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 Post subject: Wednesday 15th July 2020
PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:41 am 
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Morning all.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:09 am 
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Good morning.

Edward Colston statue replaced by sculpture of Black Lives Matter protester

I hope the authorities let it stay, at least for a while.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:32 am 
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Morning all.

Zoom meeting soon so will just pop this in as it's being rightly, widely shared this morning.

When secret coronavirus contracts are awarded without competition, it's deadly serious

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... y-pandemic

Quote:
This is not just about value for money, important as that is. Transparent, competitive tendering is a crucial defence against cronyism and corruption. It is essential to integrity in public life and public trust in politics. But the government doesn’t seem to care. As the scandal over Cummings’ trip to Durham shows, its strategy is to brazen out disgrace until public outrage subsides. We know it cheats and lies. It knows that we know, and it doesn’t care.

But these things matter. People die when the government gets them wrong. Our challenge is to discover how to make them count.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 10:42 am 
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Also in this morning's Graun, a disturbing account of how Italy's appeals to the EU for help over the virus were all but ignored.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 11:26 am 
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I'm not sure this was even supposed to be a toughie, but it was the question that seemed to leave Johnson most struggling for a response:

Quote:
Starmer says he is meeting the bereaved families of Covid-19 victims this afternoon and asks what the prime minister would like to say to them.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 11:29 am 
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This was then followed by an exchange in which Boris Johnson made a joke about pants.

Such class.

:toss:

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:36 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
I'm not sure this was even supposed to be a toughie, but it was the question that seemed to leave Johnson most struggling for a response:

Quote:
Starmer says he is meeting the bereaved families of Covid-19 victims this afternoon and asks what the prime minister would like to say to them.


Obviously something that Cummings hadn't "pre-briefed" for him.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:41 pm 
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I know it's not a Tory supporting paper, but I don't think I've ever read such a long line of comments all brutally savaging a sitting PM as appeared today under the G liveblog. Even at May's worst there were still plenty of posters who didn't feel strongly enough to bother to slate her but were happy to witter on about other things. I know it means nothing in terms of support for the government, this is coming from people who would never vote for them, but it's still quite remarkable that someone could be that awful at being PM that literally everyone posting feels compelled to point it out, and in the most excoriating terms.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:42 pm 
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Priti Patel is wrong, modern slavery in Leicester is built on her government's failures

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... sitivities

Quote:
Properly funded labour inspection, ensuring reporting abuse is safe for migrant workers, and strong unionisation are the foundations of a decent and healthy labour market. Without them in place, we’ll continue to have the kind of appalling situation exposed in Leicester. The health of our workplaces and communities requires us not to be distracted by red herring explanations but to keep calling for a post-Covid-19 future that puts these foundations firmly in place at last.


Far easier than looking inwards at the hostile environment for workers and how far the balance has shifted in favour of employers over the last 40 years, than to call on "political correctness"...

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:49 pm 
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Katherine Fletcher (Con) asks the prime minister to confirm that the government is “throwing the kitchen sink” at tackling Covid-19.

Yes indeed, says Johnson. “Not only the kitchen sink – but every part of the kitchen,” he adds. “We’re going to build, build, build our way forward ... and do everything we can to get jobs, jobs, jobs.”

There's tackling the virus, and there's tackling the resulting economic consequences.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:51 pm 
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Quote:
Paul Blomfield (Lab) asks whether Johnson will commit to paying NHS workers more.

Johnson says the government has given £3.2bn to local authorities to fight infection, introduced a living wage and “increased it by the biggest ever amount”.

A master of non sequiturs today.

Why not just say no and be done with it?

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 12:53 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
I know it's not a Tory supporting paper, but I don't think I've ever read such a long line of comments all brutally savaging a sitting PM as appeared today under the G liveblog. Even at May's worst there were still plenty of posters who didn't feel strongly enough to bother to slate her but were happy to witter on about other things. I know it means nothing in terms of support for the government, this is coming from people who would never vote for them, but it's still quite remarkable that someone could be that awful at being PM that literally everyone posting feels compelled to point it out, and in the most excoriating terms.


If anti-government feeling is strong, many on the left will be more willing to swallow their doubts about a more "moderate" Labour leadership.

That was the case, on the whole, in 1997 and could prove to be important in a 2024 GE.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 1:26 pm 
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gilsey wrote:
Quote:
Paul Blomfield (Lab) asks whether Johnson will commit to paying NHS workers more.

Johnson says the government has given £3.2bn to local authorities to fight infection, introduced a living wage and “increased it by the biggest ever amount”.

A master of non sequiturs today.

Why not just say no and be done with it?


A lot of it about today

Starmer: “I have to ask, in light of the last few questions: has the prime minister actually read this report, that sets out the reasonable worse-case scenario and tells the government what it needs to do about it in the next six weeks? Has he read it?”

Johnson :"I am aware of it"


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 2:07 pm 
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Quote:
My colleague Peter Walker has this post-PMQs story on Boris Johnson indicating he has not read a government-commissioned report setting out urgent measures needed to prepare for a possible second wave of coronavirus.

Read the full story here:
Boris Johnson indicates at PMQs he has not read winter coronavirus report (Politics Live, Guardian)


It's worth following the link, over at Politics Live, Guardian (at 2:05), to the Peter Walker article.

Edited (again) to add the time clue.


Last edited by PorFavor on Wed 15 Jul, 2020 2:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 2:07 pm 
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Good morfternoon.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 2:10 pm 
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I see the "edit" thing's back again. I removed an extra "the", if you must know.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 2:29 pm 
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Do you know what you are talking about?

https://twitter.com/i/status/1283376960106881026

No.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:04 pm 
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@GetYou

Matthew Rycroft rendered almost speechless by serindipity. He surely could at least have managed a "Now there's a coincidence!".


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:06 pm 
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Good afternoon

Hope all are well - just more musings after turning things around in my head and post on here to get other views. I am not necessarily expressing things as more than that although will let you know my opinions.

We had a discussion about O'Brien yesterday and his conflation of the anti-lockdown/mask with CCD and anti-vaxxers. I obviously find his comments nonsensical but have come to expect that from him.

The vaccine question is an interesting one though as it is not as simple as the conspiracy theory cranks. During this whole pandemic we have seen people having different perceptions of 'safe' and what they are prepared to do. I must admit to finding some people's view of 'safe' and perception to be completely at odds with mine. This also includes a lot of the pro-lockdown exponents and 'granny-killer accusers'. In some ways I see some of them almost as much anti-science cranks as the anti-vaxxers.

However, many hope that we will have a vaccine in the next year but that will require fast-track and expedited approval which will mean the full safety profile for chronic impact (these studies take 2 years normally) will not be available. You can imagine then that there will be a pressure for vaccination. What would you think of anyone who feels uncomfortable with that saying 'no thanks'? A healthy 20 year old with minimal risk of death from CV taking a vaccine not fully-tested - are they able to say no without being called a crank? Just for clarity I would probably be happy to be vaccinated but I work in risk assessment and have been trained in it

Some of the observations of the progressive of the virus may be seasonal and it is interesting comparing the data on the work done on flu by Hope-Simpson and set out in his book on flu epidemics. If it is seasonal then there are dangers we are drawing some of the wrong conclusions and are still at risk in the winter. On that point the danger is as much flu as CV possibly especially seeing one is a known event and the other is unknown. This is set out in the report released yesterday and shows how the NHS is massively under pressure very winter since the Tories took power but much less of a response. I am still unsure why we almost overwhelmed the health system every year recently but we never considered any measures or improvements whatsoever!

Final point on 'herd' immunity- this again is a clarion call on social media but this article actually looks at the data behind it and it is not as obvious as some people go on about. Herd immunity is what we want- a vaccine will just give us a controlled and stable version than if we let it occur naturally (which is what happens in the case of most viral diseases where there is no vaccine). The threshold number from models varies greatly and may be much lower than the numbers bandied about - the analysis of data and predictive modelling gives different numbers but the conclusions are often based on opinions. The problem is that these opinions can use the same data and the opinion we value the most usually reinforces our bias.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/arch ... us/614035/

For New York, the data for cases and deaths is available. The same data could be indicative of the success of lockdown and we are still incredibly vulnerable and we have lots of S (in SEIR model) and so need to keep things tight for fear of the '2nd wave' (how I hate that term). The same data could be indicative of macropopulation immunity and the S number is very low and can't sustain another outbreak, or as a 3rd option is is following the Hope-Simpson prediction for seasonal respiratory diseases and we will see an uptick in the winter no matter what we do

All these are supported by the data, they all have some underlying scientific evidence with supporters in the scientific community that they could be true but none of them are definitive. The arguments going on around seem all to be about what your tolerance/perception of risk is, which scientist you trust the most or even what political creed you follow.

My personal view is that we have a mixture of all of them although the seasonality proposal looks quite enticing and would explain some of the anomalies between different countries.

I do have a concern though that we are overly optimistic on a vaccine being available. My biggest worry is that we will not have an effective (and safe) vaccine next year and we still have this fragmented and tetchy approach. By then, hopefully, we will have much more data to inform the decisions but we have to be open-minded that the data may not support our initial positions. I still see people using data and information from the chaotic early stages of the pandemic rather than the newer more robust data. The IFR and also the use of case data spring immediately to mind. We cannot keep talking about the '2nd wave' ad infinitum and I fear some people will do so!


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:12 pm 
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PorFavor wrote:
@GetYou

Matthew Rycroft rendered almost speechless by serindipity. He surely could at least have managed a "Now there's a coincidence!".


He almost blurted something out at the end there but caught himself just in time.

If I was asking the questions, I would have followed up with "if the figures are updated daily,when was the last time it was NOT 0.5?"


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 3:29 pm 
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Quote:
Mayor of London blasts 'frankly ridiculous' government line on face coverings

Earlier today Downing Street said there would be an exemption on mask use for takeaway purchases, following pictures yesterday of Michael Gove leaving Pret a Manger without a face covering.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the government’s approach is “frankly ridiculous” and urged people to wear a face covering in all shops and takeaways

@SadiqKhan
This is frankly ridiculous. The virus doesn’t know if you’re in a take-away or a supermarket. The Government is risking the health of the public to cover the back of a Cabinet Minister.

Please wear a face covering in all shops and take aways.
(Politics Live, Guardian)

Was Michael Gove being discourteous in Pret a Manger? Bloody oik.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 4:36 pm 
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Boris not having a good day...

Quote:
Francis Elliott
@elliotttimes
It seems Grayling has failed to be elected ISC chair after Julian Lewis mounted a coup with Labour help.
5:19 PM · Jul 15, 2020·TweetDeck


Not much time for Lewis but at least No 10 didn't get their own way on this.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 4:56 pm 
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Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... tleblowers

Quote:
Labour is poised to make a formal apology to antisemitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era, the Guardian has learned.

The whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent.


As I said the other day relating to the report itself - accept the findings. Change the way that complaints are dealt with. Move on.

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:09 pm 
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RogerOThornhill wrote:
Labour set to apologise to antisemitism whistleblowers

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... tleblowers

Quote:
Labour is poised to make a formal apology to antisemitism whistleblowers as part of a settlement designed to draw a line under allegations made during the Jeremy Corbyn era, the Guardian has learned.

The whistleblowers sued the party for defamation in the wake of a BBC Panorama investigation last year. No final settlement has been reached but sources said an agreement was imminent.


As I said the other day relating to the report itself - accept the findings. Change the way that complaints are dealt with. Move on.


hopefully some of those abused as demonstrated within the leaked report also sue the party and report it for institutional racism - that report indicates it is endemic and ani-Semitism is only part of it.

Racism is abhorrent in all its forms - there is no hierarchy to it


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 5:34 pm 
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Quote:
Chris Grayling, the former cabinet minister, has unexpectedly failed (Guardian)


Really?

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jul/15/chris-grayling-fails-to-become-intelligence-and-security-chair

(Can't say I'm a Julian Lewis fan, but I'll take my laughs where I can get them.)


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 6:06 pm 
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I suspect that "unexpectedly" was mean to be sarcastic given his nickname...

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 6:07 pm 
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howsillyofme1 wrote:
Racism is abhorrent in all its forms - there is no hierarchy to it


And on this at least, I agree.

Whilst it is true AS often takes deeply unpleasant forms, any argument it is intrinsically "worse" than other kinds of racism can get in the bin.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 7:15 pm 
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Oh dear, Number 10 really not happy...

Quote:
Beth Rigby
@BethRigby
As per
@bbclaurak
, Julian Lewis has had the whip removed. Senior govt source says decision taken because Lewis was “working with Labour & other opposition parties for his own advantage”
8:08 PM · Jul 15, 2020·Twitter for iPhone


:lol:

The irony...

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 7:44 pm 
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Even better...

Quote:
Jon Craig
@joncraig
I’m told Intelligence & Security Committee, after humiliating Boris Johnson & his choice for chairman Chris Grayling by electing Julian Lewis instead, will meet again tomorrow & is expected to agree to publish long-suppressed report on Russian meddling in UK politics next week.
7:23 PM · Jul 15, 2020·Twitter for iPad


:clap:

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 8:01 pm 
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Evening all

Sorry so little time to pop in, but wow this is a scathing, heartfelt account of PMQs by Crace

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... amber-pmqs


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 8:25 pm 
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Well, will be interesting to see how all those hacks who screamed "STALINIST" when Corbyn so much as breathed near a "moderate" Labour MP react to tonight's news.

Not holding my breath, however.......


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 8:43 pm 
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Oh...there's more.

Civil servant in charge of bullying inquiry into Priti Patel to leave post

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... leave-post

Quote:
Helen MacNamara’s new role as a permanent secretary in an as-yet unidentified Whitehall department will heighten speculation that No 10 is clearing the way for Patel to be cleared of multiple bullying allegations.

The director general of propriety and ethics has previously been identified as the person blocking No 10 from clearing Patel in a report that has been sitting on the prime minister’s desk for several weeks.

MacNamara, who deputised for ousted cabinet secretary Mark Sedwill, will now take up a new position in another major Whitehall department.


That's right - get her out of the way and then it'll be "Move long now. Nothing to see here"

:roll:

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:28 pm 
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Now being suggested the government might try some procedural tricks to force Lewis out.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:35 pm 
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"The opposition is down a man and Grayling is through on goal, surely nothing can stop him scoring but what's this? One of his own team mates has hacked him down, taken the ball and belted it into the back of the net!"

"Well I don't know about you John but I've never seen anything like that in all my years commenting on these committees."

"Me neither John and look at his manager, he's furious!"

"Indeed he is John, just look at him jumping up and down on the sidelines in rage. And wait a minute it seems a scuffle is breaking out."

"What's happened there John is he's ripped the shirt off the back of the player who scored and appears to be trampling on it in a tantrum."

"You're right John, and what's he doing now? He seems to have sent his own player off the pitch. Quite extraordinary."

"Absolutely John. Those questioning his management skills are going to have a field day with this".


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:37 pm 
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Willow904 wrote:
I know it's not a Tory supporting paper, but I don't think I've ever read such a long line of comments all brutally savaging a sitting PM as appeared today under the G liveblog.

I rarely go btl at the G now but you inspired me to have a look. Blimey.



Quote:
panchomartinez10h ago

Starmer eating Johnson alive


Lastwordsusie panchomartinez10h ago

More like a polite nibble - he has 4 years to draw blood, so I'm imagining/hoping by then he'll have progressed from vegan to carnivore.

Hope so, susie!

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:48 pm 
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Don't know if anyone remembers I was raising some caterpillars.

Here's the first result. I missed it emerging of course, they could at least make a noise announcing their imminent appearance. Some sort of Lepidopteran fanfare.

Image


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 9:49 pm 
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PaulfromYorkshire wrote:
Evening all

Sorry so little time to pop in, but wow this is a scathing, heartfelt account of PMQs by Crace

https://amp.theguardian.com/politics/20 ... amber-pmqs

Like Marina Hyde, he nearly always gets a dig in about the children.

Quote:
He was aware of the report. In the same way he is aware that he has children, but is unable to say exactly how many

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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 10:16 pm 
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Dominic Grieve putting the boot in very politely on Newsnight.

No talk of procedural tricks to oust Lewis, just Tory whingeing that he 'disrespected the whip'.

Grieve pointed out that the intelligence and security committee has always been non partisan and has been chaired many times by opposition Mp's without any previous consternation and this is the first time a government has tried to manipulate who becomes chair.

I've no idea if all this is to do with the Russia report, we'll soon see, but it's now clear many in the tory ranks aren't best pleased with the Johnson/Cummings rat king cabal that has taken over their party. We've heard rumours before but now we have concrete evidence.

Let's see how many more of them have spines.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 10:56 pm 
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I don't know if this is about the Russia Report or if it's just a fit of pique on the part of 10 Downing Street. It doesn't look good, whatever the reason. In fact, the second reason is probably the worse of the two. Because it isn't a "reason" - it shouts "unreason".


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 10:56 pm 
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howsillyofme1 wrote:
https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/herd-immunity-coronavirus/614035/


First of all I'd like once again to apologise for my post last Sunday in response to one of your own, it was uncalled for and I make no excuses other than that I was very, very drunk.

And thank you for the above link, which is a fascinating read.

The problem with it though, and the entire idea of 'herd immunity' when it comes to Coronaviruses, is there is precisely zero evidence that the human immune system can maintain immunity for any length of time. We now have two studies, one Chinese and one British which both demonstrate Covid 19 immunity dropping off after 3 months. We know for sure immunity for those coronaviruses which cause the common cold are short lived. Why should Covid 19 be any different? It binds to protiens in exactly the same way as a cold virus.

Creating a vaccine isn't the problem, take for example...

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/07/200714171338.htm

It's relatively easy to produce an immune response and produce antibodies.

The problem is making them hang around.

And until someone does 'herd immunity' is a pipe dream unless you're prepared to let a lot more people die.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 11:26 pm 
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I don't know how many of you have heard of the Lincoln Project...



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PostPosted: Wed 15 Jul, 2020 11:52 pm 
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 12:09 am 
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 12:16 am 
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The obvious and excellent response to this is.



My namesake.


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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 12:24 am 
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My other namesake.


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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 12:46 am 
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 12:55 am 
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You know I'd quite like to call myself Nancy.

Besides sexual reasons I reckon it would be interesting to have boobs, I mean for example they're good at being attracted to the nearest centre of gravity. So if a black hole or neutron star was in the vicinity it would be detected by your boobs.

'Gravitational distortion detectors.'


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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 1:05 am 
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Now that I come to think about it testicles would serve the same purpose.



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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 1:05 am 
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That would make the word "bra" Gravitationsverzerrungsdetektorenhalter in German.
Just thought I'd throw that in. You never know, it might come in handy one day.


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PostPosted: Thu 16 Jul, 2020 1:19 am 
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That's good German according to Google translate.



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