Covid: Uk’s ‘worst Ever’ Public Health Failing

Discussion in 'Politics 2.0' started by Moose, Oct 12, 2021.

  1. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    MPs have told us what we already knew, that serious errors by ministers ‘cost thousands of lives' during pandemic.

    Key findings of the joint report by Parliament’s Health and Science Select Committees included that,

    It was a "serious early error" not to lock down sooner

    The decision to abandon testing for COVID in the community early on was a mistake that "cost many lives"

    Failing to prioritise social care and discharging people from hospitals into care homes "led to many thousands of deaths"

    Robust border controls were needed sooner

    There were "serious deficiencies" in communication within government and between central and local government.

    According to MPs, "decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic - and the advice that led to them - rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced.
    Smudger likes this.
  2. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    Fark me they're rolling out Cummings's* favoured "groupthink" cobblers as a defence.

    *I know Cummings didn't invent it.
    Smudger likes this.
  3. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    There will be some serious blame passing for a while, but I don’t believe the media will have any appetite to run with it. That will be left to the bereaved families.
  4. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    So the report basically says that mistakes were made in the handling of the biggest public crisis since WWII.

    Does it comment on lives saved both here and in the EU by accelerating vaccine production and forcing the EU to act more quickly? Arguably being the biggest single action impact on saving lives across Europe?

    I suspect it probably does.

    There were some bad mistakes made that cost lives. But there were also inspired decisions made that have arguably, if worst case scenarios are to be believed, potentially saved, and continue to save, millions of lives.

    Along with the regrets, there is a lot to be proud of, unless you think that saving millions lives doesn't bare mentioning, and political point scoring is more desirable than recognising the bigger picture, because tories.

    An interesting thing, that shows the way the report, quite fairly, can only judge a thing to be negative (and unable to consider positives in a non-comparative situation), is the comments quoted above regarding care homes. As has been mentioned frequently on here, England's (very specifically England and not the UK) record on care home deaths, according to EU sources, was the lowest in Europe by a large margin. So although the report factually points out that people being moved into care homes (a decision made locally and not by the Government) did cause avoidable deaths, the UK's strategy on this saved thousands of lives compared to the strategies of the rest of Europe. That, in itself, is something that shouldn't be considered entirely as a negative.
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2021
  5. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Most papers including the Metro going with report under headlines like,

    Government’s Covid delays and blunders killed ‘many thousands’ Independent, or,

    Shamed over Covid chaos, Metro. Etc

    However, the Telegraph doesn’t front page it at all and the Express goes with Don’t Panic! We can fill shelves for Christmas, inadvertently highlighting another Government disaster.
  6. Bwood_Horn

    Bwood_Horn Squad Player

    You mean people trying to reshape their place in the narrative: "I wanted to speak up but..."
  7. Lloyd

    Lloyd Squad Player

    Hopefully this mean-spirited report won't spoil Boris's holiday. All of this depressing stuff will be completely forgotten soon enough. However, the British public will never forgive the Government if the shops run short of 'pigs in blankets' this xmas.
    domthehornet and hornmeister like this.
  8. Diamond

    Diamond First Team

    I'd like to know which country handled this crisis perfectly, (or at least who's guesses about the best way to deal with it worked out best). Please don't think I'm defending them but I fail to see how any government could have got it exactly right in the face of this horrific virus, (and by exactly right I mean no additional deaths whatsoever, (perfect strategy)).

    With the benefit of hindsight, what was the perfect strategy?

    For me, not shutting the borders when the Indian variant was discovered the greatest mistake.
    iamofwfc and hornmeister like this.
  9. hornmeister

    hornmeister Club Legend

    Are these "errors" summised in hindsight or are the decisions judged on the advice and information that were on hand at the time the decisons had to be made?
    Also when it's assumed that these decisions cased deaths how many deathas would have been caused by taking the other decision. All decisions are a trade off and both sides need to have quanatative evaluation before drawing a conclusion.

    Not backing the government, not belittling the report just genuinely wanting to add some balance. Seems to be some very quick sweeping judgements made on a very complex issue.
  10. Lloyd

    Lloyd Squad Player

    But maybe if they'd shown a little foresight and had the sense not to rush thousands of poor old buggers with the virus out of hospital and back to their care homes, the number of care home deaths might have been reduced?
    Arakel, lm_wfc and Since63 like this.
  11. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    I think the Government could have been cut a fair amount of slack from even its opponents giving the almost unprecedented nature of the crisis. On the whole British people were very compliant and tried our best to get on with it.

    The problem is that the attitude the Government took, the indifference of Johnson in January and February 2020, demonstrated by him preferring to write his book on Shakespeare to going to COBRA meetings, the grandstanding denials (I’ve been shaking hands with Covid patients) and delays to action, the outright lies we are putting a shield around care homes, the cost, waste and corruption of contracts awarded and the failure to lockdown quickly in the autumn of 2020 just make it impossible not to be very angry.
  12. miked2006

    miked2006 Premiership Prediction League Proprietor

    I don't think there was a perfect strategy, and errors will have been made by every country. I also think that it is easier to the wrong together than correct alone, so we have to accept that with innovation there will be some mishaps.

    But being a political researcher, I created a page of notes for decisions I thought were bizarre at the time, to see if they would be sensible with hindsight. They inevitably weren't. The highlights were:

    Boris shaking hands of people in hospital, and taking social distancing extremely lightly at the beginning.
    Not locking down earlier, when everyone else had.
    Not creating a more stringent/ coherent border strategy sooner, on numerous occasions, especially when variants emerged.
    Putting on a press conference to defend a personal advisor when everyone in the country knew he had broken, at the very least, the spirit of the rules.
    The absolute mess of the test and trace system, including u-turning between centralised and decentralised systems at the beginning, before opting for the worse option which failed to utilise the private/ educational sectors' expertise.
    Not treating testing with the same significance (although they did learn and later rectified this with vaccines).
    And then obviously, the whole care homes fiasco, which was probably one of the most disastrous mistakes made by the government in most peoples living memory.
  13. Keighley

    Keighley Squad Player

    Quick sweeping judgements by who? The pandemic started 18 months ago. I wouldn't describe that as a 'quick judgement'. I'd also suggest that the report itself will be far more nuanced than the 'sweeping' media headlines might suggest.

    It's explicitly stated to be a 'focus for the government as it seeks to learn lessons from the pandemic'. It's not intended to attribute blame but rether to make future decision-making better. Of course, the media inevitably picks up on the negatives.
    hornmeister likes this.
  14. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Not to worry. After killing off so many of the elderly there will be plenty of pigs in blankets to go round the survivors.
  15. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    You can’t say that the errors @miked2006 highlights weren’t well known (and argued on this very forum) at the time.

    And from the off, everyone knew as soon as reports emerged from Italy of mass casualties that action had to be taken. It wasn’t.
    hornmeister likes this.
  16. hornmeister

    hornmeister Club Legend

    Agreed yep it's the media haeadlines I'm pointing the finger at mainly. Not like they want to stir up a fuss to sell copy is it? :D
    HappyHornet24 and Keighley like this.
  17. hornmeister

    hornmeister Club Legend

    Agreed. Merely pointing out that decisions were taken given the expert information at the time. I for instance recall that lockdown conformity was much more adhered to than predicted especially over longevity. They delayed going in to ensure the peak was more adequately flattened to help out NHS resource(according to these predictions), rather than lockdown lethargy kicking in and extending/making the peak worse. In hindsight an "error" but at the time given the information and advice at hand may well ahve been a reasonable decision.

    Again not defending any decisions just highlighting that caution needs to be taken before drawing conclusions.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  18. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    It sort of sounds an awful lot like defending a decision. Don’t forget this is a report about both the Government and its scientific advisers, so we can consider the decision in the round.

    But Ministers decide and the Government was also late to lockdown on the second occasion when the choice was clearly theirs to make.
  19. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    So all the left wing papers are twisting the knife, and all the right wing papers aren't.

    Funny that.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  20. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Even if it was true (and we don’t have left wing papers, there are liberal ones) it doesn’t justify right wing papers ignoring what is a highly important report by MPs.

    Is that what you would like? No one talks about it?

    Maybe fewer lives would be lost if Johnson was not made untouchable and immune to criticism or scrutiny.
  21. Smudger

    Smudger Messi's Mad Coach Staff Member

    When the news of what was happening in Italy was being seen on the news I was wondering what the government would be doing. They sat on their backsides, tried to see if herd immunity was appropriate and follow the dogma of anything goes. While ignoring any attempt at border control, introducing measures to reduce spread and ignoring scientific advice for a good while before lockdown was instituted. Not to mention throwing vulnerable elderly people into homes.

    I'm not saying this with hindsight. I was asking this from a point of logic in late February and being mocked for wearing for a mask at that point as well and indeed trying vainly to social distance (impossible on the London transport network).

    Johnson seems to live like many politicians of all hues in a bubble. Normally so long as it does not affect them they carry on blithely regardless of the issues that confront the masses on a daily basis. Even his own near brush with death did not affect his mindset. I cannot paraphrase his exact quote but he was quite prepared to see piles of bodies so long as freedoms were maintained. Not to mention ignoring the science before last Christmas. It does not help much of the population are easily led sheep as seen in the current Blair/Brown documentary series on BBC2 and pretty dumb and selfish but his governments actions have been at many turns completely incomprehensible.

    I don't expect Starmer and his chums would have done any better to be honest. Let decisions be made by people who are the actual experts and use logic to solve problems and create solutions. Not tainted by any form of political dogma.
    SkylaRose and Moose like this.
  22. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    Not at all. But how am I supposed to take someone serious when they say there are no left wing papers in the UK? Even the left wing papers would disagree with that.

    If it had not been for the Government’s aggressive support for vaccine production, millions more lives could have been lost both in the UK and around the world, and Europe would be even further behind, like a minimum six months, in uptake.

    Pretty sure that is a very serious positive. Pretty sure that is the greatest display of leadership within the whole of the covid crises, and it came from the British Government. Someone tell me one other single initiative that led to the saving of so many lives?

    Lives were lost, as lives would have been lost whoever was in charge.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  23. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    It’s a very important report because it holds a line.

    Governments cannot just say that they have ‘placed a protective ring around care homes’ when they have not or will have a ‘World class track and trace system’ when no such thing is delivered. They cannot simply take the public for fools over Cummings.

    These things must mean something or why should we expect ‘levelling up’ will or that social care will be fixed or any of the recent outlandish promises. Government cannot just be about power and headlines. It can’t be claiming you have an ‘ethical foreign policy’ and then bombing Iraq. It can be about saying you will bring harmony and then bring dischord.

    The cross party MPs have spoken and the failures are now a matter of record.
  24. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    Any chance you could comment on the monumental single initiative that saved millions of lives in the UK and around the world, that was the Government's Vaccine procurement strategy and roll-out, or can you name another that saved more?

    Perhaps the EU's euqipment procurement initiative? That we were so criticised for not taking part in, that finally delivered respirators at a point when they were no longer needed and PPE at a point where the market was flooded?

    Perhaps the EU's Medicines Agency? That we were so criticised for leaving at a point where it would be most beneficial to us, and which prevented Germany and other countries from using our fast track contract with AZ as a template for their own contracts six months before the Council finally pulled its finger out, and only then because the UK had embarrassed it into doing so.

    Again, people died, like they did in every other country in the world where mistakes were made. It is tragic, but it was inevitable, and god help us had Jeremy Corbyn, or Kier Starmer been in charge over the same period, pandering whilst the UK burned.

    Whilst lefties pretend not to be aware of the above, and claim there are no left wing news paper in the UK, I trust people not to take them seriously.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  25. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Pure whataboutism. It’s the Government’s job to do some good.

    It’s not it’s job to be lazy, fail and lie.
  26. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    So can you name an initiative during covid that saved more lives than the UK Government's vaccine procurement and roll out strategy?

    To dismiss that question as whataboutism is to condemn your own posts on the report as, er, whataboutism.

    Please. Try to answer that question. You don't have to. But please know that people will understand exactly your reasons for not doing so.

    At least, please try to avoid name calling, deflection or ad-hominem.
    iamofwfc likes this.
  27. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    I have a few quotes from the report. I hope they are not too upsetting for people.

    I'll start with this one, which I feel vindicates the comments I have been making above...
    • The success of the vaccine programme has redeemed many of the persistent failings of other parts of the national response such as the test and trace system, so that the outcome is far better than would have been the case without this success.
    This one's a beauty, I can't believe the left wing, sorry, liberal papers missed it...
    • The UK vaccination programme—from discovery of potential vaccines againstcovid-19 to the vaccination of nearly 80% of the adult population by 1 September2021—has been one of the most successful and effective initiatives in the history of UK science and public administration. [Cue Rule Britannia, Union Jacks and bottles of great British sparkling wines]
    I like this one. Up yours European Medical Association
    • some evidence to our inquiry drew attention to the greater ability to act in an innovative way that came from being outside the EMA’s writ
    Another shocking ommission by those liberal papers...
    • The Government presciently identified that a vaccine would be the long-term route out of the pandemic and supported the research and development of a number of covid-19 vaccines, including the successful Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine. A significant part of the success of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine was due to the Government’s early investment in research and development. Investment and support through existing channels and forums such as the UK Vaccine Network have clearly paid off and illustrate the importance of looking ahead for future challenges.
    They missed this one too...
    • Were it not for the success of the Vaccine Taskforce and the NHS vaccination programme, it is likely that further lockdown restrictions would have been needed in Summer 2021.
    And this...
    • The Government responded, from the outset, decisively and with alacrity to the need for additional funding to advance projects with a potential to develop new vaccines.
    This one I find entirely acceptable...
    • The decision to procure, at risk, and long in advance of regulatory approval, a broad portfolio of supplies of potential vaccines was bold and prescient, as was the commitment to order vaccines in quantities in excess of what was needed.
    Here is one of Moose's, only in full, iliciting a very different meaning to that implied above (Moose quote in red)...
    • The UK, along with many other countries in Europe and North America made a serious early error in adopting this fatalistic approach and not considering a more emphatic and rigorous approach to stopping the spread of the virus as adopted by many East and South East Asian countries.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    iamofwfc likes this.
  28. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    I agree. This report should be taken very seriously. So I suspect we won't hear much more of it on this forum.

    Unlike it was initially reported by the liberal press, the report actually gives the UK Government great credit where it is due, whilst not failing to criticise the mistakes.

    Overall, it appears to suggest the response was something to be proud of regarding the major factors affecting the disease,s impact on the population.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    iamofwfc likes this.
  29. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Why are the right wing papers not leading with this good news? They are normally able to get excited about Boris’s most minor achievements, like the parents of a very average toddler.

    Right wing people on this forum have a bit of explaining of their own. Criticisms of the Government, justified in this report, were rebutted mockingly time after time, whether it was Cummings, care homes, delays etc.

    The truth matters and at least can’t be argued with now.
  30. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    I don't read the right wing press, so I only have your word for what they have or have not printed, which is what my comments were based on. I was being critical of both wings of the press.

    I said that there would be a balance to the report that the press would be ignoring, and lo and behold, it was there, including recognition of the UK's phenomanal vaccine programme which you ignored completely.

    To say that the roll out was "one of the most successful and effective initiatives in the history of UK science and public administration" is monumental, given this country's leading role in those areas over the centuries. Yet you didn't think it worth a mention.

    And when the MPs, whose opinions you drew to our attention as being important, say that "the outcome is far better than would have been the case without this success", it is clear that the left and its media have chosen to ignore positive findings, in order to condemn the Government.

    As I said and you objected to (me saying), there was balance. And where you said I was whatabouting, the report also recognised that our policies were reflective of practically the whole western world. The whataboutism you complained of came from the report itself.

    Your post was misleading, as became apparent when the whole report was reviewed. Even some of the quotes you gave were slaughtered in order to show the Government in a bad light.

    I wouldn't call you a liar, but it is clear you had no critical appreciation of what you were posting, else you would have mentioned there were positive findings.

    I knew there would be, and I hadn't even read it at the time.

    This report is important. So important that it should not be used as a political tool by a press who are comfortable lying about and mispreprenting the important findings. Trivialisation of the report is reprehensible. It is a shame on the press that it happened.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
  31. hornmeister

    hornmeister Club Legend

    I would suspect that it either won't sell copies or they're getting fed up with him like the rest of us. Who actually gets news form papers these days?
  32. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    Fact is Hooter, the things I and others said at the time have been backed up in this report. You and others chose to ridicule them at the time, chose to defend the obviously false.

    If you want to apologise I will graciously accept that.

    But the truth is important. Governments that routinely lie are dictatorships. They prevent understanding or other action being taken.
  33. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

  34. Moose

    Moose First Team Captain

    I wasn’t really asking the question, it’s obvious why.

    It was simply in response to Hooter claiming the report is actually a triumph the liberal press has distorted.
  35. HenryHooter

    HenryHooter Reservist

    You are calling me a liar, and you are clearly misrepresenting everything I said.

    So here is my dilemna.

    Do I report your blatant disrespect for other posters, and get the thread closed down so your dishonesty gets covered up and hidden, whilst stopping people from discussing the matter.

    Do I defend myself and point out you are lying, so you can complain to the mods because I called you a liar, and get the thread closed down so your dishonesty gets covered up and hidden, whislt stopping people from discussing the matter.

    Or do I suggest to the mods that the only person on here who propogates name calling and disrespect, in order to cover up their embarrasment, is up to his old tricks again.

    Your post above is a pack of lies. I hope the mods see what you are doing and resist the temptation of closing down a whole discussion simply because you chose to lie and disrespect a poster, whilst expecting everyone else to take it on the chin.

    If you want to apologise, I will graciously accept.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021

Share This Page