Coronavirus - do you trust the UK Government to make the right decisions ?

Coronavirus - do you trust the UK government to make the right decisions?

  • Yes

    Votes: 120 28.2%
  • No

    Votes: 306 71.8%

  • Total voters
    426

richp007

Distinguished Member
I just read Johnson's Mail article:


How the **** did Johnson gain a reputation as a great communicator? His metaphors are mixed, clumsy and cliched. His prose is verbose and convoluted. His claims are contradictory - we're simultaneously on top of the virus, thanks to his government's delayed interventions, and besieged.

"We are so nearly out of our captivity. We can see the sunlit upland pastures ahead. But if we try to jump the fence now, we will simply tangle ourselves in the last barbed wire..."

One of the worst things I've ever read in my life. Ruined my dinner to be honest.

When he talks/writes he imagines the entire country is Hugh Laurie's George from Blackadder Goes Forth.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
I just read Johnson's Mail article:


How the **** did Johnson gain a reputation as a great communicator? His metaphors are mixed, clumsy and cliched. His prose is verbose and convoluted. His claims are contradictory - we're simultaneously on top of the virus, thanks to his government's delayed interventions, and besieged.

"We are so nearly out of our captivity. We can see the sunlit upland pastures ahead. But if we try to jump the fence now, we will simply tangle ourselves in the last barbed wire..."


He is a great communicator in relation to the general British public.

I have personally always found he has come across as clumsy and incompetent, with far too much British bravado and nationalism, and not enough calculated intelligent points. He always hides behind more generalised notions and concepts rather than addressing critical points.

His political intelligence lies in his simplcity, and knowing his simplicity appeals to 60% of people. For example, Brexit.. 'lets just get it done'. I mean how stupid is that. He knows the general public are fed up with Brexit, fed up hearing about it, but 'lets just get it done', is pathetic and stupid. Rather than discuss the financial and social complications and implications of Brexit, by saying he'll 'get it done', everyone; or at least the majority of the general population are happy.

Its really genius and I see a lot of parallels behind his appeal, and Trump's in America.


I will gather a fair % of the population could easily fall into 'Britian's back' when we 'fight the virus' and 'gain our freedom back' with the 'best in class testing, track and trace system' and our 'UK branded vaccine roll out'.

This kind of language somehow works on a lot of people and they suffer amnesia and forget about a lot of the shortcomings.



TLDR: Its just politics :(
 

chalk40

Well-known Member
He is a great communicator in relation to the general British public.

I have personally always found he has come across as clumsy and incompetent, with far too much British bravado and nationalism, and not enough calculated intelligent points. He always hides behind more generalised notions and concepts rather than addressing critical points.

His political intelligence lies in his simplcity, and knowing his simplicity appeals to 60% of people. For example, Brexit.. 'lets just get it done'. I mean how stupid is that. He knows the general public are fed up with Brexit, fed up hearing about it, but 'lets just get it done', is pathetic and stupid. Rather than discuss the financial and social complications and implications of Brexit, by saying he'll 'get it done', everyone; or at least the majority of the general population are happy.

Its really genius and I see a lot of parallels behind his appeal, and Trump's in America.


I will gather a fair % of the population could easily fall into 'Britian's back' when we 'fight the virus' and 'gain our freedom back' with the 'best in class testing, track and trace system' and our 'UK branded vaccine roll out'.

This kind of language somehow works on a lot of people and they suffer amnesia and forget about a lot of the shortcomings.



TLDR: Its just politics :(

Excellent summary. On the money.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Another flouting his new found wealth



I don't know how I feel about this.

There are bound to be people who did well out of COVID. Did he do a good job? Did he deliver what he promised to the government? If so, then I don't think theres much we can hate him about.

Now if it was underhanded deals between friends to land fake contracts and they launder out the money, thats a different story.

In every tragedy, sadly there will be people who profit and those that don't, similar with wars.

I know people who sold weights and sports equipment, who made their yearly salary in one month.
 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
I don't know how I feel about this.

There are bound to be people who did well out of COVID. Did he do a good job? Did he deliver what he promised to the government? If so, then I don't think theres much we can hate him about.

Now if it was underhanded deals between friends to land fake contracts and they launder out the money, thats a different story.

In every tragedy, sadly there will be people who profit and those that don't, similar with wars.

I know people who sold weights and sports equipment, who made their yearly salary in one month.

The key issue relates to transparency. How were PPE contracts awarded? what price was paid? what was the selection criteria? The Good Law Project has already identified that a ‘VIP channel’ was set up with those in the inner circle being given preference. Based on some of cases identified by GLP it’s apparent that companies with little or no experience have been selected, in some cases failing to deliver the correct specification items and also at a higher price than other experienced suppliers.

Given the government’s resistance to provide information on how these PPE contracts have been awarded there is a suspicion that some contracts will not hold up to scrutiny (that’s being kind for what appears to be cronyism)

The GLP are still awaiting more information despite several requests as such, they’re taking the government to court in January. More details should become available, to date there are still £4Billion of contracts unaccounted for.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
The key issue relates to transparency. How were PPE contracts awarded? what price was paid? what was the selection criteria? The Good Law Project has already identified that a ‘VIP channel’ was set up with those in the inner circle being given preference. Based on some of cases identified by GLP it’s apparent that companies with little or no experience have been selected, in some cases failing to deliver the correct specification items and also at a higher price than other experienced suppliers.

Given the government’s resistance to provide information on how these PPE contracts have been awarded there is a suspicion that some contracts will not hold up to scrutiny (that’s being kind for what appears to be cronyism)

The GLP are still awaiting more information despite several requests as such, they’re taking the government to court in January. More details should become available, to date there are still £4Billion of contracts unaccounted for.

I agree with you completely. I just don't think singling out a single person as a villain (which I feel that tweet is doing) is fair either without knowing the facts. Maybe he is apart of the corruption (in which case it should be addressed and sorted by the proepr means) but maybe he isn't and is simply a good businessman who made a really good deal with the government for PPE.

The best thing to do is launch a thorough comprehensive analysis of the situation and see where the government went wrong IMO before singling out people without the proper evidence of wrongdoing.

I find posting about people's personal financial triumphs without clear evidence of any wrong-doing (as opposed to good business decision made by this party) is..... like a higher-end middle-class version of the Sun when they post about Marcus Rashford buying a few properties up.

I am not for one moment doubting
a) people made money from COVID
b) there is an element of corruption going on in how the government money was used to buy contracts

However I think without clear definitive proof, I do not want to think for every single case, these two factors always co-exist, as it can end up with innocent parties being given a lot of negative flack for simply being good at business.
 

kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
PS maybe I missed something and there is clear definitive proof in that tweet that he has been involved in a shadey scandle and stole money from the public.. in which case ignore my post lol.
 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
I agree with you completely. I just don't think singling out a single person as a villain (which I feel that tweet is doing) is fair either without knowing the facts. Maybe he is apart of the corruption (in which case it should be addressed and sorted by the proepr means) but maybe he isn't and is simply a good businessman who made a really good deal with the government for PPE.

The best thing to do is launch a thorough comprehensive analysis of the situation and see where the government went wrong IMO before singling out people without the proper evidence of wrongdoing.

I find posting about people's personal financial triumphs without clear evidence of any wrong-doing (as opposed to good business decision made by this party) is..... like a higher-end middle-class version of the Sun when they post about Marcus Rashford buying a few properties up.

I am not for one moment doubting
a) people made money from COVID
b) there is an element of corruption going on in how the government money was used to buy contracts

However I think without clear definitive proof, I do not want to think for every single case, these two factors always co-exist, as it can end up with innocent parties being given a lot of negative flack for simply being good at business.
Indeed. The government can and should make available the details of the procurement criteria however, it has resisted the attempts to get full disclosure of where the tax payers money has been spent despite being legally obligated to do so. We have seen some from the evidence obtained by GLP that some of the contracts are dubious. What is required is a full disclosure and a public enquiry into this matter. Billions have been spent and the public has every right to know the details. As per the posts earlier, one issue that is worrying is that the likes of Gove are trying to curtail the freedom of information. This is troublesome in its own right but doubly so, if it’s to avoid disclosing details of these types of contracts.
I have shared this before but let’s remind ourselves how some these connections work...
550BC5FE-61C4-4B34-89AF-8E50FA695253.jpeg
 
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kenshingintoki

Distinguished Member
Indeed. The government can and should make available the details of the procurement criteria however, it has resisted the attempts to get full disclosure of where the tax payers money has been spent despite being legally obligated to do so. We have seen some from the evidence obtained by GLP that some of the contracts are dubious. What is required is a full disclosure and a public enquiry into this matter. Billions have been spent and the public has every right to know the details. As per the posts earlier, one issue that is worrying is that the likes of Gove are trying to curtail the freedom of information. This is troublesome in its own right but doubly so, if it’s to avoid disclosing details of these types of contracts.
I have shared this before but let’s remind ourselves how some these connections work...
View attachment 1413029


As I said, I don't disagree with you at all.

Politics has been corrupt since its conception and I have no doubt in my mind that this country's political system is not an exception.
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
The key issue relates to transparency. How were PPE contracts awarded? what price was paid? what was the selection criteria? The Good Law Project has already identified that a ‘VIP channel’ was set up with those in the inner circle being given preference. Based on some of cases identified by GLP it’s apparent that companies with little or no experience have been selected, in some cases failing to deliver the correct specification items and also at a higher price than other experienced suppliers.

Given the government’s resistance to provide information on how these PPE contracts have been awarded there is a suspicion that some contracts will not hold up to scrutiny (that’s being kind for what appears to be cronyism)

The GLP are still awaiting more information despite several requests as such, they’re taking the government to court in January. More details should become available, to date there are still £4Billion of contracts unaccounted for.

Why do we have to rely on a crowd funded legal team to hold the government to account? If not for The Good Law Project, would any action be taken at all?

No wonder the government's blocking freedom of information requests.
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
I do not want to think for every single case, these two factors always co-exist, as it can end up with innocent parties being given a lot of negative flack for simply being good at business.

When there's no expertise, or history of procurement in the relevant area, something doesn't seem to add up. Let's remember, this government snubbed many UK companies with specialist experience. Why weren't these companies fast tracked as VIPs?
 

Nick74

Distinguished Member
Again you'd think they might have the intelligence to say nothing and spend nothing until there's some clear air.

That assumes they give a flying **** what we (the public) think.

Right now they feel invincible, and they're working systematically to remove checks and balances. I'm sure they believe they're untouchable. They're probably right.

If one domino falls, however...
 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
The UK spent £10 billion extra in inflated prices for pandemic-battling PPE due to an “inadequate” stockpile and a surge in global demand, a report has concluded. The lack of government planning and inaction not only endangered lives but, also cost the tax payers...

‘UK paid 1,300% more for PPE due to “inadequate” stockpile‘

‘Of the 32 billion items of PPE procured between February and July, only 2.6 billion items were delivered to frontline organisations in that period, the NAO said, with demand so high in April and May that stock levels were “negligible” for most types of protection.

Shadow health minister Justin Madders said: “This report confirms that frontline workers didn’t have access to adequate PPE early on in the pandemic, putting them at unnecessary risk’

“There is no doubt that a significant reason for the shortage was the Government’s failure to prepare properly and take on board warnings about PPE stockpiles.”

 
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rustybin

Distinguished Member
One wonders if the decision not to have teachers / children wearing masks at the onset / at all, was down to Government failures to procure enough PPE?

And how many people have died as a result?
 

Miss Mandy

Moderator
One wonders if the decision not to have teachers / children wearing masks at the onset / at all, was down to Government failures to procure enough PPE?

Possibly, and stocks are still a massive issue now in some situations.
We've had to remove all dissections from our science curriculum as well as some of the A level chemistry practicals because we can't get hold of disposable gloves in the quantity we need for the students to be able to handle these things safely. We're also struggling to get hold of masks to provide to students and staff who need one.
Our suppliers say they just can't get hold of them quick enough to meet demand, as soon as the stock arrives it fulfills a previous order. That means either the NHS are being given priority over other sectors or there just still aren't enough stocks to go around.
 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
I have just had an update from our friends at GLP...


‘To bring judicial review proceedings you have to establish you have an arguable case. Courts have, in recent times, interpreted this as imposing a relatively high bar for judicial review proceedings; think of it as being shortlisted for a job. And if they think you cross that bar they give you ‘permission’.

We are pleased that we have now heard – in relation to two more sets of claims – that the High Court thinks our claims are arguable.

Last week we learned the Court has given Good Law Project and EveryDoctor permission to bring our challenge against its decision to award contracts to Pestfix, Ayanda, and Clandeboye. The Court gave us permission on some – but not all – of our grounds of complaint. So we have asked the Court for a short oral hearing in which we will make the case to be given permission on the others. That hearing will take place this Thursday 3rd December.

A few days later we heard we’ve also been granted permission to bring our challenge against the lucrative public affairs contract given to long-time associates of Michael Gove and Dominic Cummings at Public First.

In the Government’s summary grounds of defence, they do not even bother to argue that their decision to award the contract without competition was lawful. And their conduct does not seem to have thrilled the Court:

“The Defendant has provided no substantive response to the Claimant’s challenges, whether by way of pre-action correspondence or his Acknowledgement of Service, other than to state his intention to challenge the Claimant’s standing…The Defendant ought to have been able to indicate the general nature of his grounds of resistance in the Acknowledgment of Service.

“It is arguable that there was, at 3 March 2020, no extreme urgency within Regulation 32(2)(c) in respect of a contract for services of this nature”.


This case will be heard next year.

The Government’s arguments are wearing thin. Now it will have to come clean about what really happened.

It is only with your backing that we can continue to hold Government to account’

Jolyon Maugham QC
Director of Good Law Project
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Possibly, and stocks are still a massive issue now in some situations.
We've had to remove all dissections from our science curriculum as well as some of the A level chemistry practicals because we can't get hold of disposable gloves in the quantity we need for the students to be able to handle these things safely. We're also struggling to get hold of masks to provide to students and staff who need one.
Our suppliers say they just can't get hold of them quick enough to meet demand, as soon as the stock arrives it fulfills a previous order. That means either the NHS are being given priority over other sectors or there just still aren't enough stocks to go around.

Or they're sitting in shipping containers at the likes of Felixstowe.


Doing so much good sitting there.

I'm just glad we're on top of everything 9 months down the line.
 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
Interesting article in the FT about the government’s PPE procurement. The chief of the National Audit Office says ministers need to demonstrate why they picked the suppliers they did? His reports have found millions of pieces of PPE are unsuitable. Also, he does not rule out criminal abuse of the PPE procurement process. High praise indeed...

‘Watchdog calls for UK government to provide evidence for PPE contracts’

‘Ministers need to provide evidence for why multimillion-pound contracts for personal protective equipment went to certain suppliers in order to prevent “indefinite” public suspicion, the head of the UK’s public spending watchdog has warned.

The government spent billions of pounds during the spring on PPE to address an urgent shortage in the NHS and elsewhere, abandoning the usual competitive procurement in favour of buying gowns, masks and gloves in haste from many small companies.

Since then, however, it has emerged that many of the companies receiving huge contracts had no background in PPE, while some turned out to have links to the Conservative party.

A recent National Audit Office report revealed that suppliers put on a “VIP list” — through recommendations by ministers, MPs or senior officials — were 10 times more likely to receive contracts. A small family company of pest controllers, called Pestfix, received a deal worth £350m after being put on that list due to an “error”, the report disclosed.

Another NAO report last week disclosed that 195m pieces of PPE had turned out to be unusable while the government had ended up paying £10bn more than it would have done if it had bought the kit a year earlier.

The government is braced for further NAO reports into the much-criticised test and trace programme and into the government’s vaccine preparations next month.

Ministers and officials would have a public opportunity to set out the evidence behind those deals when the House of Commons’ public accounts committee opens an inquiry into PPE procurement next month.

The government has so far failed to provide evidence for how some companies ended up in the “high-priority channel” because officials and ministers did not document the sources for the referrals.

Asked whether any PPE procurement was open to criminal abuse, Mr Davies (NAO chief) chose his words carefully.
“We don’t have any evidence ourselves,” he said. “But the weaknesses in the processes we’ve set out and some of the ones we’ve already discussed means that we can’t give a positive audit view . . . we can’t give a positive assurance.”


Subscribe to read | Financial Times
 

SteveAWOL

Distinguished Member
:smoke:



 

Sammyez

Well-known Member
:smoke:



Not only does this contract appear dodgy there are concerns how exactly he got approval for the work given that he didn’t have the medical grade facilities in place?

I shared this recently:
New to the industry, Bourne has certainly displayed ingenuity. He initially did not have the “clean rooms” required for manufacturing medical products and so commissioned a series of inflatable rooms. He also paid a manufacturer of bouncy castles and blimps to make him a specially commissioned inflatable structure to unpack and decontaminate incoming supplies, which his lawyers described as a room that was intended to be “comparatively contamination-free” but “not medical-grade sterile”

It remains unclear precisely how, with no prior experience in the field, and without the pre-existing facilities in produce medical supplies, Bourne came to provide millions of test tubes via two distributors with pre-existing deals with the DHSC’
 

GoingGoingGone

Distinguished Member
Not only does this contract appear dodgy there are concerns how exactly he got approval for the work given that he didn’t have the medical grade facilities in place?

I shared this recently:
Shortly after 12pm last Friday, Bourne told the Guardian that he did not have CE marks for the empty vials he had been supplying. “The stuff I’ve been delivering since June did not require a CE mark,” he said.

Later the same day, however, a spokesperson for the DHSC said that Hinpack had received certification for its products. A government source said the products had only been approved “recently” and would be registered as such on the regulator’s website shortly. They refused to say when exactly the products were certified.

Let me guess when, I'd hazzard it was shortly after this story was being investigated...

The government source said that Hinpack vials were being supplied for use in Covid test kits, but would not be sent out to the public until the full regulatory approval had been achieved. Bourne has produced as many as 2m vials a week for NHS Covid tests since June.
So since June the vials were being bought but couldn't be used. Bit of a waste of £30 million then :(

Small fry though in the cronyism corruption stakes going on.
To paraphrase Churchill: Never in the field of human history have so many paid so much, to so few, for so little...
 

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