Aye, yes, governments are shit at doing things, aren’t they?

I understand the necessity for restrictions. But restrictions need to be evidence-based, consistent and clear. The current restrictions are unclear, inconsistent and ever shifting. I have to go online to check what we are and are not allowed to do because it appears to change every couple of days, so for example the school-mask thing was a late addition to this week’s restrictions.

I’m no fan of the anti-mask, anti-lockdown crowd who demand the freedom to kill your gran, or the clowns I saw on Instagram last night having a riotous gender reveal house party in Clydebank (such parties seem to bring out the idiots; I’ll no doubt come back to that later). These people are modern day Typhoid Marys. But to combat their bullshit, ignorance and sheer selfishness, governments need to persuade everybody else that the restrictions are not only necessary but proportionate; that other people, whether those people are Government advisors or their next door neighbours, are not getting an easier ride than they are.

Governments turn out to be shit at detailing what everyone else must do. Now just you want until government directs the economy…..

41 thoughts on “Aye, yes, governments are shit at doing things, aren’t they?”

  1. Also, are people following government advice because of their fear of the virus? Or are they following government advice for fear of the government?
    Given that I’ve never heard of a business closing down voluntarily, nor running out of willing customers, I would say the latter.
    They express fear of the virus and a disapproval of how some others behave because they don’t want to face the implications of their true fear.

  2. “the freedom to kill your gran, ”

    That old cow….

    The one that kills your gran is either you or a close relative, and failing that, regular care personnel, failing to keep up the isolation bubble you need to try and do the impossible: preventing infection with a virus that has already gone endemic before Sniffle Season arrived.

    Of course, it’s easier to blame a random stranger than accepting some very simple rules of contagion and infection.
    Especially when those rules state that “6 degrees of separation” only proves that there isn’t a connection.

  3. Evidence based, huh? The evidence is that lockdowns do more harm than good.

    Notice how when the WHO agreed with government over lockdowns, the WHO were the experts to listen to, but now they don’t, it’s “World Health what now?” Why, it’s like governments want lockdowns whether the science is there or not.

  4. I’m no fan of the anti-mask, anti-lockdown crowd who demand the freedom to kill your gran

    A lot of worthless cowards say this. I wish bad things on them all, although I can think of little off the top of my head that is worse than being a fat sweaty mentalist who pretends he’s a bird, yet never ever will be one.

  5. ‘ I understand the necessity for restrictions…’

    Clearly you don’t. The next two sentences indicate you cannot understand the ‘necessity’ for the reasons you state, that they are changeable and unclear. That alone should tell you ‘necessity’ is absent.

    If you understood anything go at all about SARS-CoV-2 and Covid and epidemics and respiratory virus just from a layman’s point of view, you would ‘understand’ there is no necessity for restrictions.

    See Sweden.

  6. Pat,

    “Also, are people following government advice because of their fear of the virus? Or are they following government advice for fear of the government?
    Given that I’ve never heard of a business closing down voluntarily, nor running out of willing customers, I would say the latter.”

    You also have to consider just how few people run a business now.

    There are 10s of millions of people who don’t care too much if lockdown continues: grannies, kids, the workshy public sector, lots of teachers, people who have been furloughed because the business they work for has gone to shit and they still collect 80% of pay to sit around playing Call of Duty.

    If we added little public debt for Covid, and say, cut public sector jobs, cut treatment for the elderly, made furlough a loan rather than a freebie, people would be gagging to get back to normal. Instead, I’m sure at the end of this that the motherfuckers in the Conservatives are going to tax the fuck out of people like me (who are also entitled to fuck all).

  7. Why’s the geezer-in-a-frock now migrated from ‘feminism’ to ‘your tax money at work’? I was sort of presuming that by avoiding subjects in the ‘femininism’ category I could decline being exposed to the tedious rantings of this deluded pervert. And I get lured into another lot. If any posts need “trigger warnings”. those regarding his excretions do. Can’t you do a ‘fat female impersonator’ category or something, Tim? Exactly what does he have to offer? He’s not someone important or with any particular insights. It’s just one long petulant whine from one of the world’s more ignorable freak-shows.

  8. This is probably good advice for Carrie irrespective of Bat-AIDS: There are other restrictions too. When I pick up and drop off my children I must wear a face covering in the street outside their school

    Into each life some rain must fall, but too much is falling in mine.

  9. I know plenty of people with small businesses, hairdressers, physios, restaurant owners.
    And they all blame people who show fear of neither the virus nor the government for being shut down. Even though none would have shut down or run out of customers had the government not told them to.

  10. And they all blame people who show fear of neither the virus nor the government for being shut down. Even though none would have shut down or run out of customers had the government not told them to.

    It’s frustrating isn’t it? It’s not COVID not “the deniers” who caused the lockdown. It’s the government. It’s a choice the government have made and it is them who are to be blamed for all the negative effects that result. There needs to be a reckoning.

  11. The problem – which these people don’t seem to understand – is that politicians don’t know anything. At all. They’re not experts at anything except getting elected.

    So they have ‘experts’ to advise them. Except that the experts are experts in very narrow fields. So they provide advice based on that narrow worldview. So the medical expert says ‘shut it all down’ and the economics experts says ‘but that’ll kill people too’. And then different experts in the same fields will say different things.

    And the politician, who knows nothing, has to synthesize a course of action that won’t get him fired at the next election.

    So its no wonder that relying on government always leaves you trying to follow a shifting set of ‘best practices’. These guys throw out new orders all the time in an effort to obfuscate and confuse. So at the end they can say ‘well, I tried that’ or whatever – so please, re-elect me.

  12. Do not comply with the LD.

    If all business owners just said “Fuck it–we are staying open” that is it for the entire bullshit.

    Once Spewknack’s funny money fails then the list of chumps BoM4 shows will squeal the loudest.

    What baffles me is all the suicides. If they have driven you down to where you REALLY are gonna top yourself why would you not hit back on the way out?

  13. Pat. The government now decides if you can open your business, during what hours, what your customers have to wear, collects personal data on them, how you can market your offer and so forth, so I’d say the government already runs your business. And they have gained control without paying you a cent.

    If I were an international business being wooed for inward investment and I had a choice between the UK, Sweden and Belarus the UK would come third on my list.

  14. DNR orders to be placed upon all authorities. They have made a right ball’s up of it all and they are now superfluous.

  15. @Mr Ecks
    Last week Liverpool Gyms came together and refused to close – not sure how it’s going

    “Remember, the 5th of November….” it doesn’t bode well for Bozo and his clowns…..

    Can we UKians organise a Mass Rebellion on 5 Nov? Please, pretty please. Big bonfires: PHE HQ, Imperial College, BBC, SAGE, Hancock, Holyrood, Wales HQ…. – we could watch occupants like Wicker Man

  16. Times subscribers – a request

    Please copy and paste to here or https://pastebin.com/

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/stem-the-tide-protect-the-economy-save-jobs-g6ngg68tm
    and
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/we-lack-macrons-courage-to-call-this-savagery-what-it-is-islamist-terrorism-gbcsj265m

    Many thanks

    PS
    Rod Liddle:
    “The Week in 60 Minutes – with Andrew Neil, Jay Bhattacharya and Rod Liddle”
    – The latest episode of Spectator TV features Prof Jay Bhattacharya, one of the author of the GBD
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoaPJkA9GmE

  17. I have a personal stake in having ambulance service running smoothly. Not having to transport patients 2 hours drive round trip to a Nightingale or even an hour extra total travel to take patients to a hospital thats able to take them.

    Lockdown is bad. I don’t think even the politicians will disagree with that. Certainly a large chunk of the business community (though of course not all) accept that lockdown is bad or worse.

    However what is the cost of not reducing the infection spread rate?
    Worse.

    We can survive individually losing jobs, even losing houses or cars. We don’t survive death.

    We get a lockdown because the virus is spreading fast. Why is it spreading fast? Perhaps those not wearing masks ‘because they don’t want to wear one’ has an impact. Perhaps those having large social gatherings have an impact. Perhaps those told to isolate by track and trace but choose not to – perhaps has an impact. Perhaps those giving false information at the pub / restaurant / club so they can’t be traced has an impact.

    Perhaps multiple things together has an impact.

    Regardless ‘something’ must be done to reduce virus spread. That something weeks ago was a 3 tier system – which appears not to have made an impact. So the ‘something’ has to be different.
    Lockdown? It worked last time.

    So they come up with lockdown-lite. Not quite as bad as last time though at a worse time of year for business.

    If it works this time then it may reduce the pressure on the NHS a little in December. If it doesn’t work…. it costs the same but we don’t get as much benefit from it.

    Next stage – a much tougher lockdown.
    Can’t catch Covid in Tesco if all the supermarkets are shut for 2 weeks over Christmas!
    Laughable as an idea. Sadly all ideas beyond lockdown are going to be extreme and costly.

  18. “Lockdown? It worked last time.”

    Bollocks. All the evidence points at the fact that cases were falling BEFORE the lockdown was announced, and could possibly have had any impact. Plus the obvious issue that countries (and US States) that didn’t lock down did no worse (indeed some did better) than ones that did.

    You’ve just said it yourself – the 3 tier system of restrictions wasn’t having any effect on positive PCR tests (note they are NOT ‘cases’) so your genius response is to do even more of the same.

  19. Martin – We can survive individually losing jobs, even losing houses or cars. We don’t survive death.

    Dunno. We’re all gonna die anyway. Only Jesus Christ promises eternal life, and he got nailed to a tree for his terrifying message of hope.

    There’s no (sane) reason to privilege Covid deaths over deaths from cancer, heart attacks, suicide, diabetes etc.

    I don’t mean to be geronticidal like the NHS is, but last time I checked, the median age for Covid deaths was older than average life expectancy. It’s sad when gran pops her clogs, but is it worth destroying the lives and livelihoods of millions of people, some of whom will also suffer unnecessarily early death as a result of elf fascism, to keep people who are barely clinging to this mortal coil around for a few extra months at best?

    Narp. And I reckon most old grannies would tell you the same. The old buffers I had the privilege of knowing, the quiet, unassuming folks who suffered through the Blitz or in Japanese POW camps, would never have sacrificed their grandchildren’s future for the sake of a bad cough that everyone will probably get anyway.

    We get a lockdown because the virus is spreading fast. Why is it spreading fast? Perhaps those not wearing masks

    The Science (pbuh) on mask mandates looks extremely fucking dubious to my layman’s eye. I’m not an epididymis, just a fan of causation, and the publicly available data shows no detectable connexion between mask wearing and lower infection rates.

    But note we’re now in a logic trap with lockdowns. If they don’t work (and it obviously didn’t “work” last time, unless you’re Jeff Bezos), then why… it must be because we didn’t lock down hard enough! This is no longer a falsifiable scientific proposition, it’s an article of faith. The beatings must continue until health improves.

  20. “I’m not an epididymis, just a fan of causation, and the publicly available data shows no detectable connexion between mask wearing and lower infection rates.”

    The evidence from the UK suggests that wearing masks causes covid cases to rise. The mask requirement coming in marks the exact spot when cases started to pick up. Now thats correlation not causation, and its highly unlikely to be true, but it is the evidence we have in front of us, and its not in favour of masks……..

  21. Farage reforms the line as the anti-lockdown Reform Party.

    AT LAST–and without any illusions of Farage as a saint –a chance to hit back. Combined with widespread non-compliance and several other orgs of lawyers etc also fighting back( see * below) we are off to the races.

    MY MISTAKE–AND MANY MILLIONS OF OTHERS– WITH THE TORIES WILL NEVER BE REPEATED. BLOJOB HAS SUNK THE BRAND COMPREHENSIVELY. AND STUMOUR LIKEWISE WITH LABOUR.

    If you have written to yr Tory MP already–write again and tell them they are fighting for their political life now and NO to LD on Weds next is what they will have to ante up to stay in the game at all.

    Martin–you are a mug or Unit 77 shill.

    I an not an overly enthusiastic man but HUZZA!!! is my call tonight. A chance to fight back.

    *https://rational.global/letter-of-non-compliance-to-lockdown/

    https://timeforrecovery.org/

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    Jim

    The evidence from the UK suggests that wearing masks causes covid cases to rise. The mask requirement coming in marks the exact spot when cases started to pick up. Now thats correlation not causation, and its highly unlikely to be true, but it is the evidence we have in front of us, and its not in favour of masks……..

    See page 11 here. Its not simple because of the interaction with other nonpharmaceutical interventions but it looks like they could be making matters worse based on evidence of their introduction around the world..

  23. Bloke in North Dorset

    Bollocks. All the evidence points at the fact that cases were falling BEFORE the lockdown was announced, and could possibly have had any impact.

    And its looking like the could be falling before we enter the latest lockdown. Weekend reporting is always a bit dodgy but new positive tests by 7-day average down 1% as at 27 Oct which is in line with the Zoe app showing a 1% rise in symptoms, but that growth rate has been falling steadily. NHS triage have been falling for some time, down 12% on last week and 30% on 4 weeks ago.

  24. “it looks like they could be making matters worse based on evidence of their introduction around the world..”

    Judging by the way 90% of people use masks I’d say that distinctly possible. Everyone fiddles with them, removes them, puts them back on again, re-uses the same one repeatedly, fails to wash hands after touching it, use non-surgical grade masks etc etc etc.

    The idea that something that has only a small efficacy when used under strict guidelines in a medical setting will have any positive effect at all when the great unwashed use them in a public setting is madness. It is entirely possible that masks are increasing viral load on people who are already infected, and thus increasing their chances of getting a more serious case, and are increasing the likelihood of infection in others via increased hand to mouth movements. I would argue that the negative effect is not large if it even exists, but that there is zero benefit for sure.

  25. @ Martin
    If it works this time then it may reduce the pressure on the NHS a little in December.

    What pressure on the NHS? A significant proportion of the NHS is lying idle to the detriment of people who actually need its services.

    Does anyne know how many genuine Wuflu patients are actually being treated in hospital in the UK.
    Hong Kong is a case in point. There is the usual rabid end-of-the-world scaremongering about out-of-control Wuflu. As of 9am local time today 2 November, there are 94 patients in public hospitals (maybe a few more in private hopitals -but not many) of whom 14 need more that palliative care.

  26. Martin,

    “We can survive individually losing jobs, even losing houses or cars. We don’t survive death.”

    So, you won’t mind giving up all your worldly goods except a tiny room to live in where you can eat the most basic diet, sleep and shit. That is, technically being alive.

    Because here’s my perspective: I have a daughter who leaves school in July. She was hoping to get an apprenticeship somewhere but lots of schemes have been closed down because the economy is in the shit. She also can’t go out with her friends much, go and travel or all sorts of things. Her job prospects are something like working in a supermarket at the moment.

    And she’s sacrificing her good life to keep old people, past life expectancy, alive a little longer. People who would be dead in a few months anyway are taken slightly prematurely by Covid. Oh, and when this is over and we’ve accumulated half a trillion in debt, she’s going to have to pay for it.

    People used to just accept these things. Disease comes to town and it takes out the weak and frail. You throw money at protecting the children, because as George Benson wisely observed, they are the future.

  27. Martin,

    “If it works this time then it may reduce the pressure on the NHS a little in December.”

    There’s no pressure on the NHS. Even with the worst point on the chart, we’ve enough Nightingale beds to handle that. That’s why we built them, wasn’t it? So life could get back to normal and the NHS would cope? If we’re not going to use them, what was the fucking point?

  28. Bloke in North Dorset

    Judging by the way 90% of people use masks I’d say that distinctly possible. Everyone fiddles with them, removes them, puts them back on again, re-uses the same one repeatedly, fails to wash hands after touching it, use non-surgical grade masks etc etc etc.

    Yep, and that’s what was said when the pandemic started – by the chief nurse at a government press conference, no less.

    Then, without a by-your-leave, that’s flushed down the memory hole and suddenly masks are so important we need laws making them compulsory.

  29. The one good thing that may come out of all this shit is that it will have made it very clear to every UK citizen where they lie in the list of priorities where the NHS is concerned – right at the bottom. Far from being the ‘Wonder of the World’, the NHS is being shown to be nothing more than the self absorbed, sanctimonious, selfish, bloated and callous State body it always has been. The NHS has had a ‘Bad War’ and there will be a reckoning when all this is done and dusted. People are not going to forget that they and their loved ones have been shoved out of the NHS, had the door slammed in their faces, and been denied healthcare in order to ‘save the NHS’. Yet all those evil capitalists managed to keep the lights on, the food on the shelves, gas in the pipes, fuel in the petrol stations, water in the taps and all the other necessities (and non-necessities) that people need and want. It will have opened a lot of people’s eyes.

  30. Quite so Jim.
    And further to your point, now that we’re 7 months into a “national crisis”, why is it still true that the weekend stats are a bit dodgy?

    I’m sure it boggles the likes of Tesco.

  31. Lockdown? It worked last time.

    For a given value of ‘worked’, Martin. Does lockdown work to minimise transmission, well, yes, it does. Then when you let people out, does the infection rate shoot up again? Yes, that happens too. And I can’t see any way round that.

    I don’t have an answer. But lockdown only seems to work temporarily. It’s not fixing the problem. I don’t think there is a fix, and we need to start accepting that.

  32. Re memory holes and Farage, funny how things have turned around from the days he was supporting a lockdown and the government (and even SAGE) were opposing! Not a criticism and not an allegation of hypocrisy – people are quite entitled to change their minds about their efficacy or indeed to think a lockdown was appropriate in one situation but not another. But it’s genuinely interesting how a general reversal has taken place and people have mostly entirely forgotten.

    This whole twitter thread is a great read: https://twitter.com/edwest/status/1318460476901253120

  33. @BOM4
    “There’s no pressure on the NHS. Even with the worst point on the chart, we’ve enough Nightingale beds to handle that. That’s why we built them, wasn’t it? So life could get back to normal and the NHS would cope? If we’re not going to use them, what was the fucking point?”

    I replied to this in more length on the other thread https://www.timworstall.com/2020/11/i-know-harsh-of-me-tsk/#comment-1038916 but for the TLDR…

    Yes, plan always has been to use Nightingales for winter overflow (but use main hospitals first, better facilities etc), they weren’t being ignored. No, NHS capacity projections do not expect to cope with rising hospitalisations – as of last week, even the Nightingales were projected to be completely full in December. Government were advised that due to policy lag, the last chance to prevent this was to lockdown in first week of November. Previously they overrode the concern of their advisors and tried to give the Tier system a chance to work but seems this time hands were forced.

    I said more on the other thread about limitations of the projections but if the government hadn’t U-turned, we’d have seen Hancock being questioned in the Commons as to why his government was presiding over a policy that had resulted in NHS internal planning documents talking about sick people having to be turned away from hospital over Xmas. Would be politically “brave” (Yes Minister sense) to say “our government hasn’t followed the scientific advice because we disagree with the NHS’s planning forecasts”.

  34. MBE,

    I think the switch is that when people talked of a lockdown earlier in the year, we on the right thought it was a temporary lockdown to adapt, build the infrastructure and get back to life.

    That hasn’t happened. And the left are OK with it because they’re getting paid to stay home all day.

  35. The thing which I find odd that nobody on either side of the aisle has noticed is that this is a seasonal disease. Like colds and flu — which are both airborne coronaviruses — cases are very low in the summer and get more frequent as the temperature drops. The “first wave” was curtailed not by lockdown or public behavioural changes, but by summer. When summer ended, cases started going up again. First in the North — where it gets colder earlier — with the South a few weeks behind. Cases in Devon (where I grew up) and Cornwall trailing further behind because you don’t really get proper winters there — at least not on the coasts where all the population is: instead autumn lasts until about March and then it’s spring.

  36. “Would be politically “brave” (Yes Minister sense) to say “our government hasn’t followed the scientific advice because we disagree with the NHS’s planning forecasts”.”

    But its not ‘official advice’. All these scary graphs that have been purposely touted round the press in advance to put pressure on the Government to act are specifically called ‘scenarios’ NOT predictions. This is not science, its politics. Its also rapidly coming to light that the ‘scenarios’ are utter BS anyway. The one that envisages 4000 deaths per day is based on 3 week old data, and Cambridge University who produced it have already admitted that using the latest data the figure comes down to 1000/day at the peak. Which shows that the cases are not rising exponentially, the rate of increase is already declining.

    None of this is science by any stretch of the imagination. If it was the scientists would give their official advice and then shut up. Not go round the TV studios defending their ‘positions’. Thats what politicians do.

    We effectively have a dictatorship of SAGE now. They can produce whatever lies they like and then demand action and the politicians are too scared to tell them to sling their hook and get other advisors in.

  37. @BoM4
    Because here’s my perspective: I have a daughter who leaves school in July. She was hoping to get an apprenticeship somewhere but lots of schemes have been closed down because the economy is in the shit. She also can’t go out with her friends much, go and travel or all sorts of things. Her job prospects are something like working in a supermarket at the moment.

    And she’s sacrificing her good life to keep old people, past life expectancy, alive a little longer. People who would be dead in a few months anyway are taken slightly prematurely by Covid. Oh, and when this is over and we’ve accumulated half a trillion in debt, she’s going to have to pay for it.

    Quite so, and speaking as an older person (late 60s and in good health), I’m a bit miffed too. I don’t have an infinite number of good years left on this interesting and varied planet and hope to spend my remaining time seeing a bit more of it (and generally enjoying myself). For which purpose 2020 was a washout – and 2021 isn’t looking that great.

  38. @Martin
    Lockdown doesn’t prevent C-19 deaths of susceptible, merely delays their death. Meanwhile more die from other causes as NHS closed.

    Good interpretation here:
    https://lockdownsceptics.org/2020/11/02/latest-news-181/#the-grim-reaper-is-owed-a-few-souls

    Daily deaths in UK are ~1,688 and annual ~620,000, C-19 has not changed that figure

    Lockdown is Gov’t kicking can down road at enormous financial & health costs

    Good today: JHB, Farage, Heneghan, Tice etc
    https://www.youtube.com/c/TalkradioUk/videos

    _
    @Mr Ecks
    Farage and Reform UK
    https://mailchi.mp/thebrexitparty.org/its-time-from-brexit-to-reform-uk

  39. Toby started a petition last night on Change.org asking MPs to take a 20% pay cut for the duration of the lockdown, just as furloughed employees are having to do. His hope is it will attract so many signatures, MPs will feel under moral pressure to do it and that, in turn, will make them reluctant to wave through the second lockdown in the House of Commons on Wednesday – or, if they do, make them more inclined to hold Boris to the December 2nd deadline.

    You can sign it here
    http://chng.it/9qhqLFz6

    Someone has started a petition to stop the second lockdown. You can sign that one here.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/549862

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