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Keir Starmer and the Labour Party’s stance during the pandemic.

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quantinghome

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I voted for Starmer in the leadership contest, and while that was primarily a vote against Long-Bailey, I was also relatively optimistic (it was the month before Covid). What I am saying that I find Starmer increasingly unlikeable and I decreasingly believe he's likely to beat Johnson. I also believe that while Labour is still head and shoulders above this government in how they are likely to run the country, I'm very worried that such a prominent lover of lockdowns is genuinely not in tune with my most deeply-held principles.

Mods note - split from this thread:https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/will-keir-starmer-last.216099/

No one likes lockdowns. But Starmer recognised early on that they are the only way of stopping the virus raging out of control, and that the quicker you lockdown, the quicker it's over. Delaying the lockdowns only made things worse - lockdowns needed to be longer and more deaths ensued.
 
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takno

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No one likes lockdowns. But Starmer recognised early on that they are the only way of stopping the virus raging out of control, and that the quicker you lockdown, the quicker it's over. Delaying the lockdowns only made things worse - lockdowns needed to be longer and more deaths ensued.
Yes, and it's that "recognition" that I strongly disagree with. Fundamentally they were a devastatingly bad solution to a problem that didn't merit them. If he is incapable of acknowledging firstly that they weren't inevitable, secondly that they have caused huge and profound downsides, and thirdly that prolonging them "just in case" is catastrophically bad government, then I really don't think we're on the same page.
 

quantinghome

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Yes, and it's that "recognition" that I strongly disagree with. Fundamentally they were a devastatingly bad solution to a problem that didn't merit them. If he is incapable of acknowledging firstly that they weren't inevitable, secondly that they have caused huge and profound downsides, and thirdly that prolonging them "just in case" is catastrophically bad government, then I really don't think we're on the same page.
You're right, we're not on the same page. We're not even reading the same book.

The evidence throughout the world shows that in the absence of a vaccine the only way to get the virus under control is to lockdown. The government's failure to lockdown quickly cost thousands of lives. Governments that did lockdown quickly when the virus first started managed to get the virus under control or even eradicated, which then allowed them to open up again and minimise economic disruption. Governments that failed to implement effective lockdowns have seen devastating death tolls from the virus. Governments that locked down late have seen the worst of both worlds - high death tolls and major economic disruption.

What do you mean by 'a problem that didn't merit them'? The alternative of 'letting the virus rip' would have been a million dead in our country alone.
 

takno

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You're right, we're not on the same page. We're not even reading the same book.

The evidence throughout the world shows that in the absence of a vaccine the only way to get the virus under control is to lockdown. The government's failure to lockdown quickly cost thousands of lives. Governments that did lockdown quickly when the virus first started managed to get the virus under control or even eradicated, which then allowed them to open up again and minimise economic disruption. Governments that failed to implement effective lockdowns have seen devastating death tolls from the virus. Governments that locked down late have seen the worst of both worlds - high death tolls and major economic disruption.

What do you mean by 'a problem that didn't merit them'? The alternative of 'letting the virus rip' would have been a million dead in our country alone.
We really don't need to get into this discussion again. The point I'm making about Starmer is that he doesn't appear to show any real insight into the downside or controversy of lockdowns. He's basically very gung-ho about them, and when challenged he instantly resorts to abuse like "covid denier".

If he acted like he understood the gravity of what has been done, and the fact that there is a trade-off, then I would feel more able to respect any conclusion he came to. Instead he acts like there was literally no choice, and as though he would not, as prime minister, have really thought about it.
 

birchesgreen

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There is no mileage in being in the slightest sceptical about lockdowns for Starmer, there are simply too many traps that he could fall into. One thing Starmer is good at is avoiding those traps which previous leaders blundered into.
 

packermac

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You're right, we're not on the same page. We're not even reading the same book.

The evidence throughout the world shows that in the absence of a vaccine the only way to get the virus under control is to lockdown. The government's failure to lockdown quickly cost thousands of lives. Governments that did lockdown quickly when the virus first started managed to get the virus under control or even eradicated, which then allowed them to open up again and minimise economic disruption. Governments that failed to implement effective lockdowns have seen devastating death tolls from the virus. Governments that locked down late have seen the worst of both worlds - high death tolls and major economic disruption.

What do you mean by 'a problem that didn't merit them'? The alternative of 'letting the virus rip' would have been a million dead in our country alone.
Exactly and is not letting the virus rip the same as what Boris has denied saying, but is claimed he did, let the bodies pile up rather than lockdown. That seems to have inflamed many so I guess letting it rip would as well.
 

quantinghome

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We really don't need to get into this discussion again. The point I'm making about Starmer is that he doesn't appear to show any real insight into the downside or controversy of lockdowns. He's basically very gung-ho about them, and when challenged he instantly resorts to abuse like "covid denier".

If he acted like he understood the gravity of what has been done, and the fact that there is a trade-off, then I would feel more able to respect any conclusion he came to. Instead he acts like there was literally no choice, and as though he would not, as prime minister, have really thought about it.
Unless you believe that 'letting the bodies pile up' is an acceptable outcome, there is no trade-off. Delaying the lockdowns made the economic impact worse. Locking down earlier, as Starmer advised, would have saved much of the pain of lockdown. I don't think anyone, particularly Starmer, was 'gung-ho' about lockdowns. Everyone recognises the downsides; they're horrible. But he understood the very basic fact that the quicker you act, the quicker it's dealt with.

Lockdowns are like chemotherapy - nasty, crude, with horrible side-effects, but effective. Delaying treatment just makes the problem worse.
 

takno

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Unless you believe that 'letting the bodies pile up' is an acceptable outcome, there is no trade-off. Delaying the lockdowns made the economic impact worse. Locking down earlier, as Starmer advised, would have saved much of the pain of lockdown. I don't think anyone, particularly Starmer, was 'gung-ho' about lockdowns. Everyone recognises the downsides; they're horrible. But he understood the very basic fact that the quicker you act, the quicker it's dealt with.

Lockdowns are like chemotherapy - nasty, crude, with horrible side-effects, but effective. Delaying treatment just makes the problem worse.
I suspect you may be struggling to fully grasp the point because you seem to be just as unquestioningly bought into lockdowns as Starmer. Suffice it to say that I don't agree, and don't believe that 'letting the bodies pile up' was the only alternative outcome. I've stated how I feel about Starmer's position, and the fact that you profoundly disagree with me doesn't change how I feel, so let's just leave it at that rather than throwing round pointless invective.
 

quantinghome

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I suspect you may be struggling to fully grasp the point because you seem to be just as unquestioningly bought into lockdowns as Starmer. Suffice it to say that I don't agree, and don't believe that 'letting the bodies pile up' was the only alternative outcome. I've stated how I feel about Starmer's position, and the fact that you profoundly disagree with me doesn't change how I feel, so let's just leave it at that rather than throwing round pointless invective.
The point of these discussions for me is to try to gain understanding of others' points of view even if we disagree. You seem reluctant to explain or justify your views, but I'd genuinely like to understand what you think the alternative to lockdowns should have been.

I'm not 'bought into' lockdowns. I simply observe that lockdowns were the only thing that were able to bring infection levels under control. The government tried all sorts of things to avoid a full lockdown throughout Autumn 2020. None of the measures put in place worked. The government finally ordered a full lockdown, and that brought the virus back under control. The conclusion seems obvious.
 

kristiang85

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All the UK lockdowns came in after the peak. They do possibly have a place, but looking globally they have just delayed the inevitable - look at some Eastern European countries, for example, who barely registed in the first peak but were devastated in the second peak. And look at US states with different strategies - those that locked down have ended up in the same place as those that didn't.

So overall lockdowns don't save as many lives as basic hygiene awareness, and they are such a blunt instrument they need to be properly reviewed and analysed. The side effects of lockdowns overall do not justify the length of time they were in place, when looking at the supposed benefits.

Imagine a doctor giving someone medicine, and they are still ill but the side effects are getting worse and worse. You don't ramp up the treatment even more, do you? This is effectively what happened with lockdowns, and Starmer provided no voice against them, despite the working classes being disproportionately affected by them. That is, quite simply, unforgivable in my view.
 

takno

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The point of these discussions for me is to try to gain understanding of others' points of view even if we disagree. You seem reluctant to explain or justify your views, but I'd genuinely like to understand what you think the alternative to lockdowns should have been.

I'm not 'bought into' lockdowns. I simply observe that lockdowns were the only thing that were able to bring infection levels under control. The government tried all sorts of things to avoid a full lockdown throughout Autumn 2020. None of the measures put in place worked. The government finally ordered a full lockdown, and that brought the virus back under control. The conclusion seems obvious.
It's a point that's been discussed absolutely to death in other thread in the Coronavirus section. I can't honestly be bothered to explain my views, and feel absolutely no need to justify them. Suffice it to say that there is a difference between reluctantly locking down as a desperate last resort last March, and being gung-ho and all aboard the lockdown express for 4 months and counting of this year.

The Labour party has moved on from not making waves and going with the prevailing wind, into a pretty abject and unthinking support of lockdowns, which by the middle of February were certainly not justifiable as any kind of last resort.

The point where that turned into something which will probably prevent me from voting for them was Keir's abuse of that rather unpleasant man in Bristol. It wasn't the initial altercation, which was a bit of a mess but was understandable. It was when he stood in the street afterwards and condemned the man as a Covid-denier. It wasn't an accurate statement of the guy's beliefs. It was a blatant refusal to show any understanding that there was an issue to be discussed, and a total failure to show any empathy to the desperate situation so many people are in. In essence it was cheap bullying, and it was beyond the pale
 

kristiang85

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The point where that turned into something which will probably prevent me from voting for them was Keir's abuse of that rather unpleasant man in Bristol. It wasn't the initial altercation, which was a bit of a mess but was understandable. It was when he stood in the street afterwards and condemned the man as a Covid-denier. It wasn't an accurate statement of the guy's beliefs. It was a blatant refusal to show any understanding that there was an issue to be discussed, and a total failure to show any empathy to the desperate situation so many people are in. In essence it was cheap bullying, and it was beyond the pale

Indeed. Him saying "I don't need lectures from you" to a Labour voter who has not been able to do business for much of the past year was beyond the pale. No matter how irritating a member of the public is, a party leader should not dismiss them in such a way, especially when they were responsible for ordering the party to vote for said policies.
 

quantinghome

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I can't honestly be bothered to explain my views, and feel absolutely no need to justify them.
Yet you take the trouble to share your unexplained views in a discussion forum. What's the point? It doesn't aid anyone's understanding; it doesn't move the discussion on anywhere.

You evidently believe your views are sufficiently important that you're willing to change your vote over it and tell people so. If it's that critical, surely you're able to provide some explanation?

More generally on the subject of unexplained views, how on earth can a political party respond to the views of voters like yourself if you're not willing to provide an explanation? The UK electorate has a very wide range of views on many issues. Some have a rational basis, others do not. Political parties, if they are actually looking for a meaningful interaction with voters, need to distinguish between the two, because if a voter's view on something is not rationally held then there's no point in the party looking at it. However, if a voter is able to muster a coherent reason for their view then a meaningful dialogue can take place.
 
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takno

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Yet you take the trouble to share your unexplained views in a discussion forum. What's the point? It doesn't aid anyone's understanding; it doesn't move the discussion on anywhere.

You evidently believe your views are sufficiently important that you're willing to change your vote over it and tell people so. If it's that critical, surely you're able to provide some explanation?

More to the point, how on earth can a political party respond to the views of voters like yourself if you're not willing to provide an explanation? The UK electorate has a very wide range of views on many issues. Some have a rational basis, others do not. Political parties, if they are actually looking for a meaningful interaction with voters, need to distinguish between the two, because if a voter's view on something is not rationally held then there's no point in the party looking at it. However, if a voter is able to muster a coherent reason for their view then a meaningful dialogue can take place.
There's a huge wealth of detail in other threads covering why lockdowns don't necessarily even work, let alone being a one-size-fits-all inevitable solution, and why the upshot of using measures other than lockdown isn't necessarily some kind of granny-geddon. Have a read.
 

quantinghome

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Well I guess I'm faced with a choice.

Do I trust the near-unanimous view of scientists who urged the government to lockdown, or do I trust the view of random-person-on-the-internet who doesn't even have the courtesy to explain why he thinks he knows better?

Tricky one.
 

Kite159

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Well I guess I'm faced with a choice.

Do I trust the near-unanimous view of scientists who urged the government to lockdown, or do I trust the view of random-person-on-the-internet who doesn't even have the courtesy to explain why he thinks he knows better?

Tricky one.

Trust the view of people in secure well paid jobs who don't have to balance any impact caused by their actions.

I'm sure there would be some scientists who wanted soldiers on the streets and reasons for being outdoors a lot more stricter (you need to fill out a form and only use the closest shop etc)
 

kristiang85

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Do I trust the near-unanimous view of scientists who urged the government to lockdown, or do I trust the view of random-person-on-the-internet who doesn't even have the courtesy to explain why he thinks he knows better?

If you looked up scientists who weren't paraded by the OFCOM-regulated media, you will see it was nothing like unanimous.

Most people posting on here are very well read up on alternative viewpoints in the debate. I posted a very very brief summary a few posts above, but there is a lot more in depth discussion on various threads on this forum.

If you do want to see some voices on the other side of the debate, there's a good collection of papers here: https://inproportion2.talkigy.com/do_lockdowns_work_2021-01-15.html
 

quantinghome

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Trust the view of people in secure well paid jobs who don't have to balance any impact caused by their actions.
Trust the people who are in secure well paid jobs because they are experts in their field and know what they're talking about. Yes.
 

greyman42

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Indeed. Him saying "I don't need lectures from you" to a Labour voter who has not been able to do business for much of the past year was beyond the pale. No matter how irritating a member of the public is, a party leader should not dismiss them in such a way, especially when they were responsible for ordering the party to vote for said policies.
To me, Starmer comes across as very arrogant. It would do him no harm if he told people to drop the "sir" bit, which i get the impression he revels in.
 

kristiang85

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Trust the people who are in secure well paid jobs because they are experts in their field and know what they're talking about. Yes.

You do realise that this isn't exactly the case- you see the likes of Susan Michie quoted everywhere, yet she's a Psychologist, not an Epidemiologist, Virologist or expert in infectious respiratory disease. That's the first who springs to mind, but there are many like that.
 

SuperNova

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Just to be absolutely clear on this, Johnson is an absolutely terrible prime minister leading a dreadful corrupt government. I'm absolutely not saying that Johnson is better than Starmer, or that Johnson is fit to be prime minister, or even that he shouldn't be in prison.

I also believe that while Labour is still head and shoulders above this government in how they are likely to run the country, I'm very worried that such a prominent lover of lockdowns is genuinely not in tune with my most deeply-held principles.
Ah, so you don't like Starmer because he listened to SAGE and rightfully called for a lockdown to prevent more unnecessary deaths. Not like Captain Foresight was proven right was it...
 

Freightmaster

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Well I guess I'm faced with a choice.
Patently untrue - you have obviously already made your mind up that lockdowns are 100% effective
and should presumably be used every winter to avoid pressure on the NHS from Covid and/or flu,
irrespective of the horrific damage that approach would have on businesses and the mental health
of both adults and children...


Do I trust the near-unanimous view of scientists who urged the government to lockdown, or do I trust the view of random-person-on-the-internet who doesn't even have the courtesy to explain why he thinks he knows better?

Tricky one.
As you obviously don't empathise with the worries and concerns of the majority of posters on this forum,
why do you even bother posting unless you are deliberately trying to wind people up?





MARK
 

yorkie

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Trust the people who are in secure well paid jobs because they are experts in their field and know what they're talking about. Yes.
Is this sarcasm? If not, how can this possibly be true when the experts cannot agree with each other?
 

VauxhallandI

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Mods note - split from this thread:https://www.railforums.co.uk/threads/will-keir-starmer-last.216099/

No one likes lockdowns. But Starmer recognised early on that they are the only way of stopping the virus raging out of control, and that the quicker you lockdown, the quicker it's over. Delaying the lockdowns only made things worse - lockdowns needed to be longer and more deaths ensued.
Their stance has been shocking, his/their lack of opposition or even a whimper of questioning outside of “you should have done more and earlier” has disgusted me.

I have only ever voted for them and now I will NEVER vote for them again.

I knew the stories were a bunch of despicable money grabbing vermin but Labour have rocked me; party of the people my behind.
 

edwin_m

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I don't know why there's so much "lockdown denial" on here, but it doesn't attract much support amongst the general public. So even if Starmer believed it was the right policy he would be unlikely to support it publically. The only politicians who oppose lockdown tend to be the far right and other lunatic fringes like Piers Corbyn.
 

Freightmaster

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I don't know why there's so much "lockdown denial" on here, but it doesn't attract much support amongst the general public.
Is that any surprise when millions have been effectively bribed to stay at home and watch Netflix under the furlough scheme??





MARK
 

SuperNova

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Is that any surprise when millions have been effectively bribed to stay at home and watch Netflix under the furlough scheme??
Yet Labour are leading the charge for the 3 million excluded, most of whom will also back lockdowns. Or shall we have a look at India/Brazil.
I don't know why there's so much "lockdown denial" on here.
I see it on the trains daily - it's the same demographic that refuse to wear a face covering.
 

yorksrob

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I've noticed on the message boards that the pro-lockdown brigade seem to have been emboldened in recent days. I suspect that events in India have allowed them to conflate "no action" with taking sensible measures with some reference to what individual measures actually work.

I still think that the Swedish approach will be vindicated more widely (as far as I'm concerned it's already been proven to be far more successful than lockdown).

Starmer should have been asking awkward questions about the efficacy of individual measures, why things such as meeting outdoors wasn't allowed for example, what's the evidence for indoor hospitality being delayed and is it justifiable, where is the cost benefit analysis for lockdown etc. unfortunately he didn't.
 

DustyBin

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All the UK lockdowns came in after the peak. They do possibly have a place, but looking globally they have just delayed the inevitable - look at some Eastern European countries, for example, who barely registed in the first peak but were devastated in the second peak. And look at US states with different strategies - those that locked down have ended up in the same place as those that didn't.

So overall lockdowns don't save as many lives as basic hygiene awareness, and they are such a blunt instrument they need to be properly reviewed and analysed. The side effects of lockdowns overall do not justify the length of time they were in place, when looking at the supposed benefits.

Imagine a doctor giving someone medicine, and they are still ill but the side effects are getting worse and worse. You don't ramp up the treatment even more, do you? This is effectively what happened with lockdowns, and Starmer provided no voice against them, despite the working classes being disproportionately affected by them. That is, quite simply, unforgivable in my view.

You’re absolutely correct here. The problem is that (some) people don’t think strategically. It was patently obvious this time last year that we couldn’t “beat Covid” and that it was here to stay, at which point we should have looked to the long term. Vaccines were still some way off with no certainty they’d actually materialise, so the correct option was to pursue natural herd immunity over the summer. Herd immunity however became a dirty term and the WHO decided it was no longer even real(!) so it didn’t happen. As for the “trusted experts”, apart from the fact that very few of them are virologists or epidemiologists, these are the same people who told us this was unlikely to be a seasonal virus, whilst many on the sidelines warned us of an autumn/winter second wave. We even discussed it on here. The “trusted experts” are undoubtedly highly intelligent people, and I’d like to believe they did their best, but the unwavering faith some people have in them is baffling, particularly in the face of contradictory opinions and in some instances actual evidence.
 
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