Analysis comment

Our kids are still at school – but Parliament cancels all MP events because of COVID-19

Email by chair of Tory committee breaks news

Graham Brady’s email to Tory MPs

An email sent to Tory MPs by the chair of the Conservative ‘1922 Committee’ announcing the cancellation of a reception also confirms that the House of Commons has cancelled all events because of the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Yet Boris Johnson continues to insist schools will not be closed and that there is no scientific evidence to support the need for doing so.

But Yale university social scientist and physician Nicholas Christakis – listed as one of the world’s most influential scientists – points out in an interview with Science Magazine:

Q: How about proactive school closures, before there are any infections associated with a school? Are they helpful?

A: Proactive school closures—closing schools before there’s a case there—have been shown to be one of the most powerful nonpharmaceutical interventions that we can deploy. Proactive school closures work like reactive school closures not just because they get the children, the little vectors, removed from circulation.

It’s not just about keeping the kids safe. It’s keeping the whole community safe. When you close the schools, you reduce the mixing of the adults—parents dropping off at the school, the teachers being present. When you close the schools, you effectively require the parents to stay home.

The Tories have made perfectly clear whose lives matter to them – and the decision to cancel MPs’ events show the real risks that they are ignoring in forcing our children to continue going into the firing line of this virus.

And that puts all of us in danger while the government protects itself.

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31 comments

  1. Quite. This is not so much a serious response to t massive humanitarian emergency, as a social experiment to see if doing nothing can somehow produce a “herd immunity” which nobody else in the world believes to be remotely possible, or in any way responsible. But this is the government we have elected. Can anyone be surprise when they look after themselves and fuck with the rest of us?

  2. Boris Johnson’s “don’t do as I do, do as I say” will stop being the bott-promoted “common sense” as soon as the casualty rate escalates. It will be seen as a highly dubious and dangerous strategy.

    What can we do?

    You can work with your local CLP to do what Labour does best: Care for our people in our community.

    “We must come together to ensure that the most vulnerable in our communities are taken care of and supported during this difficult time.

    “Towards that endeavor, we are creating a database of people who might be in a position to help with the voluntary work that may become necessary very soon.

    “This may include collecting and delivering food and prescriptions, as well as maintaining social contact for the well being of those in isolation.

    “Please fill out the below form if you would like to support your neighborhood in this way.”

    Those words were lifted from an email I received from my local CLP today.

    My name will be added to the CLP database because I am Labour, I care for people first. And my community will soon know what the MAIN difference between Labour and the Conservatives is. We care, they don’t.

    This is how we make a difference and show people that we are NOT ‘all the same’. Socialism, is, as Tony Benn said, better described as ‘people-ism’.

  3. Sorry – but picking and choosing ‘scientific’ advice to suit an agenda isn’t very helpful.

    There are lots of grounds to criticize the Tories, but a policy of (non) blanket closure of schools *at the present time* isn’t one of them. The issue is very much one that is genuinely contested.

      1. The reasoning is that it transfers pressure in terms of child care onto families and often older, more vulnerable people whilst also creating serious knock-on economic issues for families, whilst having questionable effects on transmission.

        The important point to note is the phrase “at the present time” in a rapidly evolving situation.

      2. You also asked ‘Who’s contesting it?’. I’ve not kept notes – but the questionability is based on analysis of responses to previous epidemics.

    1. RH iTs not often I agree with you,but you are correct “picking scientific advice to suit the agenda” Thats exactly why the Torys have used a knight of the realm to give advice against all of the experts and China to execute the Herd agenda.quite frankly to associate the working class as cattle is typical of the establishment.and to meekly follow the herd is increasingly sinister….Somone on here mentioned the massive savings to be had on the pensions and ,the NHS of a mass culling of the elderly and the vulnerable…thats real austerity in action and just think of the money 💰 saved to be divied out to their pals in the City.Somones got to pay for the fake money and Pyramid from collapsing.A country where we aceppt a non government is breathtakingly no civilisation at all.

    1. It’s not just PR stuff. But it is in an area of behavioual science that is partial, complex and often contradictory.

      In policy terms, it smacks of a favourite fashion for people like Cummings – not an incontrovertible basis for decision-making.

      This whole area of decision-making is a minefield, balancing a number of irreconcilable factors which change in salience over time.

      In general, I don’t think that this goverment has anywhere near the necessary competence to assess the evidence or deal with the situation, but neither do I think anything is to be gained by creating simplistic conspiratorial counter-narratives. It just feeds the beast.

      1. RH …A delegation to China of our brave Mps would show somebody in power gives a dam about the lives of millions of our people,but we both know that it will never happen because the Herd agenda will save billions and a trip to China might show them somthing of value on how to run a country of 1.5billion people in a civalised society comrade.

      2. Joseph – Your view of the Chinese response is a bit rosy. The first response to early cases (from November) was suppression of information.

  4. To cut through the Tory bullshit Many of these non government ministers do not send their little ones to the “herd schools” and we the elderly and the vulnerable will not be used as an expendemble flotsam of Tory fanatics.We will not be brainwashed into the Tory mindset of “some of us are more equal than others” .The day we aceppt Tory eugenics is the day we capitulate to the establishment.Ps I am still recovering from the virus and so is my wife and grandchildren,but things are getting better.Yes from my experience now I can say look after your elderly and the little ones ,We value the future and look to the past to destroy the Tory establishment..What I see today in Britain makes me shudder at the meek acceptance of mass murder.Where are our fearless leaders and PLP,we need to hit the streets and stop this murder even if it kills us..How long before a State of emergency to cling to power.Handled by real leaders this virus can be used for us to fight back and erradicate a more ruthless and destructive disease Neo Liberal and the Tory non government.

  5. Fridays press full of praise for government approach,not closing down mass attendance events a goo thing,proportionate,setting calm tone. BBC wheeled out string of experts to support this. During day most sports authorities decide to ignore government advice and call off events. Saturday government announces they are going to ban mass gatherings. Our free and fearless pr as,including BBC,laud the decision calling it brave,timely and necessary, showing the government is responding to a fast changing situation.Yet another example of how inept and servile our media has become.

  6. I’m just surprised they haven’t been so brazen as to close eton, harrow and the rest of them; while keeping the state schools open.**

    …But there’s still time, I guess.

    On another note, I see the mayors and councillors get an extra YEAR ffs.

    **No doubt their excuse’d be along the lines of their nannies wll take care of their sprogs, so no need for time off for the ‘oik’ parents

    1. Toffee597…Thanks for the laugh this morning…public schools v herd schools good analogy of what we are up against.Many do not realise the contempt these Characters out of an old Dickens novel have for the working class.How many have already paid with their lives for Tory austerity?…This Herd plan is just a step closer to culling legally

      1. ”This Herd plan is just a step closer to culling legally”

        That’s been going on for a while now ,Joseph. Think Austerity.

        Think ‘Work Capability Assessments’ and ‘Benefit Sanctions.’

        ‘No causal effect’ They keep palming us off with.

        Just like there’ll be ‘No causal effect’ between their laissez-faire attitude now, and the amount of preventable deaths that will mount up over the coming weeks & months as a result.

        Best get them toerags packed off to a nuclear bunker somewhere, shortly…’cos by then it won’t just be a virus out to ruin their day.

        #sneezeonatory🤧,

  7. China. Where they sacrificed the economy to save the people.

    Britain. Where they sacrificed the people to save the economy.

    All of you school kids, parents, grandparents and staff are worth (in total)…3% of GDP.

    Doesn’t it make you warm knowing you’re in a large group worth so much?

    Stay safe all, and remember to chomp vitamin C.

    1. Never voting Labour again…..well we have to remember Its all a Communist virus and conspiracy to overcome the world.!..And the sad 😢 fact is a lot of the public believe it.Cambodia have been supplied with state of the art detectors that half the world are begging for by the Chinese government free of charge.Thats what working together means unknown in the average tory thinking.

  8. Like many of you I have just recieved an email from the most kind and decent human being in politics today.Jeremy Corbyn thinking of the future in helping the people and using Labour party resources to do it.In my earlier post today I asked where are our Labour politicians,Where are the leaders?.Jeremy Corbyn has just answered loud and clear IN Amongst US as per usual.Can we postpone the leadership election please…We dont need one!

    1. Joseph I wish you well in your recovery , did the virus follow the same pattern , ie fever first followed by cough etc or what .

      By far the best PM this country never had and tragically this fact will become more and more pronounced in the weeks to come as the B.D.R.I Boris Death Rate Index climbs .Take it on the chin you plebs.

      I love the way Corbyn has pointed the way in helping to prove to the local community the value of Labour .
      In mine we have already started this process with volunteer lists to firstly support our membership as these are the only ones we can contact due to the DPA . Should word spread then so much the better and folks are free to join Labour.
      Disappointing but unsurprising we heard NOTHIN from Starmer or the others .
      Corbyn simply miles ahead of the other lightweights , a real socialist and a decent human something Johnson/Cummings and his ilk will never be or understand .
      As you say WE DON’T NEED A NEW LEADER WE HAVE THE BEST ONE ALREADY.
      Petition below to that effect

      https://www.change.org/p/the-labour-party-s-nec-suspend-the-labour-leadership-contest

      1. Rob my virus started with a nasty cough and fever,like so many viruses out here it progressed to a severe flu and breathing difficulties and has lasted approx 3weeks and still coughing.But the worst part was breathing difficulties and blockages etc.Being the oldest here I was the worst effected and I just remained in bed and insulted every Tory establishment and Royal I could think of.But has they say “ITs the coffin they carry you offin” and we all die of shortness of breath……..Solidarity comrade..!

  9. Protect those fat old rich men at all costs and BTW your children ,,, just take it on the chin ,,, remember GET BREXIT DONE ,,, where’s Fartage these days …. hiding ?

      1. Excellent Joe ,,I hope many others here sign it too ?
        Its a small gesture I know but in the light of anything else …..

        And thks for the virus info , I wanted to get some first hand real word information and not the MSM hysterical BS or Govt lies.

        Know what to expect now when my turn comes

  10. The WHO has contested Mr Toad’s sanguine statement about the population developing ‘herd immunity’ as a counter-measure. I don’t subscribe to conspiracy theories on this – its just another example of incompetence and lack of understanding.

    Meanwhile, I note that the daily notification of confirmed cases is approaching a rate of doubling. Of course, the problem is relating this notification of infection to an actual figure of infection.

    But the University has stopped face-to-face teaching, and I reckon the issue of school closure will be back on the agenda this week, even though there have only been 3 notified cases in the area. We are currently looking to stop grandparent duties to try to keep ahead of the curve.

    None of it makes for easy or certain decision making.

    1. RH….I understand that you find it hard to believe that a goverment,even a Tory regime would plan to kill a part of the elderly and vulnerable population.I to would have thought that way many years ago.In the late 60S I went to the northern part of Ireland and was given a quick education of what a goverment can do if it veiws the population asking for civil rights as scum and as paisley said “Them Catholics breed like Rabbits and spread like vermin” .just after burning out the Catholic area around water street in his contribution to ethnic..religious cleansing.A later was rewarded by the establishment by being elevated to the lords after serving as leader of the queens Privey council.The very same people who supported paisley are in control of the country now.Do you really think that these people are any different today than they were in the 60s,and more importantly do they value the lives of the British working class any more than the lives of working class Catholics in Ireland..I doubt it very much especially there being cash incentive to support their vulnerable in the City and the Banks.

    1. RH didnt think much of the nudge theory and the failed experiment line.The Torys are not playing with theorys of what will solve the pandemic.No they are playing eugenics of survival of the fittist and are about to abandon the population and spend little to help.the aged or vulnerable to survive..This non government are not stupid has you suggest just downright evil .and cruel.

  11. You miss out the reduction in future social care costs and the vulnerability of four million children living in poverty who will be more susceptible to illness.

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