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Boris - The Prime Minister

First thoughts on PMBoris, will he make a difference?


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Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Judging from BoJo's muddled responses, I thought the Lobster might have been promoted to SAGE.

Wordsmith :eek:
The alternative SAGE, probably.






Or onion.
 
Yeah - I know. My father, who had severe senile dementia, ended his days in a care home. But people in care homes can be protected. Access is tightly controlled - you have to be buzzed in by a member of staff. Providing staff are tested daily and not allowed to work in multiple care homes and visitors are restricted , the death rate in care and nursing homes could be kept low.
My own father had Alzheimer’s but was looked after by mum on her own. A somewhat scurrilous decision on her part and skeleton in the cupboard. He ultimately died of a stroke. Her decision backfired on her later, but she died at home 10 years in January (time flies) but my family made sure she was looked after . We were with her when she died.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
the boy racer is only likely to kill himself and maybe a couple of others . The average RTC involves a single vehicle which remains on all 4 wheels. Bad RTC's (and I've been to a few) obviously involve more people, and have an impact on transport, local hospitals etc

A foolish person with Covid 19 can impact many, many people


I hear what you're saying, but here's the flip side of the problem.

Ministers are secretly preparing for four million people to join the ranks of the unemployed because of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Therese Coffey, said her department was now preparing to support that level of unemployed people, but said she "genuinely hopes" that we do not reach that figure.

You can keep Covid 19 deaths down, but then you're looking at a big rise in unemployment. There are no good choices left.

We are going to have to accept a higher Covid death rate in order to keep unemployment down and the economy going. It's a lot easier to destroy jobs than it is to create them.

The company I work for is taking on people and taking the opportunity of a temporary reduction in business to carry out some much needed internal reorganisation while we're quiet. We are still profitable, although profits are down.

We are an exception to the rule. Much of our client base is hurting.

Wordsmith
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
I hear what you're saying, but here's the flip side of the problem.



You can keep Covid 19 deaths down, but then you're looking at a big rise in unemployment. There are no good choices left.

We are going to have to accept a higher Covid death rate in order to keep unemployment down and the economy going. It's a lot easier to destroy jobs than it is to create them.

The company I work for is taking on people and taking the opportunity of a temporary reduction in business to carry out some much needed internal reorganisation while we're quiet. We are still profitable, although profits are down.

Much of our client base is hurting.

Wordsmith


if we kill loads of people there will be plenty of jobs left.

You'll remember the 1347 - 1352 outbreak of bubonic plague?

 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
if we kill loads of people there will be plenty of jobs left.

You'll remember the 1347 - 1352 outbreak of bubonic plague?


Yep - but the Black Death killed about 1/3 of the population of Europe - there's nothing to suggest the mortality rate of Covid 19 will come within an order of magnitude of that.

There is a trade off between increased Covid deaths and protecting the economy. Rishi Sunak has already made BoJo's choices for him. At the end of this month the furlough scheme ends and a much more affordable one begins. Unemployment will go up sharply, leaving BoJo with little option but to give increased priority to protecting the economy.

Wordsmith
 
if we kill loads of people there will be plenty of jobs left.

You'll remember the 1347 - 1352 outbreak of bubonic plague?


I grew up near some plague villages, all that was left was the pub and the watermill marking buildings that would have existed back then, some villages never really recovered to their former selves

So yes good for jobs, good for workers freedoms, but it also had a lasting impact in other ways that can still be seen today
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Stand by for a u-turn on the 10 o'clock pub curfew.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/10/01/boris-johnson-facing-new-revolt-pub-curfew/
Boris Johnson is facing a new rebellion from Tory MPs over the national 10pm curfew after he was accused of presiding over a "nanny state". Rebels are discussing whether they can force a vote on the issue under rules that allow MPs retrospective debates about changes to regulations brought in by ministers.

I suspect the decision will be reversed in the next few day as BoJo cannot afford the blow to his authority should a debate be forced and parliament vote to reverse the curfew.

It also appears that the curfew was a 'back of fag packet' idea.
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politic...nder-boris-johnson-will-call-time-pub-curfew/
It emerged that the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) had not actually modelled the effect of the curfew, and the behavioural science sub-group had not been consulted on how people might react. The economic consequences also appeared to have been completely overlooked, with business minister Paul Scully forced to admit earlier this week that "no [economic] assessment had been made" before implementing the policy.

It is increasingly becoming clear that this was soundbite politics - the government trying to show "something was being done" without any scientific basis for the action.

There is also further embarrassment on the horizon as a couple of parliamentary select committees are demanding to see the evidence on which the decision was made. "Minister on toast" will be on the menu.

Wordsmith
 

HCL

Old-Salt
BoJo, as I predicted some time back, is steadily getting in more of a tangle over Covid 19. Part of the problem is he 'doesn't do detail', part of the problem is that there is no medical consensus on the way forward, and part of the problem is he's trying to be all things to all people; you can't both keep the economy going and minimise Covid 19 deaths - the price of a functional economy is more Covid 19 deaths. He needs to level with people on that.

As I've said before, BoJo needs to take a common sense approach, work out a path that is a compromise between getting the economy back on track and keeping Covid 19 deaths down - and stick to it. He keeps making up policy on the hoof, which is now seriously pi$$ing off significant parts of the Tory party.

He needs to:
  1. Come up with simple and easily understandable rules - not the present fuster cluck
  2. Get parliamentary support
  3. Roll out the rules and stick to them through thick and thin over the winter - baring a major change in the nature of the virus. Don't get blown off course by adverse and ill informed media comment.
  4. Use common sense in policing the rules; don't punish minor, unintentional violations. Imprison deliberate and serious breaches of the rules; sweatshop owners, rave organisers and so on.
BoJo is rapidly running out of goodwill in his own party, many of whom have their heads in their hands over the mess the Tory Covid 19 management has degenerated into.

Wordsmith

Afraid Covid is just the tip of the sh!t pile. UC is just starting to come to the notice of the press, albeit just the Gruniad at the moment. A lot of people who have never given a moment's tought to the problems of being on UC are experiencing it now or will be in the future for themselves. You can expect a slow burn on this but sooner or later another 2 million or so are going to be on it before the end of winter. DWPis in the middle of recruiting extra 13,500 work coaches at a frenetic pace, likewise Serco for ancillary admin roles. Gawd bless Fanny Fields and I. D!ckhead-Smith for their cross-party legacy, which is being slated as becoming a bigger scandal that Corvid could be.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
Afraid Covid is just the tip of the sh!t pile. UC is just starting to come to the notice of the press, albeit just the Gruniad at the moment. A lot of people who have never given a moment's tought to the problems of being on UC are experiencing it now or will be in the future for themselves. You can expect a slow burn on this but sooner or later another 2 million or so are going to be on it before the end of winter. DWPis in the middle of recruiting extra 13,500 work coaches at a frenetic pace, likewise Serco for ancillary admin roles. Gawd bless Fanny Fields and I. D!ckhead-Smith for their cross-party legacy, which is being slated as becoming a bigger scandal that Corvid could be.

The problem with UC was Osborne. In the Major government, IDS became increasingly concerned about sink estates. When the Tories went into opposition, he spent a lot of his own time and money setting up the Centre for Social Justice - a think tank concerned with how the plight of those on sink estate could be improved.


IDS thus had a deep understanding of the problems - he'd spent a lot of his own time actually talking to people on the worst estates. And UC was designed to simplify the hugely complex, bureaucratic and inefficient system of multiple benefits that was then in place. A single benefit on easily understandable principles.

Step forward George Osborne, who saw himself as the Tory party's master strategist and next Tory PM after Call Me Dave. He set out to clip IDS's wings by reducing funding for the implementation of UC and by interfering as much as he could. As a result, the implementation of UC became a fuster cluck and IDS resigned.

A good idea ruined by a pr1ck who could not bear to see another minister succeed and become more influential in the party.

Wordsmith
 

HCL

Old-Salt
The problem with UC was Osborne. In the Major government, IDS became increasingly concerned about sink estates. When the Tories went into opposition, he spent a lot of his own time and money setting up the Centre for Social Justice - a think tank concerned with how the plight of those on sink estate could be improved.


IDS thus had a deep understanding of the problems - he'd spent a lot of his own time actually talking to people on the worst estates. And UC was designed to simply the hugely complex, bureaucratic and inefficient system of multiple benefits that was then in place.

Step forward George Osborne, who saw himself as the Tory party's master strategist and next Tory PM after Call Me Dave. He set out to clip IDS's wings by reducing funding for the implementation of UC and by interfering as much as he could. As a result, the implementation of UC became a fuster cluck and IDS resigned.

A good idea ruined by a pr1ck who could not bear to see another minister succeed and become more influential in the party.

Wordsmith

The current system's causing a lot of misery especially for new claimants (I mean "Benefit Units" as per the new dept. docs, at least calling them claimants still vaguely retained some aspect of their humanity). Many, many people who would never have claimed any benefits are stunned at how lttle they get and at the petty and parsimonious ways the system is designed to claw money back.
 
Yeah - I know. My father, who had severe senile dementia, ended his days in a care home. But people in care homes can be protected. Access is tightly controlled - you have to be buzzed in by a member of staff. Providing staff are tested daily and not allowed to work in multiple care homes and visitors are restricted , the death rate in care and nursing homes could be kept low.

You would think it would be very easy to protect residents in care homes but apart from the obvious risks of staff infecting residents, a significant problem is just as likely to be the families of residents.

My wife is a nurse but her current job is working as a deputy manager of a residential home for elderly people. They have a significant number of residents with clinical needs hence my wife working there where she provides clinical advice in a managerial capacity and leads in practical terms on the floor where required.

The initial problems with residents being infected with coronavirus were through staff bringing it into the home and through residents being infected during hospital visits or short stays in hospital and bring it back with them to the home.

Proper precautions and a more widely available and rigorous testing process have largely overcome those problems.

The real challenge these days is the families of residents trying to visit and taking opportunities to visit without the permission or sometimes even the knowledge of the staff.

There have been instances where because of circumstances, a family member will be given permission to visit a resident. The resident might be ill, possibly terminally ill and after advice from PHE etc, a family member may be given permission to enter the building.

The family will be advised that one person may attend. At the agreed time, unknown to the home management, four or five family members will attend for the visit and staff on the floor will not be aware they are all there until it’s too late.

Some residents will ask if they can visit an outside location for a reason. A funeral or a visit to a grave on the anniversary of the death of the deceased seem to be popular reasons. Again, advice is sought from PHE and if the resident and the family agree to the conditions, the visit is allowed to go ahead. Again, often a few days later, it will transpire that the resident has after the graveside visit been taken to someones house where they have mixed with a large group of people before returning to the home.

It can be as simple as a resident saying they wish to go outside to smoke a cigarette. They are taken outside and left to smoke their cigarettes and unknown to the staff, they have phoned the family on their mobile phone and four or five family members turn up to sit with them outside without any social distancing.

There is a continuous battle between the staff of the home and residents families to try and prevent coronavirus getting into the building where it would undoubtedly cause at least some deaths if it did get in there.

Families are spoken to respectfully and the facts and the risks to residents are explained to them and promises are received that there won’t be any repeated instances but the promises are always broken at every opportunity.

And it gets worse because staff then need to start taking further action to prevent infections coming into the building and that means families finding it more difficult to find ways to dodge the rules so they start ringing the company up and complaining that they are finding it difficult to meet their relatives in the home but they conveniently leave out parts of the story about what they had actually agreed to and when pressed on those issues actually deny those parts of the story and allege that staff are lying about what was said and agreed.

This is a real problem and the staff are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Everybody wants to facilitate the best that can be achieved for residents in terms of contact with their families but those families will promise to follow whatever they are asked to do and they are fully informed of the reasons why these terms must be adhered to but on virtually every single occasion, when it comes down to the visit, the agreed arrangements just go straight out of the window as far as the families are concerned.

Once their foot is in the door, all bets are off about any agreed procedures to protect the health of residents in the home.
 
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You’ll probably remember that EdwardIii economic planning resulted in the Peasants revolt As well but that came later, just in time for Labour. Perhaps Starmer could be Richard II.

That also resulted in the bloody little poor people learning to not get uppity with their masters.
 
I have my own views on lockdown etc, but this is one issue where I would not wish to be a politician.
I competely agree. It's a classic situation of "Damned if you do, and damned if you don't".


Sent from my SM-G973F using Tapatalk
 
Indeed, now where have we heard this, quite recent isn’t it ?
I haven't heard it, I don't consort with bloody little poor people unless I have to travel to Wales.
 
That also resulted in the bloody little poor people learning to not get uppity with their masters.

Come and see the violence inherent in the system! HELP! HELP! I'm being repressed!
 
I haven't heard it, I don't consort with bloody little poor people unless I have to travel to Wales.
Oh you have, you just don't recognise it. You know the arguments that little people shouldn't be asked to vote on these issues is not very different to "Serfs ye are and serfs ye shall remain."
 
I grant you that he's been hit by unprecedented problems for a modem prime minister - the only parallel I can think of being the Spanish flue of 1918/19. And the medical advice he's been given is clerkly inconsistent. Yet some things are clear:
  • The disease is most lethal if you are over 70; below that the risk is much reduced and is minimal for younger people
  • The three "C's" apply; Crowds, Confined Spaces and Conversation - the risk increases the more "C's" apply to your current situation
  • The risk of transmission is highest in area of high population density - cities. It's significant reduced in loosely populated areas.
  • Different lockdown regimes are not having much impact on the death rate - well observed loose lockdown regimes are as effective as less policed, tighter lock down regimes.
  • We can learn from countries that are 2 months ahead of us on the Covid 19 curve. We get a preview of future events that will hit the UK two months later.
Given the above, it would not be difficult to a construct a course of action that should remain unchanged for a minimum of three months.

As to the La Sturgeons of this world - Boris neds to say loud and clear that at the end of the crisis, the Office of National Statistics will conduct an independent investigation at the end of this crisis, identifying the respective death rates per capita in England, Scotland, Wales and Norther Ireland. with the model published, along with the input data so it is available for independent scrutiny.

If Sturgeon wants to conduct her own policy, then she should be held accountable for its effects - as should BoJo for his.

BoJo's first problem is inconsistency - frequent changes of direction, giving the impression of indecision. His second problem is is failure to consult parliament before each change of course - the need to explain his decisions in debate might have removed the worst of the u-turns.

BoJo has got a lot of other things right, but Covid 19 has not been his finest hour
.

Wordsmith
You keep repeating this, it doesn't make it true.
Boris is responding to a fluid situation fluidly.
The bbc is attacking him stupidly and has become a laughing stock now.
12 students starving because they are locked down in HoR.
Not one of them has a mobile phone or other device to order on line.
Really?
 
You keep repeating this, it doesn't make it true.
Boris is responding to a fluid situation fluidly.
The bbc is attacking him stupidly and has become a laughing stock now.
12 students starving because they are locked down in HoR.
Not one of them has a mobile phone or other device to order on line.
Really?
Go tell the 1922 Committee that they've got it wrong.
 
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