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The Covid-19 serious chat thread

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Post by JuliusHMarx Mon May 25, 2020 6:48 pm

First topic message reminder :

Self-isolating, social distancing, locked down thread split.

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Post by navyblueshorts Thu Aug 06, 2020 1:49 pm

jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.
Thanks. Very interesting read. I guess incompetence is better, slightly, than actual corruption. Either way, assuming facts as presented, it's pretty damning.
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Post by lostinwales Thu Aug 06, 2020 6:41 pm

jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.

Seen it. Shocking stuff.

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Post by Pr4wn Fri Aug 07, 2020 7:50 am

Very similar to the way government contracts are done here in the Philippines. What a joke.

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Fri Aug 07, 2020 1:49 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.
Thanks. Very interesting read. I guess incompetence is better, slightly, than actual corruption. Either way, assuming facts as presented, it's pretty damning.

I don't see how this doesn't qualify as 'actual corruption', to be fair.

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Post by king_carlos Fri Aug 07, 2020 2:23 pm

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.
Thanks. Very interesting read. I guess incompetence is better, slightly, than actual corruption. Either way, assuming facts as presented, it's pretty damning.

I don't see how this doesn't qualify as 'actual corruption', to be fair.

If enough of the electorate don't hear about it then it won't effect elections sadly.

We live in a country that sells arms to the Saudi's to bomb Yemen, whilst we simultaneously are the second biggest provider of aid to Yemen. If enough of electorate heard about it there would be outrage at the farcical hypocrisy of it all. Sadly, a huge proportion of the electorate are so exhausted of the merry go round that they won't engage.

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Post by lostinwales Fri Aug 07, 2020 4:39 pm

king_carlos wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.
Thanks. Very interesting read. I guess incompetence is better, slightly, than actual corruption. Either way, assuming facts as presented, it's pretty damning.

I don't see how this doesn't qualify as 'actual corruption', to be fair.

If enough of the electorate don't hear about it then it won't effect elections sadly.

We live in a country that sells arms to the Saudi's to bomb Yemen, whilst we simultaneously are the second biggest provider of aid to Yemen. If enough of electorate heard about it there would be outrage at the farcical hypocrisy of it all. Sadly, a huge proportion of the electorate are so exhausted of the merry go round that they won't engage.

Its that Trumpian thing about there being so much crap to wade through it gets harder and harder to focus on individual problems, while at the same time the aim is to judge the opposition in ever more detail.

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Post by guildfordbat Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:16 pm

Being reported that Johnson will shortly be heading to Scotland for a two week holiday. Interesting choice of venue and interesting that he feels able to get away for such time.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Aug 10, 2020 10:59 am

lostinwales wrote:
king_carlos wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
jimbopip wrote:https://mobile.twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1291244082145177600?fbclid=IwAR0FfEnXk3hbffp-PSiDk4DP-xzRfAU5Q0FORxnWAYr6AXdmWcIRvwt9YkQ

i hope the link opens; this is an extraordinary story of, at best, incompetence and at worst illegal activities at a very high level.
Thanks. Very interesting read. I guess incompetence is better, slightly, than actual corruption. Either way, assuming facts as presented, it's pretty damning.

I don't see how this doesn't qualify as 'actual corruption', to be fair.

If enough of the electorate don't hear about it then it won't effect elections sadly.

We live in a country that sells arms to the Saudi's to bomb Yemen, whilst we simultaneously are the second biggest provider of aid to Yemen. If enough of electorate heard about it there would be outrage at the farcical hypocrisy of it all. Sadly, a huge proportion of the electorate are so exhausted of the merry go round that they won't engage.

Its that Trumpian thing about there being so much crap to wade through it gets harder and harder to focus on individual problems, while at the same time the aim is to judge the opposition in ever more detail.
That and there being no decent alternatives; 'decent' being the operative word. Oh, and everyone thinking all media is now 'fake' as well - that doesn't help.
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Post by 123456789. Mon Aug 10, 2020 11:37 am

I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.

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Post by king_carlos Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:03 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
That and there being no decent alternatives; 'decent' being the operative word. Oh, and everyone thinking all media is now 'fake' as well - that doesn't help.

I had a really interesting chat with a friend's parent who has worked for the Telegraph for almost 30 years over the weekend. He basically said that while there are a inherent dangers of people not trusting the media and the ability for misinformation to be rapidly spread by the internet, it is also easy to overlook the more ingrained and accepted dangers of people only getting their news from limited print and TV sources.

It's that old trope, but often true, for my parents generation (baby boomers) that by their late twenties many members of that generation have chosen a paper to read their news from, a TV channel to watch their news on and often by virtue of those two choices they will choose a party to vote for. That's them for life. The papers, TV channels and parties with those guaranteed readers, viewers and voters know that too. Hence they play to those bases. Often spreading more subtle misinformation in the process.

Whilst the modern form of misinformation may be far more overt and at times outright ludicrous there has always been a huge amount of misinformation in the mainstream media as well.

I think that the misinformation of the Trump campaigns, social media, etc has shone a light the old problem of people trying to view news sources as 'good media' or 'bad media'. The Mail whilst in many ways a societal tumour has run important stories in it's time. The Observer which many view as 'good media' was instrumental in pounding Blair's war drums that led to more failed conflicts in the Middle East. As said earlier, how many stories do the Beeb run about the British arms industry, the hypocrisy of selling arms to the Saudis and being a large provider of aid to Yemen?

Whilst there are many dangers in changing face of news media, there are also upsides to people getting their news from many sources. For a long time in the UK voters have chosen a paper and TV channel to source their news. Usually those two sources will have similar biases too. There being far more sources of information isn't inherently a bad thing. The problem is when people try to view media as black and white, good or bad. If they think it's 'good media' they'll eat up what it offers regardless. If they think it's 'bad media' they'll reject what it offers regardless.

Whilst there are undeniably huge new dangers to the changing face of the news, decline of print news, lack of trust of TV news, etc there is also the potential for the electorate to come out of this having a more critical view of what news outlets, mainstream or otherwise, try to spoon feed us. That can only be a good thing in my opinion.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon Aug 10, 2020 12:40 pm

I actually think people are getting their news from less sources now, and certainly receive stories that are tailored to them due to a mix of the Social Media algorithms and who they are "friends" with.

To agree it has always been the case, but it seems even more prevalent now that people fall into seeking affirmation reporting - ie stories that confirm what they think. That is not helped by so few people ever being willing to accept that any other point of view can be acceptable.

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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:23 pm

123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.
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Post by navyblueshorts Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:32 pm

king_carlos wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
That and there being no decent alternatives; 'decent' being the operative word. Oh, and everyone thinking all media is now 'fake' as well - that doesn't help.

I had a really interesting chat with a friend's parent who has worked for the Telegraph for almost 30 years over the weekend. He basically said that while there are a inherent dangers of people not trusting the media and the ability for misinformation to be rapidly spread by the internet, it is also easy to overlook the more ingrained and accepted dangers of people only getting their news from limited print and TV sources.

It's that old trope, but often true, for my parents generation (baby boomers) that by their late twenties many members of that generation have chosen a paper to read their news from, a TV channel to watch their news on and often by virtue of those two choices they will choose a party to vote for. That's them for life. The papers, TV channels and parties with those guaranteed readers, viewers and voters know that too. Hence they play to those bases. Often spreading more subtle misinformation in the process.

Whilst the modern form of misinformation may be far more overt and at times outright ludicrous there has always been a huge amount of misinformation in the mainstream media as well.

I think that the misinformation of the Trump campaigns, social media, etc has shone a light the old problem of people trying to view news sources as 'good media' or 'bad media'. The Mail whilst in many ways a societal tumour has run important stories in it's time. The Observer which many view as 'good media' was instrumental in pounding Blair's war drums that led to more failed conflicts in the Middle East. As said earlier, how many stories do the Beeb run about the British arms industry, the hypocrisy of selling arms to the Saudis and being a large provider of aid to Yemen?

Whilst there are many dangers in changing face of news media, there are also upsides to people getting their news from many sources. For a long time in the UK voters have chosen a paper and TV channel to source their news. Usually those two sources will have similar biases too. There being far more sources of information isn't inherently a bad thing. The problem is when people try to view media as black and white, good or bad. If they think it's 'good media' they'll eat up what it offers regardless. If they think it's 'bad media' they'll reject what it offers regardless.

Whilst there are undeniably huge new dangers to the changing face of the news, decline of print news, lack of trust of TV news, etc there is also the potential for the electorate to come out of this having a more critical view of what news outlets, mainstream or otherwise, try to spoon feed us. That can only be a good thing in my opinion.
Good post. I think we've let too much of our 'traditional' media fall into the hands of people such as Murdoch et al. They don't report unvarnished news/facts etc unless it serves their own narrow editorial/business/power/ego interests. I guess it's always been that way to a greater or lesser extent, but the reporting biases seem way too overt now.
It's good if people have access to a lot of media, but I think that except for too small a group to make any real difference, most still gravitate to those media outlets that 'report' the issues that mean something to, and reinforce opinions of, the readers. Doesn't matter if it's traditional news or digital alternatives. There aren't many people who make it a point to read news/opinion coming from sources that they disagree with. There's a lot more media now too - in all honesty, who has the time to read enough and at least try to dig out the real facts on an issue to want to invest the time doing so?
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Aug 11, 2020 9:30 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.

The thing for me about this particular story is not that the government was scrabbling around for PPE, and that in its haste, it bought unusable masks; plenty of governments around the world were doing the same, to a lesser or greater extent. That would be plain incompetence. But if you were after PPE, wouldn't you be going to companies that have a track record of procuring / supplying PPE? Why would you seek PPE from Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius?

It's possible that some of the more obvious mask-supplying companies were all out of masks, but all of them? That really seems a stretch. How many did we approach?

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Post by king_carlos Tue Aug 11, 2020 10:56 am

LondonTiger wrote:I actually think people are getting their news from less sources now, and certainly receive stories that are tailored to them due to a mix of the Social Media algorithms and who they are "friends" with.

To agree it has always been the case, but it seems even more prevalent now that people fall into seeking affirmation reporting - ie stories that confirm what they think. That is not helped by so few people ever being willing to accept that any other point of view can be acceptable.

Affirmation reporting is easier to seek with the internet I'd agree. Many sites of course play to this too.

From my experience many young professionals are getting news from more varied sources though. Most friends I know will pay for at least on online news source that's behind a paywall as well as using a few different sources that still offer content free - Guardian, Huff Post, Beeb, etc.

I also think that the daily publications being read more online has led to people of my generation paying for print media from different sources compared to previous generations. Many young professionals I know buy publications such as Private Eye or the Economist on a weekly/fortnightly basis for instance, rather than buying a daily paper.

Perhaps I am looking at things a touch optimistically though. Having grown up in rural Yorkshire and having many school friends who have stayed there I only have to briefly scroll through Facebook to see the consequences of people getting their news from social media algorithms as you put it. When I chat to a few people that I grew up with I get the idea that the Red Wall didn't so much fall as get blown into the stratosphere during the last election.

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:28 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.

The thing for me about this particular story is not that the government was scrabbling around for PPE, and that in its haste, it bought unusable masks; plenty of governments around the world were doing the same, to a lesser or greater extent. That would be plain incompetence. But if you were after PPE, wouldn't you be going to companies that have a track record of procuring / supplying PPE? Why would you seek PPE from Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius?

It's possible that some of the more obvious mask-supplying companies were all out of masks, but all of them? That really seems a stretch. How many did we approach?
Yep; fair points, but assumes officials knew those details. I know, that would be real incompetence, but let's not assume that MPs aren't capable of that level of stupidity. Hopefully, there'll be a proper inquiry.
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Post by jimbopip Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:40 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.

The thing for me about this particular story is not that the government was scrabbling around for PPE, and that in its haste, it bought unusable masks; plenty of governments around the world were doing the same, to a lesser or greater extent. That would be plain incompetence. But if you were after PPE, wouldn't you be going to companies that have a track record of procuring / supplying PPE? Why would you seek PPE from Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius?

It's possible that some of the more obvious mask-supplying companies were all out of masks, but all of them? That really seems a stretch. How many did we approach?
Yep; fair points, but assumes officials knew those details. I know, that would be real incompetence, but let's not assume that MPs aren't capable of that level of stupidity. Hopefully, there'll be a proper inquiry.

Let's not forget that in the pre-Covid world The Adulterer In Chief disbanded the department whose main role was making sure we were ready for calamities such as this. Yes, I know I'm being really imprecise and not providing names of departments etc but I'm only human.. Apparently pre-Covid Whitehall saw almost everything that wasn't directly related to achieving "Get Brexit Done" being mothballed so that people and resources could be focussed on meeting the January 1st deadline. And we all know from the Testing Debacle (count nose and throat as two different Tests, shove 200 000 Tests in envelopes and mail hem out and count them as Tests actually carried out) how important meeting deadlines is to this PM.

There may be an inquiry...but then it will be organised by the government which decided Dominic Cummings actions were; "reasonable, legal and he acted with integrity throughout."

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Tue Aug 11, 2020 11:44 am

That's the other thing. Surely someone has to be held accountable, even if now might not be the time for that. It's fair to say that in any other sphere, there would be consequences for ordering goods that aren't fit for purpose, especially given the sums involved. See also the track-and-trace app.

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Post by navyblueshorts Tue Aug 11, 2020 12:29 pm

jimbopip wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.

The thing for me about this particular story is not that the government was scrabbling around for PPE, and that in its haste, it bought unusable masks; plenty of governments around the world were doing the same, to a lesser or greater extent. That would be plain incompetence. But if you were after PPE, wouldn't you be going to companies that have a track record of procuring / supplying PPE? Why would you seek PPE from Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius?

It's possible that some of the more obvious mask-supplying companies were all out of masks, but all of them? That really seems a stretch. How many did we approach?
Yep; fair points, but assumes officials knew those details. I know, that would be real incompetence, but let's not assume that MPs aren't capable of that level of stupidity. Hopefully, there'll be a proper inquiry.

Let's not forget that in the pre-Covid world The Adulterer In Chief disbanded the department whose main role was making sure we were ready for calamities such as this. Yes, I know I'm being really imprecise and not providing names of departments etc but I'm only human.. Apparently pre-Covid Whitehall saw almost everything that wasn't directly related to achieving "Get Brexit Done" being mothballed so that people and resources could be focussed on meeting the January 1st deadline. And we all know from the Testing Debacle (count nose and throat as two different Tests, shove 200 000 Tests in envelopes and mail hem out and count them as Tests actually carried out) how important meeting deadlines is to this PM.

There may be an inquiry...but then it will be organised by the government which decided Dominic Cummings actions were; "reasonable, legal and he acted with integrity throughout."
All fair points.
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Post by lostinwales Wed Aug 12, 2020 1:29 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
123456789. wrote:I actually stopped reading much of the Covid-19 news, I just felt it was all too depressing and infuriating. However, the trickle of corruption has become a flood. It's so saddening to see a government handing over public funds in the middle of a pandemic to enrich their friends. What's more upsetting is that there is no one with the balls on the Conservative back-benches to call it out.
Corruption is an easy charge to throw around. The recent face masks débacle may well be corrupt, but I suspect that most things aren't corrupt or some sort of conspiracy; just inept/incompetent people thrashing around w/o really knowing what they're doing. In other words, c0ck up, rather than anything else. Doesn't mean that after some sort of proper investigation, people shouldn't fall on their metaphorical swords, but perhaps not as 'bad' as might be assumed, just because everyone likes to make out that they hate politicians/the Tories.

Either way, we have a pretty shoddy political class these days, it would appear.

The thing for me about this particular story is not that the government was scrabbling around for PPE, and that in its haste, it bought unusable masks; plenty of governments around the world were doing the same, to a lesser or greater extent. That would be plain incompetence. But if you were after PPE, wouldn't you be going to companies that have a track record of procuring / supplying PPE? Why would you seek PPE from Ayanda Capital Limited, a ‘family office’ owned through a tax haven in Mauritius?

It's possible that some of the more obvious mask-supplying companies were all out of masks, but all of them? That really seems a stretch. How many did we approach?

From what I have read the only legitimate argument is that the various companies claimed to have got connections with chinese PPE producers, and the government was desperate.

But the whole thing stinks. There are stories of UK companies with actual expertise who were not even contacted. But some tiny tiny little enterprise that just so happens to have one link to someone in Government and the other to some dodgy Chinese outfit and off you go.

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Post by BamBam Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:57 am

Now we have the worst excess deaths in Europe AND the deepest recession of the big economies. Well done to all those involved, please continue focusing on arguing with ice cream brands on Twitter

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Post by Samo Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:32 am

BamBam wrote:Now we have the worst excess deaths in Europe AND the deepest recession of the big economies. Well done to all those involved, please continue focusing on arguing with ice cream brands on Twitter

And we're about 6 months away from becoming the first country in history to impose economic sanctions on itself with a No Deal Brexit.

clap clap clap

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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:49 am

This is it. Brexit could be put on hold. There's no need for us to continue as if we're not in middle of a huge crisis. Postponing things would be the sensible, responsible thing to do.

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Post by Samo Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:15 am

Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:30 am

Samo wrote:Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.
Johnson should have the majority to tell them to take a hike. Surely if it was clearly explained that covid was the reason for a delay, and only a delay, most of them would get it? Probably not. Pity.
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Post by Luckless Pedestrian Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:55 am

But he'd still have that majority. Leadership involves doing the right thing regardless of whether it's popular.

Also, he shouldn't only be considering the views of Brexit supporters. Think of the difference it would make to the millions who never wanted Brexit in the first place if the government announced that it was going to request an extension, because the timing just isn't right (couldn't be much worse!). They wouldn't suddenly become Brexiteers, but they would at least be reassured that the government cares. As it is, how can you avoid the conclusion that we're governed by ideologues?

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Post by king_carlos Wed Aug 12, 2020 12:54 pm

Samo wrote:Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.

I've found it interesting that Starmer hasn't been vocally pushing for an extension to Brexit negotiations. He has also been largely a cooperative opposition leader during coronavirus, striking a tone of cross party cooperation, then on occasion questioning Johnson's failings.

This government are much better at campaigning than they are at governing it would seem. If Starmer gives them something to push back against they will use it to push back and make noise to cloud the bigger issues.

Instead it would seem Starmer is sitting back and letting Johnson dig himself an ever deeper hole of his own making. As Milliband learnt there is nothing to be gained from doing well in the polls between elections!

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Post by Samo Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:05 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
Samo wrote:Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.
Johnson should have the majority to tell them to take a hike. Surely if it was clearly explained that covid was the reason for a delay, and only a delay, most of them would get it? Probably not. Pity.

The problem is the Venn Diagram of people who voted Brexit and people who believe Covid-19 is a massive con is basically a circle. Any attempt to delay Brexit - no matter how legitimate - will be spun as an attempt to thwart democracy. Then Johnson is not only seen as a liar but a traitor aswell, so he’s dead in the water and would allow for something much worse to take control.

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Post by BamBam Thu Aug 13, 2020 7:33 pm

Another massive COVID related achievement by this government with the successful and extremely fair moderation of 40% of A Level results for students who are highly reliant on them for at least the next 5 years of their lives, and definitely won't remember this at the next election when they are all eligible voters.

At least kids at private schools didn't need Gavin Williamson to moderate their results as significantly, obviously we wouldn't want any of them to be over promoted into roles above their competence!

I look forward to seeing just how Gavin exceeds himself when GCSE results are published

But quick, look over there!!! Desperate people nearly drowning in a dinghy!

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Post by king_carlos Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:09 pm

The Covid-19 serious chat thread - Page 8 Ermj7w11

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:56 am

Luckless Pedestrian wrote:But he'd still have that majority. Leadership involves doing the right thing regardless of whether it's popular.

Also, he shouldn't only be considering the views of Brexit supporters. Think of the difference it would make to the millions who never wanted Brexit in the first place if the government announced that it was going to request an extension, because the timing just isn't right (couldn't be much worse!). They wouldn't suddenly become Brexiteers, but they would at least be reassured that the government cares. As it is, how can you avoid the conclusion that we're governed by ideologues?
Good points, but politics too often doesn't let someone do 'the right thing' if they can't get it through the Commons. Don't think there are any executive orders available to Johnson.
Re. ideologues? Isn't that what typical politicians are? We've never had a history of technocratic politicians.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 8:58 am

king_carlos wrote:
Samo wrote:Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.

I've found it interesting that Starmer hasn't been vocally pushing for an extension to Brexit negotiations. He has also been largely a cooperative opposition leader during coronavirus, striking a tone of cross party cooperation, then on occasion questioning Johnson's failings.

This All governments are much better at campaigning than they are at governing it would seem. If Starmer gives them something to push back against they will use it to push back and make noise to cloud the bigger issues.

Instead it would seem Starmer is sitting back and letting Johnson dig himself an ever deeper hole of his own making. As Milliband learnt there is nothing to be gained from doing well in the polls between elections!
Fixed it OK.

You're probably correct, although Starmer is beginning to alienate some of those he ultimately has to win over - people (some of whom don't need a lot of convincing) are getting fed up of criticism w/o any alternative suggestions.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:01 am

Samo wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
Samo wrote:Brexit should be put on hold, unfortunately that would send the flag waving, ruddy faced contingent of the population into a frenzy and would almost certainly be the end of Boris Johnson as PM which is why he would rather see the country go to ruin than do the moral thing.
Johnson should have the majority to tell them to take a hike. Surely if it was clearly explained that covid was the reason for a delay, and only a delay, most of them would get it? Probably not. Pity.

The problem is the Venn Diagram of people who voted Brexit and people who believe Covid-19 is a massive con is basically a circle. Any attempt to delay Brexit - no matter how legitimate - will be spun as an attempt to thwart democracy. Then Johnson is not only seen as a liar but a traitor aswell, so he’s dead in the water and would allow for something much worse to take control.
Agree w/ the Venn diagram analogy, by and large. Not sure I agree w/ latter part. Trouble possibly is that he hasn't the gonads to raise his standard over a suggestion to delay Brexit and stand his ground. He ought to have enough to face down the ERG etc. However, he's not that sort of conviction politician from what I can see. Needs to be liked too much.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:07 am

BamBam wrote:Another massive COVID related achievement by this government with the successful and extremely fair moderation of 40% of A Level results for students who are highly reliant on them for at least the next 5 years of their lives, and definitely won't remember this at the next election when they are all eligible voters.

At least kids at private schools didn't need Gavin Williamson to moderate their results as significantly, obviously we wouldn't want any of them to be over promoted into roles above their competence!

I look forward to seeing just how Gavin exceeds himself when GCSE results are published

But quick, look over there!!! Desperate people nearly drowning in a dinghy!
Historically, Universities are lucky if 25% (in STEM subjects) achieve the grades predicted of them in their UCAS applications. There's no reason to think these messy grades are any different. Every year, most don't get their predicted grades, and yet it's all about how wonderful everyone has done - clearly not. This year, there's simply a Bogeyman to shout at.
That said, the last minute nonsense about using mocks is utterly dumb and using any sort of algorithm that disadvantages someone from a historically weak school, for example, is moronic.
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:17 am

So we have now ordered another 90 million doses of a vaccine from Belgium, that makes 350 million we have ordered, enough for 5 for every person in the UK. From what I have read only two are likely to be required. I would also have thought that both would have to be of the same type.

I wonder whose friend owns the company making this lot.

Are we going to be selling on the unwanted shots to people that will actually need them as we seem to be in danger of cornering the market and making it difficult for less wealthy countries to obtain what they need.

I understand why a lot of procedures normally required for government contracts could not be followed in the last 6 months, but it seems that just about every company that has "won" a major order related to Covid-19 since the pandemic began has a relationship of some kind with a top government official.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:21 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:So we have now ordered another 90 million doses of a vaccine from Belgium, that makes 350 million we have ordered, enough for 5 for every person in the UK. From what I have read only two are likely to be required. I would also have thought that both would have to be of the same type.

I wonder whose friend owns the company making this lot.

Are we going to be selling on the unwanted shots to people that will actually need them as we seem to be in danger of cornering the market and making it difficult for less wealthy countries to obtain what they need.

I understand why a lot of procedures normally required for government contracts could not be followed in the last 6 months, but it seems that just about every company that has "won" a major order related to Covid-19 since the pandemic began  has a relationship of some kind with a top government official.
Not everything is conspiracy!

Re. #s of vaccines, so, you'd advocate ordering the bare minimum? Or would you want UKG to do that so that when a proportion can't be used for whatever reason, you can throw more brickbats at them?
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Post by WELL-PAST-IT Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:35 am

I do not think there is a conspiracy; that would require planning, something this government is abject at. It is simply that no one has thought that anything is wrong buying millions of pounds worth of whatever from you mate without questioning it first with somebody that knows what they are talking about. The specialist in procurement of the products we have bought have been left on the sidelines and ignored. The result, large quantities of what we have bought are not up to standard or usable.

We are now one of the largest purchasers of Covid-19 vaccines in the world, but we have only a relatively moderate population. Are all the other countries wrong? They have done far better than us in handling the pandemic so far.
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Post by Soul Requiem Fri Aug 14, 2020 9:53 am

So you're advocating for not purchasing high numbers of the vaccines?

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Post by Samo Fri Aug 14, 2020 10:30 am

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I do not think there is a conspiracy; that would require planning, something this government is abject at. It is simply that no one has thought that anything is wrong buying millions of pounds worth of whatever from you mate without questioning it first with somebody that knows what they are talking about. The specialist in procurement of the products we have bought have been left on the sidelines and ignored. The result, large quantities of what we have bought are not up to standard or usable.

Surely you arent aluding to the £150m worth of PPE we purchased that was unfit for use in the NHS in a deal brokered by a government advisor who also happens to be an advisor for the company that supplied them?

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Post by lostinwales Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:11 am

navyblueshorts wrote:
BamBam wrote:Another massive COVID related achievement by this government with the successful and extremely fair moderation of 40% of A Level results for students who are highly reliant on them for at least the next 5 years of their lives, and definitely won't remember this at the next election when they are all eligible voters.

At least kids at private schools didn't need Gavin Williamson to moderate their results as significantly, obviously we wouldn't want any of them to be over promoted into roles above their competence!

I look forward to seeing just how Gavin exceeds himself when GCSE results are published

But quick, look over there!!! Desperate people nearly drowning in a dinghy!
Historically, Universities are lucky if 25% (in STEM subjects) achieve the grades predicted of them in their UCAS applications. There's no reason to think these messy grades are any different. Every year, most don't get their predicted grades, and yet it's all about how wonderful everyone has done - clearly not. This year, there's simply a Bogeyman to shout at.
That said, the last minute nonsense about using mocks is utterly dumb and using any sort of algorithm that disadvantages someone from a historically weak school, for example, is moronic.

You cannot get a 'modification' algorithm that will please everyone. That plus the current rep of the government will naturally lead to a lot of grumbling.

The issue as far as I can understand it is not with the overall numbers of A grades etc. That distribution matches (and indeed slightly exceeds) the distribution in recent years.

The issues come up with how the algorithm works in individual cases.

Groups are marked down or up depending on the performance of the school - so good kids in bad schools tend to get bad grades. Now there is an appeals process to help fix this. The problem with appeals are that:-
1) They cost money which may well act as a disincentive.
2) Whatever the results they will be too late for some university course (Medicine, for instance).

From what I have read it is in the appeals process that the government has created its customary F*** up. I can't confirm but it seems they changed plans on this at the last moment and it's a pigs ear. What I did read was a suggestion that there should have been time for schools to appeal against grades prior to their release, so that more of the 'anomalies' could have been caught before the proverbial hit the fan.

To think they had plenty of warning of what would happen given the Scottish experience but as usual they paid no heed.

There is a second issue that if the cohorts are too small to safely apply the stats to then apparently the grades were not modified. So students in 'independent' colleges with small class groups are more likely to end up with unmodified predicted grades. This may be one reason why grades have been significantly better in the independents.

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Post by LondonTiger Fri Aug 14, 2020 11:35 am

My daughter (who got excellent grades as highlighted elsewhere) went to a large 6th Form College with a high level of past achievement. Their 3 year average was 73.6% grades A*-B. The college went through it's own moderation process after the lecturers gave their grades, and came back to this average. The moderation process then downgraded them to 70.6% A*-B. There were 1,250 students getting results this year in my daughter's year group.

There is no explanation to the college - one theory is that to limit the overall rise across the country 6th Form colleges have been hit inversely.

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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 1:57 pm

WELL-PAST-IT wrote:I do not think there is a conspiracy; that would require planning, something this government is abject at. It is simply that no one has thought that anything is wrong buying millions of pounds worth of whatever from you mate without questioning it first with somebody that knows what they are talking about. The specialist in procurement of the products we have bought have been left on the sidelines and ignored. The result, large quantities of what we have bought are not up to standard or usable.

We are now one of the largest purchasers of Covid-19 vaccines in the world, but we have only a relatively moderate population. Are all the other countries wrong? They have done far better than us in handling the pandemic so far.
Yep; fair enough re. simple incompetencies. On the vaccines though, I'd rather we bought more than needed and there was then wastage, than not get enough to cover any unforeseen issues.
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Post by navyblueshorts Fri Aug 14, 2020 2:05 pm

lostinwales wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
BamBam wrote:Another massive COVID related achievement by this government with the successful and extremely fair moderation of 40% of A Level results for students who are highly reliant on them for at least the next 5 years of their lives, and definitely won't remember this at the next election when they are all eligible voters.

At least kids at private schools didn't need Gavin Williamson to moderate their results as significantly, obviously we wouldn't want any of them to be over promoted into roles above their competence!

I look forward to seeing just how Gavin exceeds himself when GCSE results are published

But quick, look over there!!! Desperate people nearly drowning in a dinghy!
Historically, Universities are lucky if 25% (in STEM subjects) achieve the grades predicted of them in their UCAS applications. There's no reason to think these messy grades are any different. Every year, most don't get their predicted grades, and yet it's all about how wonderful everyone has done - clearly not. This year, there's simply a Bogeyman to shout at.
That said, the last minute nonsense about using mocks is utterly dumb and using any sort of algorithm that disadvantages someone from a historically weak school, for example, is moronic.

You cannot get a 'modification' algorithm that will please everyone. That plus the current rep of the government will naturally lead to a lot of grumbling.

The issue as far as I can understand it is not with the overall numbers of A grades etc. That distribution matches (and indeed slightly exceeds) the distribution in recent years.

The issues come up with how the algorithm works in individual cases.

Groups are marked down or up depending on the performance of the school - so good kids in bad schools tend to get bad grades. Now there is an appeals process to help fix this. The problem with appeals are that:-
1) They cost money which may well act as a disincentive.
2) Whatever the results they will be too late for some university course (Medicine, for instance).  

From what I have read it is in the appeals process that the government has created its customary F*** up. I can't confirm but it seems they changed plans on this at the last moment and it's a pigs ear. What I did read was a suggestion that there should have been time for schools to appeal against grades prior to their release, so that more of the 'anomalies' could have been caught before the proverbial hit the fan.

To think they had plenty of warning of what would happen given the Scottish experience but as usual they paid no heed.

There is a second issue that if the cohorts are too small to safely apply the stats to then apparently the grades were not modified. So students in 'independent' colleges with small class groups are more likely to end up with unmodified predicted grades. This may be one reason why grades have been significantly better in the independents.
I'm not sure we're in disagreement, are we?

Re. 'independent' schools - interesting point re. stats etc. Quite possibly true; I wouldn't be surprised. That and Mater/Pater damned well expect 'evidence' of stellar performances for all that money.

I'm not a statistician, but I still don't see why this year's marks weren't simply cranked onto a historical national distribution profile. No postcode lottery, no benefit of small group sizes in independent schools. This sort of thing is standard practice, for example, on medical degree courses via various forms of standard setting. No publication of the raw marks either, but then again, some tw@t would no doubt leak them as they'd think they knew best.

One thing's for sure, this situation isn't going away anytime soon.
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Post by lostinwales Fri Aug 14, 2020 4:00 pm

navyblueshorts wrote:
lostinwales wrote:
navyblueshorts wrote:
BamBam wrote:Another massive COVID related achievement by this government with the successful and extremely fair moderation of 40% of A Level results for students who are highly reliant on them for at least the next 5 years of their lives, and definitely won't remember this at the next election when they are all eligible voters.

At least kids at private schools didn't need Gavin Williamson to moderate their results as significantly, obviously we wouldn't want any of them to be over promoted into roles above their competence!

I look forward to seeing just how Gavin exceeds himself when GCSE results are published

But quick, look over there!!! Desperate people nearly drowning in a dinghy!
Historically, Universities are lucky if 25% (in STEM subjects) achieve the grades predicted of them in their UCAS applications. There's no reason to think these messy grades are any different. Every year, most don't get their predicted grades, and yet it's all about how wonderful everyone has done - clearly not. This year, there's simply a Bogeyman to shout at.
That said, the last minute nonsense about using mocks is utterly dumb and using any sort of algorithm that disadvantages someone from a historically weak school, for example, is moronic.

You cannot get a 'modification' algorithm that will please everyone. That plus the current rep of the government will naturally lead to a lot of grumbling.

The issue as far as I can understand it is not with the overall numbers of A grades etc. That distribution matches (and indeed slightly exceeds) the distribution in recent years.

The issues come up with how the algorithm works in individual cases.

Groups are marked down or up depending on the performance of the school - so good kids in bad schools tend to get bad grades. Now there is an appeals process to help fix this. The problem with appeals are that:-
1) They cost money which may well act as a disincentive.
2) Whatever the results they will be too late for some university course (Medicine, for instance).  

From what I have read it is in the appeals process that the government has created its customary F*** up. I can't confirm but it seems they changed plans on this at the last moment and it's a pigs ear. What I did read was a suggestion that there should have been time for schools to appeal against grades prior to their release, so that more of the 'anomalies' could have been caught before the proverbial hit the fan.

To think they had plenty of warning of what would happen given the Scottish experience but as usual they paid no heed.

There is a second issue that if the cohorts are too small to safely apply the stats to then apparently the grades were not modified. So students in 'independent' colleges with small class groups are more likely to end up with unmodified predicted grades. This may be one reason why grades have been significantly better in the independents.
I'm not sure we're in disagreement, are we?

Re. 'independent' schools - interesting point re. stats etc. Quite possibly true; I wouldn't be surprised. That and Mater/Pater damned well expect 'evidence' of stellar performances for all that money.

I'm not a statistician, but I still don't see why this year's marks weren't simply cranked onto a historical national distribution profile. No postcode lottery, no benefit of small group sizes in independent schools. This sort of thing is standard practice, for example, on medical degree courses via various forms of standard setting. No publication of the raw marks either, but then again, some tw@t would no doubt leak them as they'd think they knew best.

One thing's for sure, this situation isn't going away anytime soon.

I don't think we disagree on this at all. I just read some interesting points on the process and thought they were worth sharing.

So much goes back to quality of comminication from the government. Even when they are right they mess that one component up, and they are also paying the price for continuously messing up.

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Post by Samo Fri Aug 14, 2020 5:12 pm

1,441 new cases across the UK today, yet Johnson is gearing up to further ease lockdown restrictions.

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Post by MrInvisible Sun Aug 16, 2020 10:55 am

Whilst I think the government have been pretty awful over much of this crisis, especially the early stages, I do feel they have got a few things right of late - the international quarantines (notwithstanding Shapps' mishandling the situation with France) and the provision of robust data at local level, feeding into the localised lockdowns.  I've always felt we needed a more regional/local approach given how quickly hotspot areas can emerge and recover.

For now my biggest criticisms are the dodgy (corrupt) deals being struck quickly without proper public scrutiny in awarding high value contracts to providers with little or no experience in running the service they are supposed to provide (e.g. EdenRed for the school meals, and the privately run drive-in Covid testing centres).  I wonder if sleaze/corruption/cronyism will be the undoing of this government eventually.  Also, unless Sunak extends the furlough scheme, we are going to get unemployment sky-rocketing which will cost us more in the long run.

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Post by lostinwales Sun Aug 16, 2020 12:47 pm

MrInvisible wrote:Whilst I think the government have been pretty awful over much of this crisis, especially the early stages, I do feel they have got a few things right of late - the international quarantines (notwithstanding Shapps' mishandling the situation with France) and the provision of robust data at local level, feeding into the localised lockdowns.  I've always felt we needed a more regional/local approach given how quickly hotspot areas can emerge and recover.

For now my biggest criticisms are the dodgy (corrupt) deals being struck quickly without proper public scrutiny in awarding high value contracts to providers with little or no experience in running the service they are supposed to provide (e.g. EdenRed for the school meals, and the privately run drive-in Covid testing centres).  I wonder if sleaze/corruption/cronyism will be the undoing of this government eventually.  Also, unless Sunak extends the furlough scheme, we are going to get unemployment sky-rocketing which will cost us more in the long run.

The lockdowns are a good and necessary process. The handling of them and their actual effectiveness is very much up for debate. The government has squandered so much good will for so many reasons, including the mixed messages (and the 'one rule for them' thing) that I am not sure they are much more than window dressing and impossible to police - as are the quarantines. What has been most questionable has been the lack of flow of that robust data from central to local government over the local lockdowns, so they are being triggered with no warning. I live in Greater Manchester - the annoucement of the local lockdown was a farce.

It is hugely frustrating that even when they try to do the right thing they still find a way of messing it up.

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Post by LondonTiger Wed Aug 19, 2020 8:58 am

Nice to see that all the issues over the last few months are being blamed on the various agencies rather than any Governmental failings.

Public Health England bearing the brunt for teh pandemic response and are being scrapped and replaced - probably with an organisation that looks identical but is not independent of Dom.

Ofqual being blamed for the exams fiasco, despite at pretty much every stage doing what was instructed.

Again I accept that in these situations, pretty much any activity can be shown to be wrong with the benefit of hindsight, but the slopy shoulders are mighty impressive. If only our Govt were as good at actually leading as they are at self preservation and boot licking.

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Post by BamBam Wed Aug 19, 2020 9:41 am

It's remarkable how nothing that goes wrong has any ministerial input, nor can they be held culpable.

You have to wonder what the point of these ministers is if they have no control over anything in their remit

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:01 am

By the accepted reckoning on here, every Minister should resign, pretty much every week. How is a perpetually revolving door of any use to anyone, pray?

LondonTiger wrote:Ofqual being blamed for the exams fiasco, despite at pretty much every stage doing what was instructed.
Thought Ofqual was meant to be an independent body? Perhaps they were simply told "Sort out some way of normalising for the inevitably inflated teacher-assessed A-level results, would you?", which they then did - as it turns out, badly.
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