Monday, 26 October 2020

The Wales Syndrome

Much merriment can be drawn from the situation in Wales this past, amongst the darkness that stalks our lands otherwise. 

I have throughout the last few months grown tired with two aspects of "Covid Control" that are at once contradictory. On the one hand, I get bored with the media (and also immediate family and acquaintances) finding every tiny loophole to exploit in any suggestions from the Government about restrictions to our lives to help prevent the spread of the Virus - it is just a series of sad little gotchas. We do know the Government is trying to restrict the virus spread and not just wind up directly Mrs Lilliput from no.23 who wants her hair done on a Tuesday. I find these conversations a tragic waste of time.

On the other hand, the ridiculousness of the micro-management by the Government and the pseudo-Governments of the regions also frustrates me. The latest idiocy in Wales over the sale of non-essential items is the most hilarious example yet. Since when in the the UK anywhere has a Government decided what items in a shop you can or can't buy on any given day? This is like something out of a Solzenhyitsen dystopia. But it is also very funny, to see a Labour Government, do exactly what we all  would predict and get even more micro-managing than the Tories - all for your own good of course. 

Overall, the Government's have lost the communications battle as they listen too much to the scientists. The current message "hands, face, space" is pretty good - it makes the case for simple social distancing. Throw that in with curtailing some activities where the virus is spreading fast and we have a policy easily understood and abided by. It is the extra craziness of specific venues being open or not, or groups of people gathering or not, that ruins this message. Governments cannot seem to help themselves gorge on the minutia of interference. But better that they focus on bigger things like reading NHS beds and testing and leave out the insane micro-management. 

19 comments:

Unknown said...

It's mostly the Purchase Tax problem. The government wanted to apply a higher rate of Purchase Tax to luxury items.

Fair enough, but how do you define a luxury item? Obviously fur coats and cameras. LPs but not books ? What about cameras designed for medical use ? Books of crossword puzzles ?

The more you go into the practical details of any simple decision, the more byzantine it gets.

Don Cox

decnine said...

Since when? Since before the Sunday Trading Act. Pharmacies were allowed to open on Sundays but they could not sell their non-pharmaceutical stock.

Anonymous said...

The government aren't listening to scientists, they are listening to bureaucrats and technocrats that many decades ago may have done some science but have since climbed the slippery pole of academia to be become head of institutions that have got the government ear.

Modern science has become reliant on central grants given out by political entities and in so doing now works in the same political way - climate science being an obvious example.

jim said...

I agree. The problem is that in this realm of doubt every activity begs the question 'is this alright?' Then 'I must ask someone'. That someone has to ask someone else. No-one will say 'doesn't matter' - instead we must carry out a study or ask the insurers or ask the lawyers. CYA.

Somehow this cycle needs to be broken. Possibly an explicit - 'you won't get into trouble or get sued'. Snag is that authority and the confidence to say 'yes' is not pushed downwards, a bit more JFnotDI.

Jan said...

I couldn't agree more CU. I've stopped listening to any of the "experts"/GPs etc and I haven't a clue what I'm "allowed" to do/not do. What's more I don't care. I reluctantly put on my home-made facemask going into Tescos etc and whip it off the minute I'm outside. I haven't bought a single thing CV-related ie mask/sanitiser etc. I've always washed my hands when I return home so no change there.

I flip to the other channels to get a bit of news apart from CV-related ie Al Jazeera and RT. All our homegrown channels spout the same CV/BLM drivel; the latest being a massive argument about feeding children.

Yet all around me I see the populace loving it. Many people are wearing masks outside when they're nowhere near anyone else and it's windy or even riding their bike or alone in a car! What's the matter with everyone?

As anon above says, the so-called scientist experts are aging administrators. I'd like to know when any of them actually did any hands on science. It seems only people who are able to speak authoratively and with convincing enough waffle are the ones who the government believe.

I agree it's hilarious to see a very left wing Labour person turning into a type of Stalin in Wales and also interesting that there's quite a lot of opposition to the latest pronouncements. I wonder what will happen next there!

dearieme said...

" so-called scientist experts are aging administrators. I'd like to know when any of them actually did any hands on science."

Might also have been useful to develop contact with doctors who actually treat patients.

DJK said...

As an American commentator put it:

New COVID-19 cases reported yesterday:

* New Zealand: 1
* The U.S. Vice President's office: 5

The UK per capita death rate has now gone back above America's. Quite why some countries have done very well in keeping infection numbers way down and hence keeping the economy open, and why some others have combined high rates of infection/hospitalization/death and a big hit to the economy I don't think anybody can really yet tell.

One of the more depressing things about the past year of coronavirus is how may shouty, instant experts have appeared. The Daily Mash has it about right:
https://www.thedailymash.co.uk/news/science-technology/scientist-doubting-lifes-work-after-reading-facebook-comments-by-twat-20201026201918

Unknown said...

"Yet all around me I see the populace loving it. Many people are wearing masks outside when they're nowhere near anyone else and it's windy or even riding their bike or alone in a car! What's the matter with everyone?"

No different from wearing a St Christopher.

Don Cox

Elby the Beserk said...

@Anonymous said...
The government aren't listening to scientists, they are listening to bureaucrats and technocrats that many decades ago may have done some science but have since climbed the slippery pole of academia to be become head of institutions that have got the government ear.

12:04 pm
========================================

The scientists ARE bureaucrats and technocrats.

TWENTY FOUR CAPTCHAS

Bill Quango said...

The Welsh fiasco is interesting as it shows the abilities of the authorities. It’s a very stupid policy. Extremely poorly thought through,. If it was even examined at all.

Why didn’t anyone in the Assembly point out what a terrible idea the restrictions on goods was? Point out that the first thing that would be asked is what is essential and what isn’t? Followed by, the exceptions. And when and how they could be managed. Then the border question that has been ridiculously on the news every time one of the regions does something it’s neighbour does not.
Can someone order something from a shop and have it delivered? If they can, how does this help any bricks and mortar store?
And to finish off, someone should have asked, why forcing people to move to online shopping, feeding the already biggest beast, that pays them the least tax, would be a good idea?

The move to online shopping is permanent. It isn’t as widespread as already online shoppers think. There are, or were, millions of people who have never shopped online, for anything. The moment they realise they can, without fear. Without complication. And see just how simple it is, is the moment they move over forever.

All of this is obvious. The readers here, knew all this as soon as they gave the Welsh situation five minutes thought.
So why did this not happen? How low an ability and competence base must Welsh Labour have not to have thought about these questions? Not to have had answers?

From the people who bought you the Ed Stone, we expect very little. But this was an incredibly ill thought through instruction, tacked onto their shutdown edict, that has undermined their entire dubious strategy for a firebreak.

Obviously it had the best intentions. But only a grade one cretin could not not have foreseen the likely consequences of it and the awful media images and negative stories it would generate.

Oddly enough, Government is not good in a crisis. It panics. It does, “ something.”

There is going to be one hell of a lot to pick through in the aftermath. As CU has said before, not just here, but globally.
Though even on a planetary wide scale, I’m certain the tiny kingdom of Wales will have its own chapter.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

I have one lad in the publicly funded NHS who believes in lockdown.

I have another in private pharma who doesn't believe in lockdown.

Both experts in medicine.

The perspective on lockdown depends heavily on how your job is affected. And having a job saves your life and your health, let's not underestimate that.

Someone correct me on this if I'm wrong. If we found a vaccine that saved 99.5 % of the infected would we return to normal ?

Better still one that protected everyone in good health below age 50 to nearly 100%.

Well that's what we appear to have. It's called the human immune system.

Of the 0.04 % who have died the vast majority are over 82 which is one year over the average age of death which is 81.

Somebody please stop the madness.

Insurrection is on the way and I give this government six months before it is forced to go back to the country

Anonymous said...

Bill Quango
"Why didn’t anyone in the Assembly point out what a terrible idea the restrictions on goods was? Point out that the first thing that would be asked is what is essential and what isn’t?"
Every shop in Wales should send a complete list of their inventory to Gov to get clarification. Thus overload the bureaucracy. Then completely ignore it.
M.

E-K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E-K said...

Is this a syndemic or is it a pandemic ?

I'm not seeing the plague pits or ebola suits on every corner - even ambulance drivers only wear basic masks.

AndyM said...

E-K at 9.27 yesterday - highlights the difference between the public and private sectors.

I have a suggestion - let's call it "shadow furlough" - all those paid for by the taxpayer - civil servants, teachers, NHS workers, MPs, police, government advisors like Whitty - for the duration of these restrictions they should be on 80% pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. It would be a start in helping to pay for this fiasco - which will be paid for by our children and grandchildren for years to come;

I wonder how quickly we could see our way out of all the restrictions? My guess would be about the time of the arrival of the second such restricted pay cheque

E-K said...

Good idea, Andy M. I think teachers should be forced to wear union badges to shops and restaurants so that they can get the reverse-treatment of NHS workers.

Anonymous said...

With respect, the host really needs to take a long look at the lockdown sceptics site

Or for a more financial take:
https://twitter.com/wef/status/799632174043561984

Jan said...

AndyM @1.37pm
Brilliant idea!