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Tin Ear over Corona Virus and Boris Johnson

(201 Posts)
POGS Thu 12-Mar-20 18:12:38

Having just watched in the last hour ' yet another ' government media speech by Boris Johnson, Professor Chris Witty and Sir Patrick Vallance to update the country over the COVID 19 virus I don't understand the copious amount of threads denigrating the government handling over the Corona Virus?

What problem do posters have with the government taking advice from and taking the lead from :-

Professor Chris Whitty who is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England, the UK government’s Chief Medical Adviser and head of the public health profession.

Chris Witty is also Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), with overall responsibility for the department’s research and development, including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).

Sir Patrick Vallance FRS FMedSci FRCP is Government Chief Scientific Adviser (GCSA) and Head of the Government Science and Engineering (GSE) profession. His personal research was in the area of diseases of blood vessels and endothelial biology.

I find it a peculiar situation that GN has thread after thread that calls the government and Boris Johnson idiots but there seems to equally be a perverse clamour of voices wanting Boris Johnson to make decisions.

It is like a collective suffering from a tin ear syndrome to the ' fact' that at every stage the government has taken the lead from the above and only Boris Johnson is referred to. If there are voices that accuse Johnson of not dealing with the outbreak then they are also ignoring the likes of Professor Chris Witty and Sir Patrick Valence, it a collective madness.

What is better the government working hand in glove with the ' experts' or Boris Johnson and the government making decisions unilaterally.

I don't get it.

Iam64 Wed 18-Mar-20 08:26:16

Catching up here and finding myself agreeing with MOnica's response to the polarised comments about the way the government is responding. Good quote from Pau Samuelson "Well when events change, I change my mind. What do you do".
I'm relieved the government is shifting its plans in response to expert advice and changing circumstances. I wish they'd done it a bit sooner but I don't have all the facts and I don't carry responsibility either.
My biggest concern is the lack of testing. I'm off to catch up with other threads as I suspect someone will have started a discussion on that.

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 08:53:28

I find it a peculiar situation that GN has thread after thread that calls the government and Boris Johnson idiots but there seems to equally be a perverse clamour of voices wanting Boris Johnson to make decisions.

I'm not sure that I have ever called Mr Johnson and idiot as I don't believe he is. However, I have criticised the ten years of Tory "austerity" and would still do so if it were appropriate.

The issue for me as that it isn't appropriate at this time. We are up against this virus at the moment and, as far as I am concerned, the current government are doing as well as any other government and, most importantly, are prepared to listen to and use the experts and keep telling us they are doing that. Isn't using Mr Johnson's name just shorthand?

I have no doubt that reviews will happen. We have been told we will have done well if we only have 20,000 deaths. There are still people who are denying it is a problem. We have a lot to live through before we start to criticise. I would rather get on with today at the moment; that is difficult enough for me and even more difficult for others.

Grandad1943 Wed 18-Mar-20 09:06:49

Further to my post @23:23 yesterday, I referred to the "can do" attitude we are all finding in the Road Haulage and Distribution industries

However, my grandson who is due to take his GCSEs exams in a few weeks is telling us that it is a "waste of time" going into his school at present due to the fact that so many teachers are self-isolating and in that giving many differing reasons for doing so.

It would also seem that in many subjects no online tuition is being offered and that students are being left to their own devices in preparation for their exams.

In the above, anyone can witness the difference in attitudes between such industries as Road Haulage who are stretching every option to keep going, and many of those in education who seem to wish to just "throw in the towel" and stay at home self-isolating without any thought for their students whatsoever.

Totally Disgusting.

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 09:10:22

Well done Grandad. Another attacking the educators. Of course, it's all their fault.

Totally Disgusting.

Grandad1943 Wed 18-Mar-20 09:23:39

GracesGranMK3 in regard to your post @09:10, I am not attacking the education industry in general, just individual members of it who most definitely wish to leave their jobs and "self-isolate" without wishing to ensure that at least a minimum of online education is available for their students.

This nation will come through this crisis in good order only if everyone does all they can to bring that situation about.

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 09:32:00

I expect they are trying to do their best Grandad, to ensure they don't pass anything on to their colleagues or the children. It will also be what they have been told to do. Maybe they are too ill to put up online work for young people; maybe they have been told not to. Who knows?

It's okay. Most people are very judgemental of those in education. You are just one more. I don't get it but it always happens. You have an opinion of what constitutes "all they can to bring that situation about". They are trying to do what they have been told is best but it is not what you believe they should be doing. You obviously know best.

I am glad you feel the road haulage industry is doing well. I rather think everyone is trying to.

GrannyLaine Wed 18-Mar-20 09:43:18


^Contrast the message from Giuseppe Conte ( pm of Italy)
“ distance ourselves today so we can embrace more lovingly tomorrow” , with BJ s “some of you will lose loved ones” - which is the more positive message?^

And which message best conveys exactly how serious this situation is??

endlessstrife Wed 18-Mar-20 09:44:30

What a horrible thing to say Grandad. I’m sad your grandson will be affected, as will thousands of others I’m sure, but the teachers are not “ going off “ for a laugh. This is a very sad and difficult time for all of us. I have ideas how perhaps things could have been done differently, but I’m no expert, and have to put our trust in those who are. Personally, I think Boris has been admirable so far, and hope he will continue to be.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 09:46:26

DIL had to contact parents of several children the other day to collect them from school because they were ill, showing symptoms. Still they have not shut the schools.
Many are struggling.

If gatherings of over a certain number are not allowed, how come schools, where there may be well over a thousand pupils plus staff, are not being closed?

Having GCSEs put on hold or whatever they decide to do is better than the alternative.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 09:56:06

The teachers who have self-isolated may well be working at home, if their symptoms are mild, to ensure that the education of their pupils can continue online if needs be.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 09:59:22

I should add that children could be termed as 'super germ spreaders' and that schools can be incubators of disease.

A lorry driver can remain, for the most part, isolated in his cab.

I have teachers and a lorry driver in the family, plus many medical staff.
I don't think this is the time to set one section of society against another.

Grandad1943 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:02:35

endlessstrife, in regard to your post @09:44 today, why are people bringing politics into this situation continuously. Boris Johnson and the government undoubtedly have a large role to play, but it will be people doing all they can by way of their working sector capacity that will see this nation through this crisis, and no other persons.

education has to play its role by ensuring that when teachers and physical lessons are not available due to this crisis, that the best alternative is available for students by way of online learning. The foregoing is certainly not happening here in North Somerset at present.

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:08:13

So as someone who is so knowledgeable of the education industry Grandad, what are the bottlenecks to them achieving this, what help can they be given and if those who are well are teaching who is going to put up the work for the children?

It just doesn't help to attack those who, like everyone else, are trying to do their best when you actually don't know the difficulties involved.

Grandad1943 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:11:29

Callistemon in regard to your above post, truck drivers are constantly going into distribution centres where there can be hundreds of staff, and retail outlets such as supermarkets etc where again they have to engage with bank staff etc.

Your statement that they are largely isolated in their cabs is quite frankly laughable. Only night trunk drivers fall into that category for they in the main only leave the cab to drop one trailer and hitch up another, but they are very much a minority.

Do you think trucks load and unload themselves in getting the food and all else you require to your supermarket etc

endlessstrife Wed 18-Mar-20 10:11:49

Yes, and I’m saying I’m sure people are doing all they can, whilst being led by our government and other experts.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 10:17:35

You know best about the transport industry Grandad.
I only know three truck drivers, sorry.

We have more medics and teachers in the family.

Grandad1943 Wed 18-Mar-20 10:18:06

GracesGranMK3 in regard to your post @10:08, there is a very old adage which states "where there is a will there is a way".

I believe the education sector in this country should push that adage more to the fore in this present unprecedented crisis.

trisher Wed 18-Mar-20 10:29:39

Grandad1943 if your grandson is really interested in continuing his GCSE work can I advise him to use the excellent BBC Bitesize site. Do you really not realise that it is actually impossible for individual teachers to contact or set work for any pupil unless they do it through the school's website and if the website is not equipped to deal with that the teacher can do nothing? There is also the issue of how many pupils would actually have access to on-line learning and the fact that some might be disadvantaged because they cannot do so.
As for teachers self-isolating isn't that what everyone with symptoms has been advised to do? And yes it is probably harder to set things in place in the education sector than it is in other areas but you should know that is because safeguards need to be put in place to protect vulnerable children. Can you imagine the outcry if some child was groomed by a paedophile who contacted them pretending to be a teacher and offering school work ?
My GS's school are currently surveying their pupils to see who would have access and be able to use on-line learning. I'm sure they are not the only school to be doing so, but to just react and do things without planning isn't advisable.
I suggest you save your ire for others and stop targetting teachers with whom you seem to have a problem.

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 11:02:08

I hope you read trisher's post, Grandad. What good do you think your criticism of the teachers will do? Except when it comes to them actually teaching and managing the classroom they have very little autonomy.

It will come and may be helpful in the future but I am sure there are those who don't think that deliveries are being made in a timely fashion and grumble because they don't know how it works and the limits - that may be overcome - because, just at the moment, it's not suiting them personally.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 11:12:35

is frankly laughable

You know best, of course, Grandad but truck drivers are, on the whole, not surrounded by thirty or more super spreaders of disease, often in very close contact.
Children may show only mild symptoms and we hope will be the least affected but that does not mean that their teachers will not possibly be badly affected.
If they show signs of the disease, do you honestly think that parents would be happy to have them still teaching their children in a closed environment?

It will be the same for all pupils, and arrangements will be made a a national level regarding these exams.

Dinahmo Wed 18-Mar-20 11:12:38

POGS The Chancellor didn't dream up his proposals in a vacuum. Nor did Macron. both will have taken advice from the members of their government - hence the contrast between Macron and Johnson.

Yes I do live in France. I am lucky, we retired here just over 10 years ago because we wanted a project. We live in a rural area and, up until now have had a fairly sociable life. We are able to get out into the garden - sun's shining today.

You may have seen on the tv news today that there are 100,000 police on the streets checking peoples' self certificates. We have to download these and tick boxes for the purpose of our travel. My OH has gone off to the doctor to pick up a prescription (he was able to ask for it on line). But the French are philosophical about it but I don't think the Brits would be quite so much. I'm not being judgmental here, just noting the difference between our two countries.

I think that there is a lot more that could be done. As various journos have been saying this morning, it's all very well the government talking about loans for business but they will have to be repaid and it is not the fault of the business people that they may need those loans. The self employed are going to suffer. I heard a woman this morning who does hair for people in care homes. Those homes have been closed and so her source of income has been wiped out. I actually have a client who does exactly the same thing but I haven't heard from her yet.

Callistemon Wed 18-Mar-20 11:31:21

On my FB page:

Dear Medical Professionals

We're so sorry that you're having to deal with everyone telling you how to do your job at the moment and that you have to watch the media come up with theories about a field in which they have absolutely no training or experience.

We feel your pain


School Teachers

Labaik Wed 18-Mar-20 11:33:56

Bit concerned that the government are lowering restrictions on how many hours lorry drivers can drive in an effort to keep supply chains going. Might it result in them falling asleep at the wheel?

trisher Wed 18-Mar-20 11:44:16

Callistemon Love it! grin

GracesGranMK3 Wed 18-Mar-20 11:55:51

Callistemon grin