Daily View 2×2: 6 May 2020

It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep up with the news cycle and, beyond the chaos of lockdown, a no deal Brexit begins to loom ever larger…

2 big stories

When the specialist trade press, the Adam Smith Institute and Guido Fawkes think that you’ve got something wrong, your instinct might be to think that you’ve got something very right. On the other hand, this is HM Government’s new app for coronavirus contact tracing, and all three sources above think that it’s rubbish. Here’s Guido Fawkes (and I’m not sure that I really believe that I’m writing this) on just one of its flaws

Mission creep: There is no law to prevent the Government from repurposing the app on your phone or the data they have for other purposes. It risks being misused and expanded in future.

Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak is letting it be known that the Job Retention Scheme and the (not actually yet live) Self-Employed Income Support Scheme are likely to be tapered down from 1 July. On the one hand, they’re very expensive. On the other, if the coronavirus isn’t going away, it will drive a lot of people back into activity and risk a second spike of cases.

2 social media posts

Tim Farron has long been an enthusiastic user of Twitter to get his message across and, with more than 289,000 followers, it’s a great campaigning tool. Here he is, calling for support for the tourism and hospitality sector so important in the economy of the Lake District…

Meanwhile, Liberal International have a new interim Secretary General…

Congratulations to Will Townsend on his new role!

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3 Comments

  • R A Underhill 6th May '20 - 8:17am

    On the BBC radio 4 Today Programme on 6/5/2020 the SNP’s John Swinney said that in Scotland they have a system of track and trace, but they want to know more details about the app which the government is launching in the Isle of Wight. The Health Secretary Matt Hancock had previously said that the app had been tested at an RAF base.
    Hancock also said that because he had had Covid 19 he was personally part of a group of people donating blood plasma in the hope that the plasma would contain anti-bodies against Covid-19 which could be provided to others. Hancock did not say, and was not asked, whether Boris Al Johnson was also part of the same research, but presumably he is. In the interest of openness and completeness he should be asked.

  • Interesting that none of the “disastrous consequences” identified by Guido are actually disastrous or apply uniquely to the UK government’s proposed solution..

    Are you confusing Adam Smith, Guardian reporter [https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/22/using-big-tech-to-tackle-coronavirus-risks-swapping-one-lockdown-for-another ] with the Adam Smith Institute, given there is nothing on the ASI’s website about the app?

    From what I’ve seen of the professional IT trade press, the majority are critical of both approaches, as both have major drawbacks, just that the UK press is giving more coverage to the solution proposed by the local bogeyman; the UK government.

    With either approach, it’s just another step in your smartphone becoming your id card.

  • Peter Hirst 7th May '20 - 7:10pm

    It will be great if we can spend more time outdoors from Monday. I suspect the infectiousness of the virus is much reduced in the open. However, we need to support our hotels and related businesses to reopen as soon as possible so we we can reduce our mileage when doing so.

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