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The Boris Johnson thread

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Online Roger

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Nice one Pompui - BJ has plenty of detractors. The book is worth a read to get the full perspective. ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline Alfie

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Boris Johnson took to Facebook Live to speak to us from Downing Street. It's good to see him engaging with us.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY5o5bybAGQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jY5o5bybAGQ</a>


Online Roger

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Alfie I wonder if this is to be regular BJ feature ?  Let's see how it goes - I hope it doesn't descend into the sort of chaos that Trump has wreaked in the USA with his Tweets  ::)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Come on BJ - head held high (ish) in the face of a tsunami of abuse both political and personal.

"Boris Johnson is unstoppable. Literally. His interviewers can’t get a word in edgeways. Because the man simply will not stop talking.

Quite plainly, it’s a deliberate and well-honed technique. Call it the juggernaut, because that’s what it’s like: the helpless interviewer is utterly drowned out by a vast onrushing juggernaut of bluster, 10 solid tons of thundering waffle. BLAM! At maximum speed the juggernaut roars straight through all obstacles, traffic cones scattered, crash barriers crushed, its driver hell-bent on just blasting on through, zooming away from whatever question he’s been asked by babbling out buzzwords and unrelated policy announcements for whole minutes on end, louder and faster, louder and faster, the interviewer now no more than a frantic dot in his rear-view mirror
."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/10/01/boris-johnson-bbc-interviewers-nightmare-simple-reason/?
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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Anyone listen to BJ in Parliament yesterday ?

I thought he performed very well and IMO, if we ever get an election and the Tories win, he will make an excellent Prime Minister and get things done in (hopefully) a positive post-Brexit era. Good to see his energy and competence  8)
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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I'm impressed - a Boris tree shake on the way ?   ;)

"So Boris and his ministers will not be attending Davos, next month's annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in the Swiss Alps. This is one contribution to reducing carbon emissions that is to be welcomed. No doubt we will be told by the Left that the fact that he does not want to fly to an expensive ski resort to hob-knob with the global elite is because he is insular and narrow-minded. In reality, this decision fits perfectly with a more complex political strategy. . . . . . .

. . . .This is just one of many areas where the economic liberals in the Conservative Party can unite with its new voters to oppose the forces that have the veneer of being pro-business but, in reality, have created a culture which is hostile to a free economy
."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/18/course-pm-right-ditch-davos-corporatist-charade-has-nothing/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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 :o  Bye bye Chancellor Javid . . .

IMO Boris may have made a good move - over decades Chancellors seem to have dominated rather than implemented the policy of the Cabinet in the best way. Perhaps it's a good thing to have a joint team of Advisors for No's 10 and 11.

 :-\
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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:o  Bye bye Chancellor Javid . . .

IMO Boris may have made a good move - over decades Chancellors seem to have dominated rather than implemented the policy of the Cabinet in the best way. Perhaps it's a good thing to have a joint team of Advisors for No's 10 and 11.

When you think how Hammond and his remainer advisors obstructed Brexit and thus democracy, and many advisors were still not sold on Brexit, plus the fact Javid simply didn't come across as dynamic enough and as Johnson doesn't want history repeating itself with his Chancellor, his ultimatum of do it my way, or no way, was for him, a shrewd move. Only time will tell if it was a wise move, but so far, breaking up the old order, has worked for him.

What I hope now is that after a few upheavals, that secretaries and ministers of state are given time to settle into and master their roles. Blair chopped and changed ministers following a policy of divide and rule, but I had first hand direct experience of how this impacted on ministers and the domains they controlled.  It really had a knock on, negative effect on my line of work.


Online Roger

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For many weeks I've been worrying about the UK's decision making in the Covid-19 crisis - it goes like this . . . .

Governments are there to govern and Scientists are there to explore/present science, be it say epidemiology or 'modelling'. It seems to me that in resorting to the cover of, 'we've been following the Science at all times' and 'we've been guided by the Science', the Johnson Govt. have in effect absconded from their duty to apply their own foresight, observances of events elsewhere and what we might call, 'common sense'.

Of course, the advice of Scientists is one vital factor in any decision, but it's for the Govt. to pick up the mantle of responsibility for the decision. I heard Matt Hancock, (good Guy but IMO out of his depth), defend a question from Keir Starmer at last PMQ's by using the 'Science' defence and sneering about hindsight - in the circumstances that was pathetic.

Four massive errors come to mind :-

1. The UK's long and fatal delay in implementing a 'lockdown' when the evidence from China, S Korea, Singapore, Italy, Spain and France was at hand.
2. Failure to promote the use of masks by the Public, particularly on transport and when shopping etc. Though distracted by NHS shortages the Govt. could have encouraged a 'Community aid' scheme with many 'iso' Folks making masks at home.
3. LHR is still accepting inward flights, maybe PAX 5000 per day even now, (many from the USA FGS), with NO health checks let alone the laudable compulsory quarantines implemented in Thailand.
4. Returning Covid-19 patients to 'Care Homes' was bizarre - what figure should be added to tragic 20,000 deaths in Hospitals ? Who knows ?

The Sunday Times seems prepared to defend their story last week about BJ's earlier absence from 5 'Cobra' meets and the suggestion that he did not take the threat of CV-19 seriously - (all long before his shaking hands debacle).

I wish Boris well and like him, but he has IMO made a monumental cack up of this crisis so far. I hope he starts his resumption with a sincere apology and in a different frame of mind.

I weep for my Country.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Whilst I think errors have been made, by and large I disagree with your views.

Interesting you mention The Times, you usually quote The Telegraph. I have given up on the latter for now and find the best reporting of the crisis sans hysteria, is in The Times.


Online Roger

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Hi Caller, I use the DT more because I pay for access  ;)  but I also look at the Guardian, Indy, Mail and Times as possible. I agree the DT is getting feisty.

With the spin about being 'science led', the Govt seems to be painting itself into a corner. You 'largely disagree' - if that's re. the 4 'errors', I wonder which one you feel the Govt has done well with ? Late lockdown, LHR open, still no masks for the public or the care home saga. Come to that, PPE preparation and provision ?

A monumental cack up IMO. Good to disagree and thanks. R

''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Late lockdown, LHR open, still no masks for the public or the care home saga. Come to that, PPE preparation and provision ?

A monumental cack up IMO. Good to disagree and thanks. R

It seems to me that you appear to treat everything in black and white and it's just not that simple. In many areas, I think the Governments response has been outstanding. Others not so - LHR, masks for the public, even PPE, where many NHS trusts have managed fine. I agree about masks, but where are you going to conjure up 65 million and that's enough for only one day, Not to mention that even medical experts in Thailand state they are of limited value. That's not my view, but who am I are to argue with experts.

What this Government will have learnt is which departments and PS' were able to up their game and those that have failed. Whilst the medical side of the NHS has been brilliant, clearly other areas have seen abject failure. But it's a fact that many of the skills needed during the virus simply weren't available to the civil service (and maybe the NHS) in a time of emergency. Hence outside expertise has been deployed where needed, some later than others. It will be interesting to see how Government reacts to such shortcomings when the dust settles


Online Roger

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Hi Caller - thanks for yours.

BJ's comments yesterday were comforting - I feared he might cobble up some hasty exit moves. Regarding black and white, well unfortunately, locking down for a virus pandemic more or less requires just that mindset. Even now the UK doesn't have a good enough lockdown as volumes enter LHR unchecked and masks are not worn in public situations.

No one expected 65 million masks to have been 'conjured up', but you don't help the process by denying the need, as BJ & Co have done consistently. This could have been an inspirational self-help project for Folks in ISO but the Govt's brainless obduracy on the point has undermined this extremely important matter over the last month or two.

I'd stand by 'monumental cack up' as a fair description of the Govt's efforts, in an admittedly almost unprecedented situation. That's black  >:(  ATB
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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Even now the UK doesn't have a good enough lockdown as volumes enter LHR unchecked and masks are not worn in public situations.

Yet despite the above, they have managed to take control of the virus. Flights into the UK decreased massively once the lockdown started as hotels were closed thus denying tourists anywhere to stay. Most entering are those returning home, many others are changing flights to get home. What is it you specifically want the UK to do? The advice is clear - self-isolate.

My BIL is an aussie and after a much delayed journey home, he finally managed a 2.5 day journey home from Morocco-Stanstead-Dubai-Brisbane-2hr drive north with 2 fellow travellers and their son (driving), what did he have to do? Self-isolate.

Try this for masks:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/28/face-masks-coveted-commodity-coronavirus-pandemic


Online Roger

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Caller - I hadn't really thought about PAX in transit, (presumably they transit inside LHR), but as for Brits repatriating, IMO they should be in 'quarantine' for 14 days in the myriad of Hotels around LHR which should be reopened for the purpose.

" . . . they have managed to take control of the virus". I'm not sure about that - the figures don't look good. The virus may be going it's own course and let's hope the arrivals over these last weeks don't feed another wave later.

Thanks for the masks link - I'll do that tomorrow.
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online Roger

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"Health authorities in Germany on Tuesday urged people to stay at home as much as possible after a key measurement of the coronavirus outbreak briefly rose above government targets. The reproduction factor  — the average number of people each infected passes the virus on to — briefly rose to 1 on Monday evening before falling back to 0.9 on Tuesday.“We don't want the number of cases to increase again. We don't want the health system to be overwhelmed. We don't want more people to die from Covid 19,” said Prof Lothar Wieler of the Robert Koch Institute, Germany’s infectious disease centre. “We must stick to the contact restrictions, keep at least 1.5 m apart and cover our mouths and noses on public transport and in shops,” he appealed to the public."

Two interesting graphics for Boris inside this article - (click when inside)

Deaths per million, by culture of wearing face masks
How masks and social distancing could be crucial [animated] (Airborne, sneeze, cough)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/28/germans-urged-stay-home-key-virus-measurement-rises/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Online caller

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" . . . they have managed to take control of the virus". I'm not sure about that - the figures don't look good.

What figures are you looking at? Contagion and deaths are both on a downward spiral and it is now believed we are bellow a spread rate of -1. Remember UK deaths are announced when the death is registered, not when they occurred.


Online Roger

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If you have time please look at 'Deaths per million' inside the DT link in my previous . . I'd welcome any comments . . .

Downward but maybe for me, not strongly :-

"UK peak more prolonged than in Europe, experts fear - Britain's coronavirus death toll is growing by the day, but could it be Europe's worst? New analysis has revealed the UK's five-day average for Covid-19 fatalities is now the highest of any major European economy at this point in the pandemic's curve. Experts are concerned that the nation's peak is prolonging longer than that in Italy, Spain or France. Our data team explains the latest figures in three graphs. It came as the Office for National Statistics revealed a "perfect storm" in care homes as the coronavirus pandemic pushed the UK's weekly death toll to a 27-year high. The number of coronavirus fatalities in Britain's hospitals later rose by 586 to 21,678."

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/04/28/tuesday-evening-news-briefinguk-death-toll-could-europes-worst/
''If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough'' - Albert Einstein


Offline Alfie

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Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds have announced the birth of a son. A spokeswoman for the PM and his partner said both mother and baby are "doing very well".

Congrats Boris and Carrie.


Online caller

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Downward but maybe for me, not strongly :-


Yes, I accept what seemed a positive has slipped slightly. But whilst I subscribe to The Telegraph, I will pass on it's maybe's, could be, type articles. If it wasn't for AEP and one or two others, I would probably cancel my subscription and just stick with The Times.