NEW: England has moved into Step 4 of the roadmap and lifted remaining Coronavirus opening restrictions. Hence 👇
Doubtless Twitter is going to be flooded with people expressing concern about nightclubs. Whatever you think, do dial down any judgmental comments. Loads of young people have sacrificed a lot in the pandemic and now doing what the govt (rightly or wrongly) is saying they can.
Well all the replies to this demonstrated the grace, understanding and lack of judgment we’ve come to expect on here during this period.
Something especially sticks in the craw with people saying young people haven’t sacrificed anything in this pandemic. If you’d interviewed as many school kids and teachers and students as I have, as well as young people who are unemployed, you wouldn’t be saying that.

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More from @lewis_goodall

20 Jul

Yday spent the evening talking to leaseholders of Richmond House on the south west London/Surrey border.

Or rather- what's left of Richmond House, it burnt down in 2019. The fire cavity barriers were labelled as "defective" in an independent report 🧵 Image
RH is instructive because it potentially highlights two central weaknesses of the government's response to the crisis

1) idea that litigation is a credible solution
2) idea that problem is only or mainly with buildings which were 18m or over with cladding problems
First background

Richmond House burnt down in September 2019. It was built in 2010/11 by Berkeleys one of the biggest building firms in Britain.

The estate "The Hamptons" is a big one. As the name would suggest it's got an American air. Big houses. Wide avenues. Opulent.
Read 24 tweets
20 Jul
Endless paradoxes with Cummings, as ever. He works to make a man he says is an incompetent prime minister. He does so because he thinks it would be dangerous not to honour democracy. Having been democratically elected with big maj,DC says days later he is discussing removing him.
Key exchange below

Laura K: "Some people will be listening to you saying you were thinking of getting rid of Boris Johnson and just wonder who you think you are?"

Cummings: "Possibly but the situation we found ourselves in was that within days the PM's gf is trying... get rid of us and appoint clowns to certain key jobs. Do you just go, OK that's fine or do you say, OK that's a disaster and try and avoid that happening?"

So Mr Cummings believed the survival of he and his core team was more important than the survival of the just....
Read 6 tweets
20 Jul
NEW: Covid related absence in England’s schools continues to increase. On 15th July Covid related absence in English state schools was 14.3%. That’s up from 11.2% on 8th a July and 8.5% on 1st July.
Picture is even worse in secondary schools- was 17.9% on 15 July. This is up from 13.5% on 8 July and 10.4% on 1 July respectively. So going on for 1 in 5 English secondary school pupils off for Covid related absence (not necessarily nor likely because they actually had Covid).
You’ll see that demonstrated here. Vast majority of absence as a result of contact with Covid+ pupil (or suspected), not because they themselves had tested positive. Image
Read 5 tweets
18 Jul
Boris Johnson: “We did look briefly at the idea [of the pilot test scheme] but I think it’s far more important that everybody sticks to the same rules.”

Looked at briefly? Until the u-Turn we were told that was the actual plan. Indeed Robert Jenrick was sent out to defend it.
Number 10’s statement this morning: “They will be participating in the daily contact testing pilot to allow them to continue to work from Downing Street."
The Prime Minister, having said that Numbers 10/11 only “briefly looked” at the idea of using the pilot programme (despite No 10 briefing they categorically would be and a cabinet minister defending said action) goes on to urge the public to “stick with the programme.”
Read 8 tweets
18 Jul
The question of coherence (or a lack of it) is at the heart of the govt’s Covid problems right now. Freedom day with pinging still in place. Fully vaccinated in isolation but unvaccinated with full freedom. Domestic restrictions laissez faire yet tough intl travel rules.
It feels as if government is willing us to move to a new stage with much of the old apparatus still in place and without much sketched out in terms of a new system which will enable us to “live with it” as ministers say they want. We’re neither in one place nor the other.
The place we’re in is high vaccination plus high prevalence which has clearly taken ministers but surprise as a result of Delta. But that means it is v difficult if not impossible to, as ministers want, to move the dial back to something “normal” w/o a new plan in place.
Read 5 tweets
18 Jul
Self isolation post pinging is posing enormous difficulties for hundreds of thousands of people/businesses across the UK-see below. PM and Chancellor have been pinged but said they’re taking part in a pilot study which will allow them to keep working in Downing St.
This study may well unlock the same privilege for many businesses. But the political risk is clear. The opposition has already sought to emphasise the idea that there’s one rule for ministers and another for everyone else. You’ll be hearing that *a lot* today.
This govt has been at its most vulnerable precisely when that sense has been at its most acute- Cummings, Hancock etc.

On a disease management level hard to see how govt comprehensively refutes charge that they don’t consider self isolation post pinging as being that important.
Read 13 tweets

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