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Please remember - this thread can get a bit heated at times... try to keep politics out of it, and be respectful to the views of others.

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On 19/11/2020 at 07:42, Cabin-boy said:

Probably better than listening to the current First Lady read me a bedtime story. 'Once upon a time there was a little boy called Emmanuel who dreamed of being king...'.

Ed. 

You should go into politics! I It's so easy to criticise .It's much harder to get on and do it. Corona Virus is a one off situation (hopefully).To systematically criticise those of who are making the decisions is too easy. Let's hope the vacine turns up quicker than expected so that these type of posts(mine included) won't be necessary any more.

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We've a young crowd in here today!

It will be pasta and rice next, how have they got through the stockpiles from March?

The Corona virus hit Roscoff overnight, several victims in a critical state.....ūü§™ Chris

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12 minutes ago, imprimerie said:

You should go into politics! I It's so easy to criticise .It's much harder to get on and do it. Corona Virus is a one off situation (hopefully).To systematically criticise those of who are making the decisions is too easy. Let's hope the vacine turns up quicker than expected so that these type of posts(mine included) won't be necessary any more.

I don't know which version of politics you subsribe to (is the Vendee twinned with North Korea?) but my understanding is that there needs to be a vocal opposition to criticise and challenge the decisions made.

As you say, this is an exceptional situation so it's not a question of criticising published policy from a manifesto but challenging the interpretation and application of scientific advice which may not be correct.

I think the fact that the French Government have basically banned the use from now on of 'déconfinement' shows that they realise that:

a) Castex ballsed it up in June,

b) Castex can't realistically be got rid of without the entire house of cards falling with him,

c) they have to find a 'plan b' which gives people back as much freedom as possible but without once again losing control.

They are talking about some sort of 'public consultation' about how to move forward. I'm waiting for the call.

Ed

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42 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

I don't know which version of politics you subsribe to (is the Vendee twinned with North Korea?) but my understanding is that there needs to be a vocal opposition to criticise and challenge the decisions made.

As you say, this is an exceptional situation so it's not a question of criticising published policy from a manifesto but challenging the interpretation and application of scientific advice which may not be correct.

I think the fact that the French Government have basically banned the use from now on of 'déconfinement' shows that they realise that:

a) Castex ballsed it up in June,

b) Castex can't realistically be got rid of without the entire house of cards falling with him,

c) they have to find a 'plan b' which gives people back as much freedom as possible but without once again losing control.

They are talking about some sort of 'public consultation' about how to move forward. I'm waiting for the call.

Ed

Vocal opposition is important but when it is systematic and personally attacking someone in a rude manner then I think you are justified to be criticised.Are you criticising our President because you don't like him or are you criticising his handling of the Covid virus. It seems to me  from your repeated personal attacks and mockery of him that it is the former.

By the the Vendée is not twinned with North Korea,it is a great place to live, Bonne Soirée.

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Nullius in verba - The Royal Society motto ("on the word of no one" / "take nobody's word for it")

The motto comes from when The Royal Society was formed as a redout / redoubt (old/modern) against political interference in science and using science to justify their political actions. It was so designed to encourage sceptical thinking, requiring clear descriptions of research studies, being open with results / data and explaining why they support or refute a given idea.

Maybe it is time for a rebirth.

As for difficult job, no one has said it is is easy. However it now seems that even questioning of policy, dictates and ideas is not allowed except when it suits your politics. Not questioning or critiquing could be either undue deference (have we moved forward in society at all) or cultism. There have been plenty of suggestions, some non starters, some that need exploring, but three monkeys springs to mind for most people.

As for the vaccine, while I hope that what we are being told is correct, currently we have judge, jury and executioner in one body with little peer review. Just as we shouldn't take the word of politicians as gospel, nor should we take the word of companies that stand to earn several billion each on a 'successful vaccine' especially where the companies in question have asked to be exonerated of responsibility for side effects.

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2 minutes ago, Shipping Forecast said:

Nullius in verba - The Royal Society motto ("on the word of no one" / "take nobody's word for it")

The motto comes from when The Royal Society was formed as a redout / redoubt (old/modern) against political interference in science and using science to justify their political actions. It was so designed to encourage sceptical thinking, requiring clear descriptions of research studies, being open with results / data and explaining why they support or refute a given idea.

Maybe it is time for a rebirth.

As for difficult job, no one has said it is is easy. However it now seems that even questioning of policy, dictates and ideas is not allowed except when it suits your politics. Not questioning or critiquing could be either undue deference (have we moved forward in society at all) or cultism. There have been plenty of suggestions, some non starters, some that need exploring, but three monkeys springs to mind for most people.

As for the vaccine, while I hope that what we are being told is correct, currently we have judge, jury and executioner in one body with little peer review. Just as we shouldn't take the word of politicians as gospel, nor should we take the word of companies that stand to earn several billion each on a 'successful vaccine' especially where the companies in question have asked to be exonerated of responsibility for side effects.

I criticise what someone does if I don't agree with it.I don't criticise systematically.This is a one off situation. Has anyone else ,representing a large population, done any better.

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No in my opinion no one has done any better in a difficult situation.

What I don't understand is they all claim to follow the science but all are doing things differently. Or are they all following different science. Scotland seems to be getting very complicated

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I think Ed has become so French that he cannot stop himself. In today's dis-United Kingdom he would be pilloried, accused of being a traitor, shunned or abused .... In France a vigorous "debate" is daily fare and personal attacks are all too common. Darn it, a politician can't even have a mistress and 5 love children without being attacked these days. What is the country coming to.

I disagree with much of Ed's anti Macron and Castex ranting, but hope it makes him feel better.

Time for a Ricard.

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2 minutes ago, colin said:

I think Ed has become so French that he cannot stop himself. In today's dis-United Kingdom he would be pilloried, accused of being a traitor, shunned or abused .... In France a vigorous "debate" is daily fare and personal attacks are all too common. Darn it, a politician can't even have a mistress and 5 love children without being attacked these days. What is the country coming to.

I disagree with much of Ed's anti Macron and Castex ranting, but hope it makes him feel better.

Time for a Ricard.

I'll join you. Cheers! 

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1 hour ago, imprimerie said:

I criticise what someone does if I don't agree with it.I don't criticise systematically.This is a one off situation. Has anyone else ,representing a large population, done any better.

If they keep making decisions you disagree with then surely the criticism will keep coming. Plus some of the leadership like to encourage a 'cultist like personal following' which definitely deserves systematically questioning / criticism from whatever party, or we will end up in North Korea.

Pandemics have been around since the beginning of time, this is the fourth new or fifth continuing one this century, and it an estimated equal 9th worst for number of deaths, not percentage of population, since the middle ages. Some way to go to reach the impact of the plagues etc which I pray we never get to. Pandemics are some of the most inevitable but seemingly least prepared for conditions to affect society which could have avoided the health, societal and economic toll inflicted so far. 

And apart from our own stupidity as a species, biological threats like viruses is in the top three extinction level events along with asteroid / meteorite impact and volcanism - pandemic is the most likely so at the top of the list. So much so that for last few decades, virus hunting teams now scour the globe continually looking for potential threats for our governments to ignore.

So the current situation is not one off except for ultra rapid spread of falsehoods, shutting down of society by governments and the seemingly inability to question anything that is not officially sanctioned.

In being prepared, has anyone in Europe done better? No. They were all as complacent and ill prepared as each other. After all, just two of the three previous new pandemics this century were coronaviruses, so nothing to learn from these.

Many aspects are neither better or worse as they are being learnt by all at the same time as the situation proceeds, such as ventilator use or not  and emptying hospitals into care homes spreading the disease to the most vulnerable.

As to doing better on a ongoing basis, maybe look east to governments there in their handling of the situation for alternatives if none of the many suggestions available here appeal.

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We have now seen the most optimistic option for UK vaccines which gets most of the priority group vaccinated by Easter (even with 28 days between doses). If anything like that happens it will be great. However that is all dependant on the Oxford vaccine working and being approved.

Who would have thought that when it all started that it would last more than a year !

I really want to start wandering in crowds again !

Edited by David Williams
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2 hours ago, Shipping Forecast said:

 However it now seems that even questioning of policy, dictates and ideas is not allowed except when it suits your politics

I'm not sure that anyone has objected to criticism of policies. The intemperate language being used by some regarding the alleged incompetence or otherwise of politicians they do not agree with only serves to muddy the waters and adds little to the debate.

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So, if you have had your two jabs and 3 weeks has elapsed, will you have some sort of certificate to say that you are now as pure as the driven snow and can roam worldwide, maskless, without restraint?

And will that certificate be accepted at your destination?

I wonder....

 

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4 hours ago, imprimerie said:

Vocal opposition is important but when it is systematic and personally attacking someone in a rude manner then I think you are justified to be criticised.Are you criticising our President because you don't like him or are you criticising his handling of the Covid virus. It seems to me  from your repeated personal attacks and mockery of him that it is the former.

By the the Vendée is not twinned with North Korea,it is a great place to live, Bonne Soirée.

At the risk of repeating myself, let's be clear! I supported the government's efforts in the Spring as the objective was clear. I was sceptical from June onwards with the nomination of Castex to a role for which he had no mandate. My feelings that he was out of his depth were confirmed mid-September with the explosion of cases in the university system without any clear response or action from the government. That only got worse and when Macron used misleading statistics in his late-October TV address to frighten the population into submission, I'm afraid I no longer had any confidence in him or his administration. 

To be honest, I don't profess to having any opinion of him as a person, having not been eligible to vote in the last election. I know he was elected not because the French public trusted him to really keep the promises offered but because he was not Marine Le Pen. That has been clear from the beginning of his presidency with the Yellow Jacket movement knowing they could hold him hostage. The same is true over the pension reforms. However, my opinion of his handling of the crisis has, as set out above, dropped off a cliff in recent weeks. I don't think it's any worse than other countries but his way of achieving his aims has been misguided. French TV this evening was reporting that the German press has nicknamed France 'Absurdistan' due to his draconian methods of controlling the population, with the need for printed authorisation documents and fines for any deviation from the rules. It's not often that I agree with the Germans but they are right. 

He's now due to speak again next Tuesday evening. We'll see what he has to say but if it's just to say that non-essential shops can reopen on Saturday 28th November then, why bother? If it's to say 'bravo, you are doing very well, keep up the good effort and we might let you see one or two other family members at Christmas' then it will be just another example of his treating the public as imbeciles. I'm not holding my breath. Te public, as far as I can ascertain, want a clear plan for the next few months. How will they get the numbers down, keep them down, allow the freedom we had in the summer to return, let those taking time off from work to actually have holidays, allow sport to restart, get live entertainment back up and running, make sure the vacine campaign works (only 40% of the population say they will have it)? etc. The list goes on. 

Ed

 

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Did Edouard Philippe have any more of a "mandate" than Jean Castex? In the French system, the President appoints who he wants as PM. Some Presidents have had quite a few ....

Misleading statistics? My recollection, which could be cloudy, was more that he was trying to emphasise how bad things could get if firm action was not taken? Taking into account conspiracy theories, anti maskers, all those who support a policy until it forces them to change, and an opposition which, although not very effective, snipes at every opportunity, I tend to think threatening Armageddon could have been understandable.

Let's drop the subject.

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12 hours ago, colin said:

Did Edouard Philippe have any more of a "mandate" than Jean Castex? In the French system, the President appoints who he wants as PM. Some Presidents have had quite a few ....

Misleading statistics? My recollection, which could be cloudy, was more that he was trying to emphasise how bad things could get if firm action was not taken? Taking into account conspiracy theories, anti maskers, all those who support a policy until it forces them to change, and an opposition which, although not very effective, snipes at every opportunity, I tend to think threatening Armageddon could have been understandable.

Let's drop the subject.

I quite agree .There seems to be respect for other members opinions from some but not from others.

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1 minute ago, Cabin-boy said:

OK, we'll drop the government criticism, at least until they next do something dumb. I'll be back, of that I'm sure. 

Ed

We could always have Marine le Pen in charge ....

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I'm back!

That didn't take long. Right, so the French parliament have just backed a bill making it illegal for journalists and the public to film the police in the course of their work. Obviously this may be to avoid images leaking out before the annual judging of the 'Who's got the silliest hat of the year awards' takes place. Or it may be another means by which Macron and his cronies subtly take control of our lives. 

This law to protect the police from any form of scrutiny has been championed by the Home Secretary, Gérard Darmanin. Never heard of him, well you are in for a treat! Initially given the job of 'Minister of Public Action and Accounts' when Macron came to power (and no, I don't have the foggiest what that actually involved either) he was then promoted to Home Secretary by wise-old Jean Castex himself. So far, so whatever! 

Now, you would hope that the guy in charge of the police and judiciary had no skeletons in his walk-in wardrobe, wouldn't you? How about a rape allegation dating back to 2009 which he hoped would be conveniently forgotten about? 'Oh, have they reopened the investigation? How embarrassing! Surely he can't stay in the job now!'

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/world-europe-53319441&ved=2ahUKEwjN-suSu5PtAhWQ0eAKHVKnDCoQFjABegQIBBAC&usg=AOvVaw0wmn46xCbnknFHQLDYJSYA&ampcf=1

When 'imprimerie' and Colin use the term "our President" this is clearly the sort of decisive, responsible leadership they voted for. 

Ed

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1 hour ago, Cabin-boy said:

French parliament have just backed a bill making it illegal for journalists and the public to film the police in the course of their work

This is a scary move.

1) Will the French public stand for it.

2) Surely it's not enforceable.

 

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At last...

It would appear that I can stop feeling like a bit of a lone voice.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55022287

I also read with interest how it's now becoming more well known and being reported in the mainstream media that the NHS hasn't been involved in any of the decisions regarding Track & Trace and haven't been involved in regional or more local level decisions regarding how to actually deal with the infection levels.

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