Daily View 2×2: 1 April 2020

I’m almost surprised by my persistence – three days in a row? What is becoming of me?…

2 big stories

Michael Gove deferring to experts? Has the apocalypse actually turned up? As a front man aiming to reassure the public with facts, he might not be your first choice, but he does have a tough hand to play. After all, it turns out that the Johnson administration turned down offers of ventilators, failed to secure the chemicals necessary to produce tests and gave up opportunities to take part in joint purchasing programmes with the European Union and its neighbours. Indeed, things are so bad that the Daily Mail are questioning why we’re doing so badly compared to… Germany. Frankly, I’d put the goats in charge…

As for a second story, I turn to the travails of Zoom, which, it turns out, might not be the end-to-end encrypted service it promised. Failing to tell users that it had been sending data about users’ devices to Facebook wasn’t particularly clever, but the news that it is under scrutiny from the New York state attorney-general is unfortunate given that the Cabinet have discovered it. That’s not to say that they’re particularly bothered about security

2 blog posts

I don’t do angry. At least I don’t do angry convincingly. Jennie Rigg does

And by the end of May next year we will have a leader who has served three times longer than the person who beat him resoundingly in an election, conference in autumn reduced to not even as democratic as the sodding Labour party, and in spring not happening at all, all the federal committees completely unaccountable for a period of well over a year, and we will have had to firmly kiss goodbye the idea of conference as the sovereign policy-making body of the party because a party can’t just have no policy for 18 months so somebody will have to make some up.

And that’s before Dr Pack stirred up the Young Liberals…

Tony Robertson is our former Group Leader on Sefton Council, and writes on the risks of authoritarianism, and why we should resist.

My view, as a Liberal, remains as it always has, don’t trust anyone with power – remember the adage ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely’. We have no sitting Parliament, the official opposition is all but missing in action, there’s no leader of the opposition, why even my own party has no elected leader in place! If ever there was a recipe for state sponsored authoritarianism this heady brew must be it!

And so, until tomorrow…

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  • Robert Peston reports that Gove’s statement is a lie. The Chemical Industry have told him they have plenty of the necessary reagents and no requests from government for more supply.

    Perhaps one of our Parliamentarians could get onto it.

  • @expats

    Good to hear from you and good to hear that you significant other is doing well but obviously feeling poorly.

    I know some people try and put it down to gobbledygook but it definitely works for me as I suffer from Chron’s and when I get flare-ups of inflammation I drink a homemade brew with 1/2 tsp Tumeric and a piece of ginger and garlic. It tastes rotten but it brings down inflammation far quicker than any of my conventional medicine.
    Maybe you could try it in a broth with some chicken if your wife feels chesty and see if it helps.

    Hope she feels better soon. Thinking of you both and mostly make sure you are looking after yourself and keeping yourself well so you can take of your other.

  • @ Expats and Matt. Cheers, and chin in up, chaps. Keep well.

  • Gwyn Williams 1st Apr '20 - 11:58am

    Llandudno has been turned into a nanny state. The town clearly does not have herd immunity.

  • .’Senior management’ now sitting up in bed and talking about taking a shower.?????
    My instruction to “give it another day” falling on deaf ears.

    Relieved but thankful; was it a mild dose of the virus? We’ll never know.

    Again thanks for all your concerns they were much appreciated..

  • @expats

    So relieved to hear this.

    Although we may not all know each other in person and we certainly do not all agree with each all the time, we are still a little community amongst ourselves and I have spent the last couple of days thinking of you and wishing you well.

    I hope when senior management is fully up and operational in a couple of days you may see a promotion for your efforts to senior foreman? lol

  • Dilettante Eye 1st Apr '20 - 9:09pm

    At some point this morning (April 1st), they decided in Downing Street to ‘spin the bottle’ in order to decide which minister would be today’s podium fool, and have to face the press answering incisive questions on our corona virus progress in general, and our lack of front line testing kits, in particular. The bottle stopped very decisively in the direction of Alok Sharma.

    What do we know :

    We know that a few short weeks ago Downing Street was minded to go for the ‘Herd Immunity’ method of tackling this corona-virus crisis

    We know that herd immunity means letting the virus run its course until 75% to 80% have recovered from this illness, thus protecting ‘the herd’

    A herd immunity strategy means not bothering to test citizens.

    A strategy of not bothering to test citizens, means not bothering to order testing kits.

    Thus testing kits weren’t ordered.

    Within about 4 days, public outrage at the herd immunity strategy forced government to change its approach.

    The new approach of social distancing and staying at home, now involved the necessity for testing kits, (millions of them!), at the very least for front line personnel.

    Sadly for our government (4 days out of the blocks), the rest of the world had placed their orders for testing kits.

    Our government in their procrastination, found themselves at the back of the queue for supplies of testing kits. Our glorious government frankly screwed-up by dithering over the ordering of test kits far too late.

    An analogy for this government fiasco, would be a bit like placing an order for groceries with Tesco. The order for your groceries has been successful, unfortunately there are no delivery slots until the end of May

    So, what have we learned?
    Boris is no Churchill, and his cabinet are dreading tomorrows ‘spinning of the bottle’ to decide which new fool must stand on the podium attempting to distract the press from the fiasco of this Tory governments own making.

  • @Dilettante Eye

    There is going to be a day of reckoning when this is all over and we need a royal commission to get to the bottom of the Governments decisions or lack of.

    (i) Why was more emphasis put on behavioural science and mathematical modelling and not on public health
    (ii) Why did PHE take a different approach to the World Health Organisation who have far more experience in dealing with deadly pandemics?
    (iii) What were the true forecasts for the herd immunity approach, number deaths, critically ill patients requiring intensive care
    (iv) what were the forecasts for indirect deaths as a result of herd immunity for people suffering from cancers, strokes heart attacks etc who would not be able to access appropriate NHS Care
    (v) What was the financial forecast costs for the herd immunity approach that had to be abandoned when they realised that 20% of infected people would need Hospital Treatment and what ended up being a true cost to this bundled mistake which resulted in businesses being completely locked down?

    The Government has to be held to account for this for the shoddy mistakes that were made, The Government first and foremost are there to serve and protect the people above all else.

    I am not suggesting for one moment that Corbyn would have handled it better, in fact the whole thought fills me with a shudder, but I certainly do not believe that this has been Johnsons Churchill moment either and my biggest fear is that the Government will try to hide their data and deny the mistakes, but most of all I fear that lessons will not be learnt for the next one.
    That’s why we will urgently need a royal commission to jump into action from day 1 when this is all over, to analyse everything that went right/wrong, lessons that must be learnt and whose shoulders are the financial burden falling on the most to recover the costs from this event.

  • Dilettante Eye 2nd Apr '20 - 9:50am


    “There is going to be a day of reckoning when this is all over “

    Yes indeed there will be. The Tories are going to find that the ‘borrowed favour’ that populism brings to a government, can just as easily turn merciless in short order

    What Populism Giveth,.. Populism Will Taketh Away

  • matt 2nd Apr ’20 – 12:20am………….There is going to be a day of reckoning when this is all over and we need a royal commission to get to the bottom of the Governments decisions or lack of…………..

    Call me a cynic but…
    1)..We mustn’t ‘rock the boat’ during the crisis…
    2)..Afterwards there will be a public enquiry into the government’s handling of it.
    3) This enquiry will take years.
    4) No-one will be blamed but the words ‘lessons have been learned’ will figure prominently.

    As an aside…Rather like Rourke’s Drift was used as a distraction from Lord Chelmsford’s incompetencence in costing thousands of soldiers’ lives, a hero will be needed.
    My guess is a peerage for Sir James Dyson (Baron Dyson of Singapore?)

  • Andrew Melmoth 2nd Apr '20 - 12:41pm

    We have a ‘Vote Leave’ government. Of course they are clowns. They got to power off the back of a clownish project. Their talents lie in selling political fantasies, prosecuting culture war, corrupting political discourse with disinformation. What they can’t do is govern with any degree of competence. Tragically this is one of those moments in history when putting clowns in charge means a lot of people are going to die needlessly.

  • It’s all very well sneering at Michael Gove for having said “people in this country have had enough of experts”. But to say that is not to suggest that “people” are right, or to express agreement with them. When Gove says ‘people’ here he means “millions of ordinary voters”. Lib Dems would do well to remember that, when considering their election strategies. Just occasionally we get it right, as in the jocular and effective “Bxxxxxxs to BREXIT” gesture. We must try to sound like ‘people’, come election times, while giving due weight to expert opinion while shaping our policies.

  • Dilettante Eye 2nd Apr '20 - 5:07pm

    “We have a ‘Vote Leave’ government.”

    Yes we do, and it was democratically elected with a majority, in December 2019 with a clear and unambiguous Brexit mandate to leave the EU. Just maybe, the real clowns are those that don’t sit on the green benches anymore because the voters democratically ‘dismissed’ them ?

    “Just occasionally we get it right, as in the jocular and effective “Bxxxxxxs to BREXIT” gesture. “

    You think that ‘Bxxxxxxs to Brexit’ was effective.? I just wonder if Jo Swinson has the same definition of effective as yourself?

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