Grateful to the @EveningStandard for encapsulating the right-wing case against further Covid restrictions in one neat paragraph.

But oh deary, deary me. What a paragraph.

The right seem to think of Covid as something that can be negotiated with. 1/7
"Tell you want, if we go to Tier 1, then maybe you can stop spreading exponentially - there's a good chap." Oddly, Covid is not playing ball.

Tier 1 has obviously failed to stop the rise in cases, so if we do nothing further, more and more people are going to get the virus. 2/7
Then there's the "unless there is real evidence the NHS is in danger of being overwhelmed." The evidence is the continued exponential growth. Here is @chrischirp with a projection that we are only weeks away from April levels of hospital admissions. 3/7
Of course we could wait until the NHS *does* get overwhelmed, but then lots of people will die, both from Covid AND from not receiving proper care for other conditions. Maybe... we should try to avoid that scenario...?

The point that the NHS was not overwhelmed in April is so mind-blowingly stupid it deserves a medal. The NHS wasn't overwhelmed BECAUSE WE WENT INTO HARD LOCKDOWN.

Meanwhile, if we do get back to a situation where 1,000 a day are dying, then a large number of people are... 5/7
... going to start avoiding pubs, restaurants, non-essential shops etc ANYWAY. Reminder: there are 15m people who are either over 65 or living with someone who is.

A thread on how many would die if Covid was actually allowed to rip through the population:
I get that right-wingers find massive state intervention and restrictions on individual liberty problematic.

But thinking that we can deal with Covid without those things is wrong and dangerous, and yet (sadly) is behind the government's current foot-dragging approach. 7/7

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More from @ChristabelCoops

30 Sep
THREAD: Seeing a lot of debate about a “herd immunity” strategy proposed by the likes of Sunestra Gupta and Carl Heneghan to fight Covid.

Not only is this policy wrong (below @chrischirp explains why) - it’s also deeply unpopular with the public.… 1/9
There's very consistent polling across the summer from @OpiniumResearch showing that only a small minority (10-12%) thought we were moving out of lockdown too quickly.

50% of respondents believed the government was ending lockdown too quickly. 2/9
@OpiniumResearch polling on 23rd Sept found the new restrictions introduced last week are also popular, only 16% think they are too strict

The polling also showed:
76% - are quite worried or very worried about Covid
23% - are not that worried or not worried about Covid

Read 9 tweets
13 Sep
THREAD: The UK is not the only place seeing a recent sharp rise in Covid cases.

Difference is *just like last time* our government had advance warning by looking at other countries. And not only did they do nothing to stop the rise, they actively encouraged it. 1/10
This a graph from the @FT of Covid cases from Spain and France (both of which were hit badly last time). Cases in Spain start rising mid July, cases in France take off during August. Cases in the UK still remained relatively low during this period 2/10
I had some thoughts on why our numbers were so low in this thread - basically reluctance of Brits to go back to shops, pubs and restaurants, plus more working from home than in other countries.

So what does our government do? 3/10
Read 10 tweets
7 Sep
So I see there's a lot of "Well MPs should have voted for May's deal" takes going round.

REMINDER: May's deal was *really* unpopular with both Remainers and Leavers. In June 2019 @chrischirp and I found it was the least popular Brexit outcome. There's a reason for this. 1/5 Image
It's inherent in the nature of Brexit, where any possible outcome is a trade off between sovereignty and economic damage.

Remainers generally preferred to limit economic damage in return for continuing to abide by EU rules. Leavers generally preferred full fat sovereignty... 3/5
... as most of them believed that there wouldn't be any economic damage from Hard Brexit/No Deal.

May's deal hit the sweet spot where Remainers hated it because it was still Hard Brexit and would cost jobs and livelihoods. But Leavers hated it because it still bound the UK...4/5
Read 4 tweets
7 Sep
This is almost certainly a stunt. And it's exactly the same stunt the government pulled this time last year by threatening No Deal and proroguing Parliament.

It's designed to (a) convince Leavers that the government is going in really hard with the EU 1/5…
... and that any deal the UK *does* manage to get must have been the result of the EU caving to our demands.

(b) scare and distract Remainers, making us so relieved when/if the government backs away from this extreme position that we fail to scrutinise the resulting deal. 2/5
Any deal Johnson negotiates now with the EU will be paper-thin and damaging to the British economy and jobs, at a time when the ending of the furlough scheme is already likely to be causing mass unemployment.

It's really important that we draw attention to this. 3/5
Read 5 tweets
30 Aug
Yes, yes I know it's *one* poll and it's only showing Labour level with the Tories after a disastrous series of U-turns.

BUT it's the first time Lab have been level since Boris Johnson became PM and it's easy to forget how significant a moment this was. 1/4 Image
Until then, Lab and Con had been losing voters at roughly the same rate; Lab mostly to the LDs, Cons mostly to the Brexit Party. As soon as Boris became PM, the Leave vote started to consolidate behind the Tories. But Remainers never consolidated behind Lab to the same extent.2/4
Then after the GE, we had the "rally round the flag" effect of the Covid crisis, which pushed Tory numbers up to 50% in April.

So Labour merely being level in August seems to show that both the Boris effect and the "rally round the flag" effect are starting to fade. 3/4
Read 4 tweets
28 Aug
THREAD: attempt at a balanced view on working from home.

The Telegraph/the government is *not* providing a balanced view.

WFH is benefiting employers who could see their businesses devastated if there is a serious outbreak of Covid in their offices. 1/9
They understandably don't want to take the risk, given the second waves we are seeing in other countries.

It also benefits most employees who get a better work/life balance, works better with childcare, avoids long commute etc etc It's therefore a highly rational decision.. 2/9
for many firms to continue WFH. Government and media exhortations won't change that.

Furthermore, I've argued that it's likely that Brits propensity to WFH has contributed to our relatively low case numbers vs other countries (tho 1,500 cases yesterday)
Read 9 tweets

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