Posts by casablanca

    You say "thanks for your eloquent reply" but who are you replying to??? In any case I think your reply to an undisclosed reply is terrific. Let me just say a few things without making a meal of it.


    You say an American police officer acted unprofessionally/thuglike. True enough. I think the difference is in US vs UK police culture. In the US it is officially all about law enforcement whereas in the UK there is instead or in addition the concept of police serving the community. Yes, I know, not enough! I fear that sooner or later, if you put a people in uniform and give them weapons and powers to tell citizens what they can and can't do, the drift will be towards enforcement, which inevitably will result in an abuse of power, not least because of the personality of many of those who are attracted to the idea of a job that gives them such power. It's a very unhealthy consequence. In theory of course that abuse of power should be rooted out by an executive command. In practice, the institutional mindset drains integrity, independence and doing right.


    I disagree with you that this killer cop would have acted the same way if, with all other factors being equal, George Floyd was white, yellow, or brown. I think black skin has become such an effective predictor or stereotype of criminality, delinquency and a danger to white(ish) society, that for the killer cop, the restraining of the suspect was mentally assisted by an unrestrained personal prejudice, which rationalised itself into a professional officiousness, which morphed into personal evil intent.


    Of course it doesn't help if the black guy is so dangerously stupid as to struggle to resist being apprehended and arrested. All too often black people are their own worst enemy. But "execute" them when they are already restrained? And none of the onlooking police to step forward to stop this murder? Can one really expect ordinary citizens witnessing this evil, especially hose of the same skin colour, to react in a calm rational way rather than with white heat emotion.


    Unlike you, I saw plenty of media coverage of criminally uncontrolled savage destructive rioting. Certainly enough for Trump to demand peace & order without the delay of touchy-feely speeches by whichever bigwigs can get themselves in front of a rolling camera. And who cares whether that peace & order is restored by local, state-wide or federal resource, military or civilian. I think Trump was right disregard bureaucratic or political protocol. It is however unfortunate that Trump couldn't or wouldn't convey at least an understanding and disapproval, even revulsion, of the police act which sparked off this "yet-another last straw" (these continual last straws do build up an ever-increasing head of steam. It is also sadly unfortunate that if Trump had uttered more than just a soulless preoccupation with "law & order" there is a good chance the anti-Trump media would have suppressed that soundbite. But then again, what was to stop Trump saying something more than "Law & Order" on Twitter. After all, that is his communication MO. Let's face it, Trump has a lot of missing parts and he is as much an embarrassment to America as Corbyn would have been to Britain, probably more so with Trump because with Corbyn there is always some sympathy when one is uncertain whether they should be sent to a rest home or an asylum. Anyway, what we've now got in Britain is nothing to write home about.


    Thanks for wising me up on George Floyd's criminal history. It came as no surprise but it's good that you have nailed down that uncomfortable truth to the mob of libertarians and WSM's.


    Thanks also for your elegant and entertaining examples of the cant and hypocrisy spewing forth from protesters and the media.


    Your analysis of the problem is spot on and, quite rightly, you cannot offer any constructive recommendation that addresses your justifiable conclusion that the world has gone completely bonkers.



    The only recommendation I can put forward is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04clpd7h0b0

    You say "thanks for your eloquent reply" but who are you replying to??? In any case I think your reply to an undisclosed reply is terrific. Let me just say a few things without making a meal of it.


    You say an American police officer acted unprofessionally/thuglike. True enough. I think the difference is in US vs UK police culture. In the US it is officially all about law enforcement whereas in the UK there is instead or in addition the concept of police serving the community. Yes, I know, not enough! I fear that sooner or later, if you put a people in uniform and give them weapons and powers to tell citizens what they can and can't do, the drift will be towards enforcement, which inevitably will result in an abuse of power, not least because of the personality of many of those who are attracted to the idea of a job that gives them such power. It's a very unhealthy consequence. In theory of course that abuse of power should be rooted out by an executive command. In practice, the institutional mindset drains integrity, independence and doing right.


    I disagree with you that this killer cop would have acted the same way if, with all other factors being equal, George Floyd was white, yellow, or brown. I think black skin has become such an effective predictor or stereotype of criminality, delinquency and a danger to white(ish) society, that for the killer cop, the restraining of the suspect was mentally assisted by an unrestrained personal prejudice, which rationalised itself into a professional officiousness, which morphed into personal evil intent.


    Of course it doesn't help if the black guy is so dangerously stupid as to struggle to resist being apprehended and arrested. All too often black people are their own worst enemy. But "execute" them when they are already restrained? And none of the onlooking police to step forward to stop this murder? Can one really expect ordinary citizens witnessing this evil, especially hose of the same skin colour, to react in a calm rational way rather than with white heat emotion.


    Unlike you, I saw plenty of media coverage of criminally uncontrolled savage destructive rioting. Certainly enough for Trump to demand peace & order without the delay of touchy-feely speeches by whichever bigwigs can get themselves in front of a rolling camera. And who cares whether that peace & order is restored by local, state-wide or federal resource, military or civilian. I think Trump was right disregard bureaucratic or political protocol. It is however unfortunate that Trump couldn't or wouldn't convey at least an understanding and disapproval, even revulsion, of the police act which sparked off this "yet-another last straw" (these continual last straws do build up an ever-increasing head of steam. It is also sadly unfortunate that if Trump had uttered more than just a soulless preoccupation with "law & order" there is a good chance the anti-Trump media would have suppressed that soundbite. But then again, what was to stop Trump saying something more than "Law & Order" on Twitter. After all, that is his communication MO. Let's face it, Trump has a lot of missing parts and he is as much an embarrassment to America as Corbyn would have been to Britain, probably more so with Trump because with Corbyn there is always some sympathy when one is uncertain whether they should be sent to a rest home or an asylum. Anyway, what we've now got in Britain is nothing to write home about.


    Thanks for wising me up on George Floyd's criminal history. It came as no surprise but it's good that you have nailed down that uncomfortable truth to the mob of libertarians and WSM's.


    Thanks also for your elegant and entertaining examples of the cant and hypocrisy spewing forth from protesters and the media.


    Your analysis of the problem is spot on and, quite rightly, you cannot offer any constructive recommendation that addresses your justifiable conclusion that the world has gone completely bonkers.



    The only recommendation I can put forward is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04clpd7h0b0

    I agree with most of what you say but I think there is a much simpler solution, all we need is for white, black, pink, brown and yellow people treat each other with mutual respect. No special concessions for any colour

    I agree with you that would be a most satisfactory and happy ending - and indeed a new beginning


    But how to achieve it, that's the the rub. I thought Bibbles in #47 quite majestically described the impasse.


    To my mind it has never been skin colour per se; it has been the expectation or prediction of behaviour and attitude which is associated with black people, who all too often are culturally and socially alien and often unnerving to mainstream white people,


    We all know that prediction and stereotyping is approximate and subjective, leading to personal injustices and unfair treatment that befall a black person. But changing that stereotype is entirely within the gift of black people.


    It is an amusing irony that the people who are best helping black people to escape negative stereotyping of their skin colour are the white underclass. Just when us a white person thinks it's black people they most have to fear or despise, along comes a bunch of Millwall supporters!


    BTW: This is one hell of an uphill journey when noting the symbolic meanings of black versus white. A good person is whiter than white, virginally white, certainly compared with any black sheep in the family. It was a white lie; so please don't give me black marks for that.

    Don't any of you realise that what happened was a last straw - or one of many last straws which sooner or later ws going to catch fire (sic)?


    Let's at least be honest in the biases of the commentsin this thread. Are we whites discriminating between white versus black skinned people for no other reason than the colour of their skin? Or are we discriminating between (a) people we white folk can respect, employ, communicate with and feel comfortable and safe with versus (b) people whom we white folk don’t feel that way about, who may be the very opposite of those acceptable characteristics, where we use skin colour as an approximate predictor which can turn out to be quite wrong, even grotesquely unfair?


    Leaving aside Mississippi rednecks, or those wearing white sheets with pointy heads, or BNP members, or others of similar disposition, I would contend that with most white people, colour discrimination is just a lazy insensitive heartless way of making social or life-style choices which exclude black people or place them at the back of the queue. Even when this discrimination proves correct through criminality it is still a terrible historical failure, perpetuated to this present day, in that it was initially caused by white people of a relatively advanced society choosing to exploit and mistreat black people who originated from relatively backwards uncivilised underdeveloped regions or so-called societies.


    I believe Lord Scarman’s positive discrimination could have substituted one kind of unfairness for another, creating resentment where, for example, a less qualified black person wins the job against a better qualified white person. This was bound to reinforce negative discrimination. But then again, I also believe giving any human being the benefit of the doubt, of looking hard at the potential intrinsic worth of a person and, with a generosity of spirit, make allowances for the gap between actual and potential which, after all, we white people perpetuated rather than narrowed, still to this current day. This is the trouble with laws and policy papers, they can’t decree what has to be in our hearts and deep-seated thoughts.


    I think part of turning over a new leaf is to “tell it the way it is” to black people, how it takes two to tango, how it’s not going to happen overnight and that it might not happen at all if black people choose to protest and then sit back and wait for the white establishment to ease their hardship. To coin a Cov 19 cliché, “we’re all in this together”.


    Black people will need to sharpen up their arithmetic and recognise that we all go through life weighing up choices based on probabilities, whether factual, intuitive or just plain wrong. For instance, the reason more blacks than whites get profiled for stop & search is that a much higher percentage of blacks than whites are found to be criminals. Granted, it was originally white man’s fault for treating black people so badly, but policeman are law enforcers not historians (and certainly not libertarians!). And if more black people than white people are treated badly by the police when apprehended, that it is at least partly because more black than white people are apprehended, and that’s because more black people than white people are criminals. Of course, it is also true that the evil bias of discrimination against black skin unfairly magnifies this factual reality when it comes to both profiling and subsequent ill-treatment. Even so, learning about percentages or proportionality is easier than the theory of relativity and might help black people to focus on and protest about where they are truly getting a rotten deal.


    The first demand of black protesters following the cold blooded (deliberate) murdering of a black man by the Minneapolis police was for “Justice”. I cannot think of a more appropriate and immediate demand. After similar deplorable incidents in other states in the last few years, where the accused police were found not guilty, one can understand the genuine ferocity behind that demand for justice when pitched against the so-called “brethren” of the police force – not to mention their blindly-supportive well-funded union. That same demand for justice also covers unfair discrimination when looking for work. Justice is surely the priority for getting that first step on the ladder to equality. Getting loved, liked, accepted or respected by white society will happen when it happens and, as I said, it will take two to tango. For instance, many Jewish people prefer to assimilate with gentiles at arm’s length and socialise and intermarry with Jews. After all, Live & Let Live is what a makes tribalism interesting rather than inflammatory. Hence Tom Lehrer’s rightfully sneering song about National Brotherhood Week (or “Everyone Love One-Another-Hood Week”!)


    Apart from “Justice” I find the other placard demands are just contrived advertising slogans, not just those from black protestors but also the usual touchy-feely platitudes from whites who dare not address the hard truths I’ve written above. For example, “Black Lives Matter”, I mean, for goodness sake, surely that sentiment is obvious to any human being other than Southern state rednecks, sheet-covered pointy heads, et al. Personally, I think it diminishes the status of black people, who have long had the moral right to demand so much more than the so-called privilege of not being killed or put in a state of physical or economic destitution as a result of wilful or knowing neglect by Government and society because of being black skinned.


    ***


    Look, I don't expect any reply comments on what I've written. I know it's too much for a forum - or at least this Forum. I only inserted it because I had written and placed it elsewhere and I felt it would be "dog in the manger" to sulkily exclude it from FB which, once in a while, has someone who rises to the occasion (or at least its founder Horizon does if he's not exhausted running the forum).

    I'm sure many FM members will be pleased or relieved that my visits are less frequent and wordy


    This is because when I make a visit and see the current preoccupations in this thread, driven and steered by a member with manic and malignant obsession that is going nowhere, I make a hasty retreat. I mean how do you reason with such a person, who is living proof of the virtues of eugenics and euthanasia?

    Let's get things into proportion. To every one thousand people who have been tested positive for the virus six die. The reality is at least twice as many people have had it than been tested. For arguments sake let's then say three in every thousand die. Ninety percent of those who die are either very old or vulnerable. So, the chances of a younger fit person dying is pretty remote. Yes, we see them on telly all the time, and don't the media make a great job out of hunting their relatives down and parading them in front of the cameras. It's a pretty horrible virus, and I really don't want to get it, but ultimately it's natures way of thinning us out (which we need to be). Locking us down has damaged the economy and held back the herd immunity process. As a result of this action I believe long term far more people will die. I can fully understand why the government did it, but I still think it was the wrong thing.

    I think Horizon and Old Boy are near enough on the same page


    But I think your "Let's get things into proportion" argument has a lot of traction and no public figure seems able or willing to stick their neck out in that direction.


    I know we need a government for law & order, public works/infrastructure and the provision or regulation of essential services. But when it comes to transparency, truth, accountability, intelligence and decision-making, government (national and local), advisers and civil servants are, at best, a mixed bag and, at worst, a ball & chain on progress. The government's stage-managed regular televised reports make me full of anger, embarrassment and, most of all, despair. The media's contribution to divisiveness, confusion, misrepresentation and scare-mongering is immoral, almost criminal.


    You're right, just over one half of one percent die of those infected with CV19. And you're also right that if rebased on everybody rather than just those known to be infected, the already small percentage who die is bound to be even smaller. And you're very right that the death rate is greatly skewed to the old who are in care homes because they are aready in poorer health, and with a short life, and also skewed to those not yet old but in poor health. So that leaves the majority of the population who are reasonably fit for their age (bulky in numbers rather than girth!) and of such people the death rate from CV19 is an even smaller fraction of one percent.


    On the basis that life is for living rather than just waiting to die, locking down should have been an earlier precaution, with an earlier gently- progressive unlocking, coupled with herd immunity to improve survival whilst resuming one's social and economic activities.

    I thought if you are summoned by a parliamentary committee and fail to attend you are in contempt

    Perhaps his pals, the Johnsons, intervened or he had a vulnerable child

    Cummings is indeed in contempt of the Parliamentary committee. So am I. So is any thinking person who watches the way it conducts itself. I'm sure Cummings told Boris he has had enough crap from the media without indulging political non-entities. Or maybe Boris realised that if Cummings attended he would tell them to screw themselves and Boris though declining to attend was the least worse option. Of course Boris as PM obviously had to attend. Facebook's Mark Zuckenberg rightly decided Britain was just a small nuisance and it was better to go to Brussels and humour the EU. Aron Banks and his business associates attended because he was in contempt of the Parliamentary commitee and enjoyed jerking them around. Philip Green had to attend as part of doing a deal with the Government's pension regulkators and also because he wasn't quite ready to throw in the towel, close down his empire and take a 1-way trip to Monaco and live happily ever after. I don't Phillip Green cared a rat's arse about his Knighthood and in any case that era in his life was well over.

    The Times leader comment today was impressive in its call for demonstrable impartiality, calling time on Emily Matlis for her conspicuous failure to uphold it during Newsnight. It is more reprehensible when a journalists’ bias cannot be explained away by their ignorance or stupidity. With her though it's a shame because she is quite bright and tries to think deeply about issues (and those who don’t want that depth can always just stare lustily at her legs). I think she showed the same unprofessionalism as the quizmaster during last year’s debate contest between prospective PM’s. I thought she had turned over a new leaf. Maybe such old habits die hard.


    I assumed the sensational headlines in newspapers that preceded the Dominic Cummings Downing Street garden interview with the media was just the customary low-life journalism that magnifies or sensationalises an already-detected pe-existing public prejudice. It seems part and parcel of the predictably wearisome street pack of journalists all competing to hurl ill-mannered inane questions at politicians entering or leaving a building or car. I accept there is nothing wrong with the media imposing their opinions, nor relaying public opinion obtained from those yawn-making polls and nor is there nothing wrong in the public disagreeing or even despising the opinions of the media or other members of the public.


    Yet there is something very wrong when the media provides deliberate or careless misinformation, in effect fabricating the evidence or facts they have put into their "story" or making seemingly factual accusations which are entirely unfounded. It’s alright to find that kind of prejudice or misrepresentation or dim-witted reporting in a cheap tabloid; it just becomes an amusing bad joke and one makes the necessary allowances, just as one does when reading a forum posting from people like, say, Bryanluc.


    That said, I felt what I witnessed in the Downing street garden media questioning of Dominic Cummings went way beyond the pale. The media’s obnoxious, ill-mannered and prejudiced questioning sank to a new all-time low and became that of a lynch mob. I think it’s a boon for social media. Trump already knew this.


    In the face of that unpleasant garden farce I was surprised and disappointed that Dominic Cummings was so polite. It made him appear defensive which in itself reinforced an impression that he was guilty, although guilty of what I remain unsure. Guilty of not apologising for whatever it was that remains undefined or irrelevant? Guilty of self-elitism? (That’s a real problem when one is elite, knows what it means and knows it is not pejorative except among ignorant and resentful have-nots or under-achievers ….. which I guess represents the vast majority in this hopeless country). Guilty of reading and (reasonably?) interpreting the small print that expands on the short easy-to-remember but ambiguous rules which don’t overtax simple-minded people? Guilty for finding a fair and safe way of reconciling the lockdown rules with the safeguarding of his family? Guilty of being more intelligent than the average member of public in assessing the rules in more depth? Guilty in testing his driving eyesight over 50 miles rather than 20? Guilty in testing his driving eyesight on a pleasant rather than ugly route? Guilty in not wanting to be “all in this together” when such togetherness necessitates rubbing shoulders with a baying lynch mob who are too lazy, illiterate or literal-minded to read the lockdown rules in detail and have no idea what Dominic Cummings is like but don’t like him anyway?


    Or does it all boil down to being guilty of popping in and out of Downing Street wearing gear more suited to a rock concert in Glastonbury? How did Steve Hilton, a Cameron advisor, get away with a similar kids-on-the-block attire? I guess Dominic Cummings looks more eery and has been revealed as more influential in advising on radical much needed reform. In other words, it’s okay to look like a jerk as long as you’re not all that important and influential.


    I don't see the point of Dominic Cummings fashioning himself as an independent creative ingenious reforming figure and then, when the eyes and ears of the world are upon him, behaving like just another dull deflecting politician. It makes me wonder if his progress has been based on a suspension of disbelief. If so, I think it deflated in the garden of Downing street and I’m not sure it can re-inflate. There was a much better mea-culpa-ish speech or replies he could have given, more candid, sincere and likeable, less pedantic or robotic. I think he missed his chance to be a mensch and maybe that is why he is now more a government liability than an asset.

    The latest release from lockdown will mean that non essential shops can re-open in mid June. But shoppers will not be allowed to pick up or touch products

    This incudes clothes shops where customers will not be allowed to try the clothes on. Given that different manufacturers can produce clothes supposedly of a particular size but that actually vary so customers will have to purchase, take home, try on, wrong fit or just doesn't suit, so back it goes to the shop. Is the shop then going to have to throw it away, sterilise it somehow, or just put it back on the rail. The latter I suspect

    Is this the best that Cummings can come up with - even I could do better

    It was found that viable virus couldn’t be recovered from cloth after 2 days.


    Don't you do any homework?

    Some deadhead in The Times wondered why no one had asked DC if his wife could have driven them back to London. My wife doesn't like driving at night and I know for sure this is quite common. In any case, she wouldn't have wanted to do all of the driving. So a simple run to see if DC's eyesight was ok seemed reasonable. After all, evidence is mounting that Cov19 has a detrimental effect on one's eyesight, hopefully just temporary.


    So then we have the accusation that he was driving somewhere that was pleasant. Aaaarrrrgh, Heaven Forbid! He ought to have done that eye-test run in some ghastly slum area. Someone else suggested he should have tested his eyesight by driving on a fast dual carriageway but if I was worried about my eyesight why would I want to test it to destruction and cause a multiple pile up? Someone else I met asked about the whereabouts of the wife's family. Maybe it's a relevant question, maybe not. It was a question that was overlooked in the media's vitriolic/Nazi interrogation and demands for an apology.


    As for the absence of an apology, WTF do the media think they are? The sentiment in that vomit-making film Love Story that "love is never having to say you're sorry" never quite made sense to me but it makes the opposite of sense when spouted by the faux-self-righteous media and a lynch mob of several million known as the Great British Public (aka media advertising fodder).


    There is something about anonymous forums that seem to attract an above average proportion of below-average people who are sad losers and seek consolation from the misfortune of other people more successful than themselves. It's not quite the same as Schadenfreude, which usually stems from a person's smugness that conceals an envious resentment that someone else is experiencing more contentment than he or she is. But that doesn't quite describe the small-minded malicious and malignant hostility hurled by losers at those who are undoubtedly superior and more of an asset in the advancement of society.


    You can identify the losers from just a few sentences, eg


    Are you after a gong? = why can't I have a gong?

    80% say he should go = mob rules

    He couldn't bring himself to say sorry = apologise for causing a person to be offended by what he imagines has offended other people. Truly a mental virus

    The media were just doing their job = thinking like I do

    We are being governed by unelected people = thank goodness: governed by people of more merit than the majority of MP's voted in by the slob electorate

    It is Tebbit all over again = another intelligent straightalking politician or political advisor who should bite the dust

    One law for Johnson's circle, another for plebs = plebs are a necessary benchmark of how low IQ and civilised behaviour can fall and, with it, privilege

    Will he resign? Shit has a tendency to stick = there speaks a loser who is full of and stuck with it








    Dominic Cummings has to go. For a great many reasons:


    1 Cummings knows he is intelligent and can improve the quality of this country and government. How dare he think that!. The British public disapprove of inequality, especially elitism. Instead the British aspire to or feel more comfortable with ordinariness, even mediocrity, and as each day passes they get closer to it.


    2 Cummings views rules as guidelines rather than commandments carved into a tablet of stone. How wrong he is. Rules are rules. There can be no exceptions, extensions or deviations. State rules come before family safeguarding. Be a rule taker first and a concerned parent second.


    3 Remainers hate Cummings. They want to obey rules, even rules laid down by Germany, who in 1939-45 tried to conquer Britain and Europe, almost did, and 75 years later is having another try and might succeed


    4 Tory backbencher MP’s are gunning for Cummings for having helped Boris create a meritocracy, which leaves many backbanchers sitting on their hands.


    5 Labour supporters can finally level down once they crush the policy of Cummings and Johnson


    6 Civil servants maintain status quo power and avoid reform if they defang Boris by removing Cummings


    7 Media hate Cummings because they know he knows they are vermin.


    8 The public are easily manipulated by a mass media which alters facts to exploit existing ingrained or unthinking prejudices


    1 Ok, cut out the personal snipes.


    2 You seem to be doing it to every response you don't like now.


    3 Don't repeat these comments or anything similar like that again.


    I know that only your reprimand (3) is directed at me but I also know I'm guilty of (1) and perhaps increasingly reprimand 2 also applies!)


    Presumably it's okay if I make the correction I just have and it's not a direct reply to a specific member

    1 Interesting. But you're suggesting Cummings will do more things that make himself toxic to Government. Alternative theory is that what doesn't kill him will make him stronger. And if he purges the civil servant swamp and Britain starts "going places" all will be forgiven except by the inevitable flotsam of deadheads and deadbeats


    2 Exactly, Boris and Dominic were of one mind on this purge (defeating the Parkinson's Law virus that has long afflicted this country and worsened by Government). And just Boris's and Dominic's lousy luck - and ours too - that Cov 19 suddenly reared it's ugly head and these two guys were stuck in the current Government modus operandi, which is to talk it to death.


    Slightly revised thought on point 2: Thatcher too started as a voice in the wilderness and became a great leader. Churchill also in the late 30's was ignored and divided parliament on the crucial decision whether to resist or capitulate to Hitler. We al know Boris admires such leaders. I think it's time he advanced from image to substance.


    3 If the pathetic public - and media - and civil service - and Tory backbenchers - make it necessary for Dominic to leave, then this country is truly going down the toilet. If Boris has any balls (and I mean really balls, not tub- thumping speeches where every word is in capital letters) he would say that if Dominic has to go then so will he. After all, why bust his ass trying to resuscitate a land of the living dead?



    Food for thought:

    For anyone who want to get a true perspective about Cov 19, think on a higher plane rather than get bogged down in detail and trivia, and appreciate what is happening to Britain vis a vis the rest of the civilised Western world, listen to this great mind and true patriot


    I curse my lousy luck in being born in a country that these days (when I'm too old to emigrate ) has become infested with so many people like ....... well, you know what you're like


    I think Boris and Dominic were "on a roll" towards reforming this sclerotic government and helping or or encouraging or just getting out of the f--king way of those can-do or enterprising citizens who can put the Great back into Britain. Any such reform will require that death's-head-at-a-feast nitpickers - and any similar deadheads they have sowed - should be left to rot on minimum state benefits and be incentivised by not reducing their benefits if they would be so kind as to not sow any more.


    Meanwhile the very least FB members* can do is:


    a) get a sense of proportion


    b) think rationally


    c) suspend prejudices


    d) become less obsessed with rules which can make you sub-standard to an android


    e) gain enough education to understand the difference between rules/law, advice and suggestions


    f) study the details, amplifications and exceptions to the rules, advice or suggestions


    g) if none of the above tempts you, ask yourself why this country is so f--ked-up and, if you can't think why, look in the mirror



    * excluding it founder - see next reply

    Maybe Sage could conduct another experiment, where half the infected Cov 19 patients entering hospital are given the full treatment including drugs. lots of monitoring and intensive care if needed and, also if needed, some oxygen and maybe even a ventilator.


    The other matched half of infected patients will be treated with all the necessary fuss and monitoring just as if it's a bad cold or flu but where what is dispensed is equivalent to what they would do at home, which is paracetamol or something similar.


    These two samples would be matched by sex, age, colour, extent, type and severity of Cov 19 symptoms and prior medical history


    Predicted result: I bet the difference in death rate would be insignificant.


    Conclusion? I think you know what that would be

    The Times newspaper is urging Boris Johnson to acknowledge errors in the way his Government is handing the coronavirus pandemic and is arguing that Boris Johnson’s reluctance to admit what has gone wrong in the response to the pandemic risks undermines public trust at a time when trust is vital


    I think the The Times and media generally is missing the bigger picture. The problem isn’t a failure to admit honest mistakes but something depressingly worse than that which is embedded in the British character or psyche, ostensibly parading as “public opinion”.


    For better or worse, this becomes aped in any British government which is, after all, elected to be representative or at least mindful of British public opinion. Or to put it another way, the electorate get what it deserves. In the final analysis, British politicians make their power base and personal career security more secure when taking the line of least resistance, which means following or exploiting rather than seeking to change or challenge public opinion.


    The problem is that the British public are their own worst enemy. Politicians and their advisors are moulded from a modern-day world of advertising and public relations, operating under the mantra that “perception is the new reality”, that image takes precedence over substance, and touch-feely sentiments have greater moral imperative than tackling harsh realities. Ironically, this pathetic superficiality does not in the least contradict a British compulsion to obey rules and become obsessively pedantic, confused, critical, whingeing, agitated, insecure, even fearful about rules that are loose enough to allow or encourage personal judgement or initiative. On the contrary. As part of this British pedantry, there is an obsessive need for data that measures everything from every angle, ostensibly as a prerequisite for decision-making but, as becomes horribly apparent, a displacement activity to avoid making decisions, which government euphemises as “following the science”. Most of the stuff in readers forums (including this one) is just digging up or discussing trivia. Are forum readers really that shallow?


    It is hardly surprising that the intellectual rigour and integrity of science is increasingly dissociating itself from government’s “Goebell-istic” style of public communication; neither scientists nor the media wishes to be treated as shills for the government (or at least not so overtly!)


    These problems of misleading or over-sanitised communication exist all around the globe but they are worst in Britain and least bad in those countries that have not allowed the idealism of democracy to get in the way of a competent intelligent decisive government taking the helm, saying it the way and not pleading with the public to be sensible but bloody well telling them to do as they are told - or else. But there is no point tough and resolute if one hasn’t adequately taken charge of the problem.


    Other countries are opening up. They are taking a risk. That's what you're supposed to do in life. Whereas us Brits seek assurances of safety. This isn't what put the Great into Britain.


    It is for those reasons above that I feel the only thing Boris has to apologise for is being all mouth and no trousers, for idolizing the resolve of Churchill but chickening out like Chamberlain, for resorting to slogans or catchphrases to create an illusion of decision-making, in short for not being the leader he pretended to be when running for office. But apologies alone are a debased currency, especially among politicians. Having voted for the guy I can’t stop hoping he will rediscover his real inner self before it’s too late. Because if not Boris, then who? He is still the nearest thing to a breath of fresh air in Parliament. To steal a phrase from West Wing: Let Boris Be Boris.


    It's been my point from day one. I don't agree with care home deaths, because dying is the point when going into a care home, and covid merely accelerates the process.

    Good for you. In this touchy-feely country/world such thoughts can make one a social leper!

    Not sure if I have misread your post, but deaths per million are worst in Belguim, Spain, Italy and then UK. The US is 9th. You also have to factor what countries are including care homes.

    I'm supposed to be good at this stuff but I'm losing confidence. Why do we say Britain is the worse in Europe if that isn't so? Why does the Cov 19 death percentage for the US tower horrifically above the trend lines for the other countries if the US is only 9th in cov19 deaths/m?


    My stats hero on Cov 19 is David Spiegelhalter and his article in the Guardian encourages me to pretty much give up on this Cov 19 measuring mania. Now there's a guy who says it the way it is and proof of that is that he never has been one of the 3 stooges to appear on TV's daily bullshit briefings to a disbelieving, bored or brain-deadened public.

    https://www.theguardian.com/co…pare-with-other-countries


    But if you want to examine the stats for what they're worth this website seems better than most:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries


    It shows the UK cov19 death rate per million is double that of the US. But why pick on the UK? We're i n the same lousy ballpark as Spain, Italy and France. And all four of us are far worse than those efficient bastards in Germany and their cousins in Austria - and somehow Denmark and Portugal are also in that better-survival league.


    I don't know whether care homes are screwing up the statistics - and I don't much care - it's just one of a lengthy menu choice of situations by which each country can screw up. As for the faux outrage or crocodile tears about deaths in care homes, one might as well get into a tizzy if Dignitas screwed up and lost a few of its clients a few days ahead of schedule. Days, weeks, months - really, honestly, once you're in a care home or Dignitas or on Death Row in Florida, your days are numbered (actually, your days are less numbered on death row and you don't get patronised by over-weight over-sobbing over-acting over-infecting nurses) and, unless you're lucky enough to have dementia, they're not happy days and probably nor are they unhappy days. As for the loving relations who deposited their eternally-loved but rapidly-deteriorating parents in a care home that is knocking on heaven's door, they too will in about a year (on average) be relieved of their sadness, guilt and homecare fees .....which I hasten to add is entirely deserving because they have lives to live.




    Mmm. I would take Mexico's figures with a big pinch of salt:


    Our death rate figures also include data where corona was a contributory factor, possibly quite minor, rather than the sole cause of death


    I wouldn't be at all surprised if what is being revealed in Mexico is the tip of the iceberg


    I think the data on CV19 is no exception to the deliberate or unwitting biases, concealments, incompetencies and sheer amateurism that thwart comparisons between different countries. Politicians, the media and scientists are all to blame. For politicians, their simplistic vote winning ambition has made bullshit part of their DNA. For the media too it is ultimately about career ambition, which is fuelled by winning readers/viewers, which requires eroding or suppressing truth, objectivity and perspective from their so-called profession. As for scientists, the idea that integrity of academia is impervious to the personal pursuit or preservation of fame and fortune is quite naive; the government has a near endless number of science stooges to support them (although the Government's stage management and blatant deceptions and deflections is torture-testing the moral principles of these stooge scientists, creating publicly embarrassing dissension and rebellion.


    Britain in particular needs a vaccine that can conquer its manic addiction to data collection, not least so that Government can stop using it as a displacement activity to distract or suppress making decisions.

    Its absolute carnage. We look pretty organised in comparison and that is far from reality.

    When you look at the number of Cov 19 deaths to date per 000 population, the US and UK are horridly ahead, Germany quite low and, so too is Mexico.


    I'd rather live in a country with fewer deaths that is badly organised in disposing of them than live in a country that has lots of deaths and is well organised in disposing of them.


    The news media are terrific at turning deaths into end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it horror stories, especially if they can show pictures.


    ***

    Extracts from various attitude surveys conducted by the media reveal that British readers or viewers are not inter­ested in road crashes unless there were at least 25 dead or it was one or two pedestrians mown down by a Tory politician driving home from a hunt ball. One person causing at least 25 deaths is especially captivating.


    In Germany, massive road crashes generate more interest if the make and model of the crashed vehicles can be listed.


    Given an equal death count, a rail crash with good photographs is far more interesting and with far more audience reader appeal if it can feature a honeymoon couple among the dead.


    A rail crash is particularly entertaining if it has broken children’s toys amidst the wreckage.


    Rail crash death rates vary in interest according to country. Thanks to British Rail, a rail crash in Britain is unsurprising and needs a 50% increase in death count to be as interesting as one which occurs in mainland Europe.


    Most respondents far prefer an air crash. There is slightly less racial discrimination than with a rail crash. 75 dead Pakistanis or Burmese is no worse than 25 dead Amer­icans. Air crashes are twice as interesting when focusing on leisure than business passengers, although one dead celebrity can improve audience interest by at least 50% and there is a further 25% increase due to schadenfreude if that celebrity is travelling first class, rising to 40% among left-wing white-collar workers.


    100 dead in an air crash is usually the minimum for a lead story. More preferred is 70 dead, with 30 survivors, especially when surviving after at least 3 nights in a dinghy or in the snow.


    Respondents are especially appreciative where tragedy is supplemented by a story about somebody quite ordinary that they can identify with who had been booked to fly aboard on a different flight but changed their mind at the last moment.


    An abandoned toy teddy bear adds 14% appeal.


    A pile of 50 bodies waiting to be buried or cremated has more horror appeal than 200 completed burials, especially if accompanied by screamingly distraught families.


    Deadly diseases are only exciting horror stories for respondents when found in pandemic numbers in Europe and the US, whereas in Africa they just a routine part of the landscape. 100-300 dying from a new disease in Britain could only be matched in interest by a massive percentage of Africa being wiped out by that same disease. In China the number of deaths needs to be even greater, not just because its population is massive but also because they look so alike and, being so short, makes them seem insignificant except en masse (like soldier ants).

    You obviously haven't noticed, I no longer read or quote the Mail. Not by choice but by circumstances, but you never were very observant

    They wanted me to subscribe and I declined

    Why should I care what newspaper you do or did try to read in your own special little way

    I don't dig up "bits of news" I continually research all the news

    You should try it, it might be good for your bile - but I doubt it !

    You should work for the Daily Mail. They too never let research get in the way of an unsupportable opinion


    Meanwhile, rest assured, you are good for my bile!

    Glad to have got you firing on all cylinders!


    Of course you didn’t say it should never be eased. That’s the problem with people. They’re big on saying what they don’t want but piss poor on what they do want. It’s easy to turn traffic lights red but when do you turn them green? On the Cov 19 lockdown traffic lights you haven’t the faintest idea, have you?


    Boris is not turning them a full green but a paler or orangey provisional shade of green. He has also been adamantly clear that he will return to red if the number of infections and deaths show that the easing up isn’t working. What’s your constructive contribution? That you’re not demanding lockdown forever but nor are you saying when lockdown might be eased and nor are you saying what circumstances would warrant it’s easing. In short, you bring to this matter sweet FA. Please save lives by not even thinking of becoming an MP!


    Sure Horizon, there are hundreds still dying from Cov19 every day. Like it’s a death-threatening virus, yeah, we all understand. Let’s say under lockdown it’s another 650 dead today, 600 tomorrow 550 the day after, then 500, 450 etc etc. And let’s say with an easing of lockdown it’s 650 today, 600 tomorrow, 575 the day after, 540, 510, 450, 400, etc etc. In other words, the R infection is a consistently reducing probability and the slope is steadily down but not quite so smooth and a bit slower to reach zero than with a total lockdown. So then what? Do you say “we must keep the lockdown in place without relaxing it”? What about others who say “but I’m back at work and bringing home money, not relying on the food bank, my employer is not going bust, my kids might not become mentally ill, etc etc? What’s your decision? Too many deaths for your delicate peace of mind? For you, is taking a chance verboten? How do you live if you don't take a chance? Do you never cross the road? Take a plane? Swim in the sea?


    How do you decide what is too many? You’ve barely touched on my last point about a trade-off. When Uncle Joe Stalin - beast though he was - said "one death is a tragedy but one million is a statistic", he could just as easily have said 100 or 1000. If you can’t handle the subject of how to save lives without making such a tawdry statement as “the relatives of the frail and elderly may have a different view”, then you’re just a touchy-feely sentimental sweet-old-thing who is ineligible or unable to discuss this subject rationally and with no hope or wish to do so. And when your best response to my comment that society is not even allowed to think out loud about the harsh reality of those poor souls in God’s Waiting Room (with an average wait of 1.5 years) is “that’s a different debate entirely”, you have in fact reinforced my very point, that you don’t like to think about things that you don’t like to think about. In other words, you’re suffering from the Scarlet OHara virus!


    I expected more from you.

    Okay, time for a little poll, not had one in ages and don't forget folks you can create polls too, just look at the bottom of the editor box and its near where you access the smiles.


    The poll will close Tuesday evening.


    I voted no. Boris is a idiot if he eases restrictions with still so many deaths.

    Might we end up with the same number of deaths with or without a lockdown or withr without a relaxation of a lockdown? I don’t know and nor do you. I’m pretty sure that with a relaxation of the lockdown there will be fewer deaths if we stay alert. For those who really don’t know what "staying alert" means in the context of Cov 19, they might die of Cov 19 through sheer ignorance or stupidity and that seems to me one of the positive consequences of Darwinism.


    Bearing in mind the deaths bureaucratic Britain was able to “achieve” with all their precautions and aatempts to reduce infection and save those who were infected, it is dismaying that ourdeath rate is above expectation compared with other countries.


    We also boast of being a global leader in data collection. I'll come back to that in a moment.


    You can bet your bottom dollar that the public will conclude that this government is undoubtedly to blame for that excess number of deaths as a result of NOT having a lockdown soon enough. And they will also be to blame if they ease it too soon. As for the government being to blame for all the other cock-ups or incompetences, this will be investigated after it’s all over. The verdict will be inconclusive, incomprehensible and a cure for insomnia. The main reason in my opinion is this nitpicking country’s manic addiction for statistics, which is a subconscious displacement activity to avoid decision-making, which is part of an overall Government disability called Parkinson's Law.


    I think it’s relevant that 60% of Brexit leavers are in favour of easing the lockdown and 40% not, while among Brexit remainers the exact reverse is true. Arguably, this could be a split between rule makers and rule takers. It might suggest that 60% of the public resemble simplistic early model androids. Then again, they want to resist taking orders (rule 1 in an android’s programming) when the government tells them that the risk is now low enough for them to venture out provided they act cautiously? Let’s face it, the public are not androids, they’re just timid citizens, relieved to grasp at the cowardly excuse that the updated message/suggestion/rule is an ambiguity. And such people have the gall to celebrate WW2 Victory Day with their pseudo-heroic puffed chests!


    You too seem to feel that the lock down shouldnot be eased. Ever? Until when then? Until zero Cov 19 deaths? 1? 10? 100? 1000? 10,000? Do tell me oh mighty one!


    Sure, relaxing the lockdown will probably lead to more deaths. But not many. But enough for public opinion and votes in the next general election to never forgive the Government for those extra deaths. Because, whatever the death count, there will an uncontested assumption that an extended lockdown would have resulted in fewer deaths. It seems there is simply no way of convincing the public (and that appears to include you) that there is a trade-off debate to be had between (a) sacrificing a few more lives barely worth living versus (b) a great many lives well worth living in a recovered economy. Indeed, we’re not even allowed to think out loud about a policy for those poor souls in a caring home (aka God’s Waiting Room, with no exit door and a median average wait of 1.5 years).

    I doubt I am going to say anything that people don't realise, but here goes anyway: Nora Batty was 100% correct in saying a saying a lot of things but especialaly that there isn't room for compassion when dealing with the hard reality of Cov 19. Of course, it's a shame when a friend or relative snuffs it, but that's life, and we can't afford to let such things distort sensible decisions. I am pretty fed up with hearing "you wouldn't say that if it were your relative". It's true, I wouldn't say it but I'd think it. If we looked at this crisis purely through emotive eyes we would all be locked up until we are vaccinated, which could be years away, by which time the entire nation would be out of work, mental illness and suicides would soar and there wouldn't be an economy left.


    Reality: A care home is God’s waiting room and it isn’t a long wait. 1½ years on average. So efforts to reduce this deadly problem is a misuse of finite resources


    Reality: there is a necessary trade-off between Cov 19 deaths and the death of the economy. But it’s too bitter a pill for the public. The government who allows public fear or uncertainty to dictate will be justifiably accused of incompetence and they will never be forgiven, certainly not in the next General Election


    Reality: yes Nora, probably the same deadly end-result between herd immunity and lock-down. And you’re also probably right, that the final death toll will probably be near enough the same with or without such tight degrees of freedom. But how do you prove that without dividing the country geographically into two matched halves (which means roadblocks)? So as I said, the electorate will interpret a so-called brutally realistic decision as unforgiveable. Then again, they might be just as unforgiving having witnessed the criminal incompetence from taking the touchy-feely, love-one-another. every-life-is-sacred approach.


    Reality: I don’t blame the internet or the media. It’s no crime for them to be totally useless and cravenly dependent on not being on a government’s blacklist for having asked tough questions. But I blame the public for not realising that the government is peddling bullshit


    Reality: it always was about survival of the fittest and in the case of standard of living this at least as much about character and intelligence as it is about health. So why this hue & cry about 1½ years being lopped of some poor aged souls waiting to die in a care home?


    Reality: if 50-years-plus Brits were seriously frightened about getting mugged, infected, knifed or run over, they’d stay at home. But they don’t. They just try to be careful. They could also brave the risk of Cov 19, as it’s an extremely low percentage kill. But the media has scared them witless. And the government is scared on behalf of its scared citizens - truth be told, the politicians are not scared of dying but of losing the next General Election.

    She said that the millions of economically inactive Brits could fill the gap in workforce; so why renew migrant NHS staff visas?


    It seems that Madame Priti is immune to cognitive dissonance.

    I think you can reconcile Prit's apparent by bearing in mind that migrant NHS staff are more willing & able than their British counterparts - or less demanding over what they're paid - and that economically inactive Brits may be content to stay economically inactive or hold out for a better paid occupation or something they were doing before they became unemployed - and, besides which, they would need training for anything in the NHS beyond basic and menial