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As the COVID crisis continues there’s a decline in public confidence in the NHS’s ability to cope –

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  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 20,926
    edited November 2020

    rkrkrk said:

    Any books to recommend to order and read over Christmas - i like non- fiction over fiction (except where the fiction is related to subjects I like ) - subjects I like are

    Politics (no surprise!)
    Gambling (again no surprise being on a website like this ! - prefer gambling individual or bookie stories as opposed to how to win books)
    London (have a growing collection of London books)
    Railways (not an avid trainspotter but love the lifestyle of trains )
    Gothic stuff
    History (medium rather than high brow though)
    Sport ( not bios generally but more general stuff about sport- love sport stats !)

    From previous thread.
    Looking forward to seeing what this generates.
    Some non-fiction I liked this year:

    Bad Blood (10/10) - gripping, very fast-paced read of the dumpster fire that was Theranos. Some political themes - but more about business/ethics than politics.
    Shoe Dog (8/10) - memoir of Nike co-founder. Got some interesting sports themes, famous namedrops and also fascinating to see how much America has changed in 50 odd years or so. Not the greatest writing, but definitely gives you a sense of the urgency and pressure they felt. At times a little implausible, but a good read.
    The Shoemaker and his Daughter (9/10) - one family's true story to survive and thrive set in Soviet Russia and Siberia. Not highbrow history.
    Nigel Farage - the purple revolution: the year that changed everything (7/10) - there's something about Nigel Farage that I find a little bit fascinating. It's pretty entertaining and it does give a good sense of how Farage views things, or how he wants to be viewed. A quick read. Available at charity shops if you don't want to make a contribution to Nige! Excellent for winding people up by placing prominently on a bookshelf.
    I must admit to quite liking contrarian history, but I'm currently reading 'Dominion' (C.J.Sansom) for a discussion group and finding it very depressing. For the uninitiated, it's set in the 50's, and describes life after after the UK had sued for peace in 1940. Very like Vichy France, according to the histories. Just hope the goodies win in the end!
    From memory there was a weird 20 page rant from the author about the SNP at the end of the book (this was before the 2014 referendum). Is it still in your edition?
    Had a look and not so far as I can see. There's a bit in the notes at the end about the SNP splitting in 1941 or so, half, the Right supporting the pro-Fascist Govt (led incidentally by Beaverbrook) and the Left, which was part of the Resistance. But I'm only about half way at the moment.
    Hmm, interesting.
    As I remember it, it was a personal statement separate from the novel, along the lines of dreadful people who want to split up my country, today's version of Nazism etc, etc.
    I'll make a note to remember and try and let you know when I've finished. The flyleaf 'published 2012.
    As someone else said, it doesn't, to me anyway, flow the way the Shardlake novels do. And it's depressingly large. As well as largely depressing!
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Like everything else, it depends on the context. Not that anyone deserves to have their song played on the radio of course, but the lyrics of Shane McGowan's pension do seem to be a perennial argument at the BBC.
  • Roy_G_Biv said:

    Nigelb said:

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Curse of the new thread. FPT.

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Scott_xP said:
    I've never understood how one and the same person can be worried about the strategic inroads China is making into Africa, and simultaneously be in favour of slashing foreign aid and development. It's like saying "yes, I recognise than soft power can be beneficial, pay for itself, and in the hands of the wrong people is bad.... but I think we shouldn't do that."
    The only logical conclusion to these two viewpoints is that these people think the UK is worse that China. Which is a view, I guess.
    Simple - China's investment in Africa etc is with loads of strings attached, whereas our foreign aid is explicitly no strings attached.

    Meaning that both China and us can spend in the same country and afterwards thanks to Chinese strings they benefit and besides a warm glow in our hearts for a few seconds while thinking about how benign we are we simply don't.
    Preventing China from benefiting from its strings is a benefit for the whole of the liberal, capitalist, democratic world. Ceding that space completely to them is not a good idea.
    There's a danger here of the same kind of short-sightedness you get in some US Republican circles about military aid. Defending Lithuania is not transactional; Lithuania will never be able to defend the US to the same extent it benefits from the US umbrella, but that doesn't mean it's not in the strong interests of the US to contain Russia. It's all about front lines, not just geographical but also ethical, ideological, and political. Better to be defending our way of life far, far from home than to have the barbarians at the gate. It doesn't show up on the balance sheet as a credit, but that's merely an artefact of what is measurable.
    Except we can't prevent China from benefiting from their strings since it's not either or. In fact if we help develop a country that China has also tied in strings then that is More advantageous to China not less.

    The only way to prevent China from benefiting from its strings isn't for us to be developing other nations marginally it would be if we were sabotaging and destroying what the Chinese have done - which I don't think is appropriate.
    There's a lot of zero sum game thinking there.
    Actually my thinking was the opposite of zero sum. It was Roy G Biv that was zero sum thinking that if we spent aid that would neutralise Chinese strings attached whereas I said that we can actually end up amplifying and improving the benefits the Chinese get by supplementing their own investment without severing their strings or tying any of our own.
    You're right that my thinking is more zero-sum than yours in this context. But I stand by my view.
    For me it feel a bit like having well-regulated finance versus loan sharks. Ideally you don't want the loan sharks to exist at all, and ensuring people have access to proper finance can reduce the temptation to rely on bad actors. It is not a prophylactic, but it helps. Cutting off all legitimate finance options, on the other hand, drives them into the arms of the finger-breakers.

    (Just to be totally clear, I am using finance as a metaphor. I'm not suggesting that foreign aid is literally like lending.)
    But its not either/or.

    If someone is desperate and has loans with the sharks and regular finance as well then is that an improvement?

    If we give cash no strings attached then there's absolutely no reason for the recipients not to receive the Chinese strings-attached cash as well as our cash. In which case our cash has no geostrategic impact to mitigate the Chinese like you hypothesised.

    If you wish to suggest that we should start putting more strings attached to our cash (like the Chinese) then that's a different debate but that's been considered illegal and unethical since 1997 so what do you think on that? Was it a mistake to make our foreign aid no strings attached?
  • Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 19,085
    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.
  • Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 15,382
    Roger said:

    Distrust in Johnson's government is just spreading to everything they're responsible for and with good reason.

    I think that's right. It's definitely not true that most people think the NHS is useless, but they worry that the confused environmentoutside the system's control may overwhelm it.

    That said, I think the underlying mood is starting to improve, mainly due to the prospect of vaccinations and the peaking of new infections - the poll is from 10 days ago.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,671
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Like everything else, it depends on the context. Not that anyone deserves to have their song played on the radio of course, but the lyrics of Shane McGowan's pension do seem to be a perennial argument at the BBC.
    It depends on the motivation. If the word used displays the racism of the user then it is a massive problem. It is the racism that`s the problem, not the word. I`m a liberal - we don`t ban words.
  • Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 50,910
    .

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    Does anyone want to watch it? I suspect the answer to that is no, so it wouldn't be aired. Should it be banned because it is racist? No.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,251

    rkrkrk said:

    Any books to recommend to order and read over Christmas - i like non- fiction over fiction (except where the fiction is related to subjects I like ) - subjects I like are

    Politics (no surprise!)
    Gambling (again no surprise being on a website like this ! - prefer gambling individual or bookie stories as opposed to how to win books)
    London (have a growing collection of London books)
    Railways (not an avid trainspotter but love the lifestyle of trains )
    Gothic stuff
    History (medium rather than high brow though)
    Sport ( not bios generally but more general stuff about sport- love sport stats !)

    From previous thread.
    Looking forward to seeing what this generates.
    Some non-fiction I liked this year:

    Bad Blood (10/10) - gripping, very fast-paced read of the dumpster fire that was Theranos. Some political themes - but more about business/ethics than politics.
    Shoe Dog (8/10) - memoir of Nike co-founder. Got some interesting sports themes, famous namedrops and also fascinating to see how much America has changed in 50 odd years or so. Not the greatest writing, but definitely gives you a sense of the urgency and pressure they felt. At times a little implausible, but a good read.
    The Shoemaker and his Daughter (9/10) - one family's true story to survive and thrive set in Soviet Russia and Siberia. Not highbrow history.
    Nigel Farage - the purple revolution: the year that changed everything (7/10) - there's something about Nigel Farage that I find a little bit fascinating. It's pretty entertaining and it does give a good sense of how Farage views things, or how he wants to be viewed. A quick read. Available at charity shops if you don't want to make a contribution to Nige! Excellent for winding people up by placing prominently on a bookshelf.
    I must admit to quite liking contrarian history, but I'm currently reading 'Dominion' (C.J.Sansom) for a discussion group and finding it very depressing. For the uninitiated, it's set in the 50's, and describes life after after the UK had sued for peace in 1940. Very like Vichy France, according to the histories. Just hope the goodies win in the end!
    From memory there was a weird 20 page rant from the author about the SNP at the end of the book (this was before the 2014 referendum). Is it still in your edition?
    Had a look and not so far as I can see. There's a bit in the notes at the end about the SNP splitting in 1941 or so, half, the Right supporting the pro-Fascist Govt (led incidentally by Beaverbrook) and the Left, which was part of the Resistance. But I'm only about half way at the moment.
    Hmm, interesting.
    As I remember it, it was a personal statement separate from the novel, along the lines of dreadful people who want to split up my country, today's version of Nazism etc, etc.
    Just checked.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13076771.scots-author-condemns-dangerous-snp-in-book/
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154
    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Those of you with gym memberships - anyone arguing with your gym over membership? My 12 month contract expires at the end of December and I've given them notice to cancel. Extraordinarily they have emailed me and informed me that they have extended my contract for the months they were closed.

    I know the pox has been tough for a lot of businesses. But one party can't unilaterally change a contract without the other party agreeing. They say "you haven't made 12 payments" - true, they haven't taken payments when closed. But the contract doesn't provide any ability for them to change 12 months to an indefinite period until they claim 12 payments.

    On Twitter it seems to be a standard tactic for gyms. What makes this one even sillier is that I had to use the wayback machine to find their members T&Cs - the page that hosts them has been mysteriously dropped from their website. I wonder why...

    That is extraordinary!
    Mind me asking which company?
    Quite a number ion them are trying this - they are deathly afraid that when people come back it will take years to rebuild their membership books, otherwise.
  • rkrkrk said:

    Any books to recommend to order and read over Christmas - i like non- fiction over fiction (except where the fiction is related to subjects I like ) - subjects I like are

    Politics (no surprise!)
    Gambling (again no surprise being on a website like this ! - prefer gambling individual or bookie stories as opposed to how to win books)
    London (have a growing collection of London books)
    Railways (not an avid trainspotter but love the lifestyle of trains )
    Gothic stuff
    History (medium rather than high brow though)
    Sport ( not bios generally but more general stuff about sport- love sport stats !)

    From previous thread.
    Looking forward to seeing what this generates.
    Some non-fiction I liked this year:

    Bad Blood (10/10) - gripping, very fast-paced read of the dumpster fire that was Theranos. Some political themes - but more about business/ethics than politics.
    Shoe Dog (8/10) - memoir of Nike co-founder. Got some interesting sports themes, famous namedrops and also fascinating to see how much America has changed in 50 odd years or so. Not the greatest writing, but definitely gives you a sense of the urgency and pressure they felt. At times a little implausible, but a good read.
    The Shoemaker and his Daughter (9/10) - one family's true story to survive and thrive set in Soviet Russia and Siberia. Not highbrow history.
    Nigel Farage - the purple revolution: the year that changed everything (7/10) - there's something about Nigel Farage that I find a little bit fascinating. It's pretty entertaining and it does give a good sense of how Farage views things, or how he wants to be viewed. A quick read. Available at charity shops if you don't want to make a contribution to Nige! Excellent for winding people up by placing prominently on a bookshelf.
    I must admit to quite liking contrarian history, but I'm currently reading 'Dominion' (C.J.Sansom) for a discussion group and finding it very depressing. For the uninitiated, it's set in the 50's, and describes life after after the UK had sued for peace in 1940. Very like Vichy France, according to the histories. Just hope the goodies win in the end!
    From memory there was a weird 20 page rant from the author about the SNP at the end of the book (this was before the 2014 referendum). Is it still in your edition?
    Had a look and not so far as I can see. There's a bit in the notes at the end about the SNP splitting in 1941 or so, half, the Right supporting the pro-Fascist Govt (led incidentally by Beaverbrook) and the Left, which was part of the Resistance. But I'm only about half way at the moment.
    Hmm, interesting.
    As I remember it, it was a personal statement separate from the novel, along the lines of dreadful people who want to split up my country, today's version of Nazism etc, etc.
    I'll make a note to remember and try and let you know when I've finished. The flyleaf 'published 2012.
    As someone else said, it doesn't, to me anyway, flow the way the Shardlake novels do. And it's depressingly large. As well as largely depressing!
    Yep, I like a good alternate history but I thought it was some way behind eg Fatherland and SS-GB.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,251
    Carnyx said:

    rkrkrk said:

    Any books to recommend to order and read over Christmas - i like non- fiction over fiction (except where the fiction is related to subjects I like ) - subjects I like are

    Politics (no surprise!)
    Gambling (again no surprise being on a website like this ! - prefer gambling individual or bookie stories as opposed to how to win books)
    London (have a growing collection of London books)
    Railways (not an avid trainspotter but love the lifestyle of trains )
    Gothic stuff
    History (medium rather than high brow though)
    Sport ( not bios generally but more general stuff about sport- love sport stats !)

    From previous thread.
    Looking forward to seeing what this generates.
    Some non-fiction I liked this year:

    Bad Blood (10/10) - gripping, very fast-paced read of the dumpster fire that was Theranos. Some political themes - but more about business/ethics than politics.
    Shoe Dog (8/10) - memoir of Nike co-founder. Got some interesting sports themes, famous namedrops and also fascinating to see how much America has changed in 50 odd years or so. Not the greatest writing, but definitely gives you a sense of the urgency and pressure they felt. At times a little implausible, but a good read.
    The Shoemaker and his Daughter (9/10) - one family's true story to survive and thrive set in Soviet Russia and Siberia. Not highbrow history.
    Nigel Farage - the purple revolution: the year that changed everything (7/10) - there's something about Nigel Farage that I find a little bit fascinating. It's pretty entertaining and it does give a good sense of how Farage views things, or how he wants to be viewed. A quick read. Available at charity shops if you don't want to make a contribution to Nige! Excellent for winding people up by placing prominently on a bookshelf.
    I must admit to quite liking contrarian history, but I'm currently reading 'Dominion' (C.J.Sansom) for a discussion group and finding it very depressing. For the uninitiated, it's set in the 50's, and describes life after after the UK had sued for peace in 1940. Very like Vichy France, according to the histories. Just hope the goodies win in the end!
    From memory there was a weird 20 page rant from the author about the SNP at the end of the book (this was before the 2014 referendum). Is it still in your edition?
    Had a look and not so far as I can see. There's a bit in the notes at the end about the SNP splitting in 1941 or so, half, the Right supporting the pro-Fascist Govt (led incidentally by Beaverbrook) and the Left, which was part of the Resistance. But I'm only about half way at the moment.
    Hmm, interesting.
    As I remember it, it was a personal statement separate from the novel, along the lines of dreadful people who want to split up my country, today's version of Nazism etc, etc.
    Just checked.

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/13076771.scots-author-condemns-dangerous-snp-in-book/
    ... and donated a 6 figure sum (in £) to Better Together (sources differ as to how mucvh exactly but something like 0.25m, some say).
  • Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 26,009

    .

    Those of you with gym memberships - anyone arguing with your gym over membership? My 12 month contract expires at the end of December and I've given them notice to cancel. Extraordinarily they have emailed me and informed me that they have extended my contract for the months they were closed.

    I know the pox has been tough for a lot of businesses. But one party can't unilaterally change a contract without the other party agreeing. They say "you haven't made 12 payments" - true, they haven't taken payments when closed. But the contract doesn't provide any ability for them to change 12 months to an indefinite period until they claim 12 payments.

    On Twitter it seems to be a standard tactic for gyms. What makes this one even sillier is that I had to use the wayback machine to find their members T&Cs - the page that hosts them has been mysteriously dropped from their website. I wonder why...

    Does it matter? If you want to go back to the gym when we get the all-clear, then having them roll your unused months over seems reasonable enough, and even if you are not sure but want the gym still to be there so you have the choice, the same applies. I'd be wary of fighting against your own best interests on a so-called point of principle.
    I'm trying to cancel so I'm not looking to go back. This isn't Brexit where I demand access without paying!
    Roy_G_Biv said:

    That is extraordinary!
    Mind me asking which company?

    Total Fitness. But its not just them, I know David Lloyd have done the same thing. I have pointed out to them that the "Limited Liabilities" section of the contract talks exclusively about injury so makes no provision to limit their liabilities on things like breach of contract :)

    It could be worse, you could have been an absolute idiot and paid a year's worth of membership fees in advance to the gym next door to your office for the significant savings you would make over the course of the year.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,706
    Alistair said:

    Off topic

    Today is the day to turn one's back on PC liberal wokery.

    The Kirsty McColl verse from The fairytale of New York has been butchered for BBC Radio 1 to satisfy PC gentility.

    Christopher Chope and Phillip Davies were right all along!

    Ah yes, 2020, the year that radio edits of songs first appeared.

    Never before has a song had lyrics "ducked" or "rerecorded" for the version that is broadcast on the radio.
    Where's Mike Reid when we need him? Just Relax!
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,326

    Nigelb said:

    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    With his party in a state of flux, he quite likely has more important things to do (from his POV) than spend time here ?
    I don't understand
    With Cummings gone, the plates are shifting, and HYUFD has to make preparations to shift with them, if he's ambitious ?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906

    Alistair said:

    Off topic

    Today is the day to turn one's back on PC liberal wokery.

    The Kirsty McColl verse from The fairytale of New York has been butchered for BBC Radio 1 to satisfy PC gentility.

    Christopher Chope and Phillip Davies were right all along!

    Ah yes, 2020, the year that radio edits of songs first appeared.

    Never before has a song had lyrics "ducked" or "rerecorded" for the version that is broadcast on the radio.
    Where's Mike Reid when we need him? Just Relax!
    Don't do it
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 5,164

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
  • TOPPING said:

    .

    Those of you with gym memberships - anyone arguing with your gym over membership? My 12 month contract expires at the end of December and I've given them notice to cancel. Extraordinarily they have emailed me and informed me that they have extended my contract for the months they were closed.

    I know the pox has been tough for a lot of businesses. But one party can't unilaterally change a contract without the other party agreeing. They say "you haven't made 12 payments" - true, they haven't taken payments when closed. But the contract doesn't provide any ability for them to change 12 months to an indefinite period until they claim 12 payments.

    On Twitter it seems to be a standard tactic for gyms. What makes this one even sillier is that I had to use the wayback machine to find their members T&Cs - the page that hosts them has been mysteriously dropped from their website. I wonder why...

    Does it matter? If you want to go back to the gym when we get the all-clear, then having them roll your unused months over seems reasonable enough, and even if you are not sure but want the gym still to be there so you have the choice, the same applies. I'd be wary of fighting against your own best interests on a so-called point of principle.
    I'm trying to cancel so I'm not looking to go back. This isn't Brexit where I demand access without paying!
    Roy_G_Biv said:

    That is extraordinary!
    Mind me asking which company?

    Total Fitness. But its not just them, I know David Lloyd have done the same thing. I have pointed out to them that the "Limited Liabilities" section of the contract talks exclusively about injury so makes no provision to limit their liabilities on things like breach of contract :)

    It could be worse, you could have been an absolute idiot and paid a year's worth of membership fees in advance to the gym next door to your office for the significant savings you would make over the course of the year.
    Or even worse than that, paid a fortune to live in a rabbit hutch apartment because it was close to the tube station for that commute into London that you no longer do. I think about my experiences this year and wonder what its like for the people who paid £stupid for flats at Wembley in that massive development thats gone up around the stadium. Would they have suitable home working spaces in them? Doubt it
  • IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
    I think Philip has convinced me, context matters. And you've convinced me further.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
    The line "Dead N..... Storage" from Pulp Fiction was of course uttered by Tarantino himself.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Nigelb said:

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Curse of the new thread. FPT.

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Scott_xP said:
    I've never understood how one and the same person can be worried about the strategic inroads China is making into Africa, and simultaneously be in favour of slashing foreign aid and development. It's like saying "yes, I recognise than soft power can be beneficial, pay for itself, and in the hands of the wrong people is bad.... but I think we shouldn't do that."
    The only logical conclusion to these two viewpoints is that these people think the UK is worse that China. Which is a view, I guess.
    Simple - China's investment in Africa etc is with loads of strings attached, whereas our foreign aid is explicitly no strings attached.

    Meaning that both China and us can spend in the same country and afterwards thanks to Chinese strings they benefit and besides a warm glow in our hearts for a few seconds while thinking about how benign we are we simply don't.
    Preventing China from benefiting from its strings is a benefit for the whole of the liberal, capitalist, democratic world. Ceding that space completely to them is not a good idea.
    There's a danger here of the same kind of short-sightedness you get in some US Republican circles about military aid. Defending Lithuania is not transactional; Lithuania will never be able to defend the US to the same extent it benefits from the US umbrella, but that doesn't mean it's not in the strong interests of the US to contain Russia. It's all about front lines, not just geographical but also ethical, ideological, and political. Better to be defending our way of life far, far from home than to have the barbarians at the gate. It doesn't show up on the balance sheet as a credit, but that's merely an artefact of what is measurable.
    Except we can't prevent China from benefiting from their strings since it's not either or. In fact if we help develop a country that China has also tied in strings then that is More advantageous to China not less.

    The only way to prevent China from benefiting from its strings isn't for us to be developing other nations marginally it would be if we were sabotaging and destroying what the Chinese have done - which I don't think is appropriate.
    There's a lot of zero sum game thinking there.
    Actually my thinking was the opposite of zero sum. It was Roy G Biv that was zero sum thinking that if we spent aid that would neutralise Chinese strings attached whereas I said that we can actually end up amplifying and improving the benefits the Chinese get by supplementing their own investment without severing their strings or tying any of our own.
    You're right that my thinking is more zero-sum than yours in this context. But I stand by my view.
    For me it feel a bit like having well-regulated finance versus loan sharks. Ideally you don't want the loan sharks to exist at all, and ensuring people have access to proper finance can reduce the temptation to rely on bad actors. It is not a prophylactic, but it helps. Cutting off all legitimate finance options, on the other hand, drives them into the arms of the finger-breakers.

    (Just to be totally clear, I am using finance as a metaphor. I'm not suggesting that foreign aid is literally like lending.)
    But its not either/or.

    If someone is desperate and has loans with the sharks and regular finance as well then is that an improvement?

    If we give cash no strings attached then there's absolutely no reason for the recipients not to receive the Chinese strings-attached cash as well as our cash. In which case our cash has no geostrategic impact to mitigate the Chinese like you hypothesised.

    If you wish to suggest that we should start putting more strings attached to our cash (like the Chinese) then that's a different debate but that's been considered illegal and unethical since 1997 so what do you think on that? Was it a mistake to make our foreign aid no strings attached?
    At the very least, we should make it clear that if they are going to buy armoured limousines with aid money, they should buy Bentleys.

    Taking our money and then buying Mercedes is simply rude.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,326
    geoffw said:

    geoffw said:

    rkrkrk said:

    geoffw said:

    FPT
    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect"

    Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

    Concludes:
    And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

    1) they are misstating what the study says
    2) more importantly -> the idea behind masks is not primarily to protect the wearer, but to protect others from the wearer if the wearer is infectious.

    The actual study says: "The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection."
    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
    Correct - unwarranted hype imo.
    It's almost like they've a square hypothesis that they want to ram into any round holes going.
    Yup, the square hypothesis relates to how masks affect the wearer's susceptibility to infection, which misses the point about it being to protect others. More difficult to set up a randomised control trial for that though.
    There's that. There's also that the study doesn't even successfully demonstrate what it claims to demonstrate.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,251

    Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

    TfL vs the (normally profit-making) public Lothian Buses?
  • Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 5,164
    Sandpit said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
    The line "Dead N..... Storage" from Pulp Fiction was of course uttered by Tarantino himself.
    Yebbut SLJ was there.

    Actually, that scene is sublimely funny (even more so in the Spongebob and Patrick mashup) but there's scenes in Hateful 8 and True Romance which are just about saying n----- for the sake of saying it and are frankly horrible.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 31,130
    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    With his party in a state of flux, he quite likely has more important things to do (from his POV) than spend time here ?
    I don't understand
    With Cummings gone, the plates are shifting, and HYUFD has to make preparations to shift with them, if he's ambitious ?
    Away polishing the tanks and getting the uniforms ready for the blitzkreig
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    edited November 2020

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
  • Roy_G_Biv said:

    Nigelb said:

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Curse of the new thread. FPT.

    Roy_G_Biv said:

    Scott_xP said:
    I've never understood how one and the same person can be worried about the strategic inroads China is making into Africa, and simultaneously be in favour of slashing foreign aid and development. It's like saying "yes, I recognise than soft power can be beneficial, pay for itself, and in the hands of the wrong people is bad.... but I think we shouldn't do that."
    The only logical conclusion to these two viewpoints is that these people think the UK is worse that China. Which is a view, I guess.
    Simple - China's investment in Africa etc is with loads of strings attached, whereas our foreign aid is explicitly no strings attached.

    Meaning that both China and us can spend in the same country and afterwards thanks to Chinese strings they benefit and besides a warm glow in our hearts for a few seconds while thinking about how benign we are we simply don't.
    Preventing China from benefiting from its strings is a benefit for the whole of the liberal, capitalist, democratic world. Ceding that space completely to them is not a good idea.
    There's a danger here of the same kind of short-sightedness you get in some US Republican circles about military aid. Defending Lithuania is not transactional; Lithuania will never be able to defend the US to the same extent it benefits from the US umbrella, but that doesn't mean it's not in the strong interests of the US to contain Russia. It's all about front lines, not just geographical but also ethical, ideological, and political. Better to be defending our way of life far, far from home than to have the barbarians at the gate. It doesn't show up on the balance sheet as a credit, but that's merely an artefact of what is measurable.
    Except we can't prevent China from benefiting from their strings since it's not either or. In fact if we help develop a country that China has also tied in strings then that is More advantageous to China not less.

    The only way to prevent China from benefiting from its strings isn't for us to be developing other nations marginally it would be if we were sabotaging and destroying what the Chinese have done - which I don't think is appropriate.
    There's a lot of zero sum game thinking there.
    Actually my thinking was the opposite of zero sum. It was Roy G Biv that was zero sum thinking that if we spent aid that would neutralise Chinese strings attached whereas I said that we can actually end up amplifying and improving the benefits the Chinese get by supplementing their own investment without severing their strings or tying any of our own.
    You're right that my thinking is more zero-sum than yours in this context. But I stand by my view.
    For me it feel a bit like having well-regulated finance versus loan sharks. Ideally you don't want the loan sharks to exist at all, and ensuring people have access to proper finance can reduce the temptation to rely on bad actors. It is not a prophylactic, but it helps. Cutting off all legitimate finance options, on the other hand, drives them into the arms of the finger-breakers.

    (Just to be totally clear, I am using finance as a metaphor. I'm not suggesting that foreign aid is literally like lending.)
    But its not either/or.

    If someone is desperate and has loans with the sharks and regular finance as well then is that an improvement?

    If we give cash no strings attached then there's absolutely no reason for the recipients not to receive the Chinese strings-attached cash as well as our cash. In which case our cash has no geostrategic impact to mitigate the Chinese like you hypothesised.

    If you wish to suggest that we should start putting more strings attached to our cash (like the Chinese) then that's a different debate but that's been considered illegal and unethical since 1997 so what do you think on that? Was it a mistake to make our foreign aid no strings attached?
    At the very least, we should make it clear that if they are going to buy armoured limousines with aid money, they should buy Bentleys.

    Taking our money and then buying Mercedes is simply rude.
    Armoured Mercedes like this one? (Lame excuse for an old Top Gear joke!)


  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 8,350

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    Don't a lot of new songs include that word, even if it's spelt with an "a" at the end instead of "er"?
  • SandyRentoolSandyRentool Posts: 12,994
    "A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham."

    You see. While all those Oxbridge types are faffing about, it takes a proper University to just crack on and deliver something that works!
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,187
    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    He owes me £12.50. Think that's why he's gone on the run.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154

    IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
    I think Philip has convinced me, context matters. And you've convinced me further.
    Spike Lee was not happy about Tarantino's extensive use of the "N" word in various films. IIRC it turned into a bit of an argument between Lee and Samuel L Jackson.
  • "A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham."

    You see. While all those Oxbridge types are faffing about, it takes a proper University to just crack on and deliver something that works!

    How do you spray it up your nose if you are wearing a mask? The Brummie boffins haven't thought this through.
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 8,350

    "A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham."

    You see. While all those Oxbridge types are faffing about, it takes a proper University to just crack on and deliver something that works!

    Red Brick is best.
  • Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
    From memory wasn't Bob the Builder the Christmas Number One that year?

    I imagine decades later Stan is far more likely to be played on the radio, even if it is only on niche stations that play explicit stuff like that like 1Extra.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 5,164

    "A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham."

    You see. While all those Oxbridge types are faffing about, it takes a proper University to just crack on and deliver something that works!

    Oxford, please. Cambridge = not even faffing (unless you mean the proper one in Mass.)
  • Peter_the_PunterPeter_the_Punter Posts: 9,268
    edited November 2020

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    Why several decades ago?

    I can't think of an example but I'm sure you could find one if you listened to enough rap. The context would of course be crucial but then Woke doesn't do subtlety.

    Btw I've occasionally asked on here what libraries do about the use of the term by great writers of the past but without getting an entirely satisfactory response. I know there was once a move to edit the work of that infamous racist, Mark Twain, but I don't know how it panned out. I note however that nothing has been done about that notorious Nazi, Joseph Conrad, and his inflammatory Nigger Of The Narcissus.

    Saints preserve us, eh?
  • RobDRobD Posts: 50,910
    Andy_JS said:

    "A nasal spray that can provide effective protection against the COVID-19 virus has been developed by researchers at the University of Birmingham."

    You see. While all those Oxbridge types are faffing about, it takes a proper University to just crack on and deliver something that works!

    Red Brick is best.
    By the sounds of it you'd have to apply this all the time. Not downplaying the achievement, but it doesn't beat a vaccine by a long shot.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 19,085
    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 9,891

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    May I further complicate this by bringing up Bob Dylan's "Hurricane"?
    Which contains that word. However, it is in the context of black people using it. About another black man. Who was wrongly imprisoned, and very grateful for the support.
    It was, however, indisputably written by a man who isn't black.
    Is that OK?
  • kinabalu said:

    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    He owes me £12.50. Think that's why he's gone on the run.
    He lives in Epping, if it helps.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    edited November 2020

    Sandpit said:


    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)

    From memory wasn't Bob the Builder the Christmas Number One that year?

    I imagine decades later Stan is far more likely to be played on the radio, even if it is only on niche stations that play explicit stuff like that like 1Extra.
    Yes I think it was Bob that year, Eminem #3 with his somewhat less Christmassy song about the drunk fan killing himself and his pregnant girlfriend.
  • Is this more 'the Arctic is on fire, the planet's fcuked' stuff, or is Saudi snow a thing?

  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 20,926
    kinabalu said:

    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    He owes me £12.50. Think that's why he's gone on the run.
    Hope he's not developed Covid!
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,326
    malcolmg said:

    Nigelb said:

    Nigelb said:

    Roger said:

    Where's HYUFD? Surely not licking his wounds?

    With his party in a state of flux, he quite likely has more important things to do (from his POV) than spend time here ?
    I don't understand
    With Cummings gone, the plates are shifting, and HYUFD has to make preparations to shift with them, if he's ambitious ?
    Away polishing the tanks and getting the uniforms ready for the blitzkreig
    Has no one warned him of Scottish winters ?
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 783
    edited November 2020
    Nigelb said:

    geoffw said:

    geoffw said:

    rkrkrk said:

    geoffw said:

    FPT
    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect"

    Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

    Concludes:
    And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

    1) they are misstating what the study says
    2) more importantly -> the idea behind masks is not primarily to protect the wearer, but to protect others from the wearer if the wearer is infectious.

    The actual study says: "The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection."
    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
    Correct - unwarranted hype imo.
    It's almost like they've a square hypothesis that they want to ram into any round holes going.
    Yup, the square hypothesis relates to how masks affect the wearer's susceptibility to infection, which misses the point about it being to protect others. More difficult to set up a randomised control trial for that though.
    There's that. There's also that the study doesn't even successfully demonstrate what it claims to demonstrate.
    Yep, not sure if it's been covered elsewhere, but at best it's a trial of whether it is useful to issue a supply of masks to people (and even then it only tests protection of the wearer). Many of those issued masks admit to not using them/using them as directed all the time and it's likely that some of those not issued masks may have used masks anyway, at least at times. Then you get in to potential behavioural differences between those issued and not issued with masks, those with masks maybe being less careful in other ways.

    This is one of those questions where an individualised RCT is probably not the best design. You could randomise areas with mandated mask wearing or not (which would be a form of cluster randomised trial, although imperfect), but observational, particularly quasi-experimental studies are probably most useful here.

    I've got to add that I've always thought quite highly of Heneghan, but this makes me revise my opinion somewhat. He should be aware of the limitations and that it's actually not even the same question people are asking, so he either has a much lower understanding of this that I would expect or appears to be being deliberately disingenuous.
  • Roger said:

    JACK_W said:

    Gabriel Debenedetti of the "New York Magazine" gives a fascinating insight into the data analytics of the Biden campaign as the election loomed, November 3rd and the days following :

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/11/election-night-with-bidens-data-guru.html

    A very good read. Two standouts. The extraordinary amount of information they have on who will vote how and where and a question that isn't addressed but is relevant to the results. Why do uneducated whites vote overwhelmingly for Trump when other uneducated people don't and what is it about Trump that attracts them?
    I posted a quote from a friend in Tennessee a while back which addressed the reason why, apparently, so many people voted for Trump, and the answer was, basically, "fuck liberals".

    https://vf.politicalbetting.com/discussion/comment/3022100#Comment_3022100
  • Carnyx said:

    Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

    TfL vs the (normally profit-making) public Lothian Buses?
    No, given Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives account for 0.92% of Public Sector in Scotland and 1.49% in London.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,326
    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    Wholeheartedly agree with all that.

    Due diligence is a very flexible term - the clue is in the word 'due'.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
  • dixiedean said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    May I further complicate this by bringing up Bob Dylan's "Hurricane"?
    Which contains that word. However, it is in the context of black people using it. About another black man. Who was wrongly imprisoned, and very grateful for the support.
    It was, however, indisputably written by a man who isn't black.
    Is that OK?
    What about the Randy Newman song 'Rednecks', which mocks both the racist hicks and the Liberal Elite who sneer at them while not being much better at racial equality themselves?
  • Andy_JSAndy_JS Posts: 8,350
    edited November 2020

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    I completely disagree with you. A word is either racist for everyone or racist for no-one. It doesn't matter who says it. If you disagree with that, you're anti Enlightenment.
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,187
    IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    You simply asked about the use of the 'n-word', something that's been a staple of hip-hop music since its inception. Context is irrelevant, if you're going to ask for words to be banned.

    Don't start me on Dave Chappelle's latest comedy special either, there's at least a dozen 'n-words' in that.
    If a white person records a song with the word "nigger" in it, you either think that's appropriate or you don't, which is it?
    Well, Quentin Tarantino made a lot of films with that word in them, and that works just fine for me. If you disagree why not write to Samuel L Jackson and whitesplain to him his mistake in appearing in them?
    The line "Dead N..... Storage" from Pulp Fiction was of course uttered by Tarantino himself.
    Yebbut SLJ was there.

    Actually, that scene is sublimely funny (even more so in the Spongebob and Patrick mashup) but there's scenes in Hateful 8 and True Romance which are just about saying n----- for the sake of saying it and are frankly horrible.
    I like almost all of almost all Tarantino movies. If we didn't have the word "brio" we'd have to invent it for his film-making. But, yes, he loses control sometimes. Gets indulgent and crass.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 47,357
    edited November 2020
    Andy_JS said:
    Because it reduces the aerosols that you exhale by more than it reduces what you inhale.
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 2,944
    Nigelb said:

    (FPT)

    geoffw said:

    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect"

    Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

    Concludes:
    And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

    It's very far from rigorous.

    There's an extensive critique of the paper here:

    Letter of concern regarding »Reduction in COVID-19 infection using surgical facial masks outside the healthcare system«
    https://ugeskriftet.dk/dmj/letter-concern-regarding-reduction-covid-19-infection-using-surgical-facial-masks-outside-healthcare
    ...This study poses a serious risk of mistranslation, in part due to misleading statements about what the study actually measures in the protocol paper and trial registration. To most decision-makers, null or too-small effects will be misinterpreted to mean that masks are ineffective. However, the more accurate translation is that this study is uninformative regarding the benefits (or lack thereof) of wearing masks outside of the healthcare setting. As such, we caution decision-makers and the media from interpreting the results of this trial as being anything other than artifacts of weak design.

    There were similar warnings about the trial long before the results came out:
    That was a fun comparison with the discussion on the previous thread about how bad the media has been.

    Prediction: Anything that could be remotely negative, or isn't negative but could be seen as negative by the ignorant, with regards to any of the vaccines will be splashed all over:

    - The Spectator
    - Lockdownsceptics.org
    - Possibly the Telegraph


  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 17,187
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
    Yes, great song. Furthermore with a clear and topical link to the NHS Test & Trace System.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154
    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
    I'm trying to imagine the conversation with Mr Mathers, on the subject of changing his lyrics to fit their sensibilities.

    I strongly suspect every single word from him on the subject would have had to be bleeped out, for a fly in the wall documentary.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 9,891
    edited November 2020

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    I'm still reeling from the recently acquired knowledge that the guitar on "My Name Is (Slim Shady)" was by Chas of Chas and Dave.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154

    Andy_JS said:
    Because it reduces the aerosols that you exhale by more than it reduces what you inhale.
    Call me crazy, but surely the studies on why wear non-N95 masks in medical settings would be relevant?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 28,326
    edited November 2020
    Selebian said:

    Nigelb said:

    geoffw said:

    geoffw said:

    rkrkrk said:

    geoffw said:

    FPT
    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect"

    Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

    Concludes:
    And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

    1) they are misstating what the study says
    2) more importantly -> the idea behind masks is not primarily to protect the wearer, but to protect others from the wearer if the wearer is infectious.

    The actual study says: "The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection."
    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
    Correct - unwarranted hype imo.
    It's almost like they've a square hypothesis that they want to ram into any round holes going.
    Yup, the square hypothesis relates to how masks affect the wearer's susceptibility to infection, which misses the point about it being to protect others. More difficult to set up a randomised control trial for that though.
    There's that. There's also that the study doesn't even successfully demonstrate what it claims to demonstrate.
    Yep, not sure if it's been covered elsewhere, but at best it's a trial of whether it is useful to issue a supply of masks to people (and even then it only tests protection of the wearer). Many of those issued masks admit to not using them/using them as directed all the time and it's likely that some of those not issued masks may have used masks anyway, at least at times. Then you get in to potential behavioural differences between those issued and not issued with masks, those with masks maybe being less careful in other ways.

    This is one of those questions where an individualised RCT is probably not the best design. You could randomise areas with mandated mask wearing or not (which would be a form of cluster randomised trial, although imperfect), but observational, particularly quasi-experimental studies are probably most useful here.

    I've got to add that I've always thought quite highly of Heneghan, but this makes me revise my opinion somewhat. He should be aware of the limitations and that it's actually not even the same question people are asking, so he either has a much lower understanding of this that I would expect or appears to be being deliberately disingenuous.
    I posted a link to a very similar critique upthread.
    The authors made the same points well before the results came out, so this is not simply trying to discredit results they don't like; they said from the outset that it was a rubbish trial.

    https://ugeskriftet.dk/dmj/letter-concern-regarding-reduction-covid-19-infection-using-surgical-facial-masks-outside-healthcare
    ...this trial is better described as examining whether a delivery of 50 surgical masks plus weekly messages induce mask-wearing behaviour. A secondary question is whether that messaging reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is essential to distinguish between stated objectives and the actual intervention because we anticipate compliance problems with mask wearing or non-mask wearing. Participants in the non-mask/non-message arm are likely to have worn masks during the study and vice versa. Non-compliance in both study arms will dilute the effect of interest and bias it toward the null with respect to the stated objectives.

    The trial is also severely underpowered based on the effect size assumption in the protocol, exacerbated by the low incidence of COVID-19 in Denmark. The sample size calculation assumes at least a 50% relative risk reduction ; this is unreasonably high given that it is the product of both compliance behaviour and mask protective effects. The combined effect size would surely be smaller than that found in three observational studies collectively showing that actually wearing masks (i.e. ignoring the impact of non-compliance) outside the healthcare setting reduced the risk of SARS infection by less than 50% (pooled risk ratio 0·56 (0·40–0·79)) [3]. Further, Denmark almost certainly experienced a much lower than the predicted 2% incidence over the course of this trial [4, 5], although data on this are limited.

    Issues around outcome measurement further reduce the effective power of this study. Firstly, participants were only followed for 30 days post randomisation. However, based on the natural history of disease, this is not long enough to actually capture all infections in the study period. While about half of people infected with COVID-19 will report symptoms within five days, it may be two weeks or more until some people develop symptoms or achieve a viral load above the limit of detection [6]. The substantial lag makes detecting cases - and thus the effects of masks - far less likely during this trial: Participants are assigned to their arm; then change their behaviours; then their infection probabilities change; then, if exposed, the virus has a latency period when infection is not detectable; and then finally testing occurs. That leaves, at most, only two to three weeks of effective measurement time to pick up cases…


    And I'd agree with your remarks about Henegan.
    He's previously seemed quite measured in his statements, but this looks as though he's just seen "randomised control trial" and not looked any further.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906
    edited November 2020

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
    I'm trying to imagine the conversation with Mr Mathers, on the subject of changing his lyrics to fit their sensibilities.

    I strongly suspect every single word from him on the subject would have had to be bleeped out, for a fly in the wall documentary.
    LOL true.

    I've actually seen him perform live and censor some lyrics himself, just dropping the offensive word and leaving a blank as if someone had muted his mic. That can't be an easy thing to do, remember multiple versions of the same song. He never changes lyrics to censor himself though!

    Prince famously refused to allow an edited version of "Sexy MF" to be released. Radio 1 had to do it themselves, by replaying another portion of the song over the offensive word.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,251

    Carnyx said:

    Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

    TfL vs the (normally profit-making) public Lothian Buses?
    No, given Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives account for 0.92% of Public Sector in Scotland and 1.49% in London.
    Doesn't answer the specific question, really, does it? Is TfL counted as public sector? The railways?
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 44,529
    edited November 2020
    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis.
    There was. The NHS placed a huge order for masks in February, from the leading European supplier, based in France. You get one guess. One side effect of this will be a lot more on-shoring of basic health care capability like this going forward.

  • MonTheTeddyBears!@StaunchForever is cancelling his Speccie sub: tipping point.

  • Is this more 'the Arctic is on fire, the planet's fcuked' stuff, or is Saudi snow a thing?

    I think it's more unusual that precipitation fell at all, then that it fell as snow. Deserts can get very cold overnight, and there's a lot of high ground in the Arabian peninsula. Riyadh itself is not unusually high at being ~600m above sea level, which is a lot higher than the densely inhabited parts of Britain.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis.
    There was. The NHS placed a huge order for masks in February, from the leading European supplier, based in France. You get one guess. One side effect of this will be a lot more on-shoring of basic health care capability like this going forward.

    Wurth stopped export deliveries of masks etc, due to German government(s) requisitioning all production.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 28,906

    Is this more 'the Arctic is on fire, the planet's fcuked' stuff, or is Saudi snow a thing?

    I think it's more unusual that precipitation fell at all, then that it fell as snow. Deserts can get very cold overnight, and there's a lot of high ground in the Arabian peninsula. Riyadh itself is not unusually high at being ~600m above sea level, which is a lot higher than the densely inhabited parts of Britain.
    UAE had some snow in the mountains at the beginning of this year. We go up to about 5,000' here.

    Was a massive traffic jam to go and have a look, it only happens every decade or so!
    https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/environment/snow-falls-on-jebel-jais-amid-week-of-extreme-weather-in-uae-1.964575
  • Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    The smoke- which may or may not have fire underneath it- is the number of people with close personal links to the Conservative party who didn't have experience in supplying PPE but suddenly set themselves up in that business. Especially when (as it seems) mates of the government were prioritised over non-mates who actually had experience in the area.

    Iain Martin got it right in The Times this morning. Some will have genuinely wanted to help in a crisis, but it's hard to escape the conclusion that at least some friends of the government are more than a little spivvy. Profiting out of a disaster will always happen, but the public rarely like to have their noses rubbed in it.
  • Family gatherings at Christmas will “throw fuel on the fire” of the pandemic and there is "far too much emphasis" on having a normal festive period, a Government scientific adviser has said.

    Older people face “substantial risks,” said Andrew Hayward, professor of infectious disease epidemiology at University College London.

    Telegraph
  • Roger said:

    JACK_W said:

    Gabriel Debenedetti of the "New York Magazine" gives a fascinating insight into the data analytics of the Biden campaign as the election loomed, November 3rd and the days following :

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/11/election-night-with-bidens-data-guru.html

    A very good read. Two standouts. The extraordinary amount of information they have on who will vote how and where and a question that isn't addressed but is relevant to the results. Why do uneducated whites vote overwhelmingly for Trump when other uneducated people don't and what is it about Trump that attracts them?
    I posted a quote from a friend in Tennessee a while back which addressed the reason why, apparently, so many people voted for Trump, and the answer was, basically, "fuck liberals".

    https://vf.politicalbetting.com/discussion/comment/3022100#Comment_3022100
    That, in two words, is exactly why my ex-pat friend in Florida is such a rabid Trump-supporter.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 9,251

    MonTheTeddyBears!@StaunchForever is cancelling his Speccie sub: tipping point.

    An intellectual ursid, that. Reminds me how I have had to explain to English colleagues writing about Scottish affairs/history that 'staunch' has a Certain Meaning and is not to be used in an inappropriate context.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 783
    Nigelb said:

    .

    Selebian said:

    Nigelb said:

    geoffw said:

    geoffw said:

    rkrkrk said:

    geoffw said:

    FPT
    Prof Carl Heneghan & Tom Jefferson "Landmark Danish study shows face masks have no significant effect"

    Unlike other studies looking at masks, the Danmask study was a randomised controlled trial – making it the highest quality scientific evidence.

    Concludes:
    And now that we have properly rigorous scientific research we can rely on, the evidence shows that wearing masks in the community does not significantly reduce the rates of infection.

    https://www.spectator.co.uk/article/do-masks-stop-the-spread-of-covid-19-

    1) they are misstating what the study says
    2) more importantly -> the idea behind masks is not primarily to protect the wearer, but to protect others from the wearer if the wearer is infectious.

    The actual study says: "The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection."
    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817
    Correct - unwarranted hype imo.
    It's almost like they've a square hypothesis that they want to ram into any round holes going.
    Yup, the square hypothesis relates to how masks affect the wearer's susceptibility to infection, which misses the point about it being to protect others. More difficult to set up a randomised control trial for that though.
    There's that. There's also that the study doesn't even successfully demonstrate what it claims to demonstrate.
    Yep, not sure if it's been covered elsewhere, but at best it's a trial of whether it is useful to issue a supply of masks to people (and even then it only tests protection of the wearer). Many of those issued masks admit to not using them/using them as directed all the time and it's likely that some of those not issued masks may have used masks anyway, at least at times. Then you get in to potential behavioural differences between those issued and not issued with masks, those with masks maybe being less careful in other ways.

    This is one of those questions where an individualised RCT is probably not the best design. You could randomise areas with mandated mask wearing or not (which would be a form of cluster randomised trial, although imperfect), but observational, particularly quasi-experimental studies are probably most useful here.

    I've got to add that I've always thought quite highly of Heneghan, but this makes me revise my opinion somewhat. He should be aware of the limitations and that it's actually not even the same question people are asking, so he either has a much lower understanding of this that I would expect or appears to be being deliberately disingenuous.
    I posted a link to a very similar critiques upthread.
    The authors made the same points well before the results came out, so this is not simply trying to discredit results they don't like; they said from the outset that it was a rubbish trial.

    https://ugeskriftet.dk/dmj/letter-concern-regarding-reduction-covid-19-infection-using-surgical-facial-masks-outside-healthcare
    ...this trial is better described as examining whether a delivery of 50 surgical masks plus weekly messages induce mask-wearing behaviour. A secondary question is whether that messaging reduces the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is essential to distinguish between stated objectives and the actual intervention because we anticipate compliance problems with mask wearing or non-mask wearing. Participants in the non-mask/non-message arm are likely to have worn masks during the study and vice versa. Non-compliance in both study arms will dilute the effect of interest and bias it toward the null with respect to the stated objectives.

    The trial is also severely underpowered based on the effect size assumption in the protocol, exacerbated by the low incidence of COVID-19 in Denmark. The sample size calculation assumes at least a 50% relative risk reduction ; this is unreasonably high given that it is the product of both compliance behaviour and mask protective effects. The combined effect size would surely be smaller than that found in three observational studies collectively showing that actually wearing masks (i.e. ignoring the impact of non-compliance) outside the healthcare setting reduced the risk of SARS infection by less than 50% (pooled risk ratio 0·56 (0·40–0·79)) [3]. Further, Denmark almost certainly experienced a much lower than the predicted 2% incidence over the course of this trial [4, 5], although data on this are limited.

    Issues around outcome measurement further reduce the effective power of this study. Firstly, participants were only followed for 30 days post randomisation. However, based on the natural history of disease, this is not long enough to actually capture all infections in the study period. While about half of people infected with COVID-19 will report symptoms within five days, it may be two weeks or more until some people develop symptoms or achieve a viral load above the limit of detection [6]. The substantial lag makes detecting cases - and thus the effects of masks - far less likely during this trial: Participants are assigned to their arm; then change their behaviours; then their infection probabilities change; then, if exposed, the virus has a latency period when infection is not detectable; and then finally testing occurs. That leaves, at most, only two to three weeks of effective measurement time to pick up cases…


    And I'd agree with your remarks about Henegan.
    He's previously seemed quite measured in his statements, but this looks as though he's just seen "randomised control trial" and not looked any further.
    Ah, I should have read further.

    Adherence is a general problem with trials of things that are more complicated than administering a pharmaceutical or placebo. A colleague was involved in a trial looking at whether regular running would help with depression - people were told to follow normal routines or do an additional x minutes running per week. Trial results showed no effect, but when they did the other planned follow-up questions they discovered that those with the worst depression simply weren't going running, even if in the running group. So the intervention (tell people to run) was useless, but it didn't say anything about whether running itself was actually useful.
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,671
    Can I dip my toe in the choppy waters of "who should get the vaccine first"?

    Seems to be taken as red that it should be the very oldest people first, particularly those in care homes.

    "Who is most vulnerable for covid" should be a prime driver for sure. But there are other drivers surely? Can we agree that not all lives are of equal value? Controversial I know.

    Seems obvious to me that a 18 year old life is of more value than a 80 year old life, and gradients in-between. If you overlaid scales of "who is most vulnerable from catching the virus" with "who has most to lose from catching the virus" the answer wouldn`t be "vaccinate old folk in care homes first".

    I have my hard hat on to protect against the incoming.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154
    Carnyx said:

    Carnyx said:

    Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

    TfL vs the (normally profit-making) public Lothian Buses?
    No, given Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives account for 0.92% of Public Sector in Scotland and 1.49% in London.
    Doesn't answer the specific question, really, does it? Is TfL counted as public sector? The railways?
    TfL is a 100% governmental organisation.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 9,891
    edited November 2020
    kinabalu said:

    Sandpit said:

    Sandpit said:

    Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate

    "Straight Outta Compton"?

    That's 32 years old now, old enough to be a grandparent. Still sounds good today.
    That's obviously not what I meant and you're being disingenuous by using it as an example. "Nigger" in that context is very different to the usage historically and by white people against black people.
    Its not disingenuous whatsoever it is the word being used.

    Fairytale of New York has an even more innocent and acceptable use of lyrics than that does.
    It is, because a black person using the word "nigger" in this context is not being racist, in some sense black people have re-defined/re-owned the word.

    If a white person called somebody a nigger today, clearly it's racist, it's completely different as you well know.

    As an example, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nigger_in_the_woodpile - this is wholly unacceptable today, if you said or used this, you'd be absolutely be being racist.
    Its not disingenuous as the question was never about white people or drawing a distinction.

    Your question (in the context of talking about Fairytale of New York) was just this: "Just a question, if the radio were to play a song with the word "nigger" in it from several decades ago, do people still believe this is appropriate"

    Straight Outta Compton is from several decades ago. It ticks every box of your question. And the context was immediately after discussing Fairytale of New York so don't try and change this into some twisted black versus white thing - if you meant that you should have said that but you did not.

    So can you answer your own question: If the radio were to play [Straight Outta Compton which is from several decades ago], do [you] still believe this is appropriate"?
    I'm happy to clarify what I meant, as you so wish.

    Playing Straight Outta Compton, is entirely different to say airing https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Nigger_in_the_Woodpile. Completely and entirely different.
    So what you're saying is that it is acceptable to play it and context is what matters?

    In which case green light for Fairytale of New York. The context is entirely fine, we all know that.
    Yes, context does matter, you're right. Not sure about the context of Fairytale of New York, faggot is pretty offensive against gay people, no?

    Now please answer my question, if that film I mentioned above is to be aired, do you think that is acceptable? What conditions should be put on its airing?

    Another question: you seem unhappy about things that might cause offence, do you also oppose blurring out swearing pre the watershed, etc?
    I think its entirely acceptable to play different things pre and post watershed.

    I also think a five second disclaimer before airing can counter any issues of offence you have. So yes I'd be OK with any dated film being broadcast with a disclaimer if its found necessary to do so.

    Disney deal with this issue well. The original Dumbo is available to air completely unedited but the text description before you play it has a disclaimer that it contains dated stereotypes. That to me is a reasonable compromise.
    So would you be comfortable with say blurring out racism pre the watershed? I am just trying to understand how that differs from swearing, etc.: the point of both is preventing offence, surely. Maybe they already do this BTW, I am not sure.

    Good answers there Philip, think I'm in agreement with you mostly.
    Pre-watershed "radio edits" (and TV like MTV etc are like this too) typically do blur out racism and other offensive concepts including alcohol or drug abuse, sexism and other issues too.

    When I was at Uni in my Halls of Residence I laughed out loud (which drew some funny looks) when I saw the edited version of Stan for the first time, after Eminem has kidnapped Dido and is speeding drunk in the car before killing them both (so rather an inappropriate thing to laugh at). It made me laugh because the later verse is so heavily edited there's more silence than there are lyrics!
    That's a simply brilliant song, and came incredibly close to being Christmas Number 1 back in 2000

    How the record company ever thought they could make a radio edit of it, I have no idea. They'd have had to get Em back in the studio, and somehow made sense of the storyline with more suitable language.

    (To continue the earlier conversation - damn, that was 20 years ago. Makes me feel old!)
    Yes, great song. Furthermore with a clear and topical link to the NHS Test & Trace System.
    And indeed the video anticipated issues with US postal voting.
    Spooky foresight from Mr Mathers.
  • I presume RamJam's only hit is also on the no-play list?
  • StockyStocky Posts: 4,671
    Speechless. How does one react to this nonsense? It truly is a blight of our times.
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 19,085

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis.
    There was. The NHS placed a huge order for masks in February, from the leading European supplier, based in France. You get one guess. One side effect of this will be a lot more on-shoring of basic health care capability like this going forward.

    Indeed.

    Sorry to be a party pooper but in a pandemic is not this sort of reaction entirely foreseeable - that countries would requisition material made in their country and would override any normal commercial contracts? So did we have plans for this? If not, why not? A pandemic was identified as one of the highest risks we faced. So what the hell preparation was made?

    In a few weeks we may well have shortages in basic necessities. It would be nice to think the government had a plan. But what I won’t accept is more profiteering by friends of government ministers because the latter can’t make any bloody plans for foreseeable events and then using their negligence to justify said profiteering.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 18,992
    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
  • Carnyx said:

    Carnyx said:

    Fascinating ONS FOI request into employment in Public vs Private sector. While some of this will be down to different classifications of employment (for example, "Water" in Scotland will still count as "Public" while in England it will be "Private" there are some striking differences - GB, highest/lowest English regions and Wales/Scotland:

    % Employed in Public Sector (2020 provisional):

    GB: 25.1%
    NW: 28.8
    SE: 19.6
    Wales: 37.1%
    Scot: 39.8%

    Median Public Sector income in Scotland is also 13% higher than Private sector.

    Nice work if you can get it. And keep paying for it.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/adhocs/12534earningsandhoursworkedukregionpublicandprivatesectorsbysoc1to2digit2010to2020

    TfL vs the (normally profit-making) public Lothian Buses?
    No, given Transport and mobile machine drivers and operatives account for 0.92% of Public Sector in Scotland and 1.49% in London.
    Doesn't answer the specific question, really, does it? Is TfL counted as public sector? The railways?
    Given its half a percent difference TfL's classification is unlikely to make a material difference to the big picture.

    The big differences are in health (Scotland proportionately double London) and Education (Scotland just over half London) in a context where overall Scotland has nearly twice the proportion employed in the Public Sector as London (which also has pay parity between Public & Private sectors, unlike Scotland where Public Sector pay leads the Private Sector by 13%.)
  • Carnyx said:

    MonTheTeddyBears!@StaunchForever is cancelling his Speccie sub: tipping point.

    An intellectual ursid, that. Reminds me how I have had to explain to English colleagues writing about Scottish affairs/history that 'staunch' has a Certain Meaning and is not to be used in an inappropriate context.
    See also: Union Flag cushion covers are not necessarily a neutral soft furnishing choice.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 63,352
    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    Was the original played on the radio from 93 -> 19 though ?
  • CyclefreeCyclefree Posts: 19,085
    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    Sandpit said:

    Cyclefree said:

    FPT from @Charles

    “ Most of these products came via the grey market which has always been a murky place with long chains of multiple people taking a cut.

    One I was told about the other days: US pharma sells to Turkish hospital. Hospital sells to mate down the road. Mate sells to Turkish wholesaler. Turkish is wholesaler sells to Romanian parallel importer. Romanian parallel importer sells to Dutch agent. Dutch agent sells to legitimate clinical trial supply company. Clinical trial supply company provides to big pharma company for use in a clinical trial.”

    There is quite a big difference between that and Party A reaching an agreement with Party B who then says “BTW before we finalise this you need to pay Intermediary C a large amount of money because he arranged this deal” even though as far as you can tell Intermediary C’s work consists mainly of inserting himself in the middle in order to get paid.

    A lot of these companies seem to be wholly unaware of the provisions of the UK’s Bribery Act, which apply not just to operations in the U.K. but overseas as well and to anyone acting on their behalf. If the SFO were not so terminally useless they’d have enough work to keep them going for years. As it is, if there has been any wrongdoing, the wrongdoers are probably safe from justice.

    What was more important in the first half of this year?

    1. Strict adherence to procurement practices, with extensive due diligence and only purchasing from primary sources of manufacturing?

    or

    2. By any means necessary, keeping healthcare professionals provided with protective equipment?

    At the start of the pandemic, this was the binary choice faced by those in charge of PPE procurement. Of course mistakes will have been made, but that is the nature of a pandemic.

    Of course, if there is any evidence of actual fraud this should be investigated, but the vast majority of people involved acted in good faith to an open "Does anyone know anyone anywhere who can get this stuff?" request from the NHS.
    I don’t have any problem at all with the government paying over the odds for equipment needed urgently. It does raise the important question of why there appeared to be no plan for getting equipment necessary in a crisis - perhaps that was another part of Project Cygnus that was ditched.

    I do have a big problem with doing so in a way which appears to have facilitated some very apparently dodgy behaviour. The Bribery Act does not have a defence of “I needed to do it speedily because I was unprepared.” I also question the claim of “good faith” because of my actual knowledge of some of the people involved.

    There has been a persistent response that normal due diligence would take 6 months etc so obviously would need to be ditched. This is simply not true. You can do even basic due diligence very quickly - in hours if need be. It takes minutes to put in contracts clauses allowing clawback of monies paid and yet the ineffably incompetent Helen Whately was claiming that such things did not exist.

    When banks were rescued in autumn 2008 this was pretty much done over a weekend. The idea that things cannot be done well and speedily is simply not true. The idea that speed is an excuse for simply abandoning any attempt at some form of control is a nonsense.

    What’s more this abandonment of any sort of good practice seems to have continued long after the initial emergency. It seems to have infested all sorts of other contracts and appointments which had nothing to do with getting equipment to doctors on the front line. It seems to be the government’s MO and this should concern us all, however much slack we may be willing to cut the government for what it necessarily had to do back in February/March.
    I think that any evidence of fraud should be passed to the relevant authorities, I've been consistent in that. I also think that the lack of preparedness should be investigated thoroughly, so that everyone is ready for the next emergency.

    As @Charles mentioned earlier, attempts at due diligence would have difficult back in March - many of these potential suppliers had no prior experience in the field but did know someone further along the grey-market supply chain. Most of them did indeed deliver the PPE that was paid for, even if it wasn't the best possible value for money. The NHS procurement team had little choice if they didn't want to run out of the stuff.

    The difference with the bank rescue was that it was just numbers on computers and spreadsheets, rather than having to physically manufacture and distribute stuff that the whole world was looking for at the same time.
    Hmm - not to cast aspersions on the lovely @Charles. But bankers always say due diligence is too difficult. I view such claims with great scepticism.

    Though bankers’ failure to take it seriously is probably the single most important reason why people like me have been able to have a career. So not all bad news, I suppose. 🙂
  • Your regular reminder that you're being played 24/7 (and not like a record).

  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 8,706
    edited November 2020
    Stocky said:

    Can I dip my toe in the choppy waters of "who should get the vaccine first"?

    Seems to be taken as red that it should be the very oldest people first, particularly those in care homes.

    "Who is most vulnerable for covid" should be a prime driver for sure. But there are other drivers surely? Can we agree that not all lives are of equal value? Controversial I know.

    Seems obvious to me that a 18 year old life is of more value than a 80 year old life, and gradients in-between. If you overlaid scales of "who is most vulnerable from catching the virus" with "who has most to lose from catching the virus" the answer wouldn`t be "vaccinate old folk in care homes first".

    I have my hard hat on to protect against the incoming.

    Is it an ARCO hard hat, a company with decades of PPE engineering experience, that couldn't make the Government's preferred supplier list, or one acquired via a Miami Jewellry designer and his Spanish friend at significantly higher cost?
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 10,154
    edited November 2020
    Stocky said:

    Can I dip my toe in the choppy waters of "who should get the vaccine first"?

    Seems to be taken as red that it should be the very oldest people first, particularly those in care homes.

    "Who is most vulnerable for covid" should be a prime driver for sure. But there are other drivers surely? Can we agree that not all lives are of equal value? Controversial I know.

    Seems obvious to me that a 18 year old life is of more value than a 80 year old life, and gradients in-between. If you overlaid scales of "who is most vulnerable from catching the virus" with "who has most to lose from catching the virus" the answer wouldn`t be "vaccinate old folk in care homes first".

    I have my hard hat on to protect against the incoming.

    Ah, Qualy abuse. Bit like poor old Magna Garter.

    The ranking has already be set out, for the UK

    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/priority-groups-for-coronavirus-covid-19-vaccination-advice-from-the-jcvi-25-september-2020/jcvi-updated-interim-advice-on-priority-groups-for-covid-19-vaccination

    1) older adults’ resident in a care home and care home workers
    2) all those 80 years of age and over and health and social care workers
    3) all those 75 years of age and over
    4) all those 70 years of age and over
    5) all those 65 years of age and over
    6) high-risk adults under 65 years of age
    7) moderate-risk adults under 65 years of age
    8) all those 60 years of age and over
    9) all those 55 years of age and over
    10) all those 50 years of age and over
    11) rest of the population (priority to be determined)

    1-5) would be something in the order of 13-14 million people, I believe.

    Nearly all the deaths have been in the 1-9 groups.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 18,992
    Pulpstar said:

    Alistair said:

    1992. Kirsty McColl sang different lyrics on top of the pops

    Almost 30 years ago now.
    Was the original played on the radio from 93 -> 19 though ?
    No. BBC produced a radio edit in 2007. I'm sure there were others.
  • Pagan2Pagan2 Posts: 2,078
    Stocky said:

    Can I dip my toe in the choppy waters of "who should get the vaccine first"?

    Seems to be taken as red that it should be the very oldest people first, particularly those in care homes.

    "Who is most vulnerable for covid" should be a prime driver for sure. But there are other drivers surely? Can we agree that not all lives are of equal value? Controversial I know.

    Seems obvious to me that a 18 year old life is of more value than a 80 year old life, and gradients in-between. If you overlaid scales of "who is most vulnerable from catching the virus" with "who has most to lose from catching the virus" the answer wouldn`t be "vaccinate old folk in care homes first".

    I have my hard hat on to protect against the incoming.

    You have to first define how you value a life.

    For example who's life was more valuable out of a 65 year old stephen Hawking and an 18 year old drug pusher. Age or longetivity obviously aren't the only measures
  • MonTheTeddyBears!@StaunchForever is cancelling his Speccie sub: tipping point.

    twitter.com/StaunchForever/status/1329360100679692289?s=20

    Is he implying that this in is the only rubbish in The Spectator? That might be a bit of a stretch.. :D:D
  • Andy_CookeAndy_Cooke Posts: 2,944
    Andy_JS said:
    It's a mystery.

    Truly.

    It's not like that the evidence in favour of mask wearing is huge and overwhelming; when a study comes along with a few dozen people, is far too small to get statistical significance of anything, and then states they didn't find statistical significance of anything, we all look puzzled.

    Meanwhile...

    image
This discussion has been closed.