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Four of the five latest VI polls have the Tory lead narrowing – politicalbetting.com

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  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    alex_ said:

    Ongoing discussion about declining vaccine efficacy and other ongoing protection against serious illness (T-cells etc). “Memory of what to do” was how one person put it. A question however - are the “other forms” dependent on having come into contact with the virus? Or will having received the vaccine be enough? In simple terms - do we undermine the long terms benefits of the vaccination programme by actively continuing anti-Covid measures among a largely vaccinated society?

    Having had the vaccine is enough

    Basically think of it like sticking a “wanted poster” in the sherriff’s office

    It doesn’t matter if you took the photo in the poster yourself (encountered the wild-type virus) or someone gave you the poster (the vaccine).

    All that matters is you recognise the bad guy
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    mwadams said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    Maybe this is what happened in Government.

    "We need to give everyone the virus."

    "Are you sure Prime Minister?"

    "Of course I'm bloody sure. I'm the Prime Minister. And I've got to get back to my model buses, I don't have time for this."

    "Are you sure you didn't mean vaccine?"

    PM stops dead in his tracks and thinks. Decides to double down.

    "Of course not, you moron.V I R U S. Virus."
    I’ve been reading a fascinating book about medieval law in Spain (bear with me…)

    They have a great concept of “I obey, but I do not implement” allowing folks on the ground to overrule the Crown’s orders without disobeying them
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    edited July 27
    Foxy said:

    Sandpit said:

    Rusbridger returns to editing.

    Alan Rusbridger to be the next editor of Prospect magazine
    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/alan-rusbridger-to-be-the-next-editor-of-prospect-magazine

    A good interview with Rusbridger in the NS, which for the first time in several years had me agreeing with the guy.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/05/alan-rusbridger-young-have-no-grounding-classical-view-free-speech

    “I think this idea of my right not to be offended, my right to have a safe space, is one that’s crept up in the last five years,” he said. If you mention John Stuart Mill’s arguments on free speech to “a bright 19-year-old in Oxford, they look at you a bit blankly. When you say, ‘Isn’t the best response to speech, more speech?’ it’s a new idea to them.”

    Rusbridger understands the urge many young people may have to belong and feel safe in their identity. The question is what that urge requires: to belong, do you need to ostracise others who think differently? At Oxford, Rusbridger has debated with students “whose first instinctive position is, ‘But we want this to be a safe space, I feel threatened. Your job is to protect me.’”

    His response is well-worn: there are no safe spaces in the world. You are supposedly the brightest of your generation – if you can’t defeat those you disagree with in an argument, who can? “It’s a bad thing,” he explained, “if the right not to feel offended overshadows the call of reason.”
    There is much misunderstanding of "Safe Spaces", some of it deliberate and certainly amongst students and faculty.

    The point of SS is not to suppress free speech but rather to enable it, by establishing ground rules to allow those historically marginalised to speak and explore ideas freely. This is especially important with widened access to university etc.

    I think of it more similar to good chairing of a committee. The issue is mostly in small group teaching where the facilitator enables everyone to explore the topic, and give their perspective, rather than have the seminar dominated by a few loudmouths. SS is neutral in terms of politics and cultural narrative, just a clear structure of acceptable behaviour to allow free discussion.

    Of course there is the critical issue of power dynamics as to who gets to set and enforce the rules, as well established by Foucault and others.
    I think Rusbridger has something there.

    But the idea that this is "the last 5 years" is ludicrous imo.

    In the UK the laws about "harasssment, alarm or distress" go back to Public Order Act 1994 ie John Major's time:

    The offence is created by section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which was inserted by section 154 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he:
    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting
    thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
    (2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.


    It has been broadened and new things introduced since, especially under New Labour, and weaponised by various campaign groups, and by changes to the law by changes in threshold tests and broadening of scope, redefinition of "course of action" around offences such as stalking, rhetoric around how "words" are 'violence; and similar. Particularly Theresa May also did similar.

    Also of course the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and how it has been used. The broadening scope of use of poorly written legislation is key.

    One perhaps little-noticed canary-in-the-coal-mine which has become increasingly regular has been harassment / arrest of street preachers by the police.

    Also of course a portrayal of different opinions as 'hate-speech', as used by Mermaids, for example, to set the police on journalists.

    What Rusbridger does not admit is that he provided an insufficiently critical platform for media noise in support of such moves at the Guardian. But even a small reverse ferret is a crumb.

    And much of that has fed through into police culture. Plus a nasty little tendency amongst elected local politicians to try and use such offences to close down critics, which has been a thing I was personally seeing 15 years ago (which was when I became aware of it).
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,196

    Foxy said:



    And we should never forget: some staff who do not care enough for patients to follow moral, yet alone official, procedures.

    A massive problem in the NHS IMO, and a very hard one to fix.

    The problem is not unique to the NHS. Cases of neglectful uncaring staff are found in private sector units too, particularly in social care, and private providers of long term care such as learning disability.

    The problem in Stafford was a hospital management that was determined on Foundation status, and set up a culture of very bad care in order to meet narrow targets. That percolated down and permitted some very bad frontline care.

    It is often a matter of local leadership. It is often the case that wards in the same hospital can have superb ground level care with high standards of nursing and medical care, and in the same block have a ward or unit where neglect occurs, process disregarded, staff poorly supervised and demoralised, staff retention is poor and outcomes worse.
    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    You do not want the 1% of devils in your organisation (and I do think it is that high), and preferably not the 9% bad. But you cannot necessarily tell in advance who they are (*), and they can be very good at hiding their behaviour. Therefore you need really strong but fair controls about behaviour in any organisation. Weed out the evil 1%. Curb the bad 9%. Help the 80% side with their good, not bad, sides.

    The problem is the fetishisation of the NHS, where we like to think of everybody working in it is an angel. A few will be, but there will also be some devils.

    And the problem with Stafford was not just management: it was the reaction to the whistlebblowing, where whistleblowers got lots of mud thrown at them in public. It was hideous. And the root cause was the same: uncaring, nasty staff.

    (*) Although sometimes when there are strong indicators, as happened recently in the Met Police, they still admit them.
    I agree with your broad %s, and reluctance to disbelieve people in admired institutions (NHS, Met,etc.) is an issue. The main one, though, is unfettered power over people with low social status. Dementia patients. Prisoners. Refugees. Young WWC. Minorities. Most of the scandals in recent years have been about a locally powerful group (mental health nurses, prison wardens, etc.) feeling they can get away with anything. That brings out the worst in your 10% who are bad.
    The medical profession has a long, and quite unpleasant history of how it deals with "whistleblowers".

    There is a hard core system of omertà - a doctor giving evidence against a colleague is seen as wrong.

    Allegations of mental health issues against doctors who raise complaints seems to be quite standard. No, there is no contradiction there - apparently the omertà against making allegations against other medical staff doesn't apply when you are dissing a whistleblower.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740
    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,287

    Foxy said:



    And we should never forget: some staff who do not care enough for patients to follow moral, yet alone official, procedures.

    A massive problem in the NHS IMO, and a very hard one to fix.

    The problem is not unique to the NHS. Cases of neglectful uncaring staff are found in private sector units too, particularly in social care, and private providers of long term care such as learning disability.

    The problem in Stafford was a hospital management that was determined on Foundation status, and set up a culture of very bad care in order to meet narrow targets. That percolated down and permitted some very bad frontline care.

    It is often a matter of local leadership. It is often the case that wards in the same hospital can have superb ground level care with high standards of nursing and medical care, and in the same block have a ward or unit where neglect occurs, process disregarded, staff poorly supervised and demoralised, staff retention is poor and outcomes worse.
    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    You do not want the 1% of devils in your organisation (and I do think it is that high), and preferably not the 9% bad. But you cannot necessarily tell in advance who they are (*), and they can be very good at hiding their behaviour. Therefore you need really strong but fair controls about behaviour in any organisation. Weed out the evil 1%. Curb the bad 9%. Help the 80% side with their good, not bad, sides.

    The problem is the fetishisation of the NHS, where we like to think of everybody working in it is an angel. A few will be, but there will also be some devils.

    And the problem with Stafford was not just management: it was the reaction to the whistlebblowing, where whistleblowers got lots of mud thrown at them in public. It was hideous. And the root cause was the same: uncaring, nasty staff.

    (*) Although sometimes when there are strong indicators, as happened recently in the Met Police, they still admit them.
    I agree with your broad %s, and reluctance to disbelieve people in admired institutions (NHS, Met,etc.) is an issue. The main one, though, is unfettered power over people with low social status. Dementia patients. Prisoners. Refugees. Young WWC. Minorities. Most of the scandals in recent years have been about a locally powerful group (mental health nurses, prison wardens, etc.) feeling they can get away with anything. That brings out the worst in your 10% who are bad.
    Shame the wrong 10% got into the Tory cabinet.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Does this cut across pension pots? eg If I have one with Standard Life (yes I know), one with Equitable Life (yes, I know they have gone as well at last), and another in a SIPP?
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    MattW said:

    Foxy said:

    Sandpit said:

    Rusbridger returns to editing.

    Alan Rusbridger to be the next editor of Prospect magazine
    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/alan-rusbridger-to-be-the-next-editor-of-prospect-magazine

    A good interview with Rusbridger in the NS, which for the first time in several years had me agreeing with the guy.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/05/alan-rusbridger-young-have-no-grounding-classical-view-free-speech

    “I think this idea of my right not to be offended, my right to have a safe space, is one that’s crept up in the last five years,” he said. If you mention John Stuart Mill’s arguments on free speech to “a bright 19-year-old in Oxford, they look at you a bit blankly. When you say, ‘Isn’t the best response to speech, more speech?’ it’s a new idea to them.”

    Rusbridger understands the urge many young people may have to belong and feel safe in their identity. The question is what that urge requires: to belong, do you need to ostracise others who think differently? At Oxford, Rusbridger has debated with students “whose first instinctive position is, ‘But we want this to be a safe space, I feel threatened. Your job is to protect me.’”

    His response is well-worn: there are no safe spaces in the world. You are supposedly the brightest of your generation – if you can’t defeat those you disagree with in an argument, who can? “It’s a bad thing,” he explained, “if the right not to feel offended overshadows the call of reason.”
    There is much misunderstanding of "Safe Spaces", some of it deliberate and certainly amongst students and faculty.

    The point of SS is not to suppress free speech but rather to enable it, by establishing ground rules to allow those historically marginalised to speak and explore ideas freely. This is especially important with widened access to university etc.

    I think of it more similar to good chairing of a committee. The issue is mostly in small group teaching where the facilitator enables everyone to explore the topic, and give their perspective, rather than have the seminar dominated by a few loudmouths. SS is neutral in terms of politics and cultural narrative, just a clear structure of acceptable behaviour to allow free discussion.

    Of course there is the critical issue of power dynamics as to who gets to set and enforce the rules, as well established by Foucault and others.
    I think Rusbridger has something there.

    But the idea that this is "the last 5 years" is ludicrous imo.

    In the UK the laws about "harasssment, alarm or distress" go back to Public Order Act 1994 ie John Major's time:

    The offence is created by section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which was inserted by section 154 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he:
    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting
    thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
    (2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.


    It has been broadened and new things introduced since, especially under New Labour, and weaponised by various campaign groups, and by changes to the law by changes in threshold tests and broadening of scope, redefinition of "course of action" around offences such as stalking, rhetoric around how "words" are 'violence; and similar. Particularly Theresa May also did similar.

    Also of course the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and how it has been used. The broadening scope of use of poorly written legislation is key.

    One perhaps little-noticed canary-in-the-coal-mine which has become increasingly regular has been harassment / arrest of street preachers by the police.

    Also of course a portrayal of different opinions as 'hate-speech', as used by Mermaids, for example, to set the police on journalists.

    What Rusbridger does not admit is that he provided an insufficiently critical platform for media noise in support of such moves at the Guardian. But even a small reverse ferret is a crumb.

    And much of that has fed through into police culture. Plus a nasty little tendency amongst elected local politicians to try and use such offences to close down critics, which has been a thing I was personally seeing 15 years ago (which was when I became aware of it).
    And that is without getting into two of the more poisonous aspects: "you have not committed a crime but we are watching you" letters from police, and the current obsession with non-crime "Hate Incidents".
  • StuartDicksonStuartDickson Posts: 5,287
    mwadams said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    Maybe this is what happened in Government.

    "We need to give everyone the virus."

    "Are you sure Prime Minister?"

    "Of course I'm bloody sure. I'm the Prime Minister. And I've got to get back to my model buses, I don't have time for this."

    "Are you sure you didn't mean vaccine?"

    PM stops dead in his tracks and thinks. Decides to double down.

    "Of course not, you moron.V I R U S. Virus."
    Plausible.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 21,319

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 21,319
    MattW said:

    MattW said:

    Foxy said:

    Sandpit said:

    Rusbridger returns to editing.

    Alan Rusbridger to be the next editor of Prospect magazine
    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/alan-rusbridger-to-be-the-next-editor-of-prospect-magazine

    A good interview with Rusbridger in the NS, which for the first time in several years had me agreeing with the guy.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/05/alan-rusbridger-young-have-no-grounding-classical-view-free-speech

    “I think this idea of my right not to be offended, my right to have a safe space, is one that’s crept up in the last five years,” he said. If you mention John Stuart Mill’s arguments on free speech to “a bright 19-year-old in Oxford, they look at you a bit blankly. When you say, ‘Isn’t the best response to speech, more speech?’ it’s a new idea to them.”

    Rusbridger understands the urge many young people may have to belong and feel safe in their identity. The question is what that urge requires: to belong, do you need to ostracise others who think differently? At Oxford, Rusbridger has debated with students “whose first instinctive position is, ‘But we want this to be a safe space, I feel threatened. Your job is to protect me.’”

    His response is well-worn: there are no safe spaces in the world. You are supposedly the brightest of your generation – if you can’t defeat those you disagree with in an argument, who can? “It’s a bad thing,” he explained, “if the right not to feel offended overshadows the call of reason.”
    There is much misunderstanding of "Safe Spaces", some of it deliberate and certainly amongst students and faculty.

    The point of SS is not to suppress free speech but rather to enable it, by establishing ground rules to allow those historically marginalised to speak and explore ideas freely. This is especially important with widened access to university etc.

    I think of it more similar to good chairing of a committee. The issue is mostly in small group teaching where the facilitator enables everyone to explore the topic, and give their perspective, rather than have the seminar dominated by a few loudmouths. SS is neutral in terms of politics and cultural narrative, just a clear structure of acceptable behaviour to allow free discussion.

    Of course there is the critical issue of power dynamics as to who gets to set and enforce the rules, as well established by Foucault and others.
    I think Rusbridger has something there.

    But the idea that this is "the last 5 years" is ludicrous imo.

    In the UK the laws about "harasssment, alarm or distress" go back to Public Order Act 1994 ie John Major's time:

    The offence is created by section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which was inserted by section 154 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he:
    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting
    thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
    (2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.


    It has been broadened and new things introduced since, especially under New Labour, and weaponised by various campaign groups, and by changes to the law by changes in threshold tests and broadening of scope, redefinition of "course of action" around offences such as stalking, rhetoric around how "words" are 'violence; and similar. Particularly Theresa May also did similar.

    Also of course the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and how it has been used. The broadening scope of use of poorly written legislation is key.

    One perhaps little-noticed canary-in-the-coal-mine which has become increasingly regular has been harassment / arrest of street preachers by the police.

    Also of course a portrayal of different opinions as 'hate-speech', as used by Mermaids, for example, to set the police on journalists.

    What Rusbridger does not admit is that he provided an insufficiently critical platform for media noise in support of such moves at the Guardian. But even a small reverse ferret is a crumb.

    And much of that has fed through into police culture. Plus a nasty little tendency amongst elected local politicians to try and use such offences to close down critics, which has been a thing I was personally seeing 15 years ago (which was when I became aware of it).
    And that is without getting into two of the more poisonous aspects: "you have not committed a crime but we are watching you" letters from police, and the current obsession with non-crime "Hate Incidents".
    They've got nothing on the Tampa police

    https://twitter.com/lib_crusher/status/1419423539329916937
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 69,759
    Alistair said:

    To summarise Rushbridger's interview there

    Sometimes they are.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808

    Pagan2 said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:



    They should just get it over with and tax the state pension. People already raking in the money from their final salary pensions don't need the extra pittance from the government.

    It is taxed already. If you have no other income your personal allowance covers it so you don't pay tax, but it's counted in together with whatever else you're getting.
    I was more thinking with a taper.
    If someone has a 6k income from private pension plus the circa 9k from state pension how much more income tax are you propsosing they pay than someone earning 15k?
    The worker on default tax codes according to a tax calculator pays
    Income Tax £484
    National Insurance £652
    Employers NI £850
    Total tax: £1986

    The pensioner pays £484
    That actually looks like £484 vs £1136 paid by the individual, depending on your views on what Employers NI corresponds to.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740
    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    2022 Global University rankings.

    Top 10 in Europe: (global rank)
    Oxford (2)
    Cambridge (3)
    Imperial (7)
    ETH Zurich (=8)
    UCL London (=8)
    Lausanne (14)
    Edinburgh (16)
    Manchester (=27)
    Kings College (35)
    Paris Science & Lettres (44)

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022

    And the EU thought they should charge us a premium to participate in Erasmus.....

    The methodology used to determine these rankings is a bit opaque. The main criterion is "academic reputation", which apparently "collates the expert opinions of over 130,000 individuals in the higher education space". Who are these individuals? Are they a fully representative sample? Who knows?
    The whole thing is a bit of a joke.

    The University of Western Australia above UPenn? I mean, really?

    UWA would struggle next to Oxford Brookes (except in earth sciences, where it's top class). The University of Pennsylvania might be embarrassed to have graduated members of the Trump family, but it's a serious research and teaching institution.
    These rankings are not quite a joke but it is important to see what they rank, and a lot of that, as @FeersumEnjineeya notes and as can be seen on their web page, is reputation, and Oxford and Cambridge do have that in spades. And in a sense there is a positive feedback loop because their reputation is based partly on evaluations of their reputation.
    Although any uni that gave a DPhil to Naomi Wolfe and refused to withdraw it even when her fraud came to light ought to be vying with the University of Cumbria for the title of Shittiest University in Europe.
    The University of Cumbria is better than Oxford.

    The University of Cumbria has also recently been recognised as number one for its quality of education in the UK and eighth in the world, this is according to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.

    And:-
    the University of Cumbria ranked as third in the north for students to start or manage a business and 25th in the study overall.

    And:-
    University of Cumbria has been rated as top in the North West and amongst the best in the UK for graduate employability, with 96% of all its graduates in employment or undertaking further study within 15 months of graduating.
    https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/about/news/articles/articles/university-of-cumbria-is-top-in-north-west-and-amongst-best-in-uk-for-graduate-outcomes.html

    That's the great thing about university league tables. There are so many of them that universities can always find something good to highlight!
  • tlg86tlg86 Posts: 20,719

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/facts-and-figures/undergraduate-degree-classifications

    My college was second to last in 2019-20. Who wants to be top anyway?
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 69,759

    rcs1000 said:

    BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - Antibodies triggered by Sinovac Biotech's (SVA.O) COVID-19 vaccine decline below a key threshold from around six months after a second dose for most recipients, although a third shot could have a strong boosting effect, according to a lab study.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/antibodies-sinovacs-covid-19-shot-fade-after-about-6-months-booster-helps-study-2021-07-26/

    I think it's increasingly clear that current vaccines efficacy fades rather more quickly than we'd like.

    Fortunately, newer better vaccines are available, and adding Novavax or Pfizer or Moderna to an existing two-dose Astra-Zeneca patient is going to be highly beneficial.
    So, you’re saying that Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna are “better vaccines” than Oxford/AstraZeneca? Fascinating.
    I think many have said that, whilst it still being an incredible one.
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818
    MattW said:

    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Does this cut across pension pots? eg If I have one with Standard Life (yes I know), one with Equitable Life (yes, I know they have gone as well at last), and another in a SIPP?
    I believe so - but my general viewpoint is I'm not touching mine until I'm 68.
  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,683
    Rev said:

    Good to see British universities scoring highly. And reassuring to note that PB’s ‘knowledge’ of Oxford and Cambridge remains as idiosyncratic as ever!

    Dave Willets (the ex Universities Minister) has wrote a great book on British universities - called a University Education.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740
    edited July 27



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you can do that but if you go back to work, then tax relief on any further pension contributions is capped at £4,000. I imagine this is so people do not have their entire salary paid to their pension fund, paying no tax and getting a 40 per cent uplift, and then immediately withdraw it, and rinse and repeat every month. Note I am not a financial adviser but have just started taking pension money as redundancy morphed into retirement. I did not notice this catch till too late.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 6,460
    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Make him Chancellor, get him to take the flak for the inevitable austerity measures that are coming. Sunak will like it because he gets protected, and Johnson will like it because it defers Sunak's leadership ambitions for a while. Sunak could become party chairman since he's popular with the base. Or Foreign Secretary.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,492
    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,043
    .

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Whatever post he's in is a gratuitous waste of taxpayers' money.
    At least in this case he would do no harm - least of all to Burnham's political prospects.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 6,460
    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    Are you sure it's a dormant company, not a dormer company?
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,406
    edited July 27
    MattW said:

    Pagan2 said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:



    They should just get it over with and tax the state pension. People already raking in the money from their final salary pensions don't need the extra pittance from the government.

    It is taxed already. If you have no other income your personal allowance covers it so you don't pay tax, but it's counted in together with whatever else you're getting.
    I was more thinking with a taper.
    If someone has a 6k income from private pension plus the circa 9k from state pension how much more income tax are you propsosing they pay than someone earning 15k?
    The worker on default tax codes according to a tax calculator pays
    Income Tax £484
    National Insurance £652
    Employers NI £850
    Total tax: £1986

    The pensioner pays £484
    That actually looks like £484 vs £1136 paid by the individual, depending on your views on what Employers NI corresponds to.
    Employers NI is income tax, no real difference whatsoever. Employers account for it in their budgeting, if it wasn't there then they could afford higher wages.
  • kle4kle4 Posts: 69,759
    Charles said:

    mwadams said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    Maybe this is what happened in Government.

    "We need to give everyone the virus."

    "Are you sure Prime Minister?"

    "Of course I'm bloody sure. I'm the Prime Minister. And I've got to get back to my model buses, I don't have time for this."

    "Are you sure you didn't mean vaccine?"

    PM stops dead in his tracks and thinks. Decides to double down.

    "Of course not, you moron.V I R U S. Virus."
    I’ve been reading a fascinating book about medieval law in Spain (bear with me…)

    They have a great concept of “I obey, but I do not implement” allowing folks on the ground to overrule the Crown’s orders without disobeying them
    I wonder if that worked when the crown was nearby.
  • state_go_awaystate_go_away Posts: 3,683
    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    edited July 27
    rcs1000 said:

    2022 Global University rankings.

    Top 10 in Europe: (global rank)
    Oxford (2)
    Cambridge (3)
    Imperial (7)
    ETH Zurich (=8)
    UCL London (=8)
    Lausanne (14)
    Edinburgh (16)
    Manchester (=27)
    Kings College (35)
    Paris Science & Lettres (44)

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022

    And the EU thought they should charge us a premium to participate in Erasmus.....

    Oxford top of the list?

    Indeed, the idea that two of the top three global universities are Oxford and Cambridge is ridiculous. Now, sure, they both have their strengths: Cambridge is genuinely excellent for pure mathematics, and their English department is unrivalled, while Oxford has a nice deer park at Magdalen. But they aren't two of the top three academic institutions in the world.

    If we're talking applied science, Stanford, Caltech, and MIT would all be at the absolute top of the list. While Cambridge and Imperial would hope to make it into the top 10. On a good day.

    The position exactly as it has been for the last N years, afaik across all the world rankings.

    The thing that will damage the EU will, eventually, be the European Commission and the establishment's vanity.

    But Comical Dave and his friends will write more articles railing against "English Language Media", and allow the EU to continue to die.

    We need an international educational alliance with the Swiss.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,770
    TOPPING said:

    Foxy said:



    And we should never forget: some staff who do not care enough for patients to follow moral, yet alone official, procedures.

    A massive problem in the NHS IMO, and a very hard one to fix.

    The problem is not unique to the NHS. Cases of neglectful uncaring staff are found in private sector units too, particularly in social care, and private providers of long term care such as learning disability.

    The problem in Stafford was a hospital management that was determined on Foundation status, and set up a culture of very bad care in order to meet narrow targets. That percolated down and permitted some very bad frontline care.

    It is often a matter of local leadership. It is often the case that wards in the same hospital can have superb ground level care with high standards of nursing and medical care, and in the same block have a ward or unit where neglect occurs, process disregarded, staff poorly supervised and demoralised, staff retention is poor and outcomes worse.
    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    You do not want the 1% of devils in your organisation (and I do think it is that high), and preferably not the 9% bad. But you cannot necessarily tell in advance who they are (*), and they can be very good at hiding their behaviour. Therefore you need really strong but fair controls about behaviour in any organisation. Weed out the evil 1%. Curb the bad 9%. Help the 80% side with their good, not bad, sides.

    The problem is the fetishisation of the NHS, where we like to think of everybody working in it is an angel. A few will be, but there will also be some devils.

    And the problem with Stafford was not just management: it was the reaction to the whistlebblowing, where whistleblowers got lots of mud thrown at them in public. It was hideous. And the root cause was the same: uncaring, nasty staff.

    (*) Although sometimes when there are strong indicators, as happened recently in the Met Police, they still admit them.
    I agree with your broad %s, and reluctance to disbelieve people in admired institutions (NHS, Met,etc.) is an issue. The main one, though, is unfettered power over people with low social status. Dementia patients. Prisoners. Refugees. Young WWC. Minorities. Most of the scandals in recent years have been about a locally powerful group (mental health nurses, prison wardens, etc.) feeling they can get away with anything. That brings out the worst in your 10% who are bad.
    Very good point and relatedly, my heart sank when I heard that the police (another group with power over others, in fact over everyone) will be given stronger stop and search powers.

    Boris really is retreating into his base.
    A war on drugs seems to be the dish of the day today. Very dog whistle, invented by Richard Nixon as a supermodel for war on black people.
  • RochdalePioneersRochdalePioneers Posts: 14,095

    MattW said:

    Pagan2 said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:



    They should just get it over with and tax the state pension. People already raking in the money from their final salary pensions don't need the extra pittance from the government.

    It is taxed already. If you have no other income your personal allowance covers it so you don't pay tax, but it's counted in together with whatever else you're getting.
    I was more thinking with a taper.
    If someone has a 6k income from private pension plus the circa 9k from state pension how much more income tax are you propsosing they pay than someone earning 15k?
    The worker on default tax codes according to a tax calculator pays
    Income Tax £484
    National Insurance £652
    Employers NI £850
    Total tax: £1986

    The pensioner pays £484
    That actually looks like £484 vs £1136 paid by the individual, depending on your views on what Employers NI corresponds to.
    Employers NI is income tax, no real difference whatsoever. Employers account for it in their budgeting, if it wasn't there then they could afford higher wages.
    Very true - all staff costs go into the budget.

    However, you know fully well that you cannot compare the tax burden of a worker with a pensioner by adding their employer's costs onto the employee. Does the employee pay ENICs? No.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,963
    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,196
    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    Everyone even vaguely capable is madly busy at the moment....

    Could be a scam... could be someone's startup - they've paid for the reviews etc and you are their first actual customer....

    One problem is that It is not just the evil ones you have to avoid. People will take on jobs they can't do at a price they can't do it for, in the hope that "something will turn up"....
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,770
    IshmaelZ said:

    TOPPING said:

    Foxy said:



    And we should never forget: some staff who do not care enough for patients to follow moral, yet alone official, procedures.

    A massive problem in the NHS IMO, and a very hard one to fix.

    The problem is not unique to the NHS. Cases of neglectful uncaring staff are found in private sector units too, particularly in social care, and private providers of long term care such as learning disability.

    The problem in Stafford was a hospital management that was determined on Foundation status, and set up a culture of very bad care in order to meet narrow targets. That percolated down and permitted some very bad frontline care.

    It is often a matter of local leadership. It is often the case that wards in the same hospital can have superb ground level care with high standards of nursing and medical care, and in the same block have a ward or unit where neglect occurs, process disregarded, staff poorly supervised and demoralised, staff retention is poor and outcomes worse.
    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    You do not want the 1% of devils in your organisation (and I do think it is that high), and preferably not the 9% bad. But you cannot necessarily tell in advance who they are (*), and they can be very good at hiding their behaviour. Therefore you need really strong but fair controls about behaviour in any organisation. Weed out the evil 1%. Curb the bad 9%. Help the 80% side with their good, not bad, sides.

    The problem is the fetishisation of the NHS, where we like to think of everybody working in it is an angel. A few will be, but there will also be some devils.

    And the problem with Stafford was not just management: it was the reaction to the whistlebblowing, where whistleblowers got lots of mud thrown at them in public. It was hideous. And the root cause was the same: uncaring, nasty staff.

    (*) Although sometimes when there are strong indicators, as happened recently in the Met Police, they still admit them.
    I agree with your broad %s, and reluctance to disbelieve people in admired institutions (NHS, Met,etc.) is an issue. The main one, though, is unfettered power over people with low social status. Dementia patients. Prisoners. Refugees. Young WWC. Minorities. Most of the scandals in recent years have been about a locally powerful group (mental health nurses, prison wardens, etc.) feeling they can get away with anything. That brings out the worst in your 10% who are bad.
    Very good point and relatedly, my heart sank when I heard that the police (another group with power over others, in fact over everyone) will be given stronger stop and search powers.

    Boris really is retreating into his base.
    A war on drugs seems to be the dish of the day today. Very dog whistle, invented by Richard Nixon as a supermodel for war on black people.
    Supermodel? I can't even work out what that's an autocorrect for. Euphemism?
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,196

    ydoethur said:

    rcs1000 said:

    2022 Global University rankings.

    Top 10 in Europe: (global rank)
    Oxford (2)
    Cambridge (3)
    Imperial (7)
    ETH Zurich (=8)
    UCL London (=8)
    Lausanne (14)
    Edinburgh (16)
    Manchester (=27)
    Kings College (35)
    Paris Science & Lettres (44)

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022

    And the EU thought they should charge us a premium to participate in Erasmus.....

    The methodology used to determine these rankings is a bit opaque. The main criterion is "academic reputation", which apparently "collates the expert opinions of over 130,000 individuals in the higher education space". Who are these individuals? Are they a fully representative sample? Who knows?
    The whole thing is a bit of a joke.

    The University of Western Australia above UPenn? I mean, really?

    UWA would struggle next to Oxford Brookes (except in earth sciences, where it's top class). The University of Pennsylvania might be embarrassed to have graduated members of the Trump family, but it's a serious research and teaching institution.
    These rankings are not quite a joke but it is important to see what they rank, and a lot of that, as @FeersumEnjineeya notes and as can be seen on their web page, is reputation, and Oxford and Cambridge do have that in spades. And in a sense there is a positive feedback loop because their reputation is based partly on evaluations of their reputation.
    Although any uni that gave a DPhil to Naomi Wolfe and refused to withdraw it even when her fraud came to light ought to be vying with the University of Cumbria for the title of Shittiest University in Europe.
    The University of Cumbria is better than Oxford.

    The University of Cumbria has also recently been recognised as number one for its quality of education in the UK and eighth in the world, this is according to the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings.

    And:-
    the University of Cumbria ranked as third in the north for students to start or manage a business and 25th in the study overall.

    And:-
    University of Cumbria has been rated as top in the North West and amongst the best in the UK for graduate employability, with 96% of all its graduates in employment or undertaking further study within 15 months of graduating.
    https://www.cumbria.ac.uk/about/news/articles/articles/university-of-cumbria-is-top-in-north-west-and-amongst-best-in-uk-for-graduate-outcomes.html

    That's the great thing about university league tables. There are so many of them that universities can always find something good to highlight!
    I sense a business opportunity - a league table for university league tables.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,013
    Another city seeing a swift decline of Delta?

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - As Indonesia grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus infections, Jakarta government data shows a fall in cases and easing pressure on hospitals in the capital, even as the situation worsens in other parts of the archipelago.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-indonesia-idUSL4N2P311S
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,435

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    You could just ask them abnout it, say you're happy to give them the job but just want that cleared up? If they're genuine they should be pleased to.

    I had the same issue when putting some savings in an online bank (Paragon) - the address on their savings business was as I recall different from the one in Companies House. They satisfied me that this was an administrative issue - the savings subsidiary was based separately.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,963
    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    There’s an analogy somewhere, between deaths from vaccines and deaths from seatbelts.
    Jochen Rindt was infamously killed by his seat belt.

    Of course if he’d been wearing it correctly it wouldn’t have killed him...
    From the days when racing drivers preferred to be thrown clear of a crash, than stuck inside the fireball. :open_mouth:

    Thankfully, we now have the likes of Romani Grosjean walking away from being stuck in a fireball, somehow almost uninjured.

    (Which reminds me, need to follow up on if Dr Roberts ever did get a bravery award).
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,492

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,963
    MattW said:

    Foxy said:

    Sandpit said:

    Rusbridger returns to editing.

    Alan Rusbridger to be the next editor of Prospect magazine
    https://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/other/alan-rusbridger-to-be-the-next-editor-of-prospect-magazine

    A good interview with Rusbridger in the NS, which for the first time in several years had me agreeing with the guy.

    https://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2021/05/alan-rusbridger-young-have-no-grounding-classical-view-free-speech

    “I think this idea of my right not to be offended, my right to have a safe space, is one that’s crept up in the last five years,” he said. If you mention John Stuart Mill’s arguments on free speech to “a bright 19-year-old in Oxford, they look at you a bit blankly. When you say, ‘Isn’t the best response to speech, more speech?’ it’s a new idea to them.”

    Rusbridger understands the urge many young people may have to belong and feel safe in their identity. The question is what that urge requires: to belong, do you need to ostracise others who think differently? At Oxford, Rusbridger has debated with students “whose first instinctive position is, ‘But we want this to be a safe space, I feel threatened. Your job is to protect me.’”

    His response is well-worn: there are no safe spaces in the world. You are supposedly the brightest of your generation – if you can’t defeat those you disagree with in an argument, who can? “It’s a bad thing,” he explained, “if the right not to feel offended overshadows the call of reason.”
    There is much misunderstanding of "Safe Spaces", some of it deliberate and certainly amongst students and faculty.

    The point of SS is not to suppress free speech but rather to enable it, by establishing ground rules to allow those historically marginalised to speak and explore ideas freely. This is especially important with widened access to university etc.

    I think of it more similar to good chairing of a committee. The issue is mostly in small group teaching where the facilitator enables everyone to explore the topic, and give their perspective, rather than have the seminar dominated by a few loudmouths. SS is neutral in terms of politics and cultural narrative, just a clear structure of acceptable behaviour to allow free discussion.

    Of course there is the critical issue of power dynamics as to who gets to set and enforce the rules, as well established by Foucault and others.
    I think Rusbridger has something there.

    But the idea that this is "the last 5 years" is ludicrous imo.

    In the UK the laws about "harasssment, alarm or distress" go back to Public Order Act 1994 ie John Major's time:

    The offence is created by section 4A of the Public Order Act 1986, which was inserted by section 154 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994:

    (1) A person is guilty of an offence if, with intent to cause a person harassment, alarm or distress, he:
    (a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or
    (b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting
    thereby causing that or another person harassment, alarm or distress.
    (2) An offence under this section may be committed in a public or a private place, except that no offence is committed where the words or behaviour are used, or the writing, sign or other visible representation is displayed, by a person inside a dwelling and the person who is harassed, alarmed or distressed is also inside that or another dwelling.


    It has been broadened and new things introduced since, especially under New Labour, and weaponised by various campaign groups, and by changes to the law by changes in threshold tests and broadening of scope, redefinition of "course of action" around offences such as stalking, rhetoric around how "words" are 'violence; and similar. Particularly Theresa May also did similar.

    Also of course the Malicious Communications Act 1988, and how it has been used. The broadening scope of use of poorly written legislation is key.

    One perhaps little-noticed canary-in-the-coal-mine which has become increasingly regular has been harassment / arrest of street preachers by the police.

    Also of course a portrayal of different opinions as 'hate-speech', as used by Mermaids, for example, to set the police on journalists.

    What Rusbridger does not admit is that he provided an insufficiently critical platform for media noise in support of such moves at the Guardian. But even a small reverse ferret is a crumb.

    And much of that has fed through into police culture. Plus a nasty little tendency amongst elected local politicians to try and use such offences to close down critics, which has been a thing I was personally seeing 15 years ago (which was when I became aware of it).
    Good points. The 1994 CJA was also the bill that banned dancing in fields, even if the farmer was okay with it, if there were any “repetitive beats” involved.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,244
    Alistair said:

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
    Thanks for doing that. Very surprising.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,013
    A perfect example of how graphs are used with really steep lines to terrify everyone. Shall we do it by actual numbers instead? Remember a jump of 1 to 2 is 100% and makes a terrifying graph. Let me; Jan 20-Jul 21; Total 15 tragic deaths aged 0-14. 0.007% of total. Source; ONS

    https://twitter.com/DrHoenderkamp/status/1419791522841640963?s=20
  • squareroot2squareroot2 Posts: 4,654

    Pagan2 said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:



    They should just get it over with and tax the state pension. People already raking in the money from their final salary pensions don't need the extra pittance from the government.

    It is taxed already. If you have no other income your personal allowance covers it so you don't pay tax, but it's counted in together with whatever else you're getting.
    I was more thinking with a taper.
    If someone has a 6k income from private pension plus the circa 9k from state pension how much more income tax are you propsosing they pay than someone earning 15k?
    The worker on default tax codes according to a tax calculator pays
    Income Tax £484
    National Insurance £652
    Employers NI £850
    Total tax: £1986

    The pensioner pays £484
    The worker does not pay ERS ni...
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,043
    Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    There’s an analogy somewhere, between deaths from vaccines and deaths from seatbelts.
    Jochen Rindt was infamously killed by his seat belt.

    Of course if he’d been wearing it correctly it wouldn’t have killed him...
    From the days when racing drivers preferred to be thrown clear of a crash, than stuck inside the fireball. :open_mouth:

    Thankfully, we now have the likes of Romani Grosjean walking away from being stuck in a fireball, somehow almost uninjured.

    (Which reminds me, need to follow up on if Dr Roberts ever did get a bravery award).
    Romain, surely ? :smile:
  • TheuniondivvieTheuniondivvie Posts: 30,232
    edited July 27
    And they say we cannae do fancy cookin'..



  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,435
    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Perhaps we're talking about different things. I worked for X till I was 65, took 25% out of the work pension from X when I left, paying the rest into an annuity. Then I got another job with Y, and the pot there is duly building up, with no apparent problem. I've never had a private pension. Have I broken a rule?
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    edited July 27
    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    You need to talk to their previous customers. And look carefully online for a gossip reference.

    Plus drive around and chat to people on sites where they are doing your sort of work, take phone numbers off vans etc. There are even companies that factory-made furnished lofts and crane them in.

    Checkatrade and similar have a habit of purging negative reviews.

    Plus be patient - the market is in a very chaotic / recovering state at present.

    Stuff like staged payments, attention to detail, educating yourself first, and if you need employing a professional architect or designer to work on your behalf are normal.

    And ask on Buildhub - independent community owned self-builder / renovator site. I am a mod there. This is the loft conversion sub-forum. We are now up to 9000 members (rolling rate). We are a company limited by guarantee.
    https://forum.buildhub.org.uk/forum/67-lofts-dormers-loft-conversions/
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740
    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    There is a third possibility, perhaps more likely, that they do the job but it takes an awful lot longer than planned because they are juggling any number of other jobs to which they have overcommitted. And remember it is not just them, it is subcontractors too, from those who erect the scaffolding all the way through to whoever supplies the portable toilets.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,984
    IshmaelZ said:

    IshmaelZ said:

    TOPPING said:

    Foxy said:



    And we should never forget: some staff who do not care enough for patients to follow moral, yet alone official, procedures.

    A massive problem in the NHS IMO, and a very hard one to fix.

    The problem is not unique to the NHS. Cases of neglectful uncaring staff are found in private sector units too, particularly in social care, and private providers of long term care such as learning disability.

    The problem in Stafford was a hospital management that was determined on Foundation status, and set up a culture of very bad care in order to meet narrow targets. That percolated down and permitted some very bad frontline care.

    It is often a matter of local leadership. It is often the case that wards in the same hospital can have superb ground level care with high standards of nursing and medical care, and in the same block have a ward or unit where neglect occurs, process disregarded, staff poorly supervised and demoralised, staff retention is poor and outcomes worse.
    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    You do not want the 1% of devils in your organisation (and I do think it is that high), and preferably not the 9% bad. But you cannot necessarily tell in advance who they are (*), and they can be very good at hiding their behaviour. Therefore you need really strong but fair controls about behaviour in any organisation. Weed out the evil 1%. Curb the bad 9%. Help the 80% side with their good, not bad, sides.

    The problem is the fetishisation of the NHS, where we like to think of everybody working in it is an angel. A few will be, but there will also be some devils.

    And the problem with Stafford was not just management: it was the reaction to the whistlebblowing, where whistleblowers got lots of mud thrown at them in public. It was hideous. And the root cause was the same: uncaring, nasty staff.

    (*) Although sometimes when there are strong indicators, as happened recently in the Met Police, they still admit them.
    I agree with your broad %s, and reluctance to disbelieve people in admired institutions (NHS, Met,etc.) is an issue. The main one, though, is unfettered power over people with low social status. Dementia patients. Prisoners. Refugees. Young WWC. Minorities. Most of the scandals in recent years have been about a locally powerful group (mental health nurses, prison wardens, etc.) feeling they can get away with anything. That brings out the worst in your 10% who are bad.
    Very good point and relatedly, my heart sank when I heard that the police (another group with power over others, in fact over everyone) will be given stronger stop and search powers.

    Boris really is retreating into his base.
    A war on drugs seems to be the dish of the day today. Very dog whistle, invented by Richard Nixon as a supermodel for war on black people.
    Supermodel? I can't even work out what that's an autocorrect for. Euphemism?
    LOL for someone such as yourself I didn't dare question its use and just thought it was from a specialised academic paper on the subject.

    Pretext? Cover?
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,205

    Rev said:

    Good to see British universities scoring highly. And reassuring to note that PB’s ‘knowledge’ of Oxford and Cambridge remains as idiosyncratic as ever!

    Dave Willets (the ex Universities Minister) has wrote a great book on British universities - called a University Education.
    Does it include lessons on grammar?
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,963
    Nigelb said:

    Sandpit said:

    ydoethur said:

    Sandpit said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    There’s an analogy somewhere, between deaths from vaccines and deaths from seatbelts.
    Jochen Rindt was infamously killed by his seat belt.

    Of course if he’d been wearing it correctly it wouldn’t have killed him...
    From the days when racing drivers preferred to be thrown clear of a crash, than stuck inside the fireball. :open_mouth:

    Thankfully, we now have the likes of Romani Grosjean walking away from being stuck in a fireball, somehow almost uninjured.

    (Which reminds me, need to follow up on if Dr Roberts ever did get a bravery award).
    Romain, surely ? :smile:
    Damn iPad again. Too late to edit now!
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,369
    Mr. Sandpit, a poor workman blames his stool.
  • CookieCookie Posts: 4,492

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    Everyone even vaguely capable is madly busy at the moment....

    Could be a scam... could be someone's startup - they've paid for the reviews etc and you are their first actual customer....

    One problem is that It is not just the evil ones you have to avoid. People will take on jobs they can't do at a price they can't do it for, in the hope that "something will turn up"....
    They were very keen to point me towards their checkatrade reviews. Though while they were good, they did largely relate to a slightly different area of work, which isn't how I would do it if I were setting up a scam.

    I've had one chap turn me down on the grounds that he couldn't see how he could make money out of the job. Charge more money? At least he was clearly honest. But the market for skilled trades doesn't seem to be working very efficiently - everyone capable is madly busy, but the cost of labour doesn't seem to be going up. The cost of materials on the other hand...
  • YoungTurkYoungTurk Posts: 158
    edited July 27
    rcs1000 said:

    2022 Global University rankings.

    Top 10 in Europe: (global rank)
    Oxford (2)
    Cambridge (3)
    Imperial (7)
    ETH Zurich (=8)
    UCL London (=8)
    Lausanne (14)
    Edinburgh (16)
    Manchester (=27)
    Kings College (35)
    Paris Science & Lettres (44)

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022

    And the EU thought they should charge us a premium to participate in Erasmus.....

    Oxford top of the list?

    Indeed, the idea that two of the top three global universities are Oxford and Cambridge is ridiculous. Now, sure, they both have their strengths: Cambridge is genuinely excellent for pure mathematics, and their English department is unrivalled, while Oxford has a nice deer park at Magdalen. But they aren't two of the top three academic institutions in the world.

    If we're talking applied science, Stanford, Caltech, and MIT would all be at the absolute top of the list. While Cambridge and Imperial would hope to make it into the top 10. On a good day.
    No sarcasm about Cambridge, please. It is superb for Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies as well as Land Economy. It's also great at teaching maths, both pure and applied, to undergraduates. In maths the quality of supervision given to the top 10 students at Trinity and a few at other colleges too is unrivalled in Europe, albeit heavily biased towards a problemist outlook. (In typical Cambridge fashion, "theory" is looked down upon as continental, which explains why France, although allegedly behind Cambridge for Nobels, kicks its arse something rotten for Fields medals.) But except for the top 10-15 the quality of supervision in maths at Cambridge is not so great and it's inferior to provision at Harvard and especially Princeton. As for research, Cambridge is not even the top British university in pure maths. That's a common misconception, based on the size of its maths faculty, its undergraduate teaching, its Part III, and a few successes in the mostly go-nowhere field of combinatorics, a sphere of human intellectual endeavour that is somewhat akin to playing boardgames. This is despite the self-belief that is boosted by the consumption of crême brulée at a certain college. In research it's stronger in applied than pure. I'd rate it as the 1st equal research university in Britain for applied maths, together with Imperial. For research in pure maths, it's way behind Oxford and also behind Imperial.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    edited July 27

    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    There is a third possibility, perhaps more likely, that they do the job but it takes an awful lot longer than planned because they are juggling any number of other jobs to which they have overcommitted. And remember it is not just them, it is subcontractors too, from those who erect the scaffolding all the way through to whoever supplies the portable toilets.
    The other comment applies:

    Indeed. I have a rule of thumb: 1% of people are angels. 9% are good. 9% are bad, and 1% are devils. Most of us are in the middle 80%, generally doing good but occasionally dipping down into the bad. I.e. normal people, with normal problems and temptations.

    Within that 80% there are good and bad. Even if it is lackadaisical rather than a scam, consider whether you want to avoid.

    Talk to a number of their customers. If they can't provide you with 5, it is a bit of an early red flag.

    And for saving money, the way to do it is by making their job easier, rather than forcing them to work cheaply.
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 21,319

    Alistair said:

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
    Thanks for doing that. Very surprising.
    I would presume vaccines making Covid less severe/shorter stays for most people actually explains this reasonably well. With a greater turnover of regular patients you'll see lees people overall in hospital but ventilator users well never be a brief stay.
  • Pagan2Pagan2 Posts: 4,253

    Pagan2 said:

    RobD said:

    RobD said:



    They should just get it over with and tax the state pension. People already raking in the money from their final salary pensions don't need the extra pittance from the government.

    It is taxed already. If you have no other income your personal allowance covers it so you don't pay tax, but it's counted in together with whatever else you're getting.
    I was more thinking with a taper.
    If someone has a 6k income from private pension plus the circa 9k from state pension how much more income tax are you propsosing they pay than someone earning 15k?
    The worker on default tax codes according to a tax calculator pays
    Income Tax £484
    National Insurance £652
    Employers NI £850
    Total tax: £1986

    The pensioner pays £484
    For a start you cannot include employers NI because it doesn't come out of the employees 15k he earns. So thats 850 gone straight away. So what you are really saying is just make pensioners pay NI
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818
    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    Everyone even vaguely capable is madly busy at the moment....

    Could be a scam... could be someone's startup - they've paid for the reviews etc and you are their first actual customer....

    One problem is that It is not just the evil ones you have to avoid. People will take on jobs they can't do at a price they can't do it for, in the hope that "something will turn up"....
    They were very keen to point me towards their checkatrade reviews. Though while they were good, they did largely relate to a slightly different area of work, which isn't how I would do it if I were setting up a scam.

    I've had one chap turn me down on the grounds that he couldn't see how he could make money out of the job. Charge more money? At least he was clearly honest. But the market for skilled trades doesn't seem to be working very efficiently - everyone capable is madly busy, but the cost of labour doesn't seem to be going up. The cost of materials on the other hand...
    It's a competitive market though - and with material costs rising (and an unwillingness / inability for builders to pass those costs on to the customer) it's wages that are taking the hit as the costs need to be covered somewhere.
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,369
    Mr. Cookie, it's a couple of months ago now but I had a chat with a gardener who said that the price of materials had gone up very significantly.
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,244
    Alistair said:

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
    I've been trying to come up with an explanation for these surprising figures.

    The best that I can come up with is that the mostly vaccinated health staff will now be acting to inhibit transmission of Covid within the hospital, so you will have fewer non-Covid patients in hospital acquiring Covid from the staff, but it's not very satisfactory as an explanation.
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818

    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Perhaps we're talking about different things. I worked for X till I was 65, took 25% out of the work pension from X when I left, paying the rest into an annuity. Then I got another job with Y, and the pot there is duly building up, with no apparent problem. I've never had a private pension. Have I broken a rule?
    https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/pensioners/what-tax-position-when-i-take-money-my-pension-flexibly#:~:text=schemes at death.-,Can I pay into pensions again after taking money out,of money purchase pension benefits. has more details - but if you've just pulled the 25% out you are probably fine.
  • NerysHughesNerysHughes Posts: 2,166

    Another city seeing a swift decline of Delta?

    JAKARTA (Reuters) - As Indonesia grapples with a devastating wave of coronavirus infections, Jakarta government data shows a fall in cases and easing pressure on hospitals in the capital, even as the situation worsens in other parts of the archipelago.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-indonesia-idUSL4N2P311S

    Thats Delta for you
  • OldKingColeOldKingCole Posts: 25,225

    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    There is a third possibility, perhaps more likely, that they do the job but it takes an awful lot longer than planned because they are juggling any number of other jobs to which they have overcommitted. And remember it is not just them, it is subcontractors too, from those who erect the scaffolding all the way through to whoever supplies the portable toilets.
    I'd be very suspicious of anyone who wanted that much cash, or percentage, up front.
    Conversely three or four months ago we wanted someone to replace our garden fence, Took a while even to get estimates, everyone was 'so busy'. Eventually we did get three including a competitive one from someone who could do it reasonably quickly.
    However, day or so ago one of those who'd given a quote came back to us. They were free now, did we want the work done?
  • LostPasswordLostPassword Posts: 5,244
    Alistair said:

    Alistair said:

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
    Thanks for doing that. Very surprising.
    I would presume vaccines making Covid less severe/shorter stays for most people actually explains this reasonably well. With a greater turnover of regular patients you'll see lees people overall in hospital but ventilator users well never be a brief stay.
    Maybe, but you'd expect a lower proportion to need ventilation too.

    Perhaps patients on ventilation are surviving longer before dying, with more intensive treatment saving the lives of some who might previously had died after a shorter period of time?
  • glwglw Posts: 7,775
    kle4 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - Antibodies triggered by Sinovac Biotech's (SVA.O) COVID-19 vaccine decline below a key threshold from around six months after a second dose for most recipients, although a third shot could have a strong boosting effect, according to a lab study.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/antibodies-sinovacs-covid-19-shot-fade-after-about-6-months-booster-helps-study-2021-07-26/

    I think it's increasingly clear that current vaccines efficacy fades rather more quickly than we'd like.

    Fortunately, newer better vaccines are available, and adding Novavax or Pfizer or Moderna to an existing two-dose Astra-Zeneca patient is going to be highly beneficial.
    So, you’re saying that Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna are “better vaccines” than Oxford/AstraZeneca? Fascinating.
    I think many have said that, whilst it still being an incredible one.
    It's seems broadly that for a fast immune response the various types of mRNA vaccines are best, but for an enduring immune response it is starting to look like viral vector vaccines like AstraZenaca are the best, as they seem to be producing a stronger T-cell response. So if you want to protect the population for the longest time then right now it's likely that AZ is the winner. On the other hand if a new dangerous variant emerges and you need a crash development programme for a booster the mRNA vaccines are probably the best option.

    It's worth bearing in mind that both approaches are new vaccine technology, and are likely to be improved upon. Also having two new ways of provoking an immune response is a good thing as you can stimulate a broader immune response that way. So it's not really a debate between which technology is good or bad, or good and best, as they each have their strengths and weaknesses.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740

    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Perhaps we're talking about different things. I worked for X till I was 65, took 25% out of the work pension from X when I left, paying the rest into an annuity. Then I got another job with Y, and the pot there is duly building up, with no apparent problem. I've never had a private pension. Have I broken a rule?
    This is where we need @AlastairMeeks – formerly PB's, and probably London's, top pensions lawyer – but my understanding is that building a new pot is fine but you cannot have as much tax relief on your contributions, except you might be all right thanks to the annuity, or not all right because of the lump sum. Dunno really. You might want to talk to an actual financial adviser (or just ring the pension company).
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    Degree classifications
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808
    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    Having done all that reply, the key things are to take your time and be patient, and remember that your priority is a good job even if it stretches the budget or you choose to do the fit out or parts of it yourself.

    I came across this modular loft when visiting friends:

  • YoungTurkYoungTurk Posts: 158
    edited July 27

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    Yes, Norrington and Tompkins have nothing to do with research. Removing bias caused by subject mix probably wouldn't change the rankings much. It would be interesting to do, though. It would probably change a few of the rankings and therefore annoy some people. It would be like saying "Ha - a first in X? Well the proportion of firsts in X is so high anyway." To which a response might be "Sure, but more of us doing X work harder."
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818
    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    I would work out what milestones can be used and insist on those milestones - the builders we used had milestone payments and we paid for materials as they were supplied so that may be enough approach.

    Ideally you want some of the first payment to be on a credit card for Section 75 support.
  • eekeek Posts: 15,818
    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    Degree classifications
    So New College is the best college because it issues more firsts?
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,196

    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    There is a third possibility, perhaps more likely, that they do the job but it takes an awful lot longer than planned because they are juggling any number of other jobs to which they have overcommitted. And remember it is not just them, it is subcontractors too, from those who erect the scaffolding all the way through to whoever supplies the portable toilets.
    Half in advance isn't unusual at that project size...

    You last paragraph in particular. I know some people who did a basement job - 6 months... 3 years later.... and it wasn't malevolance on the part of the contractors. Just no planning, organisation or financial skills....
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Make him Chancellor, get him to take the flak for the inevitable austerity measures that are coming. Sunak will like it because he gets protected, and Johnson will like it because it defers Sunak's leadership ambitions for a while. Sunak could become party chairman since he's popular with the base. Or Foreign Secretary.
    What? Do you hate the country that much??

    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is more than Williamson deserves…

  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 25,460

    Alistair said:

    pigeon said:

    Now, here's something interesting. This morning's Telegraph is alleging that over half of all Covid hospitalisations in England are of people who tested positive *after* they were admitted.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2021/07/26/exclusive-half-covid-hospitalisations-tested-positive-admission/

    The details are hidden behind the paywall, but a cut 'n' paste job on the Sun website suggests that only 44% of the recent admissions to English hospitals recorded as being Covid patients had actually had a positive test result by the time they were wheeled in.

    How many of the remaining 56% were admitted due to Covid symptoms, and how many were asymptomatic cases admitted for reasons entirely unrelated to the virus, is unknown. But there is at least the possibility that the number of people becoming sick enough with Covid to need hospital treatment is being significantly overstated in the Government statistics. More information required.

    I did say this a couple of weeks ago, if you are admitted to Hospital with a broken leg and you test positive for Covid, even if you have no symptoms you are counted as a Covid patient.
    People with asymptomatic Covid and a broken leg do not end up on a ventilator, so you can estimate the size of this effect by comparing the ratio of Covid patients in hospital to those receiving mechanical ventilation.
    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people on ventilation

    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 18th October 2020: 10.9

    To compare two points in time with approx the same number of people in hospital
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 20th July 2021: 7.4
    Ratio of ventilator to in hospital 11th October 2020: 9.7

    So currently we have more people on ventilation per head of Covid hospital population than back in Autumn however you slice it. Maybe ventilation is the new treatment protocol for breaking your leg.
    I've been trying to come up with an explanation for these surprising figures.

    The best that I can come up with is that the mostly vaccinated health staff will now be acting to inhibit transmission of Covid within the hospital, so you will have fewer non-Covid patients in hospital acquiring Covid from the staff, but it's not very satisfactory as an explanation.
    The patients are younger so ventilation is more likely because (i) they are strong enough to take it and (ii) it has a good chance of working?
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    Nigelb said:

    .

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Whatever post he's in is a gratuitous waste of taxpayers' money.
    At least in this case he would do no harm - least of all to Burnham's political prospects.
    Plus adding to the general gaiety of the nation as I suspect they would irritate the hell out of each other
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 65,118
    NEW: Tokyo reports 2,848 new coronavirus cases, more than double from last week and the biggest one-day increase on record
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    kle4 said:

    Charles said:

    mwadams said:

    mwadams said:

    Andy_JS said:

    24,551 first doses is pathetic. Why won't young people get the vaccine?

    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk

    (a) when you are young you are invincible, and will never die
    (b) too much messaging in the pandemic about mostly mild, and protecting the vulnerable
    (c) a genuine appreciation of the risks for a 20 year old.

    If we are honest, the main reason most of us want 18-25 year olds to have the vaccine is to help suppress the virus, not out of concern for their health. Tbh same argument for 12-18 too.
    Well, I am personally acquainted with several 18-25 year olds (not in the @Leon sense) and a few 12-17 and I'd rather like them but to get the virus for their own health. And also for population immunity. They go hand in hand.
    Maybe this is what happened in Government.

    "We need to give everyone the virus."

    "Are you sure Prime Minister?"

    "Of course I'm bloody sure. I'm the Prime Minister. And I've got to get back to my model buses, I don't have time for this."

    "Are you sure you didn't mean vaccine?"

    PM stops dead in his tracks and thinks. Decides to double down.

    "Of course not, you moron.V I R U S. Virus."
    I’ve been reading a fascinating book about medieval law in Spain (bear with me…)

    They have a great concept of “I obey, but I do not implement” allowing folks on the ground to overrule the Crown’s orders without disobeying them
    I wonder if that worked when the crown was nearby.
    Nope… it was for situations when they had better information on local circumstances
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,740
    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    Degree classifications
    Yes, I get that. But what do degree classifications measure, at the college level? Does the top college have better tuition or simply recruit brighter students? Is it rubbish at cricket so students spend more time in the library? Is it good for art history but awful at geology, but has far more history of art students so the odd geology 2:2 makes no difference?

    It is the same problem as the university rankings or indeed the Covid figures: beyond the headlines, it is not always easy to see what is being measured or even say what should be being measured.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
    Fine. Make him Lord Privy Seal then
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,043
    YoungTurk said:

    rcs1000 said:

    2022 Global University rankings.

    Top 10 in Europe: (global rank)
    Oxford (2)
    Cambridge (3)
    Imperial (7)
    ETH Zurich (=8)
    UCL London (=8)
    Lausanne (14)
    Edinburgh (16)
    Manchester (=27)
    Kings College (35)
    Paris Science & Lettres (44)

    https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022

    And the EU thought they should charge us a premium to participate in Erasmus.....

    Oxford top of the list?

    Indeed, the idea that two of the top three global universities are Oxford and Cambridge is ridiculous. Now, sure, they both have their strengths: Cambridge is genuinely excellent for pure mathematics, and their English department is unrivalled, while Oxford has a nice deer park at Magdalen. But they aren't two of the top three academic institutions in the world.

    If we're talking applied science, Stanford, Caltech, and MIT would all be at the absolute top of the list. While Cambridge and Imperial would hope to make it into the top 10. On a good day.
    No sarcasm about Cambridge, please. It is superb for Mongolia and Inner Asia Studies as well as Land Economy. It's also great at teaching maths, both pure and applied, to undergraduates. In maths the quality of supervision given to the top 10 students at Trinity and a few at other colleges too is unrivalled in Europe, albeit heavily biased towards a problemist outlook. (In typical Cambridge fashion, "theory" is looked down upon as continental, which explains why France, although allegedly behind Cambridge for Nobels, kicks its arse something rotten for Fields medals.) But except for the top 10-15 the quality of supervision in maths at Cambridge is not so great and it's inferior to provision at Harvard and especially Princeton. As for research, Cambridge is not even the top British university in pure maths. That's a common misconception, based on the size of its maths faculty, its undergraduate teaching, its Part III, and a few successes in the mostly go-nowhere field of combinatorics, a sphere of human intellectual endeavour that is somewhat akin to playing boardgames. This is despite the self-belief that is boosted by the consumption of crême brulée at a certain college. In research it's stronger in applied than pure. I'd rate it as the 1st equal research university in Britain for applied maths, together with Imperial. For research in pure maths, it's way behind Oxford and also behind Imperial.
    Welcome to PB.
  • NickPalmerNickPalmer Posts: 17,435
    eek said:

    eek said:



    One problem is that once someone takes any money from a private pension pot, they lose tax concessions on any future contributions if they return to work (£4k limit). Perhaps this is intended to stop the self-employed washing their salaries through the pension scheme but in practice it must limit the appeal of a return to work.

    Is that right? I thought that if you took £X out of a pot, you got 25% tax free and paid your current marginal rate on the rest, and could do that repeatedly. Not the case?
    Yes you've touched any of your pension pot - the rules for putting more money into it are very, very strict.
    Perhaps we're talking about different things. I worked for X till I was 65, took 25% out of the work pension from X when I left, paying the rest into an annuity. Then I got another job with Y, and the pot there is duly building up, with no apparent problem. I've never had a private pension. Have I broken a rule?
    https://www.litrg.org.uk/tax-guides/pensioners/what-tax-position-when-i-take-money-my-pension-flexibly#:~:text=schemes at death.-,Can I pay into pensions again after taking money out,of money purchase pension benefits. has more details - but if you've just pulled the 25% out you are probably fine.
    Many thanks!
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 97,887
    I'm sorry but if you're talking about the Tompkins tables you need to be reminded of this stunning bit of analysis from 2014.

    Proof: booze brings top grades

    A clear correlation has been found between the amount of money colleges spend on alcohol and the percentage of firsts they receive.


    A genius Cambridge grad has found a link between the money colleges spend on booze and the number of firsts their students achieve.

    Churchill grad Grayden Reece-Smith has made a chart that appears to show a relationship between the amount of wine supplied by colleges and academic performance.

    Students have widely accepted that this chart is the best excuse for bad behaviour since telling your mum you only read Playboy for the articles.


    https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2014/02/04/proof-booze-brings-top-grades-33080
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    A question for the pb brains trust.
    I am trying to get a loft conversion done. Most local loft conversion companies won't even return my calls; some do, might call round, but then announce themselves too busy for the foreseeable future. One company has returned my calls, been to see me, been convincing and pleasant and given me a reasonable quote, and declared themselves ready to start in a few weeks - which immediately raises suspicions. I can find only broadly positive reviews of them on checkatrade etc, but I looked up their company history on .gov.uk and while the company exists, the 9nly accounts filed are those of a dormant company. One to avoid? Or is this normal?

    The dormant company may not be the trading company. Some businesses take a few to protect names etc. Cannot you just pay them after the job with a minimal deposit. What bit of what they said and did would you want to be opposite ?
    Thanks. Well, nothing really - it just feels suspicious when everything they say is what I want to hear! Especially given the difficulty I've had trying to get anyone to take an interest in the job.

    If it is a scam, it's one with a fairly detailed back story - I now know at least three different characters there.

    They're proposing to take £25000 on the day they turn up and another £25000 on completion, though have offered flexibility. My fear is a) spending money I don't see again and/or b) being left with a half finished job by a company that vanishes out of existence halfway through.
    Ask them for previous clients you can talk to for a reference?
  • Morris_DancerMorris_Dancer Posts: 57,369
    Welcome to PB, Mr. Turk.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,740
    MaxPB said:

    Prof Neil Fergusson on R4 "too early to tell effect of unlocking from current figures - will probably take several more weeks to see full effects of unlocking".

    R is currently likely around 1.

    The R is below 1, we're seeing a reduction in cases. It won't take weeks, it will take a week or so for the weekend figures to result in new infections. We've seen it every time we've unlocked, I don't see why this time would be different and we'd need to wait for weeks.
    The same study that said Delta gives you 1200x the viral load also said it has an incubation period of 4 days.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,013
    Oh look! “5 Tests”

    Today, Labour sets out the 5⃣ tests we expect from this government for our economic recovery.

    We must use this moment to build an economy that makes the most of the huge potential we have as a country. Thread.


    https://twitter.com/rachelreevesmp/status/1419924832695865346?s=21
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,043
    glw said:

    kle4 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    BEIJING, July 26 (Reuters) - Antibodies triggered by Sinovac Biotech's (SVA.O) COVID-19 vaccine decline below a key threshold from around six months after a second dose for most recipients, although a third shot could have a strong boosting effect, according to a lab study.

    https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/antibodies-sinovacs-covid-19-shot-fade-after-about-6-months-booster-helps-study-2021-07-26/

    I think it's increasingly clear that current vaccines efficacy fades rather more quickly than we'd like.

    Fortunately, newer better vaccines are available, and adding Novavax or Pfizer or Moderna to an existing two-dose Astra-Zeneca patient is going to be highly beneficial.
    So, you’re saying that Novavax, Pfizer and Moderna are “better vaccines” than Oxford/AstraZeneca? Fascinating.
    I think many have said that, whilst it still being an incredible one.
    It's seems broadly that for a fast immune response the various types of mRNA vaccines are best, but for an enduring immune response it is starting to look like viral vector vaccines like AstraZenaca are the best, as they seem to be producing a stronger T-cell response. So if you want to protect the population for the longest time then right now it's likely that AZ is the winner. On the other hand if a new dangerous variant emerges and you need a crash development programme for a booster the mRNA vaccines are probably the best option.

    It's worth bearing in mind that both approaches are new vaccine technology, and are likely to be improved upon. Also having two new ways of provoking an immune response is a good thing as you can stimulate a broader immune response that way. So it's not really a debate between which technology is good or bad, or good and best, as they each have their strengths and weaknesses.
    Intranasal vaccines ought also to be looked at, as they have significant advantages in preventing transmission.
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/373/6553/397
    ...Compared to intramuscular vaccines, intranasal vaccines provide two additional layers of protection: Vaccine-elicited IgA and resident memory B and T cells in the respiratory mucosa provide an effective barrier to infection at those sites; and, even if infection does occur, perhaps by a viral variant, cross-reactive, resident memory B and T cells, which encounter antigen earlier and respond more quickly than systemic memory cells, impede viral replication and reduce viral shedding and transmission (see the figure).

    Of the seven SARS-CoV-2 vaccines being tested for intranasal delivery, six are live-attenuated viruses or virus-vectored vaccines and one is a protein subunit vaccine (see the table). Attenuated viruses and viral vectors that encode vaccine antigens are particularly useful for intranasal immunization because the infection process effectively breaches the epithelium and is intrinsically immunogenic. Because vaccine antigens are expressed by infected cells, antigen presentation occurs via the class I pathway and efficiently triggers CD8+ T cell responses—an advantage over protein subunit vaccines that poorly engage CD8+ T cells....
  • SandpitSandpit Posts: 34,963
    Charles said:

    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
    Fine. Make him Lord Privy Seal then
    I’d make him Steward and Baliff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 97,887
    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
    Fine. Make him Lord Privy Seal then
    I’d make him Steward and Baliff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern.
    Make him Her Majesty's Most Excellent Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary to the Islamic State.

    Boris Johnson is a big Churchill fan and Churchill used to make cabinet ministers into ambassadors during WWII.
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    eek said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    Whllst on university rankings - these were the last (before pandamic) BUCS (British university Colleges and Sport ) points tables for inter university sport competition

    Loughborough (won it for the last 40 (forty) years!
    Nottingham
    Durham
    Edinburgh
    Exeter
    Bath
    Birmingham
    Bristol
    NEwcastle
    Northumbria

    Oxford are 12th and Cambridge 20th .

    Amazing domination by Loughborough

    There is only one university classification that matters.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norrington_Table

    My alma mater is top, naturally
    Is that because you have left? New College is top by most recent ranking, though I cannot see what in order the table is presented.

    But what does it measure? Quality of teaching? Subject mix? Number of girly swots? Not research output which is what @rcs1000 looked at earlier.
    Degree classifications
    So New College is the best college because it issues more firsts?
    Degrees are issued by the university not the college. New College submitted the highest proportion of candidates awarded higher degrees
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 6,460
    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Make him Chancellor, get him to take the flak for the inevitable austerity measures that are coming. Sunak will like it because he gets protected, and Johnson will like it because it defers Sunak's leadership ambitions for a while. Sunak could become party chairman since he's popular with the base. Or Foreign Secretary.
    What? Do you hate the country that much??

    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is more than Williamson deserves…

    Well he is currently in charge of nurturing the talents of our young, who represent the future of our country. I don't think he could do any more damage at HMT, especially as 23 year old fast streamers do all the actual work there anyway.
    Interestingly, my wife met Gavin Williamson once and reported that he is very nice in real life, interested, attentive, apparently well-informed. But perhaps she is just a terrible judge of character.
  • NigelbNigelb Posts: 34,043
    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
    Fine. Make him Lord Privy Seal then
    I’d make him Steward and Baliff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern.
    I don't know - Charles' suggestion that he be used to block up a toilet seems a reasonable one to me.
  • OnlyLivingBoyOnlyLivingBoy Posts: 6,460

    I'm sorry but if you're talking about the Tompkins tables you need to be reminded of this stunning bit of analysis from 2014.

    Proof: booze brings top grades

    A clear correlation has been found between the amount of money colleges spend on alcohol and the percentage of firsts they receive.


    A genius Cambridge grad has found a link between the money colleges spend on booze and the number of firsts their students achieve.

    Churchill grad Grayden Reece-Smith has made a chart that appears to show a relationship between the amount of wine supplied by colleges and academic performance.

    Students have widely accepted that this chart is the best excuse for bad behaviour since telling your mum you only read Playboy for the articles.


    https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2014/02/04/proof-booze-brings-top-grades-33080

    Correlation != Causation.
  • MattWMattW Posts: 10,808

    Prof Neil Fergusson on R4 "too early to tell effect of unlocking from current figures - will probably take several more weeks to see full effects of unlocking".

    R is currently likely around 1.

    OWID says 0.87.
    https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-12-10..2021-07-24&pickerSort=asc&pickerMetric=location&Metric=Reproduction+rate&Interval=7-day+rolling+average&Relative+to+Population=true&Align+outbreaks=false&country=CAN~DEU~ITA~IND~European+Union~BEL~GBR
  • CharlesCharles Posts: 34,927
    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Sandpit said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Yes, but done correctly, the role is a really important one. It’s good to be able to have an experienced minister who can fight the fire of the day, or who can assist with a big project.

    I imagine that, whatever you may think of him, Gove (and Cummings) will turn out to be behind the key vaccine rollout decisions.
    Fine. Make him Lord Privy Seal then
    I’d make him Steward and Baliff of the Three Hundreds of Chiltern.
    Although Churchill’s quote on the Lord Privy Seal (Stafford cripps) is my all time favourite

    “Tell the Lord Privy Seal that I am sealed in the privy and can only deal with one shit at a time”
  • FrancisUrquhartFrancisUrquhart Posts: 65,118
    edited July 27
    The lad who won in the swimming overnight had covid twice....wait until Prof Peston finds out....all part of the conspiracy.
  • moonshinemoonshine Posts: 2,827
    edited July 27
    Are we really saying that a Prime Minister with a majority of 80 and well ahead on the polls even in mid term, cannot sack a complete joker from his Cabinet? Because otherwise said joker, who is no longer credible with the back benches to be a whip, would bring the government down?

    If that’s really the case then this government hasn’t got long at all then, because it means there’s such filthy dirt on the PM that someone soon will weaponise it.
  • TOPPINGTOPPING Posts: 31,984
    edited July 27

    The lad who won in the swimming overnight had covid twice....wait until Prof Peston finds out....all part of the conspiracy.

    Yes I thought that.

    And people wonder why the young, fit, healthy and immortal* aren't queuing up to get jabbed. They believe it is the oldies trying to look after themselves. Which it sort of is.

    *as far as they are concerned, and as pointed out earlier on PB apols can't remember the poster.
  • ydoethurydoethur Posts: 43,205

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    Charles said:

    The other thing that scared me from tonight's discussion.

    Boris Johnson won't sack Gavin Williamson, he cannot afford to have on the backbenches a disaffected former Chief Whip and campaign manager of the winners of the last two Conservative Party leadership elections.

    So move Williamson somewhere where he can do less damage, perhaps Gavin Williamson the new Northern Ireland Secretary.

    You are kidding right? NI is in a very febrile state thanks to Johnson's 'oven ready' Brexit.

    Last place we want Williamson.

    Yes I'm kidding, but there's not many other jobs in the cabinet for Johnson to move Williamson to.
    Make him Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and get him to man-mark Andy Burnham
    Draw a salary at the taxpayers' expense to fulfill a purely party-political purpose you mean? Or has Shadow Mayor of Greater Manchester become an official position?
    Not at all. The Chancellor has some functions but they are largely administrative. Someone needs to do it (the Queen is a bit busy)

    I was working on the basis that finding a role where he can do least harm
    Make him Chancellor, get him to take the flak for the inevitable austerity measures that are coming. Sunak will like it because he gets protected, and Johnson will like it because it defers Sunak's leadership ambitions for a while. Sunak could become party chairman since he's popular with the base. Or Foreign Secretary.
    What? Do you hate the country that much??

    Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster is more than Williamson deserves…

    Well he is currently in charge of nurturing the talents of our young, who represent the future of our country. I don't think he could do any more damage at HMT, especially as 23 year old fast streamers do all the actual work there anyway.
    Interestingly, my wife met Gavin Williamson once and reported that he is very nice in real life, interested, attentive, apparently well-informed. But perhaps she is just a terrible judge of character.
    His constituents love him. They think he’s truly wonderful. One of the reasons South Staffs is the seventh safest Tory seat and has been storming up those rankings is because he has a colossal personal vote. You want to be unpopular? Stand up in Brewood and call Gavin Williamson names.

    I told my current head that and she was so shocked I thought she was actually going to faint.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 97,887
    moonshine said:

    Are we really saying that a Prime Minister with a majority of 80 and well ahead on the polls even in mid term, cannot sack a complete joker from his Cabinet? Because otherwise said joker, who is no longer credible with the back benches to be a whip, would bring the government down?

    If that’s really the case then this government hasn’t got long at all then, because it means there’s such filthy dirt on the PM that someone soon will weaponise it.

    It's slightly more nuanced than that.

    WIlliamson also knows a lot about Boris Johnson's decision to reopen the schools for one day in January.

    He also knows that Sunak put the kibosh on extra spending to help pupils.
  • TheScreamingEaglesTheScreamingEagles Posts: 97,887

    I'm sorry but if you're talking about the Tompkins tables you need to be reminded of this stunning bit of analysis from 2014.

    Proof: booze brings top grades

    A clear correlation has been found between the amount of money colleges spend on alcohol and the percentage of firsts they receive.


    A genius Cambridge grad has found a link between the money colleges spend on booze and the number of firsts their students achieve.

    Churchill grad Grayden Reece-Smith has made a chart that appears to show a relationship between the amount of wine supplied by colleges and academic performance.

    Students have widely accepted that this chart is the best excuse for bad behaviour since telling your mum you only read Playboy for the articles.


    https://thetab.com/uk/cambridge/2014/02/04/proof-booze-brings-top-grades-33080

    Correlation != Causation.
    Really? I've never heard that before.
This discussion has been closed.