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New lockdown in England, including school closures, announced by Johnson, 4/1/21

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Yew

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I'm trying to think of any such regime that has come about as the programme of a government which has been led by someone whose whole career has been libertarian, and failing.

I see no desire among the politicians in government in this country to use the current restrictions except as a measure against Covid, and the "authoritarianism" of which many here complain as minor, low key, and intended for specific purposes; they have also typically been implemented both later and more half heartedly than advised. There are advisors whose expert opinions on Covid lead them to specific conclusions about what restrictions are required, and for how long.

If the UK were genuinely led by authoritarian politicians, we would be seeing a very different style of policing, with much more aggressive use of the courts, and legislation that is both more onerous and more prescriptive. And we certainly wouldn't be seeing what some on here have described as reducing compliance without significant ratcheting of enforcement.

Those opposed to the government's policies on Covid should actually look at what an authoritarian state is like, and the implications that has - including on our freedom to complain about "authoritarianism" on forums like this.
I don't see how the government forbidding you from leaving your house can ever be considered minor.
 
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bramling

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I'm trying to think of any such regime that has come about as the programme of a government which has been led by someone whose whole career has been libertarian, and failing.

I see no desire among the politicians in government in this country to use the current restrictions except as a measure against Covid, and the "authoritarianism" of which many here complain as minor, low key, and intended for specific purposes; they have also typically been implemented both later and more half heartedly than advised. There are advisors whose expert opinions on Covid lead them to specific conclusions about what restrictions are required, and for how long.

If the UK were genuinely led by authoritarian politicians, we would be seeing a very different style of policing, with much more aggressive use of the courts, and legislation that is both more onerous and more prescriptive. And we certainly wouldn't be seeing what some on here have described as reducing compliance without significant ratcheting of enforcement.

Those opposed to the government's policies on Covid should actually look at what an authoritarian state is like, and the implications that has - including on our freedom to complain about "authoritarianism" on forums like this.

For me the bigger danger is the way some individuals with authoritarian tendencies have been given a boost by all this, and going forward this is certain to be a lasting legacy which is going to be difficult to shake off.

Somewhere else on here someone used the example of taking a photo in the street; and the point was well made that this is a perfectly free and legal activity that no one has the right to hassle anyone else for doing (except in certain highly specific circumstances). We’ve now managed to engineer a situation where some people feel empowered and legitimised to interfere with the fully legitimate goings on of others. That’s not to say we didn’t already have this with a small minority of individuals, however it’s a safe bet we’re going to see more of this going forward, with such individuals feeling much more confident interfering with others.

I’m also concerned about some of what we’ve seen from localities. “Outsiders keep away from OUR village” is bad enough, but look at how easy it’s been for the devolved institutions to talk about closing borders, banning English people, et cetera. Likewise how at times the SNP have intimated that Scotland could have achieved elimination were it not for England, with a clear nationalist undercurrent therein.

Our lockdown may not have been as tough as China’s, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. One wonders what a Corbyn government lockdown would have looked like.
 

6862

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I'm trying to think of any such regime that has come about as the programme of a government which has been led by someone whose whole career has been libertarian, and failing.

I can't think of any examples which match Boris's particular characteristics, but people's politics do change! I think it would be massively innacurate to describe Boris as a libertarian now, having seen what he has done in the past year.

I see no desire among the politicians in government in this country to use the current restrictions except as a measure against Covid, and the "authoritarianism" of which many here complain as minor, low key, and intended for specific purposes; they have also typically been implemented both later and more half heartedly than advised. There are advisors whose expert opinions on Covid lead them to specific conclusions about what restrictions are required, and for how long.

If the UK were genuinely led by authoritarian politicians, we would be seeing a very different style of policing,

The UK doesn't have enough police to enforce the rules, so we don't know how the government would like to police it if they had enough police.

with much more aggressive use of the courts, and legislation that is both more onerous and more prescriptive.

I would say the legislation is incredibly onerous and it would be almost impossible to make it more prescriptive.

And we certainly wouldn't be seeing what some on here have described as reducing compliance without significant ratcheting of enforcement.

Again, this may only be due to low numbers of police.

Those opposed to the government's policies on Covid should actually look at what an authoritarian state is like, and the implications that has - including on our freedom to complain about "authoritarianism" on forums like this.

No one is comparing/equating what we are experiencing to the really barbaric regimes of history or the present day. We are merely making the point that what starts out as something apparently benign and harmless, or even benevolent, can rapidly change into something much darker.
 

takno

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One wonders what a Corbyn government lockdown would have looked like.
Lacklustre implementation, implacably opposed by the press, and unlikely to hold the confidence of parliament. Lots of upsides in short
 

initiation

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Lacklustre implementation, implacably opposed by the press, and unlikely to hold the confidence of parliament. Lots of upsides in short

In an alternate universe where Corbyn is PM and Boris is leader of the opposition, Boris would be screaming for freedom, an alternative to lockdown etc... Somehow it seems the SAGE lot have captured most of the cabinet.
 

bramling

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Lacklustre implementation, implacably opposed by the press, and unlikely to hold the confidence of parliament. Lots of upsides in short

Do we think Corbyn would have attempted a China-style lockdown, though? I agree whatever he did would have been chaotic mess (just like Boris), but it’s an interesting thought what he would have attempted.
 

chris11256

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Either a temporary blip or signs that cases might be starting to increase again with 12,718 cases announces today. Week on week there's still a decline, but the past few days have levelled off. Perhaps not what we want with Boris deciding easing plans, a little uptick is all the government lockdown enthusiasts need to slam the breaks on easing for a few months.
 

Ted633

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Either a temporary blip or signs that cases might be starting to increase again with 12,718 cases announces today. Week on week there's still a decline, but the past few days have levelled off. Perhaps not what we want with Boris deciding easing plans, a little uptick is all the government lockdown enthusiasts need to slam the breaks on easing for a few months.
Look at the data for the last few weeks. Cases have always risen as the week has gone on, and reduce at the weekend before starting again from a lower threshold. It probably is levelling off as there is only so low it will go in winter. Crucially, today's cases are lower than last Wednesday, so no need to panic yet!
 

chris11256

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Look at the data for the last few weeks. Cases have always risen as the week has gone on, and reduce at the weekend before starting again from a lower threshold. It probably is levelling off as there is only so low it will go in winter. Crucially, today's cases are lower than last Wednesday, so no need to panic yet!
Thats a relief, I just don't trust SAGE, Gove and Hancock not to take a temporary blip & run with it in advance of the roadmap being released.
 

VauxhallandI

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I can't think of any examples which match Boris's particular characteristics, but people's politics do change! I think it would be massively innacurate to describe Boris as a libertarian now, having seen what he has done in the past year.



The UK doesn't have enough police to enforce the rules, so we don't know how the government would like to police it if they had enough police.



I would say the legislation is incredibly onerous and it would be almost impossible to make it more prescriptive.



Again, this may only be due to low numbers of police.



No one is comparing/equating what we are experiencing to the really barbaric regimes of history or the present day. We are merely making the point that what starts out as something apparently benign and harmless, or even benevolent, can rapidly change into something much darker.
You don't need a lot of police when you've turned most of the population in to grasses
 

Domh245

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Either a temporary blip or signs that cases might be starting to increase again with 12,718 cases announces today. Week on week there's still a decline, but the past few days have levelled off. Perhaps not what we want with Boris deciding easing plans, a little uptick is all the government lockdown enthusiasts need to slam the breaks on easing for a few months.

It's impossible to read trends into a single day of data. The fact that the cases have been falling pretty consistently (when plotted on log graph) is heartening, the fact that there's not been any changes in restrictions means that a change in the trajectory would be rather unlikely and allows this trend to be extrapolated forward; with the current day on day decrease in positive tests we should hit 5,000 daily by sample date (in England) around the end of the month

1613580103737.png
 

duncanp

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Thats a relief, I just don't trust SAGE, Gove and Hancock not to take a temporary blip & run with it in advance of the roadmap being released.

If you look at the number of cases by specimen date, you have the following:-

12th February - 12119
13th February - 8551
14th February - 8470
15th February - 11865

Compare this with previous Friday - Monday periods

5th February - 15878
6th February - 11907
7th February - 11339
8th February - 15770

The figures for 29th January - 1st February show a similar pattern, as does every other weekend in January.

So it seems as though there is always a dip in cases over the weekend, followed by a rise in cases on the first day of the new working week.
 

35B

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I can't think of any examples which match Boris's particular characteristics, but people's politics do change! I think it would be massively innacurate to describe Boris as a libertarian now, having seen what he has done in the past year.



The UK doesn't have enough police to enforce the rules, so we don't know how the government would like to police it if they had enough police.



I would say the legislation is incredibly onerous and it would be almost impossible to make it more prescriptive.



Again, this may only be due to low numbers of police.



No one is comparing/equating what we are experiencing to the really barbaric regimes of history or the present day. We are merely making the point that what starts out as something apparently benign and harmless, or even benevolent, can rapidly change into something much darker.
And I am stating that the parallels being drawn fail because they don't take remotely adequate account of the underlying politics of those in government. The "authoritarian" theory of what is happening requires us to believe that the measures currently in place are desired in and of themselves. The evidence for how they have been introduced, implemented, and defended simply does not support that perspective.
I don't see how the government forbidding you from leaving your house can ever be considered minor.
In comparison to similar provisions in democratic states elsewhere, the measures in place here are comparatively minor. As importantly, authoritarian states have a tendency to include a wide range of other measures that seek to control not just where we go, but also what we may see, do, and think.

I do not suggest that it is necessary to like, or even agree with those measures; merely that the language of "authoritarianism" shows a failure to understand the true nature of what authoritarian regimes are really like. And, for clarity, I do not include the likes of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia or modern day China in that bracket - those states are/were totalitarian, which is a completely different kettle of fish; I recommend reading Orlando Figes (USSR), Ian Kershaw (Germany) or Jung Chang (China) for an understanding of what such regimes are like to live within.

All the discussion about authoritarian rules takes me back to 1989. It comes to an end in the end but it does take a considerable number of people to make it happen. If it did carry on eventually enough people will have had enough. In reality expect this to fizzle out over time.
All of the states that fell in 1989 were firmly in the totalitarian camp.
 

Philip

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The cases by date reported are about the same today as they were last Wednesday, yesterday saw a small decrease compared to last Tuesday. See how things go over the next few days, but there doesn't seem to have been much reported reduction in the last week.

Is it possible case numbers were lower than they really were last week because of the poor weather, meaning less people going for a test?

Or another theory; is the increase in surge testing for the new variants picking up asymptomatic cases that wouldn't have been detected a week or more ago?

I have a feeling Johnson made his comments about needing case numbers to go right down before significant easing because he was expecting them to do so, based on the trajectory of the last few weeks. If we are seeing a levelling off then I think his criteria might change and the focus turned again towards hospital numbers and vaccination progress.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Does there have to be a reason? They are in total command of the lives of the entire population and they want to keep it that way! Its the same reason for any authoritarian regime keeping hold of power - simply because they like having power and want to keep it!
and its aided and abetted by the opposition parties you couldn't make it up
 

RomeoCharlie71

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The cases by date reported are about the same today as they were last Wednesday, yesterday saw a small decrease compared to last Tuesday. See how things go over the next few days, but there doesn't seem to have been much reported reduction in the last week.

Is it possible case numbers were lower than they really were last week because of the poor weather, meaning less people going for a test?

Or another theory; is the increase in surge testing for the new variants picking up asymptomatic cases that wouldn't have been detected a week or more ago?

I have a feeling Johnson made his comments about needing case numbers to go right down before significant easing because he was expecting them to do so, based on the trajectory of the last few weeks. If we are seeing a levelling off then I think his criteria might change and the focus turned again towards hospital numbers and vaccination progress.
The levelling off situation appears to be mirrored in all four nations of the UK and in other European countries (with varying restrictions between each).

I wonder if this is perhaps the lowest prevalence we begin to get out of the respiratory virus season next month, with or without a house arrest mandate?
 

Philip

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The levelling off situation appears to be mirrored in all four nations of the UK and in other European countries (with varying restrictions between each).

I wonder if this is perhaps the lowest prevalence we begin to get out of the respiratory virus season next month, with or without a house arrest mandate?

It's possible and more so because it is a more transmissable variant, this Kent strain. Also many people mixing through the workplace, so only so far it can go before reaching a levelling off.

Being positive, I hope if there is a levelling off happening then it will persuade the government to abandon this silly sub-1000 case stuff and focus more on the vaccine and hospital data instead. They shouldn't extend lockdown because of the risk of mutations.
 

nlogax

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The levelling off situation appears to be mirrored in all four nations of the UK and in other European countries (with varying restrictions between each).
This just looks to me like standard exponential decay. The case numbers will likely continue to drop but at an ever smaller number per day.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Look at the data for the last few weeks. Cases have always risen as the week has gone on, and reduce at the weekend before starting again from a lower threshold. It probably is levelling off as there is only so low it will go in winter. Crucially, today's cases are lower than last Wednesday, so no need to panic yet!
Agreed run the data by specimen date that shows a constant downtrend although the rate of decline has slowed up the last week. Also hospital admissions and bed occupancy have also slowed up over the last week which will give the hawks more ammunition to use. Although I wonder with bed availability increasing are they taking cases that they were trying to manage through patients remaining at home with oximeters so they don't turn into emergency.
 

Ediswan

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This just looks to me like standard exponential decay. The case numbers will likely continue to drop but at an ever smaller number per day.
A few months back, BBC etc. made a reasonable attempt to explain exponential rise. Maybe it is time for them to cover exponential decay. All other things being equal case numbers will, as you rightly point out, drop by an ever smaller number each day. The logarithmic graph posted on another thread was interesting. That shows a straight line, which is also what would be expected. If that straight line deviates, then it might be time to start considering what has changed.
 

joncombe

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I’m also concerned about some of what we’ve seen from localities. “Outsiders keep away from OUR village” is bad enough, but look at how easy it’s been for the devolved institutions to talk about closing borders, banning English people, et cetera. Likewise how at times the SNP have intimated that Scotland could have achieved elimination were it not for England, with a clear nationalist undercurrent therein.
Yes I don't think anyone really thought that the devolved nations having control of health could lead to "border" restrictions (I put it in quotes because there is no actual border as such, it's simply a line on the map).

And yes I also got annoyed with the "keep away from our village" types. I mean the people living there probably go to towns and cities quote often, perhaps even every day for work. So why do they object to others doing the opposite? There have certainly been times when the areas with high cases have been the rural ones (I remember Cumbria being top of the list of counties at some point, for example).
 

brad465

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Our lockdown may not have been as tough as China’s, but that doesn’t mean we should be complacent. One wonders what a Corbyn government lockdown would have looked like.
While I try to avoid whataboutery, I reckon it would initially have been stricter, but the media and hypothetical Tory opposition would have been extremely vocal against it and maybe even encouraged non-compliance, to the point that such a strategy would have fallen apart.

Look at the data for the last few weeks. Cases have always risen as the week has gone on, and reduce at the weekend before starting again from a lower threshold. It probably is levelling off as there is only so low it will go in winter. Crucially, today's cases are lower than last Wednesday, so no need to panic yet!
Thats a relief, I just don't trust SAGE, Gove and Hancock not to take a temporary blip & run with it in advance of the roadmap being released.
Don't forget that even if cases/infections level off for the time being, the effect of vaccines is still kicking in that would ultimately reduce hospitalisations and deaths further; the 8 March is of course when we expect the full effects of a first dose in 1-4 groups. Also if the weather is bearing an influence, it's possible the extreme cold and snow aided transmission recently, but it has since warmed up and expected to a bit more from this weekend coming, so may aid further declines.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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A few months back, BBC etc. made a reasonable attempt to explain exponential rise. Maybe it is time for them to cover exponential decay. All other things being equal case numbers will, as you rightly point out, drop by an ever smaller number each day. The logarithmic graph posted on another thread was interesting. That shows a straight line, which is also what would be expected. If that straight line deviates, then it might be time to start considering what has changed.
Theoretically the stay at home messaging should stifle transmission such that after a couple of weeks cases fall off a cliff. Of course not everybody can stay at home but im curious as to whether the experts have any real idea where transmission is occurring outside of hospitals where its known so messaging and enforcement can be more targeted.
 

Richard Scott

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All of the states that fell in 1989 were firmly in the totalitarian camp.
Appreciate that, was just saying that when you try to suppress people doesn't always last. Wasn't making any comparison with situation of today.
 

Nicholas Lewis

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All the discussion about authoritarian rules takes me back to 1989. It comes to an end in the end but it does take a considerable number of people to make it happen. If it did carry on eventually enough people will have had enough. In reality expect this to fizzle out over time.
There had been attempts in Eastern Block before 1989 ie 56 Hungarian Uprising and Czechoslovakia 68 that were suppressed by the Kremlin by 89 Gorbachov was more hands off so once the people had momentum there was no way back. The conditions aren't here for an uprising over this people are largely in there comfort zone still if we get to soup kitchens it might be different.
 

Richard Scott

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There had been attempts in Eastern Block before 1989 ie 56 Hungarian Uprising and Czechoslovakia 68 that were suppressed by the Kremlin by 89 Gorbachov was more hands off so once the people had momentum there was no way back. The conditions aren't here for an uprising over this people are largely in there comfort zone still if we get to soup kitchens it might be different.
That wasn't my suggestion, as pointed out above. To be honest it was more thinking aloud that whatever happens ultimately these sorts of things can be overcome. As I then said expect this situation to disappear over time.
 

Crossover

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The BBC are now reporting that "researchers" want the Government to add the following symptoms as those that should trigger a Covid test.

  • Fatigue
The way the whole lockdown thing makes me feel, I would be getting tested hourly if that were the case!

Also hospital admissions and bed occupancy have also slowed up over the last week
Hospital admissions are still steadily declining day on day. The bed occupency has a weekend lagging factor and looking at 6/7/8th Feb, there is a flat-lining of the occupency which coincides with the current 13/14/15th exactly a week later. I would expect a drop in the occupency in tomorrows numbers
 

Cdd89

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In comparison to similar provisions in democratic states elsewhere, the measures in place here are comparatively minor
Which liberal democracies currently have a “You must not leave your home except” law (not just business restrictions, etc)? I can give you quite a long list of those that don’t, depending on how you view curfews...
 

Nicholas Lewis

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Which liberal democracies currently have a “You must not leave your home except” law (not just business restrictions, etc)? I can give you quite a long list of those that don’t, depending on how you view curfews...
Interesting that many EU countries have gone down the curfew route late evening/overnight but let you do what you want at other times. I wonder what outcome they expect from that time of day given majority of daily activity occurs during the day. Still most of them are still outperforming our situation by a reasonable margin so our approach isn't the nirvana its paraded as by govt.
 

brad465

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CRG Chair Mark Harper is on Question Time tomorrow night, along with Peter Borg-Neal who's a hospitality CEO (Oakman Inns), so we might get some strong views criticising the current restriction sustainability out of them.
 
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