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Thread: Coronavirus

  1. #2881
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mossdog View Post
    But there's no question over their lack of advisory effectiveness, as judged by their own figures/predictions.

    Under their advice we've gone from a national lockdown in March, to 'you can all go out to play again', to 'ooophs we need another national lockdown'. Did they not see that coming?

    Yo-yo advice does undermine confidence in their ability somewhat.

    No one is saying CV-19 management isn't anything but hugely complex, but they've appeared to eschew any responsibility for offering conflicting messages/advice, or simply making the wrong 'call', but have placed the blame for the course of events, as they describe them, squarely on the general public - us!
    I think you're being rather unfair on Vallance and Whitty at the same time as being incredibly lenient on Johnson and his ministers and political advisers. SAGE has provided scientific advice; the Government has made the decisions and has been responsible for communication with the public.

    Did either Vallance or Whitty, or any member of SAGE, provide advice that the public could 'all go out to play again'? I very much doubt it. I don't believe that the Eat Out To Help Out scheme was suggested by SAGE. In fact, there are reasons to believe that SAGE actively discouraged it. It was a political decision. Was the advertising campaign saying to people 'let's get back to normal' a result of SAGE advice? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision. Was Boris Johnson just repeating what he'd been told by SAGE when he talked about a “more significant return to normality” by Christmas? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision.

    As for 'ooophs we need another national lockdown' - I don't believe that SAGE ever said, or suggested, or even hinted, that the national lockdown in March would be the end of the matter. It was Boris Johnson who said we can “turn the tide of this disease” within 12 weeks. I don't believe Johnson was acting on the advice of SAGE when he said that. (Similarly when he said that he was still shaking hands with people who had Covid-19. In fact, there are reasons to believe that Johnson was going against SAGE advice.)

    You say that Vallance and Whitty "have placed the blame for the course of events [...] squarely on the general public". But they haven't. It's been Johnson and other ministers who have done that. When Johnson said in parliament on September 22nd that "The problem we have in the spread of this virus is that, alas, a minority of people have not been following the guidance in the way they might have done." and "There is nothing more frustrating for the vast majority who do comply — the law-abiding majority — than the sight of a few brazenly defying the rules," was he acting on advice from SAGE? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision to say those things. (An inept one, in my opinion, but that's beside the point.)

    I don't believe SAGE has provided 'yo-yo' advice. The Government, however, has certainly been responsible for 'yo-yo', and unclear, and contradictory, messages to the public.

    It seems to me that the worst the SAGE members can be accused of is political naivety. But, since they're not politicians, that seems to me to be a forgivable mistake by them.

    You say that "No one is saying CV-19 management isn't anything but hugely complex" but, actually, I think some people are. In fact, some people seem to be saying that not only is it not hugely complex but that it's actually very simple. (To be clear, I am not talking about you, Mossdog, here.)

  2. #2882
    Quote Originally Posted by Flem View Post
    I think you're being rather unfair on Vallance and Whitty at the same time as being incredibly lenient on Johnson and his ministers and political advisers. SAGE has provided scientific advice; the Government has made the decisions and has been responsible for communication with the public.

    Did either Vallance or Whitty, or any member of SAGE, provide advice that the public could 'all go out to play again'? I very much doubt it. I don't believe that the Eat Out To Help Out scheme was suggested by SAGE. In fact, there are reasons to believe that SAGE actively discouraged it. It was a political decision. Was the advertising campaign saying to people 'let's get back to normal' a result of SAGE advice? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision. Was Boris Johnson just repeating what he'd been told by SAGE when he talked about a “more significant return to normality” by Christmas? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision.

    As for 'ooophs we need another national lockdown' - I don't believe that SAGE ever said, or suggested, or even hinted, that the national lockdown in March would be the end of the matter. It was Boris Johnson who said we can “turn the tide of this disease” within 12 weeks. I don't believe Johnson was acting on the advice of SAGE when he said that. (Similarly when he said that he was still shaking hands with people who had Covid-19. In fact, there are reasons to believe that Johnson was going against SAGE advice.)

    You say that Vallance and Whitty "have placed the blame for the course of events [...] squarely on the general public". But they haven't. It's been Johnson and other ministers who have done that. When Johnson said in parliament on September 22nd that "The problem we have in the spread of this virus is that, alas, a minority of people have not been following the guidance in the way they might have done." and "There is nothing more frustrating for the vast majority who do comply — the law-abiding majority — than the sight of a few brazenly defying the rules," was he acting on advice from SAGE? I very much doubt it. It was a political decision to say those things. (An inept one, in my opinion, but that's beside the point.)

    I don't believe SAGE has provided 'yo-yo' advice. The Government, however, has certainly been responsible for 'yo-yo', and unclear, and contradictory, messages to the public.

    It seems to me that the worst the SAGE members can be accused of is political naivety. But, since they're not politicians, that seems to me to be a forgivable mistake by them.

    You say that "No one is saying CV-19 management isn't anything but hugely complex" but, actually, I think some people are. In fact, some people seem to be saying that not only is it not hugely complex but that it's actually very simple. (To be clear, I am not talking about you, Mossdog, here.)
    I broadly agree.

    Being a simple soul I think every utterance and decision and thought and word spoken by a politician is political - they cannot think and behave in any other way, it is in their DNA, it is their existence. Go ask a fish what it feels like to fly high in the sky.

    And if were an expert "advising" in a political world I would make sure I was never identified with making any "decision" because if I am right I will not get any credit (strictly reserved for my political masters) and when things go wrong - as to some degree they must - I will find myself in the tumbril en route to Madame Guillotine: although the politicians will still try to pass the blame because they always, always do and once my head has been lopped off, my protests will have been silenced.
    "...as dry as the Atacama desert".

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