Dan is basically right here. It’s not that SAGE are going against the evidence, it’s that there isn’t any evidence to follow most of the time. 1/ dailymail.co.uk/debate/article…
There isn’t any evidence because tackling an epidemic by trying to control the social life of the entire population and printing money is a recent (insane) idea. 2/
In the absence of empirical evidence, we are left with hunches and intuition which SAGE have to dress up as science. That’s how you end up with Chris Whitty lobbying MPs for pub closures with data that is patently rubbish. 3/
If you read the SAGE documents, it’s obvious that most of the decisions have been made on the basis of best guesses and what it’s members believe is common sense. Estimates of how much a policy will reduce R are blatantly plucked out of the air. 4/
It’s all underpinned by the perfectly reasonable assumption that R can be reduced by reducing human interaction, but that’s as scientific as it gets. When it comes to deriving policy from this, you might as well ask the man in the pub. 5/
In fact, the man in the pub would make better decisions because, if it comes down to common sense, he has more of it than a bunch of out of touch academics. For example, he would have foreseen the unintended consequences of the 10pm curfew. 6/

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More from @cjsnowdon

15 Oct
Simon Chapman, an anti-vaping dinosaur from Australia, has shifted from “vaping makes people start smoking” to “vaping doesn’t help people stop smoking” to “vaping helps people stop smoking but not by that much. A sad case. simonchapman6.com/2020/10/15/wou…
The remarkable thing about the RCTs which look at vaping and smoking cessation is they show that taking up vaping gets some smokers to quit even when they didn’t want to at outset.
Meanwhile, if Simon Chapman is remembered for anything it will be for pushing Australia into adopting plain packaging, a policy that has done literally nothing to reduce the smoking rate.
Read 4 tweets
24 Jul
A thread about food that is advertised by the government which won't be allowed to be advertised on TV after 9pm under government plans.
1/ Fish and chips
2/ Popcorn, walnuts and cheese
3/ Cake.
Read 12 tweets
20 Jul
‘Russia tried to “influence” the result of the Scottish Independence Referendum but not the Brexit vote, a long-awaited report into Moscow’s alleged meddling in British politics will reveal.’

Thoughts and prayers with #FBPE loons at this difficult time. telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/…
I suppose they will just say it’s a whitewash. You can’t win with these people.
The usual reverse ferret from Carole who now acts if she never expected the report to support her theories (the implication being that there’s been a cover up). So why bang on about the RuSsiA rEpOrT for years?
Read 5 tweets
15 Jul
A notoriously unreliable pressure group has made the barely believable claim that 1 in 7 smokers have quit since March. Let's take a look at it. 1/ bbc.co.uk/news/health-53…
ASH first tried to get this in the news three weeks ago with this press release 2/ ash.org.uk/media-and-news…
The press release was based on a YouGov survey that doesn't appear to be online. It involved 1,370 smokers and recent ex-smokers. 5% of the ex-smokers said they'd quit because of COVID-19. 3/
Read 15 tweets
5 Jun
Hearing rumours that Dominic Cummings will get a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours List.
From a well placed source.
Very interesting. I should stress that these reports have yet to be officially confirmed.
Read 4 tweets
26 May
Newsnight is now starting with a monologue telling you what you are supposed to think. We’re being forced to pay for a left-wing version of Fox News.
This is naked, dishonest propaganda from the first sentence. How the hell can it not breach the BBC’s Charter?
To the people repying “bUt He BrOkE tHe RuLeS”. They’re not just rules, they’re laws. Read them. It would be for a judge to decide if DC had a ‘reasonable excuse’. For Maitlis to claim that someone who hasn’t even been charged with an offence has broken the law is inexcusable.
Read 5 tweets

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