IdleRich

IdleRich
i didn''t participate in the debates youre referring to but i do remember them and im not sure anyone was arguing that all things being equal it was better to be forbidden to go for a pint with your mates, were they? there were some nutters on here. and a lot of people that were driven to express the most extreme version of any possible line of thought so i suppose it's possible
Er... pretty close. Or if they were not arguing it was better, they were arguing that it was no worse because the freedom to go down the pub and "self-medicate" (as I remember it being described) is an illusory freedom of literally no value. And yeah, it keeps you trapped and thinking you're happy and thus distracted from the noble cause of constantly fighting capitalism in all its guises and at all times.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
Er... pretty close. Or if they were not arguing it was better, they were arguing that it was no worse because the freedom to go down the pub and "self-medicate" (as I remember it being described) is an illusory freedom of literally no value. And yeah, it keeps you trapped and thinking you're happy and thus distracted from the noble cause of constantly fighting capitalism in all its guises and at all times.
If you're referring to the person I think you're referring to, I got the impression he thought that the very act of not being permanently miserable meant you were a capitalist stooge, a traitor to the revolution and pretty much the scum of the earth.
 

mixed_biscuits

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Im just gonna give a quick take on my view so the last couple of pages.

  • AFAIK the FT excess death counts DOES take in to account lower than average deaths over the last year and corrects for many of the variables mentioned here.
  • Ive seen 2 studies that say that the percentage of people dying FROM and not with the virus (in the UK) is between 86 - 95%.
  • Sweden's deaths may be falling, but we've been through this. The increase in cases is not AFAIK accounted for solely by new testing, and other EU countries are also testing more, and of course, they have by far the worst deaths per capita of comparable countries with seemingly no tangible benefits.
  • Vitamin D is probably a thing, but a study just came out that said they couldn't prove its effectiveness. I dont know of any evidence linking it strongly to infection rates in italy.
  • The idea that the British govt should thanked for 'overriding' scientific advice that itself was already influenced by political concerns seems bizarre. The fact is that they had examples from all over the world and a wealth of data to draw from. The correct courses of action were clear even without any internal advice and they chose to prevaricate and delay in an act of (IMO) criminal negligence.
- I didn't get that impression from the FT data; the numbers fit the simple [this period] - [5 yr average] rather than anything sophisticated.
- Do please share those studies, as that doesn't fit the NHS data (<1500 deaths-of) nor what appears to have been the case in Italy (roughly 15% deaths-of).
- Sweden have explicitly said it's a consequence of increased testing. If not, the virus must be weakening considerably as the death rate is v low now
- Lockdown-fans should thank the govt for lockdown as SAGE were not pressing for it - this is evident from the SAGE minutes
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
(Or rather, a Kapitalist stooge, since he was in that clique that liked to capitalise nouns - "the Other" - and was also keen on the letter K - "Kapital", "Irak".)
 

mixed_biscuits

_________________________
This is bullshit. Almost every other country locked down before the UK. The science seemed to be telling every other country to lockdown. The idea that Johnson was somehow ahead of the curve is clearly fanciful. His lockdown was based on a kind of panicked response to public opinion and nothing more.
That's right on the panic: his lockdown was the politically safest option, motivated by public opinion stirred up by the sensationalist press.

Neither existing science nor SAGE indicated that it would be a good idea - check the minutes.
 

mixed_biscuits

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Politicians have an incentive to play down the number of deaths, my conclusion is that the number of deaths is being played down.
That's a reasonable assumption but this tack would not have worked for the government as the WHO have obliged the ONS to record all deaths-with from COVID and the press could make a lot of fuss about the discrepancy.

The government is currently a populist beast that is aiming to avoid incurring political damage. It has agreed with the press in order not to be left open to charges of being uncaring. It has played up the putatively exceptional risk of the virus to avoid being taken to task for the number of deaths. From the very beginning they compared the UK to Italy...we were asked to expect the worst case and thus forgive poor performance.

The government's policies have been pretty much dictated by majority public opinion with a two-week lag so as not to make the causality obvious.
 
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mixed_biscuits

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Also, it's worth noting that a lot of very prominent and vocal right-wing anti-lockdowners, who are keen to point out the human cost of the suppression of economic activity, haven't been quite so vocal about two other major causes of impoverishment: a decade of grinding, pointless, punitive austerity, and Brexit.
Re. lockdown activism, the press' characterisation of the activists as predominantly right-wing is propaganda: anti-lockdown groups on FB, for instance, have members from across the political spectrum with lefty activists to the organisational fore (cf. Corbyn's bro).

This was actually the case with Brexit too, but to a lesser degree.
 

mixed_biscuits

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And I think that what MB is arguing - not wanting to put words into his mouth - is more that there has been a kind of hysterical over reaction where the thing came along, infection rate and death rate was high at first, the most frightening predictions were - naturally - the ones that were loudest and it kind of scared everybody and there was a sort of chain reaction of confirmation bias where people looked for the virus as a cause of death and so they found it and this PR outcry sort of forced governments into overreacting and a softened up populace into going along with it and a kind of storm of hysteria built up and brought us to here.
Yep
 

luka

Well-known member
Staff member
Well hmlt was the most egregious example, although there were a few others who leaned in that direction. k-punk, for one, I think - although I didn't overlap with him much.
youre not facebook friends with Padraig, this was a facebook friend
 

Leo

Well-known member
how can a government (or state, or business, or family...) ever know how to react appropriately to an unprecedented global pandemic, though? they can't, so many erred on the side of caution. all this anti-lockdown yammer is in hindsight. it's easy to propose the best solution after the shit hits the fan, not so easy before.
 

mixed_biscuits

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Yes, COBRA's practice is to prep for the 'reasonable worse case'...the problem is the dodgy dossier from Imperial greatly exaggerated the possible downside, meaning that they ended up letting thousands of people die by cancelling vital treatment in order to prepare for an otherwise overwhelming wave of illness.

Even without the modelling mess-up, prepping for the 'reasonable worse case' rather than for the most probable eventuality is not necessarily morally best.
 

mixed_biscuits

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Believe me, I was yammering anti-lockdownedly before lockdown too! (because I could see that the stats presented by the press to change public opinion to force the government's hand were incorrect or communicated in a misleading way)
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
That's a reasonable assumption but this tack would not have worked for the government as the WHO have obliged the ONS to record all deaths-with from COVID and the press could make a lot of fuss about the discrepancy.
As far as I know, the ONS is just recording total deaths, although it has been saying by what margin those deaths are above the five-year average.

If you recall, the government's official figures for covid-19 deaths initially only counted those who'd died in NHS hospitals after a positive diagnosis. There was an outcry, and then they started counting covid-19 deaths (confirmed ones, anyway) in nursing homes and private homes, which instantly led to a leap of something like 10,000 deaths.

And the official figures, even today, are about 2/3 of the actual excess deaths.
 

mixed_biscuits

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The excess deaths stat is inappropriately measured and misleading, as Oxford show in that link (the simplistically taken higher number does not take account of as many considerations). So 30,000ish is the more academically credible, informative figure.

Once the WHO declare something a pandemic they require that the virus be mentioned on the certificate if detected, at minimum (in fact, doctors have been mentioning COVID if merely suspected too); the ONS say this.
 
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