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  • kingstoniankingstonian Posts: 2,513

    I'm so glad that Labour have got a completely clear response to Government hesitancy:

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the UK government should introduce its ”plan B” to tackle the rising rates of coronavirus now.

    Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Reeves was asked what Labour’s position was on reintroducing restrictions such as the wearing of face coverings and working from home.

    She said: “Labour as a responsible opposition have always said that we would follow the science, and we’ve seen today that Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) are saying that some aspects of plan B, like wearing masks on public transports and in shops, and also working from home more flexibly should be introduced.

    “I think the first thing is the government have got to do more to make plan A work. If the scientists are saying work from home and masks, we should do that. So get A working better because the vaccination programme has been stalling, introduce those parts of plan B.

    “But there are also things not in A or B that need to be done, like paying statutory sick pay from day one and also better ventilation in public spaces.”

    Asked directly whether plan B should be introduced now, she said: “Yes, but let’s not let the government off the hook with plan A either.”


    What?

    That’s a great example of a political party trying to be all things to all people while offending no one. Ridiculous.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 8,075

    I'm so glad that Labour have got a completely clear response to Government hesitancy:

    Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves said the UK government should introduce its ”plan B” to tackle the rising rates of coronavirus now.

    Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Reeves was asked what Labour’s position was on reintroducing restrictions such as the wearing of face coverings and working from home.

    She said: “Labour as a responsible opposition have always said that we would follow the science, and we’ve seen today that Sage (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) are saying that some aspects of plan B, like wearing masks on public transports and in shops, and also working from home more flexibly should be introduced.

    “I think the first thing is the government have got to do more to make plan A work. If the scientists are saying work from home and masks, we should do that. So get A working better because the vaccination programme has been stalling, introduce those parts of plan B.

    “But there are also things not in A or B that need to be done, like paying statutory sick pay from day one and also better ventilation in public spaces.”

    Asked directly whether plan B should be introduced now, she said: “Yes, but let’s not let the government off the hook with plan A either.”


    What?

    That’s a great example of a political party trying to be all things to all people while offending no one. Ridiculous.

    It rather confirms that they have no 'vision' that they can sell to the electorate, in their current state. They aren't even just doing basic opposition at all well, for fear of upsetting some part of the electorate they've been told they have to attract. There's absolutely nothing coherent about them at all. Well, neither have the Tories, but they just make up mendacious promises of jam tomorrow for everyone, and keep their cash funders happy with Spaffer's giveaways, with a has-been entertainer as their titular leader.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,399
    The Telegraph is reporting today that government advisors expect cases to drop rapidly soon. There will then be another wave in spring.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 8,075

    The Telegraph is reporting today that government advisors expect cases to drop rapidly soon. There will then be another wave in spring.


    Not quite what they are reporting. I think there might be some spinning going on here to justify not taking action, and that they have found a couple of people who agree with them, and are ignoring those with contrary modelling... "modelling seen by...", "seeing projections...", "one model..."

    Covid cases will plummet in November even without Plan B restrictions, modelling seen by the Government suggests.

    Ministers are thought to be holding back from introducing restrictions such as compulsory face masks, working from home and vaccine passports, after seeing projections from several groups which show infections declining rapidly within weeks.

    One model, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, suggests that cases will soon peak before falling steeply in the winter months, even without Plan B.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 18,150
    Plan B isn't exactly home confinement.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 17,157

    The Telegraph is reporting today that government advisors expect cases to drop rapidly soon. There will then be another wave in spring.

    Are those government advisors medical experts?
    I ask as this is contrary to the usual expectations. Happy for any drop though.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • TheBigBeanTheBigBean Posts: 14,399
    pblakeney said:

    The Telegraph is reporting today that government advisors expect cases to drop rapidly soon. There will then be another wave in spring.

    Are those government advisors medical experts?
    I ask as this is contrary to the usual expectations. Happy for any drop though.
    Well, it is the Telegraph, so should be taken with a pinch of salt. It wouldn't surprise me if they did though - it would replicate the swine flu curve which was also largely being spread by kids.
  • briantrumpetbriantrumpet Posts: 8,075

    Well, it is the Telegraph, so should be taken with a pinch of salt.


    Tush! What are you saying?
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654
    edited 25 October
    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
    I thought that was the cabinet. There were some further potshots taken at the (sociological) scientific advice concerning "British exceptionalism" about which there was allegedly too much of a consensus.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
    I thought that was the cabinet. There were some further potshots taken at the (sociological) scientific advice concerning "British exceptionalism" about which there was allegedly too much of a consensus.
    Maybe I have misunderstood but I thought they were separate issues.

    I thought there was criticism of the scientific advise community who were too quick to dismiss other options to "herd immunity" (for shorhand) in behaviour that is usually the result of 'groupthink' with not enough people challenging whether that was in fact the best approach.

    Partly because British studies which had been highly rated focused on a theoretical iterant of flu rather than rona.

    Am happy to be wrong on this but that was my understanding.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
    I thought that was the cabinet. There were some further potshots taken at the (sociological) scientific advice concerning "British exceptionalism" about which there was allegedly too much of a consensus.
    Maybe I have misunderstood but I thought they were separate issues.

    I thought there was criticism of the scientific advise community who were too quick to dismiss other options to "herd immunity" (for shorhand) in behaviour that is usually the result of 'groupthink' with not enough people challenging whether that was in fact the best approach.

    Partly because British studies which had been highly rated focused on a theoretical iterant of flu rather than rona.

    Am happy to be wrong on this but that was my understanding.
    I don't know how you communicate for a living.

    Yes, they are separate issues. Hence use of the term "also" followed by a discussion of something separate.

    Seems that the messaging has worked, is what I'm hearing. i.e. mistakes were made, the scientific advice was wrong, we made the mistake of following the scientific advice.

    This is depressing because you only have to have followed this thread to know that the advice wasn't wrong. Sure, there was a range of it, but the advice to do what any number of other counties have done was clearly out there. Do we really believe that noone advising SAGE was telling the government to do anything other than what they did?
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 18,150
    Was there any detail on why Whitty said we were a month behind Italy when every number pointed towards us being two weeks behind?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here
    edited 25 October

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
    I thought that was the cabinet. There were some further potshots taken at the (sociological) scientific advice concerning "British exceptionalism" about which there was allegedly too much of a consensus.
    Maybe I have misunderstood but I thought they were separate issues.

    I thought there was criticism of the scientific advise community who were too quick to dismiss other options to "herd immunity" (for shorhand) in behaviour that is usually the result of 'groupthink' with not enough people challenging whether that was in fact the best approach.

    Partly because British studies which had been highly rated focused on a theoretical iterant of flu rather than rona.

    Am happy to be wrong on this but that was my understanding.
    I don't know how you communicate for a living.

    Yes, they are separate issues. Hence use of the term "also" followed by a discussion of something separate.

    Seems that the messaging has worked, is what I'm hearing. i.e. mistakes were made, the scientific advice was wrong, we made the mistake of following the scientific advice.

    This is depressing because you only have to have followed this thread to know that the advice wasn't wrong. Sure, there was a range of it, but the advice to do what any number of other counties have done was clearly out there. Do we really believe that noone advising SAGE was telling the government to do anything other than what they did?
    On the bold bit, the only "also" I could find on this page were from BB and the labour quote, but anyway.

    I think you can criticise the advice without absolving the government. I think the advice was wrong early on.

    I don't think as a leader you are able to lay it all on the door of your advisor and throw them under the bus. It is ultimately the leader's decision, not the advisor.

    I think in this instance as well, both the Tories and the advisors were wrong in one critical assumption - that the British public were so "freedom loving" they would not adhere sufficiently to any type of lockdown. There surely was groupthink on this.

    I also am of the view the models the UK was using to prepare for this, so widely lauded internationally pre-pandemic, were based on flu and not corona virus and they were too slow to adjust.

    It sounds like there was a lack of alternative views at the highest level re the advice, and it also sounds like Johnson was not listening to a good range of viewpoints - not just from the scientists but perhaps others on the ground elsewhere in the world?
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654

    When the damning "groupthink" report issued, the Tory members of the committee that prepared it were spinning things as "we took scientific advice, just the wrong advice".

    What they want people to hear is "the scientific advice was wrong".

    The reality is that there is always a range of scenarios presented by the scientific advisors, and this government choses the advice that most closely matches what they want to do.

    I thought the report was saying the scientific consensus was too much of a consensus and it was around the wrong solution?
    I thought that was the cabinet. There were some further potshots taken at the (sociological) scientific advice concerning "British exceptionalism" about which there was allegedly too much of a consensus.
    Maybe I have misunderstood but I thought they were separate issues.

    I thought there was criticism of the scientific advise community who were too quick to dismiss other options to "herd immunity" (for shorhand) in behaviour that is usually the result of 'groupthink' with not enough people challenging whether that was in fact the best approach.

    Partly because British studies which had been highly rated focused on a theoretical iterant of flu rather than rona.

    Am happy to be wrong on this but that was my understanding.
    I don't know how you communicate for a living.

    Yes, they are separate issues. Hence use of the term "also" followed by a discussion of something separate.

    Seems that the messaging has worked, is what I'm hearing. i.e. mistakes were made, the scientific advice was wrong, we made the mistake of following the scientific advice.

    This is depressing because you only have to have followed this thread to know that the advice wasn't wrong. Sure, there was a range of it, but the advice to do what any number of other counties have done was clearly out there. Do we really believe that noone advising SAGE was telling the government to do anything other than what they did?
    On the bold bit, the only "also" I could find on this page were from BB and the labour quote, but anyway.

    I think you can criticise the advice without absolving the government. I think the advice was wrong early on.

    I don't think as a leader you are able to lay it all on the door of your advisor and throw them under the bus. It is ultimately the leader's decision, not the advisor.

    I think in this instance as well, both the Tories and the advisors were wrong in one critical assumption - that the British public were so "freedom loving" they would not adhere sufficiently to any type of lockdown. There surely was groupthink on this.

    I also am of the view the models the UK was using to prepare for this, so widely lauded internationally pre-pandemic, were based on flu and not corona virus and they were too slow to adjust.

    It sounds like there was a lack of alternative views at the highest level re the advice, and it also sounds like Johnson was not listening to a good range of viewpoints - not just from the scientists but perhaps others on the ground elsewhere in the world?
    The people you heard from in the news conferences were telling us the policy. You cannot conclude anything about the range of advice it was derived from.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here
    edited 25 October


    The people you heard from in the news conferences were telling us the policy. You cannot conclude anything about the range of advice it was derived from.



    Maybe, maybe not. A lot of other literature written about the advice, including our unreliable friend Cummings, plus the findings in the actual report suggest that I'm probably right.

    https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7496/documents/78687/default/

    In the first three months the strategy reflected official scientific advice to the Government which was accepted and implemented. When the Government moved from the ‘contain’ stage to the ‘delay’ stage, that approach involved trying to manage the spread of covid through the population rather than to stop it spreading altogether. This amounted in practice to accepting that herd immunity by infection was the inevitable outcome, given that the United Kingdom had no firm prospect of a vaccine, limited testing capacity and there was a widespread view that the public would not accept a lockdown for a significant period. The UK, along with many other countries in Europe and North America made a serious early error in adopting this fatalistic approach and not considering a more emphatic and rigorous approach to stopping the spread of the virus as adopted by many East and South East Asian countries. The fact that the UK approach reflected a consensus between official scientific advisers and the Government indicates a degree of groupthink that was present at the time which meant we were not as open to approaches being taken elsewhere as we should have been.


    So, for the first bolded bit, if the policy reflected scientific advice, it's fair to assume the advice was what happened. So the advice was to take the course of action we would now describe as wrong, or at least, not the right course.

    Second bold bit suggests there wasn't much deviation or challenging. That's backed up later on in the executive.

    5. The initial response to the crisis also exposed some major deficiencies in the machinery of Government. The structures for offering scientific advice lacked transparency, international representation and structured challenge



    and here is the bit about not letting leaders off the hook by throwing the advisor under the bus:

    Accountability in a democracy depends on elected decision-makers not just
    taking advice, but examining, questioning and challenging it before making their
    own decisions


    I get some people don't like operating in shades of grey and it's only likely that x happened, but that's what we're left with as we weren't in the room.
  • orraloonorraloon Posts: 9,138

    Was there any detail on why Whitty said we were a month behind Italy when every number pointed towards us being two weeks behind?

    There was an episode of More or Less: Behind the Stats podcast, I think it was the one from 1 July 2020 but haven't relistened, where they did a bit of a retro review on why UK numbers went so badly. I recall some analysis of the modelling done by Imperial College team (?) concluding that early on it had underestimated rates of increase. Understand those models were feeding SAGE.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654


    The people you heard from in the news conferences were telling us the policy. You cannot conclude anything about the range of advice it was derived from.



    Maybe, maybe not. A lot of other literature written about the advice, including our unreliable friend Cummings, plus the findings in the actual report suggest that I'm probably right.

    https://committees.parliament.uk/publications/7496/documents/78687/default/

    In the first three months the strategy reflected official scientific advice to the Government which was accepted and implemented. When the Government moved from the ‘contain’ stage to the ‘delay’ stage, that approach involved trying to manage the spread of covid through the population rather than to stop it spreading altogether. This amounted in practice to accepting that herd immunity by infection was the inevitable outcome, given that the United Kingdom had no firm prospect of a vaccine, limited testing capacity and there was a widespread view that the public would not accept a lockdown for a significant period. The UK, along with many other countries in Europe and North America made a serious early error in adopting this fatalistic approach and not considering a more emphatic and rigorous approach to stopping the spread of the virus as adopted by many East and South East Asian countries. The fact that the UK approach reflected a consensus between official scientific advisers and the Government indicates a degree of groupthink that was present at the time which meant we were not as open to approaches being taken elsewhere as we should have been.


    So, for the first bolded bit, if the policy reflected scientific advice, it's fair to assume the advice was what happened. So the advice was to take the course of action we would now describe as wrong, or at least, not the right course.

    Second bold bit suggests there wasn't much deviation or challenging. That's backed up later on in the executive.

    5. The initial response to the crisis also exposed some major deficiencies in the machinery of Government. The structures for offering scientific advice lacked transparency, international representation and structured challenge



    and here is the bit about not letting leaders off the hook by throwing the advisor under the bus:

    Accountability in a democracy depends on elected decision-makers not just
    taking advice, but examining, questioning and challenging it before making their
    own decisions


    I get some people don't like operating in shades of grey and it's only likely that x happened, but that's what we're left with as we weren't in the room.
    I sort of think we are agreeing here. Possibly most alarming is if divergent scientific advice converged on a consensus.

    Strikes me as more likely that groupthink is a euphemism for yes men. In that you don't get to advise many governments unless you are ultimately good at finding a way to agree with governments.

    Could it be that the range of advice within the scientific community I/we perceived at the time simply wasn't reflected in SAGE because of how SAGE is populated?
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here


    I sort of think we are agreeing here. Possibly most alarming is if divergent scientific advice converged on a consensus.

    Strikes me as more likely that groupthink is a euphemism for yes men. In that you don't get to advise many governments unless you are ultimately good at finding a way to agree with governments.

    Could it be that the range of advice within the scientific community I/we perceived at the time simply wasn't reflected in SAGE because of how SAGE is populated?

    We are probably agreeing, I am just singling out the SAGE advice more.

    I don't think these reports write in euphemisms all that much. I think they mean what they write and groupthink is quite a definable phenomenon.

    I don't know enough of the makeup of SAGE and how they are chosen to have a view on that.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 17,157


    ...
    It sounds like there was a lack of alternative views at the highest level re the advice, and it also sounds like Johnson was not listening to a good range of viewpoints - not just from the scientists but perhaps others on the ground elsewhere in the world?

    I have to stretch my imagination to accept the concept of BJ listening to anyone telling him something he doesn't want to hear.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    Veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here
    I do think groupthink generally is a really interesting phenomenon.

    Everyone thinks they are immune as they are rational, critical thinkers, but I can definitely look back on decisions I've made or not made and I have definitely been in situations of groupthink.

    With no evidence to back it up, I feel it almost more acute in more educated areas / areas of more experience, as there is a level of deference to the expertise that maybe reduces challenging the status quo.

    We don't need to go down the flat-earther logic and constantly prove thing obvious things to idiots, but I guess there is a middle ground.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 7,654

    I do think groupthink generally is a really interesting phenomenon.

    Everyone thinks they are immune as they are rational, critical thinkers, but I can definitely look back on decisions I've made or not made and I have definitely been in situations of groupthink.

    With no evidence to back it up, I feel it almost more acute in more educated areas / areas of more experience, as there is a level of deference to the expertise that maybe reduces challenging the status quo.

    We don't need to go down the flat-earther logic and constantly prove thing obvious things to idiots, but I guess there is a middle ground.

    I just read the Wikipedia article on groupthink.

    Basically, it explains what happened to British Leyland. And how Steve McLaren became England manager.

    It is actually very interesting.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here
    GFC is the most obvious to me.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 18,150
    Number of tests down 20% with the start of half term. Cases down by more than that.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 57,893 Lives Here
    In other, you heard it here first, news.

  • NcovidiusNcovidius Posts: 191
    Double bad news now then. It’s believed that daily cases could be double the rate being reported, because too many people with symptoms aren’t coming forward for testing, as they don’t want all the problems associated with isolating for 10 days.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-59039739

    “On top of this there is the fact that only half of cases appear to be coming forward to get tested - surveillance data from the Office for National Statistics suggests the true level of infection is twice what is being reported daily. "We need to do better at finding cases and supporting people to self-isolate," he adds.”

    So it’s possible that ( reported ) cases could plummet, but actually, cases are not actually plummeting, because of some people’s selfishness ( colour me surprised).

    Then the C.M.O. for Ireland says this.

    https://www.echolive.ie/nationalnews/arid-40731039.html

    The vaccines aren’t doing as good a job at preventing infection and transmission, as was hoped, although he thinks a ‘full power’ vaccine should stop so many people actually dying, as in the original ‘waves’ but that relies on getting fresh ( booster ) jabs rolled out, quickly enough (which doesn’t appear to be happening ). Ireland has a very high vaccination rate as well.








  • john80john80 Posts: 2,532

    In other, you heard it here first, news.

    I had a 57 minute call with test and trace the other day. If you followed this to the letter then there would have been literally hundreds of people that would have had to be contacted due to kids positive test. This was most likely picked up from a school disco which went ahead even though the school knew there were high rates of infection in multiple year groups. Shame they did not tell the parents the true extent of this or the kids would not have went. They literally would have to be going to at least 3 businesses from one Sunday to find out their customers and then put in place measures to get then to a PCR test station to break the chain of infection. This does not include the shops they were in. I doubt even the best set ups can manage this when you have 40-50k positives a day. It is completely disjointed when you have test and trace going to the far end of a fart yet a school just going well they guidance does not say it is illegal.
  • NcovidiusNcovidius Posts: 191
    edited 28 October
    The Government are insisting that everyone wears face coverings, when inside the palace of Westminster ( except MPs). I can’t see it taking long for that to be slyly slid into general life (again). So that’s a dead cert ‘plan B’ within a couple of weeks then. It’s then surely only a short hop to ‘plan C’ ( no indoor mixing etc.) just in time for Christmas.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 18,150
    I'm relieved to see that you think that.
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