The above polling from Ipsos-MORI came put over the holiday period and highlights the biggest challenge facing the Tories. Undoubtedly the party has and will continue to get political credit for the vaccine programme but that cannot be the be-all and end-all of the party’s appeal. It is also nothing like as important as it was a year ago.
I do have sympathy with the criticism of the current lack of tests that people are complaining about, not because the testing system itself is poor - it has a very high capacity compared to other nations, in the top ten in the world and by some way the best amongst any country of comparable or greater size - but because the Government has heaped a bit too much expectation upon it without thinking through the consequences. There's no point in encouraging everyone in the country to start ordering lateral flow tests to use before they go anywhere or do anything, or creating a loophole in the self-isolation rules that allows early escape with negative LFT results, if the demand that this is going to create is clearly so huge that not even the UK's large supply of tests will be sufficient to meet demand. That clearly is a failing.
6N tickets are gold dust at the best of times, they’ll have no problem selling out every venue they can find, even at short notice.
Yes, the politics of it will be awful in the other nations.
Busy, but by not 'overwhelmed'.
Everyone, staff and patients masked and the chairs in the waiting area set apart. makes the time spent there unsociable.
The rugby authorities, in common with many other businesses and institutions in Scotland and Wales, have been shat upon by the devolved governments. Quite why they - let alone UK ministers - should give two hoots about their fury is quite beyond me.
Even as someone who is triple-vaccinated and has grown some of his own immunity as a result of having the virus, I'd be chary about going to a game. Haven't, for example, been to the cinema since all this started! And the cinema Mrs C and I go to is often only half, or less, full at the time we go!
The Government clearly doesn't want to do it, because this would be interpreted as an admission of failure, but it ought to be thinking about which people and which institutions need to be closely monitored and shielded by rigorous testing, as distinct from the general population which will have to begin to learn to manage without it.
BTW Scott, have you found that lie you were accusing Liz Truss of yet?
That "dealing with climate change" is an interesting metric, as we are some way ahead of all comparable countries in Europe in dealing with it.
We'll have met the EU "-55 for 2030" target before the end of this Parliament.
As usual, BJ's useless, f*cked up messaging.
Both of these avoid the reality that infection rates are through the roof. Test more and you get more people off. But even if we cut you get more people off. Because employers trying to keep going are not going to risk the entire rest of the staffing pool for one person.
Same applies, of course, to their parents working conditions, although because of what they do, the rules do not bear down quite so hard.
So I want Covid, of which ever variety done and dusted, or at least livable with, as soon as possible.
Here’s an American viewpoint of the same (with, of course, a clickbait title)
Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker’s book “Rationality” also explores these and many other issues in depth. Pandemic aside, the world is in the best place it’s ever been at the moment, not that you would think that from watching TV news and doomscrolling Facebook. https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/03/books/review/rationality-steven-pinker.html
Sorry but any sane person would do the same as what is done has been done and clearly Stockton don’t have decent planners*
* this is a given, when the top rate for a public sector planner is £40,000 anyone good moves to the private sector quickly.
Which is of a similar order of magnitude to what we have in the UK.
Not, of course, that headline case factors are that comparable between countries.
But my understanding is that in Australia (or at least in Queensland) anyone testing positive for covid is required to spend two weeks isolating in hospital. (This was certainly the case in late 2021: my sister-in-law's partner's father spent two pointless and boring weeks on his own in a hospital having tested positive for covid). Presumably this is having a rather bigger impact on the Australian health service than whatever it is we are currently doing here?
I did enjoy the dig into who the mayor's donors are. This is twice now he has trampled on a local Tory MP - the previous mega coalition of Tories all firing on the same front down there is collapsing fast.
They are learning at the feet of the master and taking their lead from BoZo...
Health minister Gillian Keegan tells me it will rely on people “doing the right thing” and registering their LFT.
This chart from Sunday Times shows the difference between the two 👇 https://twitter.com/tamcohen/status/1478630006024810506/photo/1
Stockton council basically gives it the nod as the traffic scheme is redesigned.
If you point is that a mayor isn't trying to get involved in planning appeals than that make sense - no member of the general public should, instruct someone clueful who knows when to keep quiet and makes points that are valid.
You are in a different risk category given your age and therefore may wish to take a more cautious view than a @Cookie or a @BartholomewRoberts
That is entirely your right. But it’s their right to run a different risk profile.
Given that vaccination very substantially reduces the risk of serious disease there is no longer a strong case for infringing their rights to protect you.
It increasingly looks like this new variant can’t be stopped outside the Chinese version of a lockdown, it’s unlikely that banning outdoor crowds is going to do much about it. I imagine that the famously sanguine Scottish football crowds will shortly take to the streets on match days, if there continues to be a difference between Scotland and England in how such crowds are treated.
He’s got worked up about that. Rather than looking at whether the expenditure was reasonable in the context of what it was trying to achieve.
A nurse friend who works in a high dependency ward at a major London teaching hospital tells me that they are no longer putting vaccination status on the bedside notes as the staff get so annoyed at the (very) high numbers of the unvaccinated they are dealing with
The only way we will be done with this virus is by everybody who is going to get it, getting it.
Hopefully you and I fall into the category of people who are not going to get it, being triple jabbed and having already had it.
There is an argument - though I'm not sure I buy it - that things like not having large scale sporting events is worthwhile for the impact it will have in slowing the spread sufficiently to ease the burden on public services. Flattening the sombrero, as it were. But it's always been recognised that flattening the sombrero also means lengthening the sombrero.
Mrs C and I have had it; not sure where we caught it. Went for a holiday, in UK, met all sorts of people in all sorts of circumstances and tested positive when we returned!
However no family members with whom we were in contact subsequently tested positive!
Your point about the sombrero is, of course, valid.
What’s the justification for infringing their rights?
The Mayor and Combined Authority do not replace, nor can they overrule, local councils.
And planning especially development control is the responsibility of the local council...
Anything else you would like to say without checking basic facts?
I await evidence to contradict the above or an apology...
I suspect the response is - I suspect I have Covid, can I have your demand to come into the office in writing as Health and Safety are going to be very interested...
A large proportion of the enormous quantity of slow and expensive PCR tests, and the track & trace effort, were a waste of time.
Dave is clearly going to tremendously enjoy the denouement.
When I was a child, during WWII I lived on Canvey Island. Visits to and by my paternal grandparents, who only lived about 20 miles away, were limited, because Canvey, like other coastal areas was 'restricted'. Reflecting on this an adult I came to the conclusion that it was reasonable to do so, given that there was a threat of invasion.
I have not, and don't think I've ever suggested, that I wanted people 'locked up to preserve 'my' peace of mind'; I've indicated that I can see a case for restrictions on large social, sporting or whatever events to reduce disruption to the economy.
It would be very surprising if it was the only opinion related to the pandemic that influenced voters' views of the government. Voters don't usually oblige politicians in that way.
Apart from the admittedly pathetic "pause" because of the Christmas holidays (see also vaccination numbers the last 2 weeks), there has been plenty of testing in Germany. For example, where I am everyone in secondary schools is tested 3 times a week (afaik it is only twice a week in England?). Primary schools and kindergartens test twice a week with a pooled PCR test. None of these tests appear in any statistics that I am aware of (nor the millions of antigen tests done elsewhere every day) so it's actually very difficult to get any numbers of how many tests are being done, so I'd like to see a source for your "small fraction". You can probably get an OK idea of how many PCR tests are being done (although still some differences in counting methods) - and here the UK is doing more per capita, but quite a lot of PCR tests are done after a positive antigen test so comparison is still tricky.
I don't think there's any doubt numbers in Germany have generally been lower over the last few months. Indeed plenty of people on here making the (I think a bit simplistic) argument that Germany should have tried to have as many infections as the UK over the last months in order to have more people with immunity (or already dead) by this point.
I expect we'll see some pretty big numbers in the next couple of weeks. Anecdotally, my wife's hospital had the first outbreak in the hospital since the start of the pandemic last week. My son's primary school hasn't had an outbreak yet, neither have other several other local schools I know about.
She is clearly from the Cameroon wing of the party and Boris is presumably no more to his taste than to Cameron's.
But my reading is she is writing this in a personal capacity - I see no reason not to infer these are her views. I don't think Cameron is acting as some behind-the-scenes svengali. If he is, he's hiding it remarkably well.
Don't be silly.
Housing in the region is very much within his remit, though. Which makes him a rather more interested party than a member of the public.
This is gonna overtake Covid, though there is a synergy with everyone working from home during this current cold snap. At work the usual rebuttal is "you spend less on commuting and costa coffees" but this is nonsense for those who cycle or walk in and make their own coffee.
Back to work today (though technically still on medical leave). Actually looking forward to it!
Similarly, I have a particular dislike of the words 'horrid' in place of 'horrible'; 'movie' in place of 'film' ;and 'dessert' in place of 'pudding'.
You're correct that PCR is a diagnostic tool - but as an infection control tool it's vastly inferior to LFTs.
Any solution you come up with ends up creating a slightly different issue elsewhere impacting a different set of people.
The irony is that the correct way to fix this would be a large increase in Universal Credit and Pensions and let the system (and everyone else) take care of itself but I cannot see any Government being willing to do so.
BoZo is a moral stain on the office that can only be removed with him
Every other topic listed on the graph is a permafeature of politics. Vaccines is just a story, and stories come and go.
You’re right that there’s no good options from here though, except to start fracking and quickly. Some polling on the priority of “Net Zero” might be useful, now that people are starting to understand the costs of it.
And not building a few Nuclear stations to tide us over to 100% green energy by 2050 or whatever was stupid too. Only last year my friends in energy were discussing the prospect of energy becoming more like water in its cheap, universal provision and the implications for economic growth that would bring....
What is being offered within the scheme reflects Ben's housing policy (brown(ish) site, more rented housing)..
But equally the Mayors rule is strategic - the economic plan should be reflected within the local plan of the 5 member councils.
The actually reality is outside the Mayors control (although granted it's hard to see round here as he is incredibly good at getting his name on things that aren't his actual responsibility).
They may reduce a bit but I cannot see them returning to 2020 levels.
Not sure how football v rugby fans compare. Rugby slightly more SNP?
Kudos to Charles for thinking twice. All too rare in the modern iteration of the Conservative Party.
I don't exactly agree with the Scottish measures either, but it should be noted that the Central Belt was ready to explode at the same point as London and they have successfully delayed and likely lowered a massive peak. (Wale's late measures, not so much yet).
So, is it too late now or is that also self-serving horse shit? I don't think we have much influence on the peak at this stage, but is a degree of suppression and of re-establishing flow control beyond the peak worth it, is helping NHS recovery worth it? If the measures can be found, then, yes.
So what is the problem. Not cases, not deaths this time, but hospital capacity, both from bed occupation and staff absence. And let's be clear the bed occupation is still 'for COVID' - the proportion of 'fors' may have dropped (75->65%) but this is not a withdemic - that is another bit of self-serving bolleaux.
London looks beyond peak, but any kick on in New Year, a single doubling - likely outer London led - looks NHS fatal at this stage and is certainly not beyond the realms.
So let's start slowing the right things. I'm not on the pub closing page, here, I'm still on the restricting the unvaccinated in a proportionate way for their own health and for health provision for all:
- Ban unvaccinated and never registered positive over 18s from pubs, sit down restaurants, entertainment venues, from close contact personal care and from household mixing except for care giving.
- Ban not boosted (or double vaccinated plus infected) over 60s in the same way.
- Too late to set up Vaxports as the central gatekeeper of this or business to enforce. Compliance is an individual responsibility, and 7 days at a police station to prove status would do, as per driving.
- Strongly advise critical workers to follow the same guidelines as the unvaccinated wherever possible.
- Strong message to all other to prioritise the contacts most important to them, whatever those are - properly government led, not Whitty as a lone voice.
- Testing and earlier returns for critical workers (as soon as negative)
- For the unvaccinated, non clinically urgent hospital attendances should be delayed, where there is a clear clinical benefit to the unvaccinated avoiding Omicronny settings.
A lot of Omicron will still find these people in more roundabout ways, but every person who catches it in February rather than January is a win and this should start to make a difference quickly if done.
Interesting on R4 two Health bods and the discussion has moved to more of a cry for help (of the type seen every year for the past n years) rather than demands for any Covid-specific measures.
If this carries on it must in the end affect demographics? The types of people who refuse to be vaccinated must surely take a statistical hit in their weighting? Political ramifications?
As exhausted as the public undoubtedly is by Covid, it remains willing to give the Government the benefit of the doubt when it comes to its pandemic strategy. Not so in any other area of policy. In a brutal twist, the management of the crisis (however flawed) has become a last, desperate fig leaf for an administration with a shambolic record.
More specifically, none of the circling sharks in the Cabinet dares take a chunk out of the wounded PM while he is still leading the battle against the virus. Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss are almost flagrantly on manoeuvres, yet as long as Covid tops the news bulletins, the likelihood of a confidence vote in Johnson’s leadership remains small.
As one very senior figure close to the PM puts it: “It’s horrible, really, but the truth is that Boris is safe as long as Covid lasts. When it’s over, anything could happen.” In practice, this means — grotesquely — that he needs the crisis to last until at least the local elections on May 5, in which the Tories expect to suffer grievous losses.
Covid, supposedly his greatest political affliction, has become one of his few remaining allies.
We all too easily forget, that being able to go where we like and do what we like, should be the default state. The restrictions are exceptional, and should need to be continually justified by those advocating for them.
That is the point enough Tory MPs will have reasons to fear for their seats for a No Confidence vote to be winnable by the rebels.
In the latest full-sample, correctly weighed Scottish poll the Conservatives are on 17%:
Opinium/Daily Record, 15-22 December, sample size = 1,328
I think a rather effective way to highlight the risks of being unvaccinated would be to have a similar one for non-COVID, non-vaxxed patients. You could pass it off as "just trying to keep you safe while you are in here".