31 October 2020

Lockdown 2

The government should have implemented this back in September, but were clearly too scared of being seen as a failure. Now a lot more people will die and we will face a lot more economic damage.

I also upset at the selfish minority who cannot obey simple instructions and have helped bring about the rise in cases that means I will have to spend the next four weeks at home.

Shame on the lot of you.

Sir Sean Connery 1930-2020

The first cinematic 007 has died aged 90

Arguably one of the greatest actors of his generation - and for many Scots, a national legend.

Rest in Peace.

24 October 2020

Polish court criminalises abortion

The decision by Poland's top courts that abortion due to foetal defects is unlawful as it violates their constitution is manifestly wrong.

I'm not the most comfortable with terminations for social reasons, but I believe that a ban does more harm than good. However, if the foetus is so badly deformed that their life will very short if they survive at all, I would support a termination without hesitation. It's not fair to make any woman give birth to a dead child like that.

Poland is slipping into autocracy and reaction. The EU must act.

17 October 2020

Coronavirus #20: On circuit breakers

With cases continuing to rise in the UK, calls have been made for a temporary "circuit-breaker" lockdown to 'reset' the pandemic back a month and create an opportunity to fix Test and Trace. Here are my thoughts on this: 

  • I am not sure how fixable Test and Trace actually is; there is a fundamental lack of engagement with the system from much of the public. But there are things that can be done.
  • We need to stop cases rebounding after any circuit breaker ends.
  • There are highly different rates of infection in different parts of the country, although there are rising cases in all of them.
  • A circuit breaker in the worst affected areas would be justified at the present time, especially with Halloween approaching. However, how much compliance there would be with it will be is unclear.
  • Money will be key in securing compliance; I am not sure how affordable this is considering the damage to the economy from the national lockdown.
  • Shutting schools would likely get R down below 1 on its own. A four-week half-term, with subsequent juggling of the rest of the school year to catch-up, would majorly reduce cases, with the added bonus that it would force many people to work from home.
  • A circuit breaker over Christmas would be very unpopular. One just before, however might just fly.
I would support a circuit breaker over October half-term, but we need something for beyond that.

03 October 2020

Coronavirus #19: Trump in hospital

I'm not taking anything the White House takes about Trump's condition at face value. I believe he has it, but I'm wondering just how bad it actually is as you don't go from positive to hospital that quickly.

Also, the "72 hours" comment at the press conference today raises massive questions about what Trump knew and when, because he was campaigning on the days before Friday.