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benchwarmer

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  1. In terms of % it looks as though UK is doing far better than EU getting the vaccine out But look at the actual numbers. As of yesterday UK had vaccinated approx 10.5m, EU approx 14.3m. The vaccine manufacturers can't turn it out any faster, and the EU's population is approx 446m compared to UK approx 67.7m. That's why the % is misleading. Lies, damned lies and statistics, courtesy of once trusted media outlets like the BBC.
  2. Our contribution to the EU will turn out to be a small price compared to the economic cost of Brexit. The government is already throwing compensation money at the problem and we haven't been out for a month yet. Add it to the eye-watering cost of covid and we're in real trouble for years to come.
  3. That was our proud reputation. It was never entirely deserved, and Brexit has given it a severe dent. Many foreigners find Brexit utterly baffling because to them it's so out of character. Just not British. They'd never seen the ugly side before. Once a reputation is lost it's nigh on impossible to get it back. Known as the Ratner Effect.
  4. Yes, the UK has been among the leaders in this field since the turn of the century. All developed while we were in the EU and part financed by EU funds. Let's hope it continues.
  5. Apologies, we're at cross purposes. I thought you were talking about a vaccine for HIV, not people with HIV having the covid vaccine. I wonder why one hasn't been developed btw? As if we didn't know.
  6. Untreated HIV is almost 100% fatal, covid about 3% in the UK and close to zero if you're under 65. That's the difference.
  7. The information comes from the Lancet if you want to check it. Shortage of older volunteers is recognised as a problem with all clinical trials, but it's a particular drawback in this instance because the elderly are disproportionately affected by covid.
  8. That simply isn't true. The vaccines have not been thoroughly tested in over-65s for either safety or effectiveness. In the Pfizer trial about 12% of volunteers were aged over 55 which the Lancet concludes isn't enough to give a clear picture one way or the other. "We will have to wait and see" is the only honest conclusion. In that respect the vaccination programme is a kind of unregulated clinical trial. Many medicines affect older people differently to younger ones, so no assumptions can be made. The safety/effectiveness data which does exist only relates to using the vaccines as directed by the producers, which isn't happening here. Once again we will have to wait and see.
  9. I can think of only one practical solution: apply to join the customs union and/or single market. How humiliating, but I'm afraid we deserve it. If enough Conservative supporters come to the same conclusion, Boris and his repulsive cohort will be toast. Won't happen overnight of course.
  10. The requirement to pay VAT up front is causing huge problems for small businesses. Many are owned by core Brexit voters who feel they were lied to over the deal and are still being lied to about the consequences. A growing number are faced with the choice of setting up a European base (and cutting back on UK staff) or going bust. The owner of a packaging business in Ely which employs 37 people said "We celebrated the Brexit deal with champagne over Christmas . . . [then] realised a car crash was happening . . . I just want somebody to admit that Brexit is not about making Britain great again, not about giving us back our sovereignty. Brexit is about the engine room of Britain investing significantly in Europe". (from the Observer).
  11. It would make things clearer if we knew what was the government's ultimate aim, to accept that the virus is here to stay and learn to live with it, or to try and eradicate it. I certainly hope it's the former and that Boris isn't on one of his ego trips.
  12. I speak as I find. People are really worried about the delay with the second jab, a decision taken by a government whose leader has a well deserved reputation for cutting corners. The scientific community - apart from those in the pay of the government - clearly isn't happy; one has described it as an "unlicensed clinical trial" and it places the medical staff having to administer the jab in a very difficult position; they're being told by government to act against clinical instructions. I'm not even sure if that's legal. People don't know when, or even if, the second jab will actually be given. They take the vaccine because it's the only game in town but that doesn't mean their minds are at rest. Like any other medical treatment, they would feel a lot more confident if it was administered according to instructions. It's clear that the government's claim to be "following the science" only applies when it suits them. They've got involved in a childish game to 'win the vaccine race' and get one over on the rest of the world, but what on earth is the point if it's going to be a "very very very" long time before restrictions can end, according to Hancock?
  13. So now we not only have covid anxiety but vaccine anxiety as well. Great. Having had the virus last spring I've decided to rely on my immune system to protect me for the time being. When my turn comes for the vaccine (65-70 age group) I'm going to decline it for now and wait until the fog clears.
  14. BBC Business reports that some container ships have stopped docking at Felixstowe but unload UK-bound containers at Antwerp to be trucked across by ferry and tunnel. This is apparently due to a bottleneck at Felixstowe caused by red tape; the container business depends on being in and out of most ports in less than 24 hours and that's not happening at present. A very large number of empty containers are waiting at Felixstowe to be returned to the far east, and the knock-on effect is that the cost of hiring a container has gone through the roof. They say that covid-related holdups are also a factor, but Brexit means that it's a double whammy for the UK.
  15. One thing you can be absolutely sure of, Johnson is never straight with anybody. If something he says turns out to be true it's pure accident; even a broken clock tells the right time twice a day.
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