how to get out of this mess

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JGD
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by JGD »

vbsydenham wrote: 26 Jan 2021 12:44 Not HMG, JGD. SG.

It shouldn't be a prioirty for SG because 100% of civil service capacity is going to manage the pandemic at the moment. I don't know what function you would redeploy people from to resource the census.
I'm sorry VB - did not read it that your comments were focused solely on SG.

Even so - my points apply to ALL our govt's - national and devolved then.

I make no proposal to redeploy resource internally within govt bodies.

I argue it is essential that additional resource is found, employed and/or commissioned for these important tasks.

We are in unique and exceptional circumstances of the deepest national emergency possibly in our nations' histories therefore the imperative must be that we step outside what might be perceived as "normal governmental activity" and address these exceptional needs - and urgently.
Sydenham
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by Sydenham »

Remember that even in the depths of the second world war the UK government was planning for the welfare state. If we could focus on more than one thing at once then, why not now?

(no Gerald Ford references please - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4041136/)
mosy
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by mosy »

Maybe the government is indeed focusing on post-Covid but they only want to let us in on knowing that they're doing, "The right thing at the right time"? (A dubious claim even without hindsight often.)

A problem is that government ministers seem to think that loftily making an announcement (agreed by the PM) of an intention is equivalent to its being instantly in progress, or even done and dusted by the end of the speech. They're unlikely to set themselves up to be knocked back by announcing plans still on the drawing board, so we are charged with having faith that there are actually plans formulating for post-Covid on the drawing board. Somewhat a leap of faith maybe.

What's missing is that there should be things going on already(?) or at least announced already that will help transitioning back to normal, or a new normal, once this lockdown ends, yet all we hear is going back to the tier system. I can think of a handful of things that could either be good things or justifyably shot down without trace. Hearing nothing except "monitoring the data" inaction is the hardest to accept.
vbsydenham
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by vbsydenham »

I don't really disagree with most of that. At least in principle. The situation in Scotland is a little bit more complex in that the Government here doesn't really have the power to just find more resources as JGD suggests or put together some kind of post war reconstruction plan, as others have suggested. So in the short term you really are having to cut somewhere to expand somewhere else. And no one has put up suggestions for where that axe might fall.

I'm sure if HMG was prepared to release substantial amounts of revenue the resulting Barnet consequentials would be most welcome and would be put to good use. But I'm doubtful that the UK Government's, erm, lets call them "key stakeholders", would be happy with the necessary tax rises....

As ever, complex problems tend to evade simple solutions.
syd
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by syd »

This is where we are now
Hospital incursions by Covid deniers putting lives at risk, say leaders
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/ ... 1611762725

I despise these dangerous idiots
mosy
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by mosy »

vbsydenham wrote: 27 Jan 2021 14:04 ...[clip]...
As ever, complex problems tend to evade simple solutions.
I would certainly agree that some solutions, or should I say future steps to remedy the damage in several significant areas, would be simpler if there were to be money behind them. However, that would need somebody, I dunno, our leader maybe, to make a decision to instigate plans and instruct his chancellor accordingly. Preferably plans that work for all UK countries and all people rather than more selective support so far seen.

What the government can't do is just wait until lockdown is ended, with the economy declining by the day meanwhile, and then look dumbfounded and ask "Heck, what do we do now?" There really do need to be forward plans running in parallel, plus money earmarked to implement them, that will be ready to go. As we know, the government has a bottomless money pit for buying in "expertise" when it chooses so presumably it has if internal personnel resource, including Civil Service, remains fully occupied (which is the reason given for deferring an enquiry).

Even a hint of forward planning would be welcome.
vbsydenham
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by vbsydenham »

I think in this discussion people seem to be confusing me with someone who is seeking to defend the UKG approach. I'm just trying to explain - in response to a question from stuart - some of the constraints that the Scottish Government will be facing in trying to resource a census this year and to offer a possible explanation for why they have decided to postpone it.
Last edited by vbsydenham on 28 Jan 2021 10:12, edited 1 time in total.
Robin Orton
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by Robin Orton »

What a delightful fellow vbsydenham is. His posts always cheer me up. It's his cheerfulness, uncomplicated patriotism and generosity of spirit which I most admire . A credit to the public service!
squashst
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by squashst »

What I would like to see the Government do is to be honest and state that you cannot go back to a level of risk which is pre COVID. What I mean by this is no matter how long lockdown lasts, the return to more normal life cannot be risk free. So looking at the vaccination programme when do you lift off and allow restaurants and pubs to open, or foreign travel.

Is it when everyone over 60 is vaccinated? Over 50? Over 40? Or all adults (which might be September / October). But even if you go for the latter - (which would obviously have the biggest economic impact) it would still not be risk free as not all adults will accept vacination. That does not, I think mean you never relax restrictions. But it does mean setting the understanding that no release of restriction can ever berisk free and that there is not a perfect answer. Though a test and trace system would help!

Personally I think any release up to Easter will be very limited as the priority will be schools and the summer term. Maybe some non essential shops by Easter.

Perhaps beginning of May for a more general release extending to pubs, restaurants, maybe outdoors only up to June. Overseas travel a lottery this summer - Q3?
chrisj1948
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by chrisj1948 »

Surely the metrics which determine when restrictions can be eased are the rates of infection, hospitalisation, and death. Until these fall to an acceptable level we have to persist with lockdown. Trying to set a date in the future for this must currently be like trying to predict the weather several weeks ahead. We can be fairly confident that the vaccination program will eventually drive the prevalence of the virus down, but it would be a brave man who tried to predict exactly when this would be,
stuart
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Re: how to get out of this mess

Post by stuart »

Good post Chris. Agree 100%.

What would be more useful now is for a national debate on what is an acceptable risk. Creating a consensus stretching from a fit 20 year old to a slightly dodgy 80 year old will be challenging. But useful in reminding both how the other half live.

Is it the same level of deaths/life changing incidents for road incidents, or flu or what? Getting an idea of that would give us a clue as we approach that level and strengthen the arm of those having to decide what measures need to be in place to achieve it.

One hopes for the best but plans for the worst. The latter must include it will take a year to get everybody adequately vaccinated. 'Cos it's not improbable that the early vaccinees will need a booster shot next winter to cover natural loss of immunity and a growing range of mutants lowering efficacy. Vaccines that make the old invincible count for little if a 20 year old may suffer Long Covid disability for the next 50 years. But then if we succeed in developing a range of therapeutics to counter that - as we did with AIDS/HIV it changes the game mightily.

The good news is our PM is, at last, appearing to realise the light at the end of the tunnel may well be another train to be approached with the hand covering the brake rather than grasping the throttle!

Stuart
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