1/ Quite few high profile lefties retweeting a thread about what is said to be a suicide brought about by austerity. It can be tempting in a moment of anger and pity to retweet, but it's important also to remember the Samaritan guidelines on reporting samaritans.org/about-samarita…
2/ Yes, I know they are not 'reporting' exactly, but social media from people with lots of followers has much the same effect. The guidelines are there for a reason, and that's to ensure that people who are vulnerable are not made more vulnerable.
3/ So while I have no doubt that all those retweeting, in shock, pity and anger, do so with the best of motivations, it's important not to think first about what the direct impacts might be, however inadvertent.
4/ I hope this thread gets a few retweets, as it's actually quite important, especially at a time of social crisis, when so many of us are vulnerable.

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More from @Bickerrecord

14 Oct
1/ One of the things the govt seems to have absolutely no handle on at all is that the cases in universities are likely to be much, much higher than reported because of the roll-on nature of lockdowns in halls of residence and HMOs.
2/ If, for example, there are 8 people in a self-contained student hall, and one student tests +ve on day 1, the nature of consequential symptom development, and the staggering of the need to get tested, means that 14 lockdown can be extended again and again, so peer pressure....
3/...comes into play, whereby symptomatic student no.2 may get a test on day 3 of what is now a 16 day lockdown, but student no. 3 losing taste on day 5 is disinclined to report as they know that takes lockdown to 18 days.
Read 7 tweets
13 Oct
1/ I am not at all convinced that this is a 'genius' move, notwithstanding the short term credibility gained for being seen to offer an alternative in line with science.
2/ While presentationally it looks ok for now, the fact that Starmer has not made clear demands about how people and their workplaces must be protected financially through a circuit break period is a real problem, because it allows the Tories a get out.
3/ This get out is for Tories, in the absence of very clear economic demands, simply to say 'ok, have your circuit break, but the hardship coming to those red wall towns is all down to you', because you don't get the delicate balance' stuff.
Read 9 tweets
2 Sep
1/ As far as I can see, there has been no @uklabour critique of the Kickstart scheme, which opened for employer applications today. That's disappointing, but perhaps a bit predictable now. Anyway, here are the two massive problems with it.
2/ First, those eligible to take up placements (16-24 year olds) will be on universal credit. In most cases for this age group, people are expected to seek full-time work as a condition of any payment. Failure to comply leads to sanctions.
3/ But the Kickstart scheme funds for 25 hours per week (at the appalling minimum wage for that age group). So those employed under the scheme will still be faced by the need to search 10 top up hours, or face sanctions under the punitive UC regime.
Read 11 tweets
17 Mar
1/ I do not think the economic support package could possibly be any worse for public health. Fucking astonishing. It's simple geography. Let me explain
2/ I couldn't bear sound of Johnson's voice so took the dogs for a socially distanced walk through town, deciding to read up afterwards.
3/ This is a small trown, pop. 40,000, about six pubs in centre, one of them a 'Spoons, rest pretty small.
Read 9 tweets
8 Feb 19
So it looks like Labour leadership is moving into the final stage of its narrative pivot to a second referendum. At times it's not been a graceful group pivot (Gardiner not that mobile), but overall it's been effective in its stages:
1) It's your Brexit, Tories. Own it. But here are our tests
2) It's still your Brexit, Tories. Own it. And don't bugger about with No Deal
Read 6 tweets
11 Nov 18
Corbyn's silly mistake with Der Spiegel has thrown Labour's Brexit policy into the limelight, so maybe worth spelling out what that policy is, in broad response to the all the "Corbyn's a traitor and we always knew he was Hard Brexit" gubbins.

So a few points of clarity:
1) Corbyn knows little about the detail of Brexit. It's delegated to Keir Starmer, who does get the detail of Brexit. Obviously as leader he has to say something about it from time to time, and he got it wrong in Germany. That doesn't change Labour's substantive position.
2) Nor is McDonnell in charge of Brexit. Yes, he comes from somewhere close to a Lexit position, but he has recognized over time that is a non-starter, though he has pushed for a Lexiter-pleasing line on State Aid and procurement flex in any Labour negotiation for a CU/SM deal.
Read 12 tweets

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