Christ, this is flawed. You see: I'd have done what Aaron would've done. But we're both wrong. VERY wrong.

What happens to children when you remove all daily structure and social contact from their lives?

What happens to children whose parents don't have internet access?
What happens to children when you spend THIS length of time making them feel afraid of everything?

What happens to children whose parents can't magically keep them homeschooled over this length of time?
What happens to parents who can't work because their children are never at school?

How can the left - THE LEFT! - be this oblivious to what would happen to poorer children if none of them went to school until a vaccine had been distributed?
We think we have all the answers. Invariably, our answers are couched in ideology and dogma. But we don't. Life just ain't that simple - and Covid-19 is the most complex challenge we've all faced since the war.

And yes, it has come down to cold headed, very hard decisions.
If Covid did kill young people in at all significant numbers, of course they wouldn't have gone back to school. But it doesn't.

If young kids weren't likely to be horribly psychologically affected, they'd have been expected to wear masks in school too. But they would be.
Schools up and down the UK have done everything they can to accommodate what are truly unique circumstances,

But we on the left arrogantly ignore the realities of daily life for most families at our peril. Life *does* need to go on.
During lockdown, how many children were stuck without a proper meal and living in horrendous environments with abusive parents? Do we care about that? If so, then oh look: IT'S NOT SIMPLE.

As a result of the way the world's changed, how many jobs have been lost?
Do we think fewer would be somehow lost if we were in permanent lockdown? What do we think happens to people who lose their jobs and are cripped for the long term? Oh look: IT'S NOT SIMPLE.
When an economy is systematically wrecked by something like this, what do we think happens to the poorest? Do we think it's all milk and honey for them or something? But then, we've already displayed our ignorance on that by, in many cases on the left, supporting Brexit. Genius.
It's not simple. It's never been simple. And for all that our government is outrageously incompetent and should be in the dock, it's a mess in Spain and a mess in France too.

These have been totally uncharted waters for everyone.
And the difference between Keir Starmer and Boris Johnson is: Johnson is ignoring the science. Starmer is listening to it. The moment the SAGE advice was leaked, Starmer responded. Johnson didn't. Starmer showed leadership; Johnson played Russian roulette with the whole country
Listening to the science is the EXACT OPPOSITE of the kind of doctrinaire ideology we think we can just impose on the entire country regardless of circumstances.

The arrogance of the approach of some people on here is breathtaking. And just plain ignorant.

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More from @shaunjlawson

16 Oct
Here's what a credible media would be asking the Prime Minister:

- Why did you lie to the British people at the election? How was that election legitimate given you won it because of that lie?

- Why have you ignored your own scientific experts? How many will die as a result?
- Why are you imposing massive fines on ordinary people while your advisor gets away with it?

- Why did your advisor avoid council tax?

- Why have you spent billions of public money on a track and trace system that doesn't work and is run by your cronies in the private sector?
- The polls suggest Joe Biden is heading for a landslide victory. He's already said he won't give the UK a free trade deal if we have no deal with the EU. What are you going to do about that?

- Do you think a nation of 67m is more powerful than one of 330m and a bloc of 445m?
Read 4 tweets
16 Oct
From my book last year.

Where was the media? What the hell was it doing? ImageImage
Seriously. How can you spend an entire referendum campaign ignoring anything that actually matters and obsessing with everything that doesn't - and then spend the shambolic years afterwards doing the exact same thing, again?
In the campaign, there was:

- No mention of the impact on Northern Ireland
- Nonsense that we could be like 'Switzerland' or 'Norway'
- No mention of what a customs union even was
- No mention that we can't have tariff-free access AND leave the single market
Read 5 tweets
15 Oct
This is very very good.…
This resonated in particular:

Since 2008 the number of American men under 30 reporting no sex has nearly tripled... [in an] increasingly winner-takes-all sexual marketplace generated by the retreat of monogamous norms and an increasingly polygynous, app-dominated hookup culture"
"While it’s important not to slip into victim-blaming rhetoric that sees the problem as women’s sexual freedom, the challenges facing unattractive, low-status men seem hardly to register on Bates’s radar".

Indeed. And it's not just a challenge there either. It's emotional too.
Read 11 tweets
15 Oct
This is a really interesting discussion. Kudos to both Grace and Aaron for that. 👍

But there are questions and doubts in my head. Aaron refers to the first one here: is there some limit we face in terms of debt, or isn't there?
There isn't if you control the world's reserve currency, like the US. There probably hasn't been while the UK economy was a safe haven from the euro, and one of the four or five strongest economies in the world.

But now? After the disaster of austerity and with No Deal Brexit?
Grace talks about power relations. Ratings agencies have absurd, unaccountable amounts of power... but won't the UK automatically face problems, big ones, if the agencies downgrade us?

At a much much lower level, Uruguay would be screwed without its investment grade rating.
Read 27 tweets
11 Oct
THREAD: The big picture.

This has been a dark year, at the end of the darkest four years many of us have ever known in Western politics.

It's not just been about right wingers enriching themselves and impoverishing everyone else - it's been the triumph of lies over reason.
Fake news. Dark money and even darker data use. Fears exploited; science and evidence ignored.

"Where?", we wondered, "is all this leading?" For huge chunks of that time, the answer has looked like: "Fascism. The end of democracy. The return of the nightmare years".
The post-mid-1990s liberal left had a lot to answer for that. Because when you abandon millions and millions of people - when you cosy up to big business and except neoliberalism with all its excesses - where do you expect them to go? What do you expect them to do?
Read 58 tweets
10 Oct
In Uruguay, which has one of the best records in the world in fighting Coronavirus, the salaries of all public workers - including the President, his ministers, all MPs, but excluding medical workers - earning over 80,000 pesos a month were CUT by between 5% and 20% from March.
In the UK, which has one of the worst records in the world in fighting Coronavirus, MPs are on the verge of receiving not one, but TWO inflation-busting pay rises during the course of the pandemic.

These things are not coincidental. To put it mildly.
Uruguay is a VERY expensive country and 80,000 pesos a month, especially before tax, is not a huge salary at all.

But the example of solidarity was set from the top down. "If we're going to ask you to make sacrifices, so will we".
Read 5 tweets

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