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Posts posted by L00b

  1. On 26/03/2021 at 19:51, RJRB said:

    Pick the “facts” as it suits,and also feel free to chose which ball you wish to play from the ensuing comments.

    I have no idea what the various uptake is or will be when vaccine is available around the EU countries,but thus far in the U.K. the uptake is over 93% for 75 plus age group which seems pretty good to me.

    I hope that there will be no delays in receiving the second jab by the due dates.

    I have great sympathy for  those having to play catch up as a result of a more guarded initial approach by their medical advisers and political leaders,and I hope for more cooperation and less point scoring.

    <sigh> x2

    Well, the facts were (still are) plenty clear enough, however unpalatable some clearly find them to be. You don't need to "quote-mark" them.


    The ball in play was (still is) the mooted export controls by the EU and India (in recent news and discussed in posts prior to mine), since the narrative in your MSM was (still is) rather light on context.


    The intention was to inform that sub-debate with information providing that context (noting that the lack of exports was not UK-exclusive, the US is clearly worse in that respect given its production volume), and mitigating the shrill anti-EU narrative/divide-and-conquer crap, which the UK government is constantly pushing hard (like it did again today, with offering Dublin those non-existent 3.7m vaccine doses).


    But you know what, what few regular posters still lurk on SF's General Topics instead of Facebook just see 'L00b', and automatically get the red mist no matter what these days: I could post that the sky is blue, and still they'd find something objectionable in that 😂


    I echo the balance of your sentiments, and best of luck to you with the current and coming times, RJRB. You've been a gent 🙂

  2. 1 hour ago, tinfoilhat said:

    I think there's plenty of blame to go around but politicians from the EU need a healthy amount heading their way. First they gave all responsibility for purchasing of vaccines to the EU, then - even worse - they've queued up to rubbish it, question it's worth to the point great swathes of the EU population don't want it (I read only 20% of French over 65s trust it).


    It's a useful stick to beat us with but we could export tonnes of it over there and I have great doubt wether it will get used promptly, sat in a fridge until it's PR improves.

    The demand is severely pent-up.


    For every over-65 getting gaslit over the vaccine potency in France and elsewhere (sure, it's not just Brit OAPs who can get gaslit and anxious over invented problems), there are tens of thousands of under-65s who would drop everything and go get vaccinated on the spot.


    Some French GPs recently went on record as cold-calling their registered patients outside of the 'correct' ranges, when nobody in the 'correct' range shows up through 'fear of the AZ' , precisely to avoid wastage. It's exactly why Castex went and got his AZ vaccine 'out of turn', to help dispel this myth.


    The bulk of grumbling in the EU is about delayed vaccine approval (justified IMHO) and stalled vaccination programmes, not centralised and coordinated procurement, which has worked reasonably well.


    The reason vaccination programmes are stalled, is because they were initially devised and estimated based on manufacturers' contractual delivery commitments (that have never been met yet) and because the EU respected its exporting commitments in the meantime.


    The situation will improve, as manufacturers are made to respect their contractual commitments through export controls. Unless they're not bothered about doing business with the EU in the long-term, of course.

  3. 4 minutes ago, RollingJ said:

    Very informative - no indication what it was about, its source or anything. It was, I assume,  a link, but didn't read as such.

    Vaccine production, in millions of doses, per major economy bloc, with indication of volume split between domestic use and export. Published by The Independent, sourced from Airfinity.


    It's all there, for those bothered enough to look, rather than pick an argument for argument's sake.



  4. 1 hour ago, RollingJ said:

    Coded message, @L00b?

    No, simply informing the debate a little more, in relation to the sub-topic of vaccine nationalism/triumphalism.


    You can choose to read that post, or ‘coded’ whatever into that post -because I happened to post it rather than another- however you want: them’s the facts just the same.

    Giz a shout when you feel like playing the ball sometime.




  5. 1 minute ago, Anna B said:

    I agree that it is short sighted, but the Tories have never made any secret that they are the party that supports big business, and deregulated markets and that means profits at any cost.

    When will people get this?

    Erm...have you taken a look at UK plc lately?

    Because I think that narrative has changed a fair bit.

    Try “hedge-funds stuffed with disaster capitalists” instead. These are to ‘big business and markets (deregulated and not)’, what wolf packs are to farming of any livestock whatsoever: the sort of deal wherein you can only profit once, by destroying the underlying asset, then move onto the next.

  6. 28 minutes ago, andyofborg said:

    so your answer to the current situation is basically to end local democracy and that central govenment should have absolute rule over our lives. 


    my point is that the current situation is a result of a 40 year power grab by central government and to resolve that requires a massive decentralisation of power back to localities 


    Can’t see that happening anytime soon.

    Johnson’s government is a centralising force, mirroring other modern-day kakocracies with kleptocratic tendencies (variously: Brazil, Turkey, Hungary, US until recently...).


    The SNP likely won’t be getting Westminster permission for IndyRef 2.0, any more than powers repatriated to Westminster (faster since 2010 under Austerity 1.0) will get (re-)decentralised, before 2024.

    Heh, it’s a bit hard to “take back control” if you give it away 🙃

  7. On 22/03/2021 at 21:14, Anna B said:


    Realistically, a political coalition with other parties is the only way that Labour can hope to return to *shared* power in 2024.


    Starmer does not strike me as having sufficient vision and political clout to handle that. For all his perceived positives of only a few months ago, going by his latest he’s been consumed by internal politics already and is a write-off. Labour needs a deal maker, unafraid of dumping the dinos and willing to govern by consensus. A tall order.

    The LibDems enjoy about as much notoriety and political relevance as you can say ‘Nick Clegg, student fees’ all these years later, after disastrous figurehead rebrands. Still, the voting tally is non-trivial, and probably least tribal (relative to Tory/Lab/Greens/SNP), so more ‘transferable’ than others.


    The Greens are doing a great job of building *and then keeping* their voting tally, but at such a glacial pace that, under the FPTP, they might get into sight of governance next century. Might. They’d likely jump at a power-sharing chance to prove their policy-making and executive mettle.

  8. 1 hour ago, apelike said:

    But that is exactly what you are doing and you are also using emotive language to justify your position. It's a bit like the brexit debate trying to make out that those who didn't agree with them and voted for brexit were thick uneducated racists.

     It’s nothing like it, of course.

    Not all those who voted for Brexit were thick uneducated racists, by far. But all thick uneducated racists very probably voted for Brexit.


    That nuance was suppressed in debate in the name of tribal politics, exactly like the nuance between “a light statutory update” by a government riding populism for all it’s worth and the gradual setting up of a police state, is now getting suppressed in debate, still in the name of tribal politics.


    Must say, that Kool Aid must taste pretty sweet. I don’t think Vlad P was getting away with half as much, a year into his first Presidential term.

  9. Some stark statistics published by the British Food and Drink Federation today.


    • Exports fell significantly in January 2021, driven by a fall in sales to the EU of 75.5% compared to January 2020, a drop of nearly £0.75bn.
    • Impacts of COVID and stockpiling by UK businesses in the EU ahead of the end of the transition period were contributing factors, but much of this is likely due to new non-tariff barriers faced by UK exporters and the collapse of groupage movements which has shut out many SME exporters.



    I don’t believe much of these can be put on the back of COVID, either.



  10. 2 hours ago, banjodeano said:

    correct me if i am wrong, and i may well be, but didnt i read a snippet somewhere that if any protest adversely effects the wealth of our country then it can be deemed illegal? so i assume that if there are peaceful demonstrations' week in week out, the government can declare it illegal because of the cost of policing


    You will eventually find out, rest assured.

    Johnson’s government of authoritarian kleptocrats is clearly emulating a working and proven precedent and you have 4 more years of it coming.

    (the averred ties between both regimes must be purely coincidental, of course)

  11. 20 hours ago, petemcewan said:

    I would appreciate it if any of you clever people on this thread,could  explain to me what she is on about.

    Just an observation from looking at recent media, wherein the argument seems to be that:

    - The UK's acquisition, by means unclear, of additional vaccine flow compared to the EU was perfectly legitimate, and the EU should suck it up.

    - The EU, using its own legal powers to control the flow of vaccines, is illegitimate and constitutes a metaphorical act of war against the UK.

    Various theories have been advanced about why supply was tilted towards the UK, including a reference to an earlier (May) contract, but nothing incontrovertible.

    The whole argument stoking vaccine nationalism is pathetically ill-informed and polarising, whoever pushes it, and whether in Western Europe or further east.

    Always ask yourself: who profits from this? There’s no need of ‘being clever’ at all, to answer that. Just take a step back and think for yourself 🙂

  12. 53 minutes ago, Magilla said:

    How does a "threat", that hasn't actually happened, issued *after* the vaccine shortage was identified by The Department of Health, make the faltering UK vaccine rollout the EU's fault?

    It shores up the "EU is the enemy" narrative that is politically expedient for the government, and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. Simple (and wrong) answers to complex problems, as usual, and gullibles lap it up, as usual.


    The vaccine rollout (real/expected) shortages are attributable to AZ and Pfizer over-promising back in the day (and on which basis the rollout programmes were devised), and under-delivering since (hence rollout stalling), with the under-performance compounding over time through chronic problems in some production units (Belgium earlier, India currently).


    The vaccine rollout is worse/slower still across the EU, because AZ and Pfizer (not "the UK" nor "the US") have not respected their respective cross-delivering obligations to the EU, whilst the EU has been respecting its own vaccine-sending undertakings to 2nd and 3rd world countries. Note I'm not abstracting or dismissing poor healthcare management either. But the shortfall in doses is well into the millions, so it cannot be statistically trivial.


    Hence the EU is now threatening to withhold EU-made doses, unless the UK (AZ) and US (Pfizer) start respecting their contractual obligations.


    This also explains partly why the UK vaccine rollout has been so successful relative to EU members and others: on a comparative-contractual basis, not only has it received more than its fair share (since AZ never sent any UK-made vaccine to the EU, when it should have), it has also gone for volume (single jab for all) rather than safety (dual jab at recommended interval). It's a gamble, no worse nor better than another in the circumstances (Covid infection rates since last year). I certainly hope it pays off for you all. Again, I'm not abstracting the herculean efforts of the NHS in that success. But it needed the volume of doses, to deliver like it has.


    It's not "the EU vs the UK". It's "the EU vs AZ and Pfizer". And, within that, it's individual EU states (because the enforcement would be local, e.g. it would Belgian customs , not "the EU", stopping AZ doses from leaving for the UK or the US).

  13. 9 hours ago, Longcol said:

    Some days last week France was vaccinating more than the UK  and this is before rolling it out Pharmacies. The difficulty here (Dordogne, France) seems to be getting hold of the vaccine in the first place.

    It certainly was, and one could e.g. compare the numbers of fully-vaccinated (i.e. double-jabbed) people in the UK and France...


    ...but I'm trying to avoid falling into this "vaccine nationalism" crap 😉


  14. 1 hour ago, RollingJ said:

    OK - I wasn't aware, but don't understand the logic TBH. As an aside, aren't you supposed to talk in kilometres across there?🙂

    I’m translating for British readers, ‘cause I’m considerate like that 😉

    The logic to the cross-border allowance is that most people who live near borders (especially in the continental EU) have their living, shopping and *especially* working habits across borders.

    So cross-border travel remains allowed for these people (most of the time, as it keeps changing and e.g. subject to CV testing at times).  Others based outside that geographic limit have to get -and produce on demand- a PCR test less than 48 hours old for crossing borders, as they would if they were flying.


    I was just tested yesterday as it happens, 7th or 8th large-scale-test invite since last year. Government-run at Park & Rides around the country, get the NHS letter with booking code, web-based booking, drive-in testing, result via SMS within 4 to 5 hour.


    If only they could get vaccinations running as smoothly now.

  15. 10 minutes ago, RollingJ said:

    Sorry, @L00b - no cross-border travel allowed.

    It is allowed within 18 miles of the border, provided there’s no overnight stay,

    Mrs L00b commutes to work in nearby Belgium every day. Our accountant comes into the office in Lux from Belgium every day too.


    So if it’s not in Brussels or the Flemish part in the north, we might be in business 😉

  16. 59 minutes ago, tinfoilhat said:

    But theyre literally chucking loads of AZ vaccines in the bin in parts of Europe (Germany definately). Also saw a report of a big vaccination centre in Belgium offering AZ and there's nobody there. Given the "scare" with the "blood clots" they'll be throwing away even more.

    I don’t know about “chucking”, and would be wary of such reports unless they are supported by clear evidence, as there is a lot of political gaslighting over this everywhere (in Europe as much as in the UK).


    Reportedly, the EU has exported 31m doses to 2nd and 3rd world countries so far (same FT article of today, that I mentioned above / paywalls).


    On the topic of IP, there is nothing the EU can or will do. Whatsoever.Compulsory licensing of patented technology by the state in the public interest is (1) strictly a national competence, under national patent law (and there is no EU patent law whatsoever) and (2) about as old as patent legislation itself, as in ‘decades and longer’. If someone can be bothered to check/search, I may well have raised this very issue months ago.


    Hey, someone point me to that vaccination center in Belgium. It’s literally next door (border’s 3 miles away) and I’ll have that AZ vaccine in a flash.

  17. According to the FT, the “crisis” is about the EU threatening to block exports of vaccine to the UK and the US, after the EU sent 9m vaccines to the UK and 4m to the US, and got none back from either country, in breach of cross-supply agreements.

    The EU paid into the pot for AZ’s  2 UK production sites, lest we forget, on the basis that it would get a share of the output (same as UK paid into the pot for AZ’s Belgian production site on the basis of getting a share of that output...which it has got).


    Hard to not see the point of VdL’s message. Unless one doesn’t want to see it, of course.

    All the same, never mind. It will get tallied up in the end 😏

  18. 1 hour ago, Organgrinder said:

    Did they notify you of this by letter?

    You have no more knowledge than anyone else who would be admitted and there are many major problems to sort out before Europe could even vote on this.

    Europe's track record speed-wise for getting things done are are also discouraging as witness the vaccine rollout.

    Everyone who is peeved at the UK leaving Europe, wants to have Scotland leave the UK as a punishment but that doesn't mean it will be in Scotland's best interests.

    No, you can take it that I take my news and opinion pieces regularly, from across Europe, in several languages.

    Going back several years, as well: the topic of an independent Scotland acceding to EU membership has been discussed by politicians at length across the EU for the past 7 or 8 years.


    * at the time of the 1st Indyref in 2014,

    * then again throughout the Brexit campaign from late 2015 (“material change in circumstances” is the expression to look for),

    * then again following the 2016 EUref as Scotland had voted significantly in favour of remain (now an actual “material change”)

    * then again when Catalonia was making a separatist move in late 2017 due to the obvious parallel (did it stay in the EU if it became independent? if not, could it rejoin and how? Etc.)

    * and ever since, as polls continue to show ever more support for independence in Scotland, never less so than since January (those fishermen have been throwing an awful lot of noise).

    Get ready to hear about it still more, on the run up to the Scottish Parliament elections in 2 months.

    Europe moves as fast or slow as circumstances warrant. You’ve shown me that vaccine rollout, I’m raising you the EU withdrawal of its intention of notification about breaching Art.16 TCA within hours of disclosing that intention, and the start of proceedings against the UK within days of the UK actually breaching Art.16 TCA for the second time (do we count “doing nothing about the first breach” as the EU being slow, or can we ascribe it to tolerance?)


    I’m not peeved at the UK leaving Europe. I’m long past caring (you really should be able to spot the difference by now). Nor do I wish Scotland to leave the UK as ‘punishment’.


    I’m simply OK with people’s right to self-determination, and that cuts both ways: OK with the English people to self-determine to leave the EU, OK with the Scottish people to self-determine to leave the UK. Likewise the Welsh people, Norn’Irish people, Catalonian people, Corsican people (etc)


    I’m not sure what your problem with that notion is, tbh. But clearly, it looks like you have one with it?

  19. 14 hours ago, West 77 said:

    I can't see how an independent Scotland could have the same resources available to them as the MHRA.   However, the SNP don't want to go it alone though. The SNP want an independent Scotland to be part of the EU which can never be guaranteed. Scottish voters will never be foolish enough to risk be neither a member of the UK and the EU.

    Scotland’s EU membership can be as “guaranteed”, as Scotland leaving the UK: if that is what a majority of the Scottish people vote for, that is what eventually happens.

    Exactly like a majority of English people voted for the UK to leave the EU, and eventually it happened.


    As an EU member state, Scotland would enjoy the resources of the EMA.


    There is a lot of goodwill in the EU for the Scots joining after gaining their independence. Even a pre-emptive “we’re good with it” from Spain already on record (...were people minded to bring up Catalonia yet again).

  20. 6 minutes ago, Delbow said:

    Government now saying it would be "premature" to have an inquiry into how the pandemic has been handled. No surprise there, leave it until it has the least negative impact for the incumbent government. 

    I disagree (mildly): the pandemic is still ongoing, so there is still time for the government to mess up some more. In that respect, it would be premature indeed to conduct that inquiry now...


    ...I think getting started in 2025 should be about right 😏

  21. People need to look at the current state of the British criminal justice system, before considering whether this proposal has any merit.

    Because according to many a barrister, it is now in terminal decline after years of chronic underfunding and mismanagement.



  22. 14 hours ago, andyofborg said:

    I quite agree it doesn't appear prudent, but as we know there are  times when prudence is ignored. 


    It certainly seems that our current implementation of government from the local to the national level is not really delivering for a majority of the population. A change is long overdue. 

    Independence is rarely ever prudential. At least, within the economical meaning of the adjective. Just ask the Irish 🙃


    Short(er)-term, Scotland’s interest for independence lies more in escaping England’s slow descent into proto-fascism, than improving its socio-economic lot. It can work on the second under its own steam and pace, once free of the first.


    Today’s Police-Crime-Sentencing-and-Courts Bill vote is going to do (still more) wonders for Scottish separatists at the ballot box in a couple months’ time.

  23. 3 hours ago, RJRB said:

    It would be interesting to know what Johnson’s end game is about or even if there is one.

    Lord Frost appears to have adopted a superior and confrontational stance which will help to destroy any goodwill and cooperation which has been built up over the years.

    There are no winners but we stand to lose more than the remaining members of the EU.

    Johnson himself has no other 'end' game, than staying in No.10, then riding the post-Premiership gravy train tour. In that context, whilst Brexit consequences are nicely muted by the ongoing Covid emergency and will likely continue to be for a few months yet...don't rule out an early GE riding the post-Covid feelgood vibe later this year or early next, to tack an extra year or two onto the current Tory run of governance.


    Frost is doing what is expected of him by his ERG backers, to the surprise of absolutely no-one outside of the UK. Not that there is much goodwill left to destroy anyway: the Irish government went on record to state that the UK cannot be trusted, and the European Parliament has put the kibosh on signing the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement pending the UK mending its NI Protocol-breaching ways, about which the Commission is expected to start suing the UK momentarily.


    A harder Brexit (WTO), is what your government is after. Not smart, given the state of readiness of UK customs systems, people and infrastructure. But well. It is what it is.

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