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Saturday 30 May 2020

Lockdown - Boris Versus The Experts

Even though he was bombarded with questions about the behaviour of chief Downing Street polecat Dominic Cummings, and had to spend some of the time stopping the Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Medical Officer from passing comment on the Barnard Castle day out, alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson did manage to use the Thursday Downing Street briefing to tell of an easing to the lockdown.
This, as could be seen from yesterday’s papers, was received as good news, and Bozo would be hoping that it might revive his fortunes; after all, even at the start of the week, a YouGov poll showed Tory support slipping four points and Labour gaining five points, cutting the Tory lead from 15 points to just six. Another poll showed Labour leader Keir Starmer with a net approval rating of +21% - as in 20% ahead of Bozo.
Worse for the Tories, those approving of Starmer’s performance include more than one in four Tory voters. What price the Red-to-Blue wall now? So easing the lockdown, including reopening non-essential shops, and the promise of pubs opening before too long, was a no brainer for the Tories. But there was a problem: the experts disagreed.
As the BBC has reported, “Scientific advisers to the government have warned of the risk of lifting the lockdown in England, as the UK begins the final weekend before rules change. Professor John Edmunds said it was a ‘political decision’ to ease measures; Sir Jeremy Farrar said the NHS test and trace system should be ‘fully working’”. Both Edmunds and Farrar are members of SAGE. And why they have concerns is not hard to discover.
The Beeb’s Fergus Walsh told that “Prof John Edmunds from LSHTM and a SAGE advisor says 8,000 current infections a day in community is high and many scientists would have preferred incidence down to lower levels before we relax lockdown measures”. Sky News added “Sage committee member and the director of the Wellcome Trust Jeremy Farrar says COVID-19 is spreading ‘too fast’ for the government to lift lockdown measures”.
Worse still is the high number of deaths attributable to Covid-19: as Derek James pointed out, “Spain has only had four #Covid19 deaths in the last three days. The UK has had well over 1,000 #Covid19 deaths in the last three days. Spain's children won't be returning to school until September. #BorisJohnson wants UK children to return to school on Monday”.
Other comparative figures looked grim for the UK, with Bryan Smith noting “Deaths yesterday across Europe: Spain 2 … Italy 87 … Germany 24 … France 52 … Turkey 28 … Belgium 42 … Sweden 84 … Portugal 14 … Ireland 6 … Poland 13 … Romania 13 … Hungary 8 … Netherlands 28 … UK ... 324 … There’s no way we are ready to ease lockdown & open schools”. At least one other country agrees with that.
Greece will receive tourists from 29 other countries when its borders are reopened next month. The UK is not one of them. Spain appears ready to follow suit. The level of infection and death is far too high for them to risk it. So why is lockdown being eased?

Simples. The experts just want to save lives. But Bozo wants to save his career.
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grim northerner said...

28 weeks later.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

What price the Red-to-Blue wall now?

Ho, ho!

It occurs to me that it might not amuse the chapel-goers of Delyn (majority 865) for their MP, Robert Roberts (so odd they named him twice) to go 'queer' (see his wikipedia) and get his antics featured by Guido Fawkes.

Similarly, let us relish the convoluted support for Dominic Cummings by Dehenna Davison, whose constituency includes eye-watering Barnard Castle.

rob said...

Ever felt like like you were in play depicting olden times when human sacrifices were made to propitiate the gods?

Only we're not in a play and we're propitiating Mammon rather than any god?

Estimates of 60,000 odd so far two thirds of which are considered "excess".

Wonder what target Mammon requires? Will be relatively lucky in that this government has failed most of their targets so far?