Welcome to Live View – Take the tour to learn more
Start Tour
There is currently 1 person viewing this thread.
16 Jul 21 20:20
Date Joined: 08 Aug 16
| Topic/replies: 6,324 | Blogger: Callisto-moon's blog
leat us get back to normal or new restrictions????
Pause Switch to Standard View Whats boris going to do???
Show More
Report RothmanMike July 16, 2021 9:28 PM BST
Wait and see.
Report Celtic warrior July 16, 2021 9:54 PM BST
He has abdicated all responsibility then told us to carry on wearing masks. Political masterstroke from a coward unfit to rule. The whole country is now totally confused and come Monday wearing a mask will be the next chapter in the culture wars.

Thank you Boris.the man that torched unionist northern ireland
Report brassneck July 16, 2021 10:25 PM BST
in my opinion Boris is taking a punt that herd immunity will work.The big problem is that the jury is still out deciding on the DELTA virus. Scientists still don't know if DELTA will reoccur or not.It is possible that if you catch DELTA virus you will be sick(but not sick enough to be admitted to hospital).But let me ask you all this question."what happens if your body stores the Delta in your body and then attacks your organs with a vengeance after it has hibernated for a while ,its called long term Covid ,and many people suffer from it.
Report broadsword July 16, 2021 11:20 PM BST
exactly what the puppet masters tell him to do
Report casemoney July 16, 2021 11:31 PM BST
Not wearing masks in the States why should we have to wear them ? They are stopping fook all

Thousands Dying few months back, Masks didn't stop that Did it ?

Only people who will be Dying are non Jabbers that's their Choice ...

Put a piece of Rag over your mouth will not stop you getting Covid , HTH .
Report leif July 16, 2021 11:47 PM BST
"non-jabber" here

just checking in.

Fully expect to survive the pandemic without being a gene-therapy victim.

I thank You!
Report hulk23 July 16, 2021 11:55 PM BST
the only reason you would open things up when "cases" are rocketing is you are no longer interested in purely "cases".
Report Ramruma July 17, 2021 4:57 AM BST
@casemoney -- "Put a piece of Rag over your mouth will not stop you getting Covid , HTH ."

Wearing a mask is not supposed to stop *you* getting Covid. It is supposed to stop you giving Covid to other people.

Boris says after Monday we don't need to wear masks anymore. Huzzah. Oh, hold on. Boris went on to say that after Monday we should still wear masks indoors when encountering strangers, like on a train or in a shop. Erm, isn't that roughly the guidance now? Thanks for clearing that up, Prime Minister.
Report mrcombustible July 17, 2021 7:33 AM BST
Plese refer to this alcoholic buffoon as Johnson.
Boris sounds like a cuddly good guy. He is not that.
Report mrcombustible July 17, 2021 7:34 AM BST
Sage adviser Jeremy Farrar on an ‘absent PM’ and ‘dysfunctional state’
He was a key player in the fight against Covid from the very beginning. Now Sir Jeremy Farrar has written an explosive book about what he witnessed inside government. The scientist reveals a system that took far too long to take control of the crisis and didn’t learn from its mistakes
Jeremy Farrar: “We need a government that can get a grip on day 1 — not day 180”
Jeremy Farrar: “We need a government that can get a grip on day 1 — not day 180”
Tom Whipple
Friday July 16 2021, 5.00pm, The Times
Has it, I ask, been worth it? Nineteen months since he first heard of a new virus in China, 18 months since he was so worried it had been leaked from a laboratory that the former head of MI5 advised him to conduct inquiries over a burner phone, 17 months since it was clear the pandemic was global, has Sir Jeremy Farrar’s involvement in Sage — his gruelling stint at the very centre of the UK response — made a difference?

“I don’t know,” he says, sitting beneath a bust of the pharmaceutical entrepreneur Henry Wellcome, whose considerable trust Farrar now heads. “I think… eventually… yes, it did.”

Along the way, though, he confesses, he wondered whether he and the multibillion-pound philanthropic organisation he represents should even withdraw their advice entirely.

“There were times you could see what was happening. You could see the trends and the trends looked terrifying… And yet you can’t agree with the decisions that are made on the basis of your advice. You question whether giving the advice is worth it.”

For the past eight years Farrar, 60, has been director of the Wellcome Trust, one of the world’s leading funders of health research. Before that he spent a career in global public health, for most of which time the “global” part indicated it happened elsewhere. Then came coronavirus.

He advises our government; he advises the German government. He can’t help but notice that one has done rather better than the other.

But in his role as the head of Wellcome, hobnobbing in Davos, briefing governments, negotiating with UN agencies, he has always seemed as much a diplomat as a doctor. Which makes the somewhat undiplomatic account he has just written of the pandemic and his role in it, Spike: The Virus v The People, all the more striking.

Boris Johnson with Chris Whitty, left, and Patrick Vallance, March 3, 2020
Boris Johnson with Chris Whitty, left, and Patrick Vallance, March 3, 2020
In the early days there was, he writes, “organisational mayhem”, “an absent prime minister”, “dysfunctional state apparatus”. It didn’t improve that much either. Matt Hancock took almost a year to “get his act together”; Boris Johnson was in thrall to contrarian scientists and journalists; Dido Harding, the “figurehead responsible for the disastrous TTI system”, was promoted rather than removed.

Procurement and planning involved “random decisions, about this app or that product, plucked from the sky that did not seem informed by any knowledge of public health”. He remembers being in procurement meetings with obvious “snake oil salesmen”.


Most of all, time and again there was a refusal to face up to the seriousness of the situation. In meetings, in that crucial fortnight at the start of March, he describes John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, devising his own “behavioural strategy”. He would “look political advisers directly in the eye while repeating the phrase, ‘We are talking about hundreds of thousands of deaths.’ He just wanted a reaction, an acknowledgement, that those in power understood what was coming.”

Even months into the pandemic, Farrar says, many didn’t understand. Scientists were still having to explain the most basic concepts of infectious diseases — about exponential growth, about lagging indicators, about “the fact that your data today represents people being impacted two to four weeks ago”.

This is why, with Anjana Ahuja, a science journalist, he has written the book. Because this will not be the last crisis of this kind and there is, he says, a lot that needs to be changed.

“It would be dishonourable not to share your real thoughts. Everybody’s gone through a rollercoaster in the past 18 months. There were some great moments but there have been some very, very dark moments: personally, professionally, for the country and for the world.

“The British state machinery did not get a grip. The machinery of government did not click in fast enough.” It isn’t even about individuals or ideology. “The message in the book is, it has to work, whoever is in charge.”

Eight years earlier, in his first month in the job, Farrar sat beneath the same bust and talked to me about his plans and fears for the role. Zika was yet to happen, Ebola was a year away, but pandemics were on his mind.

He had cut his teeth as a doctor in the Aids epidemic and been in southeast Asia as a researcher during Sars 1. He warned that eventually there would be a true pandemic that would affect everyone — not just in the sort of foreign countries where Britons expected to see pandemics.

That he did so was not some astonishing feat of prescience. Over the preceding two decades, warning about pandemics — and being ignored — had become something of a hobby among those in global public health. When the real thing did come, even for him it retained its power to shock.

He remembers, in particular, speaking to colleagues in Italy. “I will never forget that phone call. It was harrowing.” Northern Italy was the first part of Europe to be hit, and it became the canary for the continent.

“I had not imagined that a whole health system of a rich country would totally collapse, that doctors had to choose who to ventilate. I was listening to people in intensive care units who face nasty things every day in tears.”

Amid this devastation he had another worry. The virus did not look quite right. He had been speaking to virologists and there were certain features that looked odd for a supposedly natural virus.

“I remember sitting in the kitchen with my wife, Christiane, and saying, ‘This looks like an engineered virus. It could be a lab accident — or worse,’ ” he writes in his book. “Saying it out loud felt like a bombshell.”

The chair of Wellcome at the time was Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, former head of MI5. As Farrar emailed colleagues around the world — among them Kristian Andersen from Scripps Research Institute and Anthony Fauci, who led the US response — she advised him to get a burner phone. This had moved beyond public health into dangerous geopolitics, and they needed to be careful.

“President Trump was in office, it was being called the ‘Wuhan Virus’, there were already discussions about whether it could be bioterrorism,” says Farrar. “And I’m suddenly thrust into this space I’ve never worked in before. I was frightened, to be honest.”

Many of the features that so worried those virologists have since been identified by others and formed the basis of continued claims that the virus has been engineered. At the time, Andersen was 60-70 per cent sure it came from a laboratory, Farrar says.

By now Farrar had helped assemble leading experts — a global “dream team”, he calls them. They were so worried that Sir Patrick Vallance, the UK chief scientific officer, relayed the concerns to the security services. Ultimately, on March 17, the dream team reached their verdict. Despite their suspicions, they had not found any evidence for human manipulation.

Farrar, at least, was satisfied. “I don’t think we’re ever going to truly dismiss the thought that it could be a lab leak, but the weight of the evidence is that this was a natural origin,” he says. He is satisfied that the RNA is entirely consistent with having evolved in nature, from where viruses arrive all the time.

But by now he had more pressing concerns. As February became March, it became clear the virus had arrived here and was spreading. This was the period when John Edmunds began death-staring at random civil servants.

These days, herd immunity is the policy with no parents. No one wants to admit that the idea of letting the virus pass through the country originated from them. However, neither was the policy we consider its alternative yet orthodoxy. Read the Sage minutes, or even the UK pandemic plans, and it is clear that before March there was no thought of lockdowns.

This should not, says Farrar, be a surprise. “We talk about lockdown now as if it’s something standard that governments do. It’s not. It’s bizarre. It’s a horrific thing to do. Societies haven’t been locked down since the Middle Ages. But if you lose control of an epidemic, then it is your last resort.”

Today, in a world of political binaries, the response to a pandemic is binary too: lockdown or herd immunity. In early 2020, that was not Farrar’s understanding. It was possible, public health officials believed, to try to slow a pandemic without stopping a society — while also hoping for the arrival of vaccines.

Farrar’s thinking never involved herd immunity. He has the email receipts to show other members of Sage concurred. “Herd immunity by natural infection is a mirage,” he says. “It would take decades. I don’t know where the idea came from; it beggars belief.

“From a public health or clinician’s perspective, laying out a strategy which you knew would lead to 400,000-500,000 deaths and not trying to do something about that would just be unacceptable.” He can’t explain why it is that Patrick Vallance is on record speaking about herd immunity, except to say that everyone was very, very, tired.

Whatever the truth, by mid-March it is clear that Sage was pushing to follow Italy and go into lockdown. It is also clear that they were not being listened to. On March 18, after the famous Neil Ferguson paper but before full lockdown, I spoke to Farrar. He strongly hinted that London would be in lockdown by the next morning. It wasn’t.

The chaos and confusion is, he says, understandable. “If you’re being charitable you can say, ‘It’s a totally new pandemic; we couldn’t have predicted the scale of the impact.’ ” What he cannot forgive is what came in the months after: in a summer of eat out to help out; of fringe scientists gaining the ear of the government with claims we had already hit herd immunity; of failing to act again.

These were the mistakes, he argues, that eventually meant that he did not need to look to Italy to see a health service pushed beyond its limits. He just needed to go to the building next to the Wellcome Trust’s headquarters: University College London Hospital.

“There’s this horrible phrase ‘military medicine’, where people are triaged. Decisions were being made: ‘This person I can save; this person I can’t.’ ” That happened, he says, in January. “Decisions were being made like that in Britain in 2021.

“Britain’s health system did not collapse, but people were having to make decisions that no nurse or doctor should have to make.”

British science has had a stunningly good pandemic. It would not, in fact, be a stretch to say that the country has outperformed every other nation in the world. There is the Oxford vaccine, of course. There is the Recovery trial, which identified the drug dexamethasone as a treatment. There is the genomics sequencing consortium COG-UK, which was convened in late March after a meeting at Wellcome, and which at one point had done half the Covid sequencing in the world.

There are also countless other trials and initiatives, many of which feel obvious now but which most countries simply do not have. We have two mass community surveys to gauge population prevalence of infection. We have a fortnightly contacts survey called CoMix to judge the efficacy of lockdown. We have the Siren study of health workers to look at real-world vaccine efficacy. We have the Vivaldi study in care homes.

None of this happened by chance. It happened because extremely skilled scientists knew what was needed and moved fast to make it happen. Many of those same scientists also sit with Farrar on Sage at the interface of science and politics.

Farrar cannot avoid probing this contradiction. “I hate the phrase ‘world-beating’,” he says. “There are things done in the UK which have been absolutely extraordinary. And yet as a country, one of the richest countries on Earth, with a public health system that is available to everybody, we’ve had one of the worst outcomes, certainly in Europe if not globally. Why the disconnect?”

He thinks it isn’t actually surprising that many far poorer countries, such as Vietnam, have done so much better. In the UK, we are simply not used to this kind of crisis.

“Certainly in my lifetime, and even in the past 100 years if you exclude war, I can’t think there’s been such a disruptive event in the world. It was very clear in the first quarter of 2020 that this was going to affect every single aspect of society, from the economy to jobs to education, everywhere.” Nowhere did he see the urgency of response that was required.

This, he thinks, is the lesson of the pandemic. It’s not that we lack talent. It’s not that we need better leaders. It’s that we need a system where the leader doesn’t matter and which responds fast in the next crisis.

“You have to be personality-independent and it has to be able to click into gear. I don’t like military analogies, but when a moment of crisis strikes, the military would not say, ‘We’ll be organised in a year. Give us a shout then.’ The military has to be able to respond within days, minutes and hours. An exponentially increasing pandemic is the same.”

Today, he thinks, the country is working as it should. Since January, Sage and Whitehall have been in unison. He backs England’s reopening on July 19. This is not like September, when he was so close to quitting. But it has taken too long to get here.

“We need a really strong government that can take a grip and make these decisions in a structured, cross-government way. And it needs to be in place on day 1, not on day 180.”

Report sparrow July 17, 2021 8:06 AM BST
mrcombustible 17 Jul 21 06:33 
Plese refer to this alcoholic buffoon as Johnson.
Boris sounds like a cuddly good guy. He is not that.

Some people even refer to him as "Bojo" for goodness sake!
Report mwnn July 17, 2021 8:31 AM BST
His family and friends call him Alex,which is his name.

Boris is his stage name.
Report Facts July 17, 2021 8:46 AM BST
Johnson is the worst PM this country has ever had.
A liar and a cheat. No moral compass, lazy and zero gravitas. A man who glorifies in being a buffoon,who is incapable of making decisions and sticking to them.
A ' good time Charlie ' with a planet sized ego who is utterly out of his depth.
Report GAZO July 17, 2021 8:50 AM BST
he could get away with being most of those things but his cabinet is also utterly out of their depth
Report brians July 17, 2021 9:55 AM BST
And the alternative is……..
Report elise July 17, 2021 9:59 AM BST
dangermouse and penfold
Report brians July 17, 2021 10:00 AM BST
Dianne Abbott ! No…she doesn't count ,or I mean can't.  Maybe Jeremy or Sir Keen Hindsight.  What a bunch of no hopers.
Report brians July 17, 2021 10:01 AM BST
Now I like Dangermouse and Penfold. Cool
Report elise July 17, 2021 10:05 AM BST
mine was referencing starmer and ashworth, a pair of whingers that drive me nuts with their nasal fecking drone constantly telling teacher what boris did today, if they grew some b@lls and manned up & focused on their own house they'd be in power
Report elise July 17, 2021 10:06 AM BST
whole lot are fecking useless, there must be a better way to run this country than one of these two showers of shoite
Report elise July 17, 2021 10:08 AM BST
and don't even get me started on reeves, nandy, dodds and the ginger minger
Report Facts July 17, 2021 10:12 AM BST
And your observations on this Tory Cabinet ?
Report spyker July 17, 2021 10:33 AM BST
Not wearing masks in the States why should we have to wear them ? They are stopping fook all

have you seen the figs from America? States with low vaccination and lax mask rules have seen a massive increase in case where you get your new from hasn't mentioned it.
As has  been said the mask isn't to protect the wearer  - would you want a surgeon to operate on you without wearing one?

Fully expect to survive the pandemic without being a gene-therapy victim.

Out of interest are they injecting people with stuff or taking genes away?
Report Rico-Dangleflaps July 17, 2021 10:40 AM BST
at least boris hasnt tipped on a forum 10 lays that were winners in 7mth between 50 - 400.

Report elise July 17, 2021 11:48 AM BST
i thought i was fairly clear facts, both parties are shoite, if you don't think that was plain enough let me know what you were looking for?
Report The Management July 17, 2021 12:28 PM BST
I haven't seen so many people so far out of their depth (on both sides of the house) since I watched Titanic.

They all appear to be either silver spoon merchants, failed lawyers, failed journalists or Union reps from the dark ages.

I know there is an old joke that all the people that know how to run the country properly are too busy cutting hair and driving taxis - but I think it's probably time to let the hairdresser and taxi drivers have a go - how much worse could it be?
Report elise July 17, 2021 12:31 PM BST
dunno, my hairdresser is turkish and wants to declare war on the usa
Report sparrow July 17, 2021 12:44 PM BST
Elise, I think facts expected Tory names following 6 fronm Labour.
Report Cider July 17, 2021 12:48 PM BST
The elected politicians aren't actually running things, it's the faceless frauds in Whitehall. As I understand it, the vaccine strategy was one of the few things that the politicians overruled Whitehall on.

All the fukk ups, border policies, test and trace, school bubbles, quarantine etc are all Whitehall projects. They are the people fighting for vaccine passports.

That is not excuse the politicians at all, and the communication is lamentable, but to somewhat understand the predicament. As all these policy decisions literally affect life and death, the elected politicians will always lean towards the so called expert advice. As if they overrule them, and they can be accused of people dying as a consequence, it's very difficult to defend it.
Report Trusty July 17, 2021 12:55 PM BST
Problem is most of the politicians are career politicians who have no idea how the real world works for normal people.

And like someone else said Whithall calls the shots, the same as Tony Bliar went into office with good intentions he realised after a year or so he couldn't change the system, so just played it for all it was worth.

Frankly it is time for another gunpowder plot but this time hopefully it works!
Report Brian July 17, 2021 12:56 PM BST
Facts "Johnson is the worst PM this country has ever had.
A liar and a cheat. No moral compass, lazy and zero gravitas. A man who glorifies in being a buffoon,who is incapable of making decisions and sticking to them.
A ' good time Charlie ' with a planet sized ego who is utterly out of his depth."

Absolutely, whatever you think of Keir Starmer, he would undoubtedly do a better job than the cheating clown. I've heard people say Keir is not charismatic, we are all suffering from the charismatic idiot, so give me a boring competent leader please.
Report The Management July 17, 2021 12:57 PM BST
To be fair the Turks do seem to know how to cut hair - but mine sounds like yours - happy to let him give me a short back and sides but I wouldn't let him near me with a cut-throat razor! It does now appears that being Turkish is compulsory if you want to be a barber!

They make a nice addition and add some variety to to the usual row of shops now situated on every high street (that aren't yet boarded up) Charity Shop, Betting Shop, Coffee Shop, Nail Bar, Mobile Phone shop. Followed by another Turkish Barber, charity Shop, Betting Shop, etc, etc, etc. Throw in the odd Vape outlet and a Pound Shop - Very picturesque!
Report elise July 17, 2021 1:00 PM BST
i guess so sparrow, however the point for me is that there's no credible alternative so how do labour dethrone the torys ? as it stands the torys (who are just as bad) are the devil people know and i think there's a genuine fear that labour are not capable of leading the country which throws a free pass to a bunch of muppets, if starmer beefed up and sorted his shadow cabinet then i think they'd walk it
Report sparrow July 17, 2021 1:11 PM BST
I do tend to agree with that elise and for the first time in over 40 years I failed to vote Labour last time. Starmer has a tough job on his hands but there is still a way to go until the next election and many people who voted Tory last time only did so because of Corbyn and thankfully he's out of the frame now.
Report GAZO July 17, 2021 1:13 PM BST
the next election will be a beauty with nobody wanting to vote for either party
Report Daryl Revok July 17, 2021 1:14 PM BST
2005 41 Scottish MPs. 2010 41 Scottish MPs. 2015 1 Scottish MP. 2019 1 Scottish MP. How do Labour win?
Report Slicer July 17, 2021 1:15 PM BST
The constant chipping away of standards has led to the current situation. Reverse racism rules. You can't say anything against "people of colour" or followers of the Religion of Peace and yet anti semistism is totally acceptable even on these forums where posters of anti semitic emojis are allowed to post without restriction (you know who you are!) Mention the N word & you'll be banned for life. Black Lives Matter makes the rules but mention the rights of whites & you're sneered at & called a racist. Look at the television, particularly channel 4 where homosexuality, transgenderism & lesbianism is promoted. There seems to be vested interests in bringing down what we in the late 50s/early 1960s would call normal people. The abandonment of the discipline in schools that existed in the early 1960s has led to the crime situation as it is now. The criminals have more rights than the victims. Results of elections are dependent on appealing to the local population. Hence the Mayors of London, Birmingham, Leeds, Blackburn, Sheffield, Oxford, Luton, Oldham, & Rochdale are all followers of the Religion of Peace. Society is breaking down as evidenced by the growing resistance to "Taking the knee" & BLM. It's all being stuffed down our throats. These movements are allowed to destroy British History as evidenced by the tearing down of statues. Great Britain has now become Grate Britain & I'm delighted that I've very few years left & won't see either civil war or the takeover by certain what used to be called minorities. End of rant & onto the 1.30 Market Rasen.
Report salmon spray July 17, 2021 2:14 PM BST
Another Health Sec gets Covid. It's alright thanking the rest of us for being cautious,but......
Report Ramruma July 17, 2021 4:54 PM BST
What Boris will do next is get a PCR test because Health Secretary Sajid Javid (aka The Saj) has just tested positive.

Then he will sit back on his new posh settee at Number 10 and wonder how the Daily Mirror found that footnote that proves he lied about who paid for it.

The bizarre funding chain was finally confirmed in the fourth footnote on the 208th page of the Cabinet Office’s annual report, which the Government quietly published on Thursday
Report basilbrush July 17, 2021 5:24 PM BST
Im sure all of you would be much happier with the minority serving party in charge, clueless.
Report The Management July 17, 2021 5:39 PM BST
I'm one sixteenth Italian - so I quite like that all our politicians are self-serving, corrupt, money worshipping criminals.

That Berlusconi fella must be wishing he was born British - he could have got away with it all over here - no need to apologise or resign - just carry on feeding at the trough.
Report Ramruma July 17, 2021 6:32 PM BST
Masks might be a waste of time and doctors are clueless about aerosols.
Post Your Reply
<CTRL+Enter> to submit
Please login to post a reply.


Instance ID: 13539