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Media Coverage of COVID -19

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35B

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Hold on why you asking me? It’s them that are doing the experiments?

Hate to break it to you, but my nature is that I’m kind to everyone but I believe if this has all been an experiment on us then surely payback is earned is it not? People have lost lives/livelihoods, health has been shot but yes let’s continue giving these people a free pass, is this the way you think it should go?

What would I like to see if I’m honest? Accountability then we the public can decide how about that? Why not parade them on live tv “big brother” style? Or how about we go darker if you wanted? Chinese style punishment? Come on look at them they want this.
SAGE have not "experimented" on us; they have provided advice to government ministers who have made decisions informed by (and sometimes contradicting) that advice. Those decisions have been taken under great pressure, against the backdrop of a virus that has killed very large numbers of people and brought health services to their knees where it hasn't been effectively controlled. Members of SAGE provide their involvement in addition to their day jobs - just read the Times' serialisation of Jeremy Farrar's new book for a flavour of what that means in practice.

Despite the behaviours of Johnson and Sturgeon, carefully crafted to give the illusion of accountability while ducking it, we do exist in a democratically controlled society where accountability for public policy lies with ministers, and is ultimately exercised through the ballot box. It is not a form of direct democracy, and the sort of "accountability" you demand will guarantee that no sane person would ever volunteer to get involved with government policy.
Mandatory vaccination is specifically precluded from powers given under the Public Health Act.
I know - but the comment I responded to was asserting something broader than the point that, today, the government's powers do not extend to mandating vaccination. If they were to, I would be incredibly surprised if a Human Rights Act challenge would achieve anything except fund lawyers' mortgages.
 
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kez19

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SAGE have not "experimented" on us; they have provided advice to government ministers who have made decisions informed by (and sometimes contradicting) that advice. Those decisions have been taken under great pressure, against the backdrop of a virus that has killed very large numbers of people and brought health services to their knees where it hasn't been effectively controlled. Members of SAGE provide their involvement in addition to their day jobs - just read the Times' serialisation of Jeremy Farrar's new book for a flavour of what that means in practice.

Despite the behaviours of Johnson and Sturgeon, carefully crafted to give the illusion of accountability while ducking it, we do exist in a democratically controlled society where accountability for public policy lies with ministers, and is ultimately exercised through the ballot box. It is not a form of direct democracy, and the sort of "accountability" you demand will guarantee that no sane person would ever volunteer to get involved with government policy.

I know - but the comment I responded to was asserting something broader than the point that, today, the government's powers do not extend to mandating vaccination. If they were to, I would be incredibly surprised if a Human Rights Act challenge would achieve anything except fund lawyers' mortgages.

Sorry I disagree, SAGE are crooks they love this attention regardless, so why then are the likes of Ferguson given an easy ride to break lockdown whilst joe public feels the wrath?

They are acting more of in government than actually being background noise since the media allows them to do so.

I believe SAGE are exactly that project fear, I haven’t heard anything positive come out of their mouths other than doom and gloom, governments are wrong etc, where is the positive news out of them then as we don’t see it?

You mentioned health services, oh that might be true but still people with other issues can’t be seen or heard since it’s a COVID service, so what are we taxpayers paying for exactly? My mental health could be shot but no one would give a damn about me would they?

As for accountability, so in your world we allow hell on earth to happen whilst politicians SAGE and the like cause the chaos but get away with it, where is Scooby Doo maybe he can solve the case! Proves the point then governments can create the mess get a free media pass, the public fall head over heels over their new idols but still stupid us the public pay the price
 
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35B

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Sorry I disagree, SAGE are crooks they love this attention regardless, so why then are the likes of Ferguson given an easy ride to break lockdown whilst joe public feels the wrath?

They are acting more of in government than actually being background noise since the media allows them to do so.

I believe SAGE are exactly that project fear, I haven’t heard anything positive come out of their mouths other than doom and gloom, governments are wrong etc, where is the positive news out of them then as we don’t see it?

You mentioned health services, oh that might be true but still people with other issues can’t be seen or heard since it’s a COVID service, so what are we taxpayers paying for exactly? My mental health could be shot but no one would give a damn about me would they?
I suggest you actually read about who and what SAGE are, and stop conflating individual members of SAGE with the body as a whole. You should also be careful to distinguish SAGE from "Independent SAGE", which is a much more publicly vociferous group and are all about zero Covid, with little interest in anything else.
 

birchesgreen

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Hold on why you asking me? It’s them that are doing the experiments?
Because you said this "Flip the coin how would they “SAGE” like it if we the public experimented on them? SAGE and the alike do tend to forget this and in time this will indeed catch up to them, for now they may seem out of the woods but that day is coming."

I was just wondered what kind of experiments you would like to carry out when "that day" comes.
 

kez19

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I suggest you actually read about who and what SAGE are, and stop conflating individual members of SAGE with the body as a whole. You should also be careful to distinguish SAGE from "Independent SAGE", which is a much more publicly vociferous group and are all about zero Covid, with little interest in anything else.

Don’t tell me what to do, I know the difference between the SAGEs, both of them are as bad as one another and want same outcome zero COVID as you say

I do research and look into things but I no longer buy this narrative it’s became a media sideshow, if it was serious then let’s hear the other side, oh wait we can’t as it goes the conspiracy route and it must not be heard but still let’s mock them that approach

Well let’s have the media have a proper debate on it all both sides have a say and see what comes out? The networks are quick near elections to have an American styled debate so let’s have this on COVID or is it they don’t want it? It’s public interest is it not as they would say?


Because you said this "Flip the coin how would they “SAGE” like it if we the public experimented on them? SAGE and the alike do tend to forget this and in time this will indeed catch up to them, for now they may seem out of the woods but that day is coming."

I was just wondered what kind of experiments you would like to carry out when "that day" comes.

Well how would they like all this inflicted on them? They seem happy for this to go on as much as possible so why shouldn’t they feel the wrath of the public?

It seems to me that it’s ok for this to happen to us but we can’t get a payback on them? It’s the same as politicians they all act invincible to it all, cause the chaos/division but walk free - I believe in karma and I think this will be one of those events they will feel the full force of the public.


I’m I not allowed to express how I truly feel in all this or am I expected just to roll over? Why are people not questioning the bigger picture behind all this or are we just sitting ducks?
 
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island

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Mandatory vaccination is specifically precluded from powers given under the Public Health Act.
That is correct, but 1) the government is not precluded from amending said Act or passing another, and 2) requiring vaccine passes to engage in certain leisure activities is not mandatory vaccination.
 

Bantamzen

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Other countries have made a variety of vaccines mandatory - California did so for measles following outbreaks that killed very few by comparison with Covid.
So? American TV is literally filled to the brink with all manner of pharmaceutical interventions from cancer to feeling a bit tired on a Wednesday morning. Making the case for mandatory vaccines from a country, and in particular a state obsessed to the point of neurosis with health matters isn't the best argument. Just because someone else does, doesn't mean we should or that its even the right path to take. Remember China was used by some countries as the example of how to control the virus..... (Think about that for a second before responding)
 

brad465

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If it were left up to SAGE, we would be kept in our cages almost 24/7 to be prodded and poked for data, released only occasionally to run around mazes looking for bits of cheese! We should always keep in mind that whilst they do all have scientific backgrounds, there's still a risk that they have come to see this all as a big experiment to test their theories. And sometimes even scientists get into ruts where their theories just don't play out, so they want to try different experiments to see if they can prove said theories.

So yes, they will continue to call for restrictions. However it should also be remembered that they do not make the decisions. At some point the experimentation has to end, whether the scientists and data analysts like it or not. If people want to carry on wearing masks fair enough, things like masks worn without the strict discipline demanded in medical scenarios are little more than comfort blankets (and at least one member of SAGE partly agrees) that serve little more than to keep us compliant.
I don't in any way expect SAGE to do this, but it's well known in scientific experiments that you have a control variable and/or null hypothesis. Therefore if they wanted to do this properly they would either have a wave where absolutely no restrictions of any kind are implemented and managed, or even do this for the next pandemic.
 

35B

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So? American TV is literally filled to the brink with all manner of pharmaceutical interventions from cancer to feeling a bit tired on a Wednesday morning. Making the case for mandatory vaccines from a country, and in particular a state obsessed to the point of neurosis with health matters isn't the best argument. Just because someone else does, doesn't mean we should or that its even the right path to take. Remember China was used by some countries as the example of how to control the virus..... (Think about that for a second before responding)
If you read my comments, you will note that I'm responding to the assertion that we can't make vaccination compulsory on rights grounds (I completely accept @Yew's point that it would need legislative change to achieve); not whether we should. The point is not that California (amongst others, and most robustly) has as a matter of policy made vaccinations compulsory, but that there has been no successful legal challenge to it, and that the US Supreme Court has long held that compulsory vaccination is a legitimate and constitutional instrument of policy. Likewise, where countries subject to the ECHR have mandated vaccines, challenges on rights grounds have failed.

As for California, my understanding is that the obsession "to the point of neurosis with health matters" is most evidenced in the desire for alternative therapies, and that it was the overreach of those therapists that caused people to avoid vaccinating children which brought about fatal outbreaks of measles. The legislation actually goes against the grain in many ways.
 

Cdd89

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Stop conflating individual members of SAGE with the body as a whole. You should also be careful to distinguish SAGE from "Independent SAGE", which is a much more publicly vociferous group.
Absolutely agreed. Unfortunately the media perpetuate this conflation, as do Independent SAGE by choosing a name liable to confusion and to conceal their basis as an activist group. It’s also highly confusing that some members are on both groups, and when speaking directly to the media they are often not clear whether they are speaking on behalf of SAGE, Independent SAGE, “Scientists” or themselves. And the media rarely makes the point that if someone is (for example) a behavioural scientist, their views on the virology of Covid are as relevant as those of any random celebrity they might interview.

If you asked 100 people off the street, how many of them would be able to tell the difference between SAGE and Independent SAGE?
 
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35B

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Don’t tell me what to do, I know the difference between the SAGEs, both of them are as bad as one another and want same outcome zero COVID as you say

I do research and look into things but I no longer buy this narrative it’s became a media sideshow, if it was serious then let’s hear the other side, oh wait we can’t as it goes the conspiracy route and it must not be heard but still let’s mock them that approach

Well let’s have the media have a proper debate on it all both sides have a say and see what comes out? The networks are quick near elections to have an American styled debate so let’s have this on COVID or is it they don’t want it? It’s public interest is it not as they would say?




Well how would they like all this inflicted on them? They seem happy for this to go on as much as possible so why shouldn’t they feel the wrath of the public?

It seems to me that it’s ok for this to happen to us but we can’t get a payback on them? It’s the same as politicians they all act invincible to it all, cause the chaos/division but walk free - I believe in karma and I think this will be one of those events they will feel the full force of the public.


I’m I not allowed to express how I truly feel in all this or am I expected just to roll over? Why are people not questioning the bigger picture behind all this or are we just sitting ducks?
I'm glad of your confirmation; I'm confused by your position though as SAGE supported the English government's recent relaxation of controls - virtually the opposite of a zero Covid approach.

As for debates, there are two problems. The first is that debates are a very poor way of determining scientific merit; the second is that the format of a debate encourages crowd pleasing lies rather than any kind of detailed assessment.

Finally, on accountability and karma - I think we have fundamentally different concepts of what they mean. The model you propose is actually that of mob rule, where those who dislike what they've been told will take out their frustration on those they dislike. That's a rabbit hole I prefer to avoid, as would you - it was a wise person who said that revolutions devour their children.
 

NorthKent1989

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Other countries have made a variety of vaccines mandatory - California did so for measles following outbreaks that killed very few by comparison with Covid.

Still don’t agree with telling others what to put in their own bodies, the flu jab is optional and that’s a killer too and certainly not worth the papers please society the Tories are so keen on having.
 

35B

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Still don’t agree with telling others what to put in their own bodies, the flu jab is optional and that’s a killer too and certainly not worth the papers please society the Tories are so keen on having.
No one's suggesting you should agree with it - views can entirely legitimately differ.
 

NorthKent1989

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Don’t tell me what to do, I know the difference between the SAGEs, both of them are as bad as one another and want same outcome zero COVID as you say

I do research and look into things but I no longer buy this narrative it’s became a media sideshow, if it was serious then let’s hear the other side, oh wait we can’t as it goes the conspiracy route and it must not be heard but still let’s mock them that approach

Well let’s have the media have a proper debate on it all both sides have a say and see what comes out? The networks are quick near elections to have an American styled debate so let’s have this on COVID or is it they don’t want it? It’s public interest is it not as they would say?




Well how would they like all this inflicted on them? They seem happy for this to go on as much as possible so why shouldn’t they feel the wrath of the public?

It seems to me that it’s ok for this to happen to us but we can’t get a payback on them? It’s the same as politicians they all act invincible to it all, cause the chaos/division but walk free - I believe in karma and I think this will be one of those events they will feel the full force of the public.


I’m I not allowed to express how I truly feel in all this or am I expected just to roll over? Why are people not questioning the bigger picture behind all this or are we just sitting ducks?

I fully sympathise with you, this government seem happy to let people lose their livelihoods and civil liberties.
 

kez19

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I'm glad of your confirmation; I'm confused by your position though as SAGE supported the English government's recent relaxation of controls - virtually the opposite of a zero Covid approach.

As for debates, there are two problems. The first is that debates are a very poor way of determining scientific merit; the second is that the format of a debate encourages crowd pleasing lies rather than any kind of detailed assessment.

Finally, on accountability and karma - I think we have fundamentally different concepts of what they mean. The model you propose is actually that of mob rule, where those who dislike what they've been told will take out their frustration on those they dislike. That's a rabbit hole I prefer to avoid, as would you - it was a wise person who said that revolutions devour their children.

I imply mob rule? Oh dear me! Why not for once actually understand why some people feel like this than as you imply to me a rabbit hole?

Isn’t it about time we actually got to question the motives from top to bottom than play cat and mouse here?

As for debating then what’s the solution? We need answers to define what’s truth and fake? I guess then media don’t want this debate as it’ll create further divisions but I guess that is what they want.

I’m sorry but wasn’t it originally SAGE that wanted lockdown but until recently changed their minds just like certain individuals of that very same? They want lockdown but then if results look good flip? Or if not blame game? Let’s not kid ourselves whilst opinions change those advocating it seem to be able to change their minds without scrutiny from the very media that gives them breathing space on a daily basis.

Aah the zero COVID approach I remember one advocating up in Scotland Devi for that approach but then went full tilt on blaming the UK Governments approach and that Scotland could have been COVID free last summer, oh that one isn’t she part of SAGE too or another arm of it? Yet she is one recent I believe to be in favour of coming out of lockdown now (strange that slag off the UK approach yet right on her own doorstep Sturgeon hasn’t done any better but still media fawn over her without scrutiny as Boris does! Media are a funny bunch pick a side and stick with it - that’s the name of the game)


I fully sympathise with you, this government seem happy to let people lose their livelihoods and civil liberties.

Thank you and agree, for once it’s not exactly about me but I can now see a bigger impact hitting us soon in terms of things thrown under a bus, yet media again will play along to have sympathy amongst us when it comes to light but still though for the present let’s continue this destruction on people’s lives.

If people can’t see the bigger picture then what’s the point? If it comes too late people will still say “we didn’t see this” yet others are flagging up warnings (ok warnings maybe dramatic but at least saying stop think and look back)
 
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MikeWM

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I fully sympathise with you, this government seem happy to let people lose their livelihoods and civil liberties.

...along with many others in the Western world. Once again we're seeing governments - supposedly of very different ideological flavours - march together with the same nonsensical policies, now it is the 'vaccine passports'. Within the last couple of weeks we've seen England, Ireland, France, Italy, Greece, Cyprus - all instituting slightly different flavours of the same policy. Just like we all did lockdowns (despite nothing like that ever being attempted before), masks, etc.
 

Bantamzen

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If you read my comments, you will note that I'm responding to the assertion that we can't make vaccination compulsory on rights grounds (I completely accept @Yew's point that it would need legislative change to achieve); not whether we should. The point is not that California (amongst others, and most robustly) has as a matter of policy made vaccinations compulsory, but that there has been no successful legal challenge to it, and that the US Supreme Court has long held that compulsory vaccination is a legitimate and constitutional instrument of policy. Likewise, where countries subject to the ECHR have mandated vaccines, challenges on rights grounds have failed.
Fair enough, I missed some of your previous posts so my apologies.

As for California, my understanding is that the obsession "to the point of neurosis with health matters" is most evidenced in the desire for alternative therapies, and that it was the overreach of those therapists that caused people to avoid vaccinating children which brought about fatal outbreaks of measles. The legislation actually goes against the grain in many ways.
I've been to California amongst a number of states, and believe me the one constant in the US is just how much pharmaceutical interventions are pushed hard at Americans. You only have to sit your hotel room or a sports bar with the TV on for a few minutes and you'll be bombarded with adverts for anything and everything they make, no matter how benign or serious the ailment. And talking to people there many are surprised just how little things are pushed in the UK and Europe, and the amount of regulation & legislation exists to prevent a US style free-for-all.
 

NorthOxonian

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Absolutely agreed. Unfortunately the media perpetuate this conflation, as do Independent SAGE by choosing a name liable to confusion and to conceal their basis as an activist group. It’s also highly confusing that some members are on both groups, and when speaking directly to the media they are often not clear whether they are speaking on behalf of SAGE, Independent SAGE, “Scientists” or themselves. And the media rarely makes the point that if someone is (for example) a behavioural scientist, their views on the virology of Covid are as relevant as those of any random celebrity they might interview.

If you asked 100 people off the street, how many of them would be able to tell the difference between SAGE and Independent SAGE?
To make matters worse, there is a crossover between SAGE and independent SAGE. For example, Susan Michie, who frequently regales the media with her vision for dystopian permanent restrictions, is a member of both.
 

Cowley

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We’ve strayed way off the original subject matter here (I had to check what the thread was actually about just then ;)).
Could we stick to discussing the media coverage in this thread from now on please, and also keep it respectful everyone…
Thanks
 

35B

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I imply mob rule? Oh dear me! Why not for once actually understand why some people feel like this than as you imply to me a rabbit hole?

Isn’t it about time we actually got to question the motives from top to bottom than play cat and mouse here?

As for debating then what’s the solution? We need answers to define what’s truth and fake? I guess then media don’t want this debate as it’ll create further divisions but I guess that is what they want.

I’m sorry but wasn’t it originally SAGE that wanted lockdown but until recently changed their minds just like certain individuals of that very same? They want lockdown but then if results look good flip? Or if not blame game? Let’s not kid ourselves whilst opinions change those advocating it seem to be able to change their minds without scrutiny from the very media that gives them breathing space on a daily basis.

Aah the zero COVID approach I remember one advocating up in Scotland Devi for that approach but then went full tilt on blaming the UK Governments approach and that Scotland could have been COVID free last summer, oh that one isn’t she part of SAGE too or another arm of it? Yet she is one recent I believe to be in favour of coming out of lockdown now (strange that slag off the UK approach yet right on her own doorstep Sturgeon hasn’t done any better but still media fawn over her without scrutiny as Boris does! Media are a funny bunch pick a side and stick with it - that’s the name of the game)




Thank you and agree, for once it’s not exactly about me but I can now see a bigger impact hitting us soon in terms of things thrown under a bus, yet media again will play along to have sympathy amongst us when it comes to light but still though for the present let’s continue this destruction on people’s lives.

If people can’t see the bigger picture then what’s the point? If it comes too late people will still say “we didn’t see this” yet others are flagging up warnings (ok warnings maybe dramatic but at least saying stop think and look back)
As I've posted previously, media is made up of people, who have their own opinions, biases, and beliefs. They aren't monolithic, and in the media I consume, I see a range of opinions. However, they do tend to centre around the view that Covid is serious and that it's spread needs to be mitigated. Their accountability is through the bank - if we don't consume them, they don't get paid - and through the regulators - if you believe what they're publishing is false, then you have the option of taking it to their regulators. You also have the option of going through your elected representatives if you want to see policies change.

But I stand by my view about holding members of advisory bodies accountable. We live in a parliamentary democracy, where experts advise and politicians decide. It is the politicians who are accountable for the decisions, even if those decisions are based on the advice of their advisors. If we start venting the pressures that are felt on those advisors, the effect will be counter-productive - what you position is precisely a form of mob rule.

Some of the advisers, both for and against lockdowns, have chosen to take public stands, and you've mentioned some; I'd add on the anti-restriction side the likes of Carl Heneghan and Sunetra Gupta. What's interesting is that their ideas have been scrutinised, and the credibility of their advice balanced - which is why the ones you name have general credibility, but Heneghan and Gupta have lost theirs. That's the result of debate - not the sort of set-piece debate that a tv studio provides, but proper scrutiny of ideas and advice.

Personally, I think the Independent SAGE crowd will soon be found as wanting as the likes of Heneghan or Gupta, as their fundamental bias and disregard of facts starts to be clearer. That is emerging through the media, as things like the ratio of case numbers to hospitalisations and deaths become more clearly drawn. My paper of choice is the Times; they're broadly supportive of the government but critical on details - and their reporters (I particularly rate Tom Whipple) very good at getting under the skin of the science to try to explain it.

But ultimately, our interpretation of what's happening will depend on our fundamental beliefs about why it's happening. I firmly believe that Covid has come out of nowhere, is genuinely dangerous, and that governments worldwide have been trying to work out how to respond to it, some better and some worse than others. I haven't believed, and for all the slippery slope arguments advanced by some, still don't, that the measures taken have been in pursuit of some kind of control agenda. That affects how I read the news, and the media.

You seem to believe something different, and that drives your views of what is reported. I don't believe the evidence supports your views, which is why I debate them, but you're entitled to them. I'd just ask you to think hard about why my interpretation should be wrong in principle.
 

DustyBin

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As I've posted previously, media is made up of people, who have their own opinions, biases, and beliefs. They aren't monolithic, and in the media I consume, I see a range of opinions. However, they do tend to centre around the view that Covid is serious and that it's spread needs to be mitigated. Their accountability is through the bank - if we don't consume them, they don't get paid - and through the regulators - if you believe what they're publishing is false, then you have the option of taking it to their regulators. You also have the option of going through your elected representatives if you want to see policies change.

But I stand by my view about holding members of advisory bodies accountable. We live in a parliamentary democracy, where experts advise and politicians decide. It is the politicians who are accountable for the decisions, even if those decisions are based on the advice of their advisors. If we start venting the pressures that are felt on those advisors, the effect will be counter-productive - what you position is precisely a form of mob rule.

Some of the advisers, both for and against lockdowns, have chosen to take public stands, and you've mentioned some; I'd add on the anti-restriction side the likes of Carl Heneghan and Sunetra Gupta. What's interesting is that their ideas have been scrutinised, and the credibility of their advice balanced - which is why the ones you name have general credibility, but Heneghan and Gupta have lost theirs. That's the result of debate - not the sort of set-piece debate that a tv studio provides, but proper scrutiny of ideas and advice.

Personally, I think the Independent SAGE crowd will soon be found as wanting as the likes of Heneghan or Gupta, as their fundamental bias and disregard of facts starts to be clearer. That is emerging through the media, as things like the ratio of case numbers to hospitalisations and deaths become more clearly drawn. My paper of choice is the Times; they're broadly supportive of the government but critical on details - and their reporters (I particularly rate Tom Whipple) very good at getting under the skin of the science to try to explain it.

But ultimately, our interpretation of what's happening will depend on our fundamental beliefs about why it's happening. I firmly believe that Covid has come out of nowhere, is genuinely dangerous, and that governments worldwide have been trying to work out how to respond to it, some better and some worse than others. I haven't believed, and for all the slippery slope arguments advanced by some, still don't, that the measures taken have been in pursuit of some kind of control agenda. That affects how I read the news, and the media.

You seem to believe something different, and that drives your views of what is reported. I don't believe the evidence supports your views, which is why I debate them, but you're entitled to them. I'd just ask you to think hard about why my interpretation should be wrong in principle.

Quite an interesting post!

Your final point is where we fundamentally differ. I absolutely believe that the government have discovered, by accident, that they have much more control than they previously realised, and far from surrendering it they intend to maintain it, or quite possibly increase it. There's an adage about (not) attributing to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence, but to explain the last 18 months would require (literally) incredible levels of incompetence in my opinion. And even that wouldn't explain the blatant dishonesty over things like vaccine passports. I see no reason why we can't return to 2019 normal at this stage, if there was the political will to do so. As this is evidently lacking I have to question why, and it's not unreasonable to conclude that it's because the re-written contract (metaphorically speaking) between the government and the people, including increased state interference in our everyday lives, rather suits the former. This is only my opinion, I can't say categorically who's right or wrong, but this is very much what I think we are seeing, as much as I'd rather it wasn't.
 

TPO

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I for one would like to see them put in front of an public inquiry into how the restrictions were mandated & handled. They could then be questioned on their advice, the models they used and their conduct on media / social media.

As I've posted previously, media is made up of people, who have their own opinions, biases, and beliefs. They aren't monolithic, and in the media I consume, I see a range of opinions. However, they do tend to centre around the view that Covid is serious and that it's spread needs to be mitigated. Their accountability is through the bank - if we don't consume them, they don't get paid - and through the regulators - if you believe what they're publishing is false, then you have the option of taking it to their regulators. You also have the option of going through your elected representatives if you want to see policies change.

But I stand by my view about holding members of advisory bodies accountable. We live in a parliamentary democracy, where experts advise and politicians decide. It is the politicians who are accountable for the decisions, even if those decisions are based on the advice of their advisors. If we start venting the pressures that are felt on those advisors, the effect will be counter-productive - what you position is precisely a form of mob rule.

Some of the advisers, both for and against lockdowns, have chosen to take public stands, and you've mentioned some; I'd add on the anti-restriction side the likes of Carl Heneghan and Sunetra Gupta. What's interesting is that their ideas have been scrutinised, and the credibility of their advice balanced - which is why the ones you name have general credibility, but Heneghan and Gupta have lost theirs. That's the result of debate - not the sort of set-piece debate that a tv studio provides, but proper scrutiny of ideas and advice.

Personally, I think the Independent SAGE crowd will soon be found as wanting as the likes of Heneghan or Gupta, as their fundamental bias and disregard of facts starts to be clearer. That is emerging through the media, as things like the ratio of case numbers to hospitalisations and deaths become more clearly drawn. My paper of choice is the Times; they're broadly supportive of the government but critical on details - and their reporters (I particularly rate Tom Whipple) very good at getting under the skin of the science to try to explain it.

But ultimately, our interpretation of what's happening will depend on our fundamental beliefs about why it's happening. I firmly believe that Covid has come out of nowhere, is genuinely dangerous, and that governments worldwide have been trying to work out how to respond to it, some better and some worse than others. I haven't believed, and for all the slippery slope arguments advanced by some, still don't, that the measures taken have been in pursuit of some kind of control agenda. That affects how I read the news, and the media.

You seem to believe something different, and that drives your views of what is reported. I don't believe the evidence supports your views, which is why I debate them, but you're entitled to them. I'd just ask you to think hard about why my interpretation should be wrong in principle.


Indeed.

I would like to see both:

(1) SAGE held accountable for the advice they provide. Can they demonstrate it was based on sound premise (like an Engineer would do if they had given advice and a failure had resulted- their Professional Indemnity would cover them so long as they could show that, so this is an established principle). If they cannot, then they should suffer the consequences of being sued and losing their job, just like any other professional who gave poor advice can be held accountable. If they operated professionally they will likewise not have an issue as their PI insurance should cover them- so it's fair. I'd hope that any good lawyer can for example examine the quality of programming in Prof Ferguson's model and explore the success rate of all of his modelling (and if relevant why he didn't learn from experience).

(2) The media subject to a formal examination (like the Leveson enquiry) into why the basic standards of journalism have fallen so low. If the BBC have been nobbled as a propaganda machine, that also needs to be flushed out. Perhaps this examination should also reflect on how the background of many journalists (private school, arts grad, parents wealthy enough to fund the interships) makes it difficult for them to understand complex scientific subjects enough, and why they don't look at the relevant background of left-wing scientists and see it as relevant as scientists are people and hence not free of their own bias.

A review of why we had to rely on such poor measures as "with" COVID rather than "from" COVID" would also be useful given how many COVID cases may be coincidental to the hospital stay/death rather than causing it.

I doubt any of this will happen though as to do so would expose the incompetence and venailty of both the media and "establishment".

The CCP must be mighty pleased at how they turned a potential PR disaster into an extremely effective weakening of their western rivals.

TPO
 

MikeWM

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Joined
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Messages
2,505
Location
Ely
I'd just ask you to think hard about why my interpretation should be wrong in principle.

I believe there are a number of answers to that, but I think the quickest answer to that is 'treatments'. There is strong evidence [1] that there are effective, well-known and well-understood treatments that significantly lessen the severity of the disease in the majority of people.

So, 16 months into this pandemic, why is the best advice we offer to people that get the disease *still* to take a few paracetamol and hope it doesn't get worse?

Why has there been a concerted effort from some in the medical community (eg. trials using the wrong protocols, fraudulent papers that had to be withdrawn later) to discredit these treatments?

Why (to try to keep slightly on topic :) ) does the media have a virtual blackout on reporting anything to do with these treatments (with the exception of the Daily Mail, which has managed to run one or two articles).

Why do social media ban pretty much anyone that tries to talk about these treatments, given that even if it turned out they were dangerous somehow (which would be rather odd for well-established drugs that are on the 'essential medicines' list), you can't exactly just go and pick them up at the corner shop to try them yourselves?

It is incredibly fishy, and I see no explanation for it - other than that there is more going on than just trying to stop people getting ill and dying from a disease. What that 'more' is, I'm not entirely sure, but I have my suspicions, as I mention on here from time to time.


[1] I'm aware that you disagree that there is strong evidence based on previous discussions we've had, but I think you're wrong on this one. At the very least we're 16 months in, and enough people have had the disease - why haven't we had massive trials in the general public to find out either way?
 

kez19

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2020
Messages
1,525
Location
Dundee
As I've posted previously, media is made up of people, who have their own opinions, biases, and beliefs. They aren't monolithic, and in the media I consume, I see a range of opinions. However, they do tend to centre around the view that Covid is serious and that it's spread needs to be mitigated. Their accountability is through the bank - if we don't consume them, they don't get paid - and through the regulators - if you believe what they're publishing is false, then you have the option of taking it to their regulators. You also have the option of going through your elected representatives if you want to see policies change.

But I stand by my view about holding members of advisory bodies accountable. We live in a parliamentary democracy, where experts advise and politicians decide. It is the politicians who are accountable for the decisions, even if those decisions are based on the advice of their advisors. If we start venting the pressures that are felt on those advisors, the effect will be counter-productive - what you position is precisely a form of mob rule.

Some of the advisers, both for and against lockdowns, have chosen to take public stands, and you've mentioned some; I'd add on the anti-restriction side the likes of Carl Heneghan and Sunetra Gupta. What's interesting is that their ideas have been scrutinised, and the credibility of their advice balanced - which is why the ones you name have general credibility, but Heneghan and Gupta have lost theirs. That's the result of debate - not the sort of set-piece debate that a tv studio provides, but proper scrutiny of ideas and advice.

Personally, I think the Independent SAGE crowd will soon be found as wanting as the likes of Heneghan or Gupta, as their fundamental bias and disregard of facts starts to be clearer. That is emerging through the media, as things like the ratio of case numbers to hospitalisations and deaths become more clearly drawn. My paper of choice is the Times; they're broadly supportive of the government but critical on details - and their reporters (I particularly rate Tom Whipple) very good at getting under the skin of the science to try to explain it.

But ultimately, our interpretation of what's happening will depend on our fundamental beliefs about why it's happening. I firmly believe that Covid has come out of nowhere, is genuinely dangerous, and that governments worldwide have been trying to work out how to respond to it, some better and some worse than others. I haven't believed, and for all the slippery slope arguments advanced by some, still don't, that the measures taken have been in pursuit of some kind of control agenda. That affects how I read the news, and the media.

You seem to believe something different, and that drives your views of what is reported. I don't believe the evidence supports your views, which is why I debate them, but you're entitled to them. I'd just ask you to think hard about why my interpretation should be wrong in principle.

1) you can’t as it’s OFCOM, hands tied, as for speaking to representatives who couldn’t give a toss on opinion so that’s a nada

2) after all this time oh dear, you mentioned some shot down I believe they’ll bite back soon

regarding my views I’m up for debate but I’m tired of seeing what I see and no one seems to listen or care until it’s too late, I’ve had my eyes open and have since and have questioned myself but I’m not here to tell what people think but if you believe in everything the media tells us is true then on that part of the debate you are sadly mistaken

Going back onto the politicians side of things do we honestly believe they care about us? I’m a believer they don’t as I mentioned unrelated to COVID I asked for things to be done locally did they? No, so why should I ever give a benefit of a doubt and why should I ever trust them? It’s like going back to the whole “clap for carers” it wasn’t that long after that it was a “slap for carers” politicians laying blame at their door but still it’s good publicity to let the media blame someone else though right? Both Scottish and UK governments have done this let’s not kid ourselves.
 
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87electric

Member
Joined
27 Jan 2010
Messages
805
TV media in the USA is so intertwined with large pharmaceutical corporations because of the huge amounts of advertising revenue. I remember reading in 2017 that 5 billion dollars a year was spent by drug companies with media outlets. The article also revealed that apart from CBS every major media outlet in the USA shared one board member with at least one drug company. So with this is mind, how does investigative journalism fit into all this with such conflicts of interest?
Negative press towards these funders or any accountability (for whatever reason) will be non existent. The media as an entity to question on behalf of the public is pretty much non existent these days. It is controlled. The John Pilger's of the world? Where are they? Those who do exist are certainly not involved with mainstream media anymore and have battled against censorship as seen in the last year or so. You have to go searching for alternative points of view these days to try and make your own informed opinion. Debates on mainstream media? Don't make me laugh. The world has changed and power with it.
 

35B

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2011
Messages
1,882
I believe there are a number of answers to that, but I think the quickest answer to that is 'treatments'. There is strong evidence [1] that there are effective, well-known and well-understood treatments that significantly lessen the severity of the disease in the majority of people.

So, 16 months into this pandemic, why is the best advice we offer to people that get the disease *still* to take a few paracetamol and hope it doesn't get worse?

Why has there been a concerted effort from some in the medical community (eg. trials using the wrong protocols, fraudulent papers that had to be withdrawn later) to discredit these treatments?

Why (to try to keep slightly on topic :) ) does the media have a virtual blackout on reporting anything to do with these treatments (with the exception of the Daily Mail, which has managed to run one or two articles).

Why do social media ban pretty much anyone that tries to talk about these treatments, given that even if it turned out they were dangerous somehow (which would be rather odd for well-established drugs that are on the 'essential medicines' list), you can't exactly just go and pick them up at the corner shop to try them yourselves?

It is incredibly fishy, and I see no explanation for it - other than that there is more going on than just trying to stop people getting ill and dying from a disease. What that 'more' is, I'm not entirely sure, but I have my suspicions, as I mention on here from time to time.


[1] I'm aware that you disagree that there is strong evidence based on previous discussions we've had, but I think you're wrong on this one. At the very least we're 16 months in, and enough people have had the disease - why haven't we had massive trials in the general public to find out either way?
Re [1], my view is that treatments like Ivermectin and Hydroxychlorquine have been promoted far beyond their merits, been subjected to serious trials and found wanting. Hydroxychloroquine was subject to a proper randomised controlled trial; the meta-analyses of Ivermectin showing benefit rely on highly contested trials.
Quite an interesting post!

Your final point is where we fundamentally differ. I absolutely believe that the government have discovered, by accident, that they have much more control than they previously realised, and far from surrendering it they intend to maintain it, or quite possibly increase it. There's an adage about (not) attributing to conspiracy what can be explained by incompetence, but to explain the last 18 months would require (literally) incredible levels of incompetence in my opinion. And even that wouldn't explain the blatant dishonesty over things like vaccine passports. I see no reason why we can't return to 2019 normal at this stage, if there was the political will to do so. As this is evidently lacking I have to question why, and it's not unreasonable to conclude that it's because the re-written contract (metaphorically speaking) between the government and the people, including increased state interference in our everyday lives, rather suits the former. This is only my opinion, I can't say categorically who's right or wrong, but this is very much what I think we are seeing, as much as I'd rather it wasn't.
I prefer cock-up vs. conspiracy; in practice, that means that I believe in the power of accident over deliberate action. I'm sure that some individuals do see an opportunity to change the relationship of state to populace, but I see the oscillations (e.g. vaccine passports) as evidence of decisions being made in real time.
1) you can’t as it’s OFCOM, hands tied, as for speaking to representatives who couldn’t give a toss on opinion so that’s a nada

2) after all this time oh dear, you mentioned some shot down I believe they’ll bite back soon

regarding my views I’m up for debate but I’m tired of seeing what I see and no one seems to listen or care until it’s too late, I’ve had my eyes open and have since and have questioned myself but I’m not here to tell what people think but if you believe in everything the media tells us is true then on that part of the debate you are sadly mistaken

Going back onto the politicians side of things do we honestly believe they care about us? I’m a believer they don’t as I mentioned unrelated to COVID I asked for things to be done locally did they? No, so why should I ever give a benefit of a doubt and why should I ever trust them? It’s like going back to the whole “clap for carers” it wasn’t that long after that it was a “slap for carers” politicians laying blame at their door but still it’s good publicity to let the media blame someone else though right? Both Scottish and UK governments have done this let’s not kid ourselves.
Have you actually tried engaging with your elected representatives or OFCOM?
 

Skimpot flyer

Established Member
Joined
16 Nov 2012
Messages
1,419
I guess what I am getting at is if I (and a large percentage of society) already have a "papers please society" for certain activities, I don't really think its on for the older generation who mostly haven't experienced that (remembering places are a lot more strict these days than what they were like when say my parents were young) to be all high and mighty about how awful that is and that its something that only happens in other countries and is totally "Unbritish", totally ignoring that is daily life for a lot of us in this country anyway! I really feels like some of these opinion pieces are written by people who have literally zero experience of the real world when it comes to things like this. Being asked for ID for certain activities happens to me and millions of other people in the UK every single week and we don't go crying in a corner about how awful it is!

They absolutely exist - mainly as a clause of their license. Sometimes that means IDing everyone all of the time, and in other cases it is just during certain times or whilst certain other events are occurring locally.
A large number of younger people already have experience of life on zero-hours contracts. Do you recommend all older-generation workers be moved off salaried jobs & onto insecure employment, with immediate effect ?

Never say never.
Your word is your Bond? :D
 
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kez19

Established Member
Joined
15 May 2020
Messages
1,525
Location
Dundee
Re [1], my view is that treatments like Ivermectin and Hydroxychlorquine have been promoted far beyond their merits, been subjected to serious trials and found wanting. Hydroxychloroquine was subject to a proper randomised controlled trial; the meta-analyses of Ivermectin showing benefit rely on highly contested trials.

I prefer cock-up vs. conspiracy; in practice, that means that I believe in the power of accident over deliberate action. I'm sure that some individuals do see an opportunity to change the relationship of state to populace, but I see the oscillations (e.g. vaccine passports) as evidence of decisions being made in real time.

Have you actually tried engaging with your elected representatives or OFCOM?


Well let me see, have they chapped my door? No, as stated before they wouldn't care about my views anyway like I say why bother since we are in this together remember?

Have I emailed them? No, as where I stay its mostly SNP based and rarely lack of opposition to even think of contacting, so I doubt regardless of my view towards MPs in general they wouldn't even think about taking my views on board (so as above why bother?).

Why engage with OFCOM? OFCOM would say same thing regardless be if BBC or the news outlets were right than wrong but whats the point? No one cares.
 

35B

Established Member
Joined
19 Dec 2011
Messages
1,882
Well let me see, have they chapped my door? No, as stated before they wouldn't care about my views anyway like I say why bother since we are in this together remember?

Have I emailed them? No, as where I stay its mostly SNP based and rarely lack of opposition to even think of contacting, so I doubt regardless of my view towards MPs in general they wouldn't even think about taking my views on board (so as above why bother?).

Why engage with OFCOM? OFCOM would say same thing regardless be if BBC or the news outlets were right than wrong but whats the point? No one cares.
Try them, you might be surprised. But if you’re going to say “they don’t listen to me”, you at least have to give them the chance.
 
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