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The politics of Corona

edited March 2020 in Social Groups
Responding to @PragueAddick
Yes, international coordination is vital, most importantly around the development of a vaccine. We are not going to get global leadership from Trump, that is the product of the USA's retreat from global leadership by both Obama and Trump.

My point about the EU would be because the EU is not a proper state it will struggle to develop a coordinated response and that the national state response of Denmark and the Czech Republic reveals that weakness in a crisis.
The same appears to be true with Lagarde basically hanging Italy out to dry last week. Pornhub and the Chinese Government have done more for the Italians than the EU.
 As we can see in the UK,national leadership becomes vital in a crisis. The people we have directly elected are directly accountable for what happens. Johnson's political future is entirely dependent on how his government handles this crisis, and he knows it. So far they have been ok but it is really early days.

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Comments

  • Some other interesting things... Many anti-Tories mocked Johnson for going to 'experts' to help with the Corona crisis. Yet within a short time many of the same people are asking why Johnson is listening to experts and not just copying what other countries are doing.
    Governments depend on experts for facts and analysis, but in the end politicians have to make judgements based on listening to many experts, and to the people they represent, and then making decisions which synthesise all of that. That is why we have politicians and not just bureaucrats and technicians running the country. Experts as individuals only have a partial understanding of the bigger picture. The job of politicians is to lead us through the complications of expert opinion.
  • And finally, the generation gap which has been developing for years is now revealed in it's full, often vile, glory. The fact that #boomerremover was trending on Twitter is one sign of that, but the often dismissive comment that only the old and sick are really at threat is another reflection of it.
    There is a loss if common humanity at work here, which sadly we have also seen in many people's response to the Brexit referendum.
  • @Southbank This is not a cop-out but a shorthand answer. Gordon Brown's article. Speaks for me. And while he is much villified for what came later, he is widely credited for stepping up to the global plate in 2008, when in the US there was at least the excuse of a Presidential handover at the very time it struck. We need someone to do this now, and I do not see who that leader will be.

    Instead we see the results of the rise of the nationalist leader. Leaders of countries who talk like aggressive blokes in a pub. Czech PM Babis has loudly justified his closing of the border with attacks on the Chinese, the Italians, the EU, for causing this foreign virus to invade the sacred Czech lands. In Italy, you had Salvini looking for any angle to blame it on immigrants. Trump, nuff said. 

    As for the UK, the question everyone is asking is whether we are on a different page to everyone else, and if so, why? Would it not be better if the UK was discussing this and sharing its thinking and modelling with its near neighbours?

    In fact EU Health Ministers meet on a monthly basis, the last one was on March 6 and specifically including experts who would help co-ordinate a response. Hancock did not attend. (not clear who took the decision, most reports say he was "prevented by No 10") How fucking infantile and small-minded is that, at such a time?


  • Huskaris said:
    I think a big proportion of people base their opinion on what is said purely based on who is saying it. Listening to James O Brien this week has been absolutely crazy. Shows a complete lack of objectivity to the point where it was Sadiq Khan on his show telling him that he agreed with Boris Johnson, destroying most of his shows so far in the week. 

    It's actually massively increased my respect for Sadiq Khan to be honest. At times of national crisis, it's not about point scoring, or hoping that Nadine Dorries gets fired. People are people, and a virus doesn't care about who you vote for. 

    You're welcome.

  • Who can tackle our health crisis? James O'Brien or Boris Johnson?

    Gordon Brown article was stonking.
  • edited March 2020
    Who can tackle our health crisis? James O'Brien or Boris Johnson?

    Gordon Brown article was stonking.
    Thankfully, Boris Johnson. James O Brien will on the one minute take calls saying that he believes that we should lock the nation down, and support them, and the next minute say he completely stands by self employed people who can't afford to take time off. 

    Cake and eat it, and genuinely, I liked listening to him, and thought he was a lot smarter than he has shown himself to be this week. 

    His condescending sneering nature hides his intellectual mediocrity, something that can be said for many people on here too to be honest. 
  • The next three months should be devoted to the enormous and almost all-consuming civil service task of agreeing and completing a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU, to be later ratified and written into law in time for the end of the transition period at the end of this year. That's obviously not going to happen now, so how should the government react? 

    Some will suggest that the free trade agreement will simply become the latest victim of the pandemic and we will leave without a deal, notwithstanding the shock to the economy from 2021 onwards. 

    And some will say that the global crisis requires that exceptional action is taken, including prolonging the transition period (by, perhaps, a year) so that, once the battle with the virus has been won, proper attention can be given to the negotiation with the EU. 

    What are the views of Lifers who are able to give a considered, intelligent view? The coronavirus recession of 2020 would be exacerbated by a no-deal walkaway; but that's the direction of travel. A stretched civil service, government and parliament could cope better with a negotiation were it to be delayed, and that would support better an economy in crisis; but the electorate voted for a plan that requires to be delivered, "do or die", by the end of the year. 

    I'm sure @Southbank and @PragueAddick would be able to put forward their positions well. Anyone else? 
  • It's going to be interesting to see how the EU helps the aviation industry in Europe, especially considering that it isn't allowed to help fund/bail out the industry.

    Have just seen that staunch remainer Richard Branson is calling for help from the government, something he wouldn't have been able to do a little while ago. Seems he likes having cake and also wants first refusal on eating it as well, irrespective of his belief, through his reamin stance, a couple of years ago that bailouts weren't something that should be entertained.

    Interesting times.

    Also, it's hilarious to see triggered people desperately trying to mask their anger at being called out by others by attempting to pen a civil, albeit massively transparent, post :smiley:
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  • edited March 2020
    My understanding is that the Government says it is led by science but I am alarmed that 200 scientists wrote to the government saying it is following the wrong strategy.
    There is no choice but to obey this government at this time, it is tempting to make political capital but that isn't going to help. Lisa Nandy listed more things that should yet be happening on the Marr show and was direct and plausible to me.
    We also saw the South Korean foreign minister on the programme. They have her, a hugely impressive interview across all the detail. This country voted in Dominic Rabb to fulfil the same role.
    Comparing the two is ridiculous as Rabb would be the loser by an almost infinite distance.
  • If we use the same methodology that is used when voters take to the polls, 200 scientists voicing concerns represents a miniscule number of the overall number of scientists in the country. Therefore, and using the logic applied consistantly for elections and referenda alike, the vast majority of scientists haven't voiced concerns. I'm sure this methodology is somehow wrong and should only be used for certain events that give an unpopular result.
  • @Chizz I don't think you'd be massively surprised by my response, and I'm afraid I don't have anything particularly nuanced to say about it either. It seems to me a no-brainer. This is a global crisis like the financial crash in 2008, but much more immediate in its threat to innocent people. As Gordon Brown has pointed out, adults from everywhere including China got together in the room to co-ordinate responses, so the same thing really has to happen now. 

    Why then continue the process of leaving the EMA? Why stop Hancock from going to the monthly meetings of EU Health Ministers? Why does No 10 make a big thing of saying he talked with Trump about the situation? In which foreign country are UK citizens currently most congregated? Spain, followed by France, I believe. So he should be talking to them first, by all logic.

    FFS halt the process for now and get everyone on with working with other countries to tackle this global pandemic. 
    This would, of course, bring on the accusations that it was anti-democratic and a subjugation of sovereignty (despite the opposite being the case).  
  • edited March 2020
    Should it not be done at a UN level? I would argue that things being done at an EU level is naive given the truly global nature of the issue. 

    So in response to @PragueAddick's post, shouldn't all the EU health ministers be in the UN, with all the rest of the world's health ministers?

    This is a global problem, not a European one.

    China are assisting Italy (rightly), Germany isn't fulfilling orders for medical supplies to the rest of Europe (arguably rightly, although not really in the nature of the EU?), it is a case of where are the resources needed most, not a case of where on the globe you are, now more than ever. 
  • Huskaris said:
    Should it not be done at a UN level? I would argue that things being done at an EU level is naive given the truly global nature of the issue. 

    This is a global problem, not a European one. 
    Good point 
  • "The UK now lies outside the EMA’s rapid authorisation mechanism for pandemic vaccines and medicines for treatment. Consequently, the UK could have to wait longer for these than EU member states.

    To make matters worse, the UK has also withdrawn from the EU’s emergency bulk buying mechanism for vaccines and medicines, which allows EU member states to increase their market power and speed up access to vaccines and medicines during a crisis. Its exclusion could mean the UK will have to pay more to acquire these pandemic countermeasures."

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/14/why-brexit-will-delay-uk-getting-vaccine-and-cost-more
  • A global pandemic and still all we can talk about is the EU. 

    Sad, but I didn't expect anything else to be honest. 
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  • edited March 2020
    I was unaware the world had an over arching arrangement in place for the global certification of drugs and uses its size in order to negotiate lower prices from drugs conglomerates. Great news. 
  • I was unware the world had an over arching arrangement in place for the global certification of drugs and uses its size in order to negotiate lower prices from drugs conglomerates. Great news. 
    I’m pretty sure that the point @Huskaris was making is that the UN is the appropriate vehicle to discuss global cooperation and support.

    Nothing to do with certification and pricing. 
  • stonemuse said:
    I was unware the world had an over arching arrangement in place for the global certification of drugs and uses its size in order to negotiate lower prices from drugs conglomerates. Great news. 
    I’m pretty sure that the point @Huskaris was making is that the UN is the appropriate vehicle to discuss global cooperation and support.

    Nothing to do with certification and pricing. 
    Are you? Fair enough.

    And my point, made immediately before, was that it seems likely now in all practicality the UK will be in a less advantageous position to have access to any potential vaccine purely because of our decision to leave.

    If the U.N. step in and introduce a certification and purchasing regime in response to this outbreak, that would seem a perfect solution, but I'm unaware this has happened before. Not saying its impossible for clarification.


  • Huskaris said:
    A global pandemic and still all we can talk about is the EU. 

    Sad, but I didn't expect anything else to be honest. 
    Totally ridiculous to think that leaving the EU will not have a detrimental impact on how this will affect the U.K. Carry on burying your head in the sand. 


  • Hypothetical question.....what sort of a position would we be in if we were to develop the most robust treatment for Covid-19? Surely one whereby we can treat the population here before flogging it to the world? Unlikely, but not impossible.
  • No. We should be punished for leaving the European Union and all die. 
  • edited March 2020
    seth plum said:
    If any country could develop the most robust treatment for Covid-19 the recipe (if that's the right word) for the medicine should be freely available globally.
    If manufacturing of such a treatment were possible then the distribution ought to be via collective funding and collective enterprise and available free to sufferers everywhere as soon as possible.
    I don't think it should be sold anywhere by anybody as a profit making opportunity. 
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/15/trump-offers-large-sums-for-exclusive-access-to-coronavirus-vaccine?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

    No chance as Mr Trump would buy the company developing it, as it seems he is trying to do with a German company. I suspect, if he is successful, nobody will be getting it free apart from perhaps members of the Trump family.
  • seth plum said:
    If any country could develop the most robust treatment for Covid-19 the recipe (if that's the right word) for the medicine should be freely available globally.
    If manufacturing of such a treatment were possible then the distribution ought to be via collective funding and collective enterprise and available free to sufferers everywhere as soon as possible.
    I don't think it should be sold anywhere by anybody as a profit making opportunity. 
    So, if we didn't produce said vaccine and were reliant on the right thing being done, we shouldn't be in a disadvantageous position as humanity would come through and ensure that we weren't used as a political football when it comes to access to any potential vaccine produced? Would that also mean that the decision of those that voted to leave should not be seen as a reason to limit said potential vaccine to any UK victims/sufferers?
  • seth plum said:
    If any country could develop the most robust treatment for Covid-19 the recipe (if that's the right word) for the medicine should be freely available globally.
    If manufacturing of such a treatment were possible then the distribution ought to be via collective funding and collective enterprise and available free to sufferers everywhere as soon as possible.
    I don't think it should be sold anywhere by anybody as a profit making opportunity. 
    So, if we didn't produce said vaccine and were reliant on the right thing being done, we shouldn't be in a disadvantageous position as humanity would come through and ensure that we weren't used as a political football when it comes to access to any potential vaccine produced? Would that also mean that the decision of those that voted to leave should not be seen as a reason to limit said potential vaccine to any UK victims/sufferers?
    I think you are saying that if 'we' (I presume you mean the UK) didn't produce the vaccine we would be reliant on others to manufacture it and supply the UK. I think that would be the case, although I said if the recipe were freely available then any place with the facilities could produce some vaccine, my assumption being that there is a good chance the UK could get down to making the stuff being an 'advanced economy'.
    My point was that if it was created, then everybody who could should churn out the stuff and distribute it globally.
    The economics should be structured to enable manufacture and distribution, and not to make profits.
    If your last sentence is asking whether the vaccine should go to leave or remain voters first or second for some reason then it seems an irrelevant question. The vaccine needs to be circulated to sufferers regardless of other considerations.
    I admit to being somewhat confused by your reference to 'political football' or those who voted leave. What has that got to do with it, or what I posted? 
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