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How is the Tory government doing?

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Angry Dad
karlypants
wanderlust
okocha
xmiles
wessy
Norpig
sunlight
boltonbonce
finlaymcdanger
Ten Bobsworth
gloswhite
Sluffy
Cajunboy
BoltonTillIDie
Hip Priest
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521How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Mon Feb 01 2021, 18:21

Guest


Guest

I simplified it for you in the hope you’d give a yes or no answer Sluffy. Your return to bluster suggests you’ve taken your usual line of opposing any questioning of the government on principal rather than look at it objectively. 

I’ll try once more - slightly different again, but all the same point really:

Do you think we locked down too slowly?

522How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Mon Feb 01 2021, 22:09

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

I said at the very start of the pandemic that you can only make decisions on the information you have and action them with the resources you have available to you at the time - feel free to check if you doubt me.

So it comes as no surprise to me whatsoever that Chris Whitty (who with Van-Tam I trust above all others on the pandemic) said this to a question asked of him on the 22nd August, last year -

"When asked if there were decisions he would have made differently earlier in the pandemic, Whitty said “of course” but plans had to be made with the information available.

He added: “There is a long list of things which, if we knew at the beginning of this what we know now about this virus, about how it operates and also how the initial epidemic started, of course we would have done [things] differently … but you have to plan with the information you’ve got available to you.

When asked if the country should have gone into lockdown earlier, Whitty said there were a “wide range of views” on that issue but it did not help with forward planning.

He added: “I’m very happy to give a long and rather tedious mathematical answer but I think in due course we’ll be going through that but that’s not actually something that helps us with forward planning – and that’s the thing which I and my colleagues are really critically concentrating on at the moment.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/aug/22/whitty-says-it-would-be-foolish-to-count-on-having-covid-jab-by-winter

I'm not conceited enough to know better than this man.

Are you telling me you are?

523How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 07:51

Guest


Guest

Did you read this before posting it Sluffy? He doesn’t give a definitive opinion on whether we locked down late because he doesn’t think it’s helpful with forward planning - and I’d agree it’s not helpful for him to give a public opinion on this given his role. This is also from August - before the second late lockdown. 

So actually you/we’ve no idea what he thinks.

There are plenty of reports out there claim the scientific advice was to lockdown earlier and the gov didn’t act though, do you need me to start posting some? There are even minutes from a SAGE meeting showing the advice in September - again, this is before we even get to what happened over Christmas.

I don’t think this needs to be dragged out any further to be honest if you refuse to answer a yes or no question.

524How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 09:26

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson

I like Boris, a bit less than I used to to, but for a countries leader to act so bloody mamby pamby at such a time is not good enough. Thank God we arent going to war, not that he would ever make such a decision. He's worse than Corbyn in some ways.

525How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 09:46

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha

gloswhite wrote: He's worse than Corbyn in some ways.

Shocked

526How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 09:59

okocha

okocha
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

It has been universally accepted by all news and political outlets that the UK was not adequately prepared despite Exercise Cygnus, and has failed to act promptly and strictly enough from the start. 

The government has often ignored Sage advice and the examples of countries that are now enjoying the benefits of swift, decisive and appropriately harsh action. 

Too slow to lockdown and too quick to ease restrictions. Over-promised and under-delivered, cruelly raising false hopes, and causing chaos for those who mede extensive preparations, only to find that they were wasting their time due to inevitable u-turns.

The mistakes have been repeated depressingly often to our cost, and even now Boris is promising a wonderful summer when all his earlier absurd predictions have fallen flat. He and his acolytes have not even set a good personal example to a nation increasingly and unsurprisingly inclined to ignore him.

527How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 10:01

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson

No XM, I won't vote Labour, but my views do change sometimes.  Very Happy

528How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 10:08

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson

okocha wrote:It has been universally accepted by all news and political outlets that the UK was not adequately prepared despite Exercise Cygnus, and has failed to act promptly and strictly enough from the start. 

The government has often ignored Sage advice and the examples of countries that are now enjoying the benefits of swift, decisive and appropriately harsh action. 

Too slow to lockdown and too quick to ease restrictions. Over-promised and under-delivered, cruelly raising false hopes, and causing chaos for those who mede extensive preparations, only to find that they were wasting their time due to inevitable u-turns.

The mistakes have been repeated depressingly often to our cost, and even now Boris is promising a wonderful summer when all his earlier absurd predictions have fallen flat. He and his acolytes have not even set a good personal example to a nation increasingly and unsurprisingly inclined to ignore him.
I agree with all of this Okocha, the government have made a complete dogs dinner of this, and I believe some of them should be kicked out of positions which they are obviously unsuited for. However, there is one bright light, and that is getting ahead of everyone else in ordering and distributing the vaccine, (even that they've cocked up by changing the 3 weak repeat dose to 12 weeks). Lets hope nature helps by limiting the effects of the South African version.

529How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 11:31

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

T.R.O.Y. wrote:Did you read this before posting it Sluffy? He doesn’t give a definitive opinion on whether we locked down late because he doesn’t think it’s helpful with forward planning - and I’d agree it’s not helpful for him to give a public opinion on this given his role. This is also from August - before the second late lockdown. 

So actually you/we’ve no idea what he thinks.

There are plenty of reports out there claim the scientific advice was to lockdown earlier and the gov didn’t act though, do you need me to start posting some? There are even minutes from a SAGE meeting showing the advice in September - again, this is before we even get to what happened over Christmas.

I don’t think this needs to be dragged out any further to be honest if you refuse to answer a yes or no question.

Yes I read the article.

If you want a more specific quote from Whitty how about this one these in respect of the initial lockdown -

Speaking at a live televised briefing on 9 March, England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said, “It is not just a matter of what you do but when you do it. Anything we do, we have got to be able to sustain. Once we have started these things we have to continue them through the peak, and there is a risk that, if we go too early, people will understandably get fatigued and it will be difficult to sustain this over time.”

On 12 March he added, “An important part of the science on this is actually the behavioural science, and what that shows is probably common sense to everybody in this audience, that people start off with the best of intentions, but enthusiasm at a certain point starts to flag.”

https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3166

From a public health view I don't think there is any doubt whatsoever that we should have lockdown from day one when we realised what the virus was actually about (as opposed to what the Chinese had told the world up to that point) and remained in lockdown until everybody in this country had been vaccinated against Covid (including against its various strains such as the South African and Brazilian mutations).

However there is more at stake than just people's health and wellbeing being protected from the virus, the economy needs to survive too!

A 'judgement' call had to be made between the two at various times over the last twelve months.

With the benefit of hindsight I'm sure the government would have done things differently, much differently in some cases too.

I'm not going to 'hang' any government for getting such judgement calls wrong.

Did we lockdown to late at times - probably yes we did looking back now but I don't doubt at the time the decisions were made in good faith.

It's easy for others to be critical when they aren't the ones having to make the decisions which could lead to loss of life if they go too late or wrecking the economy if they go too early.

530How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 12:02

Guest


Guest

Nobody said these decisions are easy, or the government should be hanged. Once again you're over simplifying the debate by claiming as such. It's actually about reviewing what's happened to try and ensure it's handled better in future.

Here's the verdict from the BMJ on behavioural fatigue by the way, not sure if you read the whole thing but it's an interesting contribution to the conversation:


What’s the verdict?
It seems that the government did not follow the science or the scientists. On 16 March, 681 behavioural scientists signed an open letter to the government raising concerns over the evidence behind behavioural fatigue.6 The group said, “We are not convinced that enough is known about ‘behavioural fatigue’ or to what extent these insights apply to the current exceptional circumstances. Such evidence is necessary if we are to base a high-risk public health strategy on it.”

They added that focusing on this idea seemed to have led the government to “believe that halting the spread of the disease is impossible.” They wrote, “Radical behaviour change may be able to do much better than this, and would, if successful, save very large numbers of lives. Experience in China and South Korea is sufficiently encouraging to suggest that this possibility should at least be attempted.”

They then called on the government to “share an adequate evidence base in support of” behavioural fatigue or reconsider its decisions.

Meanwhile, Michie told The BMJ, “‘Behavioural fatigue’ is not a scientific term—it does not feature in any theory of behaviour, there is no measure of it, and it is not a recognised term in behavioural science. It appears that someone made it up as a shorthand and then used it to justify a policy, but it also seems that no one appears willing to say where it came from.”



531How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 12:06

okocha

okocha
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

What sort of government is it that worries about its people becoming "fatigued"  as opposed to them being in hospital or dead?! 

 I thought their prime concern was to protect  the NHS.....

532How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 12:50

Guest


Guest

gloswhite wrote:I like Boris, a bit less than I used to to, but for a countries leader to act so bloody mamby pamby at such a time is not good enough. Thank God we arent going to war, not that he would ever make such a decision. He's worse than Corbyn in some ways.

I just think he's the wrong man at the wrong time to be honest, in more stable conditions i'm sure he'd have really been able to deliver on his big promises the Tory voters put him in for. But at a time when we need him across the detail and taking decisions decisively he's been left wanting.

He's clearly a big projects guy - we saw that in his time as London Mayor, the Olympics, new London buses and garden bridge for example - pre-Covid he was heading down the same lines here with a bridge to Northern Ireland being banded about.

Spending big and going all out on vacccines has certainly worked out so far though.

533How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 12:56

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

gloswhite wrote:
I agree with all of this Okocha, the government have made a complete dogs dinner of this, and I believe some of them should be kicked out of positions which they are obviously unsuited for. However, there is one bright light, and that is getting ahead of everyone else in ordering and distributing the vaccine, (even that they've cocked up by changing the 3 weak repeat dose to 12 weeks). Lets hope nature helps by limiting the effects of the South African version.
Refreshing to see you’re open to change of view Glos.

534How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 13:09

Guest


Guest

okocha wrote:It has been universally accepted by all news and political outlets that the UK was not adequately prepared despite Exercise Cygnus, and has failed to act promptly and strictly enough from the start. 

The government has often ignored Sage advice and the examples of countries that are now enjoying the benefits of swift, decisive and appropriately harsh action. 

Too slow to lockdown and too quick to ease restrictions. Over-promised and under-delivered, cruelly raising false hopes, and causing chaos for those who mede extensive preparations, only to find that they were wasting their time due to inevitable u-turns.

The mistakes have been repeated depressingly often to our cost, and even now Boris is promising a wonderful summer when all his earlier absurd predictions have fallen flat. He and his acolytes have not even set a good personal example to a nation increasingly and unsurprisingly inclined to ignore him.

Very well put.

535How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 13:12

wanderlust

wanderlust
Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse

T.R.O.Y. wrote:

I just think he's the wrong man at the wrong time to be honest, in more stable conditions i'm sure he'd have really been able to deliver on his big promises the Tory voters put him in for. But at a time when we need him across the detail and taking decisions decisively he's been left wanting.

He's clearly a big projects guy - we saw that in his time as London Mayor, the Olympics, new London buses and garden bridge for example - pre-Covid he was heading down the same lines here with a bridge to Northern Ireland being banded about.

Spending big and going all out on vacccines has certainly worked out so far though.
I think Boris is in it for his own career which is why he likes vanity projects that will grab the headlines and reflect the glory on him - even if those projects are not the best use of our money for the benefit of us all.
He had little choice but to spend big on the vaccine as all those dead Brits are very bad PR - and Boris hates bad PR as deep down he’s a little boy who wants to be loved.
Plus if he’s too weak to enforce lockdown and strict behavioural laws (as opposed to recommendations) properly which would make him less popular but needed to be done, the only hope of slowing the spread is to vaccinate.  Let’s hope it works out.

536How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 14:06

gloswhite

gloswhite
Guðni Bergsson
Guðni Bergsson

T.R.O.Y. wrote:

I just think he's the wrong man at the wrong time to be honest, in more stable conditions i'm sure he'd have really been able to deliver on his big promises the Tory voters put him in for. But at a time when we need him across the detail and taking decisions decisively he's been left wanting.

He's clearly a big projects guy - we saw that in his time as London Mayor, the Olympics, new London buses and garden bridge for example - pre-Covid he was heading down the same lines here with a bridge to Northern Ireland being banded about.

Spending big and going all out on vacccines has certainly worked out so far though.
You make a very good point. Unfortunately he seems to have made his Cabinet think and work the same way.

537How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 22:16

xmiles

xmiles
Jay Jay Okocha
Jay Jay Okocha

This is what passes for "independent" under the Tories. A Tory Lord who managed Boris' leadership campaign being appointed to chair an independent regulator whilst retaining the Tory whip. Is anybody surprised?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-55908544

538How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Tue Feb 02 2021, 22:44

Sluffy

Sluffy
Admin

T.R.O.Y. wrote:Nobody said these decisions are easy, or the government should be hanged. Once again you're over simplifying the debate by claiming as such. It's actually about reviewing what's happened to try and ensure it's handled better in future.

Here's the verdict from the BMJ on behavioural fatigue by the way,  not sure if you read the whole thing but it's an interesting contribution to the conversation:


What’s the verdict?
It seems that the government did not follow the science or the scientists. On 16 March, 681 behavioural scientists signed an open letter to the government raising concerns over the evidence behind behavioural fatigue.6 The group said, “We are not convinced that enough is known about ‘behavioural fatigue’ or to what extent these insights apply to the current exceptional circumstances. Such evidence is necessary if we are to base a high-risk public health strategy on it.”

They added that focusing on this idea seemed to have led the government to “believe that halting the spread of the disease is impossible.” They wrote, “Radical behaviour change may be able to do much better than this, and would, if successful, save very large numbers of lives. Experience in China and South Korea is sufficiently encouraging to suggest that this possibility should at least be attempted.”

They then called on the government to “share an adequate evidence base in support of” behavioural fatigue or reconsider its decisions.

Meanwhile, Michie told The BMJ, “‘Behavioural fatigue’ is not a scientific term—it does not feature in any theory of behaviour, there is no measure of it, and it is not a recognised term in behavioural science. It appears that someone made it up as a shorthand and then used it to justify a policy, but it also seems that no one appears willing to say where it came from.”

Yes, of course I read it. Fair play to you taking the trouble to read the link also, not many bother to do so.

Two things in defence of what Whitty said though, first he said them BEFORE others analysed what exactly was 'Behavioural fatigue' and did it exist at all? And secondly Whitty himself isn't a behavioural specialist and no doubt was repeating what some other specialist had fed into the SAGA mix leading up to the time he said it.

Fwiw whether the 'specialists' think it exists or not, I can only say that I've seen plenty of people 'give up' doing lockdown, the longer it has gone on, I used to see empty roads and no one on the streets at the start, a month later you saw more and more cars and people about, and growing daily, around where I live.

And I agree, I do oversimplify when I can to show the heart of the discussion, in this case if you wore a health and minimum deaths occurring 'hat' you would want lockdown from day one and not lifted until the virus goes away, however if you wore a keep the economy and business from going bust, you wouldn't want any lockdowns whatsoever, so the government needs to balance between the two throughout the Covid crisis.

They do that based on the information they have at any particular time and we have seen that the original info from China on which they did their first 'modelling' predictions turned out to be basically lies. Similarly above it seems the first lockdown was delayed based to some extent on Behavioural fatigue' that several months later the BMJ concludes that it simply doesn't exist!

Of course mistakes have been made, things in retrospect could have been done much better but I don't believe for one moment that decisions were made when they were to deliberately make things worse!

Do you or anyone else (other than Wanderlust) believe they did?

I agree with you and other contributors in that Johnson really isn't the man to be in charge of what basically is a war cabinet but to be fair to him, who else was there? That's why I've always said a coalition government should have been formed as soon as Starmer was elected Labour leader.

I'm not suggest Starmer would have replaced Johnson as the leader of the coalition government but at least it would have put an end to the public political point scoring and these issues could have been thrashed out behind closed doors and a united front presented to the public - which hasn't been the case throughout all this.

It is what it is though, decisions being made on the best information and knowledge they have at the time, balancing keeping the NHS from not falling over with not letting the economy fall over, with ongoing opposition party dissatisfaction on the decisions that are made, with a huge amount of apathy and rule breaking among the general public.

Unless you or anyone else can prove the government acted deliberately to make things worse then there really isn't much point arguing over should lockdowns have been sooner or not because a decision was made at each time which was thought to be the right one.

Anyone can be wise after the event can't they but no government has the luxury of being able to see the future.

That's my view on things.

539How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Wed Feb 03 2021, 08:48

Guest


Guest

Sluffy wrote:
Unless you or anyone else can prove the government acted deliberately to make things worse then there really isn't much point arguing over should lockdowns have been sooner or not because a decision was made at each time which was thought to be the right one.

Aside from lockdown-sceptics who argue against any form of lockdown, i don't think anyone's left debating this, it's pretty universally accepted that we locked down too late twice.

If you're suggesting the idea here is to accuse the government of deliberately make things worse, then I think you again miss the point which is to highlight incompetence of leadership.

Ultimately that is what most of us go out and vote for: who we think is best equipped to lead the country. Scrutinising their performance is integral to that decision making process.

540How is the Tory government doing? - Page 27 Empty Re: How is the Tory government doing? Wed Feb 03 2021, 10:34

okocha

okocha
El Hadji Diouf
El Hadji Diouf

More instances of the government being too slow to act: (BBC website today)

[size=16]Progress towards protecting the UK’s environment has been “painfully slow”, a government spending watchdog has warned.[/size]

[size=16]It complained of serious delays in tackling “critical” issues like air pollution, water quality and wildlife loss.
[/size]

[size=16]The committee - made up of MPs - said the 25-Year Environment Plan, published in 2018, lacked a coherent set of long-term objectives or interim targets.
[/size]

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