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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 5:22 am 
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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 7:55 am 
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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:29 am 
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Morning

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:29 am 
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Apologies for recent absence - shifting something online at work taking up all hours am alive. Back at the end of the month.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:39 am 
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This feels too obvious as soon as it's written down, but what the government are doing is setting arbitrary date targets to get things done - 'schools must start going back on June 1st'.

What they should be doing, very very obviously, is setting 'condition' targets to get things done - 'schools can go back when the R number is down to x for y amount of time and testing/tracing/isolating is in place to this standard.'

Because if they were setting themselves 'condition' targets, they would actually have to do something worthwhile and effective to achieve them. Unlike saying '100,000 tests a day by the end of April' without any thought to what was being done with the information learned from those tests, without having follow up contact tracing and isolating in place, without even providing effective testing.

That's how you use targets effectively- don't pick a number, work out what you want to achieve and set a target to get the conditions in place for it to happen. '100,000 tests' isn't strategy - what do we want to achieve? - it's just tactics - what are we going to do to start to achieve it'. 'Schools must starting going back on June 1st' is just tactics, with no strategy. All of their focus is on short term tactics and deflection. Unless, of course, the strategy is deflection - 'let the country run hot' - and just see what happens. Which is entirely possible.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:55 am 
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Morning all.

Agree with that and the selection of arbitrary year groups is a bit odd too.

If you're worried about disadvantaged children falling behind then go for "all Pupil premium children and those on SEN register (they may overlap)" to go back first. Otherwise what happens to disadvantaged pupils in year groups not selected to go back by 1st June.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 11:48 am 
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Actually I'm OK with having date *targets* for things - as long as they are just that, targets. And are flexible and amenable to events.


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 12:53 pm 
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The thing about disadvantaged children is, they live with disadvantaged adults who are statistically more likely to die if infected.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 12:54 pm 
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Meaningful targets and strategies for achieving them.

Pigs might fly.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 1:05 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
Meaningful targets and strategies for achieving them


Well, quite.


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 1:37 pm 
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Good afternoon, everyone.


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 2:58 pm 
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Gavin Williamson and Jenny Harries today.


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 4:25 pm 
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I can report that witnessing Gavin Williamson emoting all over the show was not an edifying experience. Jenny Harries is sticking to her "R" number story.


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 4:26 pm 
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LibDems official report into their election disaster has been released recently.

At turns amusing and horrifying, they at least deserve credit for producing something (and moreover its very much not the whitewash it could have been)

And it makes clear what an utter snake in the grass C*u*a U*m*n* actually is.

(if only some people had warned them about this!)


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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:47 pm 
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Not the best end to an evening. I was reminded of a time my younger daughter then aged about 6 stood by me on the platform as we watched the train we'd been on leave, and then turn to me and say "Where is my bag?" This time, aged 18, she said 'you know that we've just finished the last box of injection needles don't you?" (my daughters both have diabetes). No, I didn't. Twenty minutes of turning various cupboards upside down led to the discovery of an emergency stash of enough to get by if I get a prescription request in tomorrow morning. Not a fun experience though - I think the alternative would have been me and one of the girls sat for hours in A&E to get an emergency prescription.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 10:54 pm 
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AnatolyKasparov wrote:
Actually I'm OK with having date *targets* for things - as long as they are just that, targets. And are flexible and amenable to events.


The problem is date targets can be self fulfilling prophecies and can lead to other things having to be bent to their needs - if they wanted schools back by 1st June, then do what's necessary to get R down and get testing, tracing and isolating in place before then. There are some people out there who seem genuinely confused that there is a problem about this, but we are where we are now because the government decided we were going to show the world how we were right and they were wrong about taking action.

Quote:
Trade used to grow at roughly double global GDP – from 1987 to 2007. Now it barely keeps pace and global growth is itself anaemic and the decline in global poverty is beginning to slow.
And in that context, we are starting to hear some bizarre autarkic rhetoric, when barriers are going up, and when there is a risk that new diseases such as coronavirus will trigger a panic and a desire for market segregation that go beyond what is medically rational to the point of doing real and unnecessary economic damage, then at that moment humanity needs some government somewhere that is willing at least to make the case powerfully for freedom of exchange, some country ready to take off its Clark Kent spectacles and leap into the phone booth and emerge with its cloak flowing as the supercharged champion, of the right of the populations of the earth to buy and sell freely among each other.
And here in Greenwich in the first week of February 2020, I can tell you in all humility that the UK is ready for that role.

Johnson - February 3rd 2020.

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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 11:19 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 8:05 am 
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This will go down well with those types that loathe public spending.

Rightwing thinktanks call time on age of austerity

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... n-lockdown

Quote:
Britain’s leading free-market thinktanks, which backed Margaret Thatcher’s tax-cutting and privatisation agenda and sanctioned the last 10 years of austerity, have lent their support to the government’s plans for unprecedented and sustained increases in public spending.

In a shift of stance that will give Rishi Sunak political clearance to ramp up UK debts to levels not seen in peacetime, the Adam Smith Institute, the Centre for Policy Studies, the Institute of Economic Affairs and Policy Exchange said they endorsed public spending increases to confront the coronavirus outbreak and state-funded investment to boost the recovery.

The support for widespread state intervention to rescue the economy came as Boris Johnson told backbench Tory MPs there were no plans to impose a public sector wage freeze or other austerity measures to bring down public spending in the crisis.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:23 am 
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They wouldn't be saying that if JC had won in December.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:22 am 
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https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/uk-engla ... ssion=true
Quote:
Coronavirus: School near Bristol closes after teachers diagnosed with Covid-19
13 May 2020 Bristol


https://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/news/d ... ssion=true
Quote:
Two cases of coronavirus confirmed at Derby primary school
The school will now be deep-cleaned


Although it does seem that children aren't super-spreaders of Covid-19 in the way they are with flu, I can't see how anyone can argue that schools are less likely to spread it than anywhere else. I predict chaos.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:40 am 
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Interesting.

Quote:
Dr Louise Raw

@LouiseRawAuthor
12h12 hours ago
More
Eton, Harrow and Winchester are staying closed until September.

Yet the @DailyMailUK aren’t calling THEIR teachers lazy cowards.

HOW VERY STRANGE

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 12:11 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
They wouldn't be saying that if JC had won in December.


There are still some on the free market right banging the drum for "slashing government waste and bureaucracy", though.

Have they had a single new idea in over 40 years?


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 1:28 pm 
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I got this link from Larry Elliot's article and it makes for grim reading.

https://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/publications/measuring-excess-mortality-the-case-of-england-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/

Measuring excess mortality: the case of England during the Covid-19 Pandemic.

While UK deaths attributed to Covid are the highest in Europe, the excess death data are likely to be more robust for the reasons given. England’s outcomes are the worst of the 24 countries or states for which EuroMOMO reports Z-scores.

The peak rate of excess deaths in England for the most vulnerable age group, the over-65s is also the highest for the 24 countries or regions compared. Within the UK, Northern Ireland has the lowest relative excess mortality as represented by Z-scores for this age group, while Scotland and Wales are in an intermediate position. They lie far below excess mortality shown for England, and substantially below Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy and France. England has higher peak excess mortality than Spain, while Germany’s are well within the normal range.

More disturbing is the comparative story for the 15-64 age group, where England’s relative record in excess mortality in the Covid-19 era is particularly poor. At its peak (i.e. in the week with the highest excess mortality), it is 2.7 times worse than the weekly peak in next worst country, Spain, almost 4 times worse than France and Belgium, and almost 5 times worse than Italy’s peak weekly excess deaths in the age group. The death rate from Covid is strongly age-related and is always far lower for the 15-64 age group than for those aged 65 and over. Within the UK, peak excess deaths for Wales look only slightly above what EuroMOMO call the ‘substantial’ level of Z=4, while those in Scotland and Northern Ireland are below that level. However, for England, the excess death rate for the 15-64 age group, though lower than for those aged over 65, is strikingly higher than in other countries or regions in Europe. The 15-64 age group includes the mass of the working age population. Moreover, England appears to be the only country in Europe and the rest of the UK, for which deaths had not fallen back below the level Z=2 by week 17 (i.e. the week ending April 26), but was still 24.1. This is concerning and baffling.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 1:34 pm 
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Yes, its no real surprise that approval of the government's handling of this crisis has gone negative for the first time since it took off.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 1:45 pm 
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Quote:
This is concerning and baffling.

'Common sense' suggests that the relatively high death rate among younger people is directly related to the fact that the NHS wasn't overwhelmed.
How many lives could have been saved if people were treated in hospital at an earlier stage of their illness? We'll never know.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 1:48 pm 
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Paul Lay
@_paullay

Struggling to think of any act that would run better with the British people than buying your mum a donkey sanctuary.



:D

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 1:55 pm 
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Sweden.

Quote:
Nicholas A. Christakis
@NAChristakis
Level 7:
Replying to
@NAChristakis
Well, in this detailed & terrific new preprint via
@karin_modig
&
@MaEbeling
, the results are in. As expected, the price of this #COVID19 strategy is death. This is a sad truth about what happens when there is a deadly germ like SARS-CoV-2 circulating.


https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101 ... 20096909v1


https://twitter.com/NAChristakis/status ... 2768226305

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 2:27 pm 
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Coronavirus: Author Neil Gaiman's 11,000-mile lockdown trip to Scottish isle.

https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/uk-scotland-highlands-islands-52697289

Flying all the way to Skye during a pandemic is undoubtedly a dick move but I can fully understand travelling 11000 miles to get away from Amanda Palmer.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 5:10 pm 
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Its raining here, only done that a couple of times previously for over a month.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 8:15 pm 
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Quote:
UK contact-tracing applicants wrongly told hiring paused in latest 'misstep'

Ministers have been accused of “misstep after misstep” after applicants to become contact tracers for the NHS were told recruitment was on hold while the government considered an alternative app.

The shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, said: “Test, trace and isolate is fundamental to managing and controlling this virus and safely easing lockdown – yet the government’s approach has been increasingly chaotic, with misstep after misstep.” (Guardian)


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/17/uk-contact-tracing-applicants-wrongly-told-hiring-paused-in-latest-misstep


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:06 pm 
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PorFavor wrote:
Quote:
UK contact-tracing applicants wrongly told hiring paused in latest 'misstep'

Ministers have been accused of “misstep after misstep” after applicants to become contact tracers for the NHS were told recruitment was on hold while the government considered an alternative app.

The shadow health secretary, Jon Ashworth, said: “Test, trace and isolate is fundamental to managing and controlling this virus and safely easing lockdown – yet the government’s approach has been increasingly chaotic, with misstep after misstep.” (Guardian)


https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/may/17/uk-contact-tracing-applicants-wrongly-told-hiring-paused-in-latest-misstep


I was about to jump on that headline - how dare they call yet another fuckup a 'mis-step' - but then saw it was a quote from Ashworth. Underplayed, seriously underplayed, I think. I know there are issues about how far to go in partisan politics at the moment but these are not mis-steps.

(PF - your views on the misstep / mis-step controversy will be gratefully received).

(No, I said 'controversy' not 'controversy').

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:11 pm 
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So on Thursday Steve Barclay claims it'll all be ready this coming week, on Friday Brandon Lewis says they've only recruited 1500, then on Sunday Gove insists it's 17000 but will be up and running by the end of the month.

Glad we've got that sorted then.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:26 pm 
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adam wrote:
I was about to jump on that headline - how dare they call yet another fuckup a 'mis-step' - but then saw it was a quote from Ashworth. Underplayed, seriously underplayed, I think. I know there are issues about how far to go in partisan politics at the moment but these are not mis-steps.

(PF - your views on the misstep / mis-step controversy will be gratefully received).

(No, I said 'controversy' not 'controversy').


Is there a controversy (pronounced contrOversy) about misstep? Either way you're right it's a monumental fuck-up.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:31 pm 
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@adam

Sky'sGoneOut's post would suggest when the timing is best for putting the boot in (ie after some clarification of Michael Gove's statement of the true state of play). And are they drawing up a reserve list of trained track and trace staff so that they'll be able to be called on at a moment's notice?


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:35 pm 
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PorFavor wrote:
@adam

Sky'sGoneOut's post would suggest when the timing is best for putting the boot in (ie after some clarification of Michael Gove's statement of the true state of play). And are they drawing up a reserve list of trained track and trace staff so that they'll be able to be called on at a moment's notice?


I would guess, given what's gone before and what appears to be happening now, that they'll give people half a day learning how to sync the mobile app with some kind of desktop software that's supposed to generate data and responses, and then withdraw the app and announce a nice large number for funding for the development of a new one.

Did anyone read the article about the guy going home to Hong Kong earlier in the year? I'll find a link - hours, on arrival, being tested and cleared, being taught how to use further home tests, being lectured about responsibilities, and then being tagged and released to quarantine at home for 14 days and self-test and report in during that time. And that was months ago. We've not quite got around to reliably testing, never mind actually doing anything with the results.

Edit - it's here - Flying long haul during Covid-19: air travel has never been stranger

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:37 pm 
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Neil Gaiman - The Day The Saucers Came

That Day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and
stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find out what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn’t notice because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold,
and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true
brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across
the land and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day, the zombie day
The Ragnarok and fairies day,
the day the great winds came
And snows and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling
us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of
the Time Machine day,
You didn’t notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

I agree flying across the world was ridiculous and wrong. But I like Neil Gaiman.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:45 pm 
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And yes - it's contrOversy.

By the way - did anyone hear Donald Trump blaming Barack Obama for the USA's unpreparedness? Apparently, Obama left the cupboard dry. I don't think that's in the version of the nursery rhyme that I'm familiar with.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 9:47 pm 
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PorFavor wrote:
And yes - it's contrOversy.

By the way - did anyone hear Donald Trump blaming Barack Obama for the USA's unpreparedness? Apparently, Obama left the cupboard dry. I don't think that's in the version of the nursery rhyme that I'm familiar with.


My recollection is that Prince says 'Con - TRA- versy and,well, you know, he's Prince. Or was.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:10 pm 
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You're right Adam about Labour underplaying this.

Bridget Phillipson on Question Time the other night might as well not have been there for all the use she was.

"We've always said we'll support the Government when it gets things right but when it gets things wrong we'll murmur quietly in the background."

I understand not wanting to be seen to politicise the deaths of thousands of people, especially given the level of support Johnson and his idiot cabal have contrived to maintain, but that dam is beginning to burst. Starmer, much to my amazement, is actually registering with people, even a brexitoid loon in my house told me he'd been impressed by him skewering Johnson about advice to care homes. There's an appetite out there for an alternative narrative to the one currently being written by the Government, their shameless public health and scientific advisors and the BBC. But Labour as of this moment look like wee tremulous beasties caught in the headlights.

You're a teacher, my brother is a teacher, I'm sure you were as angry as he was yesterday to have an ex-fireplace salesman trying to guilt trip you back to work with his 'won't somebody think of the vulnerable children?' routine while his sidekick Jenny Harries completely misrepresented the science of how infective children can be to adults.

It was disgraceful and it's about time Labour started pointing this shit out. The SNP have been doing it from the beginning and it only seems to have done them a world of good.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:15 pm 
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I particularly liked this somebody quoted, from Umberto Eco's '14 Common Features of Fascism'

Quote:
11. Everybody is educated to become a hero. “In Ur-Fascist ideology, heroism is the norm. This cult of heroism is strictly linked with the cult of death.”

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:24 pm 
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I've been making lists of things we're going to need to deal with when we do eventually go back even a bit normally, pre (if ever) vaccine -

* Safe limits for the numbers of children in a room are very strict safe limits. If an extra student is there, they can't come in. If somebody needs to be moved out of another lesson, they can't come in. If we've made a list of how many kids but forgotten that there are two extra adults in the room, make a new list.
* Safe distancing has to be the standard in school for everybody. If you and your twin have shared a room and even a spoon through every moment of this so far, you still have to stay apart from each other in school. Everybody has to see that distancing is standard, essential and always. Nobody can be able to point and say 'but look at them'
* If things appear to be working with half the kids there, then that works because there are half the kids there. The idea that it might work with more than half the kids there is a huge leap in the dark
* And (as yesterday) - the long term way out of this hopefully is vaccination and immunity. The medium term way out is test/trace/isolate - nosily, assertively and proactively - an interventionist state. I do not want to have to get back on the train, but I know I will, and I will when R is consistently down, when new infections are consistently down, and when there is a clearly effective and evidenced test/trace/isolate system in place. (in other words - when the government's tests for re-opening schools have been met).

I have been at my school for twenty years and - straightforwardly and seriously - i love it and don't want to leave. If the government continue to just not bother sorting things out, then I'm left with finding a job closer to home, or learning to drive (which is impossible at the moment anyway, impossible as a short term solution) or working out whether I could afford a short-term sabbitical/leave of absence, if school would give it to me. I'm very very fortunate that it's possible that I could afford this if necessary.

I am mildly annoyed [/sarcasm] that after an email conversation about the coming week that I had on Monday afternoon, I am still waiting to hear what is expected of me for the coming week.

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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:28 pm 
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PorFavor wrote:
By the way - did anyone hear Donald Trump blaming Barack Obama for the USA's unpreparedness? Apparently, Obama left the cupboard dry. I don't think that's in the version of the nursery rhyme that I'm familiar with.


Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
to inject her dog with bleach
When she came there
The cupboard was bare
And so the poor dog said, "What the fuck are you doing you lunatic? Were you going to inject me with that? Why have you sidelined the CDC and handed their job to your idiot son in law? What the fuck is wrong with you? I'm going to rip your throat out."


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 10:46 pm 
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I fear Umberto Eco is one of those authors people have on their bookshelves to look clever while never reading the books.

Which would be a shame because they're great.

And readily available in charity shops.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:18 pm 
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This is Rick and Morty doing a real court transcript.



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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:28 pm 
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Denver Fenton Allen is now in jail for life for murdering his cellmate.


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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:31 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:46 pm 
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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 11:56 pm 
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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 12:03 am 
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I haven't even smoked any weed yet, usually wait until 1 to be polite.


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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 12:35 am 
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Hmmm...


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