against run away inflation in say next five years does it matter too much what redemption date you are buying?
    The longer the redemption date the better your "hedge" against that runaway inflation is. Of course shorter redemption rates means that you are guaranteed to get your capital back quicker but this is less important so long as the market for UK gilts remains liquid. I am not in a position to give financial advice but if I were and had capital to invest at the moment I would be looking hard at longer dated index linked gilts.
    Thanks.
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    SockySocky Posts: 404

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
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    geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,298
    If this is the peak when we haven't yet reached NHS capacity then the policy to lower and extend the peak has worked.
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    ChrisChris Posts: 11,369

    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.
    He's definitely worth more than the lot of us here put together, though.
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    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    Moth du Jour: Sallow Kitten


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    eekeek Posts: 25,848
    edited April 2020
    malcolmg said:

    eek said:

    malcolmg said:

    Gompels have been leant on big time and told to change their tune or else. Stronger Together , pooling and sharing my arse.
    You always have to be right even when it's the SNP that have been caught out lying to cover their incompetency.

    Of course your typical SNP support hears the word independency and ignores the complete incompetency of those who are shouting it to distract from their mistakes.

    What's worse is that by falsely blaming others, those people will no longer be interested in helping you out - I know that were it my company any Scottish Government order would be automatically rejected - I have enough customers that I refuse to deal with troublesome ones. Life is too short even before a virus could kill me in a week times.
    Even though they had letters stating that government agencies told them not to supply Scotland. The sooner we are away from the corrupt rotten UK the better.
    PS: WTF had it to do with independence
    Sorry I forgot you have an England is always against us argument to go with the Independence once.

    But it seems it was PHE stock that was recertified. Surely it can be reserved and returned to the people who initial purchased it and supplied it? In the same way the PH Scotland could do the same.
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    geoffwgeoffw Posts: 8,298

    Moth du Jour: Sallow Kitten


    Thanks for the brilliant moth pictures.
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    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    geoffw said:

    If this is the peak when we haven't yet reached NHS capacity then the policy to lower and extend the peak has worked.

    Peak deaths was 8th April - one might suggest that the govt has done a reasonable job of preventing capacity to be reached.
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    BurgessianBurgessian Posts: 2,480
    TGOHF666 said:

    Hopefully the scales are falling from the eyes of those outside Scotland who can’t see Nippy for the decisive figure who will play the bigot card when under pressure.



    Her response was sadly mealy-mouthed unlike that of the Chief Clinical Officer. But then the Salmondites are out to get her.
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    eekeek Posts: 25,848



    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning. I was an advocate for HS2 - we need capacity on the lower WCML and if you are building capacity it makes sense to build high speed. Yet in this country we have utterly lost our ability to build infrastructure - we have endless hand-wringing both financial and environmental. And then do a half-job (witness the new A14(notM) Huntingdon bypass.

    However, CV19 is smashing 1/3rd off the size of our economy and stress testing a significant organisational change as to what kind of economy we have. We need HS2 because of the ocean of people commuting from Milton Keynes and similar towns into that London every day. Even a 20% drop in commuter numbers frees up capacity enough. Same with the extra runway at Heathrow - are we ever going back to the world of everyone flying everywhere everywhen? Commerce and business will resume. But as it was?

    If nothing else the revelation of this crisis has been the transformation in the air. The lack of pollution will save so many lives and improve so many more. Have more people work from home. Which means less offices and commuting. Which frees up urban places for people to live. Which regenerates localism and the high streets. Less travel and pollution. More live/work/shop local. The switch will drive a huge amount of economic activity, just not the same we had before.

    Or, we rush headlong back into status quo ante, knowing that it didn't work before.

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.
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    CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 25,269
    ydoethur said:

    The real issue is operating the loan system through the banks. I imagine the idea is to keep headline government borrowing to manageable levels, but given the fact that (a) our banks are still a badly run shambles and (b) nobody has any faith in them whatsoever, the system they have devised would still be running into all kinds of trouble even if they weren’t feathering their own nests.

    As has been said on here countless times, well by me anyway, they should bypass the banks and make grants not loans. Oh and be more generous. Sure it will cost but not half as much as allowing a depression to happen faute de mieux and it buys time for the health measures to have a chance of working.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Tomorrow's front page of the Nat Onal?

    https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1250337873938677760?s=20

    Probably not.......
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    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    geoffw said:

    Moth du Jour: Sallow Kitten


    Thanks for the brilliant moth pictures.
    Very happy to provide the distraction of an insight into a word most know nothing much about. (Although, there are more folk here who know more about them than would be reasonable to expect....such is pb.com!!)
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    FloaterFloater Posts: 14,195

    rkrkrk said:

    Nigelb said:

    Good long read article in Nature, which delves into the complexities of testing.

    https://twitter.com/NatureNews/status/1250129207189032962

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    I still don't understand why the UK is unable to do more testing. If we have 50 labs doing this, how come we are only doing 15,000 tests/day?

    One lab mentioned in the article can do 2,000 tests/day.

    There's clearly some bottleneck, but I haven't yet seen an article that explains it.
    My other half works as a geneticist in an NHS lab where PCR machines are used in the diagnosis of genetic cancers. A couple of weeks ago, she was fully expecting that they would be switched to Covid-19 testing. This never happened, and she's somewhat baffled as to the reason why, especially as their regular work is drying up due to the lack of samples arriving.
    I'm prepared to give something of a pass this time around, just because of the "We're all about to die!" tone of the political response to Covid-19 and the NHS. But the way in which some hospitals have paused everything and - because of the lack of local Covid cases - are effectively doing nothing, needs to be examined and lessons learnt.

    You would hope that in any second wave, the Nightingale Hospitals would be sufficiently staffed up and able to take the load that other hospitals would be able to return to much of their usual workload. That in itself would be an immense relief to many people whose more immediate health worry has been something other than the virus, and in many cases has condemned them to months more of pain.

    There will also be quite a head of steam to see how we lock in this change from people just rocking up to A&E. It has clearly had an immediate and massive impact on numbers. It may in some cases lead to bad outcomes long term, but ther ehas to be an examination of the previous and subsequent caseloads. Who isn't turning up pany more, what ailments? It can't be as simple as heart attack victims just staying home to die.
    I did say thee weeks ago that hospitals were extremely quiet but was shouted down by Tyson and Co and told that I was just giving misinformation. Even now that we are at "peak" there is still plenty of capacity in hospitals.I know many nurses who say they have never done so little at work. Its really odd that we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century apparently, yet our hospitals have far more capacity than they would have had 6 months ago.
    And people including front line doctors point out to you time and time again why some parts of the system are markedly less busy.

    Yet you keep ignoring them, why?
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    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,517

    We know that Sweden is following a different path to most other countries, but I was very surprised to discover that my colleagues there are still working in the office rather than WFH.

    Getting desk jockeys out of circulation would appear to be an obvious thing to do with no economic downside.


    You would be astonished, I think, at how many people have

    1) Never worked from home, while spending most of their career in jobs which are trivial to WFH.
    2) Have not got the equipment required at home. No, I do not jest...

    It's a big jump for a lot of people. Just like not flying everywhere on premium airlines was after 9/11...
    I can't WFH, partly because I can't do much of my normal job from home, but partly because I am not considered "mobile" staff (despite currently working from 2 offices and recently 3) so I have not been issued with the mobile kit, which is required to dial in over WiFi. So I am currently off on paid special leave rather than WFH.

    But as someone who lives on his own, going to work is a way of having casual social contact. In normal times there is also my running club three times a week and parkrun, but if I don't feel like going down the pub then work is a normal part of my contact with people. And I suspect that people who don't live on their own like to get away from their partner/family. (I don't understand all the couples exercising and going shopping together, if you are banged up together 24/7 surely you need some time to yourself?)
    I quite understand your case. One problem is that many people have jobs that can be trivially turned to WFM - they do not understand that many can't.

    Part of the problem is that modern living - especially in London - has changed the home into a compact box where you sleep. You *live* outside it.
    In which case, expect many people to move out of London, getting themselves a bigger home with a bigger "office" - something more than just a place to sleep. If people still aren't going out to bars and concerts and movies and nightclubs of an evening, what is the pull of living in a shoebox in Covid Central?
    But people living in houses is a Crime Against Nature!

    Seriously - there are attempts to get blocks of flats built in the countryside in Kent. In villages...
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    FloaterFloater Posts: 14,195

    Tomorrow's front page of the Nat Onal?

    https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1250337873938677760?s=20

    Probably not.......

    Oh well Malc will have to find something to express fake outrage over.
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    MattWMattW Posts: 19,415
    nichomar said:

    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.
    Who gets the money? If the NHS what is it spent on? Whilst a Nobel effort it would be better going to bereaved realatives of NHS workers.
    For NHS charities, I think.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
  • Options
    MattWMattW Posts: 19,415
    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    It means go ahead with real building ... only done prep so far.

    I'm not sure if it was due now, but its going to be shovel-ready economic underpinning.
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    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    malcolmg said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Complete with dig:

    “Our support for business now exceeds the £2.2 billion passed on from the UK Government and actively works to fill the gaps in the UK schemes.

    If grievance was a cure for Covid-19 we'd know where to find it.

    With Brent Crude at $28......
    Typical jingoistic unionist, Scottish Government enhance their scheme but still unionists whine and whinge. How are loans going in Engerland , has anybody got any money yet.
    https://twitter.com/euanmccolm/status/1250343769938882561?s=20
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    Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 4,974
    TGOHF666 said:

    geoffw said:

    If this is the peak when we haven't yet reached NHS capacity then the policy to lower and extend the peak has worked.

    Peak deaths was 8th April - one might suggest that the govt has done a reasonable job of preventing capacity to be reached.
    Again, not so quick. Some time after the peak days for new cases and for deaths, hospital admissions and ICU admissions in Italy still outstripped discharges. It was only mid/late last week when Italy's hospitalisation and ICU usage started dropping. So, we are perhaps still a couple of weeks away from hospital bed peak volumes: it is the factor that lags most.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    Chris said:

    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.
    He's definitely worth more than the lot of us here put together, though.
    You'll get no argument from me. But if this had happened a year ago, I doubt he would have raised much more than his initial target of a £1,000. But strange things happen in strange time. The NHS is our new god - and people want to make votive offerings to it.

    No argument from me - I'm one of them.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    No, construction has been allowed to start.

    The money would not be available elsewhere. The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return. So if the railway isn't built, the money doesn't exist.

    But it also means that a very large number of people whose jobs were in doubt are now secure as well. Which is not to be sneered at in these times.

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.
  • Options
    SockySocky Posts: 404
    eek said:

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.

    1) Really fast broadband, everywhere.

    2) New factories making PPE.
  • Options
    NerysHughesNerysHughes Posts: 3,375
    Floater said:

    rkrkrk said:

    Nigelb said:

    Good long read article in Nature, which delves into the complexities of testing.

    https://twitter.com/NatureNews/status/1250129207189032962

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    I still don't understand why the UK is unable to do more testing. If we have 50 labs doing this, how come we are only doing 15,000 tests/day?

    One lab mentioned in the article can do 2,000 tests/day.

    There's clearly some bottleneck, but I haven't yet seen an article that explains it.
    My other half works as a geneticist in an NHS lab where PCR machines are used in the diagnosis of genetic cancers. A couple of weeks ago, she was fully expecting that they would be switched to Covid-19 testing. This never happened, and she's somewhat baffled as to the reason why, especially as their regular work is drying up due to the lack of samples arriving.
    I'm prepared to give something of a pass this time around, just because of the "We're all about to die!" tone of the political response to Covid-19 and the NHS. But the way in which some hospitals have paused everything and - because of the lack of local Covid cases - are effectively doing nothing, needs to be examined and lessons learnt.

    You would hope that in any second wave, the Nightingale Hospitals would be sufficiently staffed up and able to take the load that other hospitals would be able to return to much of their usual workload. That in itself would be an immense relief to many people whose more immediate health worry has been something other than the virus, and in many cases has condemned them to months more of pain.

    There will also be quite a head of steam to see how we lock in this change from people just rocking up to A&E. It has clearly had an immediate and massive impact on numbers. It may in some cases lead to bad outcomes long term, but ther ehas to be an examination of the previous and subsequent caseloads. Who isn't turning up pany more, what ailments? It can't be as simple as heart attack victims just staying home to die.
    I did say thee weeks ago that hospitals were extremely quiet but was shouted down by Tyson and Co and told that I was just giving misinformation. Even now that we are at "peak" there is still plenty of capacity in hospitals.I know many nurses who say they have never done so little at work. Its really odd that we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century apparently, yet our hospitals have far more capacity than they would have had 6 months ago.
    And people including front line doctors point out to you time and time again why some parts of the system are markedly less busy.

    Yet you keep ignoring them, why?
    I have not ignored anyone, I was just reporting what my wife and daughter have told me and I was accused of lying.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,517
    eek said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Vue furloughed all their staff until at least the end of June yesterday
    The problem is the incubation period for this illness - thermometers are nice security theatre.

    The problem isn't the guy sweating like a river and demented with fever (as in the Ebola movies) staggering round infecting everyone. The problem is the guy who doesn't know he has it, has no symptoms (yet) and is infectious.
  • Options
    CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 60,101
    Floater said:

    Tomorrow's front page of the Nat Onal?

    https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1250337873938677760?s=20

    Probably not.......

    Oh well Malc will have to find something to express fake outrage over.
    He could start on the English conspiracy to drive down the price of Brent Crude to $28....

  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    Cyclefree said:

    ydoethur said:

    The real issue is operating the loan system through the banks. I imagine the idea is to keep headline government borrowing to manageable levels, but given the fact that (a) our banks are still a badly run shambles and (b) nobody has any faith in them whatsoever, the system they have devised would still be running into all kinds of trouble even if they weren’t feathering their own nests.

    As has been said on here countless times, well by me anyway, they should bypass the banks and make grants not loans. Oh and be more generous. Sure it will cost but not half as much as allowing a depression to happen faute de mieux and it buys time for the health measures to have a chance of working.
    Cyclefree, you make a living teaching bankers not to be fuckwits and you expect them and the government to act intelligently?

    That's a triumph of hope over experience if ever I heard it.

    Hope the move went OK and that your daughter has not been assaulted by any more demented yokels, er, locals.
  • Options
    eek said:



    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning. I was an advocate for HS2 - we need capacity on the lower WCML and if you are building capacity it makes sense to build high speed. Yet in this country we have utterly lost our ability to build infrastructure - we have endless hand-wringing both financial and environmental. And then do a half-job (witness the new A14(notM) Huntingdon bypass.

    However, CV19 is smashing 1/3rd off the size of our economy and stress testing a significant organisational change as to what kind of economy we have. We need HS2 because of the ocean of people commuting from Milton Keynes and similar towns into that London every day. Even a 20% drop in commuter numbers frees up capacity enough. Same with the extra runway at Heathrow - are we ever going back to the world of everyone flying everywhere everywhen? Commerce and business will resume. But as it was?

    If nothing else the revelation of this crisis has been the transformation in the air. The lack of pollution will save so many lives and improve so many more. Have more people work from home. Which means less offices and commuting. Which frees up urban places for people to live. Which regenerates localism and the high streets. Less travel and pollution. More live/work/shop local. The switch will drive a huge amount of economic activity, just not the same we had before.

    Or, we rush headlong back into status quo ante, knowing that it didn't work before.

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.
    Oh I hear you, and until this I was all for it though aghast at the government doing everything it can to explode the cost (forcing contractors to guarantee the physical infrastructure for decades as an example).

    But now? The announcement on HS2 is a bit of a red herring - construction has already started at Euston, Old Oak Common, Birmingham Curzon Street in the form of land clearance. But if we start digging tunnels and cuttings and building embankments I just have this horrible feeling that in not many years time they will pull the plug due to the fact that intercity road and rail travel has dropped by 40% from its peak and there's literally no need for it.
  • Options
    TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 40,670

    Tomorrow's front page of the Nat Onal?

    https://twitter.com/afneil/status/1250337873938677760?s=20

    Probably not.......

    It's entertaining that Unionists all the way from Brillo to nonentities are obsessing about a small, low circulation Scottish tabloid.
  • Options
    FloaterFloater Posts: 14,195

    Floater said:

    rkrkrk said:

    Nigelb said:

    Good long read article in Nature, which delves into the complexities of testing.

    https://twitter.com/NatureNews/status/1250129207189032962

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    I still don't understand why the UK is unable to do more testing. If we have 50 labs doing this, how come we are only doing 15,000 tests/day?

    One lab mentioned in the article can do 2,000 tests/day.

    There's clearly some bottleneck, but I haven't yet seen an article that explains it.
    My other half works as a geneticist in an NHS lab where PCR machines are used in the diagnosis of genetic cancers. A couple of weeks ago, she was fully expecting that they would be switched to Covid-19 testing. This never happened, and she's somewhat baffled as to the reason why, especially as their regular work is drying up due to the lack of samples arriving.
    I'm prepared to give something of a pass this time around, just because of the "We're all about to die!" tone of the political response to Covid-19 and the NHS. But the way in which some hospitals have paused everything and - because of the lack of local Covid cases - are effectively doing nothing, needs to be examined and lessons learnt.

    You would hope that in any second wave, the Nightingale Hospitals would be sufficiently staffed up and able to take the load that other hospitals would be able to return to much of their usual workload. That in itself would be an immense relief to many people whose more immediate health worry has been something other than the virus, and in many cases has condemned them to months more of pain.

    There will also be quite a head of steam to see how we lock in this change from people just rocking up to A&E. It has clearly had an immediate and massive impact on numbers. It may in some cases lead to bad outcomes long term, but ther ehas to be an examination of the previous and subsequent caseloads. Who isn't turning up pany more, what ailments? It can't be as simple as heart attack victims just staying home to die.
    I did say thee weeks ago that hospitals were extremely quiet but was shouted down by Tyson and Co and told that I was just giving misinformation. Even now that we are at "peak" there is still plenty of capacity in hospitals.I know many nurses who say they have never done so little at work. Its really odd that we are in the middle of the worst pandemic in a century apparently, yet our hospitals have far more capacity than they would have had 6 months ago.
    And people including front line doctors point out to you time and time again why some parts of the system are markedly less busy.

    Yet you keep ignoring them, why?
    I have not ignored anyone, I was just reporting what my wife and daughter have told me and I was accused of lying.
    So - lets be clear - do you understand and accept why parts of the system are less busy?

    Simple yes or no
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,517

    Quincel said:

    Oh, and the walking Captain has now blitzed through £5 million.....

    Piers Morgan thinks he (the Captain) should be knighted. And you know what, I think it's a good shout. At least some form of gong.
    I would love it. If only to see the rictus grin of those time-serving civil servants being on equal terms with an old man walking round his garden. Equality indeed.

    The Captain is fast becoming the symbol of our inability to do anything in the face of Covid-19 except cheer on the very mundane. Old bloke walking round and round his garden without falling over - national teasure! Bung him a tenner. And another. Get him to ten million. A hundred million. We've got nothing else to spend it on.

    Give him a God Calls Me God - the demented fury that will induce in paper pushers, when they realise he has got a better gong than them....
  • Options
    isamisam Posts: 41,118
    HYUFD said:
    “We agree the measures need to remain in place...”

    Is that official from the govt? Some of my mates with businesses were hoping for an ease in the measures. I thought the announcement/review was tomorrow (should have been on Monday, when the original three weeks were up)
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    Socky said:

    eek said:

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.

    1) Really fast broadband, everywhere.

    2) New factories making PPE.
    Fast broadband, everywhere, is already part of a separate, and separately funded, strategy.
  • Options
    edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,176
    edited April 2020


    The problem is the incubation period for this illness - thermometers are nice security theatre.

    The problem isn't the guy sweating like a river and demented with fever (as in the Ebola movies) staggering round infecting everyone. The problem is the guy who doesn't know he has it, has no symptoms (yet) and is infectious.

    Do we actually know this? I mean, it sounds like we know that you *can* be infectious when you're barely showing symptoms, but do we know that this is where most of the infection comes from?

    Also, if you have functional contact tracing, it's still useful to catch people early, because even if it's too late to stop them infecting other people, it may not be too late to stop the people they infected from infecting other people.
  • Options
    SockySocky Posts: 404
    ydoethur said:

    The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return.

    I can see a flaw here...
    ydoethur said:

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.

    I think I am right in saying rail currently carries < 5% of freight. A good container port in the north might be a better investment.
  • Options
    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    Telegraph :

    "The UK's chief negotiator David Frost and his EU counterpart Michel Barnier are due to hold a conference call on Brexit today to finalise details on next week's round of trade negotiations."
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,302

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    Indeed, but since an exit strategy will presumably be published at some point Keir can claim a victory when it is and criticise its timing, whenever it is. Smart politics.
  • Options
    edmundintokyoedmundintokyo Posts: 17,176
    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
  • Options
    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    kle4 said:

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    Indeed, but since an exit strategy will presumably be published at some point Keir can claim a victory when it is and criticise its timing, whenever it is. Smart politics.
    On the other hand he's given the govt permission to talk about lifting the lockdown.

  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    Socky said:

    eek said:

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.

    1) Really fast broadband, everywhere.

    2) New factories making PPE.
    3) tidal lagoon power stations.....
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,517


    The problem is the incubation period for this illness - thermometers are nice security theatre.

    The problem isn't the guy sweating like a river and demented with fever (as in the Ebola movies) staggering round infecting everyone. The problem is the guy who doesn't know he has it, has no symptoms (yet) and is infectious.

    Do we actually know this? I mean, it sounds like we know that you *can* be infectious when you're barely showing symptoms, but do we know that this is where most of the infection comes from?

    Also, if you have functional contact tracing, it's still useful to catch people early, because even if it's too late to stop them infecting other people, it may not be too late to stop the people they infected from infecting other people.
    The people with thermometers are basically finding no-one - in the countries they've been used. If you have noticeable case of this thing, you tend to be lying in bed, feeling shit....

    This is why we need an simple, quick, non-lab test
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,302

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
    My ship has finally come in!
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    kle4 said:

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    Indeed, but since an exit strategy will presumably be published at some point Keir can claim a victory when it is and criticise its timing, whenever it is. Smart politics.
    Voters aren't that shallow.

    "Look people - I got you let out!"

    "Yeah, whatever mate...."
  • Options
    Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 26,019
    Carnyx said:

    MattW said:

    Carnyx said:

    TGOHF666 said:

    Hopefully the scales are falling from the eyes of those outside Scotland who can’t see Nippy for the decisive figure who will play the bigot card when under pressure.



    She was saying "I Haven't heard of this and I need to know more before I can comment"!

    And it's no good citing the firm at the centre of the row when it is saying the complete opposite of what it said 1-2 days ago. Plainly there was something odd happening.

    If that's bigoted ...!
    Is it really saying the complete opposite?

    I'd be more inclined to think it The National being overenthusiastic.
    Well, not far off the opposite - either PHE were directing the firms as Gomperts' website pretty strongly implied as shown by screenshopts and verbatim quotes, or were not, is fairly yes/no.

    Given the National was making direct verbatim quotations (as were the BBC and Times and other newspapers, all anti-indy) it's not a matter of a pro-indy nerwspaper being overenthusiastic. Eg this chap is on the Scottish Sun, and his first two tweets refer (including indications of a wider prtoblem).

    https://twitter.com/ChrisMusson/status/1250096153397428224 (

    And as for enthusiastic, still less the SNP administration who have been very measured if a bit frustrated with Mr Hancock initially refusing to 'meet'.

    Personally I suspect a simple procedural cockup by someone who forgot that NHS England isn't NHS UK (a very common error these days). But the anxiety not to admit that seemns out of proportion.
    Not to worry, I am sure a full explanation and rebuttal of their 'UK Gov't seeks to kill Scottish care home residents' story will be provided by The National very soon*








    *on page 20, in braille.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    Socky said:


    I think I am right in saying rail currently carries < 5% of freight. A good container port in the north might be a better investment.

    It's actually around 9% and the aim of the government is to increase that because rail travel is faster, safer and less polluting, albeit it is also less flexible.

    But the elephant in the room in that figure is that 40% of it travels on the West Coast Main Line. If it was spread evenly, things would be different.

    More here:

    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/777781/fom_understanding_freight_transport_system.pdf
  • Options
    tlg86tlg86 Posts: 25,460
    If the economic fallout from this is as bad as many of us expect, HS2 will be gone. It’s not especially popular as it is and the pressure on the government to cut spending on non-essentials will be massive.
  • Options
    MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 50,488
    ydoethur said:

    Socky said:

    eek said:

    We need work for people in construction and a lot of construction companies have HS2 as their big project for 2021-30. So what would you replace it with given that those people will need work to do.

    1) Really fast broadband, everywhere.

    2) New factories making PPE.
    Fast broadband, everywhere, is already part of a separate, and separately funded, strategy.
    And will get overtaken shortly anyway. We have airband 40GB round us now in rural Devon.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,302

    kle4 said:

    HYUFD said:
    It is perhaps too early to commit to an exit strategy. What should be happening is building up exit "tools".

    Use of tech and phones for tracking and tracing.
    Give airports the capability for testing and quarantining if needed.
    How can we redesign offices, bars, restaurants to give better social distancing?
    How do we ration public transport use in rush hour?
    etc

    Get a junior minister in charge of each type of question now and our exit strategy will be more effective when it is needed in a month or twos time.
    Indeed, but since an exit strategy will presumably be published at some point Keir can claim a victory when it is and criticise its timing, whenever it is. Smart politics.
    Voters aren't that shallow.

    "Look people - I got you let out!"

    "Yeah, whatever mate...."
    I dont imagine it will move masses of votes. But he will claim government action was in response to his demands. That need not be true to be better than it appearing the opposition had little to say.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,302
    edited April 2020
    tlg86 said:

    If the economic fallout from this is as bad as many of us expect, HS2 will be gone. It’s not especially popular as it is and the pressure on the government to cut spending on non-essentials will be massive.

    HS2, parliament renovation, theres a long list of things to be junked I imagine. People already compared other spending to how many nurses it would pay for.
  • Options
    StockyStocky Posts: 9,786
    isam said:

    HYUFD said:
    “We agree the measures need to remain in place...”

    Is that official from the govt? Some of my mates with businesses were hoping for an ease in the measures. I thought the announcement/review was tomorrow (should have been on Monday, when the original three weeks were up)
    The LP will criticise whatever the government do. My guess is that the government want us out of lockdown, as least partially, asap - justified on the grounds that the NHS has spare capacity and hasn`t "fallen over". Trouble is that easing of lockdown, even by a little, will obvs expose people to a higher risk of infection. Government is in a tricky bind over this.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
    My ship has finally come in!
    Bad news for those of us who are devastatingly handsome though.
  • Options
    noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 21,342
    isam said:

    HYUFD said:
    “We agree the measures need to remain in place...”

    Is that official from the govt? Some of my mates with businesses were hoping for an ease in the measures. I thought the announcement/review was tomorrow (should have been on Monday, when the original three weeks were up)
    Not official but very clearly signposted that there wont be any relaxation at this stage. Expect the review conclusion to be another review in 3 weeks time and you wont be far wrong.
  • Options
    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052
    tlg86 said:

    If the economic fallout from this is as bad as many of us expect, HS2 will be gone. It’s not especially popular as it is and the pressure on the government to cut spending on non-essentials will be massive.

    On the contrary large infrastructure spending is the Roosevelt approach to recovery.

  • Options
    CookieCookie Posts: 11,897
    ydoethur said:

    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    No, construction has been allowed to start.

    The money would not be available elsewhere. The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return. So if the railway isn't built, the money doesn't exist.

    But it also means that a very large number of people whose jobs were in doubt are now secure as well. Which is not to be sneered at in these times.

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.
    It's actually quite easy to have commuter trains ans freight trains on the same network, as - on average - they go at similar speeds. The way we significantly increase capacity is by separating the fast trains from the slow trains.
  • Options
    kle4kle4 Posts: 93,302
    ydoethur said:

    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
    My ship has finally come in!
    Bad news for those of us who are devastatingly handsome though.
    My heart bleeds for you :)
  • Options
    TGOHF666TGOHF666 Posts: 2,052

    isam said:

    HYUFD said:
    “We agree the measures need to remain in place...”

    Is that official from the govt? Some of my mates with businesses were hoping for an ease in the measures. I thought the announcement/review was tomorrow (should have been on Monday, when the original three weeks were up)
    Not official but very clearly signposted that there wont be any relaxation at this stage. Expect the review conclusion to be another review in 3 weeks time and you wont be far wrong.
    They could move to a weekly review - a lot more dynamic - 3 weeks is a long time in virus world.
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
    My ship has finally come in!
    Bad news for those of us who are devastatingly handsome though.
    My heart bleeds for you :)
    Mr 4, really. Not on a public forum, please :blush:
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    TGOHF666 said:

    tlg86 said:

    If the economic fallout from this is as bad as many of us expect, HS2 will be gone. It’s not especially popular as it is and the pressure on the government to cut spending on non-essentials will be massive.

    On the contrary large infrastructure spending is the Roosevelt approach to recovery.

    Although it should be noted that wasn't exactly an unmixed success.
  • Options
    Luckyguy1983Luckyguy1983 Posts: 26,019

    rkrkrk said:

    Nigelb said:

    Good long read article in Nature, which delves into the complexities of testing.

    https://twitter.com/NatureNews/status/1250129207189032962

    Thanks for sharing. Interesting read.

    I still don't understand why the UK is unable to do more testing. If we have 50 labs doing this, how come we are only doing 15,000 tests/day?

    One lab mentioned in the article can do 2,000 tests/day.

    There's clearly some bottleneck, but I haven't yet seen an article that explains it.
    My other half works as a geneticist in an NHS lab where PCR machines are used in the diagnosis of genetic cancers. A couple of weeks ago, she was fully expecting that they would be switched to Covid-19 testing. This never happened, and she's somewhat baffled as to the reason why, especially as their regular work is drying up due to the lack of samples arriving.
    No criticism, but is she planning to do anything about it? Cock up being more likely than conspiracy, perhaps nobody has thought of it?
  • Options
    ydoethurydoethur Posts: 68,280
    Cookie said:

    ydoethur said:

    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    No, construction has been allowed to start.

    The money would not be available elsewhere. The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return. So if the railway isn't built, the money doesn't exist.

    But it also means that a very large number of people whose jobs were in doubt are now secure as well. Which is not to be sneered at in these times.

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.
    It's actually quite easy to have commuter trains ans freight trains on the same network, as - on average - they go at similar speeds. The way we significantly increase capacity is by separating the fast trains from the slow trains.
    Exactly. But the other consideration is that freight doesn't necessarily have to go at the same time as commuter trains. So maybe 'local stoppers and semi-fast services' would be a more accurate way of putting it.
  • Options
    not_on_firenot_on_fire Posts: 4,362
    Cookie said:

    ydoethur said:

    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    No, construction has been allowed to start.

    The money would not be available elsewhere. The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return. So if the railway isn't built, the money doesn't exist.

    But it also means that a very large number of people whose jobs were in doubt are now secure as well. Which is not to be sneered at in these times.

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.
    It's actually quite easy to have commuter trains ans freight trains on the same network, as - on average - they go at similar speeds. The way we significantly increase capacity is by separating the fast trains from the slow trains.
    It's facile to say that freight and commuter trains are the same becasue they go at similar speeds. Freight trians are far longer and more likely to block junctions/platforms etc - they are a bottleneck on capacity. They are also more likely to run (or not) at very short notice which means contingency has to be built into the timetable.
  • Options
    felixfelix Posts: 15,125
    ydoethur said:

    kle4 said:

    ydoethur said:

    Foxy said:

    A lot of hospitality businesses are going to be no longer viable. Even if they are free to open, they will be running on a fraction of the customers.

    Extending loans to them is just throwing good money after bad. The example of the corporate team bonding company up thread is a good example.

    That's a fair point. Restaurants, pubs, cinemas and the like need a certain density to be economic. Even if they can open, they might not, because they'll just lose money, and more money than if they stayed shut.
    This is undoubtedly true in the short term. However, the temperature check suggested above could be the salvation. You can open, providing you have one of those thermal thermometers at every entrance and turn away anyone who is hot.

    Hmm. Nightclubs who turned away hotties would probably continue to struggle.
    When they relax the lockdown they should let ugly people out first
    My ship has finally come in!
    Bad news for those of us who are devastatingly handsome though.
    Yup on that basis they might never let me out again :smiley:
  • Options
    kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 4,267

    We know that Sweden is following a different path to most other countries, but I was very surprised to discover that my colleagues there are still working in the office rather than WFH.

    Getting desk jockeys out of circulation would appear to be an obvious thing to do with no economic downside.


    You would be astonished, I think, at how many people have

    1) Never worked from home, while spending most of their career in jobs which are trivial to WFH.
    2) Have not got the equipment required at home. No, I do not jest...

    It's a big jump for a lot of people. Just like not flying everywhere on premium airlines was after 9/11...
    I can't WFH, partly because I can't do much of my normal job from home, but partly because I am not considered "mobile" staff (despite currently working from 2 offices and recently 3) so I have not been issued with the mobile kit, which is required to dial in over WiFi. So I am currently off on paid special leave rather than WFH.

    But as someone who lives on his own, going to work is a way of having casual social contact. In normal times there is also my running club three times a week and parkrun, but if I don't feel like going down the pub then work is a normal part of my contact with people. And I suspect that people who don't live on their own like to get away from their partner/family. (I don't understand all the couples exercising and going shopping together, if you are banged up together 24/7 surely you need some time to yourself?)
    I quite understand your case. One problem is that many people have jobs that can be trivially turned to WFM - they do not understand that many can't.

    Part of the problem is that modern living - especially in London - has changed the home into a compact box where you sleep. You *live* outside it.
    In which case, expect many people to move out of London, getting themselves a bigger home with a bigger "office" - something more than just a place to sleep. If people still aren't going out to bars and concerts and movies and nightclubs of an evening, what is the pull of living in a shoebox in Covid Central?
    For many people, their homes are too small to work from for any length of time. Asking people to move to WFH arrangements permanently is effectively offices saying "you'd better buy a bigger house with another bedroom, we're outsourcing our office costs to you. Bad luck, pal."

    Many grads and juniors will be living in house shares. And more importantly, how on earth are they supposed to gain experience if everyone is working from home? How does work shadowing even work? You gain experience by being part of the whole process, seeing what everyone does in the office, not just the meetings you are invited to on Zoom. WFH significantly impedes the career progress of junior members of staff.

    Finally, for many people the office is a quiet place where they can get work done away from family committments. The blurring of the line between family and home and work and colleagues may seem inviting at first, but could actually be very stressful for some.




  • Options
    tlg86tlg86 Posts: 25,460
    TGOHF666 said:

    tlg86 said:

    If the economic fallout from this is as bad as many of us expect, HS2 will be gone. It’s not especially popular as it is and the pressure on the government to cut spending on non-essentials will be massive.

    On the contrary large infrastructure spending is the Roosevelt approach to recovery.

    It might be the "right" thing to do, but it won't be politically acceptable. Taxes will be going up and people will not want to see their money spent on a new railway line.

    Also, the business case for HS2 is passenger usage. Obviously the stats over the next few months will have a massive caveat with them - but I would be very surprised to see usage return to pre-COVID levels very quickly.
  • Options
    MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 45,517
    ydoethur said:

    Cookie said:

    ydoethur said:

    Socky said:

    I hear this morning that the government have pushed the button on HS2 this morning.

    Sorry, do you mean cancel HS2? (if so, good shout, that money is needed elsewhere)
    No, construction has been allowed to start.

    The money would not be available elsewhere. The estimated £81 billion is borrowed on the assumption that it will lead to a financial return. So if the railway isn't built, the money doesn't exist.

    But it also means that a very large number of people whose jobs were in doubt are now secure as well. Which is not to be sneered at in these times.

    Finally, I disagree with RP - commuter trains are not the problem. Freight is. And if we're to start making things in the North of England again as part of a move away from globalisation, we're going to need more railfreight capacity, not less.
    It's actually quite easy to have commuter trains ans freight trains on the same network, as - on average - they go at similar speeds. The way we significantly increase capacity is by separating the fast trains from the slow trains.
    Exactly. But the other consideration is that freight doesn't necessarily have to go at the same time as commuter trains. So maybe 'local stoppers and semi-fast services' would be a more accurate way of putting it.
    It is a universal experience, around the world that having your freight traffic on the passenger lines is severely sub-optimal.

    Separating the high speed traffic, in particular, always results in a massive improvement - both for the passenger traffic and the freight.
This discussion has been closed.