+++Open thread – Boris Johnson’s speech to the nation at 8:30pm

Boris Johnson is speaking to the nation at 8:30pm. Some expect him to announce a “lockdown”.

Please comment below as the speech unfolds….

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Read more by or more about or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

17 Comments

  • We know that this is going to be very difficult on each other and of course, we are worried about peoples mental wellbeing that these measures will cause, but, it is vital and it is the right thing to do.
    We have to throw everything we got at this virus in the hope to stop its spread. We have to give the people and the NHS the best fighting chance to come through this.

    We owe it to ourselves and to each other

  • The lockdown is the right decision. Some people have to be saved from themselves.

  • Lock down is a power grab from ultra conservatives and should be targeted as such. Authoritarians love curfews and control. This is vey very bad. Libertarians are a small group. Much smaller than the ban it and restrict it mob. Liberals thinking this will aid progress are kidding themselves.

  • Richard Underhill 23rd Mar '20 - 10:18pm

    Glenn 23rd Mar ’20 – 10:02pm
    You are right, but please note what Ed Davey said in the Commons.

  • John Marriott 24th Mar '20 - 7:05am

    @Glenn
    So, you want this virus to run rampant through the population, do you? If these are your views, then, thank goodness that ‘libertarians’, in your words, ‘are a small group’. May they stay that way!

  • Matt and John are correct, but I hope to see a day when this flawed shallow opportunistic character of a Prime Minister gets his cumuppence.

  • Where is the testing? The advice of the WHO is that this should be a priority. For evidence they use Singapore and South Korea. They starting testing and followed up the contacts.
    The results are there to see and of course we can check because they have data to show.
    Why is it not a priority for us?
    When someone has the symptoms we are told about they are asked to self isolate for a week and see what happens. If the condition worsens they are tested.
    Why are they not given the opportunity to be tested immediately. So should anyone living in the same house. If the test is positive then their contacts should be tested. This would also enable the questions of when people are in most danger clarified.
    Why should people have to wait until they are very sick to be tested?
    Why are people put under needless stress?

    Of course we are now in the position of needing stringent measures. Why have they not been properly worked out. The country is being mismanaged.
    It really is time to start taking the problem seriously.

  • Nonconformistradical 24th Mar '20 - 9:03am

    @Tom Harney
    “Why should people have to wait until they are very sick to be tested?”

    Gosh – that would have meant advance planning – to have sufficient kits available – and higher taxes to pay for it – instead of cutting the NHS to the bone.

    A proper healthcare system cannot be run effectively without at least some slack in it. The ‘slack’, if it had been there, would not have addressed the whole of this crisis but at least would perhaps have been able to ensure key workers were tested.

  • John Marriot
    No I don’t want the virus to run rampant. And I am not a libertarian. I was making a reference to the way some of my fellow liberals have tied them selves in knots worrying about the threat of the libertarian right, but ignore the ban it and send the police in majority conservative right. Enjoy being restricted to your house. I have to go along you because I don’t want to be arrested. But I’m not going to say I think it is the right thing to do or that its a noble sacrifice or thank anyone for it . I will play by the rules but I think it’s appalling and I will keep saying so.

  • Paul said “We have to pray that our PM has got this right and follow the rules,” but we all know that he won’t.

    Now we hear that Parliament is expected to rise (i.e. close early for Easter) and any hope of real scrutiny of what the government is doing (e.g. What are they going to do for the self employed, Is there anything like an adequate increase in testing etc) will disappear for a month. Doubtless there will be people like Dominic Cummings working out how they can make it last even longer.

    I know we believe that a properly functioning democracy is vital to our nation’s wellbeing, but are we getting so used to being trampled on by the Tories that we just say these things automatically with no caveats at all?

  • Now we hear that Parliament is expected to rise (i.e. close early for Easter)
    Just demonstrates just how far into the past the world of Westminster is living.
    The majority of schools seem to have remote teaching up and running in a few days.
    The government network already has Microsoft Office and Teams available – so secure remote working (within government) is already possible.
    Yes the tools don’t fully support all aspects of government eg. voting, but there really is no reason not to use them and maintain some level of democratic engagement.

  • Phil Beesley 25th Mar '20 - 1:31pm

    Roland: “The majority of schools seem to have remote teaching up and running in a few days.
    The government network already has Microsoft Office and Teams available – so secure remote working (within government) is already possible.”

    Really? I worked in higher education for 20 years managing and developing networked systems. Universities have always been in advance of commerce in providing remote access to computer systems, weighing up the balance of risk and productivity. During the SARS epidemic, I worked on remote access solutions for senior staff working in isolation. Time has moved on, technology has improved, and I guess that many universities are surviving the conditions well.

    Schools and colleges and colleges will be working on ad hoc systems and quickly erected distance learning platforms. They might be using existing disaster recovery plans which are intended for use over days or a couple of weeks. Examination bodies employ people who know about secure communications.

    What do you mean by government? Parliamentarians, civil servants who are members of the First Division Association, public employees delivering services across the UK? That’s potentially millions of people accessing tens of thousands of computer systems. If secure systems could be safely accessed by staff remotely, it is probable that approved staff were already doing so. However that is a long way from saying that remote access systems can always be upscaled to deal with thousands of users.

  • @Phil Beesley – circa 5m UK secondary school children have been going live on Microsoft Teams since last Friday, with similar levels of ramping up happening around the world. This version of Teams is hosted on Microsoft Azure – their public cloud platform. Microsoft were also contracted some years back to provide a secure version available on Cloud and available to all government departments.
    I suspect part of the problem is that Parliament/Westminster itself has its own IT organisation: Parliamentary Digital Services, that is separate to Gov.UK…

    Teams isn’t a learning platform like Moodle, hence there is still a requirement for teachers to prepare and deliver lessons – so it is perhaps a little ad-hoc. But my teenagers received their access details on Friday and were up and running a few hours after returning from home that evening. It is noteworthy that immediately they have a adopted a ‘games’ team approach to the work: opening a group chat with their friends and collaborating to get work done – I suspect communicating with each other more than if they were in a classroom and thus being encouraged to keep the noise down.

    Yes, we are very fortunate that broadband and cloud computing services are where they are; today’s cloud-oriented IT landscape is very different to the environment of 2016 (when I did a major cloud migration project) which in turn was very different to the state of affairs in 2007 (when I was designing systems to provision cloud services).

    A big issue is the universal availability of decent cheap broadband ie. services in the 20~40mbps bracket and ensuring all pupils have full access to a desktop/laptop computer running a recent operating system such as Windows 10/MacOS El Capitan or later.

    The world is changing fast – HS2 is already obsolete!

  • Phil Beesley 25th Mar '20 - 6:09pm

    Thanks for your informed contribution, Roland. Apologies for taking your words out of order and I am not trying to mislead the argument.

    As I asked, what is government about?

    Roland: “I suspect part of the problem is that Parliament/Westminster itself has its own IT organisation: Parliamentary Digital Services, that is separate to Gov.UK…”

    Is that necessarily wrong? We separate the people operating security services from government, ministers from civil servants. And so in IT. If the people running Parliamentary Digital Services aren’t up to the job, sort it out.

    Roland: “circa 5m UK secondary school children have been going live on Microsoft Teams since last Friday, with similar levels of ramping up happening around the world. This version of Teams is hosted on Microsoft Azure – their public cloud platform.”

    That is what Azure, AWS, Akamai and no doubt another company starting with the letter A have built businesses to achieve. They can chug data and they are robust.

    But if you wan’t to do anything useful, you have to build it. Teachers build teaching systems have to use and build systems pertinent to students.

  • @Phil – The separation of Gov.Uk and PDS IT isn’t in itself necessarily wrong, just that from reports PDS doesn’t have the same imperative as Gov.UK (aka the Cabinet Office) and have lagged behind, hence have not been part of G-Cloud and related programmes. I agree PDS do need to step up and sort it out.

    Well within reason the cloud services have been designed to scale, although the current rapid growth is stretching them. People are noticing that capacity is tight on Azure and so somethings (not under SOA) are currently taking significantly longer to perform. But then given the Teams platform has gone from circa 20m users in January to 32m users at the beginning of March and now somewhere between 40~50m users, some growth pains are to be expected.

    Yes, Teams isn’t a teaching system, it is more of a collaboration and conferencing tool which can be used for teaching, and because it is available and can be readily configured is probably why it is being used. However, as I noted it isn’t Moodle. But with the numbers of schools now using it, I expect people will become interested in developing the necessary teaching extensions.

  • Phil Beesley 26th Mar '20 - 2:10pm

    @Roland. Thanks for the sanity check.

    Regarding load on cloud providers, it will be interesting to see how they choose which data to discard when/if storage gets tighter.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 6th Jun - 12:04am
    @Peter Martin: The practice among Labour hard lefties of constantly digging up the increasinly distant past in priority to attacking the current government is not...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 5th Jun - 11:48pm
    @ Alex, It's your point not mine. You're right in saying "with a post-Coalition leader we can move on from it because the leader would...
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 5th Jun - 11:37pm
    As the above comments amply demonstrate, no good can come from endless re-examination of the Lib Dems’ record in the 2010-15 Coalition Government - or...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 5th Jun - 10:45pm
    Ed Davey became the MP for Kingston in 1997. Paddy Ashdown tasked him with the job of the party's spokesman on Treasury Affairs, adding the...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 5th Jun - 10:39pm
    @David Raw 'My memory of American Presidents goes way back to Harry.S. Truman' I too hope that D Trump will get his comeuppance in November....
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 5th Jun - 10:18pm
    HSBC's involvement in China business is no surprise as the HS stood originally for Hong Kong and Shanghai. Around 1960, before they had involvement in...