1,465 comments posted · 6 followers · following 0

14 hours ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Gove is right: wearing... · 0 replies · +1 points

Yes, it is frustrating that we do not yet have a very clear picture in many areas. I also agree that it looks strange to be insisting on face masks now when the chances of catching the virus are far, far less than they were in March. And it does not help that the government previously dismissed them in a very absolute way. But there is a reasonable line to take on this:

- the risk of catching the virus now is much, much lower than it was in March [add specific % estimate and absolute risk range]
- we cannot yet go back to the pre-virus normal, though
- we now can see from scientific research that face coverings help - mainly they reduce the chances of the wearer spreading the virus to others, but they probably also help protect the wearer too, at least to some extent
- so when using public transport or in shops, we are requiring everyone to wear a face mask, with very limited exceptions
- if you are outside, face masks are much less important because from what we know the open air seems to be the most effective way of dispersing the virus to the point where it is harmless
- wearing face masks in shops and on public transport should help further reduce the spread of the virus and means we do not have to impose other restrictions that would be more onerous for you as an individual and more damaging to the economy

17 hours ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Gove is right: wearing... · 2 replies · +1 points

I take your point that there is a lot of ill informed speculation in the media, but the BLM protests, much as I dislike them, took place in the open air. The current issue is about wearing masks in shops. What undermines confidence is a government that cannot identify the relevant evidence and then set out a clear and coherent policy based on it.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden and Jam... · 0 replies · +1 points

Entirely agree. I would not bet with a bookmaker.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden and Jam... · 2 replies · +1 points

Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. I guess that all 'slot machines' would be banned under your principle that 'the player must have a chance to win over time', as whatever skill is involved in these games is too limited to give even the best player a chance of winning over time. Personally, I don't have a big problem with that. A fool and his money are easily parted, but I don't really like the idea of companies making money where every player is bound to lose, unless they get lucky quickly and then stop playing. Betting on horses, football etc at least involves some skill and the good players can win, even over the long run, although I would not try it myself.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Richard Holden and Jam... · 4 replies · +1 points

Good idea. For online gambling like the fixed odds terminals, the companies know what % profit they will make over a given period. Why not require this figure to be prominently posted on the relevant page? I don't think this suggestion will deter an addicted gambler, but at least in one of their saner moments they might decide to look around and find a rival site offering better odds.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Ben Roback: When masks... · 1 reply · +1 points


What about studies like this one of what happened in Germany when masks were introduced? Nobody is saying masks are a complete protection. Or that some people won't use them sensibly. But there is plenty of evidence that they make a positive difference, both as a protection for the wearer, and - more so - a protection for other people if the wearer is infected.

This debate should really be an empirical one - does the evidence suggests that wearing masks in enclosed public spaces will make a sufficient positive difference to reducing the infection rate? Initially, there was very little evidence, which the WHO and others took as evidence for not supporting the use of masks. In fact, it was evidence of the need to do some studies and find out what the effect was or might be. The German study is far from the only recent one that suggests wearing masks will make a difference.

1 week ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Luke Evans: My Coronav... · 0 replies · +1 points

What's the source for this list? I ask as I live in one of these areas and it seems to be impossible to find figures for daily infections or deaths by LA area. When the history of this virus is written, the government's completely hopeless use of data and unwillingness to be completely transparent will be a very important theme. Unlike PPE and testing, where there were genuine practical difficulties to overcome, this failing seems to be more about organisational inadequacy and a reluctance to share data.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Black Lives Matter UK:... · 0 replies · +1 points

Any idea when something as remotely questioning of BLM will appear on the BBC News website?

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Don't rule out a secon... · 1 reply · +1 points

I don't think FDR ever visited the UK,at least not as president. Given the US only entered the war in December 1941 and was supposed to be neutral up to Pearl Harbor, a visit that year sounds completely improbable.

2 weeks ago @ http://www.conservativ... - Maria Higson: The Coro... · 2 replies · +1 points

"...the NHS has stood up to the test of the Coronavirus with aplomb." Is this true? How would one judge? Reasonable criteria to apply might be that capacity was always adequate and staff were able to treat patients using the requisite medicines and equipment; the survival rate of patients was better than in other countries throughout and has improved over time; and that other services continued with little or no disruption. On the first test, the problems with PPE have been well documented, but overall I don't have a big problem with the performance here and the Nightingale hospitals were a particular success, even if barely used in practice (yet). I don't think we yet have the data to assess the second two criteria thoroughly. One obvious blot in terms of treatment outcomes is the seemingly high level of infections within hospitals. And it certainly does not look like other services continued with minimal disruption. In fact, to the lay observer, it looks like large parts of the NHS basically closed down for several months, in areas like MRI scans, other diagnostic tests and referrals to consultants where there was no very obvious reason why the virus should be relevant. So I'd like to see some audit of performance first before anyone awards the NHS a medal. (For the avoidance of doubt, I'd stress that I am not talking about individual members of staff working with virus patients, but the NHS as an institution.)