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  1. #401
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    The Russkies know where the rotten core of western capitalism is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    In 2014 David Cameron faced questions after Mrs Chernukhin successfully bid £160,000 at a party fundraising dinner to play tennis against him and Mr Johnson.
    A game of Polo might have raised an eyebrow

  3. #403
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    Excellent, now if we could just trim another £10Bn ....and cull 3/4 of the DFiD leechs

    UK government quietly cuts international aid by £2.9 billion as MPs leave parliament for summer

    The government has quietly cut the UK's foreign aid budget by £2.9 billion, blaming the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Dominic Raab, the foreign secretary, announced the cuts without fanfare as MPs left parliament for their summer recess, meaning they could not be immediately scrutinised by parliament.

    The government insists a "line by line" review of aid projects had prioritised the "40 most vulnerable countries" but aid organisations warned that the cuts were falling at a time of humanitarian crisis. Opposition critics branded the policy "callous".

    Mr Raab insisted the UK would still meet its commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI (gross national income) on aid despite the reductions.

    Sarah Champion, the Labour MP who chairs the Commons International Development Committee, said it was "poor practice" to announce the cuts on the last day before summer recess – and thus avoid any opportunity for MPs to provide scrutiny.

    UK Government unveils plan to replace aid spending using insurance

    Mr Raab said in a letter to the chair that the cuts were a reaction "to the potential shrinkage in our economy, and therefore a decrease in the value of the 0.7 per cent commitment".

    "We have identified a £2.9bn package of reductions in the government’s planned ODA spend so we can proceed prudently for the remainder of 2020," he said.

    “The package I have agreed with the prime minister maintains our flexibility and enables the government to manage our ODA spend against an uncertain 0.7 per cent position.

    “It will see some reductions made now, with arrangements in place to tailor spending further during the remaining months as we start to gain a clearer economic picture.”

    Ms Champion said: “The announcement today raises more questions than it answers. The letter speaks of delaying activity and stopping some spending – what is the timescale on this?

    “If it is with immediate effect, do the projects know or will they find out via the media as Dfid staff did about the merger? Is there an overarching strategy in place?

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/uk-government-tories-cut-foreign-international-aid-billions-budget-coronavirus-a9633516.html

  4. #404
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    Quote Originally Posted by NamPikToot View Post
    the potential shrinkage in our economy
    This is only the beginning..

  5. #405
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    We're all doooooooommmmed i tell you

  6. #406
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    The reality:

  7. #407
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    Dive for cover – Boris Johnson is invoking 'morality' in his Covid policies

    We should beware. The prime minister has recovered from Covid-19 only to be struck down by a new ailment: morality.

    Not reopening schools next month, says Boris Johnson, would be “socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible”. The harm done to children’s prospects and mental health would be “far more damaging” than any risk from the virus. “We have a moral duty” to act.

    When a politician takes refuge in morality we dive for cover. If he now says that a policy he has pursued obsessively for four months harms the prospects and mental health of children, it was bad policy. The largest study so far has shown that only 0.8% of coronavirus patients in hospital have been under 19. If staff or older family members needed protection, that was a different matter from closing schools. Other countries measured the same risk and thought to minimise it by cautiously reopening schools sooner, which also benefitted working parents.

    Besides, what in Johnson’s other coronavirus policies was “moral”, such as moving thousands of sick elderly people from NHS hospitals to infect others and die in care homes? What was moral about scaring stroke victims away from A&E? Or about deferring treatment for cancer patients, which could lead to up to 35,000 excess deaths? What was moral about denying local authorities the data on which they might run their own test and trace services, which Johnson had boasted was “world-beating” yet has patently failed to deliver?

    Johnson’s defence of his bad crisis management has always been that “we have been guided by the advice of experts at every stage of our response”, as his government spokesperson put it. Johnson may now accuse his official scientists of timidity and indecision – England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said 10 days ago that lockdown easing had probably been pushed to its limits. But he took their advice. It was left to Britain’s top paediatrician, Sir Russell Viner, to minimise the risk of school opening. Is Johnson accusing Whitty and co of immorality?

    This virus is way past its first peak, yet the NHS is still in chaos. Its hospitals are emptying. It is treating just 700 Covid patients a day against 17,000 a day in April, while 10m excluded patients might be on the waiting list by Christmas. Even the wayward infection rate is running at a tiny fraction of the April peak. Talk of a second wave as bad as the first is blatant scaremongering.

    Johnson is right to assert the primacy of social cohesion and economic sustainability in matters of public policy, except that his job was to think of them from the start. He should keep his morals out of it.

    Dive for cover – Boris Johnson is invoking 'morality' in his Covid policies | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

  8. #408
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    COVID hasn't stopped Boris from getting things set up just as he likes them...corrupt as all hell.

    It's taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze

    From Dominic Cummings to dodgy business deals, the prime minister’s circle behave as if the rules simply don’t apply to them

    It took the last Tory government the best part of 18 years to become mired in sleaze, but Boris Johnson’s administration is smelling of it already. Whether doling out lucrative contracts, helping billionaire property developers cut costs, or handing out lifetime seats in the House of Lords, the guiding principle seems to be brazen cronyism, coupled with the arrogance of those who believe they are untouchable and that rules are for little people.


    This week came word of at least £156m of taxpayers’ money wasted on 50 million face masks deemed unsuitable for the NHS. They were bought from a private equity firm through a company that had no track record of producing personal protective equipment – or indeed anything for that matter – and that had a share capital of just £100. But this company, Prospermill, had a crucial asset. It was co-owned by one Andrew Mills, adviser to the government, staunch Brexiteer and cheerleader for international trade secretary, Liz Truss.


    Somehow Prospermill managed to persuade the government to part with £252m, boasting that it had secured exclusive rights over a PPE factory in China. Just one problem. The masks it produced use ear loops, when only masks tied at the head are judged by the government to be suitable for NHS staff. If the government wanted to spend £156m on masks for the nation’s kids to play doctors and nurses, this was a great deal. But in the fight against a pandemic, it was useless.


    All this has come to light thanks to the Good Law Project, which is challenging through the courts what it calls “the government’s £15bn supermarket sweep approach to PPE procurement”. As if to remind us of the necessity of judicial review – a process now threatened with “reform” by this government – the group have initiated such proceedings over several deals with suppliers with no conspicuous experience or expertise in PPE, including a pest controller and a confectionery wholesaler. But this latest one is the biggest.


    I asked Jolyon Maugham, who runs the project, whether what he had seen amounted to corruption. He doesn’t use that word himself, preferring to note that “mutual back-scratching” tends to be how it works in this country. “You have contracts awarded to the wrong people because of incompetence, and you have contracts awarded to the wrong people because the wrong people knew what ears to whisper into.”


    Such whispers are becoming the background noise of this government. This week the housing secretary Robert Jenrick was asked about his encounter with Richard Desmond at a Tory fundraising dinner last November, at which Desmond showed the cabinet minister a video of the housing development he wanted to build. Jenrick said he wished he “hadn’t been sat next to a developer at an event and I regret sharing text messages with him afterwards”, which rather glossed over the key fact: namely, that Jenrick promptly rushed through a decision on the project, the speed of which allowed Desmond’s company to avoid paying roughly £40m in tax to the local council. That move was later designated “unlawful”, and Jenrick was forced to overturn his decision.


    It would be nice to think that episode was a one-off, but it’s hard to do so when developers have given £11m in donations to the Conservatives since Johnson arrived in Downing Street just one year ago.


    One can hardly blame entrepreneurs and go-getters for wanting to get cosy with Johnson’s ministers. They see how business is done. They’ve noticed the seven government contracts together worth nearly £1m that were awarded in the course of 18 months to a single artificial intelligence startup, an outfit that just so happened to have worked for Dominic Cummings on the Vote Leave campaign.


    The company is called Faculty and, handily, the government minister tasked with promoting the use of digital technology, Theodore Agnew, has a £90,000 shareholding in it. Any suggestion of a conflict of interest is breezily brushed aside. More conveniently still, Faculty’s chief executive, Marc Warner, has attended at least one meeting of Sage, the scientists’ group advising the government on coronavirus. Better yet Warner’s brother, Ben, works at Downing Street as a data scientist and has been a regular at Sage where, as one attendee put it to the Guardian, he “behaved as Cummings’ deputy”. Faculty insists all “the proper processes” have been followed in the awarding of their contracts.


    Meanwhile, a political consultancy firm with strong ties to both Cummings and Michael Gove managed to win an £840,000 contract without any open tendering process at all. Public First is a small research company, but it is run by James Frayn, an anti-EU comrade of Cummings going back two decades, and his wife Rachel Wolf, the former Gove adviser who co-wrote the Tory manifesto for last year’s election. The government says it could skip the competitive tendering stage because emergency regulations applied, thanks to Covid. Except the government itself recorded some of Public First’s work as related to Brexit (it now says this was an accounting anomaly and that all the work related to the pandemic).


    To confirm the new order, you might take a look at the prime minister’s list of nominations to the House of Lords. Besides his brother Jo, you’ll also spot former advisers, donors, Brexiters, and longtime Johnson pal Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-born billionaire owner of London’s Evening Standard. It’s all terribly cosy. “It’s a pattern of appointing your mates, that’s the common thread,” says Labour’s Rachel Reeves. When fighting a pandemic, you don’t want “contracts for contacts”, she says; you want to look for “the best people, not whether they voted leave or made donations”.


    Why is the government behaving this way? An obvious explanation is the 80-seat majority it won in December. The knowledge that parliamentary defeat is a distant prospect, and that you will not face the voters for four long years, can translate into complacency, even a sense of impunity. Johnson’s sparing of Cummings and Jenrick, when a more fragile prime minister would surely have felt compelled to fire them both, has emboldened those individuals and their watching colleagues. They’re not about to start shooting people on Fifth Avenue, as Trump once boasted, but like the US president, they believe they can get away with anything.


    That fits with the credo Johnson and Cummings had even before they bagged their majority. Johnson was hardly a stickler for probity to start with; his attitude to the rules, grandly branded a libertarian philosophy by his pals, has long been elastic, at least when it comes to himself and those around him. As for Cummings, his breach of the lockdown during the pandemic’s most grave phase leaves no doubt: he sees the rules as applying to lesser mortals, not him.


    This week, research published in the Lancet proved how devastating “the Cummings effect” has been for public faith in the government’s handling of the pandemic. Through their cronyism, their cavalier disregard for basic propriety, Johnson and his circle are draining trust at a time when it is essential to the public health. One day that will matter for the Conservatives’ political fortunes. But it matters for the rest of us right now.

    It's taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze | Politics | The Guardian

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    Dive for cover – Boris Johnson is invoking 'morality' in his Covid policies

    We should beware. The prime minister has recovered from Covid-19 only to be struck down by a new ailment: morality.

    Not reopening schools next month, says Boris Johnson, would be “socially intolerable, economically unsustainable and morally indefensible”. The harm done to children’s prospects and mental health would be “far more damaging” than any risk from the virus. “We have a moral duty” to act.

    When a politician takes refuge in morality we dive for cover. If he now says that a policy he has pursued obsessively for four months harms the prospects and mental health of children, it was bad policy. The largest study so far has shown that only 0.8% of coronavirus patients in hospital have been under 19. If staff or older family members needed protection, that was a different matter from closing schools. Other countries measured the same risk and thought to minimise it by cautiously reopening schools sooner, which also benefitted working parents.

    Besides, what in Johnson’s other coronavirus policies was “moral”, such as moving thousands of sick elderly people from NHS hospitals to infect others and die in care homes? What was moral about scaring stroke victims away from A&E? Or about deferring treatment for cancer patients, which could lead to up to 35,000 excess deaths? What was moral about denying local authorities the data on which they might run their own test and trace services, which Johnson had boasted was “world-beating” yet has patently failed to deliver?

    Johnson’s defence of his bad crisis management has always been that “we have been guided by the advice of experts at every stage of our response”, as his government spokesperson put it. Johnson may now accuse his official scientists of timidity and indecision – England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, said 10 days ago that lockdown easing had probably been pushed to its limits. But he took their advice. It was left to Britain’s top paediatrician, Sir Russell Viner, to minimise the risk of school opening. Is Johnson accusing Whitty and co of immorality?

    This virus is way past its first peak, yet the NHS is still in chaos. Its hospitals are emptying. It is treating just 700 Covid patients a day against 17,000 a day in April, while 10m excluded patients might be on the waiting list by Christmas. Even the wayward infection rate is running at a tiny fraction of the April peak. Talk of a second wave as bad as the first is blatant scaremongering.

    Johnson is right to assert the primacy of social cohesion and economic sustainability in matters of public policy, except that his job was to think of them from the start. He should keep his morals out of it.

    Dive for cover – Boris Johnson is invoking 'morality' in his Covid policies | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian
    Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. It’s too easy to snipe from the sidelines, as Cyrill, the champagne socialist copies his beloved soialist rag full of rhetoric.

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    COVID hasn't stopped Boris from getting things set up just as he likes them...corrupt as all hell.

    It's taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze

    From Dominic Cummings to dodgy business deals, the prime minister’s circle behave as if the rules simply don’t apply to them

    It took the last Tory government the best part of 18 years to become mired in sleaze, but Boris Johnson’s administration is smelling of it already. Whether doling out lucrative contracts, helping billionaire property developers cut costs, or handing out lifetime seats in the House of Lords, the guiding principle seems to be brazen cronyism, coupled with the arrogance of those who believe they are untouchable and that rules are for little people.


    This week came word of at least £156m of taxpayers’ money wasted on 50 million face masks deemed unsuitable for the NHS. They were bought from a private equity firm through a company that had no track record of producing personal protective equipment – or indeed anything for that matter – and that had a share capital of just £100. But this company, Prospermill, had a crucial asset. It was co-owned by one Andrew Mills, adviser to the government, staunch Brexiteer and cheerleader for international trade secretary, Liz Truss.


    Somehow Prospermill managed to persuade the government to part with £252m, boasting that it had secured exclusive rights over a PPE factory in China. Just one problem. The masks it produced use ear loops, when only masks tied at the head are judged by the government to be suitable for NHS staff. If the government wanted to spend £156m on masks for the nation’s kids to play doctors and nurses, this was a great deal. But in the fight against a pandemic, it was useless.


    All this has come to light thanks to the Good Law Project, which is challenging through the courts what it calls “the government’s £15bn supermarket sweep approach to PPE procurement”. As if to remind us of the necessity of judicial review – a process now threatened with “reform” by this government – the group have initiated such proceedings over several deals with suppliers with no conspicuous experience or expertise in PPE, including a pest controller and a confectionery wholesaler. But this latest one is the biggest.


    I asked Jolyon Maugham, who runs the project, whether what he had seen amounted to corruption. He doesn’t use that word himself, preferring to note that “mutual back-scratching” tends to be how it works in this country. “You have contracts awarded to the wrong people because of incompetence, and you have contracts awarded to the wrong people because the wrong people knew what ears to whisper into.”


    Such whispers are becoming the background noise of this government. This week the housing secretary Robert Jenrick was asked about his encounter with Richard Desmond at a Tory fundraising dinner last November, at which Desmond showed the cabinet minister a video of the housing development he wanted to build. Jenrick said he wished he “hadn’t been sat next to a developer at an event and I regret sharing text messages with him afterwards”, which rather glossed over the key fact: namely, that Jenrick promptly rushed through a decision on the project, the speed of which allowed Desmond’s company to avoid paying roughly £40m in tax to the local council. That move was later designated “unlawful”, and Jenrick was forced to overturn his decision.


    It would be nice to think that episode was a one-off, but it’s hard to do so when developers have given £11m in donations to the Conservatives since Johnson arrived in Downing Street just one year ago.


    One can hardly blame entrepreneurs and go-getters for wanting to get cosy with Johnson’s ministers. They see how business is done. They’ve noticed the seven government contracts together worth nearly £1m that were awarded in the course of 18 months to a single artificial intelligence startup, an outfit that just so happened to have worked for Dominic Cummings on the Vote Leave campaign.


    The company is called Faculty and, handily, the government minister tasked with promoting the use of digital technology, Theodore Agnew, has a £90,000 shareholding in it. Any suggestion of a conflict of interest is breezily brushed aside. More conveniently still, Faculty’s chief executive, Marc Warner, has attended at least one meeting of Sage, the scientists’ group advising the government on coronavirus. Better yet Warner’s brother, Ben, works at Downing Street as a data scientist and has been a regular at Sage where, as one attendee put it to the Guardian, he “behaved as Cummings’ deputy”. Faculty insists all “the proper processes” have been followed in the awarding of their contracts.


    Meanwhile, a political consultancy firm with strong ties to both Cummings and Michael Gove managed to win an £840,000 contract without any open tendering process at all. Public First is a small research company, but it is run by James Frayn, an anti-EU comrade of Cummings going back two decades, and his wife Rachel Wolf, the former Gove adviser who co-wrote the Tory manifesto for last year’s election. The government says it could skip the competitive tendering stage because emergency regulations applied, thanks to Covid. Except the government itself recorded some of Public First’s work as related to Brexit (it now says this was an accounting anomaly and that all the work related to the pandemic).


    To confirm the new order, you might take a look at the prime minister’s list of nominations to the House of Lords. Besides his brother Jo, you’ll also spot former advisers, donors, Brexiters, and longtime Johnson pal Evgeny Lebedev, the Russian-born billionaire owner of London’s Evening Standard. It’s all terribly cosy. “It’s a pattern of appointing your mates, that’s the common thread,” says Labour’s Rachel Reeves. When fighting a pandemic, you don’t want “contracts for contacts”, she says; you want to look for “the best people, not whether they voted leave or made donations”.


    Why is the government behaving this way? An obvious explanation is the 80-seat majority it won in December. The knowledge that parliamentary defeat is a distant prospect, and that you will not face the voters for four long years, can translate into complacency, even a sense of impunity. Johnson’s sparing of Cummings and Jenrick, when a more fragile prime minister would surely have felt compelled to fire them both, has emboldened those individuals and their watching colleagues. They’re not about to start shooting people on Fifth Avenue, as Trump once boasted, but like the US president, they believe they can get away with anything.


    That fits with the credo Johnson and Cummings had even before they bagged their majority. Johnson was hardly a stickler for probity to start with; his attitude to the rules, grandly branded a libertarian philosophy by his pals, has long been elastic, at least when it comes to himself and those around him. As for Cummings, his breach of the lockdown during the pandemic’s most grave phase leaves no doubt: he sees the rules as applying to lesser mortals, not him.


    This week, research published in the Lancet proved how devastating “the Cummings effect” has been for public faith in the government’s handling of the pandemic. Through their cronyism, their cavalier disregard for basic propriety, Johnson and his circle are draining trust at a time when it is essential to the public health. One day that will matter for the Conservatives’ political fortunes. But it matters for the rest of us right now.

    It's taken just 12 months for Boris Johnson to create a government of sleaze | Politics | The Guardian
    Why am I not surprised more sniping from the shelter of the sidelines. The Guardian opinion carries as much weight as the unemployable rabble posing as the opposition. They can both spout nonsense in the full knowledge that, no one will be expected to fund the responsibility for all those rabid questions.

  11. #411
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    Boris: Just eat a load of discounted junk food, prop up prime Gammonflakes Tim Martain's chain of shit pubs and cycle a bit and you'll be fine. Just take the COVID on the chin.

  12. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    Why am I not surprised more sniping from the shelter of the sidelines. The Guardian opinion carries as much weight as the unemployable rabble posing as the opposition.
    Do you think that the Guardian is lying about the peoples connection with each other and that they coincidentally (cough) got rewarded with contracts is nothing else than the natural outcome from a random draw?

    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    They can both spout nonsense in the full knowledge that, no one will be expected to fund the responsibility for all those rabid questions.
    There ain't "all those rabid questions" in the article, there is one single question. "Why is the government behaving this way?"
    May the bridges I burn light my way

    There is no plan for no deal because we're going to get a great deal - Boris Johnson in HoC 11 July 2017

  13. #413
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    Twitch is utterly transparent.

    He has nothing to say in defence so he tries to shoot the messenger.

    Every
    Single
    Time

  14. #414
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    Just one more thing BoJo's mob has ballsed up that has been handled much better in Europe...

    School leaving exams were cancelled, postponed or adapted because of the coronavirus crisis in countries across Europe, but most have avoided the rows, recriminations and abrupt about-turns experienced in the UK.


    In a few countries, school-leaver exams were maintained or only slightly delayed. Germany’s 16 states, which decide education policy, were initially divided over whether the Abitur exams that are required in order to be accepted for university should go ahead.


    Despite nationwide school closures until Easter and the opposition of some state governments, which had wanted grades to be awarded on coursework and school tests, the 16 states agreed in late March that the exams should take place as planned.
    School exams and Covid: what could the UK have learned from EU? | Education | The Guardian

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    U-turns have become normality with BoJo's government, but the farcical incompetence on display with exam results over the last few weeks has left many parents of school-age children feeling punch drunk.

    Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson: your 'chaos' puts schools return at risk

    Labour leader attacks ‘confusion and incompetence’ from government

    Plans to get all children back to school in early September are now at “serious risk” because of government incompetence and the chaos caused by the exams fiasco, the Labour leader Keir Starmer has warned.


    In one of his strongest interventions to date, which is bound to draw a furious response from Downing Street, Starmer told the Observer that two crucial weeks, which should have been spent preparing for schools to reopen, have been wasted dealing with a self-inflicted “mess” that has destroyed public confidence in government.


    “I want to see children back at school next month, and I expect the prime minister to deliver on that commitment. However, the commitment is now at serious risk after a week of chaos, confusion and incompetence from the government,” the Labour leader said.


    “Ministers should have spent the summer implementing a national plan to get all children back to school. Instead, the last two weeks have been wasted clearing up a mess of the government’s own making over exam results.”


    Starmer added that the seriousness of ministerial failings, which led to a forced U-turn last week over A-level and GCSE grades by the education secretary, Gavin Williamson, meant a generation of children risked missing out on their education.


    “Restoring public confidence and getting a grip on the Department for Education must be Downing Street’s number-one priority this week. Failure to do so will leave the government’s promise of ‘levelling up’ in tatters,” he said.


    The comments, which will be attacked by the Tories as deeply unhelpful on the biggest issue facing the country over the next fortnight, come as teachers, councillors and teaching unions say government has failed to offer sufficient clarity over plans for reopening.


    They also coincide with an admission on Sunday by the country’s chief medical officers, led by Sir Chris Whitty, that reopening schools could push up the R number above the critical level of 1, which would require urgent local lockdown measures to bring the virus under control.


    In a joint statement last night, chief and deputy chief medical officers from across the UK said that while there were “no risk-free options”, further time out of the classroom would increase inequalities and reduce the life chances of children, and could exacerbate physical and mental health issues.


    They said they were confident there was an “exceptionally small risk of children of primary or secondary school age dying from Covid-19”.


    However, they added that it was “possible that opening schools will provide enough upward pressure on R that it goes above 1 having previously been below it, at least in some local areas”.


    They added: “This will require local action and could mean societal choices that weigh up the implications of imposing limitations on different parts of the community and the economy.”


    In a separate interview, Whitty, England’s chief medical officer, said the chances of children dying from Covid-19 were “incredibly small”.


    But he also warned that Britain faced a “real problem” with coronavirus this winter, and that it would remain a “serious challenge” for at least the next nine months.


    Headteachers and the teaching unions say ministers have failed to engage with schools on what would happen in the event of an outbreak in schools. “At the moment, there’s no guidance beyond: speak to your local public health officials,” said Geoff Barton, leader of the Association of School and College Leaders.


    Barton wants the government to tell schools urgently what their procedures should be if a child or staff member contracts the virus, or if there is a local lockdown. “There needs to be an absolute urgency now,” he said “both so we can reassure parents that this has been thought through and so that our headteachers can put those procedures in place and do some scenario-planning next week, before we start to open. Once again, time is running out.”


    Unions are also concerned about what would happen if home learning had to resume. “The need for a plan B if things change is almost viewed as heresy at the moment,” said Paul Whiteman, general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers.


    Meanwhile, the government’s own social mobility commission has warned that there are likely to be higher rates of absence than usual in September and that disadvantaged children will be more likely to be among those who don’t turn up.


    Sammy Wright, the lead for schools on the commission and a deputy headteacher, said: “Even though we will be back, and it is officially compulsory to come into school, we’re going to struggle to get the disadvantaged in.”


    “The patterns of absence among disadvantaged children are far higher anyway, and I think that’s going to be exacerbated hugely in September.”


    The Observer has obtained exclusive details of a survey undertaken by the Institute for Fiscal Studies at the end of last term, in which parents who had not then been offered the opportunity to send their child back to school were asked whether they would be willing to do so.

    Four out of 10 said no, the survey found, but wealthier parents were far more likely to say yes. Overall, 62% of better-off parents said they would be willing to send their child back if they were given the choice, compared with just 53% of the poorest parents. Similarly, the survey taken in July found 80% of the richest third of parents who had the opportunity to send their child to school did so, compared with only 64% of the poorest third of parents.


    Christine Farquharson, IFS economist and co-author of the report, said parental attitudes might have changed since the survey, which was funded by the Nuffield Foundation, took place in July. “But given the government’s stated aim of a universal return in September, and the huge benefits that a return could have for the many pupils who have not had a good home learning experience, it is important that both the government and educators offer parents information and reassurance about how the return to school can be managed safely.”


    It has also emerged that more than a third of older teachers said they did not feel safe returning next month. A survey of 7,000 teachers by the Teacher Tapp app found that 35% of those over 50 said they did not feel safe returning. Overall, 26% of teachers said they did not feel safe.


    Alison Peacock, chief executive of Chartered College of Teaching, the official professional body for teachers, said headteachers had to listen to the concerns, adding: “If colleagues feel safer wearing face coverings, then there would be an understanding around that.


    “There is a particular issue around BAME members of society. Clearly, the statistics from the ONS are showing us that the impact is much greater on that community. We need to be making sure that their needs are understood by schools.”


    Many teachers remain unclear about what happens should their school be hit by an outbreak. One teacher said: “Many of the issues facing schools don’t seem to have a realistically achievable solution, [given] the size of classrooms, number of children needing to go back, short amount of time to prepare, lack of resources, and the feeling of a lack of care from the government for teachers.”


    A Department for Education spokesperson said getting children back into classrooms was a national priority. “Our £1 billion Covid catch-up programme will help tackle the impact of lost teaching time on every pupil with extra support from a national tutoring programme for those who need it most,” she said.

    Keir Starmer tells Boris Johnson: your 'chaos' puts schools return at risk | Schools | The Guardian

  17. #417
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    Yawn. Cyrille posts another Guardian opinion piece. Yawn.

    Is that really all you’ve got? It does show how utterly dull your life must be.

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    boris the clown gave a typically rambling speech at a school library yesterday.




    at least one librarian sees him for what he is, because among the books prominently displayed behind him are, "fahrenheit 451", "betrayed", "the twits", "glass houses", "the subtle knife", and "the resistance"

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    ...you absolute horse fart...



    ...terrifying limbless chickens...


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    ^
    He can't be fully right in his head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    The Russkies know where the rotten core of western capitalism is.
    Which is why they have embraced it with such enthusiasm.

  22. #422
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switch View Post
    Yawn. Cyrille posts another Guardian opinion piece. Yawn.

    Is that really all you’ve got? It does show how utterly dull your life must be.
    And switch doesn't post an article at all, which under the same premise, means he leads an empty life...

  23. #423
    Hangin' Around cyrille's Avatar
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    How many times will he post the same shit before that penny drops?

  24. #424
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    How many times will he post the same shit before that penny drops?
    You keep posting bollox and prove what an idiot you are. I will digest media without the need to tell everyone how dim they must be for not following your creed of envy.
    Pointing out what a dummy you are is quite easy, and has few if any disadvantages.
    Unlike you I have no overpowering need to inform the rest of the world that, they must be stupid because they don’t read your guardian diatribes.
    You are unable to form sentences without help, so you can’t resist re-posting an opinion that someone else thought of first.
    You and your guardianista opinions are not needed here. Do try to find something useful to contribute, or shut the fuck fuck up you boring pillock.

  25. #425
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    Another week of BoJo furiously u-turning and trying to escape blame. He visited a school yesterday, and got some serious cold-shoulder treatment. What a shameless shit stain he is.

    Boris Johnson has found a new role for Britain’s most endangered transport mode, the bus. He throws civil servants under it. After decapitating the Foreign Office and Cabinet Office, he has rid himself of Public Health England and those he regards as to blame for recent exam U-turns, Sally Collier of Ofqual and Jonathan Slater of the Department for Education. They have gone to save the skin of that Nureyev of U-turns, Gavin Williamson.


    Mind-changing has become the leitmotif of Johnson’s government. Derision would greet him if he used Margaret Thatcher’s boast to a Tory conference: “The Johnson’s not for turning.” The Guardian has kept a tally of 11 U-turns, from lockdowns and quarantines to school exam results, key-worker visas and Huawei’s role in 5G.


    There is nothing wrong in U-turns. As Keynes reputedly said: “When events change I change my mind.” In the case of coronavirus, Johnson’s apologists can plead that everything has been unexpected and events constantly in flux. Governments initially floundered across Europe. In such circumstances, a U-turn may be a disaster averted.


    But almost a dozen U-turns looks like carelessness. Johnson’s constant reversion to “the science” has now left the political roadway piled with wreckage. When he is not pursued by viruses he is tormented by the Furies of the age, algorithms. Once he – or perhaps his amanuensis Dominic Cummings – adored them. Now they rank with civil servants in his demonology. His most spectacular U-turn, into total lockdown on 23 March, was ascribed to an Imperial College algorithm worthy of the KGB’s finest hackers. It told him that if he refused to U-turn, 500,000 Britons “might die”. Johnson is now said to be furious.


    At this point the boundary between being informed by science and being scared witless becomes academic. The issue is whether science is “on top or on tap”. Do its often spurious certainties diminish political responsibility? In his explanation of his U-turn over school face masks, Williamson contrived both to blame the science and insist it was his decision. To the BBC on Wednesday, the education secretary cited the World Health Organization, “evidence” and “advice”. In reality his decision was led by a policy change in Scotland.


    In the case of the A-levels fiasco, Johnson this week blamed another algorithm, this time a “mutant” one. Ministers were warned what would happen if they let a machine warp A-levels’ crooked timber of mankind. They ignored the warning and ordered the machine to avoid grade inflation. It obeyed.


    A similarly “mutant” algorithm has apparently seized Johnson’s now obsessively centralised housing policy, threatening to build over miles of Tory countryside in the south-east. Lobbyists for the construction industry told the algorithm to follow the market, and again it obeyed.


    These algorithms are no more “mutant” than civil servants. They are programmed to inform the powers that be on the fiendish job of running a modern country. They cannot be accused of conspiring to undermine the government of the day. At present they must struggle to infer the objectives of a leaderless government that constantly changes its mind. The only “mutation” just now is in the prime minister’s head.


    The art of government is that of handling advice. Followers of the satirical television series, Yes, Minister, thought it showed how civil servants always got their way. It did not. It showed bureaucratic efficiency and elected politicians in perpetual tension, with the outcome a compromise, an equilibrium. But the result was ministers nowadays feeling they must surround themselves with inexperienced “special advisers”.


    A loyal civil service is vital to good government, be it radical or conservative. I suspect a future coronavirus inquiry will conclude that senior officials found themselves squeezed out of a shouting match between government scientists and panicking politicians. NHS medics at first dictated policy, demanding ministers tell the public to “protect your NHS” – which ended up being at the expense of care homes and cancer patients. At risk of losing their jobs, civil servants stop telling truth to power. Policy wobbles and the steering wheels spin.


    There is no alternative in democratic government to ministerial responsibility, to an iron chain linking the electorate to parliament and cabinet. A growing body of Tory backbenchers are reportedly worried at the lack of leadership implied by Johnson’s U-turns. The gossip is that a still sickly prime minister is showing little interest in decision-making and largely out of the loop. Trump-like, he craves nightly appearances on television where we see him dressed in worker’s garb, waffling to “the people” in some distant province.


    An old maxim holds that leaders be judged not by their brilliance but by the quality of those around them. Their “court” is their first line of defence against the daily bombardment of advice and pressure. Under Johnson that court is composed of a tiny group of cronies, inexperienced and clearly bereft of the talents of those he has dismissed. He is Henry VIII awaiting his Hilary Mantel.


    This matters because the decision about to face Britain is far more serious in the long-term than any virus. It is over how to agree frictionless dealings with our immediate trading neighbours in Europe. I am reliably told there is not a single person within the penumbra of Downing Street remotely up to the job of such negotiation.

    These U-turns show Johnson is not informed by science but scared witless by it | Simon Jenkins | Opinion | The Guardian

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