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Owd Jockey

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Thought I was actually on the Vaccination thread there for a minute, with the same opinions being expressed ad nauseam by a very small group of individuals, whose ignorance on the subject matter is clear to see. They obviously represent a tranche of society which manifests itself in toilet roll stock-piling at the merest whiff of a disaster, drinking in pubs during lockdown, attending raves or other illegal over 65's events, putting two fingers up at Hands- Face- Space guidance, believing in what Icke and Trump have to say, casting doubt on vaccines by expounding stupid and ignorant nonsense re: microchip insertion or any other conspiracy theory or qAnon claptrap. Listen to what the science is saying for crying out loud!!
 

Rorschach

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Thought I was actually on the Vaccination thread there for a minute, with the same opinions being expressed ad nauseam by a very small group of individuals, whose ignorance on the subject matter is clear to see. They obviously represent a tranche of society which manifests itself in toilet roll stock-piling at the merest whiff of a disaster, drinking in pubs during lockdown, attending raves or other illegal over 65's events, putting two fingers up at Hands- Face- Space guidance, believing in what Icke and Trump have to say, casting doubt on vaccines by expounding stupid and ignorant nonsense re: microchip insertion or any other conspiracy theory or qAnon claptrap. Listen to what the science is saying for crying out loud!!
You couldn't be more wrong in your opinions there.
 

Rorschach

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So lives are less important than money!!!!!!
It's not lives vs money, it's lives vs lives. The damage of being in lockdown is greater than the damage of not being in lockdown, I have said that for almost a year. With vaccinations increasing by hundreds of thousands every day the death rate is plummeting by more than 25% a week yet apparently we need 3 months to lift the lockdown.
 
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Cheshirechappie

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,,,,,,, Listen to what the science is saying for crying out loud!!
Therein lies the problem. There are differing legitimate interpretations of raw 'scientific' data, held even amongst professional medics and epidemiologists of long and reputable standing, so some debate is perfectly reasonable. It's also reasonable to debate the balance between lockdown and freedom from it, weighing the rights of individuals to live life as they see fit, and for businesses to trade and thus survive, against the wish to preserve life by imposing restrictions. There's a trade-off between damage inflicted by virus and damage inflicted by lockdown and similar measures, and debating them is quite reasonable.

What I do feel is unfortunate is for debate to descend into the modern tendency to denigrate differing opinions by referring to the people expressing them as somehow evil or unintelligent. For me, that reflects more on the person calling others fools for not holding the 'correct' opinion than on a temperately-expressed comment (with which I may or may not agree).

If a forum member can't post a comment without resorting to insult, please just don't post. All that does is bring a thread one step closer to locking or deletion.

By the way, Owd Jockey, I'm not having a personal go at you - your comment was at least reasonably temperate, and didn't insult any individual. There are far worse examples spread over the 'political' threads.

Sorry to post like this, but one of the reasons I gave up posting on threads like these is because I'm not interested in having a fight. It's interesting to see different experiences, links to data and opinions, but not to see otherwise decent woodworkers acting like culture war Twitter trolls.
 

Rorschach

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Therein lies the problem. There are differing legitimate interpretations of raw 'scientific' data, held even amongst professional medics and epidemiologists of long and reputable standing, so some debate is perfectly reasonable. It's also reasonable to debate the balance between lockdown and freedom from it, weighing the rights of individuals to live life as they see fit, and for businesses to trade and thus survive, against the wish to preserve life by imposing restrictions. There's a trade-off between damage inflicted by virus and damage inflicted by lockdown and similar measures, and debating them is quite reasonable.

What I do feel is unfortunate is for debate to descend into the modern tendency to denigrate differing opinions by referring to the people expressing them as somehow evil or unintelligent. For me, that reflects more on the person calling others fools for not holding the 'correct' opinion than on a temperately-expressed comment (with which I may or may not agree).

If a forum member can't post a comment without resorting to insult, please just don't post. All that does is bring a thread one step closer to locking or deletion.

By the way, Owd Jockey, I'm not having a personal go at you - your comment was at least reasonably temperate, and didn't insult any individual. There are far worse examples spread over the 'political' threads.

Sorry to post like this, but one of the reasons I gave up posting on threads like these is because I'm not interested in having a fight. It's interesting to see different experiences, links to data and opinions, but not to see otherwise decent woodworkers acting like culture war Twitter trolls.
Thank you for writing this. I know we do not agree on many matters but we definitely agree on this.
 

Terry - Somerset

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Politics may be partly responsible for the extended relaxation:
  • scientists will play it safe - getting their advice wrong would make them a government scapegoat.
  • the government want to end the crisis on an unambiguously positive note having made major misjudgements over the past 10 months
  • the next election is 3-4 years away - memories of the pandemic may be dominated by the end game, not the whole match.
Timescales are far too extended. Cases, hospitalisations, and deaths are falling (~20-30% per week). Within 4-6 weeks more damage to individuals and society will be done by restrictions than the virus.

We now have the ridiculous situation where one person can visit a care home in PPE and after a test, yet care home workers can refuse vaccination, and all residents will already have been vaccinated.

I can only hope that the timelines set out will be modified in a few weeks - I see little prospect of general public compliance when the risk will have so obviously diminished.
 

Rorschach

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That is my hope too Terry, set out a very cautious plan now so they cant be accused of acting too fast or having to back track in a few weeks when kids go back to school. Then if numbers keep dropping the way they are there will be a public outcry and the government can say "on your heads be it" and open up early.
That's the optimist and the cynic in me of course. If they really do stick to the timeline they have set out I really do worry what kind of country we will living in come July.
 

TominDales

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Just seen these posts, I work in the vaccine area and from what I've heard, in this complex and uncertain situation, the dominant thinking by PMs close circle is protecting the NHS.
Lockdown is devastating business and peoples lives, the cabinet is very alive to this. I think we should expect the lifting of lockdown to be dynamic, if the early steps go well, they will accelerate opening up, if not then its will slow down. The caution is due to a number of concerns (virus mutation, vulnerability of at risk groups etc) BUT the dominant reason is the fragile state of the NHS right now. Despite cases falling very quickly, the NHS is fully stretched focusing on the biggest vaccination in history, hospitals still full and staff exhausted. This has big knock on effects to the whole population, cancer services are stretched, A&E has lost capacity which means people of all ages are vulnerable by the knock on effects of COVID right now. The NHS came close to being overwhelmed this month, with ambulance waiting times went through the roof, that scared the PMs circle as the NHS's viability if highly political. The governments thinking (ie the PM) is cautious open-up until the NHS is back in kilter. My guess for what its worth, is if hospitalisations come down they will open up faster, but if cases continue they wont. Lockdown is very hard on the young and healthy, but most MPs are now acquainted with people who have lost loved ones to covid, or who are not receiving urgent medial help.
Hope that provides some explanation on what is a confusing picture. The state of the NHS is the thing to watch.
 

Rorschach

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@TominDales I suspect there is a lot of truth in what you say there.

Fingers crossed that this whole thing leads to the reforms that are badly needed in the NHS and by that I mean stop throwing money at it and actually do something. Every winter we see it in crisis and that should not be the case, winter happens every year and the NHS should be prepared. I understand that C19 is a somewhat special case in that regard as unlike normal seasonal respiratory illnesses we had no vaccine until recently but that doesn't excuse the NHS for being unfit for purpose in the first place.
Its not my job to protect the NHS, it's the NHS's job to protect me, that's what I pay my NI for. If the NHS can't protect me, it's not me that needs to change, it's the NHS that needs to change.
 

Braddersmd

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Just seen these posts, I work in the vaccine area and from what I've heard, in this complex and uncertain situation, the dominant thinking by PMs close circle is protecting the NHS.
Lockdown is devastating business and peoples lives, the cabinet is very alive to this. I think we should expect the lifting of lockdown to be dynamic, if the early steps go well, they will accelerate opening up, if not then its will slow down. The caution is due to a number of concerns (virus mutation, vulnerability of at risk groups etc) BUT the dominant reason is the fragile state of the NHS right now. Despite cases falling very quickly, the NHS is fully stretched focusing on the biggest vaccination in history, hospitals still full and staff exhausted. This has big knock on effects to the whole population, cancer services are stretched, A&E has lost capacity which means people of all ages are vulnerable by the knock on effects of COVID right now. The NHS came close to being overwhelmed this month, with ambulance waiting times went through the roof, that scared the PMs circle as the NHS's viability if highly political. The governments thinking (ie the PM) is cautious open-up until the NHS is back in kilter. My guess for what its worth, is if hospitalisations come down they will open up faster, but if cases continue they wont. Lockdown is very hard on the young and healthy, but most MPs are now acquainted with people who have lost loved ones to covid, or who are not receiving urgent medial help.
Hope that provides some explanation on what is a confusing picture. The state of the NHS is the thing to watch.
A lot of logic in that. Daily infection rates appear to be stationary at the moment. Although many of the vulnerable have been vaccinated for the first time, the mass text service to Cohort group 6 only went live yesterday to allow them to book vaccines. If they get through all 9 groups (progress has been excellent, so they should) by the end of March, it'll be the end of June before they've all received their second dose at current rates (let alone had the wait after for full effectiveness). A full re-opening on 21st June doesn't sound that restrictive when you consider that.
 

Jelly

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@TominDales I suspect there is a lot of truth in what you say there.

Fingers crossed that this whole thing leads to the reforms that are badly needed in the NHS and by that I mean stop throwing money at it and actually do something.

Every winter we see it in crisis and that should not be the case, winter happens every year and the NHS should be prepared.
I couldn't agree with you more on this.

I'm cautiously optimistic that the government's decision to unwind the 2012 changes to the NHS will eliminate significant inefficiencies that were baked in by trying to push competition for ideological reasons, within a natural monopoly.

Certainly within procurement (which is where I have had most contact with the NHS in a professional capacity) has ended up becoming so overly bureaucratic and rigid, that it in effect discourages the exact competition it's intended to stimulate, by refusing to allow bidders to differentiate themselves other than on price per unit of something highly specific, and being wholly unwilling to accept tenders which offer alternative solutions for evaluation by healthcare/technical professionals as to feasibility or merit.


that doesn't excuse the NHS for being unfit for purpose in the first place.
However I'm not sure how you got to this conclusion...

If my car goes into limp mode on the motorway, that doesn't mean it was "Unfit for Purpose in the first place", it means I need to undertake maintenance.

If having spent a decade not maintaining my car at all and barely putting any fuel in to keep it going, I then attempted to take it back to ford as "unfit for purpose" they'd laugh me out of the dealership.

The same is true of the NHS, it has not been maintained, so much as kicked about kicked about like political football; being told to constantly do better, whilst given ever less money (in real terms) to do it with.

And in fairness to them, they've worked wonders in terms of achieving the cheapness which is inherent within that pressure. Our healthcare system is now far and away the least expensive per capita at delivering "first world" care...

And that's whilst it's in a state we both agree is pretty poor, imagine what it might do with some funding.


Its not my job to protect the NHS, it's the NHS's job to protect me, that's what I pay my NI for. If the NHS can't protect me, it's not me that needs to change, it's the NHS that needs to change.
That's probably the single most entitled thing I've heard said in several weeks.

Paying a tax does not somehow absolve you of the duty to take responsibility for how your actions affect others in society.
 

Droogs

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@Rorschach unfortunately that is a misconception that most people have. NI payment from the public have absolutely nothing to do with the NHS, the money is used to pay the pensions of those currently drawing a state pension. It has never been about health cover, it gets its funding from the general tax pool. There is a lot to be said of treating the NHS like one of the Services and make the amount of money it receives relational to the previous years costs plus a bit extra and have it totally ringfenced so that no government can change how it is funded except by vote in the full parliament. but that would probably mean a base income tax level around 30% which a lot of people would not be happy with.

edit typos
 

Terry - Somerset

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National Insurance may once have been intended to fund pensions - it is now simply a tax.

It has a residual role in recording the number of years contributions which determine the state pension entitlement. The pension is inflated annually and is completely disconnected from the total of NI paid.

There are very few goverment services funded directly by taxpayers - the most obvious is the BBC through the licence fee.
 

Droogs

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The amount you get in your state pension is very much linked to how much NI you have paid each year. It is the reason that the DSS made me go to a job club for 35 hours a week for 5 months even though I was not entitled to receive any benefits but to ensure that they would continue to pay for my NI stamp each week (at that time was around £2.20) as if i didn't, i would not be able to claim a full state pension on reitirement. I was not a happy bunny at the time
 

Rorschach

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That's probably the single most entitled thing I've heard said in several weeks.

Paying a tax does not somehow absolve you of the duty to take responsibility for how your actions affect others in society.
I don't think so, not when I am paying for something that isn't fit for purpose through no fault of my own.

Since you like analogies it's like me having a washing machine that doesn't get my clothes clean. I complain and the manufacturer says well it's your fault for having dirty clothes, if you didn't get dirty then the washing machine wouldn't struggle to get your clothes clean.

If I need to pay more tax to get the NHS working properly then fine, I will do that, but I want it done properly, not just throwing money at highly paid bureaucrats to fiddle the figures and then when the system starts to break down we are told it's our fault for getting sick.
 

Jelly

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Since you like analogies it's like me having a washing machine that doesn't get my clothes clean. I complain and the manufacturer says well it's your fault for having dirty clothes, if you didn't get dirty then the washing machine wouldn't struggle to get your clothes clean.
I do like a good analogy, the more bizarre and humorous the better, although there's limited scope for that here.

So picking on the washing machine analogy:

It's more like you inherited a twintub from your grandparents, who found it to be perfectly functional for getting their lightly soiled clothes clean, and you also found it to be fine for that purpose.​
But then suddenly got voluntold to wash 5 rugby teams worth of muddy kit and found it just didn't cut the mustard, took forever and constantly looked like it was on the verge of packing up.​
It's not the fault of the machine, or of your grandparents who gave you it, nor is it your fault because you didn't set out to be in the situation...​
But you're still faced with spending a long time trying to baby the machine through all that muddy kit one way or the other, before you can sort out an alternative arrangement.​



If I need to pay more tax to get the NHS working properly then fine, I will do that, but I want it done properly, not just throwing money at highly paid bureaucrats to fiddle the figures and then when the system starts to break down we are told it's our fault for getting sick.
Now, taking that as a general point I can fully agree with you on that!

In general I'm not overly fussed by paying tax, but I'm deeply miffed when it's obvious that the money we all put in is not being used wisely.

However in the wider context of your remarks, around lockdowns, etc, I feel that my point stands; the fact that we're both angry about mismanagement of taxpayer funded public services leading us to a situation where one of the ones we all rely on doesn't have the resources to deal with a foreseeable natural disaster, doesn't absolve us of the responsibility to do (or rather not do) what we can to help the wider community.


Continuing the analogies, the argument that because you pay tax, and the NHS is still underfunded and if it wasn't we shouldn't need a lockdown...
Is similar to standing in a burning building, arguing that because you've paid fuel duty, and the building shouldn't be on fire, it's perfectly reasonable to expect you can pour petrol into jam-jars at this very instant.​
In normal circumstances it is a perfectly reasonable expectation, but the context of the specific situation absolutely matters, even if the situation shouldn't ever have arisen.​
Taking one such point in particular...

I don't think so, not when I am paying for something that isn't fit for purpose through no fault of my own.
I'm not sure if you're one for poetry, but this counterpoints your sentiment quite well:

No man is an island entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less,
As well as if a promontory were,
As well as any manor of thy friend's,
Or of thine own were.
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls
It tolls for thee.
— John Donne, Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions and Seuerall Steps in my Sicknes - Meditation XVII, 1624
 

Rorschach

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@Jelly I guess we will have to disagree on some of the points but I think we broadly agree on reform at least.

The main worry for me I suppose about the "protect the NHS" message (going forward) is that it will be used in the future to both shame the public and as an excuse to avoid the reform needed. If instead of fixing the washing machine or buying a new one the government instead keeps saying we are all too dirty and must stay cleaner, that's a big problem and will prevent the NHS being fixed. I would hope you can agree with me their?
 

Jelly

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The main worry for me I suppose about the "protect the NHS" message (going forward) is that it will be used in the future to both shame the public and as an excuse to avoid the reform needed. If instead of fixing the washing machine or buying a new one the government instead keeps saying we are all too dirty and must stay cleaner, that's a big problem and will prevent the NHS being fixed. I would hope you can agree with me their?
Oh yes, I can fully agree with you on that.

After all the NHS is the closest thing we have to a national religion (I can hear the entire C of E wincing in unison there)...

And if it's a choice between evoking that connection Britain has, misusing the "Protect" message ad-infinitum or communicating to voters about difficult realities like the choice between tax rises, or reduced provision; I can see both the current government and subsequent ones being all to willing to do the former.



For me it's important that when the immediate threat of COVID has passed, the government is held to account for how the hell we got to a place where the NHS was so vulnerable, and our national emergency preparedness was so limited.

We would all be suffering from a collective case of idiocy if we allow a situation to come about where we have to endure this again for some other foreseeable threat.
 
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