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June 12, 2020


Ralph Musgrave

Re "hate monger Farage", there's a very good way of spotting the people who are motivated by hate: they're the ones, like Chris, who attribute hate to others without so much as the beginnings of an attempt to justify the insult.


One of the reasons there isn't much anger at the 'mishandling' of the pandemic is because there isn't much evidence that they have mishandled it. At the start of the pandemic we knew nothing about this virus, and now, a few months into it, there are still a lot of questions. Scientific evidence is limited and contradictory, and those cherry picking odd facts that support their political case are just making themselves look nasty egotistical people who put their own interests above the country's.

Andrew Curry

@Ralph Musgrave: I’m not sure which Nigel Farage you’ve been monitoring, but I’ve been seeing the one that routinely uses racist, sexist, xenophobic, and other toxic forms of speech to promote his political positions. And who is happy to associate himself with any number of far right organisations while he does it. I imagine that Chris didn’t bother to present this evidence because, god knows, the evidence is all around us.

Ralph Musgrave

Andrew Curry, I see that like Chris, you completely fail to substantiate your nasty little accusations. Can you provide EVIDENCE that Farage is particularly prone to racist, xenophobic etc etc statements?

I appreciate that according to the average leftard, simply wanting immigration better controlled equals hatred of foreigners. But you'll have do better than that.

And second, can you provide any evidence that he makes more racist statements than Labour Party members make anti-semitic statements?

Third, there's not necessarily anything wrong with racism as per Oxford dictionary definition: i.e. basically the idea that some races are better than others. Perhaps they are and perhaps they aren't.

Some psychologists claim some races have higher IQs than others. What do you propose doing about that? Lock up those psychologists?


Is this the same Richard Murphy who back in April was predicting that "deaths of more than 10,000 a day are likely in little more than a week"? Fortunately he was completely wrong. People aren't as angry as him because they're not totally detached from reality. As Dipper says, a fairer assessment would be that government has handled extreme uncertainty as well as could be expected.


" The recent surge in protests by the Black Lives Matter movement shows us that anger can simmer beneath the surface largely unnoticed by the media and politicians until a trigger causes it to explode."

Its weird, when the Brexit vote happened, we were told that Europe hadn't really been on people's political radar at all prior to the vote, and the explosion of anti-European feeling had been created entirely by the campaign and referendum itself, rather than predating it, and being brought into public view by the referendum.

But now we are told that society can indeed hold hidden undercurrents of opinion that are completely hidden to the media and political class.

Weird that hidden societal undercurrents you don't agree with don't exist, but one you do agree with are totally real.........


" a fairer assessment would be that government has handled extreme uncertainty as well as could be expected."

Especially given a media class that instinctively hate the Tories and will use any stick to beat them with. I would suggest that many of the (perhaps with hindsight) wrong decisions were taken with one eye on the media's reaction should things go badly wrong in another direction.

To be honest whatever they did the media would use the outcome to attack the Tories - if they'd locked down harder earlier against scientific advice that would have been attacked for not following 'the science', as it is they followed the SAGE committee advice and are being attacked for that too. There is literally nothing a Tory government could do in response to the crisis that wouldn't have resulted in media criticism. I'm sure it was fear of the NHS being overwhelmed and having pictures of patients and corpses piling up everywhere plastered across 24 hour news TV that lead to the decision to send all the elderly back to care homes from hospital. In the absence of that fear, a more measured policy might have been arrived at.


"a fairer assessment would be that government has handled extreme uncertainty as well as could be expected."

Jesus christ guys.

They did the exact opposite. They've managed the uncertainty very, very badly. They knew their data wasn't great, so they should have erred on the safe side. Instead they pushed it as far as they could... and twice as many people died.

You're maybe kind of right on the media. If it hadn't been for fear of the media and public reaction, they may well have carried on with their herd immunity.

That said the idea that the media are worse to this lot than labour for the last however long is frankly ridiculous.

Peter Shaw

Your whole conclusions is wrong again. Statistically the virus is a storm in a teacup and the lockdown will kill far more in the long term.

UKs deaths per capita are ballpark with comparable countries and higher than countries like Sweden that have done less. All evidence is that once the virus is endemic it’s too late anyway.

Realistically the UK government should have done LESS, the death outcome would be the same but the economic harm far less. But they followed the “experts” and public opinion.

Real leadership would have been to follow the Swedish approach but no one was ever fired for purchasing IBM.


"That said the idea that the media are worse to this lot than labour for the last however long is frankly ridiculous."

When has the BBC ever allowed a presenter to attack a Labour government in the way Maitlis did over Cummings? Or Ch 4 blatantly lie about a Labour PM's quote, in the way they did about Boris's quote regarding 'people of talent' coming to the UK? I can't remember the BBC having a go at Alistair Campbell like they have at Cummings either. Would there even be a BBC presenter who felt that strongly that a Labour government was a disgrace? Its obvious from their Twitter feeds that most BBC/Ch 4/ITV/Sky presenters hate the Tories. They are only ever going to attack Tory politicians in a way they never do to Labour ones. It doesn't matter what decision a Tory minister takes, or the outcome, they're going to be called every name under the sun by TV reporters.


How can you paint the media as anti government and expect to be taken seriously?
I mean who did the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Express, Sun (thats well over 75% of the UK readership) all endorse in the last 4 general elections?
As for the BBC you obviously didn't pay attention to their 5 year campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. Lol.
Sorry Jim, you doth protest too much.


@petershaw that seems very unlikely.i expect time will tell earlier and stricter lockdown was better for the economy

@jim by however long i meant basically corvbyn's time. sorry, not clear i admit.

But maitlis was repremanded and Im sure she woud have done the same or worse to corbyns advisor chap, for get his name.

you're totally deluded if you think the tories get a tougher time. seek help :)

Peter Shaw

A lockdown can only be justified if it saved a material number of lives, but there is no evidence it had any effect.



I've not see any reasonable arguments to that effect and balance of evidence is that lockdown works and earlier lockdown would have saved a considerable number of lives.

If you're taking this off the RT guy...


@jim end of my comment last night was unnecessary. Sorry, was a bit pissed.


@ D - that's the best time to post.

"you're totally deluded if you think the tories get a tougher time. seek help "

I guess the point is that the BBC has a clear editorial line that permeates every news programme, that a kind of centre-left pro EU pro BLM viewpoint is the only acceptable viewpoint and every other viewpoint is not valid.

Yesterday, for instance, saw a repeat of a demonstration where last week 27 police were injured viewed as a positive thing and described anyone thinking that defacing statues was a crime 'Far Right extremists'


@D: no worries, no offence taken. We on the Right are not quite so thin skinned as the woke generation. We grew up with the admonishment regarding sticks and stones etc.


"I mean who did the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, Times, Sunday Times, Mail, Mail on Sunday, Express, Sun (thats well over 75% of the UK readership) all endorse in the last 4 general elections?"

And how many copies do those lot sell nowadays, vs how many watch the TV news? TV news/politics viewership is measured in millions, papers in hundreds of thousands. The entire TV media is left biased, because thats what the people who work in it support. And they create the news themselves - it was instructive how the Cummings fiasco disappeared so suddenly when it became apparent that the media weren't going to get him sacked. One minute the media would have us believe the entire country was screaming for his blood, the next he's disappeared from the airwaves entirely. Odd that. Did everyone suddenly decide they no longer cared about Dominic, or did the media just create the whole furore themselves?


Jeremy Corbyn was and is the least anti-Semitic person in the UK. Stop the horrid name-calling after all this time.


The Conservative government is beyond a disgrace. Imagine failing to support Jeremy Corbyn.



I'm currently a mature student and the woke generation are not particularly woke. And most of my pals are pretty left wing and nothing like the cliches of middle class, woke etc. Much like most brexit voters I know aren't stupid racists.

General opinions of folk I know, chucking statue of slaver in the river - good, we shouldn't be celebrating that stuff. Taking faulty towers off the telly totally stupid. Whatever racist shit Churchill did or didn't do, he gets a pass for the good stuff.

I've not seen that bbc report but I really doubt they think anyone against defacing statues is far right, and the vast majority of the people at the demonstrations were peaceful and well meaning, as far as I can see.

The bbc are establishment. I'd call it centre right personally but that's really just arguing around where the centre is. And sure, they're against Brexit, but they were also against Corbyn and Scottish independence.

I'd also note that left wing beeb people have left young-ish- James O'Brien and the economics guy (Mason?). Whereas right wing ones only do when they're old, Andrew thingy, Paxo, today program man retired recently. Although maybe Naughtie is still there for the lefties?

And I'm pretty sure that even in the US most people view the BLM demonstrations positively, according to polls.


@jim Part of the above in response to your post. Thin skinned woke twats aren't really as common as it looks from twitter, the guardian etc.


"One of the reasons there isn't much anger at the 'mishandling' of the pandemic is because there isn't much evidence that they have mishandled it."

What offensive rubbish, like sending coronavirus infected patients from hospital to nursing homes. Who could have known? Duh. Tories evidently find no problem killing old folks.

Am I being clear?



"The entire TV media is left biased, because thats what the people who work in it support."

1. The TV media frequently take their cue from the headline stories of the day in the print media.

2. Cummings story is not much to go on.
Bear in mind, a sizeable minority of Tories wanted him gone so your picture of a TV led campaign against him is inaccurate. Much of the Tory media wanted him to go.

3. TV media bias was measured before the last general election.
The bias was agiainst Labour and in favour of the Tories. So your perception is perhaps bias driven itself?


4. Your dismissal of print media as marginal in the TV and on line age is wrong headed. The hard copy newspaper audience is 'only' just under 8 million but that demographic is far more likely to vote than those who don't buy newspapers.
They are disproportionately influential when it comes to influencing voting intentions.


Notice that the coronavirus death to confirmed cases ratio in the United Kingdom is an astonishingly severe 14.15%.

[ Gotta love Boris Johnson for Brexit though. Tories forever. ]


"Notice that the coronavirus death to confirmed cases ratio in the United Kingdom is an astonishingly severe 14.15%."

And of course thats the fault of the Tories, not the 'wonder of the world' NHS.......you know the the healthcare system that consistently fails in international healthcare outcome comparisons and ends up on a par with such power houses as Portugal and Malta......

Peter Shaw

@ D - lockdowns work if they are down early. But then you create a new problem, how do you exit the lockdown?

They don’t work once the virus has taken hold. There are many countries including Sweden and Belarus that have never locked down and have lower death rates per capita than the UK.

The whole lockdown has been a needless destruction of wealth and liberty. Completely understandable at the time but let’s learn from it and move on.



Sweden is a terrible example for your argument for a couple of reasons. First, compared to the countries most similar to it who did lock down, it's had far higher deaths per capita. Second, it's still suffered pretty similar economic consequences.

As far as I can see the evidence is pretty clear that lockdown did work, and would have worked a lot better if done earlier.

You get out of lockdown by dealing with the virus so people feel safe to behave as normal. Getting cases down and having effective track and trace to stop them going back up.

So there was always going to be economic costs, these would have been lower if we'd locked down earlier and got our track and trace in order....
Whatever the government mandates on lockdown, you can't have a proper economic recovery until the virus is gone - because people don't want to harm themselves or others.


"because people don't want to harm themselves or others"

Sorry, d, you could only believe this if you have been locked in a windowless bunker for the last three months with no access to external news.

The briefest of observations of your fellow citizens would indicate that they don't give a f**k about harming themselves or others, even those supposedly nearest and dearest to them.

Lockdown is dead. Not because Boris has said so, and not because of Dominic Cummings, but because people are now more bored of lockdown than they are afraid of dying or infecting themselves or their family.


"...you know the the healthcare system that consistently fails in international healthcare outcome comparisons and ends up on a par with such power houses as Portugal and Malta..."

...well Duh! What would you expect when the Tories have consistently underfunded the NHS for so long? Or does your bias on the Tories and the TV news media extend into bias on the Tories and the NHS as well?

A study carried out in 2017 by the London School of Economics and Harvard School of Public Health compared health services of ten leading countries. The results were published in the BMJ. Excerpt below as reported in the Daily Torygraph...erm I mean Telegraph.

"The UK was found to have the lowest healthcare expenditure per person at £2,978, compared with an average of £4,438 in the other countries.

Overall, the UK spent approximately 8.7 per cent of GDP on health in 2017, compared with the average of 11.5 per cent."



@ ltr

"What offensive rubbish, like sending coronavirus infected patients from hospital to nursing homes."

I think this is the one area that the government may get picked up on. But my mother pays a private company for her care home, so perhaps they might have some shared responsibility?

I'd prefer to wait for a proper inquiry that can consider the conflicting priorities and information available at the time, not the opinion of someone with a political axe to grind who in the middle of a national crisis thinks first and foremost of how they can exploit the situation for personal gain.



evidence is clear that people's behaviour changed before gov mandated lockdowns and where gov only gave advice and didn't mandate lockdown

because some people don't do this doesn't change it. also obviously the extent of compliance changes over time...


@ltr - there is no talking to Dipper. The evidence of this government's total ineptidude is glaring, yet, you know "they do the best they can" is what you get from Dipper.

No it isn't Dipper, it's utterly inadequate. A real shit show. I am quite fed up of you trolling quite a few blogs spouting the same drivel across all. You don't even change your nonsense with feedback or evidence, you just keep going.

A troll, in other words.

Peter Shaw

On the contrary Sweden is a perfect example.

Sweden's economy is doing better than it's neighbours (and most others) and will do even better in the future.

The problem with succesful lockdowns are they have no exit strategy. Track and trace destoys our freedo, prevents herd immunity, and maintains this stupid alarmist atmosphere that is more harmful than the virus itself.

Unless you are already sick or old this is NOT a dangerous virus. We know that now. Let's tell people that, protect the vulnerable and let the rest of us catch it.


@Peter Shaw
Sweden's economic numbers aren't so good as to justify it's appalling mortality rate.

"It is too early to say that we would do better than others," Christina Nyman, a former official at Riksbank, Sweden's national bank, told the Financial Times. "In the end, we think Sweden will end up more or less the same."

Not was it a correctly calculated risk:

"Sweden's lead epidemiologist, Anders Tegnell, said last week that he didn't anticipate the high death rate.

"We never really calculated with a high death toll initially, I must say," he said. "We calculated on more people being sick, but the death toll really came as a surprise to us."

'Let the rest of us catch it' is still an argument for hundreds of thousands of deaths over the coming winter. And frankly it's idiocy to propose such a tactic and delude yourself into thinking that the economic fallout won't also be catastrophic.



What Paul said.

There's no exit strategy for anyone except getting it under control.

Anyway, giving up now. One of us is being wilfully blind. You think it's me, I think it's you...eitherway I don't see us getting anywhere on it :)

Peter Shaw

@Paulc156 @D

Please stop drinking the kool aid and look at the research and have a historical perspective (I have).

Sweden is well on the way to herd immunity, London is similar. And no you don’t need 70% for herd immunity.

The 1968 flu killed 1-4 million, in a smaller population. It is still around but it burnt out. One look at death rates shows corinaviris is following a similar path but headed for a much lower number.

In contrast the lockdown will kill far more. Cancer screenings are down, suicides are up, people are putting on weight (I could go on and on). You have to be a fool not to realise that in the long term this will cost more in life years. Not to mention the cost to freedom, economic productivity, and our enjoyment.


@ TB

I'm sorry if coming across people who have different opinions to you upsets you. If presenting alternative narratives and giving supporting evidence is trolling, then I'm happy to be a troll.

Simply being very angry doesn't make your case stronger. Cherry picking facts that suit your narrative and ignoring the many facts that don't isn't science, it is clear and obvious political bias, which is permitted in a free society but doesn't mean anyone is obliged to agree.


@Peter Shaw
Peter, you are all over the place. Lets focus on what you are claiming in your earlier post:
1.Sweden wouldn't suffer the economic consequences of the major lockdown countries including the UK nor would it suffer the health consequences.

Ive already shown you that even Sweden's lead epidemiologist has admitted they had not anticipated the high death rates that have occurred in Sweden. And that economic damage will in any case be in line with other Nordic and northern European states.

You on the other hand have offered your own opinions to the contrary even speculating on non Covid death rates in the UK in order to bolster your view...
...without offering any evidence to support your notions. So it's bluster.

Let's look at what the architect of Sweden's approach himself stated (not his cheerleaders) last week, shall we?

"Anders Tegnell, who has previously criticised other countries’ strict lockdowns as not sustainable in the long run, told Swedish Radio on Wednesday...
that there was “quite obviously a potential for improvement in what we have done” in Sweden.

Asked whether too many people in Sweden had died, he replied: “Yes, absolutely,” adding that the country would “have to consider in the future whether there was a way of preventing” such a high toll.

Then again he says...
“If we were to encounter the same disease again knowing exactly what we know about it today, I think we would settle on doing something in between what Sweden did and what the rest of the world has done,”

And with regards your flu analogy...
"Annike Linde, Tegnell’s predecessor as chief epidemiologist from 2005 to 2013, said last week that she had initially backed the country’s strategy but had begun to reassess her view as the virus swept through the elderly population.

“There was no strategy at all for the elderly, I now understand,” Linde told the Swedish state broadcaster. “I do not understand how they can stand and say the level of preparedness was good, when in fact it was lousy.”

She said another key mistake was to assume that the coronavirus would behave like seasonal flu. “It does not behave like the flu at all,” she said. “It spreads more slowly and has a longer incubation time. This makes it more difficult to detect, and to build immunity in the population.”

And according to the scientific online publication Ourworldindata.com, the number of Covid-19 deaths per capita in Sweden was the highest in the world in a rolling seven-day average to 2 June. The country’s rate of 5.29 deaths per million inhabitants a day was well above the UK’s 4.48.


As for herd immunity and Sweden...
"Tegnell has said was aimed NOT at achieving herd immunity but at slowing the spread of the virus enough for health services to cope, has been increasingly and heavily criticised by many Swedish experts as the country’s death toll has increased."


So your hyping a policy of herd immunity and economic probity is a fiction you are unable to justify with evidence.


@ Pailc156 - so basically people did what they thought was right with the evidence available to them at the time, but in retrospect if we had known then what we know now we would have done things differently.

I suspect that in the near future we will identify the strategy around care homes as flawed, but it is important to remember that at the time we were trying to avoid the NHS being completely overwhelmed by hundreds of thousands of cases based on calculations from Neil Ferguson's team. In retrospect we know those numbers were wildly over inflated.

You are not an expert. We are not under any obligation to agree with your particular viewpoint, or in fact required to give it any time at all. People being wise after the event rank fairly low on my list of people I should defer to.

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