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Sat Oct 31, 2020, 03:26 PM

Covid-19: PM announces four-week England lockdown

Last edited Sun Nov 1, 2020, 02:25 AM - Edit history (1)

Necessary measures, but the manner with which they have been brought in has been abysmal. If Johnson was an hour and a half late to an interview at the Job Centre like he was with that press conference he would be getting all sorts of sanctions.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a second national lockdown for England as the UK passed one million Covid-19 cases.

Non-essential shops and hospitality will have to close for four weeks on Thursday, he said.

But unlike the restrictions in spring, schools, colleges and universities will be allowed to stay open.

It comes as documents suggested the UK was on course for a much higher death toll than during the first wave. The lockdown is due to last until 2 December, the prime minister said at a Downing Street news conference.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 03:36 PM

1. The secret is in the very gradual reopening which of course wont happen

because Christmas.

Still you are right it is needed, I just wish the Spanish would implement the same.

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Response to T_i_B (Original post)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 06:02 PM

2. How does the anti-masker movement differ in the UK from the US?

The UK new case numbers are similar to the US on a per-capita basis.

It's fair to say they would be lower here were it not for the anti-maskers. The MSM and Johns Hopkins will report on the case numbers, but what I don't have a feel for is how people are behaving in different areas of the world. Are masks progressive or conservative political symbols everywhere?

Even if the Republicans get their way and open everything up, we'll have no choice but to shut down anyway and watch the economy tank. Republicans want business as usual and will just tack the word "safely" onto everything. We're going to open the bars "safely" and we're going to open the schools "safely" and we're going to go to church..."safely". Except the virus is in control at these levels, not politicians.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 06:33 PM

3. There is an anti-lockdown movement

Although they count Jeremy Corbyn's even loonier brother Piers Corbyn as one of their leaders it's overwhelmingly lead by extreme right ring figures. It's also got support from a number of media gobshites like James Delingpole, Peter Hitchens and Toby Young. It's also rife with all sorts of loony conspiracy theorists, including David Icke.

They are fond of holding protests in town centres where they complain one minute about the damage lockdown is doing to the economy then the next minute are abusing shoppers and driving trade away from areas that are already suffering desperately from lack of footfall.

Most Conservative supporters outside of the media are still supportive of lockdown, although the Tories muddled response to the crisis is eroding public support and willingness to keep to the rules.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 31, 2020, 07:56 PM

4. Good summary, thanks!

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Response to BigmanPigman (Reply #4)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 03:45 AM

5. And right on cue...

President Fart's number one fan in the UK has set up another political party to oppose lockdowns!


The Brexit party has applied to the Electoral Commission to change its name to Reform UK in a bid to rebrand the party, which has no elected representatives, as a voice in the anti-lockdown movement.

The party’s leader, Nigel Farage, and chairman, Richard Tice, first announced the plan in a joint article in the Telegraph where they wrote it was “time to redirect our energies”. The name change is subject to approval of the commission.

He said that a new strategy was needed for tackling the coronavirus so that “we learn to live with it, not hide in fear of it”.

The idea of ending the Covid pandemic through herd immunity was recently denounced as “a dangerous fallacy unsupported by scientific evidence”, by 80 researchers who wrote a warning letter in a leading medical journal.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 04:31 AM

6. Farage was just with tRump at a rally

last week. Two peas in a pod...or two nuts in one shell.

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #5)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 04:47 AM

7. Ugh

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Response to Shermann (Reply #2)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 03:36 PM

8. On top of the good summary T_i_B's given, I think there are overlaps between the US and UK

manifestations, at least on the evidence of their social media presences and output. Their messaging and rhetoric are similar, they pop up on each others' timelines, and conspiracy theories abound, from claims of a fake epidemic to a push for one world government to antivax to 5G and beyond.

It's not helped by the fact that the UK government's mismanaged the crisis from the very start.

Johnson was initially very blasé and gung ho about COVID, not least because his adviser Dominic Cummings and his gang of elite "superforecasters" favoured a quest for mythical spontaneous "herd immunity", which is scientific nonsense.

This changed somewhat after Johnson was hospitalized with COVID, and he seems to have suffered far more that Trump did (assuming Trump ever had it in the first place). At the same time, the scale of casualties such a strategy would lead to were becoming more apparent, and became politically unacceptable.

The errors have been many - being slow to issue advice to the public, slow to call for changes to public behaviour, giving confusing and mixed messages, failure to screen airline passengers on entry to the UK, Cummings disobeying lockdown measures to travel hundreds of miles while infected and being seen to suffer no sanctions for doing so, slow and inefficient distribution of everything from ventilators to personal protective equipment to tests, bodged procesing of what tests there were, all while handing out incredibly overpriced contracts to Tory donors and apparatchiks, many running firms that had no prior experience or expertise. England still lacks a fully functioning test and trace system. Financial help to individuals and businesses that underpinned the early lockdowns was relatively adequate, but is now being severely squeezed. None of this was helped by a drive by the UK government and its tame media in late summer to persuade those who'd adapted to working from home that it was now their "duty" to return to their offices.

All the time, the UK government's countermeasures have lagged behind those chosen by the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and latterly some of the local authorities in the north of England, and all complain that they've had little meaningful communication with the central UK government, which holds the purse strings.

The upshot has been that we have the worst of all worlds, where cagey reaction for fear of the economic consquences has prolonged the pandemic and led to even worse economic consequences in prospect.

On the ground, I can only speak about where I am, in my corner of Scotland. People on the streets and in shops are generally responsible, and it's rare to see people not wearing masks where it would be appropriate. The early hard lockdown in the spring was well observed, with people self-isolating, roads deserted and relatively few people in shops. Some people relaxed too much during the summer and held gatherings with little or no social distancing, with predictable results. We do have a pretty adequate test and trace system (separate from England's), but even that has had problems dealing with later local outbreaks.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #8)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 03:50 PM

9. There's definitely been an increased push by the anti-lockdown faction

No doubt emboldened by the shambolic way the latest lockdown was announced and the seeming lack of any coherent exit strategy.

Farage has shamelessly jumped on the bandwagon, and a few Tory MP's like Desmond Swayne are following suit. The pro-plague folk in the media are also becoming more vocal (although often in ridiculous fashion, as can be seen with Peter Hitchens moronic tweeting)

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Response to T_i_B (Reply #9)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 04:06 PM

10. I've heard tell of persistent rumbles of splits within the Tories in parliament,

which hasn't helped Johnson's muddled response as he tries to avoid displeasing anyone and ends up pleasing no one. How far from the heavy, swift hammer he wielded against earlier rebels. I guess with Brexit looming and about to come to a crisis after the US election results, he has to try to pick his fights.

I'm not clear how much of it is libertarian in the same way I understand some of the US right-wing reactions, and how much is just contrarianism mixed with attention-seeking, sometimes opportunism (see Farage), or plain bloody-mindedness about anything that makes life more complicated in the short term.

And yes, the Johnson regime's conduct throughout hasn't done anything to instil confidence or co-operation.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Reply #10)

Mon Nov 2, 2020, 06:18 PM

11. Global pandemics don't follow the right wing idealogical rulebook

Which causes lots of idealogical right wingers out to start trying to twist the facts to fit their theories, when they should be adjusting their theories to fit with a horrible reality.

Also doesn't help that many of the leading lights in the anti-lockdown faction are rabidly anti-science and inclined towards conspiracy theories. Hopefully people start to wake up to the fact that an experienced Epidemiologist knows far more about infectious diseases than some gobshite off talk radio.

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