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Why I chose TMay as best PM to handle COVID – politicalbetting.com

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  • Nigel_ForemainNigel_Foremain Posts: 8,424

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,740
    TimT said:

    jonny83 said:

    TimT said:

    Nigelb said:

    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    eek said:

    darkage said:

    I also have a theory that, were Covid to have hit us in the pre mass internet era; it could have been covered up or downplayed as a particularly bad flu season. It was only because of mass communication that the reality of the virus, and inability of governments to deal with it, became clear.

    I'm not sure - but it's safe to say that things would have had to be very different because working from home just wouldn't have been possible.
    It would have been somewhere between Hong Kong flu and Spanish flu. It would have been bad, but not unprecedentedly so.
    The NHS would have clogged up with elderly victims.

    Since lockdowns would have shut the economy down, they probably wouldn't have happened - at least as universally as they did.

    A lot of economic activity would have stopped by itself.

    It would have been a mess.
    Why didn't the hospitals keel over for Hong Kong flu? Or indeed for Spanish flu? Were there just fewer elderly people around?
    Much quicker resolution of the disease - either recovery or death.
    And health systems were far less sophisticated, so a flu ward was effectively a Nightingale hospital absent any technology.

    nb 'Spanish' flu - actually Kansas flu, in all likelihood - killed much younger people, possibly as the older generation had some immunity from earlier influenza outbreaks.
    The economic effects were considerable:
    https://www.nber.org/digest/may20/social-and-economic-impacts-1918-influenza-epidemic
    There is some speculation that Spanish flu evolved to be a young man killer in US troopships, US troop trains and US military barracks in WWI
    I was under the impression that it was so deadly because of the cytokine storm response that immune systems had to it. That the stronger immune system you had actually worked against you when it overeacted to infection, young people tend to have stronger more robust immune systems.

    But I could be wrong on that, I am no scientist.
    You are right, but the theory is that strain of the flu that induced the cytokine storm evolved in the locations where young men going off to war were densely packed and so, bucking the normal trend in viral evolution to higher transmissibility and lower morbidity, it evolved into a killer as, in this case, the higher morbidity in young men also resulted in higher transmissibility in those densely packed conditions.
    It is also the case that a lot of Spanish Flu deaths were due to secondary bacterial infections such as HIB and streptococcus, which not only do we now antibiotics for, but people are routinely immunised as babies.

    Personally I like the idea that Spanish Flu was caused in a huge pig & poultry production facility in Northern France, probably from contact with wildfowl. It would certainly explain where the virus came from although I'm not sure the geographic position and timing explain the subsequent spread.
  • RobDRobD Posts: 55,699

    I know the last Kantar poll got some PBers excited.

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    CON: 39% (-4)
    LAB: 34% (+4)
    LDM: 8% (-3)
    GRN: 8% (+2)
    SNP: 5% (+1)
    RFM: 2% (-1)


    Fieldwork 14-18 Oct

    Changes w/ 23-27 Sep

    https://www.kantarpublic.com/inspiration/thought-leadership/two-in-five-britons-report-that-their-household-income-has-fallen-behind-the-cost-of-living

    Obvious outlier. This one, I mean. :smiley:
  • AlistairAlistair Posts: 21,319

    I voted for Mrs Thatcher in this poll.

    Just look at her handling of the AIDS crisis.

    She read every briefing paper, challenged and quizzed the scientists to understand things better, and crucially, she allowed her cabinet to overrule her as she and they understood how serious this was.

    As Sir Norman Fowler put it, she wasn't going to let hundreds of thousands of young men die from this, and she sold the message even if she wanted it to be a moral campaign.

    Just compare how badly France and America dealt with AIDS.

    Yep with you on this. And that raises another criticism of Johnson and his Government over this.

    Remember Fowler and his 'Don't Die of Ignorance' adverts.

    They were fecking terrifying.

    And they worked. Brilliantly.

    All we got from this mob was soft soap 'protect the NHS' and info-mation soundbites. They should have got in the top advertising agency and said "scare the shit out of us". There should have been constant advertising on all media about how we could help fight this thing. I am sure there were adverts btu they really were completely forgettable.

    Thatcher all the way for me.
    Very much so. I was still terrified by those adverts into the 21st century.

    What makes Thatcher's handling of AIDS even more admirable is the fact it was seen to be protecting homosexuals, a group that was badly maligned by the media and others.

    Lest we forget a senior policeman said of AIDS victims were a ‘human cesspool of their own making’.

    A politician obsessed with popularity wouldn't have expended quite so much energy trying to save the lives of gay people.
    Or that that the UK's paper of record ran a campaign at the time promoting the idea that AIDS was entirely a disease of homosexuals and that HIV tests were pointless. The editor of that time will block you on twitter if you remind him about it.
    He believes history vindicated his HIV coverage.
  • Northern_AlNorthern_Al Posts: 2,993
    edited October 21

    Rather shocking video of Stevenage police tasering and a man, then kicking him in the back so his head smashes on the floor.

    He stole a can of beer.
    https://twitter.com/drogoberor/status/1451151239266324481

    That's horrendous. The bloke looks about 70, and he's clearly the worse for wear. Those coppers should be on their way out - especially the one who kicked him while down.
  • rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    The necessary mindset is something like "I don't like doing X, but if I do X a bit now I won't have to do it as hard or as long as if I need to do it later."

    And PMs from Thatcher to May have had aspects of that (fairly suburban middle class) mindset. Part of Johnson's appeal is that he doesn't have that mindset, but it makes him a bad leader in this sort of crisis.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    edited October 21
    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick note.
  • DecrepiterJohnLDecrepiterJohnL Posts: 10,741
    rcs1000 said:

    On topic, what a great question.

    I would also go with Mrs Thatcher. Like with Boris, she would have recognised that being a bit nationalistic - i.e. having countries competing to get vaccines - would be best for spurring overall production.

    She would have combined this with being a lot more in charge of her brief. She would have grilled the scientists, and her ministers, and wouldn't have been so concerned about short term popularity. I don't think the JCVI would have gone unchallenged.

    Of the others, I tend to agree that Brown and May would have been weak. Cameron would probably have been overly reliant on the scientists. And Blair would have called the US President to see what his policy should be.

    I genuinely don't know about Major. He is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, but would he have struggled to challenge the scientists? I don't know.

    Thatcher AIDS
    Thatcher/Major BSE (mad cow disease)
    Blair foot and mouth
    Brown GFC

    Those are their CVs for vaguely similar crises. On the basis of how Prime Ministers dealt with those, who would best handle Covid? Brown, Thatcher, Major, Blair, perhaps?
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,490
    edited October 21
    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance and the Anglican Church in Ireland and Presbyterian and other Protestant churces
  • kinabalukinabalu Posts: 25,461

    There's an awful lot of nostalgia for Thatcher on here, but some of us around at the time don't have quite the same rose-tinted view. Yes, she was adored by many - I don't deny that for a minute. But she was also hated by a very large minority, whether it be miners, urban youth, the 3M unemployed, or young lefties as I was at the time. I'd put her down as the most divisive of all post-war PMs.

    So although she may have had the skills to manage the Covid crisis, I do wonder whether she would have been able to build the necessary consensus to get us through. It's possible that too many people would simply not have trusted or believed her. On those grounds, I'd probably go for Blair (pre-Iraq). He didn't attract such antipathy among his opponents, was a brilliant communicator, and had a good grip on the machinery of government by around 2001.

    The Falklands suggests that given a national crisis with a nearly universal consensus on the "the task at hand", Thatcher would get the nation behind her.
    Well, that's a good example of what I mean. There wasn't actually a 'nearly universal consensus' on the Falklands war, although the media told us that there was, and alternative voices were largely drowned out and had no social media to be heard on.
    I remember being dead against it and I'm not the type to stand firm against a near universal consensus. If I hold a view that the vast vast majority of people disagree with I'm likely to have a rethink and cave.

    #notaproperyorkshireman
  • Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 2,783
    MaxPB said:

    By specimen date, Tuesday will be a week on week drop in cases for England and it's likely the rest of the week will be too. Oddly the R value in England may already be below 1 despite all of the current panic.

    No don't agree that is remotely clear yet. Tuesday 19/10 = 34873 England cases Vs 12/10 = 39998, and latter figure still likely to rise. As an indication, 0.87 is the current ratio here.

    When 12/10 was the later date and compared with 5/10 that ratio (UK wide) went from 0.93 at this stage on day 2 after publication to a stabilised final figure of 1.23.

    It is too early to tell for this Tuesday.
  • AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 11,156
    RobD said:

    I know the last Kantar poll got some PBers excited.

    Westminster Voting Intention:

    CON: 39% (-4)
    LAB: 34% (+4)
    LDM: 8% (-3)
    GRN: 8% (+2)
    SNP: 5% (+1)
    RFM: 2% (-1)


    Fieldwork 14-18 Oct

    Changes w/ 23-27 Sep

    https://www.kantarpublic.com/inspiration/thought-leadership/two-in-five-britons-report-that-their-household-income-has-fallen-behind-the-cost-of-living

    Obvious outlier. This one, I mean. :smiley:
    I'm surprised anyone even pays any attention these polls – they are meaningless.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
  • FarooqFarooq Posts: 2,268
    I would like to apologise to both Adam Smith and any Ayatollahs who may have been offended by my earlier comment.
  • paulyork64paulyork64 Posts: 1,821
    Cookie said:

    rcs1000 said:

    On topic, what a great question.

    I would also go with Mrs Thatcher. Like with Boris, she would have recognised that being a bit nationalistic - i.e. having countries competing to get vaccines - would be best for spurring overall production.

    She would have combined this with being a lot more in charge of her brief. She would have grilled the scientists, and her ministers, and wouldn't have been so concerned about short term popularity. I don't think the JCVI would have gone unchallenged.

    Of the others, I tend to agree that Brown and May would have been weak. Cameron would probably have been overly reliant on the scientists. And Blair would have called the US President to see what his policy should be.

    I genuinely don't know about Major. He is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, but would he have struggled to challenge the scientists? I don't know.

    We really don't have a fair impression of John Major. It would be interesting to know how he would have got on with a bigger majority or less fractious party. I certainly don't recollect the 1990-1992 period - when he did have a fair-sized majority being characterised by terrible leadership. I do remember getting the impression that only he and William Hague were really trying for the Conservatives at the 1997 election.

    Ditto Theresa May, I suppose. Who knows - in charge of a majority, she may have come across as entirely competent and in command.
    Well May did have a majority to start with .....
  • rkrkrkrkrkrk Posts: 7,133
    MaxPB said:

    MaxPB said:

    By specimen date, Tuesday will be a week on week drop in cases for England and it's likely the rest of the week will be too. Oddly the R value in England may already be below 1 despite all of the current panic.

    Yep, there are definitely signs we are near a peak. The Cambridge / MRC study implied R was 1.0 and likely falling.

    Still, falling or not - if those booster stats are right then there's a big incentive to get them done as fast as possible and get this thing shut down.
    Am I going mad or looking at different data? I don't see how Tuesday can be a week on week drop when its already more than the week before? Or are you talking 7 day average?
    By specimen date, it's unlikely that another 7k cases will be added to Tuesday, at most it will be ~5k but probably more like ~4k which means Tuesday will be a week on week drop. The rest of the week as well and then next week is half term.
    Normally Tuesday is a bit less than Monday. Not 25% less.
    I'd be surprised if there wasn't continued week on week growth.
  • I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
  • Rather shocking video of Stevenage police tasering and a man, then kicking him in the back so his head smashes on the floor.

    He stole a can of beer.
    https://twitter.com/drogoberor/status/1451151239266324481

    That's horrendous. The bloke looks about 70, and he's clearly the worse for wear. Those coppers should be on their way out - especially the one who kicked him while down.
    They're about to be hired by the Met for their female safe spaces team.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,490
    edited October 21
    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland, just to achieve it by peaceful means, which is what SF would also say is their understanding of the GFA on the Nationalist side
  • This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 902

    Rather shocking video of Stevenage police tasering a man, then kicking him in the back so his head smashes on the floor.

    He stole a can of beer.
    https://twitter.com/drogoberor/status/1451151239266324481

    Several thoughts immediately spring to mind:

    (1) The boot in the back looks very much like assault
    (2) The fact that the boot is deployed by a police officer does not, shockingly, come as any great surprise
    (3) Some of the comments below the video allege that the Taser-wielding copper concerned would be for the high jump right now if the individual receiving the boot were black, but as it is he will likely go unchallenged. And they're probably right
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland
    Which undermines the GFA which includes a clause that claims for the NI to be part of a united Ireland should not be part of ROI ideology/constitiution.

  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 11,980
    Cookie said:

    rcs1000 said:

    On topic, what a great question.

    I would also go with Mrs Thatcher. Like with Boris, she would have recognised that being a bit nationalistic - i.e. having countries competing to get vaccines - would be best for spurring overall production.

    She would have combined this with being a lot more in charge of her brief. She would have grilled the scientists, and her ministers, and wouldn't have been so concerned about short term popularity. I don't think the JCVI would have gone unchallenged.

    Of the others, I tend to agree that Brown and May would have been weak. Cameron would probably have been overly reliant on the scientists. And Blair would have called the US President to see what his policy should be.

    I genuinely don't know about Major. He is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, but would he have struggled to challenge the scientists? I don't know.

    We really don't have a fair impression of John Major. It would be interesting to know how he would have got on with a bigger majority or less fractious party. I certainly don't recollect the 1990-1992 period - when he did have a fair-sized majority being characterised by terrible leadership. I do remember getting the impression that only he and William Hague were really trying for the Conservatives at the 1997 election.

    Ditto Theresa May, I suppose. Who knows - in charge of a majority, she may have come across as entirely competent and in command.
    Major was fine, just had a rubbish and arrogant party to deal with after that long in power.
  • This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    rcs1000 said:

    On topic, what a great question.

    I would also go with Mrs Thatcher. Like with Boris, she would have recognised that being a bit nationalistic - i.e. having countries competing to get vaccines - would be best for spurring overall production.

    She would have combined this with being a lot more in charge of her brief. She would have grilled the scientists, and her ministers, and wouldn't have been so concerned about short term popularity. I don't think the JCVI would have gone unchallenged.

    Of the others, I tend to agree that Brown and May would have been weak. Cameron would probably have been overly reliant on the scientists. And Blair would have called the US President to see what his policy should be.

    I genuinely don't know about Major. He is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, but would he have struggled to challenge the scientists? I don't know.

    Thatcher AIDS
    Thatcher/Major BSE (mad cow disease)
    Blair foot and mouth
    Brown GFC

    Those are their CVs for vaguely similar crises. On the basis of how Prime Ministers dealt with those, who would best handle Covid? Brown, Thatcher, Major, Blair, perhaps?
    Hmmm... I think you're giving Brown a bit too much credit for the GFC. And mad cow disease was post-Thatcher wasn't it?
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,859

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Limiting it to just the over 50s could end up being a very, very poor decision. It's the difference between hitting herd immunity and not. Life will literally go back to normal with herd immunity. The virus will simply run out of viable hosts.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562
    MaxPB said:

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Limiting it to just the over 50s could end up being a very, very poor decision. It's the difference between hitting herd immunity and not. Life will literally go back to normal with herd immunity. The virus will simply run out of viable hosts.
    Again, this is the "too slow" element that I keep banging on about. We'll end up with vaccines sitting in freezers and expiring, rather than trying to get as many jabs in as many arms as possible.

    We have supply. We know how to set up big vaccination centres. Make it available to anyone who had their second AZ dose more than four months ago, or their second Pfizer/Moderna six months ago.

    And then publicise the hell out of it.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    Two doses offers excellent protection against hospitalisation. Three doses offers excellent protection against symptomatic disease.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,490
    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland
    Which undermines the GFA which includes a clause that claims for the NI to be part of a united Ireland should not be part of ROI ideology/constitiution.

    He is just the President not the constitution
  • AnabobazinaAnabobazina Posts: 11,156

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
  • dixiedeandixiedean Posts: 15,478
    MaxPB said:

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Limiting it to just the over 50s could end up being a very, very poor decision. It's the difference between hitting herd immunity and not. Life will literally go back to normal with herd immunity. The virus will simply run out of viable hosts.
    I fear that the virus has been running out of viable hosts for the better part of 18 months now.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 15,526
    Pro_Rata said:

    Carnyx said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    How interesting. But what also strikes me, why bother with the mW/mK ratio when you could strip out the millis and have plain W/K?
    Yes that looks odd. I transcribed blindly from an old calculation I did, but I'm thinking one of those m's is actually a metre, as in "amount of power you have to put in to the system to sustain a unit temperature difference across a width of material."
    Thanks -that makes excellent sense. One of those situations wherre the exponent (-1) is much clearer!
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
    He was the PM. The buck - good and bad - stops with him. And our vaccine procurement strategy was a success.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,406
    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,859
    dixiedean said:

    MaxPB said:

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Limiting it to just the over 50s could end up being a very, very poor decision. It's the difference between hitting herd immunity and not. Life will literally go back to normal with herd immunity. The virus will simply run out of viable hosts.
    I fear that the virus has been running out of viable hosts for the better part of 18 months now.
    We're at the cusp with our current vaccine programme and infections.
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,372
    Cookie said:

    rcs1000 said:

    On topic, what a great question.

    I would also go with Mrs Thatcher. Like with Boris, she would have recognised that being a bit nationalistic - i.e. having countries competing to get vaccines - would be best for spurring overall production.

    She would have combined this with being a lot more in charge of her brief. She would have grilled the scientists, and her ministers, and wouldn't have been so concerned about short term popularity. I don't think the JCVI would have gone unchallenged.

    Of the others, I tend to agree that Brown and May would have been weak. Cameron would probably have been overly reliant on the scientists. And Blair would have called the US President to see what his policy should be.

    I genuinely don't know about Major. He is an intelligent and thoughtful guy, but would he have struggled to challenge the scientists? I don't know.

    We really don't have a fair impression of John Major. It would be interesting to know how he would have got on with a bigger majority or less fractious party. I certainly don't recollect the 1990-1992 period - when he did have a fair-sized majority being characterised by terrible leadership. I do remember getting the impression that only he and William Hague were really trying for the Conservatives at the 1997 election.

    Ditto Theresa May, I suppose. Who knows - in charge of a majority, she may have come across as entirely competent and in command.
    Getting the big calls right matters. Major was at the heart of government which joined and stayed in the ERM until, as PM, being forced out. As this was the forerunner of the Euro, which any Tory knew perfectly well the public would never agree to join in any circumstances short of a Weimar catastrophe, to join the ERM without asking us, causing a major collapse of confidence and competence, was an error of stupendous proportions.

    This was part of a series of Tory and Labour errors, each involving a democratic deficit, which has led to Brexit and an overreaching EU.

    The Tory's obvious job was firstly to use its powers and veto to keep the EU as a trade association, and secondly to ensure popular and populist support for it by asking us.

    As it is the greatest missed opportunity since WWII Major's part in this matters.

  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,859

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
    Everything is through the lens of hating Boris. I also don't really like the guy but clearly they aren't delaying the booster for the reasons Rochdale is trying to imply, they're more likely just incompetent and complacent about it.
  • This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
    Interesting. Its just that when I got vaccinated with 2 doses of Pfizer there wasn't anything about it being a 3 dose course. 2 was vaccination = go back to normal.

    I will take "increasingly daft" under advisement.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland
    Which undermines the GFA which includes a clause that claims for the NI to be part of a united Ireland should not be part of ROI ideology/constitiution.

    He is just the President not the constitution
    Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds. It's easier for you to play soft with SF and their ROI buddies - Me?; I have to live in Scotland.
  • rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
    He was the PM. The buck - good and bad - stops with him. And our vaccine procurement strategy was a success.
    True. But we all know that he gets reflected credit for something he isn't responsible for. As the debate is "which other past PM would have done it better" for me it would be literally any of them.
  • CarlottaVanceCarlottaVance Posts: 52,013
    I advocate masks, social distancing and vaccine passports.

    Yet a country that has masks, social distancing and vaccine passports is doing worse than Tory England.

    There must be some other explanation, obvs!

    Cases are certainly increasing in Wales but I also wonder how much their higher (relative) numbers are due to the fact that they are counting reinfections and England currently is not (in the works)...

    Doesn't Zoe app suggest reasonably proportion of reinfections @timspector ?


    https://twitter.com/chrischirp/status/1450776863492775943?s=20

    Re-infections are ~1-2% of cases

    https://twitter.com/kallmemeg/status/1451200832100192263?s=20

  • MaxPBMaxPB Posts: 31,859

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
    Interesting. Its just that when I got vaccinated with 2 doses of Pfizer there wasn't anything about it being a 3 dose course. 2 was vaccination = go back to normal.

    I will take "increasingly daft" under advisement.
    What are you on about? I think you've got to take a step back and think about what you're trying to say here.
  • HYUFDHYUFD Posts: 90,490
    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland
    Which undermines the GFA which includes a clause that claims for the NI to be part of a united Ireland should not be part of ROI ideology/constitiution.

    He is just the President not the constitution
    Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds. It's easier for you to play soft with SF and their ROI buddies - Me?; I have to live in Scotland.
    Have to say that is the first time I have ever been accused of 'playing soft with SF' on here, normally I am seen as too hardline Unionist.

    If they refuse to come to a service commemorating NI that is their affair, Unionist parties still get more votes than Nationalists in NI and they are still not getting a border poll
  • algarkirkalgarkirk Posts: 4,372
    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    HYUFD said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    It's a pretty difficult question from Yougov if you ask me.

    I'm not going to pick a fault in OGH's reasoning but I *think* I might have voted for Bozo. The criticism of Jonhnson seems to be that he followed the science - except when the science was wrong when he should have ignored it.

    PS-

    Happy 100th Birthday Northern Ireland.

    I note that ROI President did not go (Possibly undermining the GFA?). At least the Queen provided a sick not.

    President Higgins did not go because it was a service commemorating the partition of Ireland apparently, for which he was praised by Sinn Fein who also boycotted it.

    However representatives of Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and the leader of the SDLP went as did the Catholic primate of All Ireland and of course the NI First Minister, Boris and the leaders of the DUP, UUP and Alliance
    Thanks for the response - but by not attending he undermined the GFA didn't he?
    He would say he still wants a united Ireland
    Which undermines the GFA which includes a clause that claims for the NI to be part of a united Ireland should not be part of ROI ideology/constitiution.

    He is just the President not the constitution
    Do you realise how ridiculous that sounds. It's easier for you to play soft with SF and their ROI buddies - Me?; I have to live in Scotland.
    Have to say that is the first time I have ever been accused of 'playing soft with SF' on here, normally I am seen as too hardline Unionist.

    If they refuse to come to a service commemorating NI that is their affair, Unionist parties still get more votes than Nationalists in NI and they are still not getting a border poll
    Higgins is an oldie. He should have provided a sick note like our Queen graciously did.
  • Philip_ThompsonPhilip_Thompson Posts: 64,406

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
    Interesting. Its just that when I got vaccinated with 2 doses of Pfizer there wasn't anything about it being a 3 dose course. 2 was vaccination = go back to normal.

    I will take "increasingly daft" under advisement.
    And 2 doses was enough to go back to normal. If protection wanes after a while and you need a third to remain in normal, then take a third. If need be take a fourth, fifth and I'd be happy to have another dose every six months for the rest of my life if that's what it takes to avoid every other restriction.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    edited October 21
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    No idea

    Looks like Scotland are on track for 3 out of 3 though-

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/live/cricket/58261371
  • TimTTimT Posts: 4,725

    TimT said:

    jonny83 said:

    TimT said:

    Nigelb said:

    Cookie said:

    Cookie said:

    eek said:

    darkage said:

    I also have a theory that, were Covid to have hit us in the pre mass internet era; it could have been covered up or downplayed as a particularly bad flu season. It was only because of mass communication that the reality of the virus, and inability of governments to deal with it, became clear.

    I'm not sure - but it's safe to say that things would have had to be very different because working from home just wouldn't have been possible.
    It would have been somewhere between Hong Kong flu and Spanish flu. It would have been bad, but not unprecedentedly so.
    The NHS would have clogged up with elderly victims.

    Since lockdowns would have shut the economy down, they probably wouldn't have happened - at least as universally as they did.

    A lot of economic activity would have stopped by itself.

    It would have been a mess.
    Why didn't the hospitals keel over for Hong Kong flu? Or indeed for Spanish flu? Were there just fewer elderly people around?
    Much quicker resolution of the disease - either recovery or death.
    And health systems were far less sophisticated, so a flu ward was effectively a Nightingale hospital absent any technology.

    nb 'Spanish' flu - actually Kansas flu, in all likelihood - killed much younger people, possibly as the older generation had some immunity from earlier influenza outbreaks.
    The economic effects were considerable:
    https://www.nber.org/digest/may20/social-and-economic-impacts-1918-influenza-epidemic
    There is some speculation that Spanish flu evolved to be a young man killer in US troopships, US troop trains and US military barracks in WWI
    I was under the impression that it was so deadly because of the cytokine storm response that immune systems had to it. That the stronger immune system you had actually worked against you when it overeacted to infection, young people tend to have stronger more robust immune systems.

    But I could be wrong on that, I am no scientist.
    You are right, but the theory is that strain of the flu that induced the cytokine storm evolved in the locations where young men going off to war were densely packed and so, bucking the normal trend in viral evolution to higher transmissibility and lower morbidity, it evolved into a killer as, in this case, the higher morbidity in young men also resulted in higher transmissibility in those densely packed conditions.
    It is also the case that a lot of Spanish Flu deaths were due to secondary bacterial infections such as HIB and streptococcus, which not only do we now antibiotics for, but people are routinely immunised as babies.

    Personally I like the idea that Spanish Flu was caused in a huge pig & poultry production facility in Northern France, probably from contact with wildfowl. It would certainly explain where the virus came from although I'm not sure the geographic position and timing explain the subsequent spread.
    And its emergence into a pandemic killer probably was a multi-step evolution.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
  • Pro_RataPro_Rata Posts: 2,783

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    Thanks. I can very happily live with that response as the closing out of a thread of argument that, in all likelihood, I just wandered off distractedly from concluding 5 years ago.

    Yes, the scientific content of climate papers and, indeed, public policy documents should be absolutely up for scrutiny.

    But also what I'd expect from sceptical scientists is a push for research showing how and why the basic physical properties might not scale up to a global system. Candidates are there - the ground massively outweighs the air, clouds are highly complex.

    My random thought, even though this is not quite the standard view of how science should be done, is that I'd be tempted to well fund a credible institute of climate scepticism (the scientists themselves would not have to be outright sceptics, but would be tasked with taking an outright critical view of the evidence base and doing gap filling research), independent of industry. Such an institute could result find a lot of the science was good and end up doing confirmatory work, but for big questions I see benefit in setting the challenge in this way. (another idea is my Institute of left-sceptical sociology).
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 15,526

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    Maybe, maybe not.

    But I think he would have been quicker to act. Boris's problem is not that his instincts are wrong (he is right to prioritise liberty), it's just that he's not felt sure enough of himself to make decisions quickly. Maybe it's a lack of self-confidence, and a desire to say he listened to the scientists?

    On this board, almost every single person identified India and Delta as a major problems. We only made quarantine mandatory for people coming from India *after* cases had peaked there. If we had been slightly quicker, we might have had only a quarter of the cases seeded.

    Likewise, the prevarication over jabs for teenagers. Why? Yeah, I know the JCVI have been weak. But he's the PM. They advise, he decides. And it wasn't like we were going out on a limb - the US had been vaccinating teenagers for close to six months, and the Europeans for not much less.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540
    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
    He was the PM. The buck - good and bad - stops with him. And our vaccine procurement strategy was a success.
    Largely because he was told in no uncertain terms to stay out of it for fear that he would turn it into yet another f***up.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    A year to year net loss rather than a YTD!

    I could do with losing a couple of stones myself - Only problem would be that I wouldn't have belts or jeans that wouldn't fall down.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562
    Pro_Rata said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    Thanks. I can very happily live with that response as the closing out of a thread of argument that, in all likelihood, I just wandered off distractedly from concluding 5 years ago.

    Yes, the scientific content of climate papers and, indeed, public policy documents should be absolutely up for scrutiny.

    But also what I'd expect from sceptical scientists is a push for research showing how and why the basic physical properties might not scale up to a global system. Candidates are there - the ground massively outweighs the air, clouds are highly complex.

    My random thought, even though this is not quite the standard view of how science should be done, is that I'd be tempted to well fund a credible institute of climate scepticism (the scientists themselves would not have to be outright sceptics, but would be tasked with taking an outright critical view of the evidence base and doing gap filling research), independent of industry. Such an institute could result find a lot of the science was good and end up doing confirmatory work, but for big questions I see benefit in setting the challenge in this way. (another idea is my Institute of left-sceptical sociology).
    Didn't the Kochs fund some sceptical scientists, who ended up producing research that vindicated AGW?
  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 902
    JBriskin3 said:

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    A year to year net loss rather than a YTD!

    I could do with losing a couple of stones myself - Only problem would be that I wouldn't have belts or jeans that wouldn't fall down.
    Excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe. Happy days.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    JBriskin3 said:

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    A year to year net loss rather than a YTD!

    I could do with losing a couple of stones myself - Only problem would be that I wouldn't have belts or jeans that wouldn't fall down.
    That's another Briskin error isn't it - I think he set up a trap for me
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    Because the answer to being fat is to

    1) Eat less
    2) Exercise more

    Generally a combination of 1 & 2

    The problem is that this is held to be "fat shaming" - especially since a non-trivial number of people have invented genetic or other "conditions" for themselves that explain their dimensions.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
    The scannable QR code is an identifier already. In some ways, an ID card, just by itself.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562
    IanB2 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
    He was the PM. The buck - good and bad - stops with him. And our vaccine procurement strategy was a success.
    Largely because he was told in no uncertain terms to stay out of it for fear that he would turn it into yet another f***up.
    He's the PM.

    He is ultimately responsible for the decisions. And on vaccines he got it right: we stayed out of the EU scheme, and we put in lots of orders, and got them in early. We also made the right call on dosing strategies.

    Whether the right decisions were taken because he made them himself, or because he delegated, they were still his decisions.

    (I see I'm alternating between defending and criticising Johnson according to who I'm responding to...)
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    edited October 21
    pigeon said:

    JBriskin3 said:

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    A year to year net loss rather than a YTD!

    I could do with losing a couple of stones myself - Only problem would be that I wouldn't have belts or jeans that wouldn't fall down.
    Excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe. Happy days.
    I can't afford a whole new wardrobe though. Now I think about it a bit I think I do have jeans stored that would fit so I'd only have to buy a belt; so I've got no excuse for me being borderline obese.
  • CarnyxCarnyx Posts: 15,526

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    Because the answer to being fat is to

    1) Eat less
    2) Exercise more

    Generally a combination of 1 & 2

    The problem is that this is held to be "fat shaming" - especially since a non-trivial number of people have invented genetic or other "conditions" for themselves that explain their dimensions.
    And 3) drink less. But yes, you could be right.
  • rcs1000rcs1000 Posts: 41,562

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
    The scannable QR code is an identifier already. In some ways, an ID card, just by itself.
    (Pedantic point: I think they're 3D bar codes rather that QR codes.)

    It's hard to verify the identity of someone (which is the whole point of an ID card) just from a barcode.

    It's not foolproof. People can share their codes.

    And you can do it in a fairly light touch way if you like. Restaraunts and bars can - if they like - require proof of vaccination.
  • darkagedarkage Posts: 940
    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
    I think the NHS app is an obvious prelude to an ID card. Biometric identifier. Would be easy enough to just add some extra scope, functionality and make it in to a wider 'self gov portal' -IE driving license, tax records etc.
  • Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    There is nothing "dodgy" about the underlying science, but if that's what you need to believe in order to avoid cognitive dissonance then so be it.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540
    rcs1000 said:

    IanB2 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Aw, you really can't stop loving "Boris" can you? However shit he is, you have to keep bigging him up. Blind loyalty. That must be such a nice thing to experience I guess.
    Its my honest opinion 🤷‍♂️

    It depends upon what your priorities are? My priority is ending restrictions and ensuring all restrictions are lifted.

    The UK was the first nation in Europe to do so (AFAIK) and the first major nation on the planet to have a vaccine rollout. That makes it the best response to the pandemic on the continent and second to Israel the best response to the pandemic on the planet.

    Could other leaders have done better? I think Thatcher would have yes. But I don't think anyone else would have, just as no other contemporary leader has done better other than (much as I loathe him) Netanyahu.

    Who of the previous leaders would have lifted restrictions faster than Boris? Any of them? Maybe Thatcher, other than that no I don't think so. Any of my rogue's gallery (Brown, May and Blair) I think we'd still be under restrictions today just as most continental Europeans still are. Blair would have abused the opportunity set us up for restrictions for years to come too.
    It is a fair answer and balanced overview of your opinion Philip, though having spent the last 20 odd years of my career studying leadership, I wouldn't put Boris Johnson in charge of a WRVS cafe, let alone a country in a pandemic.

    With respect to the much trumpeted vaccine rollout, this falls into the "even fools are right sometimes" quote from WSC.

    All the others have virtues in some ways which suggest they would be better than Johnson and quite significantly. Evidence would point to Mrs T as almost certainly being the one most trustworthy to do the right thing.
    The "Johnson delivered the vaccine rollout" argument is laughable.

    No, he didn't. His health secretary watched the film "Contagion", thought we need to get ahead of this and went into cabinet banging the table to start work on a vaccine. Having been told "do it" he then (controversially) hires a chair who organises both pharma and academic research teams to go at it. Its then the NHS who organise both the tiers and rollout plans.

    The idea that Johnson did anything at all is genuinely funny when you look at his contribution to literally every other issue, the commentary from Tory MPs and ministers and the reams of stuff leaked by DomCum. Johnson does not do detail or think any further ahead than "I won't get caught cheating this time".
    He was the PM. The buck - good and bad - stops with him. And our vaccine procurement strategy was a success.
    Largely because he was told in no uncertain terms to stay out of it for fear that he would turn it into yet another f***up.
    He's the PM.

    He is ultimately responsible for the decisions. And on vaccines he got it right: we stayed out of the EU scheme, and we put in lots of orders, and got them in early. We also made the right call on dosing strategies.

    Whether the right decisions were taken because he made them himself, or because he delegated, they were still his decisions.

    (I see I'm alternating between defending and criticising Johnson according to who I'm responding to...)
    Fact remains that the f***ups trace directly back to widely acknowledged flaws in his character, whereas the vaccine rollout was the work of others.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,554

    This is why people like my father and his colleagues are so angry at the government for fannying around on the booster rollout.

    Booster Covid jab offers near total protection, Pfizer study shows

    A third dose of the Pfizer vaccine provides “excellent” immunity, scientists have said, after the first full trial of the booster showed an additional jab raises protection by a further 95 per cent.

    In a study of 10,000 people, those who received a third injection of the Pfizer vaccine almost a year after their first two saw protection against symptomatic infection soar compared with those who had had just two doses.

    An earlier study, looking at real world data from Israel, found a similar boost in protection against serious illness.


    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/booster-covid-jab-offers-near-total-protection-pfizer-study-shows-8v566tjpx

    Yebbut they said that 2 doses offered excellent protection. They can't now go back on that having got people to go back to the office and spending the required cash in Starbucks every day.
    They aren’t “going back on it” at all. They are simply saying that it adds further protection. Your posts are becoming increasingly daft.
    Interesting. Its just that when I got vaccinated with 2 doses of Pfizer there wasn't anything about it being a 3 dose course. 2 was vaccination = go back to normal.

    I will take "increasingly daft" under advisement.
    Have you considered that as time has gone on, we’ve learnt more about how the vaccines are working? The two doses were from the first clinical trial, and showed excellent results against the first Covid variant. Since then we’ve had a host of new variants including delta, with enhanced transmissability, and it looks like a three dose regime is better than just the two from the trial. That’s the new evidence. I don’t see why you are making a thing of this. Intelligent people change their minds when the facts change, and I have you down on the list as an intelligent person. You show that with your posts on a range of topics. So why not for this?
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540
    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?
  • FeersumEnjineeyaFeersumEnjineeya Posts: 2,714
    edited October 21
    rcs1000 said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    Thanks. I can very happily live with that response as the closing out of a thread of argument that, in all likelihood, I just wandered off distractedly from concluding 5 years ago.

    Yes, the scientific content of climate papers and, indeed, public policy documents should be absolutely up for scrutiny.

    But also what I'd expect from sceptical scientists is a push for research showing how and why the basic physical properties might not scale up to a global system. Candidates are there - the ground massively outweighs the air, clouds are highly complex.

    My random thought, even though this is not quite the standard view of how science should be done, is that I'd be tempted to well fund a credible institute of climate scepticism (the scientists themselves would not have to be outright sceptics, but would be tasked with taking an outright critical view of the evidence base and doing gap filling research), independent of industry. Such an institute could result find a lot of the science was good and end up doing confirmatory work, but for big questions I see benefit in setting the challenge in this way. (another idea is my Institute of left-sceptical sociology).
    Didn't the Kochs fund some sceptical scientists, who ended up producing research that vindicated AGW?
    Yes, that was Richard Muller and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. He was a sceptic who believed that there were problems with the reconstruction of global temperature from station readings. He did his own analysis, which was indeed funded by the Kochs, and ultimately concluded that the reconstructions were correct and, being a genuine sceptic, changed his mind on the basis of the evidence.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 38,629
    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    You probably need to wait till the six month mark.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,554
    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    Because that’s not the system. When you are eligible you will be able to book. You can argue they should open it up sooner, but that’s a different argument.
  • JBriskin3JBriskin3 Posts: 849
    #BlackmanWatch

    For Women Scotland
    @ForwomenScot
    ·
    6h
    In things you never thought you'd see in 2021, a straight MP decides to protest a gay & lesbian conference at which a fellow MP who happens to be a party colleague and a lesbian is speaking.
    #LGBAlliance2021

    https://twitter.com/ForwomenScot/status/1451130855594803200?s=20
  • noneoftheabovenoneoftheabove Posts: 11,980
    edited October 21

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    You probably need to wait till the six month mark.
    To be jabbed perhaps (although six months is presumably an arbitrary/guesstimate choice rather than heavily data driven), but why to book?

    If people could book further ahead they would feel better, and the health service could plan better.
  • Sunil_PrasannanSunil_Prasannan Posts: 38,629

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    You probably need to wait till the six month mark.
    To be jabbed perhaps (although six months is presumably an arbitrary/guesstimate choice rather than heavily driven), but why to book?

    If people could book further ahead they would feel better, and the health service could plan better.
    My mum was texted by the NHS six months after her second jab.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,554

    rcs1000 said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    Thanks. I can very happily live with that response as the closing out of a thread of argument that, in all likelihood, I just wandered off distractedly from concluding 5 years ago.

    Yes, the scientific content of climate papers and, indeed, public policy documents should be absolutely up for scrutiny.

    But also what I'd expect from sceptical scientists is a push for research showing how and why the basic physical properties might not scale up to a global system. Candidates are there - the ground massively outweighs the air, clouds are highly complex.

    My random thought, even though this is not quite the standard view of how science should be done, is that I'd be tempted to well fund a credible institute of climate scepticism (the scientists themselves would not have to be outright sceptics, but would be tasked with taking an outright critical view of the evidence base and doing gap filling research), independent of industry. Such an institute could result find a lot of the science was good and end up doing confirmatory work, but for big questions I see benefit in setting the challenge in this way. (another idea is my Institute of left-sceptical sociology).
    Didn't the Kochs fund some sceptical scientists, who ended up producing research that vindicated AGW?
    Yes, that was Richard Muller and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. He was a sceptic who believed that there were problems with the reconstruction of global temperate from station readings. He did his own analysis, which was indeed funded by the Kochs, and ultimately concluded that the reconstructions were correct and, being a genuine sceptic, changed his mind on the basis of the evidence.
    The overwhelming evidence is that the earth is warming, most likely as a result of our contributions from burning fossil fuels. There are grey areas around natural variation and climate cycles. But the weakest parts are some of the past climate reconstruction work, and some of the predictions of future climate. On past climate too much credence has been attached to the use of some data, such as tree ring evidence, and too much has been claimed about what we can tell from the data. It can sometimes seem like there is an agenda to reduce past temperatures as it can be seen as inconvenient to have a widespread medieval warm period, for instance. It shouldn’t be. We can measure the effects of what we are doing now, and should accept that the climate is also naturally variable too. On future predictions, too often, like Covid, the most extreme ones don’t pass the sniff test, but do make the headlines. That’s not good for the 99% of climate scientists who are level headed and doing great work.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540
    edited October 21

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    You probably need to wait till the six month mark.
    For sure.

    But you’d think the website would tell me to check back on that date? If it were user-friendly it could even tell me when that date is, since it clearly has my vac1 and vac2 records. Hell, it could even promise to email me on the relevant date!

    Just telling me to go away because I am ineligible, with no explanation as to why, is appalling website design and messaging.
  • JBriskin3 said:

    #BlackmanWatch

    For Women Scotland
    @ForwomenScot
    ·
    6h
    In things you never thought you'd see in 2021, a straight MP decides to protest a gay & lesbian conference at which a fellow MP who happens to be a party colleague and a lesbian is speaking.
    #LGBAlliance2021

    https://twitter.com/ForwomenScot/status/1451130855594803200?s=20

    Politicians. Don't touch Trans Rights with a 20 foot pole. Whatever you say will be wrong and offensive.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK cases by specimen date

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  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK cases by specimen date scaled to 100K

    image
  • DavidLDavidL Posts: 40,280
    Scotland qualify for super 12s with 3 wins out of 3. Incredible achievement, beating Bangladesh in particular.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK Local R

    image
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    Because that’s not the system. When you are eligible you will be able to book. You can argue they should open it up sooner, but that’s a different argument.
    The argument is about the message.

    Not everyone doing what I did will be people who follow the news, and have worked out for themselves that we have to wait a few more weeks.

    There will be people who have vaguely heard about boosters for the over-50s and logged in hoping to get some information. Being sent away as “ineligible” is appalling messaging.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK case summary

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  • pigeonpigeon Posts: 902

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    Because the answer to being fat is to

    1) Eat less
    2) Exercise more

    Generally a combination of 1 & 2

    The problem is that this is held to be "fat shaming" - especially since a non-trivial number of people have invented genetic or other "conditions" for themselves that explain their dimensions.
    Essentially, the desire to escape from the blunt, cruel and typically counter-productive approach of pointing at fat people and laughing has over-corrected into the territory of body positivity, which gives people permission to embrace being fat as a form of diversity to be celebrated.

    I'm against fat shaming but I do think that messages about the medically destructive nature of being overweight (and, for that matter, being inactive) should be transmitted loudly and frequently. A dose of the kind of Protect the NHS moral persuasion used to enforce lockdowns might not go amiss, either. You can't be taken seriously if you clap for the NHS one minute and expect it to shell out to cart you off to hospital in a bariatric ambulance the next.
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK hospitals

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  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    UK deaths

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  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    Age related data

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  • rcs1000 said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    Pro_Rata said:

    For all the feedback loops that can be at play for CO2 it is the molecule's most basic physical properties that make it a greenhouse gas. At a basic, classical level, molecules that have 3 atoms and that can bend and flex absorb the infra red coming from the ground to do that.

    If you replaced the air in your 1cm thick duvet with pure CO2, the tog* rating of that gas layer alone would rise from 3.7 to 5.9. (engineers have some hoary SI measurement for the inverse of togs, the mW/mK, but I don't think the conversion is something a sane person has ever done - even after today ;) ).

    I also calculated the tog rating increase for the entire atmospheric thickness, but I've not got a record of that. It was much less stark, because the increase in CO2 content is only 1 part per 6000. But, in any case, simple models with the most basic insulation equations, stripping out almost all complexity, would predict rises in the broad ballpark of what the very complex models predict.

    Anyway, where I was with Mr Tyndall very very early on in my PB career is that, a climate sceptic to my mind has to show what there is in the complexity of the earth that would offset that base physical heat retention of CO2, and show across the full range of CO2 concentration we might see. My take is simply that a lot of burden of proof falls on the sceptic side here.


    * trivia - the tog rating system was developed in Manchester when assessing clothing and it is indeed named after the slang for clothes.

    To be honest my arguments against catastrophic AGW haven't changed and nor has my underlying scepticism. My problem is that although I have severe criticisms of the claims made and from a scientific point of view think they are very dodgy, I actually like the direction of travel that has resulted. Like many others on the scientific end of oil exploration I am of the opinion that hydrocarbons are way too valuable a resource to be burning. This was my view long before AGW ever reared its head. We need them for far too many other things that make modern life bearable and, if we have viable alternatives, we are bloody stupid to be wasting this finite resource by burning it.

    One thing I do disagree with you about is where the burden of proof lies. If you are proposing a novel theory for the cause of any observation - such as changing climate being due to man made gases - then it is incumbent from a scientific point of view to eliminate all other potential natural causes. This is why some climate advocates went so strong on trying to undermine earlier warming periods claiming they were not warmer than now (they were) or that they were only regional (they were not). It was actually this that got my back up more than anything.

    In the end I do not consider this a fight worth spending too much time on as I think the end result will probably be a better world than the one we have now. It doesn't change the underlying science which, as I say, is dodgy but getting the right result for the wrong reasons is not the worst outcome in the world.

    Of course an addendum to this is that to get that right result we do need to do it in the right way and at the moment I fear that we are not doing that. We are driven too much by the claim we need to do something rather than the need to do the right thing. Hence the issues with energy shortages, chopping down rainforests for biofuels and letting a 17 year old brat drive the narrative. (I threw that last one in to stir up a bit of controversy :) )
    Thanks. I can very happily live with that response as the closing out of a thread of argument that, in all likelihood, I just wandered off distractedly from concluding 5 years ago.

    Yes, the scientific content of climate papers and, indeed, public policy documents should be absolutely up for scrutiny.

    But also what I'd expect from sceptical scientists is a push for research showing how and why the basic physical properties might not scale up to a global system. Candidates are there - the ground massively outweighs the air, clouds are highly complex.

    My random thought, even though this is not quite the standard view of how science should be done, is that I'd be tempted to well fund a credible institute of climate scepticism (the scientists themselves would not have to be outright sceptics, but would be tasked with taking an outright critical view of the evidence base and doing gap filling research), independent of industry. Such an institute could result find a lot of the science was good and end up doing confirmatory work, but for big questions I see benefit in setting the challenge in this way. (another idea is my Institute of left-sceptical sociology).
    Didn't the Kochs fund some sceptical scientists, who ended up producing research that vindicated AGW?
    Yes, that was Richard Muller and the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project. He was a sceptic who believed that there were problems with the reconstruction of global temperate from station readings. He did his own analysis, which was indeed funded by the Kochs, and ultimately concluded that the reconstructions were correct and, being a genuine sceptic, changed his mind on the basis of the evidence.
    The overwhelming evidence is that the earth is warming, most likely as a result of our contributions from burning fossil fuels. There are grey areas around natural variation and climate cycles. But the weakest parts are some of the past climate reconstruction work, and some of the predictions of future climate. On past climate too much credence has been attached to the use of some data, such as tree ring evidence, and too much has been claimed about what we can tell from the data. It can sometimes seem like there is an agenda to reduce past temperatures as it can be seen as inconvenient to have a widespread medieval warm period, for instance. It shouldn’t be. We can measure the effects of what we are doing now, and should accept that the climate is also naturally variable too. On future predictions, too often, like Covid, the most extreme ones don’t pass the sniff test, but do make the headlines. That’s not good for the 99% of climate scientists who are level headed and doing great work.
    Sorry, but you are just repeating the usual lukewarmer tropes. Every climatologist is perfectly aware of the way in which the Earth's temperature has changed, naturally and cyclically, in the past. It is their understanding of how these variations occurred that helps to provide evidence for the role of greenhouse gasses in warming.
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540

    UK cases by specimen date

    image

    How is that data ranked?
  • MalmesburyMalmesbury Posts: 20,197
    Age related data scaled to 100K

    image
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  • kjhkjh Posts: 4,448
    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    Ditto. I am just days away from being eligible but I can't book online. No reason given other than not being eligible, yet if I booked now I would be 6m by time of vaccination.
  • IshmaelZIshmaelZ Posts: 9,772
    edited October 21

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
    The scannable QR code is an identifier already. In some ways, an ID card, just by itself.
    I truly don't understand this shit about ID cards. I am weighed down with things which identify me as entitled to draw from my bank, buy stuff on credit, drive a car, occupy seat 3b on a specific plans or train. So is everybody. What people think they are objecting to is an allo allo Papers please sort of society where the Gestapo can arbitrarily insist that you identify yourself. But guess what: first if we get to that stage the having or not of a national ID card is the least of our problems. Secondly in any place where the Gestapo is likely to nail you there are already cameras which can nail you by face and gait recognition even if your phone wasn't broadcasting your identity anyway. From a civil liberties POV you're much better off with an ID card because at least you can tell where and when you've been ID ed. Even by whom, if the Gestapo wear number badges. Which is partly why no government is going to be arsed with them
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540
    IshmaelZ said:

    rcs1000 said:

    rcs1000 said:

    I think a big division here is between people who think the response to this pandemic hasn't been authoritarian enough - and people who think its been too authoritarian. I fall very much now under the latter category, so while I have a lot to criticise Boris over (and think he lifted lockdown-3 months too late), I think all other PM's apart from Thatcher would have handled the pandemic worse.

    If I was to rate the PM's in order I'd say Thatcher first, then Boris. Then Cameron - he always took the NHS seriously given his own personal concerns and I'd be worried he'd go too far down the "protect the NHS" road, but I think Osborne would have been able to keep him in check. Without Osborne by his side I'd be much more worried about Cameron.

    Major just middling.

    Then my rogue's gallery would be Brown, then May and absolutely worst of all Blair.

    Overall as a PM I'd have Blair ahead of Major, Brown and May. But Blair would have been horrendous in this. Even without a pandemic he was prepared to detain people for 90 days without charge. Even without a pandemic he wanted to introduce ID Cards. Under the cover of the pandemic he'd have introduced ID Cards and other restrictions that he tried to push through but failed and the Civil Service would have made them permanent.

    The best person who should be trusted with authoritarian powers is someone who doesn't want to wield them. That's one of the things that makes Boris one of the best possible PMs for this pandemic - and it make Blair the worst possible choice. Even worse than May or Brown.

    Interesting analysis, but I think it misses where Boris was weak: he was too slow to make decisions, and therefore when he did take them, they had to be more authoritarian.

    If the UK had been quicker to close the borders at the beginning of the pandemic, or when it was incredibly obvious that there was a big problem in India with Delta, the number of cases seeded could have been dramatically lower.

    Likewise, there was too much prevarication over vaccinating teenagers and over booster shots.

    It's not that decisions were wrong - it was that they made too slowly. I think both Blair and Thatcher were more sure of themselves (and Cameron was too), and would have made faster decisions. And those faster decisions would have meant less authoritarian decisions were needed.
    Oh I absolutely agree that Blair would have been more sure of himself my concern is where that surety would have led to. Look at Blair's record and it speaks for himself. He would have taken the excuse of the pandemic to implement measures under the cover of the pandemic even if they were not needed.

    I expect by now if Blair was in charge we'd have a vaccine passport - and that passport would be designed to permanently transition into an ID Card.
    On the subject of vaccine passports - everywhere that has them (from New York to Israel to Denmark and France) has done them the same way - a scannable bar code in a phone app. So while I understand your concern, I struggle to see how that can transition into an ID card.
    The scannable QR code is an identifier already. In some ways, an ID card, just by itself.
    I truly don't understand this shit about ID cards. I am weighed down with things which identify me as entitled to draw from my bank, buy stuff on credit, drive a car, occupy seat 3b on a specific plans or train. So is everybody. What people think they are objecting to is an allo allo Papers please sort of society where the Gestapo can arbitrarily insist that you identify yourself. But guess what: first if we get to that stage the having or not of a national ID card is the least of our problems. Secondly in any place where the Gestapo is likely to nail you there are already cameras which can nail you by face and gait recognition even if your phone wasn't broadcasting your identity anyway. From a civil liberties POV you're much better off with an ID card because at least you can tell where and when you've been ID ed. Even by whom, of the Gestapo wear number badges. Which is partly why no government is going to be arsed with them
    But you aren’t obliged to have any of them on your person.
  • turbotubbsturbotubbs Posts: 4,554
    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    Because that’s not the system. When you are eligible you will be able to book. You can argue they should open it up sooner, but that’s a different argument.
    The argument is about the message.

    Not everyone doing what I did will be people who follow the news, and have worked out for themselves that we have to wait a few more weeks.

    There will be people who have vaguely heard about boosters for the over-50s and logged in hoping to get some information. Being sent away as “ineligible” is appalling messaging.
    Maybe, I see your point. Maybe I expect too much of people to understand to wait until called, but fair enough.
  • JohnLilburneJohnLilburne Posts: 4,740
    pigeon said:

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    Because the answer to being fat is to

    1) Eat less
    2) Exercise more

    Generally a combination of 1 & 2

    The problem is that this is held to be "fat shaming" - especially since a non-trivial number of people have invented genetic or other "conditions" for themselves that explain their dimensions.
    Essentially, the desire to escape from the blunt, cruel and typically counter-productive approach of pointing at fat people and laughing has over-corrected into the territory of body positivity, which gives people permission to embrace being fat as a form of diversity to be celebrated.

    I'm against fat shaming but I do think that messages about the medically destructive nature of being overweight (and, for that matter, being inactive) should be transmitted loudly and frequently. A dose of the kind of Protect the NHS moral persuasion used to enforce lockdowns might not go amiss, either. You can't be taken seriously if you clap for the NHS one minute and expect it to shell out to cart you off to hospital in a bariatric ambulance the next.
    The problem is, it is very difficult to lose weight on the recommended high-carb diet. This just ends up with a roller coaster of blood sugar levels and feeling hungry all the time. Low carb, high fat, is much more sustainable.
  • JosiasJessopJosiasJessop Posts: 26,210
    pigeon said:

    Carnyx said:

    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    The laws of physics are controversial.
    algarkirk said:

    Does anyone know why this modest piece of simple truth is news, on the front page of BBC website?

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-58996499

    Maybe sensitivity over the PM promising sa big anti-blubber campaign long ago when he came out of hospital haivng almost died of covid thanks in part (if only on the basis of stats) to being too fat. But nothing much emerged, so far as I could tell (not being in England, and nobody on PB spotted anything when I asked IIRC).

    Not that I can talk, as I could do with losing a fair bit and have lately put on half a stone, though I managed to lose 2 stone from March last year onwards, so net loss.
    Because the answer to being fat is to

    1) Eat less
    2) Exercise more

    Generally a combination of 1 & 2

    The problem is that this is held to be "fat shaming" - especially since a non-trivial number of people have invented genetic or other "conditions" for themselves that explain their dimensions.
    Essentially, the desire to escape from the blunt, cruel and typically counter-productive approach of pointing at fat people and laughing has over-corrected into the territory of body positivity, which gives people permission to embrace being fat as a form of diversity to be celebrated.

    I'm against fat shaming but I do think that messages about the medically destructive nature of being overweight (and, for that matter, being inactive) should be transmitted loudly and frequently. A dose of the kind of Protect the NHS moral persuasion used to enforce lockdowns might not go amiss, either. You can't be taken seriously if you clap for the NHS one minute and expect it to shell out to cart you off to hospital in a bariatric ambulance the next.
    It's interesting to consider the effect of WfH on this. Mrs J was part of a jogging group at her workplace; they would go out at lunch for 30-60 minutes of jogging/running. It was, in a way, a forced break. Whilst WfH, she may occasionally go up to her study at 08.00, and emerge at 19.00, having taken a ten minute break in the middle.

    WfH is not necessarily good for the health. Office work has lots of distractions that can cause you to get up and stretch your legs.

    (On another point, where you work is also important. I know a couple having to share the dining room table to work, as they don't have enough space in their house to have separate desks. They cannot fit proper chairs in, so they spend hours hunched over laptops in dining toom chairs. This is not healthy posture ...)
  • IanB2IanB2 Posts: 36,540

    IanB2 said:

    IanB2 said:

    I’m just a few weeks short of the six month post-second-vac point, yet the NHS website just told me to go away as ineligible for a booster, without even saying when I should return and apply. Yet we are awash with supply. Where’s the sense in that?

    Because that’s not the system. When you are eligible you will be able to book. You can argue they should open it up sooner, but that’s a different argument.
    The argument is about the message.

    Not everyone doing what I did will be people who follow the news, and have worked out for themselves that we have to wait a few more weeks.

    There will be people who have vaguely heard about boosters for the over-50s and logged in hoping to get some information. Being sent away as “ineligible” is appalling messaging.
    Maybe, I see your point. Maybe I expect too much of people to understand to wait until called, but fair enough.
    A sensible site would snap me up now, based on my obvious interest, and book me in for three weeks time….
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