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Category: Coronavirus

The Masque of the Red Death

The Masque of the Red Death

Who are you planning to kill this Christmas? Is there an aged aunt who you haven’t seen for a while? Perhaps your parents? If you’re young enough, maybe you have your grandparents in your sights. After all, it is the time to spread peace, goodwill and Covid-19 to all mankind. But, I hear you protest, you have no intention of spreading any disease and you would be horrified to think that you might. Of course you don’t and of course you would be.   And that’s…

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A Vaccine against Stupidity

A Vaccine against Stupidity

The government must hope that Pfizer’s vaccine announcement will overshadow the continued rumblings about Kate Bingham, Chair of the Vaccine Task Force and her expensive (and, judging by results, useless) PR consultants. She is due to leave in January, as originally planned. If you believe Hancock, that is. He’s fast becoming this government’s Marie-Antoinette. According to his latest interview, people paid £670,000 for 6 months’ work in government should be thanked as they have “given up” six months of their…

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Where are the defectors?

Where are the defectors?

From longstanding PBer & former LAB MP Nick Palmer I’ve been active in politics for over 50 years, and some things stay the same. The traditional themes – the economy, the NHS, relations with Europe. The reductionist media, simplifying every election to a choice of leaders. The conviction that the current moment is exceptional, and nothing will ever be the same again. But one traditional element has been missing in recent years. It used to be quite common for politicians…

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Home truths about Covid-19

Home truths about Covid-19

OK, time to take stock.  Covid-19 cases are rising again.  Where should we go from here?  Plenty of others will use the statistics to construct arguments for preferred courses of action.  I intend instead to focus on some big, simple and mostly unpalatable truths.   The tiered restrictions will likely only slow the growth of the virus   SAGE, our best-informed experts, believe that.  While they’ve hardly given a great account of themselves so far in this crisis, we have no reason…

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What is Sunak up to?

What is Sunak up to?

Sunak is seen as a possible successor should Boris decide to spend more time painting buses (assuming he’s not pushed under one first). Little wonder: a fresh face, unflustered, articulate and brilliant at PR, with a friendly nickname already (“Mr Yorkshire Tea”). Importantly, he has been in charge of the one government department which has behaved competently during the Covid crisis. The original plan may not have been adequate but Sunak was able to respond to concerns quickly, alter course…

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Working out Covid-19 and the political classes

Working out Covid-19 and the political classes

Let’s step outside the Westminster bubble.  What is really exercising people just now?  A good way of judging this is to look at what petitions are being put into Parliament.  And indeed, one petition has caught on this week like wildfire, with 358,000 signatures at the time of writing (10am on Saturday), comfortably the petition with the most signatories. No, it’s not Marcus Rashford’s petition.  It’s a politely-worded request to keep gyms open should Covid-19 cases spike.  To set this in context, it has…

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New polling finds 44% prepared to pay more tax to cover costs of COVID19

New polling finds 44% prepared to pay more tax to cover costs of COVID19

A wealth tax the most favoured way Given the huge extra government spending to deal with COVID19 and cover things like the billions which have gone on the test and trace system Ipsos-MORI finds 44% saying they are ready to pay more. But when it comes to what form of new taxation the preferred choice is a wealth tax that doesn’t exist at the moment. When asked who should pay a new wealth tax, the most popular is those with…

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In March 92% of CON members thought Johnson was handling the COVID19 crisis well – that’s now down to just 28%

In March 92% of CON members thought Johnson was handling the COVID19 crisis well – that’s now down to just 28%

CONHome poll blow for Boris The above data comes from the latest monthly survey by Conservative Home and shows a dramatic decline in the assessment of party members of Johnson’s handling of the crisis. From 92% saying he was dealing with it well in March the latest figure is down to just 28%. This, remember, comes from a group that you would expect to be loyal to the man that they elected as leader barely 15 months ago. Even in…

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