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Thread: Moving Goalposts

I dont actually think wider school openings are a distraction from the #cummmings story, though many other relaxation of lockdown might be

Gov spent more time briefing school plans to media than they did the unions

Full facts⬇️
In summary: government never wanted or planned for school closures, they got pressured into it.
2 weeks into lockdown sources started briefing dates to media
After Easter holiday
11th May
1st of June
All were floated while DfE refused to engage in meaningful consultation
Unions cited reasons these dates might not work, international comparisons were sought
How likely are children to be infected?
How likely are they to transmit infection?
Social distancing will be difficult perhaps impossible
Infection rates are too high
We need TTI first
Gov said children are less likely to be infected, that children are less likely to transmit infection. Their statements were based on the science, but they spent ages refusing to show the science. Media attacked the NEU for not trusting the government.
However we continued, if a student says theyve done their homework but left it at home we dont just tick them off for work completed, we ask to see it the next day, in this case the day after, and after and after. Then they finally did publish the science

Children appear as likely to be infected though more likely to be asymptomatic or have mild symptoms. Younger children might have slightly less viral load but evidence is inconclusive.
SAGE multi scenario modelling all predicted a noticeable impact on RO roughly 0.3
These were all accounting for high levels of adherence to social distancing,inside and out of school.
Unions had said effective social distancing in schools required serious consideration and wanted to collaborate with gov to plan how to manage this as happened in other countries
So what did the government do?
Set out guidence that social distancing wasnt needed in primary schools, problem solved as far as they are concerned.

SAGE said TTI was essential before easing lockdown. Gov suddenly announce it would be ready to start on 1st of June. Convenient?
It was pointed out that it needed to be well established first and 1st of June wouldnt be good enough to iron out the creases.
Government moved the release date forward, now this could also have been useful to try and divert the media narrative around Cummings
2 birds 1 stone
However there was still that pesky RO + infections number that the gov originally said would determine changing lockdown phases, remember Johnsons annimated graphics on his first briefing after sickness? They never told us what those benchmark figures would be did they?
But dont worry there was an indepentant body the Joint Biosecurity council which sets the Alert level and would determine when it was safe.

They have abandoned that the moment it became inconvenient
Unions wanted heads to decide which students would be back.
Gov decided on receptions and year 1, year groups most likely to prevent parents going to work if the students arent in school. The vital need for these year groups goes counter to the Danish and other countries the ..
gov claims to be mirroring as most countries dont even start formal education until 7 or 8.

SAGE and the unions both said rotas would be safer and could also allow more students the chance to have face to face teaching, however this doesn't help parents get back to work
So the government scrapped rotas in their guidence.
Its quite clear the decision was made quite a while ago and regardless of the science they have warped every fact moves every goalposts to get what they want regardless of the risk. It appears they still dont care about experts
Now despite the Govs rhetoric and PR of 'cautious,modest,phased baby steps' 5 SAGE scientists are speaking up in the media against the government's plans, advisors in briefings are pointing out this is a political decision and we are in a precarious situation regarding s 2nd peak
Independent SAGE also released a report on schools and did a Q&A on schools.
The economic and educational arguements for the governments plans are a false economy, a 2nd peak means more lockdown and economic and educational damage than waiting a few weeks
I think realising they could tip us straight into a 2nd peak and another lockdown is why they also announced this week that they would be moving to local lockdowns, well 'additional measures' they tend to try and avoid saying 'lockdown'.
Soon there will be no more lockdown
How quickly will they respond to RO going over 1 in regions?How good is their data and TTI to detect outbreaks before they get out of hand?How will this be decided, centrally or will local government be allowed to make the call?Will local measures be as late as original lockdown?
The government decides months ago their measure of success would be NHS bed capacity, as long as there is space in the Nightingales will they carry on regardless?Think we know,they did change their 5th test from stopping a 2nd peak to 'stopping a 2nd peak that overwhelms the NHS'
It feels a lot like they are getting back on course to their original plan, how much was herd immunity the actually strategy or if that was a convenient arguement to keep the economy running regardless of risk to life we cant say for certain.
But since they were blown off course by a lockdown they didnt want or plan for they have been seeking to get back on course within weeks of the lockdown beginning.
Get everyone back to work, the ppl can take the risk and schools were always going to be key to that
With escalating the timeframe for easing lockdown by the end of June we could be following the same path Sweden has, the difference being at least Sweden have the decency to be more honest to their people about their plans. Wont even be the Swedish model. just a caricature
Many have fetishized Sweden misunderstanding the strategy as embracing herd immunity rather than the expression of economic and personal freedoms that it is. However there are safety measures that although voluntary have a very high rate of compliance. It wont work as well here
The government strategy risks a lot more deaths and it's clear they arent following the science, but how much does that matter anymore in the media? The ground has been prepared, arguements will sound very similar to elements of referendum/GE debate or climate change.
The counter arguements are already in place
Scientists dont agree-how many have come out with the same full throated agreement as those SAGE members have spoken out against the government?
Some media sources still claim children dont transmit to adults at all
The education arguement: holding off for a few weeks will cause less damage to education than another round of lockdowns in many regions from a second peak.
Blunkett said the disadvantage gap has grown by 10 years, this is now quoted as fact but I havent seen an evidence base
Of course I'm worried about education, I specifically work with many disadvantaged and vulnerable teenage boys involved in youth justice&violence reduction schemes being groomed by county lines gangs. However if the gov cared about these students they would provide the support
They arent doing FSM over summer, still havent sorted out laptops and routers,dont accept responsibility to cuts in social services,CAHMS, councilling,rehabilitative youth justice,sure start etc
Will they reverse the real terms £14billion cuts to education?Invest in communities?
15k support staff jobs have been cut, we have a teacher recruitment crisis and unfilled trainee spaces, an SEND crisis a marketised education system that sees 10s of 1000s of students off rolled disproportionately impacting the vulnerable and disadvantaged.
What's a few weeks on or off school going to do for these pupils compared to a system that according to the last international PISA report is widening inequalities?

Full explanation of austerity marketisation and corruption here⬇️(warning its long)
Mental health arguement: I think it was 2015 when I seconded @HelenPorter1853's motion at the ATL conference on male mental health and suicide which tragically is the main cause of death in young men. Besides platitudes what has the gov actually done to address mental health?
I have campaigned against an
education svstem that sees rising
mental health issues in staff and
students and for reversing cuts to
CAHMS, the government's response
has been even more high stakes testing and excessive
Facts on SATs⬇️
Also campaigned against insecure housing and insecure low paid employment,having had to live with this as a child and adult I can say for certain this can have major impacts on mental health. Money doesnt make you happy but poverty without hope on the horizon can be soul crushing
Economic arguement: more will die from a recession
That's pretty hard to quantity and model in a thread I will link later there is research of recessions through out the world from past 100+ years. Recessions dont kill people, poor policy choices by politicians in response do.
If this is an unprecedented global crisis, then we can take once in a life time measures. Why is no one talking about international debt write offs, reset the debt based world economy, burst potential bubbles that will cause the next recessions and crashes.
Free developing nations from the debt burdens that have been laden on them, allow them the means to prosper independently without the undue pressure of profit seeking asset stripping global corporations, the economic growth and wealth generated will benefit the whole world
Financial markets need reimagining, how much profit and investment is dedicated to the equivalent of high view speculative gambling, stocks were originally created to draw in investment for industrial projects that improved living conditions and advanced science and engineering
We now even have algorithmic high frequency trading where computers dredge money from the markets in the digital equivalent of insider trading.
GDP is a crude measure, rises mainly detached from real living standards however it measures economic activity not money in the system.
The strength of an economy isnt how much money is in the system, its the flow of money in the system. Like blood those parts of the body it doesnt reach will atrophy and die and money that sits idle can be the economic equivalent of a blood clot.
Doesnt matter how much money ..
the super rich have if no one else has any money to spend. Trickle down economics is real, you just need to turn the diagram the other way round, when normal people spend money it trickles through the system and ends up in the reservoirs of the rich.
If money is blood then Tax Havens are tumour, draining away nutrients without supporting the body
Article below is old but current estimates are around £23trillion is stored in tax havens. This is more than the global cost of the Covid crisis.…
I'm not even arguing for an end to capitalism, just a reset, a renewal to redirect the focus and flow of money to deal with the challenges as we enter an age of resources scarcity and approach a crux bottleneck in human history that we will either overcome or destroy ourselves
Do not fall for the false choice you are being asked to make, X Covid deaths vs Y economic damage, it is the creation of those whose options have been limited by ideology, vested interests and a lack of pragmatic understanding.
Many are now willing to accept the idea of 500 deaths a day for a sustained period that they would have baulked of 3 months ago
How did we get to this point?

Consent was manufactured and heres how I said it would be done⬇️
How close was my prediction?
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