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Command syndrome: Brexit and Covid have defined Johnson’s leadership style – politicalbetting.com

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  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 21,918
    DougSeal said:

    On the impact of the vaccine programme on voting intentions... seems certain that currently the speed of vaccinations (relative to other countries) is underpinning Government support... but will that continue if the end to lockdown, as announced on Monday, is thoroughly underwhelming... the one measure briefed to the press today, meeting one other family outside by Easter has left this household very disappointed to say the least... speed of returning to normal (relative to other countries) may overtake % of population jabbed as the driver of public mood...

    Absolutely. And you can see the beginnings of this in the news, in the social media and on conservative sites today. The mood is turning swiftly.

    Wait until Sunak gives us the bill on March 03. It will turn again.

    Johnson has a problem, in my view.
    "meeting one other family outside by Easter"

    I'm not a behaviour scientist on SAGE but imho once the over 50s and vulnerables are done by end of March/early April, then there are millions of families who will ignore this restriction and meet up (at least in gardens) and to hell with if it's three or four households technically.

    People have had enough of this.
    Happening today in my village, on the village green, on the park benches outside the old agricultural college, it’s like the sun has come out and a switch has been flicked. I’ve no doubt the cops are concentrating on the towns and on the beaches (Whitstable, Hythe, Joss Bay) while the villages in the interior are enforcement free. It’s lockdown by consent and, to my eye today, it’s slipping already. And it’s going to be broadly this sunny all week.
    Sunny here too; shall have a walk down to the river this afternoon and see!
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550
    edited February 20
    I am Boris’s biggest skeptic, but he has had a good few weeks.

    His Munich speech was excellent, and for @Philip_Thompson’s edification I paste the following:

    The starting point of our Integrated Review of foreign, defence and development policy – which will be published next month – is that the success of Global Britain depends on the security of our homeland and the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.


    Personally I think our foreign policy looks more focused since any time since early Blair. I put a lot of this down to Raab who I think gets an unfairly bad press because he is not the best media performer.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 4,910

    DougSeal said:

    On the impact of the vaccine programme on voting intentions... seems certain that currently the speed of vaccinations (relative to other countries) is underpinning Government support... but will that continue if the end to lockdown, as announced on Monday, is thoroughly underwhelming... the one measure briefed to the press today, meeting one other family outside by Easter has left this household very disappointed to say the least... speed of returning to normal (relative to other countries) may overtake % of population jabbed as the driver of public mood...

    Absolutely. And you can see the beginnings of this in the news, in the social media and on conservative sites today. The mood is turning swiftly.

    Wait until Sunak gives us the bill on March 03. It will turn again.

    Johnson has a problem, in my view.
    "meeting one other family outside by Easter"

    I'm not a behaviour scientist on SAGE but imho once the over 50s and vulnerables are done by end of March/early April, then there are millions of families who will ignore this restriction and meet up (at least in gardens) and to hell with if it's three or four households technically.

    People have had enough of this.
    Happening today in my village, on the village green, on the park benches outside the old agricultural college, it’s like the sun has come out and a switch has been flicked. I’ve no doubt the cops are concentrating on the towns and on the beaches (Whitstable, Hythe, Joss Bay) while the villages in the interior are enforcement free. It’s lockdown by consent and, to my eye today, it’s slipping already. And it’s going to be broadly this sunny all week.
    Thanks. It is lock down by consent and SAGE and the roadmappers need to accept that.

    There is no way millions will carry on in this benighted half world once the vulnerable have been vaccinated and the season changes the viral dynamics anyway.
    You can get people to do this with a carrot or a stick. We don’t have Chinese levels of internal state security so the stick is difficult and not really something that would be acceptable anyway. Then there’s the carrot - which a return to 2019 normality (when people hear “New Normal”: they recoil - they want the old one back). When we predict that there will most likely be such a positive outcome, we believe that we are able to make that possible future a reality. This leads people to feel more motivated to pursue those likely outcomes despite them being unpopular - stick to a diet and you’ll lose weight, wear a cast and your leg will heal. Lockdown is only popular as such a means to an end. When the end keeps being snatched away then people become demotivated and quit,
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367
    edited February 20
    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285

    RobD said:

    On conhome and on twitter there are some restless conservatives out there today. And not just the usual suspects.

    One critique on conhome is very very bitter and the fact they published it is quite an eyebrow raiser.

    Is Johnson sitting on a powder keg?

    I always thought a 'conhome' was a geriatric institution that delivered less than it promised.
    That's because the conservatives' core vote is geriatric.

    Why do you think untold billions have been spent trying to preserve and extend their lives while young people have been thrown to the dogs?
    That’s bollocks. Any party would have done broadly the same thing.
    French children are in school. They don;t have the vaccine. Do the math.

    Meanwhile Ron de Santis in Florida is showing us how conservatives should have responded to the pandemic. Small businesses? we have your back. Children? you have a right to an education, whatever.

    This is coming down the line at CarrieBojo apologists such as yourself. And other fake conservatives. It isn't going to be pretty,
    French children have had to wear masks in school since October, and from this month only 'Category 1' masks (FFP2 and equivalent) are permitted:

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20210208/france-bans-the-use-of-fabric-face-masks-in-schools-over-concerns-about-efficiency

    I take it you're totally in favour of the French approach then?
    I did not know that French kids are required to wear FFP2 masks. I wonder how long they are required to wear them in one sitting - do they get breaks every hour, or must they wear them continually whilst on school grounds? Does the school have spares for those kids who sneeze/cough into them and spoil them? How many kids are blacking out from CO2 build up?

    I am absolutely not against this approach, but I wonder about some of the practicalities of having lots of kids wearing N95-equivalent masks for long periods at a time.
  • Andy_JS said:

    BEL MOONEY: My dad Ted passed three Covid tests and died of a chronic illness yet he's officially one of Britain's 120,000 victims of the virus and is far from alone... so how many more are there?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9279767/BEL-MOONEY-dad-died-chronic-illness-hes-officially-Covid-victim.html

    Probably fewer than those who died of C-19 after the 28 day cut off.

    That's why excess deaths are the figure to use.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550
    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367
    edited February 20
    TimT said:

    RobD said:

    On conhome and on twitter there are some restless conservatives out there today. And not just the usual suspects.

    One critique on conhome is very very bitter and the fact they published it is quite an eyebrow raiser.

    Is Johnson sitting on a powder keg?

    I always thought a 'conhome' was a geriatric institution that delivered less than it promised.
    That's because the conservatives' core vote is geriatric.

    Why do you think untold billions have been spent trying to preserve and extend their lives while young people have been thrown to the dogs?
    That’s bollocks. Any party would have done broadly the same thing.
    French children are in school. They don;t have the vaccine. Do the math.

    Meanwhile Ron de Santis in Florida is showing us how conservatives should have responded to the pandemic. Small businesses? we have your back. Children? you have a right to an education, whatever.

    This is coming down the line at CarrieBojo apologists such as yourself. And other fake conservatives. It isn't going to be pretty,
    French children have had to wear masks in school since October, and from this month only 'Category 1' masks (FFP2 and equivalent) are permitted:

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20210208/france-bans-the-use-of-fabric-face-masks-in-schools-over-concerns-about-efficiency

    I take it you're totally in favour of the French approach then?
    I did not know that French kids are required to wear FFP2 masks. I wonder how long they are required to wear them in one sitting - do they get breaks every hour, or must they wear them continually whilst on school grounds? Does the school have spares for those kids who sneeze/cough into them and spoil them? How many kids are blacking out from CO2 build up?

    I am absolutely not against this approach, but I wonder about some of the practicalities of having lots of kids wearing N95-equivalent masks for long periods at a time.
    I am. Speaking as somebody who suffers from hearing loss and has to lip read, it's a stupid idea (especially given there's no evidence it works).
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    DougSeal said:

    On the impact of the vaccine programme on voting intentions... seems certain that currently the speed of vaccinations (relative to other countries) is underpinning Government support... but will that continue if the end to lockdown, as announced on Monday, is thoroughly underwhelming... the one measure briefed to the press today, meeting one other family outside by Easter has left this household very disappointed to say the least... speed of returning to normal (relative to other countries) may overtake % of population jabbed as the driver of public mood...

    Absolutely. And you can see the beginnings of this in the news, in the social media and on conservative sites today. The mood is turning swiftly.

    Wait until Sunak gives us the bill on March 03. It will turn again.

    Johnson has a problem, in my view.
    "meeting one other family outside by Easter"

    I'm not a behaviour scientist on SAGE but imho once the over 50s and vulnerables are done by end of March/early April, then there are millions of families who will ignore this restriction and meet up (at least in gardens) and to hell with if it's three or four households technically.

    People have had enough of this.
    Happening today in my village, on the village green, on the park benches outside the old agricultural college, it’s like the sun has come out and a switch has been flicked. I’ve no doubt the cops are concentrating on the towns and on the beaches (Whitstable, Hythe, Joss Bay) while the villages in the interior are enforcement free. It’s lockdown by consent and, to my eye today, it’s slipping already. And it’s going to be broadly this sunny all week.
    Thanks. It is lock down by consent and SAGE and the roadmappers need to accept that.

    There is no way millions will carry on in this benighted half world once the vulnerable have been vaccinated and the season changes the viral dynamics anyway.
    Indeed. The lockdown champions need to understand the millions of us who live on their own, are allowed out no more than once a day for exercise, and (in my case) working from home. I have developed workarounds of course, now have a support bubble I visit occasionally, and I'm not frankly that sociable in the winter anyway, but I am certainly starting to feel a hunger to get back out into the world again.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550
    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Agreed. Especially Kwasi, I think that's going to be an appointment that pays a huge dividend over the next few years. I've put some money on him as next PM becuase I think that he's going to be doing all of the "positive" things in the country over the next few years while Rishi is going to be lumbered with spending cuts and tax rises. My next PM portfolio is Rishi, Liz and Kwasi. I think the social liberals are going to make a big comeback in the party now that brexit is done and dusted.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095
    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367
    edited February 20

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    I'd say they're about equal.

    However, I wonder if Johnson sees it as a poisoned chalice for somebody seen as a potential rival. There are very hard decisions to be made that are going to be unpopular, simply because they have to be made if the system is not to collpase.

    Education is in a shambles, but it's far from all because of Covid. Indeed, it's actually helped expose the issues with e.g. a cratered exam system, lack of administrative quality, inspections carried out for the sake of it, and a complete breakdown of trust between frontline staff and the government, as much as it has created new ones.
  • StuartinromfordStuartinromford Posts: 2,486
    edited February 20

    Boris is politically invincible. You couldn't have someone more suited to prosper in this post-truth world. And what with vast swathes of the media, and other assorted apologists, promoting him without question... I just can't see the tiniest chink in his armour.

    First rule of materials science is that nothing is unbreakable.

    Most governments are like metal car bodies- they're hit, they gain another dent, they go on and eventually succumb to rust.
    Johnson is more like fibreglass. No dents, no obvious corrosion, but eventually it's hit in the right place with sufficient force and it just shatters.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    RobD said:

    On conhome and on twitter there are some restless conservatives out there today. And not just the usual suspects.

    One critique on conhome is very very bitter and the fact they published it is quite an eyebrow raiser.

    Is Johnson sitting on a powder keg?

    I always thought a 'conhome' was a geriatric institution that delivered less than it promised.
    That's because the conservatives' core vote is geriatric.

    Why do you think untold billions have been spent trying to preserve and extend their lives while young people have been thrown to the dogs?
    That’s bollocks. Any party would have done broadly the same thing.
    French children are in school. They don;t have the vaccine. Do the math.

    Meanwhile Ron de Santis in Florida is showing us how conservatives should have responded to the pandemic. Small businesses? we have your back. Children? you have a right to an education, whatever.

    This is coming down the line at CarrieBojo apologists such as yourself. And other fake conservatives. It isn't going to be pretty,
    French children have had to wear masks in school since October, and from this month only 'Category 1' masks (FFP2 and equivalent) are permitted:

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20210208/france-bans-the-use-of-fabric-face-masks-in-schools-over-concerns-about-efficiency

    I take it you're totally in favour of the French approach then?
    They're getting about 25,000 cases a day at the moment so it doesn't really seem to be working. It does seem to be badly stable, though.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095
    edited February 20
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 5,637

    Andy_JS said:

    BEL MOONEY: My dad Ted passed three Covid tests and died of a chronic illness yet he's officially one of Britain's 120,000 victims of the virus and is far from alone... so how many more are there?

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9279767/BEL-MOONEY-dad-died-chronic-illness-hes-officially-Covid-victim.html

    Probably fewer than those who died of C-19 after the 28 day cut off.

    That's why excess deaths are the figure to use.
    Quite

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-hospitals-death-long-covid-b1804704.html

    One study looking at 47,780 coronavirus patients who were discharged alive by the end of August last year found 30 per cent of patients, 14,000, were readmitted to hospital within 140 days while 12 per cent, 5,875, died.

    These results were substantially higher than a control group of similar patients which saw deaths in under 2 per cent of patients and less than 10 per cent needing to be readmitted.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    RobD said:

    On conhome and on twitter there are some restless conservatives out there today. And not just the usual suspects.

    One critique on conhome is very very bitter and the fact they published it is quite an eyebrow raiser.

    Is Johnson sitting on a powder keg?

    I always thought a 'conhome' was a geriatric institution that delivered less than it promised.
    That's because the conservatives' core vote is geriatric.

    Why do you think untold billions have been spent trying to preserve and extend their lives while young people have been thrown to the dogs?
    That’s bollocks. Any party would have done broadly the same thing.
    French children are in school. They don;t have the vaccine. Do the math.

    Meanwhile Ron de Santis in Florida is showing us how conservatives should have responded to the pandemic. Small businesses? we have your back. Children? you have a right to an education, whatever.

    This is coming down the line at CarrieBojo apologists such as yourself. And other fake conservatives. It isn't going to be pretty,
    French children have had to wear masks in school since October, and from this month only 'Category 1' masks (FFP2 and equivalent) are permitted:

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20210208/france-bans-the-use-of-fabric-face-masks-in-schools-over-concerns-about-efficiency

    I take it you're totally in favour of the French approach then?
    They're getting about 25,000 cases a day at the moment so it doesn't really seem to be working. It does seem to be badly stable, though.
    Er... broadly stable. And I seem to have lost the ability to edit.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    RobD said:

    On conhome and on twitter there are some restless conservatives out there today. And not just the usual suspects.

    One critique on conhome is very very bitter and the fact they published it is quite an eyebrow raiser.

    Is Johnson sitting on a powder keg?

    I always thought a 'conhome' was a geriatric institution that delivered less than it promised.
    That's because the conservatives' core vote is geriatric.

    Why do you think untold billions have been spent trying to preserve and extend their lives while young people have been thrown to the dogs?
    That’s bollocks. Any party would have done broadly the same thing.
    French children are in school. They don;t have the vaccine. Do the math.

    Meanwhile Ron de Santis in Florida is showing us how conservatives should have responded to the pandemic. Small businesses? we have your back. Children? you have a right to an education, whatever.

    This is coming down the line at CarrieBojo apologists such as yourself. And other fake conservatives. It isn't going to be pretty,
    French children have had to wear masks in school since October, and from this month only 'Category 1' masks (FFP2 and equivalent) are permitted:

    https://www.thelocal.fr/20210208/france-bans-the-use-of-fabric-face-masks-in-schools-over-concerns-about-efficiency

    I take it you're totally in favour of the French approach then?
    They're getting about 25,000 cases a day at the moment so it doesn't really seem to be working. It does seem to be badly stable, though.
    Er... broadly stable. And I seem to have lost the ability to edit.
    The first one worked too.
  • Barnesian said:

    Barnesian said:

    HYUFD said:

    Barnesian said:

    HYUFD said:

    IanB2 said:

    HYUFD said:

    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    Dura_Ace said:

    It's pragmatic, fiscally conservative, puts the national interest first, and prefers gradual reform to radical change.

    It's been exactly none of those things since 2015.
    Yes it has.

    Despite all the sound and fury Brexit will result in less change for Britain than remaining in an ever changing Europe.
    Do you think substantially greater chances of Irish reunification and Scottish Indy weren’t caused by Brexit or that they wouldn’t really count as ‘change for Britain’?
    I don't think Brexit has led to substantially greater chances of either.

    The SNP won all but three MPs in 2015, before Brexit. They were never going to let sleeping dogs lie and if it wasn't Brexit they would have latched upon anything else instead.

    You don't want Sindy because of Brexit. You want Sindy because you've always wanted Sindy.

    As for the Irish it will depend as it has for decades upon demographics.
    I suggest we can add Northern Irish politics to the list of things you don't really understand.
    If we stopped people commenting on things they don’t understand most threads would be about a tenth of their normal length.

    Anyway no one really understands Northern Irish politics; it’s the Schleswig-Holstein question of our day.
    All true. Nevertheless you don't have to put much effort in to unearth all manner of commentary - from both sides of the divide - setting out how Brexit has changed the political climate in the North. And the last poll I saw had the DUP down at 19%.
    The DUP are facing the same fate as the UUP. They made compromises with Sinn Fein so now a harder more unionist party is seeking to take their votes.

    The DUP made their name as the No No No party but then had to make compromises. Now there's a new No No No party. It's what they do.

    Nothing to do with Brexit. Correlation does not equal causation.
    That's just denial. Go do a bit of reading up on what politicians, academics and commentators actually living there are saying.
    Philip is right on this, in the 2015 general election in NI before Brexit the DUP got 25%, SF got 24%, the SDLP got 13% and the UUP got 16% and the Alliance got 8%.

    At the 2019 general election after the Brexit vote the DUP got 30%, SF got 22%, the SDLP got 14%, the Alliance got 16% and the UUP got 11%.

    So the DUP is actually up on where it was before the Brexit vote, SF is down as is the UUP and the main gainers are the SDLP and particularly the non sectarian Alliance. Any changes since then have been Unionist hardliners moving from DUP to the even harder line TUV over opposition to the NI protocol.

    In Scotland in 2015 before Brexit the SNP got 50%, Labour got 24%, the Tories got 14% and the LDs got 7%. In 2019 after the Brexit vote the SNP got 45%, the Tories got 25%, Labour got 18% and the LDs got 9%.

    So the SNP is actually down in Scotland since the Brexit vote as are Labour and the Tories and LDs have been the main gainers.
    But it isn't a question that can be answered with VI polls. The question is whether Brexit has, and will, make NI's position in the UK more precarious, and advance the likelihood of a united Ireland.
    Brexit itself won't make any difference to people's views on a United Ireland.

    However the fact the EU demanded a form of border in the Irish Sea for a trade deal with the UK does make a return to loyalist paramilitary violence more likely as shown by the threats to border guards at NI ports, just as if Boris had imposed a hard border in Ireland and gone to No Deal would have made a return to violence by the IRA more likely. Boris however always put the peace process first and agreed a deal with the EU and no hard border in Ireland.

    The ball is in the EU's court now to similarly make greater efforts to remove the Irish Sea border and amend the NI Protocol, the EU made the mistake of just focusing on Nationalist violence as a risk and ignoring the risk of Loyalist violence
    Absolutely ridiculous. There is a border because the UK left the customs union. The only question was whether that border should be on the island of Ireland or in the Irish Sea. The UK government agreed for it to be in the Irish sea. If you think the EU is suddenly going to start focusing on solving this forget it. They have plenty of other things to worry about.
    There's no requirement to have a border and if they want peace in Northern Ireland then they should do what the GFA did and fudge it. Turn a blind eye and have NI in both areas simultaneously.

    Put peace in Northern Ireland before dogma.
    The border in the Irish Sea is not threatening peace in NI. No need for the EU to fudge it. The UK chose it and needs to live with it.
    https://www.newsletter.co.uk/news/politics/new-loyalist-group-says-it-behind-anti-irish-sea-border-posters-across-northern-ireland-and-says-businesses-are-funding-it-3134647

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9212593/NI-border-checks-suspended-menacing-loyalist-threats.html
    It's a UK issue not an EU one. It's not part of the GFA.

    If it got really serious then the solution is for the UK to join the CU. It's a UK issue. Our choice.
    No.

    That's like saying the GFA solution to the Troubles should Northern Ireland joining the Republic of Ireland.

    0/10 try again.
    No. We have a GFA solution to the Troubles. It is in place with agreement from all parties. No need for NI to join the ROI.

    0/10 try again.

    Good so if there's no need for NI to join the ROI there's no need for it to be in the Customs Union or Single Market either. Neither were part of the GFA.

    Time to find a GFA style solution to the mess. Like was done then. Not formally in it, but accessible with mounds of fudge, that's all that is needed.

    If need be Article 16 should be invoked until the solution is found given both sides now acknowledge the security concerns.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
  • I am Boris’s biggest skeptic, but he has had a good few weeks.

    His Munich speech was excellent, and for @Philip_Thompson’s edification I paste the following:

    The starting point of our Integrated Review of foreign, defence and development policy – which will be published next month – is that the success of Global Britain depends on the security of our homeland and the stability of the Euro-Atlantic area.


    Personally I think our foreign policy looks more focused since any time since early Blair. I put a lot of this down to Raab who I think gets an unfairly bad press because he is not the best media performer.

    Starting point not ending point.

    The Euro Atlantic area is pretty secure though. We should maintain that security while not letting slip issues elsewhere like the Pacific which is NOT secure and we are part of an alliance seeking to secure it.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    Yeah I had seriously high hopes when Javid became chancellor and he had a real window of opportunity to define what Brexit Britain would look like but flunked it. I'm glad that he wasn't in charge when the pandemic hit, not sure he'd have been up to the job as Rishi has mostly been.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
  • Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    I agree with that lost except I'd move Patel to the best rather than worst category.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    You're admitting there's a problem but then against any measures to actually try and fix them. I don't get it.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    To build on this @MaxPB, you're falling into the same trap as the people on the "other side" who might use the phrase "church of gammon". Neither is helpful. This line of thinking will do nothing for national or societal cohesion.

    For example, I'd happily describe myself as "woke" and yet I probably agree with you on 99% of issues. I am not your enemy but by this ridiculous attitude you are treating me as such.

    You can attack the issue - people in academia (and other places) being afraid to voice their true opinions - without resorting to petty and childish culture war nonsense.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367
    edited February 20

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    I agree with that lost except I'd move Patel to the best rather than worst category.
    I don't think she's particularly good. But will stick around as she will appeal to those of an authoritarian tendency
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
    There is an interesting DH parallel, in that even before the creation of NHS England and the transfer out of staff, DH always had clinical expertise and medical experts. MOD and the Home Office have similar. It’s not clear to me that the DfE considers itself to need real deep experts. Same issue with MHCLG.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Yeah you are right.
    Although I don’t have an issue with Sharma.

    Just, Javid was promoted way too early to CoE.

    Even Hancock, who I grudgingly rate, would just a competent junior in the “old money”.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 9,910

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Gosh!

    Proof if it were needed, that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Buckland in a legal role in a conformist Cabinet, and under a serious leader would shine.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,230

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Zahawi? Not sure how much credit he can take for the vaccine rollout but he's certainly in the right place at the right time.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 9,910

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Yeah you are right.
    Although I don’t have an issue with Sharma.

    Just, Javid was promoted way too early to CoE.

    Even Hancock, who I grudgingly rate, would just a competent junior in the “old money”.
    Sharma wasn't very good IMO, he started the review into watering down employee protections post brexit. The first thing Kwasi did was junk it because it would have been unpopular with voters and, tbh, employers.
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Zahawi? Not sure how much credit he can take for the vaccine rollout but he's certainly in the right place at the right time.
    I think he’s very good.

    Of course my sentiments are based on only glancing view of the various ministers. It’s just a “feeling”. It may be that Williamson even has hidden depths, who knows.
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    You're admitting there's a problem but then against any measures to actually try and fix them. I don't get it.
    I'm happy to discuss each actual issue on its merits without resorting to divide and conquer "us vs them-ism".

    Issue 1: academics are afraid to voice their opinions on certain topics due to fear of discrimination.

    It's bad. Definitely. And I definitely agree that in certain circles there's a complete lack of effort in even trying to understand someone else's view point. It's either "you're with us or you're against us".

    But what realistically can you do about that? Of course you can make laws that protect staff from clear discrimination based on their views but how can you legislate to stop "the majority" disliking you for voicing such views?

    For example, @Casino_Royale clearly hates me for my views on the EU so if I worked for him he would be unlikely to give me a promotion based on simply disliking me. That is always the case in employment so how do you stop that?
  • Dura_AceDura_Ace Posts: 6,488

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
    Definitely bullied at school and probably deserved it.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
    There is an interesting DH parallel, in that even before the creation of NHS England and the transfer out of staff, DH always had clinical expertise and medical experts. MOD and the Home Office have similar. It’s not clear to me that the DfE considers itself to need real deep experts. Same issue with MHCLG.
    That would be an interesting parallel, were it not for the fact that the DfE actively shuns experts. The second most powerful person within it is in effect Amanda Spielman, as Head of OFSTED (I know technically it's a separate quango, but in practice it's the DfE's wingnut). This role had until she was appointed always gone to a teacher for thirty years. Sometimes a very bad teacher (Woodhead) but always somebody who had been in the classroom. Spielman, by contrast, is a civil servant - not a very good one - who had briefly worked as an adviser for an academy trust on executive processes. The ESC actually warned she didn't have a clue what she was talking about and urged her appointment be rescinded. But she's still there.

    And she probably *is* more knowledgeable than anyone at the DfE about education.

    Now I don't mind people not understanding things - we can't all be expert on everything - but I do object to them telling me that they know better than me based on that ignorance* and thereby making my job impossible.

    Particularly when they enforce it by threats and bullying.

    *An attitude that I have observed from one or two posters here as well.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Zahawi? Not sure how much credit he can take for the vaccine rollout but he's certainly in the right place at the right time.
    I think he’s very good.

    Of course my sentiments are based on only glancing view of the various ministers. It’s just a “feeling”. It may be that Williamson even has hidden depths, who knows.
    If he has, he's hiding them very well.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
    There is an interesting DH parallel, in that even before the creation of NHS England and the transfer out of staff, DH always had clinical expertise and medical experts. MOD and the Home Office have similar. It’s not clear to me that the DfE considers itself to need real deep experts. Same issue with MHCLG.
    That would be an interesting parallel, were it not for the fact that the DfE actively shuns experts. The second most powerful person within it is in effect Amanda Spielman, as Head of OFSTED (I know technically it's a separate quango, but in practice it's the DfE's wingnut). This role had until she was appointed always gone to a teacher for thirty years. Sometimes a very bad teacher (Woodhead) but always somebody who had been in the classroom. Spielman, by contrast, is a civil servant - not a very good one - who had briefly worked as an adviser for an academy trust on executive processes. The ESC actually warned she didn't have a clue what she was talking about and urged her appointment be rescinded. But she's still there.

    And she probably *is* more knowledgeable than anyone at the DfE about education.

    Now I don't mind people not understanding things - we can't all be expert on everything - but I do object to them telling me that they know better than me based on that ignorance* and thereby making my job impossible.

    Particularly when they enforce it by threats and bullying.

    *An attitude that I have observed from one or two posters here as well.
    I agree. I think it’s generally true that a Department of State needs embedded experts with real experience, you just then also need the safeguard of impartial, more generalist, civil servants and strong political leadership to challenge group think and make them make their case internally.
  • Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    I agree with that lost except I'd move Patel to the best rather than worst category.
    I don't think she's particularly good. But will stick around as she will appeal to those of an authoritarian tendency
    What's she done in office that is bad or authoritarian? Especially compared to her predecessors in that role?
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
    Comes over as ineffectual but I think he’d pass my “would get his round in” test. I doubt Williamson would.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,051
    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095
    edited February 20

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    If they're not using them we'll have them back thanks
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
    There is an interesting DH parallel, in that even before the creation of NHS England and the transfer out of staff, DH always had clinical expertise and medical experts. MOD and the Home Office have similar. It’s not clear to me that the DfE considers itself to need real deep experts. Same issue with MHCLG.
    That would be an interesting parallel, were it not for the fact that the DfE actively shuns experts. The second most powerful person within it is in effect Amanda Spielman, as Head of OFSTED (I know technically it's a separate quango, but in practice it's the DfE's wingnut). This role had until she was appointed always gone to a teacher for thirty years. Sometimes a very bad teacher (Woodhead) but always somebody who had been in the classroom. Spielman, by contrast, is a civil servant - not a very good one - who had briefly worked as an adviser for an academy trust on executive processes. The ESC actually warned she didn't have a clue what she was talking about and urged her appointment be rescinded. But she's still there.

    And she probably *is* more knowledgeable than anyone at the DfE about education.

    Now I don't mind people not understanding things - we can't all be expert on everything - but I do object to them telling me that they know better than me based on that ignorance* and thereby making my job impossible.

    Particularly when they enforce it by threats and bullying.

    *An attitude that I have observed from one or two posters here as well.
    I agree. I think it’s generally true that a Department of State needs embedded experts with real experience, you just then also need the safeguard of impartial, more generalist, civil servants and strong political leadership to challenge group think and make them make their case internally.
    Fully agreed. And unfortunately the DfE has none of those, and it is painfully obvious to watch. I don't think it's any coincidence that Gove got into a tangle at Education and yet has thrived elsewhere.

    That's why I think the whole thing needs to go and we need to hit reset.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    We’ll take them... One pound per dose. They are second hand.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    If they're not using them we'll have them back thanks
    You and me, go over with a big estate, pick them up, bring them back, hand them out to all PBers?
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 47,560
    Weekend reporting effects, possibly:

    https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/


  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 40,051

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
    Comes over as ineffectual but I think he’d pass my “would get his round in” test. I doubt Williamson would.
    there were rumours that javid was about to go to education a couple of weeks or so ago
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,230

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
  • Black_RookBlack_Rook Posts: 7,790
    edited February 20

    DougSeal said:

    On the impact of the vaccine programme on voting intentions... seems certain that currently the speed of vaccinations (relative to other countries) is underpinning Government support... but will that continue if the end to lockdown, as announced on Monday, is thoroughly underwhelming... the one measure briefed to the press today, meeting one other family outside by Easter has left this household very disappointed to say the least... speed of returning to normal (relative to other countries) may overtake % of population jabbed as the driver of public mood...

    Absolutely. And you can see the beginnings of this in the news, in the social media and on conservative sites today. The mood is turning swiftly.

    Wait until Sunak gives us the bill on March 03. It will turn again.

    Johnson has a problem, in my view.
    "meeting one other family outside by Easter"

    I'm not a behaviour scientist on SAGE but imho once the over 50s and vulnerables are done by end of March/early April, then there are millions of families who will ignore this restriction and meet up (at least in gardens) and to hell with if it's three or four households technically.

    People have had enough of this.
    Happening today in my village, on the village green, on the park benches outside the old agricultural college, it’s like the sun has come out and a switch has been flicked. I’ve no doubt the cops are concentrating on the towns and on the beaches (Whitstable, Hythe, Joss Bay) while the villages in the interior are enforcement free. It’s lockdown by consent and, to my eye today, it’s slipping already. And it’s going to be broadly this sunny all week.
    Thanks. It is lock down by consent and SAGE and the roadmappers need to accept that.

    There is no way millions will carry on in this benighted half world once the vulnerable have been vaccinated and the season changes the viral dynamics anyway.
    For what it's worth, me and husband have just come back from lunch out. Went to the local beauty spot just out of town, up a great big windswept hill, sat down on one of the benches and worked our way through a bag of rolls and other goodies.

    This, of course, is presently illegal. But I think that one of the unintended consequences of some of the sillier lockdown regulations will be to get previously straight-laced members of the public used to the idea that the law is often stupid, is to be regarded flexibly, and may be happily ignored so long as the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks of getting caught.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    I agree with that lost except I'd move Patel to the best rather than worst category.
    I don't think she's particularly good. But will stick around as she will appeal to those of an authoritarian tendency
    What's she done in office that is bad or authoritarian? Especially compared to her predecessors in that role?
    I'm not sure she has *done* anything particularly authoritarian. But she comes over as wanting to. (On the "bad" front obviously she likes to bully more junior colleagues but I'm cynical enough to believe that a substantial proportion of most cabinets, and indeed senior people in most walks of life, like to as well)
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 9,910

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
    Comes over as ineffectual but I think he’d pass my “would get his round in” test. I doubt Williamson would.
    I think that is a pretty low threshold for competence, but if it floats your boat.

    I hinted yesterday that Dowden would not only get his own round in, but one on behalf of a cash-strapped Johnson too. So, on your criteria he must be Prime Ministerial material.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    You're admitting there's a problem but then against any measures to actually try and fix them. I don't get it.
    I'm happy to discuss each actual issue on its merits without resorting to divide and conquer "us vs them-ism".

    Issue 1: academics are afraid to voice their opinions on certain topics due to fear of discrimination.

    It's bad. Definitely. And I definitely agree that in certain circles there's a complete lack of effort in even trying to understand someone else's view point. It's either "you're with us or you're against us".

    But what realistically can you do about that? Of course you can make laws that protect staff from clear discrimination based on their views but how can you legislate to stop "the majority" disliking you for voicing such views?

    For example, @Casino_Royale clearly hates me for my views on the EU so if I worked for him he would be unlikely to give me a promotion based on simply disliking me. That is always the case in employment so how do you stop that?
    I think unfairly malign CR, if you were the right person for the job then I'm absolutely certain you'd get the promotion regardless of your personally held political views, it's not as if you're being asked to run national policy wrt brexit.

    I think the issue I have is that there is a "church of woke" that has a very loud screechy minority in it who agitate against anyone who doesn't conform to their approved positions, that's not just in education. I'm not suggesting you do so or that you subscribe to that method of promoting your own opinions. However, to deny that there aren't people who simply try and cancel others who they perceive as having "wrong" opinions is just a bit deluded. I call it a church because there are some poeppe who have a religious zeal for wokeism. Much like I'd class militant atheists, their non-belief in God becomes an almost religious crusade and they deify their own belief that there isn't a God as much as those who believe there is.

    There are too many wokeists who believe that people who don't confirm are evil, and that's what I mean by the church of woke. You, to my knowledge, aren't part of that culture but I don't think you can deny it exists.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 39,690

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    I'll raise you Ollie Dowden.
    Comes over as ineffectual but I think he’d pass my “would get his round in” test. I doubt Williamson would.
    there were rumours that javid was about to go to education a couple of weeks or so ago
    Certainly doing the rounds that Javid will return.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    That’s really not the practical reality. Each Free School has a contract with DfE and is accountable to it in a way that “normal” schools aren’t. DfE basically took on the LA role.
  • ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    It is also #ClassicDom. Everything must be controlled by a central dictator in a "war room" like the one he saw on The West Wing. Look at the power grabbed from Whitehall to Number 10 and then the Cabinet Office. It can't work because the centre inevitably will be overwhelmed. (Ironically, the same complaint was made about Gordon Brown.)

    What we've not seen enough of is WW2 analogies so here is one. In the Battle of Britain, Fighter Command had the big picture but operational tactics were decided at the Group level and squadrons directed in the air by sector (airfield) control rooms. Data flowed into the centre; information flowed outwards where decisions were made.

    What Cummings and Gove did was to remove LEAs from the equation and centralise decision-making while simultaneously weakening the centre until, as the joke had it, the largest LEA in the country was Michael Gove's desk.
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285
    edited February 20

    Weekend reporting effects, possibly:

    https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/


    So the UK doing more than 50% of the combined EU total. I guess supply is still the rate limiting factor for us, and so probably is for them. But the US is expecting a doubling of deliveries from Pfizer in the coming weeks, so I guess that should signal a considerable loosening of supply constraints from them (unless Pfizer have only solved production issues in their US plants).

    Be interesting to see how those relative vaccination rates move once supply is no longer an issue.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 39,690

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    That would more than vaccinate the entire adult population of Frankfurt.....
  • ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
  • The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/astrazeneca-the-coronavirus-vaccine-that-nobody-wants-a-645a4d85-c7ba-4c81-9aaf-47a7b81507b2
  • DougSeal said:

    On the impact of the vaccine programme on voting intentions... seems certain that currently the speed of vaccinations (relative to other countries) is underpinning Government support... but will that continue if the end to lockdown, as announced on Monday, is thoroughly underwhelming... the one measure briefed to the press today, meeting one other family outside by Easter has left this household very disappointed to say the least... speed of returning to normal (relative to other countries) may overtake % of population jabbed as the driver of public mood...

    Absolutely. And you can see the beginnings of this in the news, in the social media and on conservative sites today. The mood is turning swiftly.

    Wait until Sunak gives us the bill on March 03. It will turn again.

    Johnson has a problem, in my view.
    "meeting one other family outside by Easter"

    I'm not a behaviour scientist on SAGE but imho once the over 50s and vulnerables are done by end of March/early April, then there are millions of families who will ignore this restriction and meet up (at least in gardens) and to hell with if it's three or four households technically.

    People have had enough of this.
    Happening today in my village, on the village green, on the park benches outside the old agricultural college, it’s like the sun has come out and a switch has been flicked. I’ve no doubt the cops are concentrating on the towns and on the beaches (Whitstable, Hythe, Joss Bay) while the villages in the interior are enforcement free. It’s lockdown by consent and, to my eye today, it’s slipping already. And it’s going to be broadly this sunny all week.
    Sunny here too; shall have a walk down to the river this afternoon and see!
    What is odd is that vaccination seems not yet to have influenced loosening regulations. Why cannot vaccinated relatives visit vaccinated guests in care homes, or sit with vaccinated friends on park benches or even in their homes?

    A side-effect would be to incentivise vaccination for those sceptics who are not pining for skiing holidays.
  • Time_to_LeaveTime_to_Leave Posts: 2,104

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    It is also #ClassicDom. Everything must be controlled by a central dictator in a "war room" like the one he saw on The West Wing. Look at the power grabbed from Whitehall to Number 10 and then the Cabinet Office. It can't work because the centre inevitably will be overwhelmed. (Ironically, the same complaint was made about Gordon Brown.)

    What we've not seen enough of is WW2 analogies so here is one. In the Battle of Britain, Fighter Command had the big picture but operational tactics were decided at the Group level and squadrons directed in the air by sector (airfield) control rooms. Data flowed into the centre; information flowed outwards where decisions were made.

    What Cummings and Gove did was to remove LEAs from the equation and centralise decision-making while simultaneously weakening the centre until, as the joke had it, the largest LEA in the country was Michael Gove's desk.
    Yes. Exactly this. If you’ve worked on actual crises where people might die, you tend to understand the need to devolve power and responsibility. Cummings hasn’t. Brilliant campaigner and, personally, I’m grateful to him for getting out of the EU, but he’s exactly the wrong man to be anywhere near Government. If you can get through more than a few paragraphs of his badly written blog it becomes clear he reads a lot but doesn’t think much, and often draws the wrong conclusions. Basically he’s immediately an evangelist for the last thing he read and assumes it can be applied anywhere.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 9,910

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    This is akin to discussing favourite and less favoured STDs.

    In the grand scheme of things all are best avoided.
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    I'm afraid it was always hollowed out and unattractive to work for. It's been one of the weaker government departments for many years.

    What Gove's reforms did, by centralising power and forcing the civil servants concerned to work, was make this brutally obvious to teachers.

    And what Covid has done is make it brutally obvious to everyone.
    There is an interesting DH parallel, in that even before the creation of NHS England and the transfer out of staff, DH always had clinical expertise and medical experts. MOD and the Home Office have similar. It’s not clear to me that the DfE considers itself to need real deep experts. Same issue with MHCLG.
    That would be an interesting parallel, were it not for the fact that the DfE actively shuns experts. The second most powerful person within it is in effect Amanda Spielman, as Head of OFSTED (I know technically it's a separate quango, but in practice it's the DfE's wingnut). This role had until she was appointed always gone to a teacher for thirty years. Sometimes a very bad teacher (Woodhead) but always somebody who had been in the classroom. Spielman, by contrast, is a civil servant - not a very good one - who had briefly worked as an adviser for an academy trust on executive processes. The ESC actually warned she didn't have a clue what she was talking about and urged her appointment be rescinded. But she's still there.

    And she probably *is* more knowledgeable than anyone at the DfE about education.

    Now I don't mind people not understanding things - we can't all be expert on everything - but I do object to them telling me that they know better than me based on that ignorance* and thereby making my job impossible.

    Particularly when they enforce it by threats and bullying.

    *An attitude that I have observed from one or two posters here as well.
    I agree. I think it’s generally true that a Department of State needs embedded experts with real experience, you just then also need the safeguard of impartial, more generalist, civil servants and strong political leadership to challenge group think and make them make their case internally.
    That was very much how the FCO operated when I was there, many moons ago. I fear that with the Blair cuts, they are stretched so thin now that they don't have the time to become generalists in a subject, and so are now over-reliant on the SMEs, without that sanity-check level. But perhaps I am unfairly maligning the FCO (not the people, it's not their fault there aren't enough of them to do what they are asked to do.)
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075
    TimT said:

    Weekend reporting effects, possibly:

    https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/


    So the UK doing more than 50% of the combined EU total. I guess supply is still the rate limiting factor for us, and so probably is for them. But the US is expecting a doubling of deliveries from Pfizer in the coming weeks, so I guess that should signal a considerable loosening of supply constraints from them (unless Pfizer have only solved production issues in their US plants).

    Be interesting to see how those relative vaccination rates move once supply is no longer an issue.
    I think AZ have begun to resolve their manufacturing issues in the UK as well just in time for the second dose programme to really start kicking into gear.

    For us the main source of additional capacity is going to be Moderna and Novavax delivering in April. All under 50s will likely be vaccinated with those two vaccines while the existing AZ and Pfizer supply is used for second doses for groups 1-9. Interestingly by then the government could conceivably reduce the gap between doses to 4-6 weeks meaning that second doses for the under 50s may be all done around the same time as groups 1-9 so the whole country is done by mid-June.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 57,198
    edited February 20

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    And all after the EU made such idiots of themselves over their demands to get them like yesterday....if they don't want them, I am sure will be more than happy to have them.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 27,075

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/astrazeneca-the-coronavirus-vaccine-that-nobody-wants-a-645a4d85-c7ba-4c81-9aaf-47a7b81507b2
    I remember being assured by EUphiles on here that there would be no additional anti-vaxxer sentiment from the comments of Macron and others maligning the AZ vaccine. Care to comment @kinabalu?
  • GallowgateGallowgate Posts: 14,095
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    You're admitting there's a problem but then against any measures to actually try and fix them. I don't get it.
    I'm happy to discuss each actual issue on its merits without resorting to divide and conquer "us vs them-ism".

    Issue 1: academics are afraid to voice their opinions on certain topics due to fear of discrimination.

    It's bad. Definitely. And I definitely agree that in certain circles there's a complete lack of effort in even trying to understand someone else's view point. It's either "you're with us or you're against us".

    But what realistically can you do about that? Of course you can make laws that protect staff from clear discrimination based on their views but how can you legislate to stop "the majority" disliking you for voicing such views?

    For example, @Casino_Royale clearly hates me for my views on the EU so if I worked for him he would be unlikely to give me a promotion based on simply disliking me. That is always the case in employment so how do you stop that?
    I think unfairly malign CR, if you were the right person for the job then I'm absolutely certain you'd get the promotion regardless of your personally held political views, it's not as if you're being asked to run national policy wrt brexit.

    I think the issue I have is that there is a "church of woke" that has a very loud screechy minority in it who agitate against anyone who doesn't conform to their approved positions, that's not just in education. I'm not suggesting you do so or that you subscribe to that method of promoting your own opinions. However, to deny that there aren't people who simply try and cancel others who they perceive as having "wrong" opinions is just a bit deluded. I call it a church because there are some poeppe who have a religious zeal for wokeism. Much like I'd class militant atheists, their non-belief in God becomes an almost religious crusade and they deify their own belief that there isn't a God as much as those who believe there is.

    There are too many wokeists who believe that people who don't confirm are evil, and that's what I mean by the church of woke. You, to my knowledge, aren't part of that culture but I don't think you can deny it exists.
    I did not intend to have a dig at CR. I was merely highlighting that people generally prefer to work with people they like and it's pretty difficult to legislate against that. "Whether you will fit into the team" is usually a pretty big part of any job interview, at least in my experience.

    I also don't disagree with what you've said. In fact I said much the same in my comment. But like I said, what can you do about it? What can the government do about it other than simply wag their finger?

    "Allowing" the odd "right-winger" to speak at universities is unlikely to change attitudes amongst students and academic staff. So what else is there?
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285
    MaxPB said:

    TimT said:

    Weekend reporting effects, possibly:

    https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/


    So the UK doing more than 50% of the combined EU total. I guess supply is still the rate limiting factor for us, and so probably is for them. But the US is expecting a doubling of deliveries from Pfizer in the coming weeks, so I guess that should signal a considerable loosening of supply constraints from them (unless Pfizer have only solved production issues in their US plants).

    Be interesting to see how those relative vaccination rates move once supply is no longer an issue.
    I think AZ have begun to resolve their manufacturing issues in the UK as well just in time for the second dose programme to really start kicking into gear.

    For us the main source of additional capacity is going to be Moderna and Novavax delivering in April. All under 50s will likely be vaccinated with those two vaccines while the existing AZ and Pfizer supply is used for second doses for groups 1-9. Interestingly by then the government could conceivably reduce the gap between doses to 4-6 weeks meaning that second doses for the under 50s may be all done around the same time as groups 1-9 so the whole country is done by mid-June.
    Excellent news.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    It is also #ClassicDom. Everything must be controlled by a central dictator in a "war room" like the one he saw on The West Wing. Look at the power grabbed from Whitehall to Number 10 and then the Cabinet Office. It can't work because the centre inevitably will be overwhelmed. (Ironically, the same complaint was made about Gordon Brown.)

    What we've not seen enough of is WW2 analogies so here is one. In the Battle of Britain, Fighter Command had the big picture but operational tactics were decided at the Group level and squadrons directed in the air by sector (airfield) control rooms. Data flowed into the centre; information flowed outwards where decisions were made.

    What Cummings and Gove did was to remove LEAs from the equation and centralise decision-making while simultaneously weakening the centre until, as the joke had it, the largest LEA in the country was Michael Gove's desk.
    Yes. Exactly this. If you’ve worked on actual crises where people might die, you tend to understand the need to devolve power and responsibility. Cummings hasn’t. Brilliant campaigner and, personally, I’m grateful to him for getting out of the EU, but he’s exactly the wrong man to be anywhere near Government. If you can get through more than a few paragraphs of his badly written blog it becomes clear he reads a lot but doesn’t think much, and often draws the wrong conclusions. Basically he’s immediately an evangelist for the last thing he read and assumes it can be applied anywhere.
    Don't agree about the EU (as a Remainer) but seems a pretty fair summary of Cummings.

    However, the mere fact he doesn't think much and draws the wrong conclusions are of course partly why he's a deadly campaigner. He communicates difficult ideas in a simple, snappy way that people get. He's usually wrong of course, but that's a different problem.
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 57,198
    edited February 20
    For those that think Bitcoin is too boring and steady investment...NFT (non-fungible tokens) is the new big thing.

    https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2930587-inside-nba-top-shot-the-digital-highlights-marketplace-worth-millions
  • GardenwalkerGardenwalker Posts: 6,550
    It’s worth looking at the other side, too.
    But even I as a politics obsessive have hardly heard of most of these.

    Rayner: Invisible
    Dodds: Would be good Treasury Chief Sec.
    Nandy: Excellent, but wasted in this post.
    Thomas-Symonds: Invisible.
    Reeves: Good.
    Lammy: OK. Gets press, at least.
    Healey: Invisible
    Miliband: In theory, v good in this role.
    Thornberry: Invisible.
    Reynolds: Literally, who?
    Ashworth: I don’t trust him for some reason.
    Green: Actively harmful.
    The rest: Who, who, who?

    Honourable mentions:
    Allin-Khan: Excellent
    Murray, Griffiths: Sound, but invisible.
    Haigh, (Cat) Smith: Actively harmful to Labour’s electoral chances.

    There should be front bench roles for Stephen Kinnock, Stella Creasey, Dan Jarvis, Rupa Huq, Sarah Champion, and Angela Eagle.

    Benn and Cooper are both very effective in their current roles.

    Bring back Balls, FGS.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,230
    MaxPB said:

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    telegraph

    https://www.spiegel.de/international/world/astrazeneca-the-coronavirus-vaccine-that-nobody-wants-a-645a4d85-c7ba-4c81-9aaf-47a7b81507b2
    I remember being assured by EUphiles on here that there would be no additional anti-vaxxer sentiment from the comments of Macron and others maligning the AZ vaccine. Care to comment @kinabalu?
    I think I mentioned that German and Polish friends were getting comments on AZN from *doctors*.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,930
    MaxPB said:

    Best performers in the Boris cabinet are Gove, Rishi, Raab, Truss, Coffey, and Hancock.

    The worst are Williamson, Jenrick, Patel, Eustice, Shapps, Lewis and Buckland.

    Kwarteng was a good promotion.

    Agreed. Especially Kwasi, I think that's going to be an appointment that pays a huge dividend over the next few years. I've put some money on him as next PM becuase I think that he's going to be doing all of the "positive" things in the country over the next few years while Rishi is going to be lumbered with spending cuts and tax rises. My next PM portfolio is Rishi, Liz and Kwasi. I think the social liberals are going to make a big comeback in the party now that brexit is done and dusted.
    Laying Sunak is one of the most obvious betting plays out their right now.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,052

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
    I once worked for QCA. The amount of unhealthy management practices was shocking. They were all ex-teachers and treated their colleagues like the children they used to teach. My assumption is that education is generally riddled with this.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,930

    It’s worth looking at the other side, too.
    But even I as a politics obsessive have hardly heard of most of these.

    Rayner: Invisible
    Dodds: Would be good Treasury Chief Sec.
    Nandy: Excellent, but wasted in this post.
    Thomas-Symonds: Invisible.
    Reeves: Good.
    Lammy: OK. Gets press, at least.
    Healey: Invisible
    Miliband: In theory, v good in this role.
    Thornberry: Invisible.
    Reynolds: Literally, who?
    Ashworth: I don’t trust him for some reason.
    Green: Actively harmful.
    The rest: Who, who, who?

    Honourable mentions:
    Allin-Khan: Excellent
    Murray, Griffiths: Sound, but invisible.
    Haigh, (Cat) Smith: Actively harmful to Labour’s electoral chances.

    There should be front bench roles for Stephen Kinnock, Stella Creasey, Dan Jarvis, Rupa Huq, Sarah Champion, and Angela Eagle.

    Benn and Cooper are both very effective in their current roles.

    Bring back Balls, FGS.

    Excellent posts from you this afternoon.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 9,910

    It’s worth looking at the other side, too.
    But even I as a politics obsessive have hardly heard of most of these.

    Rayner: Invisible
    Dodds: Would be good Treasury Chief Sec.
    Nandy: Excellent, but wasted in this post.
    Thomas-Symonds: Invisible.
    Reeves: Good.
    Lammy: OK. Gets press, at least.
    Healey: Invisible
    Miliband: In theory, v good in this role.
    Thornberry: Invisible.
    Reynolds: Literally, who?
    Ashworth: I don’t trust him for some reason.
    Green: Actively harmful.
    The rest: Who, who, who?

    Honourable mentions:
    Allin-Khan: Excellent
    Murray, Griffiths: Sound, but invisible.
    Haigh, (Cat) Smith: Actively harmful to Labour’s electoral chances.

    There should be front bench roles for Stephen Kinnock, Stella Creasey, Dan Jarvis, Rupa Huq, Sarah Champion, and Angela Eagle.

    Benn and Cooper are both very effective in their current roles.

    Bring back Balls, FGS.

    I suspect Ed Balls is more comfortable as a comic media-go-to. I think the rest of us are too.

    Good post though.
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    It is also #ClassicDom. Everything must be controlled by a central dictator in a "war room" like the one he saw on The West Wing. Look at the power grabbed from Whitehall to Number 10 and then the Cabinet Office. It can't work because the centre inevitably will be overwhelmed. (Ironically, the same complaint was made about Gordon Brown.)

    What we've not seen enough of is WW2 analogies so here is one. In the Battle of Britain, Fighter Command had the big picture but operational tactics were decided at the Group level and squadrons directed in the air by sector (airfield) control rooms. Data flowed into the centre; information flowed outwards where decisions were made.

    What Cummings and Gove did was to remove LEAs from the equation and centralise decision-making while simultaneously weakening the centre until, as the joke had it, the largest LEA in the country was Michael Gove's desk.
    Yes. Exactly this. If you’ve worked on actual crises where people might die, you tend to understand the need to devolve power and responsibility. Cummings hasn’t. Brilliant campaigner and, personally, I’m grateful to him for getting out of the EU, but he’s exactly the wrong man to be anywhere near Government. If you can get through more than a few paragraphs of his badly written blog it becomes clear he reads a lot but doesn’t think much, and often draws the wrong conclusions. Basically he’s immediately an evangelist for the last thing he read and assumes it can be applied anywhere.
    In the US military, what DecrepiterJohnL is describing is called Command Intent - you let the platoon leaders know what must be achieved, and give them autonomy on how to do that given the reality of the battlefield. In High Reliability Organizations, this is called Deference to Expertise (which is a different type of expertise than the usually understood version - expertise in this context is knowledge of a problem, or knowledge of (a part) of the solution).
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 64,136

    It’s worth looking at the other side, too.
    But even I as a politics obsessive have hardly heard of most of these.

    Rayner: Invisible
    Dodds: Would be good Treasury Chief Sec.
    Nandy: Excellent, but wasted in this post.
    Thomas-Symonds: Invisible.
    Reeves: Good.
    Lammy: OK. Gets press, at least.
    Healey: Invisible
    Miliband: In theory, v good in this role.
    Thornberry: Invisible.
    Reynolds: Literally, who?
    Ashworth: I don’t trust him for some reason.
    Green: Actively harmful.
    The rest: Who, who, who?

    Honourable mentions:
    Allin-Khan: Excellent
    Murray, Griffiths: Sound, but invisible.
    Haigh, (Cat) Smith: Actively harmful to Labour’s electoral chances.

    There should be front bench roles for Stephen Kinnock, Stella Creasey, Dan Jarvis, Rupa Huq, Sarah Champion, and Angela Eagle.

    Benn and Cooper are both very effective in their current roles.

    Bring back Balls, FGS.

    An interesting and probably fair post. Thornberry is the one that gets me - she has seemed relatively formidible, relatively speaking, but I don't even know what role she has, whereas as you say Lammy at least gets some attention.
  • BluestBlueBluestBlue Posts: 4,155

    I've been a Johnson-sceptic for many years on the simple grounds that anyone who appears on the telly must be a trivial, meretricious figure unworthy of serious consideration. From this lofty perspective I would just as soon have Ian Hislop or Paul Merton as PM. In other words, not at all.

    But since Covid I have begun to detect just the tiniest glint of steel. His necessary daily involvement in the crisis has, I think, been the making of a new, better Boris. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

    The glint of steel has always been there. It is Boris who ruthlessly purged his party opponents (not Corbyn or Brown: Boris!); Boris who defied the law; Boris who ignored democratic conventions like being interviewed by Andrew Neil. But it is personal: it is about Boris, not Borisism.
    Boris ruthlessly purged the deadwood.

    Pruning away the dead wood allows healthy new growth.

    Boris didn't ignore conventions like ignoring Neil. All successful PMs have played that game - Blair, Cameron etc managed which interviews or debates they attended (or no debates at all).
    ETA Boris did not purge the dead wood. Boris purged his opponents. Like Stalin.

    Which other party leader in modern history was not interviewed by the BBC during an election campaign? Gladstone? Mrs Thatcher might have preferred Jimmy Young to Robin Day but she did not hide in a fridge to avoid questions.
    'Wasn't interviewed by the BBC'
    'Gladstone' [?!]
    'Hid in a fridge'

    I love the way the voters illustrated the absolute irrelevance of these tedious talking-points. Within 24 hours of Boris 'hiding in a fridge', they gave him the largest majority for any party since Blair in 2001, the largest Tory majority since Thatcher in 1987, and the highest share of the popular vote since Thatcher in 1979.

    But do tell us more about the fridge and Andrew Neil. Because people really seem to care about those things.
    You're quite right, voters really don't care about such things. And they really don't care, either, that the government plays fast and loose with the law, or the constitution. DHSC/Hancock has broken the law? So what? The Home Secretary has breached the code of conduct and is a bully? So what? Lucrative contracts land on the desk of the government's mates? So what? Illegal prorogation of parliament? So what? I could go on.

    We live in a political/populist culture now where stuff that used to get some traction simply doesn't, so you're right. The risk for the government, of course, is that the narrative of dodgy practices builds up over time and becomes a meta-narrative and damages the PM.

    Meanwhile, an erudite commentator like you contributes to the demeaning of political culture by going on about Starmer and zoos. Surely you can do better? It may be that integrity will win out in the long term.
    @Northern_Al

    That the political machine should operate in an orderly manner is obviously important to you, but in my case at least, the priorities are simply different, which makes divergent approaches to various areas of life quite compatible with one another. One can be as elitist as one likes about certain aspects of culture and still favour a distinctly populist approach to politics – no lack of historical precedent for that. More to the point, Labour and the woke left as a whole threaten the foundations of our culture in a manner so profound that in the long view what Hancock does with contracts or whether Priti obeys the ministerial code merits little more than the most languid indifference from me. I want those aspects of British and Western culture that I love and care about the most to endure for the rest of my life and beyond, and that means keeping the modern left away from the levers of power by any and all means necessary – piling a little scorn upon Starmer that's rather milder than what Aristophanes used to excoriate Cleisthenes and Cleon is really the least of it.
    Thanks for the decent response; and yes, I know that's your view. I can't help but think, though, that you exaggerate the threat to the "foundations of our culture" from a potential mild-mannered dose of Starmerism. I can see why you were so exercised about the risks of Corbynism, but that threat is long gone. Starmer has shown no inclination at all to pander to the 'woke left', unless you are one of those who think his symbolic gesture of kneeling against racism in the USA constitutes an existential threat to western civilisation. And of course you can pour scorn on Starmer. It's just that the scorn you (and others) pour on him is frequently rather puerile and doesn't advance the debate. Your comments otherwise are often really interesting, that's all.
    @Northern_Al

    It isn't really Starmer himself that's the problem, it's the true believers in Labour and allied parties more generally, much as in the US the problem isn't Biden - whom I really rather like - but the aggressive progressives to whom even a moderate leadership will give succour for the sake of a quiet life. Wokeism already dominates public discourse to an unacceptable extent after ten years of Conservative government, which is only now starting to get to grips with it under a populist leader willing to take it on more directly. I dread what would happen if even that moderate constraint on the wokavirus were removed.

    Aside from that, I shall manfully ignore your canny strike on my greatest psychological weakness - vulnerability to compliments. Having to worry about sounding interesting to other posters would detract from the whimsical farting about that is PB's most attractive quality for me.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 39,690
    edited February 20
    MaxPB said:

    TimT said:

    Weekend reporting effects, possibly:

    https://www.politico.eu/coronavirus-in-europe/


    So the UK doing more than 50% of the combined EU total. I guess supply is still the rate limiting factor for us, and so probably is for them. But the US is expecting a doubling of deliveries from Pfizer in the coming weeks, so I guess that should signal a considerable loosening of supply constraints from them (unless Pfizer have only solved production issues in their US plants).

    Be interesting to see how those relative vaccination rates move once supply is no longer an issue.
    I think AZ have begun to resolve their manufacturing issues in the UK as well just in time for the second dose programme to really start kicking into gear.

    For us the main source of additional capacity is going to be Moderna and Novavax delivering in April. All under 50s will likely be vaccinated with those two vaccines while the existing AZ and Pfizer supply is used for second doses for groups 1-9. Interestingly by then the government could conceivably reduce the gap between doses to 4-6 weeks meaning that second doses for the under 50s may be all done around the same time as groups 1-9 so the whole country is done by mid-June.
    Allow the last few vaccinated to get theirs up to speed and that gives life in GB back to normal from July 1. Everything open. Except...

    NI still has a porous border with Ireland - so get enough vaccine to get Ireland done from mid June. (Ideally, you'd get their first doses done before our seconds are finished, but that might be politically tricky. But it would allow NI to open up on July 1 too. In time for the marching on 12th July....)

    And then there is the issue of foreign travel. Political decision: do you let us Brits go all over the globe - and bring back new variants that mght go round the back of our vaccine programme? My own view is no. If everything else domestically is open, no need to take the risk. Political fall-out will be minimal (apart from the airlines and travel agents). Review if the level of Covid around the globe continues to fall off a cliff.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,230

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
    I once worked for QCA. The amount of unhealthy management practices was shocking. They were all ex-teachers and treated their colleagues like the children they used to teach. My assumption is that education is generally riddled with this.
    The behaviour of the teachers is a natural reaction to the way they are treated. The reaction of their managers is a reaction to the teachers reaction to the reaction.....

    In every industry that has poor industrial relations, moral, productivity etc, that I have very heard of, the reason is a failed social structure - not just management vs employees, but management vs the process vs the employees vs the customers...... Everyone is angry and everyone is fighting everyone else.

    The classic in this genre is the collapse of the UK car making industry - yet when other companies setup green fields sites in the UK, they found little difficulty in producing better cars, with vastly happier employees.

    Come up with a non.... "toxic" way of structuring the system, and I think you would be surprised by the difference.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 64,136

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    It's almost as though stirring up misinformation about medical issues, as the german government certainly did, to deflect from a political problem, and also publicly condemn the manufacturers of the medical supplies, has some negative consequences.

    They are, frankly, damn lucky that the additional delays caused by their malfeasance won't have more obvious consequences, as supply ramps up with other vaccines.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 37,367

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
    I once worked for QCA. The amount of unhealthy management practices was shocking. They were all ex-teachers and treated their colleagues like the children they used to teach. My assumption is that education is generally riddled with this.
    The behaviour of the teachers is a natural reaction to the way they are treated. The reaction of their managers is a reaction to the teachers reaction to the reaction.....

    In every industry that has poor industrial relations, moral, productivity etc, that I have very heard of, the reason is a failed social structure - not just management vs employees, but management vs the process vs the employees vs the customers...... Everyone is angry and everyone is fighting everyone else.

    The classic in this genre is the collapse of the UK car making industry - yet when other companies setup green fields sites in the UK, they found little difficulty in producing better cars, with vastly happier employees.

    Come up with a non.... "toxic" way of structuring the system, and I think you would be surprised by the difference.
    Aaaand we're back to abolishing the DfE.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 40,930

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    https://twitter.com/GoodwinMJ/status/1362903016739848195

    The medium post has ≈ 30 testimonies from working academics and researchers about problems they are having with academic freedom and free speech in our universities.

    But the problem doesn't exist. They're making it all up and universities don't have any issues with free speech. Anyone saying otherwise is a liar or a transphobe.
    Oh come off it Max. What has this got to do with people being invited to talk at Student Unions? This is a completely separate issue and I don't believe it has any relevance to the big Gavin's proposed new law?

    I'm not saying this isn't an issue because it clearly is, but your response is ridiculous.
    That's just a starting point in the war for free speech. The whole system needs upending including bringing protection from disciplinary action for faculty of students who have "controversial" opinions according to the church of woke.
    Again. A ridiculously inflammatory comment.

    I don't disagree that people should be protected from being discriminated against in response to having voiced their own views.

    But "church of woke" ffs. You're better than this.
    You're admitting there's a problem but then against any measures to actually try and fix them. I don't get it.
    I'm happy to discuss each actual issue on its merits without resorting to divide and conquer "us vs them-ism".

    Issue 1: academics are afraid to voice their opinions on certain topics due to fear of discrimination.

    It's bad. Definitely. And I definitely agree that in certain circles there's a complete lack of effort in even trying to understand someone else's view point. It's either "you're with us or you're against us".

    But what realistically can you do about that? Of course you can make laws that protect staff from clear discrimination based on their views but how can you legislate to stop "the majority" disliking you for voicing such views?

    For example, @Casino_Royale clearly hates me for my views on the EU so if I worked for him he would be unlikely to give me a promotion based on simply disliking me. That is always the case in employment so how do you stop that?
    No I don't. My best friend is a Remainer. In fact, most of them are - to varying degrees. Nor would I ever let my views of someone's personal politics colour my views on whether I thought they were fit for a promotion.

    I simply don't think like that. In my professional life (which you don't know about, of course) my record in this speaks for itself: it would be based solely on your abilities.

    I think you can be a bit of dick at times, and act like a stroppy teenager, but I think that's largely because you are young and passionate about certain things. I think you're essentially a good egg and you definitely have your own mind but, yeah, a bit dickish at times.

    I *might* not promote you yet if you dickish in a professional context and that'd be because people skills and the ability to handle constructive disagreement become more and more important as you climb the ladder. But I'd at least sit you down and acknowledge your potential, and give you feedback as to where I thought you needed to work on, before you were promoted.

    It wouldn't be because of your personal views.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 13,230
    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
    I once worked for QCA. The amount of unhealthy management practices was shocking. They were all ex-teachers and treated their colleagues like the children they used to teach. My assumption is that education is generally riddled with this.
    The behaviour of the teachers is a natural reaction to the way they are treated. The reaction of their managers is a reaction to the teachers reaction to the reaction.....

    In every industry that has poor industrial relations, moral, productivity etc, that I have very heard of, the reason is a failed social structure - not just management vs employees, but management vs the process vs the employees vs the customers...... Everyone is angry and everyone is fighting everyone else.

    The classic in this genre is the collapse of the UK car making industry - yet when other companies setup green fields sites in the UK, they found little difficulty in producing better cars, with vastly happier employees.

    Come up with a non.... "toxic" way of structuring the system, and I think you would be surprised by the difference.
    Aaaand we're back to abolishing the DfE.
    Abolish? I though we were using trebuchets?
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285
    edited February 20

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    ydoethur said:

    Scott_xP said:
    Did he ever have the trust of that lot?

    If I'm honest, a more useful move would be to abolish the Department of Education entirely and merge it with the MHCLG. It's fallen so far that the odds are nobody will be willing to work with it from now on. And even before this catastrophe hit it it was completely useless.

    And that would mean he could fire Jenrick as well as Williamson.
    Health to Education looks like a demotion to me. Seems unfair on Hancock, who I think is a bit of a dick but seems to have a...sense of responsibility...which is absent from many colleagues.
    He seems to have committed the sin of parking his politics and just working to enable the health system and support his team. He’s grown on me (though in the past he’d not have been front rank minister material).

    Nobody speculating on Hunt or Javid returns? Would strengthen the team.
    Hunt is good.
    Javid is just an empty suit. Nothing there.
    In years gone by I would agree with you, but this is a world where the alternative might be Jenrick or Sharma.
    Hancock would definitely be preferable to most of the current options.

    But the problem, as I said above, is the department itself. It just doesn't work and needs to go. Even if it isn't sued out of existence for offences under the Health and Safety and Work Act and for its constant manipulation of data.

    From that point of view, whoever you put in will ultimately fail.
    I think one of the issues is that (perhaps ironically for a Tory Government) the free schools agenda nationalised and centralised a lot of decision making just at the point that Gove hollowed out the Department and make it unattractive to work for. You can streamline or you can centralise; but you can’t easily do both.
    The idea that a relative handful of schools not being 100% controlled by a Whitehall department made said department collapse in skill/moral is interesting.

    If true, it would say a lot about the culture in the department in question.

    It is worth remembering that the "Free Schools" are more controlled by the government, than many state schools in Europe, for example.
    That’s my point - the opposite of what you read from it. “Free” Schools aren’t free, they are effectively centrally controlled. It was a stretch for the Dpt and it centralised work previously done in LAs.
    No - they are less controlled by the government than other comprehensives, but still more than in a number of EU countries.

    The obsession with control is a part of the unhealthy government managerial process in this country. Along with 100% utilisation and zero alternative provision of government services.
    Somebody suggested here the other day that teachers could never be treated like professionals so long as the teaching unions behave as they do... I would suggest that the “unhealthy managerial process” within the DfE as you describe it, is a far greater impediment to teacher professionalism... being told how to do your job to the nth degree, day after day, is no way to develop an effective group of professionals... unfortunately, in many schools the Headteacher is so cowed by what OFSTED might say that they too fall into the trap of having a top-down, command and control style of management - demanding of teachers that they follow heavily prescribed ways of working that they think OFSTED will want to see...
    I once worked for QCA. The amount of unhealthy management practices was shocking. They were all ex-teachers and treated their colleagues like the children they used to teach. My assumption is that education is generally riddled with this.
    The behaviour of the teachers is a natural reaction to the way they are treated. The reaction of their managers is a reaction to the teachers reaction to the reaction.....

    In every industry that has poor industrial relations, moral, productivity etc, that I have very heard of, the reason is a failed social structure - not just management vs employees, but management vs the process vs the employees vs the customers...... Everyone is angry and everyone is fighting everyone else.

    The classic in this genre is the collapse of the UK car making industry - yet when other companies setup green fields sites in the UK, they found little difficulty in producing better cars, with vastly happier employees.

    Come up with a non.... "toxic" way of structuring the system, and I think you would be surprised by the difference.
    Aaaand we're back to abolishing the DfE.
    Abolish? I though we were using trebuchets?
    Whatever happened to the enormo-haddock?
  • TimTTimT Posts: 3,285
    kle4 said:

    The German magazine Spiegel reported this week figures from Germany’s Robert Koch Institute which show that of 736,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine delivered to Germany, just 64,869 have actually been used.

    It's almost as though stirring up misinformation about medical issues, as the german government certainly did, to deflect from a political problem, and also publicly condemn the manufacturers of the medical supplies, has some negative consequences.

    They are, frankly, damn lucky that the additional delays caused by their malfeasance won't have more obvious consequences, as supply ramps up with other vaccines.
    Africa, meanwhile, thanks Spahn, UvL and Macron. They will get the AZN vaccine faster now.
This discussion has been closed.