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With the Cummings Commons Committee starting at 0930 – the former advisor Tweets a pic of pre-lockdo

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  • MattWMattW Posts: 15,028
    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Some facts:
    1. NHS already provide patient records to third parties (hospital data - inpatient, A&E and outpatient). I currently have a dataset of all these records for children over the last 15 years or so
    2. What this adds is a national primary care (GP) data research dataset
    3. There are already GP data research datasets (e.g. CPRD - google it) but these are taken from only a representative sample of surgeries, around 7-8% population coverage
    4. The process of getting access to the data is strict, for limited purposes and time and only pseudonymised data, with very few exceptions*
    5. This does need to be well managed with adherence to 4, above. The way data were given to Google in the pst was shameful.
    6. If you want to be able to work out risk factors for things like Covid or indeed to any large scale epidemiological research then these data are necessary.

    I'm an epidemiologist, working at a university. Getting access to 1 took over 18 months and included justifying the research to an NHS Research Ethics committee and multiple meetings/revisions with the data holders. The data I have are pseudonymised - they have a unique identifier, but those are random strings. I only have month and year of birth (not full date of birth) and I have geographical indicators (which I had to justify) to an area of ~3000 people.

    If I knew their medical history and age, postal address and exact dates of a stay in hospital (and which hospital) I might be able to identify someone and get other information on their health history. If caught, I would be banned for life from accessing the data (ending my career), face criminal proceedings and my entire university would be banned from accessing the data for limited period (years).

    The GP data available in 3 are useful, but too small if you're looking at rare conditions and pretty useless if you're looking at people who move often over a period of time (e.g. a cohort fom pre-18 to post-21 as people move to university, jobs etc). A national GP dataset will be a very good thing for research. The GP data will also not contain names, addresses, exact date of birth etc etc; the current GP data do not provide the GP surgery (only as a random string of numbers/letters) and I'd expect that to remain the case.

    On 5, it's important that the same processes apply to everyone and Google, IBM and the like don't just get given data becausethey promise fancy things. There's also no justification I can see for insurers being given any of these data.

    *Some exceptions where you have direct consent - i.e. if you're running a trial, participants may be asked to consent to access to their medical records. Consent is not enough, you need to get it though an ethics committee before you start the trial and also convince the data holder that you need the data and provide the legal basis. I've been an epidemiologist for well over a decade and have never obtained, nor sought to obtain, identifiable data.
    There are problems with the process, though.

    'We have been working on this for 3 years" then a few weeks to opt-out is not acceptable.
    I believe (although I admit I haven't checked the details) that the opt out system is the same as the one that has been in place since the Care.Data fiasco - so there have been years to opt out of having data shared and anyone who opted out already will not need to do anything. It's a few weeks until the new data collection begins, so those who never opted out before only have a few weeks if this change in data that will be shared is objectionable (for those in one of the CPRD surgeries/other surgeries already sharing data, nothing is really going to change).

    Unless something has changed, opt-outs also act retrospectively, so anyone opting out in two months will not have their data passed on to anyone after that time (the only people who could hold that data for a limited time would be those given data extracts before the opt-out). When a data extract is prepared, all those opting out are removed, each time. Even you have rolling data access with new data each year (which is rare) then people who opt-out in the meantime disappear from the next year's data.

    I do agree that the opt-out system could be done better, although it's hard to get the information to people. Maybe everyone should be contacted once per year to update their preferences, although that, if not online/automated, could be a signficant admin burden. Some of the Scandinavian states with national ID and online health record portals handle this better (I don't know what they do for those without internet access though).
    OTOH I agree that the data access created by previous similar exercises for NHS data has been a key brick which has helped this country be so far ahead in managing trials etc.
  • SlackbladderSlackbladder Posts: 9,519
    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    That whenever Sturegon was part of the COBRA, she would just automatically brief anything in it straight afterwards.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826
    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    Scathing about COBR in general as not suitable for a pandemic, and gave an example of Sturgeon attending then going on to hold her own press conferences.

    Not exactly a shock.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,746
    edited May 2021

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    The main thing I've taken from it all so far is that COBRA is a bit rubbish.
    The main lesson for future pandemics looks to be that systems for deciding how to act should be open to external scrutiny rather than secretive. That doesn't seem unreasonable to me.

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    I think he’s arguing for more D Cummings and less everyone else.
    More Tim Gowers, Demis Habibis less Corbyn and Hancock.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 8,343
    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,179
    There's a Tory MP for a Lancashire constituency on the box ATM with both a Lancashire flag AND a Union flag in her study at home.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482
    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    It's Cummings. He possibly, actually threw her under the No 15!
  • BluestBlueBluestBlue Posts: 4,556
    edited May 2021

    Just when I thought Cummings had only pop culture references available (Independence Day, Spider Man), here he comes with a passionate belief in the revival of the Roman Dictatorship for national emergencies...

    ...but to you, this time last year he was the voice of reason in a sunlit Rose Garden. To me he was an unreliable chancer, then as now.
    Nope, I never made any claim that he was telling the truth in the Rose Garden. I said that the months-long media obsession with Cummings' minor breach of lockdown was an irrelevance; apart from his fairly obvious comments that governments and the Civil Service are systemically poor in responding to unfamiliar crises, his testimony is also largely irrelevant today.
  • kjhkjh Posts: 7,905
    DavidL said:

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Is he suggesting anyone in particular?
    Weirdly not himself.
  • williamglennwilliamglenn Posts: 42,968
    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.
  • StereodogStereodog Posts: 349
    MattW said:

    Stereodog said:

    DougSeal said:

    Text from a friend.

    Dom's just broken the Official Secrets Act there.

    How?
    As I just said in a previous post he couldn't be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act. Whatever a witness says is covered by privilege and it can't be used in evidence nor could it be used as the reason to open an investigation. Of course following this the security service might 'coincidentally' decide to look into Dom's other statements outside of the Committee. However this would risk them being held in contempt of parliament as in practice Committees take a dim view of an employer or agency penalising witnesses for their testimony even if it's not directly an issue of privilege.

    The art of good Select Committee management is to prevent a witness giving testimony under privilege unless the Committee specifically wants the information.
    Isn't that whiteboard it on Twitter too - before he talked to the Select Committee?

    Where did it come from for the Header?
    That's a good point and Select Committees always tell witnesses not to publish their evidence before it's formally accepted by the Committee. If he had already submitted that photo to the Committee and it had been accepted as written evidence (this would be in the formal minutes) then it would be covered and he could put it on Twitter.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 27,608
    Cookie said:

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Is the implication that we'd have been better off if SAGE had been completely in charge? Because there are issues with that too. Give me an accountable buffoon over an unaccountable genius any day.
    Nope not the implication. The implication is that the whole Governmental system is unfit for purpose and needs to be reformed. SAGE is just as much a part of that system and needs to be viewed in the same way.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 15,028
    I wonder if Brussels will have one of these :smile:
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 30,162

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Which was why the cases collapsed. Does suggest that the Crown Prosecution Service wasn't on top of the job.
    At least no-one is suggesting that the statements weren't altered.
    The cynical would argue that the CPS prosecuted for political reasons - they knew it wouldn't fly. But announcing no prosecution would have been politically problematic.

    Surely altering the statements like that would have been misconduct in a public office, though?
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 10,520

    Did he just say "Plan on Solar Flares"? I was distracted for a second.

    :smile:

    A Carrington Event would be a disaster, and it would appear likely that the government contingency for dealing with it is worthless, if they have one at all.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    Scathing about COBR in general as not suitable for a pandemic, and gave an example of Sturgeon attending then going on to hold her own press conferences.

    Not exactly a shock.
    Lucky Johnson never attended them in February and March 2020 then.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826

    There's a Tory MP for a Lancashire constituency on the box ATM with both a Lancashire flag AND a Union flag in her study at home.

    She's been on a lot recently, did the Loyal Address after the Queen's Speech too which had some very amusing jokes and backstory.

    One for the future I think.
  • SlackbladderSlackbladder Posts: 9,519

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    If it's not in the contract, they can go whistle.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 8,343

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Which was why the cases collapsed. Does suggest that the Crown Prosecution Service wasn't on top of the job.
    At least no-one is suggesting that the statements weren't altered.
    The cynical would argue that the CPS prosecuted for political reasons - they knew it wouldn't fly. But announcing no prosecution would have been politically problematic.

    Surely altering the statements like that would have been misconduct in a public office, though?
    When it comes to the CPS I always prefer the cock up to the conspiracy theory. Forgery, misconduct in public office, I am sure there were a number of other prosecutions that could have been brought.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 41,886

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    That seems like a sub-optimal way to deal with getting vaccines quickly during a pandemic.

    Also seems a brilliant way to persuade a company to offshore themselves from your jurisdiction as much as possible. I’m sure one of the new UK Free Zones would welcome a massive AZ pharma factory with open arms!
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 27,608
    edited May 2021

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,179
    There's an Aaron Bell asking questions now.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    Scathing about COBR in general as not suitable for a pandemic, and gave an example of Sturgeon attending then going on to hold her own press conferences.

    Not exactly a shock.
    Lucky Johnson never attended them in February and March 2020 then.
    Sturgeon never attended any of the ones Boris never attended either. She missed one more than him in fact.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286
    DougSeal said:

    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
    In Scotland we have a catch all charge of uttering false documents. It would have covered this, whatever the purpose of the statements. But if it is tied to the trial then it seems more problematic.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,746
    edited May 2021

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    You don't sign a contract with contingent liabilities in it.
    You definitely don't sign a contract with contingent liabilities in it when you're selling at cost.
    I know this and I'm not a lawyer. I'm definitely not a lawyer looking at contracts for Astra Zeneca. The chances of a contract with cont liabilities being signed by AZ with the EU is zero.
  • BluestBlueBluestBlue Posts: 4,556
    edited May 2021

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    Scathing about COBR in general as not suitable for a pandemic, and gave an example of Sturgeon attending then going on to hold her own press conferences.

    Not exactly a shock.
    Lucky Johnson never attended them in February and March 2020 then.
    Cummings helpfully clarified that he generally didn't attend himself and didn't advise Boris to attend either.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 30,162
    DavidL said:

    tlg86 said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    Interesting, because in a way those were the most serious charges facing anyone involved.
    Looks like the prosecution case was badly conceived.

    The problem with criminal responsibility is that it tries to take individual actions or errors by particular individuals and make them responsible when we have already established that this was a hugely complex multifactorial mess that probably should have been anticipated in advance but wasn't leaving people on the ground to do their inadequate best with disastrous consequences. It is pretty obvious that on any realistic analysis the causal link between any one action and the outcome simply isn't there.
    Holes in cheese. Twas ever thus.
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 27,608

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Agreed with all that.

    Sir Humphrey is not set up for rapid changing events like this, but will find a way through to the other side while the disruptors like Cummings don't.
    No, they don't find a way through. They just find a way to cover up their failings. And in doing so we learn nothing and so repeat the same things when the next crisis comes along. Give me the disruptors any day.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    Well of course. That is simply the liquidated and ascertained damages in the relevant clause of their contract which AZ of course signed up to, isn't it?

    AZ should take the gloves off and counterclaim for damage to reputation. Its a big step for a pharma company to go for the throat of their regulator but this is beyond absurd.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Agreed with all that.

    Sir Humphrey is not set up for rapid changing events like this, but will find a way through to the other side while the disruptors like Cummings don't.
    No, they don't find a way through. They just find a way to cover up their failings. And in doing so we learn nothing and so repeat the same things when the next crisis comes along. Give me the disruptors any day.
    Again agreed, but that is Sir Humphrey's way through.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 57,127
    Cummings accuses @NicolaSturgeon of undermining 4-nation covid approach: “As soon as you had these meetings Nicola Sturgeon would go straight out announce what she wanted. So you had these completely Potemkin meetings without anyone actually digging into the reality in detail."

    https://twitter.com/Torcuil/status/1397503263709278208?s=20
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 55,057

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    I think he is doing it entirely on his own to be fair
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 105,043
    edited May 2021
    Excellent question from Aaron Bell, late of this parish, 'Are you here to help us learn lessons or settle scores for yourself?' So far seems more of the latter, with Cummings castigating Hancock and criticising the PM while pushing Rishi
  • SlackbladderSlackbladder Posts: 9,519
    Cummings has effectively given the PM more than a huge get out.

    Badly advised, trusted the scientists, shouldn't had.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing.
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286
    kjh said:

    DavidL said:

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Is he suggesting anyone in particular?
    Weirdly not himself.
    Of course not. Its just when you look at his criteria in detail it turns out that only 1 person fits them.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    Most responses seem to be that what he is saying is (mostly) quite reasonable and a lot calmer than what the media had predicted.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 28,786
    Sandpit said:

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    That seems like a sub-optimal way to deal with getting vaccines quickly during a pandemic.

    Also seems a brilliant way to persuade a company to offshore themselves from your jurisdiction as much as possible. I’m sure one of the new UK Free Zones would welcome a massive AZ pharma factory with open arms!
    As Belarus is to aviation, the EU will be, to Pharma
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    Scathing about COBR in general as not suitable for a pandemic, and gave an example of Sturgeon attending then going on to hold her own press conferences.

    Not exactly a shock.
    Lucky Johnson never attended them in February and March 2020 then.
    Cummings helpfully clarified that he generally didn't attend himself and didn't advise Boris to attend either.
    I am not sure that is a great defence witness testimony for Johnson, but hey, I'm no lawyer, so what do I know?
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 8,343
    DavidL said:

    DougSeal said:

    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
    In Scotland we have a catch all charge of uttering false documents. It would have covered this, whatever the purpose of the statements. But if it is tied to the trial then it seems more problematic.
    I think (again not my field) the quivalent in England would be creating a false instrument under s.1 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. But I've actual work to do and that is as far down this rabbit hole as I'm prepared to go!
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,340
    HYUFD said:

    Excellent question from Aaron Bell, late of this parish, 'Are you here to help us learn lessons or settle scores for yourself?' So far seems more of the latter, with Cummings castigating Hancock and criticising the PM while pushing Rishi

    Terrible question imo. Effectively AB MP has moved the discussion away from Covid decision-making. From HMG's POV, job done.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 15,028
    DavidL said:

    DougSeal said:

    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
    In Scotland we have a catch all charge of uttering false documents. It would have covered this, whatever the purpose of the statements. But if it is tied to the trial then it seems more problematic.
    How does one utter a document?

    Is this a Scotch legalism?
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,619
    My initial thought is Cummings has successfully focused discussion on the first lockdown/drama in March.
    But arguably - the really unforgiveable decisions are the ones that led to the second wave which killed more people. At that point we really should have known better.

    All very well him banging on about how unprepared Whitehall was... but what is the justification for opening up too early/ignoring the science on 2nd wave?
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286

    Cummings accuses @NicolaSturgeon of undermining 4-nation covid approach: “As soon as you had these meetings Nicola Sturgeon would go straight out announce what she wanted. So you had these completely Potemkin meetings without anyone actually digging into the reality in detail."

    https://twitter.com/Torcuil/status/1397503263709278208?s=20

    Really about time that someone pointed this out. Hopefully 1 conclusion of the Inquiry will be that having different rules and policies in the devolved administrations was a serious error that should not be repeated.
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482
    edited May 2021

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    I think he is doing it entirely on his own to be fair
    He might be trashing himself as part of the process of attempting to trash (without much success, it has to be said) Johnson, but he is doing a magnificent job of pushing your boy Sunak towards Number 10.
  • LeonLeon Posts: 28,786

    Cummings accuses @NicolaSturgeon of undermining 4-nation covid approach: “As soon as you had these meetings Nicola Sturgeon would go straight out announce what she wanted. So you had these completely Potemkin meetings without anyone actually digging into the reality in detail."

    https://twitter.com/Torcuil/status/1397503263709278208?s=20

    He is obviously right on this. It happened in front of our eyes

    At the time I remember thinking ‘this must make the meetings pointless, because no one will say anything important but contentious, because sturgeon will leak it’

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s possibly time to kick Scotland out of the union. Fuck them
  • Big_G_NorthWalesBig_G_NorthWales Posts: 55,057

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    I think he is doing it entirely on his own to be fair
    He might be trashing himself as part of the process of attempting to trash (without much success, it has to be said) Johnson, but he is doing a magnificent job of pushing your boy, Sunak towards Number 10.
    I am very happy for Rishi to succeed Boris
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 10,616
    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Anonymized data is of great value for medical research, both private sector and University led. My colleagues here routinely use it. It often helps reveal safety concerns about medication and/or combinations of medication. As long as it is impossible to uncover the identities then I have no issue with my data being used.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 59,665
    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 65,826

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Anonymized data is of great value for medical research, both private sector and University led. My colleagues here routinely use it. It often helps reveal safety concerns about medication and/or combinations of medication. As long as it is impossible to uncover the identities then I have no issue with my data being used.
    Agreed, so long as it is properly anonymised.
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 4,550
    edited May 2021
    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Some facts:
    1. NHS already provide patient records to third parties (hospital data - inpatient, A&E and outpatient). I currently have a dataset of all these records for children over the last 15 years or so
    2. What this adds is a national primary care (GP) data research dataset
    3. There are already GP data research datasets (e.g. CPRD - google it) but these are taken from only a representative sample of surgeries, around 7-8% population coverage
    4. The process of getting access to the data is strict, for limited purposes and time and only pseudonymised data, with very few exceptions*
    5. This does need to be well managed with adherence to 4, above. The way data were given to Google in the pst was shameful.
    6. If you want to be able to work out risk factors for things like Covid or indeed to any large scale epidemiological research then these data are necessary.

    I'm an epidemiologist, working at a university. Getting access to 1 took over 18 months and included justifying the research to an NHS Research Ethics committee and multiple meetings/revisions with the data holders. The data I have are pseudonymised - they have a unique identifier, but those are random strings. I only have month and year of birth (not full date of birth) and I have geographical indicators (which I had to justify) to an area of ~3000 people.

    If I knew their medical history and age, postal address and exact dates of a stay in hospital (and which hospital) I might be able to identify someone and get other information on their health history. If caught, I would be banned for life from accessing the data (ending my career), face criminal proceedings and my entire university would be banned from accessing the data for limited period (years).

    The GP data available in 3 are useful, but too small if you're looking at rare conditions and pretty useless if you're looking at people who move often over a period of time (e.g. a cohort fom pre-18 to post-21 as people move to university, jobs etc). A national GP dataset will be a very good thing for research. The GP data will also not contain names, addresses, exact date of birth etc etc; the current GP data do not provide the GP surgery (only as a random string of numbers/letters) and I'd expect that to remain the case.

    On 5, it's important that the same processes apply to everyone and Google, IBM and the like don't just get given data becausethey promise fancy things. There's also no justification I can see for insurers being given any of these data.

    *Some exceptions where you have direct consent - i.e. if you're running a trial, participants may be asked to consent to access to their medical records. Consent is not enough, you need to get it though an ethics committee before you start the trial and also convince the data holder that you need the data and provide the legal basis. I've been an epidemiologist for well over a decade and have never obtained, nor sought to obtain, identifiable data.
    There are problems with the process, though.

    'We have been working on this for 3 years" then a few weeks to opt-out is not acceptable.
    I believe (although I admit I haven't checked the details) that the opt out system is the same as the one that has been in place since the Care.Data fiasco - so there have been years to opt out of having data shared and anyone who opted out already will not need to do anything. It's a few weeks until the new data collection begins, so those who never opted out before only have a few weeks if this change in data that will be shared is objectionable (for those in one of the CPRD surgeries/other surgeries already sharing data, nothing is really going to change).

    Unless something has changed, opt-outs also act retrospectively, so anyone opting out in two months will not have their data passed on to anyone after that time (the only people who could hold that data for a limited time would be those given data extracts before the opt-out). When a data extract is prepared, all those opting out are removed, each time. Even you have rolling data access with new data each year (which is rare) then people who opt-out in the meantime disappear from the next year's data.

    I do agree that the opt-out system could be done better, although it's hard to get the information to people. Maybe everyone should be contacted once per year to update their preferences, although that, if not online/automated, could be a signficant admin burden. Some of the Scandinavian states with national ID and online health record portals handle this better (I don't know what they do for those without internet access though).
    OTOH I agree that the data access created by previous similar exercises for NHS data has been a key brick which has helped this country be so far ahead in managing trials etc.
    Yep, the key things are:
    - Be honest
    - Be open
    - Be strict
    - Don't cock it up (most important)

    I knew someone who was involved in Care.Data and the frustation is that data and data access is really boring to most people. Get the GPs to offer opt-outs on sign up and it's one of those dull data protection things that people can't be bothered with and either ignore (implicitly opting in without really understanding it) or tick the opt-out box on general principle.* Most of the time, people really don't care and that's understandable. Some GPs when the opt-out became available mass opted-out their patients without asking them.

    Then you get an article like the FT one and people are suddenly asking why they weren't told. Short of sending everyone a letter, which most won't read, what do you do?

    * A problem with this is that if it's patterned by demographics then this group gets underresearched and effectively loses their vote in care and treatment developments. Say they have something in common that also makes them have severe reactions to statins, by opting out they won't be included in healthcare data research on adverse effects of statins, which will be underestimated - they effectively lose the chance for the impact on them to be taken into account in healthcare policy.
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,619

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    I think he is doing it entirely on his own to be fair
    He might be trashing himself as part of the process of attempting to trash (without much success, it has to be said) Johnson, but he is doing a magnificent job of pushing your boy Sunak towards Number 10.
    Presumably if he talks 2nd wave -> we will hear some home truths about Sunak wanting to open up the economy way too early?
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 8,343
    Bet Hancock's regretting this now...


  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 41,886
    Pulpstar said:

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    You don't sign a contract with contingent liabilities in it.
    You definitely don't sign a contract with contingent liabilities in it when you're selling at cost.
    I know this and I'm not a lawyer. I'm definitely not a lawyer looking at contracts for Astra Zeneca. The chances of a contract with cont liabilities being signed by AZ with the EU is zero.
    The EU had never signed a contract for supply of pharmaceutical products before last summer.

    Who do we reckon had the better contract drafting team?
    (We know the answer to that, having seen the contract).
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482
    rkrkrk said:

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    I think he is doing it entirely on his own to be fair
    He might be trashing himself as part of the process of attempting to trash (without much success, it has to be said) Johnson, but he is doing a magnificent job of pushing your boy Sunak towards Number 10.
    Presumably if he talks 2nd wave -> we will hear some home truths about Sunak wanting to open up the economy way too early?
    So he's building Sunak up, only to knock him down, and bingo Michael Gove is PM!
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,746
    edited May 2021
    Any maths undergrad could have presented a basic SEIR model to the Prime Minister, but the opinion of a fields medal winner will (And should) carry huge weight.

    Many professional roles are like this.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 10,616
    DavidL said:

    Carnyx said:

    IanB2 said:

    What's this warm yellow ball doing in the sky?

    Weird.

    Someone has taken the lid off of our tupperware box
    It's an unlicensed nuclear reactor. No planning permission, no environmental impact statements, no containment, no cooling system, no emergency cooling system, no waste disposal repository, no waste disposal plan...

    A complete cowboy job. Makes "Chernobyl look like picnic".
    Full of nasty UV emissions at the best of times. And it goes poot every now and then. Screws up Radio 4, not to mention a lot else.
    Any threat to TMS really should be treated way more seriously.
    True. A colleague chose his car specifically because it still had long wave...
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 46,996

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I wonder when it was decided to announce that today?

    /CynicalBastardMode
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286
    MattW said:

    DavidL said:

    DougSeal said:

    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
    In Scotland we have a catch all charge of uttering false documents. It would have covered this, whatever the purpose of the statements. But if it is tied to the trial then it seems more problematic.
    How does one utter a document?

    Is this a Scotch legalism?
    Yes, its an old common law charge. You "utter" a document if you tender it pretending that it is something else. So you utter a forged cheque by handing it over and asking for cash, you utter a forgery if you present it for any legal purpose and you utter a dishonest or amended statement if it is handed over for any legal purpose.

    Its a good charge because it really gets to the root of the wrong.
  • PulpstarPulpstar Posts: 72,746
    Can the Hillsborough verdict be appealed upward ?
    I assume it will be if it can be.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 10,616

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    That whenever Sturegon was part of the COBRA, she would just automatically brief anything in it straight afterwards.
    Quite - it was obvious she was doing this, but interesting to have it confirmed. She has undoubtedly played politics with the pandemic.
  • MarqueeMarkMarqueeMark Posts: 46,996

    Apparently the EU is asking for compensation from AstraZeneca of 10 Euros per dose per day for delays plus 10 million Euros in penalties.

    Has AZ stopped laughing long enough to comment?
    Like my Gran used to say, "I want never gets...."
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 4,926

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Constitutionally, is there any reason why a majority at Westminster couldn’t abolish the Scottish Parliament and devolution? Feels like the time has come.
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 29,179

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I wonder when it was decided to announce that today?

    /CynicalBastardMode
    How could you possibly, possibly think that?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 28,786

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 41,886

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    That whenever Sturegon was part of the COBRA, she would just automatically brief anything in it straight afterwards.
    Quite - it was obvious she was doing this, but interesting to have it confirmed. She has undoubtedly played politics with the pandemic.
    I wonder if she’ll shortly be on the receiving end of a ‘request’ to attend the Select Committee?
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 6,575
    DougSeal said:

    DavidL said:

    DougSeal said:

    tlg86 said:

    DougSeal said:

    Hillsborough trial collapses. Liverpool fans families are naturally very, very disappointed

    I am not surprised TBH. AIUI the witness statements that were tampered with were for a public enquiry. I've never seen how that can be perversion of the course of justice when "justice" is not the point of an enquiry. Feel bad for the families being led up the garden path like this.
    Would that not constitute some other crime?
    I'm sure it is. Not my field but why they didn't go for forgery or similar is something that should be looked into.
    In Scotland we have a catch all charge of uttering false documents. It would have covered this, whatever the purpose of the statements. But if it is tied to the trial then it seems more problematic.
    I think (again not my field) the quivalent in England would be creating a false instrument under s.1 of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981. But I've actual work to do and that is as far down this rabbit hole as I'm prepared to go!
    The English, now repealed, Forgery Act 1913 sec 6 - is about 'uttering' a forged document etc.

  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482
    edited May 2021

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    Nope. All that reveals is your own bias. There is literally nothing Cummings could say or show that would change your view. That is your failing not his.
    It is remarkable that the hero of Brexit and December 2019 is now being well and truly Starmered on PB.
    Bear in mind I have done my damndest throughout this to be measured about Cummings. I very much like his aims and think he could have been great for getting radical change to how we are governed (note not how we choose or leaders but the system that is then used to help them govern). But I also recognise he is a flawed character. To his credit I think he recognises that as well. Bear in mind I wrote a thread header last year on why he should have resigned after the Barnard Castle fiasco.

    The trouble is that too many commentators on here (but by no means all) and of course too many politicians are only interested in protecting or promoting their own parties, positions and a system that has allowed them to screw the country for so long.

    I wasn't pointing the finger at you, throughout our Brexit discussions I have accepted your (and I suppose, Cummings) analysis that in order to make the Brexit omelette, eggs would need to be broken. Others on here have ignored that fact.

    I am guilty of hoping Cummings produces the smoking gun, but even I would want concrete evidence rather than his word, which I wouldn't believe for a moment.
  • Casino_RoyaleCasino_Royale Posts: 48,162

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Who's incentivised to be an odd sock in the civil service?
  • SelebianSelebian Posts: 4,550
    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Some facts:
    1. NHS already provide patient records to third parties (hospital data - inpatient, A&E and outpatient). I currently have a dataset of all these records for children over the last 15 years or so
    2. What this adds is a national primary care (GP) data research dataset
    3. There are already GP data research datasets (e.g. CPRD - google it) but these are taken from only a representative sample of surgeries, around 7-8% population coverage
    4. The process of getting access to the data is strict, for limited purposes and time and only pseudonymised data, with very few exceptions*
    5. This does need to be well managed with adherence to 4, above. The way data were given to Google in the pst was shameful.
    6. If you want to be able to work out risk factors for things like Covid or indeed to any large scale epidemiological research then these data are necessary.

    I'm an epidemiologist, working at a university. Getting access to 1 took over 18 months and included justifying the research to an NHS Research Ethics committee and multiple meetings/revisions with the data holders. The data I have are pseudonymised - they have a unique identifier, but those are random strings. I only have month and year of birth (not full date of birth) and I have geographical indicators (which I had to justify) to an area of ~3000 people.

    If I knew their medical history and age, postal address and exact dates of a stay in hospital (and which hospital) I might be able to identify someone and get other information on their health history. If caught, I would be banned for life from accessing the data (ending my career), face criminal proceedings and my entire university would be banned from accessing the data for limited period (years).

    The GP data available in 3 are useful, but too small if you're looking at rare conditions and pretty useless if you're looking at people who move often over a period of time (e.g. a cohort fom pre-18 to post-21 as people move to university, jobs etc). A national GP dataset will be a very good thing for research. The GP data will also not contain names, addresses, exact date of birth etc etc; the current GP data do not provide the GP surgery (only as a random string of numbers/letters) and I'd expect that to remain the case.

    On 5, it's important that the same processes apply to everyone and Google, IBM and the like don't just get given data becausethey promise fancy things. There's also no justification I can see for insurers being given any of these data.

    *Some exceptions where you have direct consent - i.e. if you're running a trial, participants may be asked to consent to access to their medical records. Consent is not enough, you need to get it though an ethics committee before you start the trial and also convince the data holder that you need the data and provide the legal basis. I've been an epidemiologist for well over a decade and have never obtained, nor sought to obtain, identifiable data.
    There are problems with the process, though.

    'We have been working on this for 3 years" then a few weeks to opt-out is not acceptable.
    I believe (although I admit I haven't checked the details) that the opt out system is the same as the one that has been in place since the Care.Data fiasco - so there have been years to opt out of having data shared and anyone who opted out already will not need to do anything. It's a few weeks until the new data collection begins, so those who never opted out before only have a few weeks if this change in data that will be shared is objectionable (for those in one of the CPRD surgeries/other surgeries already sharing data, nothing is really going to change).

    Unless something has changed, opt-outs also act retrospectively, so anyone opting out in two months will not have their data passed on to anyone after that time (the only people who could hold that data for a limited time would be those given data extracts before the opt-out). When a data extract is prepared, all those opting out are removed, each time. Even you have rolling data access with new data each year (which is rare) then people who opt-out in the meantime disappear from the next year's data.

    I do agree that the opt-out system could be done better, although it's hard to get the information to people. Maybe everyone should be contacted once per year to update their preferences, although that, if not online/automated, could be a signficant admin burden. Some of the Scandinavian states with national ID and online health record portals handle this better (I don't know what they do for those without internet access though).
    OTOH I agree that the data access created by previous similar exercises for NHS data has been a key brick which has helped this country be so far ahead in managing trials etc.
    Yep, the key things are:
    - Be honest
    - Be open
    - Be strict
    - Don't cock it up (most important)

    I knew someone who was involved in Care.Data and the frustation is that data and data access is really boring to most people. Get the GPs to offer opt-outs on sign up and it's one of those dull data protection things that people can't be bothered with and either ignore (implicitly opting in without really understanding it) or tick the opt-out box on general principle.* Most of the time, people really don't care and that's understandable. Some GPs when the opt-out became available mass opted-out their patients without asking them.

    Then you get an article like the FT one and people are suddenly asking why they weren't told. Short of sending everyone a letter, which most won't read, what do you do?

    * A problem with this is that if it's patterned by demographics then this group gets underresearched and effectively loses their vote in care and treatment developments. Say they have something in common that also makes them have severe reactions to statins, by opting out they won't be included in healthcare data research on adverse effects of statins, which will be underestimated - they effectively lose the chance for the impact on them to be taken into account in healthcare policy.
    Also, the FT article focuses on English GP data, for good reason. As far as I know, all Welsh GP data are already available for research via the SAIL databank and I think a similar Scottish dataset either exists or is in progress (Scottish data have long been the best integrated in the UK for research, the only reason I haven't used it much is because it's obviously much smaller, which matters for rare conditions).
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 3,385
    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    If we could get rid of Gove at the same time you'd really get people on board.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 7,273
    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    This is not the feeling in metropolitan England, or even in the Remainier parts of the Home Counties, in my experience. It could become just another facet of the cultural divide within England itself.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 7,144
    Not watching the live feed but enjoying some of the comments on here. We ought to cherish the fact that we can have the government's conduct exposed out in the open - they increasingly don't seem keen on it. Unfortunately these things tend to get reduced to one or two soundbites that get the attention of the news and twitter. Bit like a day's play at the test match being reduced to the moment a fast bowler snarls at an impudent bastman. Doesn't tell you a lot.
  • DougSealDougSeal Posts: 8,343
    moonshine said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Constitutionally, is there any reason why a majority at Westminster couldn’t abolish the Scottish Parliament and devolution? Feels like the time has come.
    Theoretically Parliament could do any damn thing it wants. It could theoretically abolish the Scottish Parliament in the same way it could theoretically reestablish the British Empire by repealing a whole series of independence acts. In practice, though, all those things are impossible.
  • rottenboroughrottenborough Posts: 55,103

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Anonymized data is of great value for medical research, both private sector and University led. My colleagues here routinely use it. It often helps reveal safety concerns about medication and/or combinations of medication. As long as it is impossible to uncover the identities then I have no issue with my data being used.
    Does this apply if you don't have the NHS app?
  • LeonLeon Posts: 28,786
    maaarsh said:

    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    If we could get rid of Gove at the same time you'd really get people on board.
    He’s Scottish. He won’t be allowed to work in England without a visa.

    I’m quite serious. Enough of this Scottish whining. Let them go. And ‘going’ means GOING. No special treatment. This is not Ireland. Scots who want to work in London will need visas
  • MexicanpeteMexicanpete Posts: 18,482
    Damn, I have to leave for a 1300 hours meeting!
  • maaarshmaaarsh Posts: 3,385
    DavidL said:

    I have not been watching this but from the comments on here it does appear that Cummings really does want to focus on the way we make decisions in a crisis, something he was pretty obsessed with in government and has written about extensively on his blog.

    His critique previously is:
    *That government lacks up to date and reliable data and we need to find new ways to collate that data.
    *That the Civil Service has far too many general skills and not nearly enough specific skills or expertise.
    * That those with the relevant expertise or skills find it too difficult to be heard in the decision making process.
    * That politicians generally lack numeracy or other technical skills which allow them to identify the holes in the advice that they are being given.
    *That the whole process is just too slow.

    I find that hard to disagree with but the answers are more complicated than he wants to admit. Has he added anything further to this today?

    He appears to live in a fantasy world of high performing organisations which respond to catastrophic shock with calm and capability.

    I've no doubt number 10 and the civil service are a shit show - I just don't share his faith in the existance of impressive alternatives.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 6,575
    Pulpstar said:

    Can the Hillsborough verdict be appealed upward ?
    I assume it will be if it can be.

    The point of law can be appealed but not the acquittal. That can only be appealed on the basis of fresh and compelling evidence with a view to a retrial (eg the Stephen Lawrence case).
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 27,608
    maaarsh said:

    DavidL said:

    I have not been watching this but from the comments on here it does appear that Cummings really does want to focus on the way we make decisions in a crisis, something he was pretty obsessed with in government and has written about extensively on his blog.

    His critique previously is:
    *That government lacks up to date and reliable data and we need to find new ways to collate that data.
    *That the Civil Service has far too many general skills and not nearly enough specific skills or expertise.
    * That those with the relevant expertise or skills find it too difficult to be heard in the decision making process.
    * That politicians generally lack numeracy or other technical skills which allow them to identify the holes in the advice that they are being given.
    *That the whole process is just too slow.

    I find that hard to disagree with but the answers are more complicated than he wants to admit. Has he added anything further to this today?

    He appears to live in a fantasy world of high performing organisations which respond to catastrophic shock with calm and capability.

    I've no doubt number 10 and the civil service are a shit show - I just don't share his faith in the existance of impressive alternatives.
    If you accept they could hardly be worse - which is what I believe - then the only thing you have left is the hope that they can be better.
  • WhisperingOracleWhisperingOracle Posts: 7,273
    edited May 2021
    Leon said:

    maaarsh said:

    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    If we could get rid of Gove at the same time you'd really get people on board.
    He’s Scottish. He won’t be allowed to work in England without a visa.

    I’m quite serious. Enough of this Scottish whining. Let them go. And ‘going’ means GOING. No special treatment. This is not Ireland. Scots who want to work in London will need visas
    On that track of rural and northern English ressentiment, London would be equally likely to support becoming a separate city-state in itself.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 41,886

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Who's incentivised to be an odd sock in the civil service?
    No-one, which is half the problem.

    “Be quiet and serve your time”

    Meanwhile, successful large business today look very different organisationally than they did a few decades ago, the CS looks exactly the same but with more diversity training.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 105,043
    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    The main problem is it is no longer a Union as such but a Federal UK excluding England.

    Give England its own Parliament or at least English regional assemblies and the problem would be resolved
  • Richard_TyndallRichard_Tyndall Posts: 27,608

    Trouble with Cummings is that he clearly has an axe to grind, and it's with almost everyone.

    Given he can't pick just one target, and he's far from perfect himself, he'll shoot.. and miss.

    I am loving the testimony and find it rings true all the way. But of course it reflects my view on the way the whole thing has been handled.

    It won't change anything but it should.
    I'm not sure what it should change, since most of the things mentioned seem to be those which we kind of already knew and changes have already happened.
    No I am talking about the more fundamental way in which the whole Civil Service/Party system works to fail the British people not just here but all the time. The Lions led by Donkeys line. The pandemic and the Governmental failures that made it worse could be a spark for real change but sadly they won't be because as we see here people are too wedded to their own parties/cliques and the vested interests are too great to bring about real change.

    Cummings was right. But because he too was flawed an opportunity, however slim, has been lost.
    Who's incentivised to be an odd sock in the civil service?
    Which again should be taken as a criticism of the Civil Service rather than of the odd sock.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 17,340
    OT-ish Dominic Cummings this morning bigged up his data mates for the NHS dashboard, and sterling work has been done by @Malmesbury and other PBers.

    In France, https://covidtracker.fr was built by Guillaume Rozier almost on a whim and became that country's go-to site. Worth a google imo.
  • malcolmgmalcolmg Posts: 37,423
    Leon said:

    Cummings accuses @NicolaSturgeon of undermining 4-nation covid approach: “As soon as you had these meetings Nicola Sturgeon would go straight out announce what she wanted. So you had these completely Potemkin meetings without anyone actually digging into the reality in detail."

    https://twitter.com/Torcuil/status/1397503263709278208?s=20

    He is obviously right on this. It happened in front of our eyes

    At the time I remember thinking ‘this must make the meetings pointless, because no one will say anything important but contentious, because sturgeon will leak it’

    I can’t believe I’m saying this, but it’s possibly time to kick Scotland out of the union. Fuck them
    Sooner the better, but as you are a bunch of cowards and cannot stand on your own two feet or do without our money that will not happen.
  • kyf_100kyf_100 Posts: 3,295

    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    This is not the feeling in metropolitan England, or even in the Remainier parts of the Home Counties, in my experience. It could become just another facet of the cultural divide within England itself.
    While I know voters aren't always logically coherent, it's logically coherent to assume that Brexiteers would better understand the Scottish grievance of being ruled over by what they feel is a foreign power, with decisions being taken too far removed from those they affect, and with insufficient influence within the larger decision-making body.
  • FrankBoothFrankBooth Posts: 7,144

    DavidL said:

    Ah Cummings also throws Sturegon under the bus...

    Not watching it. What did he say?
    That whenever Sturegon was part of the COBRA, she would just automatically brief anything in it straight afterwards.
    Quite - it was obvious she was doing this, but interesting to have it confirmed. She has undoubtedly played politics with the pandemic.
    Are there legal implications to that?
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 72,897
    edited May 2021

    I'm confused here..is Cummings arguing for more government, or less government.

    Or both? or neither...who the f-knows.

    Seems he effectively just wants an dictatorship and a genius overlord to run all of the country.

    And that is the problem with Cummings in a nutshell...he often identifies a problem, but then whatever the solution is, who the f##k knows, its more of this, while less of that..10,000 words in a blog full of buzz words later, and nope we still don't actually know what Grand Master Cummings would do.

    He is like a much wordier Vince Cable.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 15,028
    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    MattW said:

    Selebian said:

    ping said:

    This is outrageous;

    England’s NHS plans to share patient records with third parties

    55m patients have until June 23 to opt out of having their health data scraped into a new database.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.ft.com/content/9fee812f-6975-49ce-915c-aeb25d3dd748

    Medical history should be entirely confidential unless requested by the police via court order, IMO.

    Some facts:
    1. NHS already provide patient records to third parties (hospital data - inpatient, A&E and outpatient). I currently have a dataset of all these records for children over the last 15 years or so
    2. What this adds is a national primary care (GP) data research dataset
    3. There are already GP data research datasets (e.g. CPRD - google it) but these are taken from only a representative sample of surgeries, around 7-8% population coverage
    4. The process of getting access to the data is strict, for limited purposes and time and only pseudonymised data, with very few exceptions*
    5. This does need to be well managed with adherence to 4, above. The way data were given to Google in the pst was shameful.
    6. If you want to be able to work out risk factors for things like Covid or indeed to any large scale epidemiological research then these data are necessary.

    I'm an epidemiologist, working at a university. Getting access to 1 took over 18 months and included justifying the research to an NHS Research Ethics committee and multiple meetings/revisions with the data holders. The data I have are pseudonymised - they have a unique identifier, but those are random strings. I only have month and year of birth (not full date of birth) and I have geographical indicators (which I had to justify) to an area of ~3000 people.

    If I knew their medical history and age, postal address and exact dates of a stay in hospital (and which hospital) I might be able to identify someone and get other information on their health history. If caught, I would be banned for life from accessing the data (ending my career), face criminal proceedings and my entire university would be banned from accessing the data for limited period (years).

    The GP data available in 3 are useful, but too small if you're looking at rare conditions and pretty useless if you're looking at people who move often over a period of time (e.g. a cohort fom pre-18 to post-21 as people move to university, jobs etc). A national GP dataset will be a very good thing for research. The GP data will also not contain names, addresses, exact date of birth etc etc; the current GP data do not provide the GP surgery (only as a random string of numbers/letters) and I'd expect that to remain the case.

    On 5, it's important that the same processes apply to everyone and Google, IBM and the like don't just get given data becausethey promise fancy things. There's also no justification I can see for insurers being given any of these data.

    *Some exceptions where you have direct consent - i.e. if you're running a trial, participants may be asked to consent to access to their medical records. Consent is not enough, you need to get it though an ethics committee before you start the trial and also convince the data holder that you need the data and provide the legal basis. I've been an epidemiologist for well over a decade and have never obtained, nor sought to obtain, identifiable data.
    There are problems with the process, though.

    'We have been working on this for 3 years" then a few weeks to opt-out is not acceptable.
    I believe (although I admit I haven't checked the details) that the opt out system is the same as the one that has been in place since the Care.Data fiasco - so there have been years to opt out of having data shared and anyone who opted out already will not need to do anything. It's a few weeks until the new data collection begins, so those who never opted out before only have a few weeks if this change in data that will be shared is objectionable (for those in one of the CPRD surgeries/other surgeries already sharing data, nothing is really going to change).

    Unless something has changed, opt-outs also act retrospectively, so anyone opting out in two months will not have their data passed on to anyone after that time (the only people who could hold that data for a limited time would be those given data extracts before the opt-out). When a data extract is prepared, all those opting out are removed, each time. Even you have rolling data access with new data each year (which is rare) then people who opt-out in the meantime disappear from the next year's data.

    I do agree that the opt-out system could be done better, although it's hard to get the information to people. Maybe everyone should be contacted once per year to update their preferences, although that, if not online/automated, could be a signficant admin burden. Some of the Scandinavian states with national ID and online health record portals handle this better (I don't know what they do for those without internet access though).
    OTOH I agree that the data access created by previous similar exercises for NHS data has been a key brick which has helped this country be so far ahead in managing trials etc.
    Yep, the key things are:
    - Be honest
    - Be open
    - Be strict
    - Don't cock it up (most important)

    I knew someone who was involved in Care.Data and the frustation is that data and data access is really boring to most people. Get the GPs to offer opt-outs on sign up and it's one of those dull data protection things that people can't be bothered with and either ignore (implicitly opting in without really understanding it) or tick the opt-out box on general principle.* Most of the time, people really don't care and that's understandable. Some GPs when the opt-out became available mass opted-out their patients without asking them.

    Then you get an article like the FT one and people are suddenly asking why they weren't told. Short of sending everyone a letter, which most won't read, what do you do?

    * A problem with this is that if it's patterned by demographics then this group gets underresearched and effectively loses their vote in care and treatment developments. Say they have something in common that also makes them have severe reactions to statins, by opting out they won't be included in healthcare data research on adverse effects of statins, which will be underestimated - they effectively lose the chance for the impact on them to be taken into account in healthcare policy.
    Yes.

    Fortunately we have some competent critical groups who will be on this, to hold them to account.
  • NerysHughesNerysHughes Posts: 2,927
    maaarsh said:

    DavidL said:

    I have not been watching this but from the comments on here it does appear that Cummings really does want to focus on the way we make decisions in a crisis, something he was pretty obsessed with in government and has written about extensively on his blog.

    His critique previously is:
    *That government lacks up to date and reliable data and we need to find new ways to collate that data.
    *That the Civil Service has far too many general skills and not nearly enough specific skills or expertise.
    * That those with the relevant expertise or skills find it too difficult to be heard in the decision making process.
    * That politicians generally lack numeracy or other technical skills which allow them to identify the holes in the advice that they are being given.
    *That the whole process is just too slow.

    I find that hard to disagree with but the answers are more complicated than he wants to admit. Has he added anything further to this today?

    He appears to live in a fantasy world of high performing organisations which respond to catastrophic shock with calm and capability.

    I've no doubt number 10 and the civil service are a shit show - I just don't share his faith in the existance of impressive alternatives.
    Absolutely, this a once in a 100 year event with a brand new disease, and Governments have taken actions far outweighing anything they have ever done before.
  • MrEdMrEd Posts: 5,578

    Leon said:

    maaarsh said:

    Leon said:

    Mr. Leon, Sturgeon being an idiot is no reason to destroy a nation.

    Devolution is a disaster. Especially the botched, stupid, asymmetric devolution given us by Labour. Boris is right

    Anecdote: at my last large family gathering I was struck by the family members who were seriously anti-union and anti-Scottish. They used to be apathetic, now they are averse. Let Scotland go. Cut them away. This is a growing feeling in England. It will be England that ends the Union, if it ends

    My family is not alone

    ‘MICHAEL Gove has been warned by a Tory MP that the Union could end through "benign neglect" as voters in England give up on it just as they did with the EU.

    The Cabinet Office minister was told by Jackie Doyle-Price that her constituents in Thurrock in Essex now griped about Scotland they way they used to about Brussels.

    She said for many people in England the Union was not a “living entity”and urged UK ministers to do more to help people understand and appreciate it.’

    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/19318323.michael-gove-warned-union-fall-apart-throuhg-benign-neglec/
    If we could get rid of Gove at the same time you'd really get people on board.
    He’s Scottish. He won’t be allowed to work in England without a visa.

    I’m quite serious. Enough of this Scottish whining. Let them go. And ‘going’ means GOING. No special treatment. This is not Ireland. Scots who want to work in London will need visas
    On that track of rural and northern English ressentiment, London would be equally likely to vote to become a separate city-state just in itself.
    Surrounded on all sides by a potentially hostile rump and with its other components likely to be against the concept of a London mini-state.

    Mmm, I can see that working well
  • FloaterFloater Posts: 14,195
    https://twitter.com/DPJHodges/status/1397481964383481856

    Dom also confirms another point that has been missed. The strategy that was being pursued was the one advocated by SAGE.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 57,127
    I think that summary - PM made some very bad misjudgements *and* he was badly let down by advisers/the system - is fair and accurate.

    https://twitter.com/mrianleslie/status/1397505495834009602?s=20
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 45,286
    maaarsh said:

    DavidL said:

    I have not been watching this but from the comments on here it does appear that Cummings really does want to focus on the way we make decisions in a crisis, something he was pretty obsessed with in government and has written about extensively on his blog.

    His critique previously is:
    *That government lacks up to date and reliable data and we need to find new ways to collate that data.
    *That the Civil Service has far too many general skills and not nearly enough specific skills or expertise.
    * That those with the relevant expertise or skills find it too difficult to be heard in the decision making process.
    * That politicians generally lack numeracy or other technical skills which allow them to identify the holes in the advice that they are being given.
    *That the whole process is just too slow.

    I find that hard to disagree with but the answers are more complicated than he wants to admit. Has he added anything further to this today?

    He appears to live in a fantasy world of high performing organisations which respond to catastrophic shock with calm and capability.

    I've no doubt number 10 and the civil service are a shit show - I just don't share his faith in the existance of impressive alternatives.
    Hence why I say that the answers are more complicated than he wants to admit. But the days of the great British generalist in the Civil Service who goes from department to department learning just enough about each new area of responsibility to justify a promotion to somewhere else are surely coming to an end? We need specialists, employed for their specialism and respected within that field but only listened to at best outside it. He is right about this.
This discussion has been closed.