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A Horse Named Stranger

UK Politics: Statues of Limitations

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7 minutes ago, Werthead said:

That reminds me that today at PMQs we had a very amusing moment when Theresa May tore a strip off Gove, asking him WTF was going on with the new civil service appointment and the government's guff about it being a political versus non-political appointment (pretty much exactly what Labour had asked a few minutes earlier). Gove was visibly unsure how to respond and went for some mealy-mouthed nothing phrase before retreating immediately.

It was quite a moment. May has looked more assured now than she ever did as Prime Minister. 

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Posted (edited)

I really don't know if this thread is legit, but I'll admit I laughed. 

Bad me.

 

Edited by Rorshach
Getting the link embedded and spleeing rigt is hard.

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12 minutes ago, Rorshach said:

I really don't know if this thread is legit, but I'll admit I laughed. 

Bad me.

 

Must be that time of the year again. All the  ‘no deal’, ‘thick Brexiteer stories’ start doing the rounds.

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Startling stuff in this FT piece regarding the lack of data distilled down to a local level  ( Open in incognito if you can't read it on FT because of access)

Quote


The ability of local leaders to manage new coronavirus outbreaks in the UK is being hampered by gaps in the reporting of infection data for cities and regions, according to analysis by the Financial Times.

The government publishes a UK-wide figure for Covid-19 cases every day that includes tests from hospitals and those processed by commercial laboratories, including samples taken at home. But at a subnational level the total of new daily cases contains only hospital tests. The result is that hundreds of local authorities across the country are unable to see a timely picture of what is happening in their communities or compare that with other cities and regions of the UK.

This gap in the subnational and regional data has been cited by local political leaders and health officials in Leicester as one reason for a delay in locking down the east Midlands city, where virus cases have spiked. “For weeks we have been trying to get information about the level of testing in the city and the results of that testing in the city,” Peter Soulsby, mayor of Leicester, told the BBC on Tuesday. According to published data for Leicester, the city recorded just 80 new positive tests between June 13-26. But health secretary Matt Hancock revealed that there were in fact 944 as he announced the decision to tighten the lockdown in Leicester, closing non-essential shops and ordering schools to shut to all non-key worker pupils by Thursday.

Public Health England publishes a weekly breakdown of the two categories: tests from hospitals, known as pillar 1, and from commercial labs that process at-home and drive-through tests, known as pillar 2. While PHE releases full data for England’s nine main regions with a two-week delay, the areas are too big to give local authorities a useful picture of the situation in their communities.

Leicester city council’s public health department only received the elevated infection numbers cited by Mr Hancock last Thursday. They could not compare with places elsewhere because the so-called pillar 2 figures are only made available to officials in their own local authority area if they have signed the Data Protection Act. “I would wish that they had shared that [data] with us right from the start,” said Sir Peter, Leicester’s mayor. “And I wish they had taken a more speedy decision rather than leaving it 11 days. That's a long gap and a long time for the virus to spread.”

This is a thoroughly unserious way to manage a public health crisis and it boggles my mind at the lack of shared data and shared decision making going on here.

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12 hours ago, Heartofice said:

It was quite a moment. May has looked more assured now than she ever did as Prime Minister. 

She's no longer drinking from a poisoned chalice while leashing a third of her party room at the same time.  I'm sure not having to do so anymore takes a lot of weight off.  

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And interesting retrospective. People who know more of the detail might like to comment about the accuracy.

 

New Zealand is briefly mentioned, and I can say we are working on a FTA with the UK, but I don't know exactly what stage it's at. Certainly not close to signing, but maybe at the end of the year.

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This is also not an isolated issue, fyi

Quote

Public health officials have finally received crucial local testing figures from government after nearly two months of pleading - and they reveal the number of cases here in the past week has been as six times higher than their own data suggested.

Since the start of May officials here have been begging government to release ‘pillar two’ testing data, the results of swabs carried out at drive-through stations and other facilities operated here by the private sector on behalf of the Department of Health and Social Care.

Without it, they only had access to ‘pillar one’ test numbers, those carried out directly by Greater Manchester councils and hospitals and processed in Public Health England labs.

That had left public health directors flying blind, unable to accurately gauge the virus’s spread in the community.

This week they finally received the missing data - and it shows nearly 400 more people had tested positive in the past week than their existing figures would have suggested.

 

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10 minutes ago, Raja said:

This is also not an isolated issue, fyi

 

??? Would it not make much more sense to organize the numbers on the county level , so counties collect all data and then send it to the state and not the other way around? Information and reaction time would be so much quicker?

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Here's the chair of the British Thoracic Society ( BTS) and a Consultant Respiratory physician from Glenfield Hospital in Leicester ( Glenfield btw is a major hospital for respiratory medicine in the midlands)

 

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Raja said:

Here's the chair of the British Thoracic Society ( BTS) and a Consultant Respiratory physician from Glenfield Hospital in Leicester ( Glenfield btw is a major hospital for respiratory medicine in the midlands)

 

Johnson just lied to the House, again. This time denying the mayor of Lecester's claim that they only received the pillar 2 testing data on Thursday.

Hmmm, I wonder who I should believe here.....

Edited by Spockydog

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On 6/30/2020 at 8:39 PM, Rorshach said:

I really don't know if this thread is legit, but I'll admit I laughed. 

Bad me.

 

HUm, the account is gone. A pity, I was really curious how this tale went on. It was quite entertaining.

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16 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

HUm, the account is gone. A pity, I was really curious how this tale went on. It was quite entertaining.

It was. I'm leaning towards fake, but even so it was funny.

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That, or idiot son was browsing Twitter on the way to Paris...

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So the 2-3 week delay between infections happening, and being caught on test is now showing up the results of the last round of easing
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/jul/02/suspected-covid-19-outbreaks-in-english-workplaces-double-in-a-week

Quote

 

Suspected Covid-19 outbreaks in English workplaces double in a week

Spread of virus in workplaces is trending up while transmission in most other settings declines.

Suspected outbreaks of Covid-19 in workplaces in England almost doubled in the past week, prompting concern as more people return to their jobs.

Public Health England (PHE) said 43 acute respiratory outbreaks were reported in workplaces in the week ending 28 June, up from 22 in the previous week.

The data shows the spread of the virus in workplaces is trending up while transmission in most other settings is in decline. Workplaces are now the only location where the spread of the virus is clearly on the increase.

Low-paid, manual workers, face a much greater risk of dying from coronavirus than higher-paid, white-collar workers. Security guards, care workers, construction workers, plant operatives, cleaners, taxi drivers, bus drivers, chefs and retail workers are all at a greater risk of dying, according to analysis of Covid-19 fatalities from the Office for National Statistics.

 


What better timing to open pubs? - where you can drink whilst wearing a mask, drunks are famous for respecting your personal space, and anybody who've ever been in a pub Gents' can agree that hand hygiene is of utmost importance. Of course, no-one working in pubs could be considered "low paid" and therefore liable to see a greater risk of death either.

Oh, and let's combine that with a message that tells us that social distancing isn't even important anymore - or at least, that the lives it saves are less important than the finances of Vote Leave donors.

Edited by Which Tyler

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It’s not surprising that there are more cases in workplaces only after work places start reopening. Surely that is entirely predictable? 
 

At what point do you suggest pubs and restaurants open? ( you know without drifting off into some strange irrelevant Brexit tangent)

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When it's safe to do so (which, of course, is nothing to do with Brexit - as opposed to the decisions currently being made).

How do we know when it's safe? By looking at real data, rather than anything that omits up to 90% of data because it's inconvenient.

When test and trace is actually up, running and working properly.

When indoor spaces are deemed to be safe and people can be trusted to follow guidelines (as opposed to the guideleines being reduced to A] excuse unelected government adivsors, and B] allow busineses to open despite it being patently unsafe to do so.

 

Or you could say - by making decisions based on science, not economics, and not bending science to fit economic policy by hiding data.

Edited by Which Tyler

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30 minutes ago, Which Tyler said:

When test and trace is actually up, running and working properly.

The 'world beating' app was supposed to be ready by May. But it won't be around till late autumn or the winter.

It's all a bit of a farce.

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1 hour ago, Heartofice said:

It’s not surprising that there are more cases in workplaces only after work places start reopening. Surely that is entirely predictable? 
 

At what point do you suggest pubs and restaurants open? ( you know without drifting off into some strange irrelevant Brexit tangent)

Do you believe that they should be opening this weekend then? Our “world-beating” contact tracing app is non-existent, it’s unclear how successful the contact tracing-by-phone system has been (but it’s not looking great) and it’s taken way too long for the local authorities in Leceister to get hold of the data they need.

 

Yes, restaurants and pubs need to open, but we need these measures in place so we can make local lockdown decisions based on actual data. I‘m sure you’re aware that the second wave of Spanish Flu was deadlier than the first, and killed more people than the war.

Edited by Stannis Eats No Peaches

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Well the UK has, once again, managed to completely snooker itself and ended up in a really poor position on how to handle the situation.

If we'd gone into lockdown 2-3 weeks earlier, halted incoming flights, cancelled the sporting events that potentially caused more widespread transmission and enforced the lockdown more vigorously, we'd probably right now be looking at near-zero cases and being able to simply say "back to normal," with some extra vigilance, as New Zealand has done.

Since we're not in that position and we're seeing a constant low-level spread of the virus at a higher level than when we entered lockdown, we should not really be looking at a nationwide rollback of lockdown measures, more of a gradual easing beginning in several weeks with careful observation of regional spikes. Since the government chose to spend two months chasing the white rabbit of an unproven test and trace system that was manifestly flawed when they started work on it, we now cannot bring to bear the observation tools required to monitor the situation to make reopening viable. Daily testing has improved dramatically, but still far short of where it needs to be.

So instead of being in a situation where we could have had a 12-16 week lockdown and then back to normal (more or less), we're in a situation of having had a 13-week lockdown and being no better off than where we were in week 1 (although a lot better than where we were in weeks 4-6).

The government's conclusion now is that rather than issue an apology and confirm the lockdown will have to continue for another few weeks to really drive the coronavirus into the ground, instead they want to reopen and get back to normal. In lieu of any actual scientific backing for this decision, or enforcing any new, sensible regulations on wearing masks or taking precautions, they have decided to do a Hail Mary and just hope that things don't start going backwards.

They may get lucky. We have seen the spread of the virus dramatically falling in countries or regions even where measures are not being enforced, perhaps because a large chunk of the population has decided to stay at home anyway and has managed to keep transmission below 1 pretty much off their own backs.

What is clear now which was less so a few months ago is that herd immunity is not achievable without a vaccine, that the virus causes considerably greater damage even in survivors than previously suspected (with potential, large-scale costs to the NHS in the long run) and that far more groups of people are vulnerable to it than just "the old" as previously thought. On the plus side, it does appear that the virus is far more susceptible to preventative measures than previously thought and its ability to infect people can be seriously retarded through sensible measures, and widespread adoption of these measures can be as effective as a lockdown. There is also convincing evidence that far more people will be asymptomatic even when presented with the virus (so the overall death rate may be well under the 1% originally thought), although they will also not be immune to reinfection in the short term, but that may not matter so much as long as the overall trend of the virus remains downwards.

What is clear is that if Britain comes out of this without being at the head of the queue in terms of deaths-by-population, it will only be thanks to the titanic efforts of the governments of Brazil and the United States to best us.

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