Sunday, March 15, 2020

UK lockdown petition

A commenter on the previous thread asked me to publicise the petition on the UK parliament website calling for the UK to implement an Italian-style lockdown, and I'm happy to do that - you can sign the petition HERE.  I know there might be a debate over whether now is the time for a full lockdown or merely for a French-style 'lockdown-lite', but regardless of whether you agree with every dot and comma of what the petition organiser is calling for, I think it's still very worthwhile to sign.  It's a good way to demonstrate the strength of feeling against the UK government's reckless and dangerous decision to completely disregard the recommendations of the World Health Organization on how to tackle this outbreak.

It's worth stressing that although the WHO acknowledge that lockdowns can play an important role when the situation has spiralled out of control, they don't think lockdowns are sufficient.  The most important thing of all is to interrupt the transmission of the virus by detecting every case and tracing all close contacts.  So even if the government agree to a lockdown (or more likely are forced into it by an Italian-type catastrophe), a second U-turn would then be needed - because they've essentially given up on testing-and-tracing.  They've announced that in future only hospital admissions will be tested, which means that mild cases will be completely missed and the close contacts of those people will continue spreading infection still further.  The excuse given for this crazy decision is that the world gave up on containment when the virus spread beyond Asia and that a mass epidemic is now inevitable.  Which is an odd claim, because the WHO are loudly repeating day in, day out, that this is a controllable pandemic and that every country can and must pull out all the stops to control it in the way that China and South Korea have demonstrated is entirely possible.

If this situation wasn't so unutterably tragic, it would almost be laughable.  The people who deliver pious lectures about "following the science" are the ones who are blithely ignoring the pleas of the world-leading experts of the WHO, and yet they seem oblivious to that irony.  Instead they're putting all their faith in a handful of UK scientists who are firmly in the minority of international scientific opinion.  And let's be frank - the Scottish government are as guilty of that as anyone.

35 comments:

  1. Thanks. I see it's over 100,000 signatures already.
    (179 425@ 0335)

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  2. Signed petition and contacted my MSP again to ask why the FM is not taking the lead on this for Scotland sake, and follow the genuine evidenced based guidlines given by the WHO The FM needs to take the initiative and lead instead of reacting to public opinion. Was given a very feeble excuse as to why schools etc have not been closed.

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  3. Dom and Boris's 60 Million Person Social Laboratory BDSM ClubMarch 15, 2020 at 9:06 AM

    Signed.

    We need another petition proposing a dry run for the herd immunity to protect the elderly theory: Johnson and Dom and every member of the cabinet are given the virus and then send to live in a big house with Johnson's father, Liz and Philip, and the Barclay brothers. 24 hour a day live coverage online.

    Nightly TV coverage of the day's highlights: who can blow the biggest spit bubble? Who can get down on all fours and cough a ping pong ball across the floor into Liz's waiting mouth?

    The public then get to vote not on who leaves the house but who's sent there.

    Then if all goes spiffingly we know the UK's onto a winner and we get to laugh at the rest of the world!

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  4. I want President Jamez to take all necessary powers.

    I will enforce Nationalist BDSM lockdown and wear my special uniform.

    The future belongs to me.

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  5. Will the Scottish government been given the power to nationalise / take control of businesses, property, private hospitals etc to help control the virus and keep the country running?

    What about full control over borders, tax, spending and borrowing in the form of complete home rule? Even control of e.g. the Scottish regiments to support the emergency services?

    It's time to put lives before unionism. Scotland can't safely drive the coronavirus car with only control of the handbrake, clutch and windscreen wipers, especially while England keeps randomly reaching over and turning the steering wheel, changing gear etc.

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  6. @Scottish skier.

    Again totally agree , lock down scotland and then what?

    How do we survive?

    Whats in the detail of how bills are paid , and the country continues to function?What if this continues on for months ahead?

    FFS i was just reading the other day we have the lowest statutory sick pay in the whole of western europe , from memory even wee ireland is double that of the empire.

    Lockdown scotland , only we are at the mercy of economic decisons south of the border , we survive the conoravirus zombie apolcalypse only to be killed in the rioting in the streets as starving mobs that dont have a penny in their back pockets storm supermarkets.

    No thanks , i wont be signing anything until we read the devil in the detail.

    Well done to the scottish and uk governments so far for trying to steer a calm and level headed middle road through this crises.

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    1. My post was about having the powers to do what is needed, when it's needed, based on the advice of the Scottish governments expert advisers (CMO, CSO, emergency services etc).

      It did not advocate a particular course of action. I'm a research chemist, so while I understand much of the science, I'm not an expert on controlling pandemics and won't try to argue I know best.

      However, unlike you (it seems), I don't trust the English government in this. How can I trust a government that breaches the human rights of disabled people (UN reports), making life a misery for the sick and poor, occupies other countries illegally (Chagos Islands UN ruling) and has just taken my vote off me (no Section 30) to list just a few examples?

      The idea that Boris Johnson is suddenly a kind, caring man, who now only worries about saving lives and screw getting rich is farcical. Johnson will do what will keep him and mates rich with enough playing to the crowd to keep him in power.

      This is a serious concern to me, not least because the WHO say the same:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51892402

      Coronavirus: Some scientists say UK virus strategy is 'risking lives'

      Those expressing concern have no political agenda, unlike Boris '100k is chickenfeed and England owns you jock scum' Johnson.

      As I've said before, I think so far things have been handled in the UK quite well, and I don't take a 'panic / lock down the country now' approach. However, I cannot advocate an approach that puts Tory wealth preservation before lives, which I can be almost 100% sure will be what's behind No. 10's plan for leopards never change their spots.

      In past crisis such as this, the Tories always hurry to protect themselves and exacerbate the problem.

      The people emptying the shelves of bog rolls and pasta are centre-right capitalists.

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    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    3. @skier.

      I dont trust the english government , nor do i trust boris johnson , or vote conservative.

      However i grudgingly respect the fact its a tough call for both the scottish and uk governments to make balancing all sides so society doesnt go into meltdown.

      We are where we are , but as i said on here yesterday , we wouldnt be having this conversation about the uk government if the bottle merchants had put their trust in their own government in 2014 and voted yes.

      So here we are .

      We are all worried, but at the same time trying to go about our lives.

      However one minute im reading the luvvies screaming sturgeon and johnson arent doing enough to preotect the public and are deliberately trying to infect us all , the next minute the same luvvies are telling me trump is being overly extreme locking down america. Trump is bad , and cant be trusted either.

      So it seems politicians cant win either way to me. As for the people emptying supermarket shelves of bog rollls being centre right capitalists , then govan must be full of them from what i have seen down asda govan.

      Im out doing whats in my interests and i dont want the country shut down. People can blame the tories and snp all they like , thats up to them.

      However outwith the political chattering classes making political point scoring the rest of us are rolling up out sleeves and carrying on.

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    4. Yes, there are some very hard decisions, and I expect the Scottish government to take these pretty selflessly.

      However, if you understand that Boris Johnson is a man that would grab the last 20 packets of toilet roles and spaghetti, leaving none for the old lady behind him, then you understand why I can't trust the UK government here, not when they're faced with their personal wealth funds currently taking huge hits.

      As for supermarket shelves, it doesn't matter what party you vote for, if you are grabbing what you don't really need and depriving others as a result, then you are a Tory. Share and share alike is the very basis of socialism.

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    5. I know you're a fanboy/girl SS but Sturgeon won't do anything with any meaningful powers she is given anyway.

      She tinkers on the margins where it is politically safe. This is a golden opportunity to demonstrate what an autonomous government could be doing differently but instead she hides behind the actions of a Westminster elite who are motivated by who knows what, petrified she will get it wrong.

      She is no leader, she is a technocrat.

      Her actions in this crisis are simply a mirror image of her actions on everything else. There is not a single area of public policy where she has made any meaningful difference to anything since she became FM.

      The fact that baby boxes appear to be her crowning achievement should give pause for thought.

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    6. My cupboards are stocked as normal. Only thing I have which is abnormal are some FFP2 masks. We use these at work, so I got some for home a few weeks back. Not needed now, but could be useful soon, if simply to avoid spreading.

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    7. Anon, let's wait to see if Sturgeon is given any sweeping powers to help save lives in Scotland. I very much doubt London will do that.

      She asked all powers just a matter of weeks ago via a Section 30 referendum and these were refused, so we cannot fault her for not wanting full control.

      Scotland is not 'autonomous'. It would need full home rule / devo max for that. It is partially autonomous in a limited number of areas, all of which can be overruled in an instant by London (e.g. recent power grab for brexit). This means Scotland will only be able to tinker around the edges as usual (e.g. large scale events cancelled earlier), and all because England is a chickenshit country too scared to stand on its own two feet.

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    8. I think it's horrible when people use words like "sh*t" in their messages. Just think what would happen if a child happened to read it. You could have children swearing at their teachers. Even their grandparents

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    9. In relation to the article mentioned above:
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-51892402

      Important to note that all but 2 or three of the scientists are not virologists and so therefore (as Scottish Skier mentioned) may have some understanding of the science but should not be considered experts in this area. It is just there personal opinion that has no more weighting than anyone else.

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    10. Kids are too clever for that. They wait until we adults are out of earshot. Most of the time anyway.

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    11. Anon, seems you are not a scientist yourself!

      Virologists cannot possibly come up with a sensible strategy alone. They are too specialist in one area. They need chemists, sociologists, manufacturing experts, clinicians, epidemiologists, economists... the works.

      Working in a university in a multi-disciplinary team I appreciate this.

      The English CMO and CSA are of course not virologists!

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    12. Why don't we listen to the WHO; an organisation set up to manage and advise on global pandemics, and had dealt with some of the worst, from SARS to Ebola quite successfully?

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  7. Lockdowns and mass testing and tracing are all fine and well, but surprisingly little attention is being given to Rev Stu's solution to the worst global plague in a century: LOOK, THAT THING IN THE DRESS HAS A COCK!

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    1. Foul, foul language. There is never any need for language. I ask you to think of the children who might see this filth.

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    2. The linguistic assertion in your second sentence is very interesting but I feel that it may be displaced at a deep structural level.

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    3. Child Who Read This FilthMarch 15, 2020 at 3:14 PM

      It’s of some interest that the lively arts of the millenial UK treat anhedonia and internal emptiness as almost as hip and cool as having a big COCK. It’s maybe the vestiges of the Romantic glorification of Weltschmerz, which means world-weariness or hip ennui. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the arts here are produced by world-weary and sophisticated older people and then consumed by younger people who not only consume art but study it for clues on how to be cool, hip - and keep in mind that, for kids and younger people, to be hip and cool is the same as to be admired and accepted and included and so Unalone. Forget so-called peer-pressure. It’s more like peer-hunger. No? We enter a spiritual puberty where we snap to the fact that the great transcendent horror is loneliness, excluded encagement in the self. Once we’ve hit this age, we will now give or take anything, wear any mask, to fit, be part-of, not be Alone, we young. The U.S. arts are our guide to inclusion. A how-to. We are shown how to fashion masks of ennui and jaded irony at a young age where the face is fictile enough to assume the shape of whatever it wears. And then it’s stuck there, the weary cynicism that saves us from gooey sentiment and unsophisticated naivete. Sentiment equals naïveté on this island.

      Yours truly, who has a huge COCK but is not dumb, theorizes privately that what passes for hip cynical transcendence of sentiment is really some kind of fear of being really human, since to be really human (at least as yrstruly conceptualizes it) is probably to be unavoidably sentimental and naive and goo-prone and generally pathetic, is to be in some basic interior way forever infantile, some sort of not-quite-right-looking infant dragging itself anaclitically around the map, with big wet eyes and froggy-soft skin, huge skull, gooey drool. One of the really 21st-century things about yrstruly, probably, is the way he despises what it is he’s really lonely for: this hideous internal self, incontinent of sentiment and need, that pules and writhes just under the hip empty mask, anhedonia.

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  8. “Matt Hancock’s announcement earlier. He said requesting all over 70-year-olds to self-isolate is a “very big ask”, but is a measure which is for their own “self-protection”.
    In the coming weeks, over-70’s will be asked to self-isolate for up to four months, in order to protect them from the virus, he told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday.”

    This is a political disaster. It means the revival of the Wings board.

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  9. No the CMO is a Epidemiologist, and has done alot of work with Ebola. Doesn't mean that has advice is always going to be 100% correct but of course he has more knowledge in the field than the scientists in the list.

    Yes, I work in the field of Physics so I completely understand how different fields work together. Of course I would not assume to have more knowledge than you in chemistry. If i had an option in chemistry I could of course give that opinion but of course this could not be considered an expert opinion as i am not an expert in this field, this is basic stuff.

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    1. Anon, it's just you said that 'virologists' were key; you pointed out only 'two in the list were virologists'. The English CMO is not a virologist; he has a related, but different specialty.

      Are you saying he alone is more knowledgeable than the 200+ scientists in the list and the WHO? That's quite a bold claim if so.

      I think it would be very dangerous to rely on the opinion of one man, even if he is very knowledgeable.

      I say again that the WHO will be my main reference point.

      For now, I have not attacked the English/UK government approach. I've said I'd be concerned about it thinking it knows better than everyone else, and so takes a risky approach as a result. There are some suggestions this is the case, including from the WHO.

      Remember, this is a government that doesn't give a shit about people. It will deport the entire population of a country and illegally occupy it (Chagos islands). It's also done e.g. this:

      https://www.disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2019/may/uk-violating-its-human-rights-obligations-finds-un-poverty-expert

      UK violating its human rights obligations finds UN poverty expert

      Which is why it wants to be exempt from the ECHR.

      https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/brexit-uk-set-reject-eu-21609723

      Brexit: UK set to reject EU demands to keep European Convention on Human Rights

      It's also taken my human right to vote away, preventing my country from taking a different path in this situation.

      Do don't ask me to trust it on ensuring the human right to life.

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    2. I note (as per normal) you have not mentioned Scotland who is following the same route as England, once again your xenophobia shines through, even in the midst of a crisis your racisum shines through, do you get off on it, is it some kind of addiction, you cant get through a day without ranting about England. So so sad, i'm really starting to feel sorry for you.

      I note people getting very upset about the possibility of 60% of the UK population getting effected, yet other countries are expecting the same sort of numbers (50% France/70% Germany) if the route the UK nations are taking is so wrong then other countries figures would be expected to be much much lower, clearly this is not the case.

      Also it appears Frances plan was almost the same as the UK home nations(ie flatten the curve)
      On Sunday, French Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer said about half of the French population would be infected by the virus.

      "From the start, the strategy has not been to prevent the virus from passing - we know that it will probably pass through more than half of us - but it is to make sure that it is spread as much as possible over time," he told France Info.


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    3. The UN is anti-English! The WHO is anti-English! The ECHR is anti-English! FGS man grow up.

      All I have done is voice concerns about 'the UK' possibly taking a risky route different to the globally agreed approach.

      But your racism shines through. Scots are not allowed to question Westminster government strategy, but English people are. And that's after a Section 30 refusal.

      Your deep racist hatred for Scots blinds you. The WHO, UN etc can't even make simple factual comments without being hit by racist bile speckle from your foaming at the mouth.

      My time is too precious to waste it talking to someone so full of racist hatred.

      Maybe if the UK government had spend many years getting Scots to trust it, things would be better. But it has intentionally set out to do the opposite, with the no Section 30 being its latest racist hated-filled attack on Scots and the most basic human rights of the people of the UK.

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    4. Incidentally, the government's plan is heavily based on mathematical / computer models.

      This is why the letter contained lots of mathematicians and computer modelling experts.

      https://fortune.com/2020/03/14/coronavirus-uk-cases-herd-immunity-covid-19/

      It's a strategy that relies heavily on mathematical modeling and a government behavioral insights team, known by the nickname the "nudge unit", for their use of a psychological theory to "nudge" people towards certain behaviors—like paying their taxes, or staying home when they feel sick.

      But the announced new measures, which are far less strict than those other nations' have imposed, paired with the emphasis on herd immunity, also provoked staunch criticism from both well-known virologists and epidemiologists, and politicians, including Conservatives.

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    5. Anon: The point you're making about France and Germany is extremely misleading. Every country has projections about how many people might/will be infected if and when the virus runs its course. Those projections (which differ wildly) inform policy. There's a big difference between that sort of projection and a conscious policy choice that 60% will be allowed to be infected in this current outbreak. (I believe the German projection was 60-70% within two years, which covers a period within which it's realistic that vaccines or effective therapies might become available.)

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  10. All I have done is voice concerns about 'the UK' possibly taking a risky route different to the globally agreed approach.

    There is no UK route. There is a four nations route. All have signed off on this route. You can't have your cake and eat it, moan about the media calling England 'UK' and then do the same yourself.

    Stop blaming other countries for things in your own control. Its pathetic.


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  11. Mike Smithson PopsMarch 15, 2020 at 1:39 PM

    I want you to know that your favourite senior popster will not be deserting you. I'll continue to have my finger on the Scottish political pulse from Raith to Roxburgh.

    All right – stay bright!

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  12. If the over 70s self isolate it will make a dent in the MP population and pretty much shut the House of Lords.

    Also, if the whole country shuts down for 3 months a great many businesses will go bust. We live in interesting times.

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  13. Dom and Boris's "Herd Is Not a Metaphor" BDSM ClubMarch 15, 2020 at 3:37 PM

    Imagine in two months time the lockdowns in Italy and Spain and then other countries have worked as well as they did in China and the spread is thankfully under control across the world, even the US.

    Now imagine the exception at that point is dear old Blighty with say 50% of the population infected, hundreds of thousands dead or dying, millions with pneumonia, and the island still sending infected people out across the world -- and all this done deliberately by the UK govt.

    Imagine in February China had said they were deliberatly going to infect 50% of their population and not gaf about infecting the rest of the world. How do you think the rest of the world would have reacted to China at that point?

    This is just a thought experiment (although a scenario likely to occur) so bear with me here. If a country is acting in a way that DELIBERATELY endangers the lives of ten of millions and the health of hundreds of millions across the world, might nuking that country be justified? If not, why not?

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    1. Does Anybody Still Believe This Isn't a Simulation?March 15, 2020 at 4:22 PM

      And how about if the person who therefore wants to nuke the UK, a hairtrigger nihilistic manbaby whose re-election the virus threatens and who faces life imprisonment once out of office, has a near as dammit veto on the UK's use of nuclear weapons? https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-trident-nuclear-program/

      But this must all have been wargamed by Dom and chums, surely. And they'll have received reassurance from the famously reliable US president that no such thing would cross his mind.

      Right?

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  14. I cant help thinking having a population all ready to stay at home in a lockdown situation is something a very right wing government would love to happen. Much as I can appreciate the sentiment behind idea of dissagreeing with Westminster I sort of have a fear of being to easy to lockdown makes us all ready to be uplifted to a type of camp.

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