Business As Usual?

With the prospects of football revenues falling, a look at Everton's cashflows and the obvious conclusions to draw

Paul The Esk 19/04/2020 418comments  |  Jump to last

My recent articles have focused on the impact Covid-19 will have on football as a result of the likely economic depression arising from the pandemic. An economic depression is a period of sustained reduction in economic activity resulting in mass corporate failure, a huge reduction in trade volumes, very high rates of unemployment, with the resulting impact on housing, spending, education and health, and in the situation we find ourselves now, all at a time before a viable vaccine is in place to beat a highly dangerous virus.

The global economy is going to shrink and shrink by a considerable amount. In the event the world's major countries cannot return to some form of normal activity within 12 months, the OECD has predicted the following:

The developed world, in which many have grown fat (literally and financially) on consumption, is going to discover what happens when people stop consuming.

In such a scenario, football faces a systemic collapse. As I've stated previously, football's revenues are driven almost entirely by discretionary consumer spending. The clubs, commercial partners, sponsors and broadcasters all rely on ordinary people buying tickets, buying merchandise, buying food & beverages, buying the products of the sponsors and paying subscriptions to the broadcasters.

All of that stops, at best reduces significantly. Furthermore, what would probably be considered as the most resilient of income streams, matchday revenues, won't exist. It won't exist because fans are not going to be allowed to go to matches for obvious reasons. Italy, unusually ahead of the curve, anticipates behind-closed-door matches until March 2021.

Even when the gates are re-opened, capacities will be reduced because of social distancing and from a revenue point of view, corporate hospitality will be much reduced — due to affordability, but also the behavioural change which the pandemic will create. Most people will not wish to voluntarily mix with large groups of other people in an unnecessary social or business environment. Until immunity through vaccination is assured, that has to be an inevitable consequence.

Football itself, as a product, has changed — the game as a spectacle no longer exists as it did. Playing a game in an empty stadium is going to be a very hard sell to advertisers. Football has sold itself not only on the game but on the occasion. Pre- and post-match rituals will take a long time to recover. For years, there has been an aversion to the showing Premier League matches in stadiums with even a small number of empty seats, but social distancing regulations will mean reduced capacities and half-empty stadiums at best.

Aesthetically unappealing, it reduces the value of the spectacle. One of the potential remedies to domestic broadcasters, almost certainly denied the season finale, is to offer more games next season as a means of mitigating refunds for this uncompleted season.

That requires some thinking though.

The last complete broadcasting cycle 2016-19 saw the Premier League receive €2,034 million per season from domestic broadcasters for 168 live games — valuing each game at €12.1 million.

The 2019-22 cycle agreed 200 live games for €1,884 million per season from domestic broadcasters (including Amazon) — valuing each game at €9.4 million.

Now in a scenario where all games in season 2020-21 are shown by Sky, BT and Amazon because stadiums are closed to the general public, the value per game for domestic broadcasters falls to €4.96 million — that would be a 59% fall in the value of each match compared to the previous cycle. Even agreeing to the 200 games plus the 92 uncompleted games (as a way of compensation) reduces the value to €6.45 million.

Why is this important? It's important regarding future rights negotiations — the broadcasters who are still in business will want significant discounts on current costs. The broadcasters, both domestic but particularly the overseas, will be making the following calculations: What is the value of each game relative to the reduced number of subscriber and consequently advertiser revenues? Both elements of their value calculation are reducing; the question is not if or when, but by how much?

Equally, the value of sponsorship and commercial deals are directly related to the value of broadcasting deals. A fall in the broadcast value leads to a fall in endorsement value.

Remember that the growth in Premier League broadcasting revenues in recent years has come from overseas broadcasters. Currently, overseas broadcasters contribute 45% of all revenues equating to £1.4 bn per season.

However, if the Premier League reduces the broadcast value of each game (as above), it is reasonable to expect those overseas broadcasters still in business would demand similar cuts. A 30% cut represents £420 million (approximately £21 million per club), a 50% cut £700 million (approximately £35 million per club).

Whatever the final negotiations, broadcast income (and therefore other endorsement income) will fall in the future.


Before projecting the impact of the above on Everton, an understanding of where we might be currently is necessary. Obviously certain assumptions have to be made, but I hope you will find them reasonable:

Projected Profit and Loss account:

Here are two scenarios: In common, they include the £30 million naming rights option received from USM (booked as commercial income) and a projected £59 million profit contribution from player trading. Operating costs have been reduced by 20% to reflect the lack of activity in the final 4 months of the year.

“m1” assumes that broadcasting revenues fall by £40 million based on £760 million recovered by the broadcasters from the Premier League. “m2” assumes a small change in broadcasting revenue reflecting the reduction in games broadcast domestically involving Everton.

Using the lower loss figure would produce aggregate losses since 2017 (Moshiri's first full financial year) of £154.3 million. Included in that is £229 million of player trading profits and the £30 million windfall from USM.

This, in the biggest bull market football has ever experienced.

What is interesting and perhaps most relevant in the current environment is to look at the movement of cash in the business in the last year.

As of the end June 2019, Everton had £27.4 million of cash in the bank. We had external loans of £36.4 million of which £17.9 million was to be repaid in July 2019 and the remaining £18.7 million (plus interest) in July 2020.

Included in this figure is £4 million of payments received for 2019-20 season ticket sales. The figure for this year's accounts will be lower given the payment holiday extended by the club.

We had trade debtors (monies due to us) which is almost entirely transfer fee instalments of £51.8 million due this financial year and £28.5 million subsequently.

Trade creditors (monies due to be paid by Everton) amounted to £73.5 million due this financial year and a further £34.4 million subsequently.

Assuming trade debtors and creditors have been received and paid this year results in a net outflow of cash of £21.7 million.

We were active in the transfer window during the summer of 2019. Net spend is important in calculating cash flow. Our net spend was £35.5 million. If we assume we paid and received an initial 50% of transfer instalments, that would see cash outflows of £17.7 million.

From the projected Profit and Loss accounts, projection m1 would show cash outflows of £43.6 million, and projection m2 outflows of £5.5 million.

In total, the club has projected negative cash flows of £62.8 million assuming no recovery of broadcast revenues. In the unlikely event of broadcasting cash recovery falling into this financial year, then the negative cash flow would rise to £100.9 million.

The question then is how is this funded? The accounts published in January show that Moshiri made an additional loan of £50 million in the period between 1 July 2019 and January 2020.

Additionally, Everton replaced their previous credit facilities with OCBC with a facility provided by Rights and Media Funding. The level of funding under this agreement will not be known until the next set of accounts are published.

Even on the highly optimistic assumption that revenues remained constant, it is clear from the above that, without a significant reduction in future costs, the club can only operate with the considerable financial support of Farhad Moshiri and an extension of credit facilities.

Reduce costs

In the likely scenario of a significant reduction in revenues, then the situation obviously becomes worse. It can only result in an enormous reduction in our cost base. That is difficult to achieve. It can only be achieved by a reduction in the number of people employed by the club, particularly players, or by a significant reduction in player wages, or most likely both.

It is not business as usual. The cost base of the club has to be addressed. That is inevitable. It's inevitable from a regulatory point of view (even if there's a temporary relaxation to reflect the extraordinary circumstances currently) but more importantly for the club's future solvency.

Everton are not alone in this respect. Every football club has to be doing the same analysis. The game faces a systemic crisis and, even for the biggest clubs to survive, they must start taking action.

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Reader Comments (418)

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Ian Smitham
1 Posted 19/04/2020 at 19:37:53
Paul, thank you for another great piece. On the "Abyss" article I posed a question and wondered if you feel that a bye product of the virus and associated effects maybe a loosening of the FFP rules, which could work to Everton's advantage? (I appreciate that everything is relative and football is a relatively insignificant aspect just now.)
Peter Mills
2 Posted 19/04/2020 at 20:07:30
Paul, I have read all your articles. I have struggled to fully understand them, because of my difficulty in comprehending the world of Accountancy - it always seems to me to be smoke and mirrors, but I accept the fault is mine.

However, I have been saying for 10 years or so that “every bubble bursts”. Is this that moment?

Anthony Murphy
3 Posted 19/04/2020 at 20:38:26
Bramley-Moore Dock – must be a concern?
Tony Everan
4 Posted 19/04/2020 at 21:00:49
Paul, thanks for the article, it’s all very interesting as everything is in a state of flux at the moment.

What do you think about different revenue streams from the online side? They will thinking how they can best maintain revenue and will be thinking outside the box to do so.

I have always thought that clubs in conjunction with Amazon etc may start offering Virtual season tickets that give access to fans all over the world to watch every game. All this may see the bigger clubs rebel against sharing the pot.

I can envisage a very acrimonious and rocky road ahead. We are entering a time of big changes to the way football is run.

Patrick McFarlane
5 Posted 19/04/2020 at 21:40:25
If Bramley Moore Dock fails to materialise it will be the end for Everton FC as a major club. I can't see how Moshiri could allow that to happen albeit it is reliant upon Planning Permission and getting investment - there will be a lot of turbulence that is a fact but the clubs will tailor their needs to the new situation that arises after the pandemic and the economic shocks have abated.

It's very easy to say that everything will go pear-shaped from the sidelines and it is a logical and valid viewpoint, however, Billionaires don't rely on logic alone, else they wouldn't be Billionaires. Football has had many shocks to the system in the last 100 years plus and it has so far managed to survive, it will do so again but probably in a very different form to how it is now.

It will be the players and their agents who will lose the most and about time too, many would say, but the clubs will find a way even if it means they let players run down their contracts and lose what has been invested in them up to this point, with many smaller clubs possibly going to the wall, there will be more value in the market to replace high-earners with cheaper versions.

It might take clubs a few years to become fighting fit again but it is still a money spinning operation with a global audience, granted that Everton FC may not be in the best position to take advantage of that opportunity but it would be foolish of the club to carry on as if nothing has happened.

Paul [The Esk]
6 Posted 19/04/2020 at 22:21:08
#1 Ian, hi, hope you and your family are well and safe.

Whilst I think regulations will be loosened, I think only in the context that they will ignore the consequences of the shutdown re Covid-19. They will allow clubs to project what their position would have been if the season had run its normal course. I doubt very much they will allow the loosening of regulations to create a free-for-all in terms of transfer spending.

Paul [The Esk]
7 Posted 19/04/2020 at 22:22:50
#2 Peter, yes absolutely – the bubble is burst through the awful consequences of Covid-19. Football's fortunes have peaked in my opinion and the game faces a very different future which I fear many clubs will be slow to adapt to.
Paul [The Esk]
8 Posted 19/04/2020 at 22:28:28
#3 Yes, Anthony – I believe so. The security of income has disappeared from the game and that will concern the lenders we had previously lined up.

#4 Tony, I agree the internet offers new challenges and may benefit fans in the future. Offering games over the internet should be cheaper than subscription-based TV channels – given the reduced ability for many to pay in the future that should be a good thing, but for clubs it probably means much-reduced income for the foreseeable future

#5 Patrick, it is the reliance on external investors that presents the problem for Bramley-Moore Dock. Investor appetite for risk has reduced significantly yet the risk associated with funding a stadium has risen substantially – that's the issue in my opinion.

Minik Hansen
9 Posted 19/04/2020 at 23:01:19
Regarding Bramley-Moore Dock, the price of building materials and workers price will also drop, therefore in some way be some percentage cheaper as well? Just a thought. I must confess it's just an assumption; I don't how it all works.
Paul [The Esk]
10 Posted 19/04/2020 at 23:11:26
#9 Minik that is true, steel has dropped over 20% so costs might be reduced but it is our ability to repay that the lenders will be most concerned about.
Paul Hewitt
11 Posted 20/04/2020 at 00:01:46
The simple answer is, football is in trouble. And about time.
Jerome Shields
12 Posted 20/04/2020 at 01:04:00
Football, and the Premier League in particular, has been defying logical business practice for some time. Most of us that run businesses would not have survived, not having the money to pump in, which Billionaires seemed to do with abandon. I never thought of football in terms of a boom and bust trend, but it looks like they too must conform to the market.

Ancelotti was very much ahead of the game when he predicted serious financial implications for Football; hopefully someone at Everton listened. All income is under treat. I was once told by my father that the difference between a recession and a depression was the difference between less income and no income. Football is in a depression and it's going to take years to address, particularly because the Football establishment, are oblivious to the problem, trying to keep going as before.

Whilst Everton will feel the impact, they are not as far up the ladder as other clubs and therefore will have a lesser height to fall from. They therefore may be able to recover quicker. At least us fans are hardened by being long-suffering.

Jerome Shields
13 Posted 20/04/2020 at 01:17:49
I do think it is likely that public funding or incentives for a rejuvenated Dockland development will be made available as part of a recovery.
Derek Thomas
14 Posted 20/04/2020 at 01:33:27
Read the first bit – discretionary personal spending – therein lies the key to everything.

No hoards of Asian, Scandinavian, Home Counties, etc. visitors or subscribers for that matter. Domestic subscribers will tighten their belts too.

Sky et al might lose money ffs. They may even cease to exist at all.

Clubs will have to exist on gate money again. Tea and pies etc. will still be sold, but the profits will stay in house maybe.

No more new shirts every 12mths at £130 a pop.

Players will have to scrape a living on only 5 or 10 times the average wage, not 100.

Coaches will have to build a team the old way. 25 man squads of multi-millionaires will shrink.

Training trips to Ainsdale sandhills may replace trips to Dubai sandhills.

Should you want one, you'll be able to pick up a Gold Bentley or such for a bargin price.

The rs and a few others of the usual suspects might go into administration.

The BBC might have to let go their army of rs pundits, Gary Lineker might have to restart his Dad's market stall business.

That's all I have of a positive nature so far - can anybody add to this?

Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 20/04/2020 at 06:57:22
Look on the bright side, Uncle Bill turned his interest into coin at just the right time, so will be able to bail us out without another mortgage or cash from the back of the sofa, yet again. We could even thank Dan Meis for his efforts and turn to Tom Hughes for renewal.
Eric Myles
16 Posted 20/04/2020 at 07:21:39
So the domestic broadcasting companies were paying €12.1 million per game before, and now they will be paying €6.45 million. That's definitely good business for them. Plus, they will be broadcasting more games, so will be able to sell more advertising for all those additional games.

Most overseas broadcasting companies already show all the games* so they will likely save money by not paying up their tranches, and of course lose revenue from games not shown.

*Most countries I've lived in show all the games except India which only shows selective "Big 6" games, and Korea which only shows games of teams that have Korean players. Even these buy their broadcasts from the likes of Sky or beIN Sports.

You talk about negotiations for future rights deals, but the rights are not negotiated, they are tendered.

Kevin Prytherch
17 Posted 20/04/2020 at 07:51:48
I don't know if this is a silly question...

If domestic broadcasters will now show more games due to social distancing restrictions, are they not then likely to have an increase in subscribers and could therefore see broadcast deals increase?

I know from a personal point of view, I can't get to the games live, but don't see the point in paying Sky Sports for one game a month. If I could see more games per month, I'd probably subscribe rather than relying on dodgy internet streams.

Alan McGuffog
18 Posted 20/04/2020 at 08:41:43
There seems to be a consensus that the game as we know it is going to be immersed in the brown stuff.

Clubs may well go to the wall. We all know now the ones that will survive and, indeed, prosper. Whether or not Everton is in that elite group who can tell.

One thing I would suggest though is that the prospect of an elite European league draws closer.

Hugh Jenkins
19 Posted 20/04/2020 at 09:04:29
Paul - thank you, a very informative read.

Undoubtedly, Covid-19 has changed our way of life, possibly forever and not just in terms of football.

Unemployment is going to rise very substantially (e.g. Debenhams has gone into administration for a second time and they employ 20,000 nationwide). The High Street, as we knew it, has heard its death knell since the advent of online shopping and many of the small (unessential) businesses that were forced to close on March 23rd, may never re-open.

However, as Jerome (13) said, the national, regional and local governments will recognise this and all manner of grants and finance packages will be made available to generate "new" jobs once the main wave of Covid-19 has passed, or a vaccine has been found.

Consequently, as Bramley-Moore Dock has already received tacit support for financing from the city council, I believe the project will go ahead.

Whether or not, in the face of what others here have said about the possible changing face of football, it will still be deemed necessary, or desirable, is another matter?

Paul Birmingham
20 Posted 20/04/2020 at 09:30:22
Excellent article, Paul. Every club in the world and every business is on the rocks or close to the rocks.

Some will be unscathed and many will sink for good. Social demands and requirements in a major global recession and within the UK a shrinking economy, people's priorities and requirements will change.

Things we took for granted like going shopping will take a long time to get back to normal. What will 'normal' be in the months ahead remains to be seen.

If the suppression plans are maintained through the summer, then a managed easing back to a level of life as normal, could happen.

For me, the government has been too lax from day one and, if they don't learn from these past couple of months, God help us all, if there's a second wave or a different strain of Coronavirus?

Football as we all, will have to cut our cloth to suit. Where this involves life's luxuries and treats remains to be seen.

Alan @18, I agree, that this pandemic may raise the profile of Uefa to a European Super League, which has been hovering for years now, but going back to science what's key is that a vaccine is discovered as the psychological damage of this and similar viruses now, and in the future, is surely a matter the WHO must be working on to try and resolve with high priority.

All stay safe and well.

Paul [The Esk]
21 Posted 20/04/2020 at 09:54:32
Thanks for all the comments. Can I just pick up on the Council previously having agreed to fund the stadium. That's not strictly true, Joe's proposals were never agreed at Council. There were two main issues, a partisan political one & the issue of security. I'd suggest the risk attached to the scheme now is greater than 2 years ago when Joe first mooted it.

Whilst the City's need is no doubt greater post Covid-19, the willingness of the Council to accept the new risks may be too great. Happy to hear other's opinion on that.

Steve Barnes
22 Posted 20/04/2020 at 10:24:00
Alan #18 - I agree with you that the spectre of the dreaded European “Super” League may well come sooner rather than later. The normal media darlings will obviously be included.

It will be interesting to see how clubs like the lot across the park, Man Utd and Arsenal do during Covid-19 given their ownership. Let's hope Mr Moshiri and/or Mr Usmanov see the long term potential for Everton and keep on investing.

Rob Halligan
23 Posted 20/04/2020 at 10:28:54
Alan, #18. That's been my exact thought for a while now. The so-called big European teams will suddenly decide there will be insufficient money in their own domestic leagues and decide to breakaway and form their own league.

It will simply be a case of "stuff you lot, we're off".

Robert Tressell
24 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:02:18
The European Super League is very complicated. In some ways I welcome it because I think it will fail. Once you detach the club from the country, let alone the city it represents, then it loses all purpose and identity.

I'm hopeful that financial issues actually force closer ties between clubs and the communities they represent.

Brian Williams
25 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:03:20
I don't know if I'm alone in my thinking, and I don't mean to trivialise the effects of the pandemic, but I think the forecasts of doom are a little over the top, just my opinion.

I know it's different times but a 6-year global war that saw the razing of complete cities, millions dead, and countries in financial ruin didn't "ruin the world forever."

Yes, it had huge implications for many years but this isn't a world war we're going through and I believe that there will be a total recovery (that's not to discount the thousands of deaths that have/will occur, please believe me) and that what we're going through and will go through is temporary.

There will be changes, and not all of them negative but, in the end, I believe things will settle and return to be close to what we know today.

I believe part of the outlook is down to most of us being from a generation that have enjoyed (generally but not exclusively) the good life, certainly compared to our (my) parents.

I'm not saying none of us have suffered hardship but, generally speaking, we've had it quite easy. I know people will have suffered financial hardship and illness. I've done both having "battled" (always makes me squirm that term) cancer for several years so my opinion on here is not from a stance of having had things all my own way and having had things easy.

I just don't see the depths of doom that some others are forecasting and believe that, although this horrible thing will have far-reaching effects, those effects won't be all-consuming or permanent.

You sometimes have to try to be positive, even when that's almost impossible.

Alan McGuffog
26 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:04:36
Rob... your final sentence. My personal opinion is that I wouldn't be heartbroken provided it was an "All or nothing" scenario. By that I mean Liverpool, the Mancs and others would play, solely, in their Super League. No having a second string playing in the English competition.

I reckon the kopites et al would be bored stiff after a season or two.

Eric Myles
27 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:35:40
I'm with you, Brian #25, the world will rebound from this, and rebound quickly and high.
Brian Harrison
28 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:37:03

As always, another brilliant well-researched piece. I wonder what the term 'business as usual' will look like?

I posted over a week ago that, with restrictions on mass gatherings to be in place for most of this year, I think many of the top teams will be looking at other revenue streams.

Certainly Man Utd and Liverpool may well opt out of the Sky deal and utilize their own TV channels to sell their games to their supporters. Both Man Utd and Liverpool have argued on many occasions that its unfair that the Sky money is split evenly between the 20 Premier League clubs. I also think that Man City, Chelsea and Arsenal would also consider a similar route.

Should these clubs go down this route then either Sky would have to offer them a much bigger slice of the cake to keep them on board. Sky's whole business plan is underpinned by the advertising it gets from showing live Premier League games. Without the top sides advertisers would deal direct with the breakaway clubs, which would cripple Sky's income.

So it may be that to survive the other clubs may have to accept a greatly reduced package from Sky and therefore make the top 6 an even more permanent cartel than it is at present. Maybe other top European clubs would come together to create a European cartel which would inevitably create a European league.

Rob Halligan
29 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:47:21
Alan, totally agree. 18 European "super teams". 17 home and 17 away games. One knockout cup competition. That's it, no Champions League or Europa League for them.

The money may well keep on rolling in for them but, as you say, after a couple of seasons they will be bored shitless of it. The fans I mean, not the money men at each club. They will be rolling in it. If, and when, it happens though, that's it, no turning back, once you're gone you're gone!

Eric Myles
30 Posted 20/04/2020 at 11:51:56
Brian #28, it was a bigger share of the overseas broadcasting money that the greedy clubs were arguing for. It is that revenue that is distributed evenly, the domestic rights are a 'pay for play' deal.
Tony Everan
31 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:03:16
The Coronavirus is turning us even more into an online world. This lockdown will continue for some until the Autumn and beyond. People will become acclimatised to spending more and more of their life online. Especially as broadband fibre speeds rocket and the rollout of 5G. It could be argued then that the online and streaming side of football could actually grow because of this.

People will be staying in more, indoor mass gatherings will be reduced. People will always want entertainment and they will want safe, exciting entertainment. Massive internet media companies will be all over the possibilities of streaming every football game at a cost or at a bundle cost maybe even as a virtual season ticket to watch every game. Security will be tightened to eliminate foreign streams.

It is possible given that angle that the TV money could yet be stable or even grow on the next auction of packages. Especially if there is more diversity in them than before and the likes of Amazon, Apple, Google, & Disney get involved further on their own or as a partner with Sky or BT.

Tony Abrahams
32 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:14:21
Brian W, keep squirming mate, but don't ever stop battling. 👏
Robert Williams
33 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:26:25
Paul, I thank you for your always detailed take on the financial situation at EFC. I invariably understand and agree with your points of view but what I do not know or understand is "The Esk" bit.

Can you please clarify as understanding the minutia is always of concern to me.


Mike Benjamin
34 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:30:30
Brian @28. Until the current TV contracts come to an end in 2022, it doesn't matter what the likes of Man Utd and Liverpool want to do. The distribution of TV money will remain the same and all clubs will be under the same pressures.
Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
35 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:35:15
When a European Super Leaue was first mooted, I said the way to kill it was in the hands of Uefa. Anyone signing for an ESL team would never be registered again for a league affiliated to Uefa.

So, for example, Adam Lallana, end of your career. Xherdan Shaqiri... Want to name more, everyone? Lot of risk now signing for one of the 18. Do you really want to be in the Barcelona youth team, Gerard Deulofeu?

Suddenly, there will be a distinct lack of players. Yes, the Messis and Ronaldos of this world will be okay, but you will need 450 players and how many of them may get one season and then – end of career?

And how can this ever be restraint of trade? And the other hundreds of clubs outside of the ESL 18 will all be pretty miffed to miss out on the buffet so what is in it for them to allow the ESL to take the cream?

And we can not see the 18 willing to have promotion and relegation, can we? It is all about the money and them being part of a club. Can you see Real Madrid having a bad season and coming bottom and being replaced by the winners of the Champions League, having to apply to the Spanish La Liga and then trying to win the Champions League to get back into the ESL?

It all depends on whether the remnant play tough or roll over and die.

Martin Nicholls
36 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:50:08
Brian #25 – top post! I can be a "glass half-empty" guy sometimes but that's given me a boost!

As for the comments about what the greedy Sky Six might attempt, short of them breaking away to form a European Super League, other clubs need simply refuse to play them if they demand more than their fair share of TV money.

If a European League does go ahead, I agree with Rob H but would add to his comments the fact that all these clubs expect to be near the top as some sort of God-given right – any European Super League by necessity would see a number of them grubbing around at the bottom like this season's Norwich, Villa, Watford, Brighton, Bournemouth etc. How many of them would risk their current place at the top table for that?

Martin Nicholls
37 Posted 20/04/2020 at 12:52:27
Sorry, Phil – you beat me to it on my main points!
Bob Parrington
38 Posted 20/04/2020 at 13:23:34
Paul, Thanks for another in-depth analysis. Not wanting to go too deep into your details but thinking that loans will be renegotiated and so cash flow will not be affected in this area of things.

In my experience, accountants are negative, 'count the shekels' types (not meaning this disrespectfully), whereas the sales and entrepreneurial types are somewhat more flamboyant in their thoughts.

My view is, given a few years, life will get back to the normal hungry, greedy, avaricious side of life in which the richest 1 per cent will fuck us all over yet again. Now, I'm not talking only about the very Joe on the street but even the guys un gals earning well over £100k pa being fucked over. The world needs to change and big time. Do I think it will? No effing chance, IMO. There is too much pent-up greed in modern-day society too allow this whole virus situation to spoil their avarice.

Laurie Hartley
39 Posted 20/04/2020 at 13:40:30
Paul, thanks for another excellent article. Putting aside the financial aspect of this pandemic, the part of your article that causes me the most concern is:-

“Most people will not wish to voluntarily mix with large groups of other people in an unnecessary social or business environment. Until immunity through vaccination is assured, that has to be an inevitable consequence.

It's just a little pin prick

Derek Thomas
40 Posted 20/04/2020 at 14:05:09
I agree with Brian, things are not as black as they seem; they're not good, but, as George Harrison tells us – All Things Must (and will) Pass.

History doesn't repeat itself, people do.

Just as the then Big 5 jumped ship to the Premier League for money. The virus, social distancing, will cause the now big however number they are now to leapfrog the ESL and setting up their own online Premier League... the E League?

Jay Wood

41 Posted 20/04/2020 at 14:40:15
As I did in Paul's thread of last week – Staring into the Abyss – I lean towards the more optimistic view of other posters in this latest thread.

Without a doubt, the global lockdown and suspension of commerce and the movement of money at every level is, and will continue to have, an enormous impact.

There are many, many unknowns yet to overcome. Pressure is already building to ease the lockdown as in many countries the number of reported cases and fatalities start to fall.

What we don't know is if such relaxation leads to a second, potentially even more virulent, wave of Covid-19. We don't know if a mutant of Covid-19 could heap even greater misery on top of what has already happened.

We still don't have a vaccine to counter Covid-19, or a likely date when it could be widely available. Given all that, it continues to strike me as a complete fantasy that any large gatherings of people in any situation is something that should be encouraged or endorsed, never mind in relation to a common interest we all hold, Everton FC and the Premier League.

Without question, the sale of match-going season tickets must take a hit as the buyer has, at present, no guarantee of when games will be played or, if they are, whether they will even be allowed attend.

The questions which Paul raises (again) about the broadcasters transmitting the games and a potential drop in paid TV subscriptions is a related, but still separate, issue.

Such media outlets are DESPERATE to have fresh, live content to broadcast, primarily to generate income from advertising and subscribers. Their subscribers feel the same.

Broadcasters won't give a damn if games are played out in empty stadiums. It could be quite a hoot, listening to players hollering to each other. I'm guessing the pitchside effect mics will be largely muted 'cos such dialogue gets very fruity!

Hell, they may even play the equivalent of canned laughter as used by 1960s American sit-coms to mask the echoing around an empty stadium.

IMO the flaw in Paul's position on mass cancellation of paid TV subscriptions is that it is something many have turned to in lock-down. It has become as essential as a pint of milk and a loaf of bread.

It is also often tied up with two more household essentials in these troubled times: your telephone and home internet service.

I previously pointed out all savvy businesses know it costs you more to gain a first time customer than it does to retain – and continue selling to – an existing customer. Some service providers have already offered 'holiday payments' and suspended sub fees for existing customers for 3 months. They are desperate to retain such customers now rather than expend more in the future to tempt them back or replace them with new customers.

Yes, such media may take a short-term hit in reduced subscriptions and advertising revenue, but I fancy both will recover quickly once things get back to normal. I don't see this as big a hit as Paul suggests it might prove.

Going forward, however, all media outlets may in future be a bit more circumspect when tendering for broadcasting rights paid to such as the Premier League for live match broadcasts, with greater safeguards should sport – life! – be suspended again as it now has.

The global impact on all economies in the wake of this is a much deeper issue. In truth, it calls into question the entire practices and infrastructure of capitalism and protective governments which have enabled corporate mal-practice to the cost of the common good.

This crisis has seriously exposed those governments and their drip-drip-drip budget cuts that left them ill-prepared for this pandemic, as opposed to those who anticipated such an event – as all governments are aware of – but who with good forward planning and stockpiling have largely ridden out the storm. The latter nations will be those who bounce back quicker from this.

I also remain upbeat about the new stadium build. The UK government, post-Brexit, post-Covid-19, will be desperate to kick-start the economy and employment levels. A project such as Bramley-Moore Dock – just the build itself – will provide 100s of jobs as well as support local suppliers and small to medium-sized companies.

There will be less resistance in granting planning permission as both local and central government need 'big build' projects such as BMD.

As a result of this crisis, the cost of essential construction materials like steel are at a 3-year low, oil is at a 20- year low (just a week ago, it was at a 5-year low). It's a 'cheap' time to build.

Interest rates on loans are virtually zero. The banks also need money. And I am confident that, in this climate, the savvy corporate accountant that Moshiri is will take full advantage of this. His own wealth is enough to secure the loan even before seeking out 3rd parties.

As I also said previously, if anything is at risk, I would guess the Everton legacy project in L4 is the one more likely to be 'put on hold' until a more favourable and stable time. That is where Everton's 'cost-cutting' is likely to impact hardest.

I acknowledge there are many, many unknowns in this equation still and –– as it already has - this will impact and work its way through for a good few years yet.

I believe this is really going to shake the tree in football and many communities could see their clubs lose their professional status or even fold alltogether and that, in this country at least, we may see a much slimmed-down version of the top 4 leagues.

But, like others in this thread, I don't take a total doomsday position on things. Good things can and will emerge from this.

Brian Wilkinson
42 Posted 20/04/2020 at 14:43:21
Tony@32, it is like the life of Brian on here with us Brian's, even putting a Brian W is confusing, I know you were referring to Williams. :-).

I am the messiah, the other Brian is a very naughty boy.

Tony Abrahams
43 Posted 20/04/2020 at 15:31:12
I thought you was gonna say he was your wife then, Brian!
Jamie Crowley
44 Posted 20/04/2020 at 16:16:07
I've read a lot on these pages about our local kids coming through the system.

I think we'd better get behind every single one of them in a major way. They save Everton millions of pounds if they make the grade.

We're not going to be signing players for obscene wages any time soon. Our youth academy, Tom Davies, Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Jonjoe Kenny etc. might be the key to financial safety and insolvency.

Brian Williams
45 Posted 20/04/2020 at 16:35:13
I'm not Brian Williams, I am Sparticus!
Jamie Crowley
46 Posted 20/04/2020 at 16:37:14
Brian @25 -

I agree with you regarding our ability to bounce back. We will, this time it might just take a bit longer.

Here where I live, they've reopened the beaches from 6 am to noon every day. The rest of the country is in an uproar. People who live here pay it zero mind, and we all know it's safe. People / families stay at lleast 6 feet apart. All the while, the national news outlets take pictures of our beach at an angle of just above head height at a distance – a panoramic long shot if you will. It makes the beach look crowded as hell, when in effect the opposite is true – people are keeping distance from one another responsibly. Agenda reporting? Sensationalism?

I completely recognize Covid-19 is wicked contagious. It's obvious. But part of me still says if there is a next time around, we simply cannot shut down society again. The economic impact is crippling – 22 million unemployed here in the States now and rising. All the while, recognizing social distancing has played a major factor and had a tremendous effect on the spread, the numbers here are still less than influenza and in some parts of our country the numbers are minuscule. Surely the economic impact of all of this will have a knock-on negative health effect on our populous? How many millions on medication won't be able to afford prescriptions for starters?

There's a lot of protests occurring here in America. They are framed by a disingenuous media who detest Donald Trump (I'm not a fan, either) as "Trump rallies" and shown in a negative light. The real truth for me is that most people – Trump acolytes and non-Trump [read 'reasonable'] people agree some of this might, just might, be overkill.

I'm truly beginning to believe those protesters might have a point. Sheltering in place while you lose all your income and savings isn't the best plan for millions upon millions of people. And the data, while sensationalized, doesn't back up this drastic response. It just doesn't. But, coupling that last statement with a recognition of the world's efforts to reduce the spread, how bad could those numbers have been had we not isolated?

It's all a mess, but I believe one thing very concretely – we cannot do this again. The negative effect this is having on the economy could be worse than the negative health effects. That's not a popular, main-stream sentiment, but a risk-reward analysis has to be completed in a transparent, brutally honest fashion if we have a "Covid-19 Round 2".

But bringing this back around, Brian is right, we will bounce back.

For me... as I say, your mileage may vary.

Dabo Swinney, Head Football Coach at Clemson University:

"This is America, man. We've stormed the beaches of Normandy. We've driven a car on Mars. We've walked on the moon. We have the smartest people in the world. We're going to rise up and we're going to kick this thing right in the teeth and get back to our lives."

The Irish, English, Welsh, etc. might not like the "Americanism" in the above quote. Just substitute your country where it says "America" because the premise holds true for everyone.

Paul [The Esk]
47 Posted 20/04/2020 at 16:40:43
Interesting comments and I accept readily I am presenting the case for what happens in a global depression or severe recession. However, all my personal experience of 35 years suggests to me that's exactly where we are heading.

Funnily enough I am not an accountant, nor do I have a negative business outlook usually. I just think the club and fans must also examine the "what if the worst happens" scenario.

"The Esk" is quite boring really, just a nickname from school that has stuck.

Keep safe all.

Patrick McFarlane
48 Posted 20/04/2020 at 17:01:47
Jamie #46 Health or Wealth is the big question and it's no use having money if you aren't in good health. I understand totally why some folks want to re-open everything asap but is the sacrifice of even greater mind-blowing proportions of Covid-19 victims a price worth paying?

The economy can and will be mended over time, the dead cannot be resurrected. This virus is nothing like the flu as it's a completely new virus and therefore it won't be easily contained for quite some time. Lockdowns brief or prolonged ones will be the order of the day until a vaccine can be found or if a treatment can be manufactured, which will nullify it's worst effects.

Stay safe and hope that the scientific community can crack the case.

Jamie Crowley
49 Posted 20/04/2020 at 17:25:12
Patrick -

I'm not sure I believe this or not, simply food for thought.

You say the economy can be mended over time, the dead can not be resurrected. Any sane person with a heart would agree.

But -

You can't resurrect persons who die early due the the stress inflicted on them and their heart rates from financial ruin, you can't resurrect those who die because they couldn't afford doctor visits or meds, etc. There's a real health affect to the economy crashing.

If I can sit in a driveway with friends 10 feet apart and have drinks, is there any reason kids can't go to schools in smaller, more spread out environments? Why can't sporting events go on in stadiums with one in every 5 seats filled / 20% capacity? Why can't restaurants stay open with smaller capacities enabling people to maintain employment and their companies remain solvent?

There's other ways under the circumstances. As I say, I'm not sure about any of this, but the data vs. the impact isn't adding up for me presently. If that's unpopular, oh well. It's just thinking out loud.

Alternatives simply must be explored, I think that's my point.

Patrick McFarlane
50 Posted 20/04/2020 at 17:37:48
Jamie, All I can say is that economies like the UK and the USA would not close down unless they thought on the balance of probability that it was the correct action to take – I just don't see what would be in it for them to close it down without good reason.
Tony Abrahams
51 Posted 20/04/2020 at 18:00:44
Anyone seen the texts flying around about Major Tom? Don't know if they are factual, but it's saying his son, daughter and son-in-law, created a company called Matrix, which takes a small percentage out of every donation made, and has already made £600.000 for the charity organisers.

Might be a load of pony, like another one saying Richard Branson has not paid any tax in this country for 14 years, because we all know everyone is bored at the minute, who knows?

Steve Brown
52 Posted 20/04/2020 at 18:13:09
Hi Jamie, Singapore where I live tried the options you suggested - restaurants open with social distancing, offices introducing split team working, schools remaining open for all ages, mixing in groups below 10 people, gyms still operating. That was supported by rigorous contact tracing and intensive testing, neither of which the US or UK is pursuing.

It hasn't worked and we are now de facto in a lockdown with cases growing.

Robert Williams
53 Posted 20/04/2020 at 18:21:07
Yes, Tony A at 51, The pips are really starting to squeak now - Sir Dick is offering his Necker as security for a UK Government loan – what a neck!

Paul – That was always one question I asked when approached with fanciful borrowing requests, What if?

Not many understood the question and were surprised. A 'what if' scenario never entered their tiny brain cells.

This virus has certainly been one hell of a 'What If' and it appears that not even world governments asked themselves that question – they certainly will from now on.

Jamie Crowley
54 Posted 20/04/2020 at 18:37:52

That's a valuable bit of information I frankly wasn't aware of. That changes the view through that prism for me.

I'll check out the Singapore situation online later this evening and try to educate myself on it, as it basically is directly what I thought might be an alternative.

Frankly saddens me it's not working.


That's actually one shinning light in this whole situation. 'What if' will now hopefully be prepared for, and moving forward we won't suffer as much.

Jay Wood

55 Posted 20/04/2020 at 18:50:09
Jamie, I understand the economic hardships that many are facing, but I have to repeat something I said in my earlier post:

There are nations such as South Korea, Germany and Finland, who took the known science seriously and prepared accordingly for an inevitable pandemic such as this.

It is those nations who have minimalised Covid-19's impact, both in the number of cases and mortality rates. Indeed, in Korea, the system is so efficient that very little closed down.

Those nations will return to normal quicker than those governments and countries that, rather than fund its 'Contagion Contigency' plans or maintain its Public Health and Social Welfare Systems and reward its staff accordingly, year on year made 'savings' on those essential services which are now overwhelmed.

The narcissist that is Donald Trump continues to promote the notion that he is doing a 'great job', even though 'America First' in this case means your nation are global leaders in both the number of reported cases and fatalities - around a third and a quarter of ALL cases and deaths respectively.

Trump ridicules former President Obama, even though he inherited a plan and resources from him for a pandemic such as this, only to then cut funding to it almost immediately on entering office.

He politicizes everything, blames everybody but himself and has literally uttered these very words in respect to the pandemic:

'I take no responsibility'.

His inflammatory Tweets to 'Liberate [insert state here] are grossly irresponsible.

And as New York Governor Cuomo cuttingly exposed in the following video at the weekend, Trump doesn't want to get involved in possibly THE most vital intervention in all this: testing, 'cos it's 'too hard and difficult'.

Quite a shocking admission from someone who, self-promoting as always, describes himself as having an 'incredibly large brain'.


Since the Spanish Flu (and other near-pandemic viruses since then) every nation has been aware that an outbreak such as this was not a matter of 'if', but 'when'.

Blame the policy-makers and their budgetary cuts for their ill-preparedness that has seen the global economy grind to a standstill.

The science is strong.

Do you really want to gamble on your own and your family's health Jamie on a hunch and ease lock-down too prematurely?

More, do you want to place under greater stress and exposure the very people on the frontline combating this?

My wife, a surgical nurse working in a public hospital, is not even half way through ANOTHER 15 hour shift right now. She has to stock up on her own PPE because the hospital has exhausted its own stock.

On the weekend I saw numbers for the state we live in that my wife falls into the highest risk category for those who have contracted Covid-19: health worker, aged 50-59. 45% of ALL reported cases.

She just told me the father of a nurse she works alongside has just been put on one of the few remaining ventilators available.

I'm bricking it every day that unknowingly my wife could already be a carrier.


I'll leave you to translate that into crude Anglo-Saxon, Jamie.

Chris Williams
56 Posted 20/04/2020 at 19:13:00

I think some of the scenarios you mention are being considered, although not necessarily by the government. The Blair Foundation (remember good old Tony?) came up with a phased approach to relaxing the lockdown, with a traffic light approach, whenever it should start, Boris is unsurprisingly against doing it prematurely.. .Things like opening pubs, restaurants etc, with a social distancing approach was on there, but not necessarily top of the list. Opening schools again was there, again with social distancing, with primary schools in there, maybe to release parents to get back to work.

The thing that got most green lights was keeping old buggers like me firmly in lockdown. It had one red light, against it, which is one of perceived fairness and acceptance. The Saga Louts will be revolting! I've read this could last for 12 months for over-70s but that might be the Government testing out reaction.

The medical bod at this evenings government briefing was asked about Liverpool's match with Atletico. She was a bit non-committal, and said in normal circumstances such a match would not be much of a threat, but conceded that it may have led to the spread of the virus in this case. The Chancellor didn't concede that it was a mistake to play it, but perhaps that's because at that time, the Government had not yet stopped sporting events. Football did that for itself a few days later, preempting the government. Not sure what that means for sporting events starting again.

The furlough scheme opened today with 140,000 firms signed up already, with promises of cash in accounts in 6 working days. We'll see. Good news for many small companies like my son's if so.

It seems as if the government had decided to turn down Branson's request fpr a loan for Virgin Airlines, such has been the backlash against it. This offer is possibly an attempt to oil the wheels.

On we go and keep safe folks. Jay, my prayers are with you and your family. Amazing I've started praying again after a bit of a break.

Jamie Crowley
57 Posted 20/04/2020 at 19:20:15

I think what I'm saying is that we can't simply move forward thinking what we've done is sufficient – so I think I agree with you in the main.

We need to be, as you've addressed something I wasn't aware of, more like Finland and Germany moving forward.

Regarding Trump, he's a narcissistic liar. Of that I have strong conviction. However, on the other side of the equation, you have a motivated media who can't report the actual news and immediately and without reservation start the witch hunt mode. Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House here) actually delayed the economic relief bill an entire week while she worked to insert abortion funding into the bill. Now that's a topic I will not entertain in a forum, nor would any sane individual. But I do think anyone can agree that delaying much-needed aid to small business shouldn't be held up by funding a program that should be in a healthcare bill?

The answer lies somewhere in the middle of these two polarities. Problem with the world is that it is polarized to the point of ridiculousness. And whereas Trump can't freaking wait to stir the shit-pot, the other side certainly has their issues too.

We need to figure out a way to get back to "normal" as quickly as is possible. General introduction, complete shutdown, partial shutdown... whatever works. The key is analyzing the data and coming to a conclusion that 90% of people can agree is the way forward. Whether that happens or not, I have very little hope and no idea. I will say one stat that keeps leaping out at everyone is that this affects, overwhelmingly, the older ages and those with preexisting conditions. That does not equate to a self-absorbed, "that's not my problem, fuck them, I need to do what I have to do" mindset. But it surely must provide some clues to how we can approach this if it rears its ugly head again?? And, quite depressingly for me, it's not if, it's when. This thing will come back is my guess.

I pray to God your wife is 100% healthy.


Jamie Crowley
59 Posted 20/04/2020 at 19:43:24
Chris -

I don't know about 6 days as that seems awfully quick, but I'm sure your son is in line for any relief he can get. And he should be.

I was just approved for an SBA EIDL loan this morning. I submitted my application on March 22nd. The SBA (Small Business Administration here in the USA) had a website crash and wiped out all loan applications prior to March 25th. I re-submitted my loan application on March 30th. I should be funded by week's end.

Every business I know of is surviving by borrowing. That's a long term frightening thing. What's really frightening is if I told you the sum of the loan for my tiny little company, you'd fall out of your chair. It's a large amount by anyone's standard. What that tells me is society is doubling down by facilitating debt to survive.

We're writing hot checks and saying, "nothing to see here, as you were."

Deficits, personal and governmental, have to be reduced drastically moving forward. And that includes Everton. As a football club we have to start to live within our means. Not chase the dream and asking sugar-daddy Moshri to write a check every year to cover the loses. If we've learned anything through this dreadful situation, surely it is that all of us need to be more financial stable? From the very, very top all the way down to individual households.

Tony Abrahams
60 Posted 20/04/2020 at 19:48:21
One thing you said concerns me Jamie, and that is how bad could the numbers have been if we hadn’t self isolated?

Chris Williams
61 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:13:59

Yup, debt is an ongoing issue. Apparently indebtedness, personal and business is bigger than in 2008,;and we know how that ended up! This crisis will inflate that further for sure, and all economies are a bloody sight more vulnerable now.

Tony, Imperial College estimated 260,000 deaths if we did nothing, which was the original plan. Herd immunity and all that stuff.

Jerome Shields
62 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:17:15
Steve #52,

My daughter's partner was in Singapore when the measures were brought in. Checking temperatures, strict tracing and clear legal demarcation. It's interesting that it didn't work as well as expected. If it could have worked, probably the best place at implementing it would have been Singapore.

I know that the situation is concerning at the moment and most people are trying to do the right thing, but my concern is the second wave, probably beginning next winter.

I think that Governments are thinking in terms of resources and will be increasingly thinking of the economic cost. Will they and ordinary citizens be as vigilant next winter, when the virus possibility mutates and is even more virulent, as in the previous pandemic?

John Pierce
63 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:24:36
Whilst the salient details are different, the financial collapse of 2008 has some eerie echos.

Football has long been living beyond its means with broadcasting wages far too high in comparison to turnover, in the same way banks sanctioned 95-100% mortgages. It just isn't sustainable and only the slightest blip caused the whole thing to implode.

As far down as the Championship and maybe even further, clubs have been forced into gambling to get promoted to feed the wages they have to pay. A salary cap has to be the way but why would the biggest clubs agree to it?

I hope that the Titanic that is modern football rights itself because it's taking on water...

Mike Gaynes
64 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:25:28
Jay Wood -- excellent posts. Couldn't have said it better.

Jamie, congratulations on being approved for your EIDL loan. I'm still waiting to hear on mine (applied April 4, a few days after you), and my PPP application is in limbo until the program is funded again.

Also Jamie, it is not true that Nancy Pelosi "actually delayed the economic relief bill an entire week while she worked to insert abortion funding into the bill." That is a false claim posted on Facebook and widely disseminated by right-wing media and bloggers. Both Politifact and, non-partisan fact-checkers, found it to be untrue.

Steve #52, thanks for that update from Singapore. I'm surprised to hear their measures are failing. South Korea deployed exactly the same measures, and they have worked beautifully.

John Pierce
65 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:38:48
Hey JaC. Going backwards through the thread. Hope all is well.

Lots of interesting points in the posts, especially why can't we just open up and do things slowly? Well lots of things to think about and several other countries doing things differently. It's like comparing apples and oranges, so very tricky.

For example South Korea had testing infrastructure far beyond anyone else after a SARS outbreak went ‘south'. They got it right this time around.

It feels more the more respectful of government and socially compliant populations have done better with the virus. Just an observation you understand. My own experience is that wouldn't work in the US, people are too focused on themselves and care less for others. By opening up slowly I feel people would just think ‘well if they can we can'.

The honeymoon is over here in New Jersey, the respectful nature has gone and people are ignoring the recommendations, supermarkets are especially problematic. I came back on Friday pretty stressed, very few people even tried to distance until we queued for the register, where we were rightly made to. I think many people think the peak has passed and it's time to crack on. I needed 10 minutes in the car to chill, it was not good.

Having states under quarantine and some not is like having a peeing section in the pool. 😑

Jerome Shields
66 Posted 20/04/2020 at 20:45:28
Jamie #59

'If we've learned anything through this dreadful situation, surely it is that all of us need to be more financial stable?'

I have known this for years, Jamie, but have found that I always came up short in getting there.

Mike Gaynes
67 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:07:56
John P #65,

Interesting to contrast your experience in New Jersey, which has been under siege for many exhausting weeks, with mine here in southwest Oregon, where the virus hasn't really arrived (only five cases over two counties) but most people are still taking it seriously.

Does your supermarket have a pickup/delivery service? Mine does, and at my wife's insistence, I'm using it. (Love your pool comment.)

Looks like neither of us will be whistling games for a long time to come. I've put my ref shirts in storage in the back of the closet.

Tony Everan
68 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:08:13
Very strange times indeed, anything could happen. Just reading about the negative oil price of minus $37.

As well as financial this could cause geopolitical instability and social unrest. The stakes to get out of the lockdown safely couldn’t be higher.

Jerome Shields
69 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:11:06
John #65,

Your experience is quite frightening regarding a visit to the Supermarket. The problem with the scenarios you describe, is that the virus could trive in such an environment and may become a threat for a number of years.

Stay safe and do the best you can regarding correct procedures.

Tony Abrahams
70 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:13:45
I was actually alluding to why I don't think we should open right up again, Chris, and thought someone might have had the same thoughts and had already written them down when I decided to respond to Jamie.

If history does repeat itself, like the Spanish Flu did, then things only got a whole lot worse when the second wave arrived, and this is what concerns me the most now.

Jamie said change the Americanism to whatever country you come from, and whilst I agree that every nation has tough guys, it's a bit different when you can't see the enemy, especially when we are still so blind to so many things about this horrible Covid-19.

I feel for you, Jay W, just hope that your wife is going to be okay, along with everyone else on TW, and thanks once again to Lyndon and Michael, because I've cursed this website for taking up way too much of my time in the past, but it's been an absolute godsend during this pandemic, so thanks very much to you two gentlemen. 👏👍

Jay Wood

71 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:26:38
To reinforce my earlier point about falling oil prices (and so lower build costs for Everton's new stadium), a week ago the oil price was at a 5 year low, before the weekend a 20 year low, today it has been announced that US oil producers are in negative equity territory for the first time in history.

That is, with a global lockdown and petroleum not being consumed at normal levels, the producers are not 'moving' their existing stock and so are not able to replenish their reserves with new oil that continues to be extracted.

As a result, they are PAYING buyers around $37 a barrel to move on existing deposits.

Another related issue is that untimely as the Coronavirus has been, it has also been timely in the sense that people everywhere, with the vast reduction in emissions from production and transport, have been able to see and hear - literally! - their planet in a new light for the first time in decades.

The Himalayas can be seen from hundreds of miles away in locations previously living under a constant haze. The canals in Venice are more crystaline. An astonishing chorus of birdsong previously drowned out by traffic can be heard in even the most populous of cities. All manner of (large) wildlife has been seen in vacant urban streets, even during the daytime.

There is strong emerging evidence that citizens in urban dwellings where polluted air particles are more prevalent are more vulnerable and more likely to contract Covid-19.

Sadly, the odds are that once things are 'normalized' again, the environment, the planet, our single largest ventilation system, will once more be a low priority for both governments and corporations alike.

John Pierce
72 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:36:38

You are so right. It's hard for states who have one large city and low population densities to comprehend a state like mine and vice versa, but the virus will get there, albeit on the slow train.

It's particularly hard to equate that with countries who have the same geographical features, Scandinavian countries always look great in any situation and we hold them up as paragons of ideal ways to combat societal issues. One large city, a very compliant society who think more about others than themselves, (extremely good social fabric; health system etc) low rates of transmission because of a mostly rural geography and low levels of international travel into their country all has helped stem the virus. It's very hard to scale that up to countries like the UK & US.

Compare that with a New Jerseyan or New Yorker who largely hates government interference and would run over their own granny to be somewhere, passing 100s of people every minute on those sidewalks. A slow and gradual return will be very tricky without a relapse.

I'm not condemning any plan until the dust settles. Too many variables to look at across each country to offer a useful comparison.

I've gotten all my fresh food via a restaurant we know, curbside pick-up, no contact, it helps keep them going and their suppliers. Sadly all supermarket deliveries and pickups are booked beyond 2440!!!

All I know is my experience left me rattled. It very much felt every man for themselves. Thankfully several transatlantic zoom parties have left me hammered mid-afternoon, it helps

Paul Birmingham
73 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:42:03
Jay W, hopes and prayers that your wife's okay.

This pandemic has put life in perspective in every aspect and football at this time isn't important.

Paul [The Esk]
74 Posted 20/04/2020 at 21:59:56
Jay, before I even read through all the other posts, very best wishes, thoughts and prayers re your wife. We throw the word 'hero' around but few put their lives in front of others. I hope and pray for your safety and well-being.
Jamie Crowley
75 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:03:17
FFS! I just typed a reply and X'd out of my Google tab.

Mike - I'll check your fact checker. God only knows if it's accurate as fact checkers skew shit now, too. Pelosi absolutely delayed the signing of the bill by a week. I distinctly remember it. Whether or not that was to insert abortion funding, I'll check. I think I heard it on FOX, so it must be true! 😂 I most definitely didn't get that from Facebook. Facebook is not, never has been, and never will be a reliable source of news. Then again, neither is CNN.

Sir John - States with little to no problems shouldn't delay business as usual because New York has 55% of the cases in America (or whatever the number). This is where I get very, very conservative. The USofA is a conglomerate of 50 independent states, not a centralized government. The Founding Fathers didn't trust centralized government. The Federal government should always, as default, delegate decisions to the States. It's our way, it's the right way, and that's one I won't argue because you'll never, ever change my mind. 'Merica - 50 brothers all making up their own damn minds for the collective good. Cheers. 🤙🏻

Fucking bring the footy back. It's killing me, God I miss it terribly.

Paul [The Esk]
76 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:05:25
Back to the substantive point in the original article (I know it's not, people's health and well being are far more important) but I don't see any evidence here or on Twitter presenting the opposite to the bare case I present – from fans, commentators, media or indeed the club.
Sean Kelly
77 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:35:15
Best wishes to all on here. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. To those who have loved ones on the various front lines, I salute them and wish them my very best wishes for them to stay safe.

I'm lucky so far that my family are still safe but the worry that both my wife and I are experiencing with some of my sons in the firing line is sometimes unbearable. In this time, I thank all contributors on here for giving me a diversion. I'm done watching politicians on both sides of the pond spewing bile and bullshit. Maybe some on here should take up politics as you care more for your fellow human beings than those muppets.

My best wishes to all ToffeeWebbers and our former offsiders. Stay safe everyone.

Jerome Shields
78 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:40:19
Paul the Esk, #76,

That's because you are right, but I think that Clubs and the Premier League are in denial at the moment. They are hoping that things will blow over and they will be able to resume as before, but they won't and there is a lack of leadership, and no actual course of action has been decided.

Paul [The Esk]
79 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:45:36
#77 Well said, Sean – same to you, mate.
Don Alexander
80 Posted 20/04/2020 at 22:56:06
Jay Wood (various), fully agree with you on the need for the First World to seriously consider the world-cleansing benefits the mega lock-downs seem to be inadvertently causing. If Green replaces Nuclear in the minds of enough of us, the world will be a better place.

Your wife is heroic in meeting the demands. As an aside, my daughter in London has for years been managing the problems of homeless people, face-to-face. She's still doing it, 14 hours a day, with next to no personal protection equipment being available to her. Everyone here rightly eulogises the NHS staff but there is a marginally smaller army of other UK carers who have all but been forgotten about.

And on Donald Trump's claim of possessing a large brain, I'm given to understand he only said that after reading a picture book about alpha-male primates.

Mike Gaynes
81 Posted 20/04/2020 at 00:09:16
Jamie #75, I didn't have to ask from which "news" outlet you heard the false Pelosi story, or why you believed it, and which outlets you consider unreliable. I was pretty sure I knew that already. ;-)

There are no "states with little to no problems" (and New York has less than ⅓ of our cases, not 55%) that can go back to business as usual and make any difference. I mean, yeah, the Dakotas and Wyoming and Montana have had few cases, but if they went back to business, who would notice?

Among the heavily populated states that drive the US economy, there are states that handled their business and shut down in time, and those who didn't. None of the ones in that former category think it's anywhere near time to reopen. And, as you say, they will decide for themselves – even if folks elsewhere think they should get back to business.

You and Terry White should debate Florida. He's in the conservative Panhandle. Would be plumb interestin'.

Jamie Crowley
82 Posted 21/04/2020 at 01:29:40
Mike -

Not to stir the shitpot a la Trump but, I've checked some facts -

There's been, as of yesterday, 764 deaths in Florida due to Covid-19. That's not enough fatalities to shut down an entire state's economy.
More people die of heart attacks in a month here. Granted, Florida is God's waiting room, but hey-ho, details.

And there are many more states with little to no problems. Google "Covid-19 deaths in Kansas" and have a gander.

Even Dr Faucci has acknowledged the initial models grossly over-estimated the potential number of deaths due to the virus. That guy is as reliable as they come, for me, and he's admitting the numbers were inflated by a wide, wide margin.

WHO (run by a guy whose reputation is shite, by the way) has published that between 290,000 and 650,000 people die of the flu worldwide every year. There's been 169,794 deaths due to Covid-19 worldwide as of yesterday.

Ergo, and back to my main premise, we simply must look at alternative ways to combat this virus when the second wave comes. Complete and utter shutdown is not the way forward. These numbers aren't adding up to the response.

Disclaimer for everyone except Mike, because he already knows this: The above doesn't mean we shouldn't have isolated, nor does it equate to not caring about those tragic deaths due to the pandemic. Nor does it mean we should just all yell "Fuck it!", strip, dance naked in the streets 1 foot apart, and drink till we puke.

Just analyze the data and come up with a much, much better plan and response.

Laurie Hartley
83 Posted 20/04/2020 at 01:54:05
Jay & Sean, I agree with other comments that health workers around the globe are true heroes. I will keep your loved ones in my thoughts and hope they come through safely.

As far as the lockdown is concerned, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Here in the land down under, we have a population and went into lockdown fairly quickly. With a population of 26 million, we have had 71 deaths.

The flip side is that 1.6 million people have lost their income.

Two of the questions that remain unanswered for me are:

Our country is $573 Billion in debt (at the moment). Who do we owe it to and how are we going to pay it back?

Don Alexander
84 Posted 21/04/2020 at 02:10:48
Laurie, you pose an interesting question in circumstances when the "allegedly impecunious world" goes mental in seeking to borrow.

Just who are the lenders? Answers on a postcard please, or is it all designed by rapacious, capatilistical, privately owned businesses?

Patrick McFarlane
85 Posted 21/04/2020 at 02:20:07
Why Did The World Shut Down For COVID-19 But Not Ebola, SARS Or Swine Flu?

Jamie, it's not about the number of deaths directly, it's more about the number of people who contract the virus at the same time. You could of course lock away the aged and vulnerable but, given the number of deaths of those in care facilities is expected to be very high with a lockdown in place, that doesn't seem to be a solution either. There are also fit and formerly well people across the age ranges who have succumbed to the virus too.

Mike Gaynes
86 Posted 21/04/2020 at 02:21:21
Jamie, mate, Dr Faucci has admitted or acknowledged no such thing. He, Dr Birx and others originally made worst-case projections based on then-current conditions – nobody except Seattle and San Francisco was closed down. The lowered death projections are based on how well stay-at-home and business shutdowns have succeeded – not, as Fox News characterizes them, on the experts not knowing their shit and having to 'fess up.

As to the death toll in Florida (now 823)... sorry, my friend, but you guys are six weeks behind the curve. The virus hit the West Coast in January. It didn't get to Florida until March. And Florida is still at the slow end of the curve for testing. I hate to say this, but you may see a different picture by Memorial Day. Hope not.

Here in Oregon, we were one of the first states hit by the virus, and one of the first to slam the doors. They're still closed. But we have fewer cases and fewer deaths than even Kansas. So it works.

"...come up with a much, much better plan and response"? You betcha – all for it. I just haven't heard anyone suggest one yet, just some spitballing about reopening business where there are few current cases confirmed – which doesn't account for slow incubation and testing. If you've heard a better plan, shoot me a link, I'd love to read about it.

I would also make one more delicate point about comparing heart attacks to Covid-19 deaths. The former were going to happen anyway. The latter were not. Had the proper measures been taken earlier, many of America's Covid-19 deaths – now the highest number in the world, which is humiliating in addition to tragic – could have been prevented.

So pick another comparison, like homicide. By next week, Florida will have more deaths from Covid-19 than they have murders in a full year. Can you imagine the uproar that a thousand killings in six weeks would produce? Yet people want to downplay the Covid-19 toll by comparing it to the flu. Doesn't wash for me.

Jamie Crowley
87 Posted 21/04/2020 at 02:53:47

Paragraph by paragraph:

1. Faucci did acknowledge just that. I'll find a [reputable] reference and post it.

2. Florida is not 6 weeks behind the curve. In fact, new cases have started to decrease. We're now near where we were on April 5th.

3. Oregon has 72 deaths. Kansas total is 100. I'd classify both as low-risk areas and question whether or not either state needed to shut down their economies, as I'm sure the flu killed more in each state respectively, among other nasties that kill people. But... I think 764 is low in Florida, so again it's a matter of what you'd define as a high number and that's relative.

4. A better plan involves one that doesn't shut down business and reacts in a manner more appropriate with the fatality numbers. Your mileage may vary.

5. "The former were going to happen anyway" argument – virual infections (Covid-19 or name any other) kill millions. It's as sure as death and taxes – and no, I'm not making a pun. Virus deaths are going to happen. To say Covid-19 wasn't going to happen is ignoring the fact that viruses, as a whole, will result in fatalities. Famine could be avoided, people die of it, it's going to happen. It's an imperfect world, fraught with sickness, poverty, pestilence, etc.

6. Covid-19 causing more deaths than homicide here in Florida? Probably because 1.97 million of us have concealed carry permits. An armed society is a polite society.

I do think, in the interest of olive branches, if you and I sat down in a room with our differing opinions, we could find common ground and have a plan for our country that would appease 90% of the population. Unlike our polarized leadership and culture presently.

Love you,


Mike Gaynes
88 Posted 21/04/2020 at 04:30:02

1. Good luck. You won't. He never said it.

2. I'm sorry to say Florida had 89 more Covid-19 deaths today. That pace is rising, not slowing. The new-case reporting is dependent on confirmed tests, on which – again – Florida is very slow.

3. Believe me when I tell you that Oregon was an extremely high-risk state based on Portland being such a dynamic travel city (like San Francisco and Seattle) and the tight proximity of smaller cities, Salem, Corvallis and Eugene. It was Oregon's instantaneous response – not Kansas-like geography or demographics – that prevented tragedy. I know, I live here.

4. So far, shutting down business has proved to be the better plan than not shutting down. Those have been the only two choices presented. Nobody has offered a third as far as I know.

5. If you're going to debate, my friend, don't make up what the other fella said. I did not say it wouldn't have happened. I said it wouldn't have killed so many people. The US outbreak began the same day as South Korea's, January 20. SK's elected leader reacted instantly. Ours choked, froze like a rabbit in headlights for 2 months. South Korea (a far more densely packed country), has had 11,000 cases and 237 deaths, 5 per million population. The US is headed for a million cases and 50,000 deaths, 128 per million population, which is a disgrace. The pandemic was gonna happen here. Most of the deaths didn't have to. (And SK didn't even have to shut down!)

6. "An armed society is a polite society." Puh-leeeze. There is zero statistical connection between concealed carry rates and homicide rates. Alabama is #1 in concealed carry, and #6 in homicide rate. Indiana is #2 and #12 respectively. #3 carry South Dakota is has the lowest murder rate in America. Florida, which has the most concealed carry permits at over two million, actually has a higher murder rate than tightly-restricted California. No connection established.

Love you too.

Derek Thomas
89 Posted 21/04/2020 at 05:00:53
The big fear is that – the longer this first phase goes on... and it is only the first phase... there won't be much left to start up.

Some businesses work on a monthly financial cycle, but have to deal with businesses that work on a 3-month financial cycle. There are plenty of 'no cash left at the of the month / quarter' chickens yet to come home to roost.

Eric Myles
90 Posted 21/04/2020 at 07:12:33
Jamie #46, re: the Math of the CV-19, someone has done it here:

Are we overreacting to the coronavirus? Let's do the math

"the numbers here are still less than influenza and in some parts of our country the numbers are minuscule." I read that 50,000 people had died from 'flu in US BEFORE this pandemic hit there (CDC figures).

And in UK just 2 years ago, 54,000 people died from 'flu and cold in a 4-month period.

We're still a long way from those figures yet.

Eric Myles
91 Posted 21/04/2020 at 07:18:38
Patrick #50, the politicians are basically just guessing that it will work. Yes, rates of infection have slowed, but I fully expect them to rise again when people are released from house arrest. Some countries have not put their citizens under house arrest, how are they faring by comparison?

Regarding a vaccine being the solution:

We'll find a treatment for coronavirus – but drug companies will decide who gets it

Alan J Thompson
92 Posted 21/04/2020 at 07:21:32
The lesson from Singapore may have come at the right time, not for them but the rest of the World.

Relaxing the impositions and isolation has raised the following questions: Is a certain number of deaths acceptable and, if that number is exceeded, how difficult might it be to get people to return to isolation?

For me, restrictions must remain until an effective vaccine is found and produced in the numbers required. Business must find a way to work in this environment, be that from home or online ordering for delivery, and "essential" work and requirements must be better defined.

Eric Myles
93 Posted 21/04/2020 at 07:21:44
Tony #51,

I can do better than Branson, I haven't paid tax in UK for 34 years, because, like him, I don't live in UK and don't have any income derived from the UK.

Ray Roche
94 Posted 21/04/2020 at 08:46:21
Interesting piece on the BBC Sport website about the number of people who have died in Liverpool and any possible link between their Champions League game v Atletico Madrid and the 3,000 fans who attended from Spain.

Coronavirus: Liverpool v Atletico Madrid virus link an 'interesting hypothesis'
Martin Nicholls
95 Posted 21/04/2020 at 09:30:51
Ray #94,

No mention in it of the role that Liverpool (Klopp - "it was a criminal act for the game to go ahead") and/or Atletico could and should have played in having the game cancelled. Just days before, Getafe had refused to play at Inter due to health concerns so it could have been stopped by either one of the participants thinking of the greater good, rather than of their own ambitions/income streams. Klopp has now actually admitted to having had concerns days before the game.

Also, no mention of the shabby behaviour of our neighbours in refusing refunds to nearly 300 Atletico fans who decided not to travel due to their own concerns about spreading the virus. Those fans were more concerned about others than about the game.

Once again the Red Shite are shamed by their actions, if not named by their friends in the media.

Ray Roche
96 Posted 21/04/2020 at 09:55:15
Martin, I think that they were desperate to get their “Twelfth man” behind them to carry them “ across the line” so any suggestion that the game be postponed or played behind closed doors would be anathema to them.

It's easy for Klopp to come out weeks later and say he had “concerns” because all the world and his wife can see what a shameful decision it was to play the game. They got their just desserts anyway.

Dave Abrahams
97 Posted 21/04/2020 at 10:01:28
Jay (55), I was thinking about your wife, and all the people who work in hospitals, clinics and care homes etc, last night and the ordeals they are going through with this virus taking over every day life.

When your wife comes through this episode in her life, thinking positive, she will have some harrowing moments of this virus to look back on, she will also have some wonderful moments as well, like earlier this morning on TV a young man, a Down's syndrome patient, was released from hospital after recovering from the virus. At one period, he was given 24 hours to live, and to see the nurses and doctors lining up and giving him a guard of honour out of the hospital was truly a marvellous sight to see. It might not be much of a consolation at the moment Jay, but in the future such moments will provide a lot of joy for your wife and thousands of medical staff all over the world.

Again Jay, May God bless and look after Angels like your wife. Very best wishes for the future.

Martin Nicholls
98 Posted 21/04/2020 at 10:29:37
Ray, I couldn't agree more. I also doubt that Klopp would have made those comments had they won – as with the Premier League, there would have been a media frenzy for the Champions League to continue in the hope that they'd win it.

The point I was trying to make was that, reading that article, you'd think that only the government, medical people etc bear any responsibility – it ignores the fact that the clubs themselves could (as Getafe (a Madrid based club) had done) could have taken a lead. Always the victims though!

Chris Williams
99 Posted 21/04/2020 at 10:33:07

ONS have just released the UK mortality stats for the week ending 10 April, for total deaths, and Covid-19 deaths. As ‘a useful comparison', the 2020 stats for flu deaths as well as a 5 year average for flu deaths are also shown. This is broken down by week over a 15-week period. The 5-year average trend tracks a bit higher than the 2020 trend, presumably influenced by the figures you quote for 2 years ago.

Bearing in mind that there is an 11-day time lag in their stats, and the figures haven't gone down in that time, the graph is alarming from any point of view. This ain't flu, mate.

It also shows that 16% of Covid-19 deaths took place outside hospital, a big increase over the previous week, and accounted for over a third of total deaths up from 21% the previous previous week. Neither of these are likely to reduce in next week's figures, I suspect.

Patrick McFarlane
100 Posted 21/04/2020 at 10:49:25
I don't see much protesting about the fixture taking place, save the usual plattitudes often trotted out in such circumstances.

I don't know how Herr Klopp viewed the situation at the time and perhaps he did harbour doubts in private, but the club and many of its fans were so desperate to play that game and the Goodison derby, I doubt health issues were of much importance that particular week.

Is Liverpool vs Atletico Madrid cancelled? Latest ahead of Champions League clash at Anfield

ByJoshua Peck 08:13, 11 March 2020

Liverpool are confident their Champions League second leg with Atletico Madrid will go ahead tonight as planned.

There had been fears that the clash could be postponed due to the spread of coronavirus with Arsenal's Premier League trip to Manchester City on Wednesday having been called off.

Liverpool host Atletico in the second leg having lost 1-0 in Madrid last month thanks to an early goal from Saul Niguez.

And while a number of matches across Europe have been called off or will be played behind closed doors, Anfield is preparing for Wednesday night's match as normal.

The Reds issued a statement on their official website on Tuesday night, giving guidelines ahead of the Champions League clash.

Their statement read: “Liverpool Football Club continues to monitor and implement the government's advice on the coronavirus outbreak and ahead of our Champions League match against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday evening, we are reminding everyone attending the game of good hygiene practices.

Wolves players on coronavirus lockdown for Europa League clash vs Olympiakos

“There will be hand sanitisers and/or antibacterial handwash in all the washrooms at Anfield as well as posters reinforcing the official medical advice for everyone to take personal responsibility for excellent personal hygiene.

“We are also taking matchday precautionary measures and players will continue to avoid handshakes prior to kick-off. UEFA will continue to use mascots for this game but they will line up to welcome the players onto the pitch and avoid any direct contact.

“Any supporter displaying symptoms that are consistent with coronavirus should ensure they familiarise themselves with the chief medical officer's advice on self-isolation.

“We will continue to take the best advice from the relevant authorities and will update supporters with any further developments.”

Paris St-Germain's Champions League match against Borussia Dortmund on Wednesday will be closed to fans, as will Barcelona's clash with Napoli next week at the Nou Camp.

Brian Harrison
101 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:02:51
Whatever the different views on how different countries have dealt with the virus, the overwhelming evidence shows that the countries who carried out a massive amount of testing and tracing have by-and-large had the lower death rates.

South Korea didn't go into full lockdown but are still testing and tracing and seem to be managing better than most countries. Again Germany, another country carrying out massive testing and tracing, and much lower death rates than smaller countries in Europe.

I watch the daily briefings from Downing Street, and all we have heard from the politicians is we follow the scientific and medical advice. So how come that our medical and scientific advice seem to be at odds with what they are doing in countries that seem to be containing the virus much better than we are?

Only yesterday, a journalist asked about Germany, and the Medical Officer said we are in constant touch with our colleagues all over Europe and take notice of what they are doing. Our Health Secretary said just over 2 weeks ago we will be testing 100,000 per day by the end of April, so far the most we have tested in 1 day is just over 20,000. So I hope at today's briefing somebody asks with only 9 days left of the month how the hell are we going to see 100,000 people being tested?

I don't know how some of these politicians sleep at night, every day at the briefings they acknowledge our doctors and nurses and care workers need better protection. But everyday we hear more and more frontline NHS staff complain about shortages of PPE, yet there are a number of British companies who have said they have been in touch with the government saying they can produce PPE and have heard nothing back.

Chris Williams
102 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:03:45

I think Klopp was against it going ahead, according to Carlo Ancelotti who was reported as saying as much, not long after the match. Apparently they'd had a conversation about it, or so it was reported.

Martin Nicholls
103 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:04:54

Klopp's comments were made in a conversation he had with Carlo Ancelotti, details of which our manager subsequently made public.

Darren Hind
104 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:08:29
The Lenders, Don? They're the very people you me and everyone else on this website bailed out in 2008.

Jay Wood,

I've learned quite a lot on this thread. The first thing I learned is that your Mrs has more raw courage than I do.

I Know two young girls over here (one a niece and the other a close mate's daughter) who do very similar stints. They're kind, gentle, caring and beautiful... But I knew all that before this pandemic; what I hadn't fully appreciated before now, was just how brave they have to be too.

It's one thing putting your own life at risk... but knowing you risk taking this killer home to your own loved ones is bravery on a level I have not seen before.

A new respect has developed, and not just for the front line workers. The bin men, the posties, the bus drivers, the shelf stackers... The list goes on.

It would be very easy to forget everything these people have done for us when this is all over. To fall back into old habits, but we must not let that happen. It's easy to contribute towards NHS appeals now, but what about next year?

As a society and as individuals, we really do need to promise ourselves not to take them for granted ever again. We cannot allow our gratitude and respect to slip. One thing we have all learned is that we are fucked without them.

Tony Abrahams
105 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:08:41
What did the British Government say when you asked them for a loan, Eric?
Tony Abrahams
106 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:24:46
Great post that, Darren, listen to the ordeal JP talked about just going the supermarket, and think about the people who are doing over 50 hrs every week in such an environment, it's very scary.

We all know it's not going to be business as usual, but the fact that football leagues right across the continent have refused to abandon their seasons shows me that the clubs need the money so badly, or it might be business finished for good in some cases!!

Patrick McFarlane
107 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:45:07
I was aware of Carlo's conversation with Herr Klopp; however, if he felt that strongly about it, why did Klopp not make the point publicly at the time of the game? He's not shy about his thoughts on most occasions. His conversation with Carlo was reported on the 28 March – a fortnight after the match and after the lockdown.

Klopp has since admitted that the tension surrounding the virus at the time affected his preparation for the game.

And Ancelotti has now revealed the extent of Klopp's anger that a continental game involving teams from the two nations could have been allowed to take place under the circumstances – especially with a full stadium of supporters.

He told Corriere Dello Sport: “I heard from Klopp the other day, he told me that going ahead with the game in those conditions was a criminal act, I think he was right.”

Chris Williams
108 Posted 21/04/2020 at 11:46:29

The people you list as heroes are, by and large, the people who are lower paid, were treated badly for 10 years by this government, undervalued by them, demonised by much of our wonderful press, and treated basically as a cost and a drain on resources instead of the National asset that all can now see and value. Even Boris!

Private good, public bad. The price of everything and the value of nothing.

Chris Williams
109 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:03:48

A bit ago, you were wondering what this might have looked like if we hadn't had a lockdown.

Try this, mate. Research showed that, prior to lockdown, the transmission rate was running at about 3.5 people infected by one person with the virus. That dropped to a rate of 0.85 people infected at lockdown and has held at that rate pretty constantly. So it did precisely what it was meant to do effectively.

So roughly a 4:1 ratio. Simplistically then we may have had an infection rated 4 times higher had we done nothing, with a higher rate of mortality. Definitely not a scientific analysis by any means, but it may give some kind of perspective.

In any case, it would probably have been much higher, I think we can all agree. Also, it suggests that a premature wind-down might cause a few issues.

The figures come from Imperial College and also Covid-19 symptom tracker App.

Brian Harrison
110 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:24:50

When this is over, never again will a political party be ever allowed to underfund the NHS like this government has done for 10 years or more. Obviously this government will come under severe scrutiny when this is over; even the right-wing Conservative press are not happy with the way this government have handled the crisis.

To try and mitigate the avalanche of criticism that will come their way, I fully expect them to make one-off bonus payments to all NHS workers, and will probably urge the employers of the critical workers to do the same. I also expect that all NHS staff will immediately be put on a level that is above the level of the living wage as it is now.

I just hope the British public never ever forget the sacrifices these front-line NHS workers and carers have done, and I hope that this government don't try and take credit for organising a national NHS day were all the money raised goes to our wonderful NHS.

I can only wonder the sort of headlines and the tone of questions that would have happened had Corbyn been voted in, no easy ride like this government is getting. And I was not a fan of Corbyn. When all the fatalities from care homes and people dying at home are added to the total, we may not be able to claim a better death rate than Italy or Spain.

Eric Myles
111 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:34:31
Phil Sammon
112 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:52:28
Brian @110,

I don't recall Labour governments putting nurses on £50k per year either.

Lessons will be learned from this but I think it's pretty low to play party politics in the middle of this disaster.

Brian Harrison
113 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:57:38
For the locals, I've just seen a list posted by Robert Peston of ITV. He says, of the 149 upper-tier local authorities in England, Liverpool city region areas are towards the top for confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Knowsley 15th
St Helens 18th
Wirral 23rd
Sefton 27th
Liverpool 29th
Halton 41st

I don't suppose there could be any possibility that the high figures for this region could have had anything to do with the Atletico Madrid game going ahead?

Silly me... the medical advisor told us yesterday that the medical advice at the time was mass gatherings didn't have an impact on the numbers contracting the virus. How anybody can decide 1 day mass gatherings are okay... and, a few days later ban, them.

Darren Hind
114 Posted 21/04/2020 at 12:59:09
And yet they still got in, Eric... With an almost unprecedented winning margin.

We have to examine ourselves as a society.

I'm just reading now that more PPE is being exported out of the country than we can actually bring in. That sort of logistical fuckwittery should be a cause of shame to all of us.

How the did we, as a society, allow these posturing buffoons to stroll into government unopposed? Their policies could only ever have prevailed in an environment of total apathy. We as a nation delivered it to them in spades.

Brian Harrison
115 Posted 21/04/2020 at 13:05:03

Who said anything about the labour government putting nurses on £50,000 a year? If you want to completely exonerate a government who have allowed our front line NHS workers to operate without the proper PPE, then fine. I suggest you go and look how many doctors and nurses were employed in the NHS when Labour were last in power and how many are employed there now.

The way every government deals with the pandemic is a political decision, some have obviously dealt with it far better than others. But hey, let's not critisize the government in their total mis-handling of this crisis.

Ray Roche
116 Posted 21/04/2020 at 13:12:50
Darren, I’ve just heard the same. Thousands of masks sold to Italy when there are daily complaints that we don’t have enough for our own health service. Add to that the 250k items of PPE sold to China at the start of this pandemic and we can guess what some people have as their motivation. Money.
Brian Murray
117 Posted 21/04/2020 at 13:22:35
Talk about hypocrisy!

I'm a self-employed trucker and was being bullied by the hover / HMRC that by April 6th I was not allowed to carry on trading unless I took a massive weekly pay cut and went PAYE. Now, all of a sudden, I wear my undies on the outside and I'm a superman (a key worker). They soon scrapped that plan for a year. Or probably for good because of this impending new recession.

Coyb, all hail null and void. 🕺😆

Chris Williams
118 Posted 21/04/2020 at 13:59:30

Yes, I read that quite recently, although it's an old article. I've been a fan of Polly Toynbee for years. She's just done a piece about Johnson, yesterday I think.

She's not a fan!

Paul Tran
119 Posted 21/04/2020 at 14:30:36
Too many people in England practice simplism. Three word slogans, easy solutions, no explanation of how things will be done. It's the forriners' fault, so let's leave the EU. It'll be fine, cos we're England, innit? Two world wars and one World Cup.

So the person who is 'funny' on telly, wins an election by shouting empty slogans. He now leads a govt where he appoints more people who shout empty slogans And guess what? They're slow, indecisive and can't make coherent policy. Who'd have thought it?

Anyone who thinks, asks questions, put forward alternatives is sacked, demonised, or called a 'lefty, remoaner, traitor, metropolitan elite'. On Twitter I often get called a 'lefty Jock Bastard, despite my profile having the words Scouser and Everton FC.

I don't support any political party, I run my own business, I'm still trading, not furloughing. I don't clap the NHS, but I don't vote for the party that underfunds it and laughs about it for ideological reasons.

England voted for Brexit, without thinking about how it was going to get done. England voted Conservative, because they shouted about how they were going to get things done. Good luck to England. Up here, we voted overwhelmingly for neither of them, but we're stuck with both. Democracy, innit?

By the way, if you want a laugh, check out Janey Godley on Twitter. She turns Nicola Sturgeon's speeches into that of a sweaty Glaswegian!

Brian Williams
120 Posted 21/04/2020 at 14:35:25
She turns Nicola Sturgeon's speeches into that of a sweaty Glaswegian!

Doesn't have to do much then, Paul? 😂

Paul Tran
121 Posted 21/04/2020 at 14:42:22
I wouldn't swap Sturgeon for any of the English politicians, Brian, but Janey Godley is very, very funny.
Tony Abrahams
122 Posted 21/04/2020 at 14:47:16
Totally and utterly, Paul T, and I'd honestly say there is more sense being spoken on these pages by some people, than I hear from some of the people on TV, who only happen to hold some of the very highest positions in this country.

I'm more scared of the second wave, I'm also aware that things have got to keep moving, but how is this really possible if we haven't got the facilities or the resources to make this possible by constantly testing people?

Opening up too early is even worse than shutting down too late, and that's my worry right now, especially considering that two wrongs don't make a right, and this country has got very little right since they decided to vote for Brexit, imho.

Paul Tran
123 Posted 21/04/2020 at 14:51:24
We've got the resources, Tony. The question is, do we have the will and competence to use them?
Jamie Crowley
124 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:17:18
Mike -

I found two quotes attributed to Fauci. One is from Focus on the Family, which I'm sure you'll discount, and another from Just the News, which again I'm sure you'll discount. I'm trying to find where he said it on Good Morning America, but all I can find is he did say the numbers were projected to be between 100,000 and 200,000, were adjusted downwards to 60,000, and attributed that adjustment to the mitigation procedures that were put in place - not "overestimating". He did say this interestingly:

Dr. Anthony Fauci, meanwhile, reportedly said during a recent meeting that disease models "don’t tell you anything. You can’t really rely upon models."

Fauci has elsewhere indicated a preference for overestimating the possible effect of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States, telling reporters in March: "I think we should be overly aggressive and get criticized for overreacting."

Here's the salient point while we shadow box back and forth.

If South Korea didn't have to shut down, and you're lauding how South Korea approached the outbreak, then let's do exactly what South Korea did. Keep people safe while not completely shutting down the economy and forcing 22 million (and climbing) people to lose their jobs.

What about the manager of the restaurant who makes $50,000 a year, has two kids, and now doesn't have a paycheck?

What about the person who runs their own barber shop / salon who has to fold their business because there's been zero revenue the last month?

What if one of the two above examples have a condition which requires medication?

What about the economic affect of a stimulus bill that raises our national debt to nearly 29 TRILLION dollars at the end of all this by most projections? It now sits at 22.7 Trillion. That's a hell of a lot of money leveraged against an economy teetering on free-fall.

While everyone is praising doctors and nurses (and they should), people are going flat broke. The next wave of this is going to be economic, and for those people singularly focused on the present, I'd say let's revisit this when the economy is in serious trouble and can't have an injection of hot checks thrown at it. Let's see if we think shutting down and creating 22 million people unemployed was the right course.

Tell me more about South Korea when you have the time and chance, because I have a feeling we're going to wish we'd have not done what we've done to the economy when this is all done and dusted.

Finally, yes the death toll here in my state increased but I saw 59 deaths, not 89? Either way, but not discounting the human toll, I show 823 total deaths now in FL.

From the CDC, 2017 numbers in FL:

46,440 deaths from heart attacks
45,131 deaths from cancer
13.059 deaths from accidents
823 deaths presently from CV19.

Based on those numbers we must, must address our response vs. the effect it has economically. A risk-reward assessment has to take place.

South Korea Mike! Tell me about South Korea!

Jay Wood

125 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:29:47
First of all, thank you for the kind comments about my wife. She - and all like her all around the world - are truly heroic with astonishing levels of self-sacrifice and courage as many of you mention.

I think it's fitting, as an insight to the many millions of essential workers working hard to keep us safe, to give you a brief description of my wife's daily routine.

She gets up at 5.30am and stringently prepares before leaving the house with an industrial scrub down. She is so concerned with transmission that she completely changes her wardrobe every day.

The cell phone is wiped down with alcohol. She used to then wrap it in clingfilm, but has now bought 3 waterproof and sealable PVC cell phone holders in which to protect it so she doesn't touch it directly. At the end of each day, the holder gets a thorough scrub down in hot water and soap and is substituted with one of the other holders.

She uses one pair of flip-flops inside the house. Another pair await at the front door which she changes into before walking to the car. These flip-flops are then substituted inside the car for yet another pair.

On arrival at work, the car flip-flops are then changed for closed work shoes. Already masked and armed with alco-gel spray, inside the hospital she takes a minimum of 30 minutes to 'dress' for work. Some of the PPE she has bought herself because the hospital doesn't provide it.

A 'normal' day is 12 hours long. She frequently works 15 hour shifts. She has done 24 hour shifts. She takes in her own food as neither the hospital canteen nor the many nearby restaurants are open or functioning.

I in the meantime, other than an early morning 15-20 (masked) walk with the mutt, remain at home. Like the missus, I've been trained to completely change outdoor clothes and shoes on my return. Shoes are removed and not worn in the house. The soles are washed down with alcohol. The mutt's paws get a similar treatment. The clothes are removed, placed in a plastic bag and hung in the service area to use exclusively for outdoor excursions.

Each day I wipe down ALL door and drawer handles, plugs, cables, switches and buttons typically touched every day (like the fridge, microwave or oven) with alcohol. My own cell phone, PC keyboard, mouse and work area gets the same treatment.

Ahead of the missus returning home, I get the dinner on the go and prepare her lunch for the next day. On arrival, I open the garage door for her and retreat. She remains in the car for 10 minutes removing and changing protective gear. There is no embracing or touching at all as she walks through the house as rapidly as possible to remove all that day's clothing and HAND WASH everything, before again taking an industrial scrub. This protocol usually puts another hour on her already long day.

She eats using her own marked cutlery, plates, cups and glasses. If she is lucky, on a good night, she may get 5 hours sleep before it starts all over again.

She doesn't like to recount what she has lived through during the day. Suffice to say that today on the national morning news, our state was the lead news item. Hospital beds were at 97% occupancy rates last night. They are now full.

There were harrowing scenes of a desperate daughter at the doors of a public hospital, her mother collapsed on the floor struggling to breathe. The hospital simply would not, could not, open the doors to them. There were images of corpses in body bags laying on the floor in a ward with barely live patients on ventilators alongside them.

The funeral services are so overrun that another story showed how a favela family had wrapped the corpse of the family matriarch in bin liners and stored her in a large cardboard box, awaiting collection. She died 3 days ago. Six people live in the 2-roomed house, from a 3-year-old to a 40-something father.

As you can well imagine, my wife, like all those in the frontline, is phsically, emotionally and mentally fatigued by all this. This in turn makes her even more vulnerable to catching something, never mind the elevated exposure she risks daily.

Possibly the biggest deal in all this for her is how she cannot see or embrace her 95-year-old father or 90-year-old mother. Family is B-I-G in Brazil. Social distancing is totally alien to this culture. Bear hugs, kisses, handshakes, walking hand-in-hand, or with arms drapped around the shoulders or waist, are the norm.

A particularly endearing practice which I love about Brazil is the immense respect shown to parents and elder family members by their children or younger family members. On greeting the younger family member raises their hands, palms out, saying 'abençoe' mum/dad/aunt/uncle - 'bless you mum/dad' - before kissing the back of the other's hand, who returns the same to you, usually with the words 'já te abençoei' - 'I already blessed you [in my prayers]'.

Be appreciative of ALL essential workers - not just health workers - doing the grunge work to combat this chaos.

It could be one of them that ultimately helps save your life, or that of a lover one, in the coming weeks or months.

Alan J Thompson
126 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:35:08
Well, there we go then. Should I be worrying about how little unemployment benefit I'll get or should somebody near and dear be wondering why I didn't plan for leaving more in my will.
Paul Tran
127 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:36:02
Jay - hear, hear
Jamie - economies recover, dead people don't
Chris Williams
128 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:45:54

You paint a grim picture there, attritional and humbling. Dedication, service, duty, discipline -more than a job, a calling. And vulnerable. And knowing it.

Tough for you but unbelievably demanding on your wife, physically, mentally and emotionally, as you say.

I hope to God you all keep safe and healthy, and at the other side of this some form of normality can be achieved.

Moved to tears here mate.I don’t really have the words.

Patrick McFarlane
129 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:52:08
Jamie#124 I agree that the fall-out from this pandemic will be devastating for very many people, nobody invited Covid19 into the world, nobody wants it to be here, but it is and it has to be dealt with. We could all argue until the cows come home on what should have been done, when it should have been done and how it should have been done. Potus in his daily briefing said yesterday that he had saved a million lives by introducing the lockdown, that was he claimed the figure that the science modelling had indicated.

Modelling is by its very nature an inexact science, but it is the only method I am aware of that gives some semblence of the impact on society of any particular illness.

Unless there is some secret plan involving every major government in the world to deliberately sabotage their own economies I can't see what there is to be gained by them taking the drastic action they have, given the scientific evidence that was set before them. Perhaps, it's the beginning of a new totalatarian world order or more likely the various governments have responded because they were unwilling to have the deaths of hundreds of thousands if not millions of people on their CVs.

Paul Tran
130 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:56:46
Jamie, if 'an armed society is a polite society', how does that explain the pictures from the US I'm seeing of people leaning out of cars shouting 'Go to China' at a nurse in uniform. Demonstrations that are apparently being organised on social media by three brothers from the gun lobby.

Polite society? Looks like a thick as mince, dead from the neck up society to me.

Jay Wood

131 Posted 21/04/2020 at 15:59:34
That's very kind of you Chris. Thank you.

How's your lad and his pubs doing?

My sister and her pub I told you about are still in lockdown. My suggestion to do takeaways/home deliveries was a non-starter due to legislation and hygiene restrictions apparently.

In the meantime, keep on dreamin'...

'Blue skies, nuthin' but blue skies'.

Dave Abrahams
132 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:04:18
Paul (119), I know I am talking to the converted, but Liverpool never voted for Brexit or for the Tories.
Tony Abrahams
133 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:04:56
South Korea haven’t got a president called Trump, Jamie, going around saying it’s just like the flu.

South Korea haven’t got a prime minister called Boris, going around shaking everyone’s hand, something that nearly killed him.

I don’t know that much about politics Paul T, but I questioned did we have the resources because our health minister, said we would be testing 100.000 people a day by the end of this month, and we are fucking miles away from being able to do this?

It’s not because he’s not working hard enough though, because when somebody questioned if politicians, should relinquish some of their salaries, the man disagreed quite vehemently, but did say that what they all could do, was work even harder!

I put most things back to football in this life, and although we all love hard, it doesn’t get you far, when you haven’t got the talent, to back up your work rate, and this Matt Hancock reminds me of the footballers, who get interviewed after a bad defeat, telling everyone how they are going to put things right in the next game, and we all know how tired we were of this!

Paul Tran
134 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:12:37
Dave, of course you're dead right about Liverpool and I'm happy (and proud) to acknowledge that.

Tony, when Hancock committed to 100,000 tests a day, I made a mental note of 30th April, when Matt Hancock will either be the first ministerial sacrificial lamb, or they will plumb new depths in blaming others for their own mistakes.

More chance of knitting fog than this lot doing 100,000 tests a day.

Chris Williams
135 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:17:04
Cheers Jay,

Can I just say that your post made the whole business of the sacrifice front line workers are making a whole lot more realistic, immediate and a bloody sight less abstract. I think that’s what got to me.

Andy’s pubs are doing ok thanks. They’re operating as an off licence, for a couple of hours 3 times a week. One allowed in at a time, card payment only. Nothing like the same turnover, but good enough to more than cover their costs. All 3 pubs are on the furlough system which finally went live yesterday, so that means that the cost of wages for the team will now be met by the government whereas they’ve been paying it the last few weeks.

They’ve also been doing home deliveries for the self isolating. Groceries too on request.

I asked him yesterday had he learned any lessons. He said that first of all his team are brilliant. They are, Ive met them and a nicer more hardworking bunch you couldn’t wish to meet.

The second lesson was he now appreciated what I meant when I told him that they were selling a lot more than beer. The customers have really rallied round and some of the comments have been lovely. They’d become a social hub for many people and they’re supporting the pubs wonderfully.

The third lesson is that the local microbreweries and the pubs are supporting each other. All small businesses pulling together.

A lot to like there I think.

Tony Everan
136 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:20:31
What’s the odds he will come out next week all guns blazing. “We won’t be achieving 100k tests a day by the end of April. But don’t worry at all. We are on track to do 250000 a day by May 31st. See all you doubters then. “

Jay , best wishes and good luck to your and your wife, I am awestruck and have nothing but admiration for the work all health and care workers are doing . I sincerely hope she gets the necessary PPE kit and you both stay safe.

John Pierce
137 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:41:52

I’ve typed several comments, retracted and retyped because well, I value many opinions on here and trying find the right line of argument in a difficult time is impossible.

This is what I think is re SK.

South Korea was a special case. It had an outbreak of SARS some time ago, they got their approach wrong, internally were criticized fiercely for it. They put in place an infrastructure of testing that meant lightning wouldn’t strike twice. They we agile, nimble and ready to adapt should something similar happen again.
They were able to accurately assess where the breakouts were through mass testing and curtail the spread. It’s a unique scenario.

Both the UK & US don’t have that built in agility to pivot to mass testing. At the moment every time I step outside it’s a gamble regarding COVID19.

The other things that have been used as a comparison we have data for, you have choices to make, they are known risks. Heart attacks, being hit by a car etc. We have guidelines to help us stay healthy and be safe around vehicles.

Every time you step outside, you have no idea whether you are spreading it or getting it. You have no idea how what percentage of the population have it. Surely until we know that figure and that rates of transmission are below 1.0 would you consider opening back up.

It’s the responsibility of a government to stop that happening not perpetuate it!

It’s desperate round here and the last thing others need to see are pictures of others states opening up, its sets a terrible example and encourages people in stricken areas to think its okay to start going out. If other states think only of themselves, it’s hard not to see the chickens come home to roost if it befalls them, then why would you expect solidarity in return?

I fully understand people do also need to do what’s essential for them, and I don’t know everyone’s personal circumstances. My view is a more joined up approach will help in the long run, being the ‘United States’ in name only will only encourage rancor further down the line.

I hope everyone stays healthy, on a lighter note my mixology skills are now above average! 🍸🍹

Jay Harris
138 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:45:42
Brian #25,
An excellent post which I wholeheartedly agree with.

There will have to be an adjustment post Covid 19 and some industries will gain and others will suffer but there is pent up desire to get out and make the world normal again. The only major change I foresee is taxes will have to go up to cover all the governments shoring up of the economy and helping people but I don't see the doom that a few people are predicting in fact quite the reverse, apart from the tragic loss of life and stress that this pandemic has caused there are a lot of positives.

New opportunities for manufacturing will open up especially in the light of realising we don't have to rely on China as much.

The ozone layer has improved now that cars and planes have been grounded.

Gas (Petrol) hasnt been this cheap for a long time.

Inventories that have been depleted will have to be restocked.

Communities and sports followers will be desperate to start going to events again.

The civil wars and terrorism and gang warfare have been reduced to a minimum.

Welcome to a better more together world.

Jay Wood

139 Posted 21/04/2020 at 16:45:54
'A lot to like there I think.'

Indeed there is Chris.

And very astute of you to tell him that he was selling a lot more than beer.

Whisper it, but what will help communities bounce back from this is...the community itself.

This is just one small example of how localised socialism, if you like, is rallying around and helping the collective, rather than a single individual milking the rest without putting something back.

A loyal clientele. Even rivals and competitors in the same niche working together and supporting each other. I fancy your lad and his business will come out of this very strongly once things normalise.

As Paul Tran has highlighted in this thread, I hope for your sakes over there that the British electorate are more reflective in just what they've done (or failed to do) in recent years and maybe, just maybe, study, learn and think a bit more deeply than be so easily taken in by throwaway 3-word soundbites.

Wish me the same for Brazil under our own Bozo!

Paul Tran
140 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:00:12
Both Jays and Chris are spot-on. I've noticed in our little town that the local shops are coming into their own, serving/delivering to us all, especially to the elderly. They've, shown the flexibility and personal touch that will get us through this.

We all want to get back to something approaching normality but this is a point where we can start afresh and change things for the better, despite the politicians. This is a chance for communities to get together and set our agenda, rather than putting our blind trust in known liars and incompetents.

Ray Roche
141 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:05:43
The caterers at our local golf club, St Melyd, are still doing Friday night fish and chips, full Sunday Roast dinners and (I think) a curry night. You can order and pick them up or they’ll deliver for free. Where there’s a will etc.
Chris Williams
142 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:08:27

I hope you’re right mate. I don’t know what that is running your country, but he’s just sacked the health minister hasn’t he, for contradicting his bizarre statements?

We’ve got the same sort of thing here but in a colder more snooty English way. A one party state in all but name, where a gang of upper class vandals have cut and burned the public sector to the point of destitution, victimised benefit claimants as scroungers and parasites, when 60%of them are in full time employment, and done the same with immigrants only for them to be at the front of the NHS sacrifices, and deaths. Well over 100 now dead on that frontline, whilst many millions of pounds worth of NHS contracts being privatised to the likes of Branson, who whiles away his time in the sunshine suing the NHS and looks to get hand outs. All in the name of free market economics.

In the meantime, said vandals have been voted in three times in 10 years. Who voted for them? This last time an awful lot of working class voters.

Yeah, Corbyn was useless as a leader but surely people can see beyond that to the policies. Michael Foot was also a useless leader but twice the intellect of Corbyn and an Evertonian.Both were vilified and misrepresented by the press and on social media, and people bought it.

So not really holding my breath on any change here. Frankie Boyle, said that he didn’t think that people who voted for Brexit were thick. He said they voted that way because they didn’t like Pakistani immigrants.

But good luck and good heath to you and your brave wife Jay

Mike Gaynes
143 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:27:04
Jay #125...

Extraordinary post, one of the most powerful I've ever read here.

And I'd venture to guess that even in that remarkable accounting, you've left out one element of your lives that must pervade all the others -- the fear. It must be terrifying for both of you when she pulls out of the driveway every day. The risks and sacrifices of frontline health workers in treating this pestilence will never be fully understood and appreciated by most of the rest of us.

All best wishes from my family to yours.

Tony Abrahams
144 Posted 21/04/2020 at 17:53:49
Humanity, intelligence, common-sense, and a genuine feeling that we are all in it together— this is a thread that screams out all of these things — God bless everyone of yers, and I just hope everyone gets through it, because it's made me proud this thread, ToffeeWeb at its finest!!
Alan McGuffog
145 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:27:57
Chris, there have been nearly 40 years of Thatcherite politics / economics holding sway in this country. I'm counting Blairism as Thatcherism lite.

The success of this “philosophy” has been the ending, in economic grouping terms, of the old class system. I would suggest we now have a society more or less divided into haves and have nots... maybe 80:20... the ratio is not that important.

How did this come about?

Basically, the embracing of Chicago School dogma as espoused by Thatcher and Keith Joseph. A low-tax, low-spend economy... 'rolling back the frontiers of the state' as they used to put it.

Income tax was 33% in 1975. Basic rate today is 20%. People have been seduced by a few extra bob in their pockets. The down-side, of course, has been the decimation of our public services. Notice how private medicine and education have expanded in the last 30 years, for those who chose to purchase it.

The mantra being...don't rely on the state. Remember Kinnock warning people not to be poor or old or sick? So now it's coming home to roost. People have enjoyed greater spending power over the last few decades but now they are faced with public services that are stretched to the limit with little spare capacity.

When this is over, will people look back to the days of the inception of the welfare state and regenerate the spirit of those days? Or will it be back to the “no such thing as society” horse shit?

I've never voted Tory in my life and never will. I've always been a union man. I class myself as a “have” in financial terms... ie, cash in my back pocket. But what the feck is it worth if all the certainties that we grew up with are laid waste?

Here endeth my sermon. Stay safe, amigos.

Chris Williams
146 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:31:25
Can't disagree with any of that, Alan, I'm sorry to say.

The other major voting determinant now seems to be age.

Alan McGuffog
147 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:37:28
Chris... having thoroughly depressed myself, let's get back to music 🎶😀
Sam Hoare
148 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:40:39
Jay@125, powerful stuff. Respects and thanks to your wife and the many others on the frontline doing such work in such difficult circumstances whilst most of us are sat at home watching boxsets or in my case trying to stop my kids from going completely feral.

I hope those who have fought this fight on the frontline will be better treated and rewarded afterwards than they were before.

Chris Williams
149 Posted 21/04/2020 at 18:50:28

Great idea mate,

Love One Another by the Youngbloods

Corina Corina by Taj Mahal and Keb Mo'

Runaway by The Travelling Wilburys

Splendid Isolation by Warren Zevon

Just had a listen, uplifting as was the long vodka and lime.

Alan McGuffog
150 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:05:50
A bottle of Weetwoods Oregon Pale, Iris DeMent singing "Easy's Gettin' Harder Every Day" followed by Townes Van Zandt giving it "Pancho and Lefty"

Simple pleasures...

Chris Williams
151 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:16:20
Townes Van Zandt is a great, and that song is a favourite, Alan.

Iris Dement, I don't really know.

Tom Fazal
152 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:22:06
Jay #125,

I have sat here for some time trying to put into words how I felt when I read your post. It made me truly understand what healthcare workers and their loved ones must go through everyday in order to protect people they don't even know. I have no idea how they and their families do it.

All those complaining about the inconvenience of lockdown rules should be made to read your post.

All my best wishes that you both stay well.

Tony Abrahams
153 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:40:39
I think two Roger Waters/Floyd, songs stand out at the minute Chris, with amused to death being the obvious choice, with the other being tide is turning, “hopefully”
Mike Gaynes
154 Posted 21/04/2020 at 19:52:01
Jamie #124, all your examples are powerful and true, and as the owner of a closed-down business myself, I can relate. What you skip over is the question of what would have happened to that barbershop if the barber got the virus and passed it on to his customers. I think we'll never know what the "right" or "wrong" choices were. We're just making the best choices we can, given our lack of preparedness and glacial response to this emergency.

OK, South Korea. (Apologies in advance to those bored shitless by the subject... go ahead and scroll past, it won't hurt my feelings.) The short answer is we can't do NOW what South Korea did, but we could have and should have at the same time they did.

As John P says, SK's bungled response to the 2003 SARS epidemic triggered them to put a plan in place for the next pandemic (Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, New Zealand did the same). SK assembled an agency, an infrastructure, a resource stockpile and a plan that was based on 1) screening for symptoms, 2) isolating the patient, 3) immediate testing, and 4) contact tracing to reach everyone exposed to that patient. They even ran simulations.

It worked. By reacting as soon as the first case was confirmed Jan. 20 (same day as the first US case), SK got on top of their outbreak, identifying and isolating sick people so quickly that they could keep their economy open (although they closed their schools). And this is key -- it didn't require mass obedience. They've only had to test about 1% of their population to pull it off. If you respond quickly enough, testing only the suspicious cases and their contacts is sufficient.

The US story is more complex. We similarly bungled the swine flu outbreak in 2009, but then led the highly successful international effort to knock down the Ebola outbreak in 2014. President Obama then had Susan Rice establish the National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense. The program developed detailed plans and extensive resources for instant responses to both pandemics and biological attacks.

When Trump came in, he replaced the original program chief with retired Navy Adm. Tim Ziemer, one of the most qualified people in the world to do the job -- he was an expert on the worldwide response to malaria and other pandemic-prone diseases. He expanded the program's capability to cooperate with other countries on response. But in 2018, Trump fired his national security advisor H.R. McMaster, who had supported Adm. Ziemer's work, and replaced him with John Bolton, who promptly fired Ziemer and his entire team. End of preparedness. There was nobody left in the administration who knew how to execute the response plan, and Trump had no intention of responding anyway since he didn't see the virus as a threat.

Had the NSC program still been in place in January, we could have been able to react just as SK did on the same day, and it's very likely we would never have had to take shutdown measures. Three months after the outbreak, we too have finally tested 1% of our population, but of course it's far, far too late now that almost a million Americans already got the bug. At this point we'll never come anywhere close to sufficient testing.

Aren't you sorry you asked?

Mike Gaynes
155 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:05:40
Chris #149, also:

"Run Runaway" by Slade
"Longest Time" by Billy Joel
"Warning" by Green Day
"Stay" (I like Jackson Browne's version)
"I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor

...and my current anthem, "Alone Again Naturally" by Gilbert O'Sullivan.

Alan McGuffog
156 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:06:42
Chris... check out Transatlantic Sessions. Emmylou, Allie Bain, Mary Black, Iris and a host of others. Enjoy mate, and keep the vodka flowing.
Paul [The Esk]
157 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:29:52
Jay I was so struck by your description of your wife's dedication, I asked Twitter to read it. Thank you for posting it and thanks and best wishes to your wife.

Chris Williams
158 Posted 21/04/2020 at 20:53:37

I also like Stay by Jackson Browne with David Lindley. Great album too, Running on Empty. Cocaine!

Like Billy Joel. Didn't he do We didn't start the Fire, like a later version of American Pie?

I can understand you listening to Gilbert O'Sullivan, and I hope there's a happy ending to that soon.

I will listen to Green Day, who I don't really know, but my son likes them as does my 6-year-old grandson. He converted me to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Jack White, but he didn't have to try too hard. I converted him to Josh Ritter and James McMurtry.

I might give Gloria Gaynor a miss, Mike, but please keep enjoying it.

Better than that Covid-19 stuff.

John Prine, Hello In There.

Alan, I used to love Transatlantic Sessions on TV on a Friday night. Jerry Douglas, Alison Krauss, Ali Bain and a host of others. I will check out that track.

They did a Transatlantic Sessions Tour and I went to see them at The Empire in Liverpool. Jerry Douglas, Danny Thompson on bass, Sam Bush, absolutely bewildering musicianship.

Can I also mention the soundtrack of Oh Brother Where Art Thou? The beautiful harmonies of Emmy Lou, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch.

Great stuff guys. Better than that Covid-19 stuff!

Jamie Crowley
159 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:03:13
Mike, Chris, Patrick, Sir John, Jay Wood who wears the yellow jersey, anyone else for that matter -

All of your perspectives and opinions are appreciated. Mike, I'm never sorry to ask you a question as your responses always make my gray matter tick. Sir John, your measured approach is one I could learn from, but my personality simply doesn't jive with.

I'm done wearing the black hat. Subject dropped.

Jay Wood - brilliant. You and your wife be well.

Stay safe, wash your hands, UTFB, bring back the footy.

Mike Gaynes
160 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:10:47
Chris #158, I loved that soundtrack too. It was an educational experience as well as entertaining... learned a lot about those artists and that milieu.

Somebody needs to put out an album of just COVID-themed tunes.

Jamie, amen, and you and yours stay safe. I miss the footy just as much as you do. Wonder if we're ever gonna get a chance to resume our Sidibé argument.

Mike Gaynes
161 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:34:10
Check this out, it's hilarious...

Sean O'Hanlon's kids re-enacting great goals

Andy Crooks
162 Posted 21/04/2020 at 21:58:41
Jay@ 125, haven't felt like logging in for a while. I am glad I did. That magnificent post has done me a power of good. Thank you.
Chris Williams
163 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:18:20
Yes Mike,

One of my all time favourite films. I loved the way Dave Rawlings pretended to sing like George Clooney!

A great flat picking guitarist. Check out Scarlet Town with Gillian Welch. It sounds like he’s playing a lute.

Sean Kelly
165 Posted 21/04/2020 at 22:50:56
Hi, folks, I have two questions that are puzzling me. In different countries, they don't count the deaths in care facilities or in the community that are Covid-19 related. Why? Is this the governments trying to play things down?

Secondly, why are these care facility residents not moved to hospitals? Here in Ireland two weeks ago, we had nine people die in one care facility in the midlands over one weekend. When the local hospital just 200 yards away was asked if they could take them, they refused, saying they would be better off staying where they are. Shameful.

My hope is that, when this is over, we should demand equal opportunity and access to health facilities. Health care in our hospitals should be available to all and should not depend on your financial status, age or circumstances.

Stay safe, everyone.

Patrick McFarlane
166 Posted 21/04/2020 at 23:26:36
Sean I think it has to do with testing, only those who are hospitalised are tested for Covid-19 whilst those in care homes and in their own houses aren't. Official figures are produced which don't include untested cases.

Those outside of hospital may be certified as Covid-19 related but it's mainly subjective depending upon the GP's view. I have seen reports which suggest that hospitals had sent patients back to care homes but not sure if this actually happened or how many may have been involved.

It's not a scam by governments to hide the true number of fatalities – just an accepted practice – but I'm certain there will be questions asked as to whether it has been good practice.

The Office for National Statistics is the body which produces outside hospital fatality figures and they are about 10 to 14 days behind real-time events.

Don Alexander
167 Posted 21/04/2020 at 23:36:20
Very well said indeed, Darren (#104). Besides the fabulous NHS, there's an even bigger army of so-called "ordinary" folk taking major risks, as you stipulate, to genuinely serve the population at large.

I just hope that, when Covid-19 is history, governments world-wide reflect on what and who really matter in this world, way beyond market forces, Gross National Product and, in the UK's case, massive nuclear re-armament via Trident.

Sean Kelly
168 Posted 21/04/2020 at 23:54:19
Thanks, Patrick. My main concern is that these vulnerable people and their carers don't seem to be getting proper attention from the health authorities.
Patrick McFarlane
169 Posted 22/04/2020 at 00:10:29
I agree, Sean, and that'll be a major question to be answered by the authorities in the near future.
Eric Myles
170 Posted 22/04/2020 at 00:46:52
Jamie #124, I don't think these shutdowns are anything to do with deaths, I doubt the politicians even care. It's all to do with politics as they don't have the resources to deal with this pandemic.

If people weren't in lockdown they'd be flooding health care facilities for tests to check if they have the virus. The health care facilities couldn't cope and they don't have the test kits anyway. The same will be true if a vaccine is developed.

It really would highlight the massive failings of the governments in not having a plan. Of course current administrations will blame the previous one, and them the one before that, but people will only remember the current one failed. So they need to cover their arses 'cos they will get blamed whatever they do.

But in any case, I agree with you: the cure is worse than the disease as the saying goes.

Alan J Thompson
171 Posted 22/04/2020 at 06:45:58
A true isolation number: "Look through any window" – The Hollies.
Jerome Shields
172 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:15:43
Mike #154,

Interesting information on South Korea and the States. The UK did have a plan, but it was largely forgotten about, during austerity.

Tony Abrahams
173 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:16:06
Sean, and Patrick, like him or loathe him, but Piers Morgan, has been giving it to people in the government for weeks now, and he absolutely destroyed the care minister today.

No doubt we will see you with the correct figures, this time next week, was his parting shot, but if we do, it will mean she is still in her job, in spite of the lies, in spite of the deception, (deceiving us on the numbers “of deaths” both in care homes and frontline NHS workers) and in spite of her just not being up to the job.

If she's still standing next week, it will only be because she's not the only person in the government that is totally out of their depth... how fucking scary this is.

Chris Williams
174 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:46:31

The FT has published figures that show the ‘true' death figure is 41,000. It has used the ONS figures and ‘removed' the delay in reporting. It says it has been collating the data and sorting the methodology for a good while now and has finally decided to publish.

Whether it is accurate or not, only time will tell, but I reckon it is closer to the truth than the more palliative figures trotted out routinely every evening.

The ONS figures yesterday showed the Care Home deaths went from 250 reported the previous week to over 1000 in the latest figures. And of course is about 2 weeks behind.

Reports of 75% of care workers unable to access virus tests, with 62-mile round trips also needed to get to testing centres.

There's more mate about PPE, but I'll not bang on, and scary is the right word, to be sure. It's what you get when a complacent government is put together to get Brexit sorted, and filled with true believers, not on the basis of competence and ability. Then the shit hits the fan.

Keep safe.

Brian Harrison
175 Posted 22/04/2020 at 10:47:09
Tony 173,

While I applaud anyone taking government ministers to task, but whenever I see Piers Morgan and think of all the things he has done in his career, he should be the very last person to be classed as a champion of the people.

Let's not forget this man was the editor of the Daily Mirror that run a wholely untrue story of British soldiers beating up Iraqi prisoners of war in the back of a wagon. This was the same man who was as guilty as anyone over using phone hacking, and there are still many questions left unanswered by the Levinson enquiry.

Also, this was a man who championed Trump for President; anyone is allowed to make mistakes, but Morgan makes it into an art form.

Darren Hind
176 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:03:32
I thought Piers Morgan made a complete twat of himself, Tony.

He thinks he's some kind of Andrew Neil but he simply comes across as a loudmouth Bully. He completely let her off the hook by shouting over the top of her answers. Three times she told him she can't answer if he keeps shouting over the top of her and three times he fell into the trap and shouted over the top of her again. I for one would have been interested in what she had to say. We didn't hear it.

Morgan needs to take a look at Andrew Marr and realise that the interviews are not all about him. We already know the questions – he shouts them out often enough... but we have no clue what her detailed answers would have been.

Total Wanker

Tony Abrahams
177 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:08:26
Agree Brian, “the only champions of the people” are the ones that many of us have talked about on this very thread, the ones who risk catching a virus that can kill every time they go to work, and yet government ministers are still telling lies about how many frontline NHS workers have died.

I think it's easy to criticise, and it's why I try and stay away from it as often as possible but it's different when it's resulting in way too many people dying prematurely. It's something which is totally unforgivable, so I'd better get back to some happy music quickly – definitely no Floyd today.

Darren Hind
178 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:23:26
Morgan tried the same thing with Tony Blair, trying to lure him into scoring cheap points, but Blair is too long in the tooth and gave him the old Ali Shuffle.

I'm not a great fan Of Blair's either, but he gave a very reasoned and humble interview.

Whilst accepting the old Foot-and-Mouth crisis was not on the same scale as this one. He did have the good grace to say he was in trouble and realised he didn't have the people within his ranks capable of dealing with it. So he turned to others outside the government. Chiefly the military.

He was basically saying that very few politicians would have the logistical expertise to deal with many of the problems this government face. That they really need to go to people (like the military) who are qualified... Hope Boris and his boys were listening.

Tony Abrahams
179 Posted 22/04/2020 at 11:47:48
I read that Gordon Brown attended every Cobra meeting on foot and mouth, whereas Blair said he couldn't remember if he went.

I thought he didn't put the boot in today, Darren, because he's a Tory himself at heart, but he's definitely always been the type to say more away from the camera.

Blair, it's how he got on imo, and his shifty eyes had me thinking that he's probably invested in a couple of these major pharmaceutical companies right now?

Bobby Mallon
180 Posted 22/04/2020 at 12:50:07
Hi guys,

Football brain teaser for you all. Pick a world 11 of players that have played in your lifetime – so from 1970s onwards. No two players can be from the same country and no two players from the same club team either. It's not as easy as you think. 👍⚽️

Jamie Crowley
181 Posted 22/04/2020 at 12:51:28
Eric @ 170 -

That's a very true and valid point for me. We spoke over here about flattening the curve of cases, or else the hospitals and care facilities would be over run.

Yesterday, I was talking to a very good friend about the situation, and he brought up a point I'd not heard, nor had considered. Here in the USA ,the majority of affected areas are cities, especially New York City. Contrast that with my stance and what I see and my opinion of the situation, I live in what can only be defined as a "cushy suburb" outside Jacksonville, Florida. Jax (as we call it) isn't an overly large city, and is very, very spread out.

The one thing you find in New York that you don't find in Jax, or our more southern, beachy suburbs, is multi-generational homes. Multi-generational homes abound in New York City. I have to believe, as Covid-19 affects mostly the elderly and those with preexisting conditions, being in an area that is dense with multi-generational homes would result in this thing spreading like wildfire?

I think it's also why you have the differing opinions of the severity. Where I live, it's just not affecting us near as much and the general populous believes it's time to get back to work as there is very little danger. Those living in or near bigger cities vehemently disagree, as the virus has had a much bigger impact on their lives.

Food for thought. But Eric, you're right. A lot of this was fear of the medical community becoming overrun.

Everyone have a good day.

Christine Foster
182 Posted 22/04/2020 at 14:38:50
A month ago, I left Liverpool for the third time in my life and silently wondered if it would be the last time I would see my friends and family.

After a series of cancelled flights, sleeping on airport floors, and an almost total absence of checks on airline passengers, I arrived in Brisbane, a place I knew well, with plans to see family and friends. Instead, I went into 14 days isolation seeing no one or going anywhere...

Then I caught a flight to New Zealand on the day it announced its lockdown and closure of borders, by the skin of my teeth, but another 14 days self-isolation followed by a continuing lockdown.

Some salient points to be made:

1. The ability for this aggressive spread has its routes in airline travel, globalisation; without doubt, the virus spread because of the total absence in many countries of any checking of passengers. Period.

The only place I was checked at any of the seven airports on my trip was Auckland as I entered New Zealand. Today, still flights into the UK from anywhere are not checked. Is it any wonder the spread?

2. Things will not return to normal. There is no cure or vaccine as yet and it's debatable whether immunity follows infection. A new normal will arise until such time a cure or virus mutation is found.
3. New Zealand found a solution that worked for them, it won't for everyone..

Part 1... Part 2 in the morning... Stay safe. xx

Tony Abrahams
183 Posted 22/04/2020 at 15:40:29
Recycled air, Christine, I'd bet my last penny that I caught tuberculosis on an aeroplane, when I used to travel to New Zealand, funnily enough,

I was never ever the same with regards my fitness levels, but it didn't kill me, and it's never stopped me from having a great life (just made me awful at football) which is what is so bad about this horrible Covid-19.

Jerome Shields
184 Posted 22/04/2020 at 16:05:19
I always thought of Piers Morgan as being a celebrity type presenter. He is in favour of whatever trend is hitting the headlines and jumps on any opportunity to turncoat and proclaim some self-righteous indignation to cover his tracks, when he turns.

From his time on Britain's Got Talent, he learned not to be interested in the actual person performing, but how his own performance is rated. I'm sure behind it all he is laughing all the way to the bank, which will encourage him to come out with the raving claptrap that is his trade mark.

I never could take him seriously or watch him.

Paul Tran
185 Posted 22/04/2020 at 16:32:50
I'm torn regarding Piers Morgan. Before this crisis, I'd have said he exemplifies everything that's wrong with British media; now, I'd say only him and Brillo are giving the government a proper grilling, more so because nobody can accuse them of being 'lefties'... yet!

He gave Blair respect because he tends to talk sense and can put the other view while strongly arguing his own case, something I've always liked about him.

Morgan is battering these Tory ministers because he knows they're all shite. They're only ministers because they're Brexit cult members and make Johnson look good – all the capable Tories have been sacked/marginalised or have left.

It was good to see a Labour leader looking like a potential PM today, but just wait, 'The People' will line up to call him a 'Remoaner Toff', while dutifully doffing their caps to the lying Old Etonian shagger.

Tony Abrahams
186 Posted 22/04/2020 at 16:34:46
Of course he's in it for himself, Jerome. Darren had a point about him shouting over the care minister today, but she had nothing honest to say, and was just going round the world waffling shite. Otherwise he wouldn't have been able to patronise her so much, which was the thing I was concentrating on to be fair, thinking how out of their league, the ministers for both health and care really are.

Fair enough not being able to take him seriously or even watch him, but he's making these politicians out to be exactly what they are right now, and he's probably never had an easier job.

Jay Harris
187 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:19:08

I live on the opposite coast from you near Crystal River but agree with what you say.

Covid-19 is mainly affecting concentrated areas like big cities, which is borne out by Miami and Orlando being the only places in Florida with seriously high incidences of the virus.

Tony A is also correct in that air travel with people concentrated in a closed space has also contributed to this pandemic; likewise cruise ships. That is why I believe sports and music events with large concentrated crowds will not be allowed anytime soon.

Social distancing may be with us for a while yet. Having said that, it's great to see some talented and creative people doing their bit on social media. If you haven't caught it I definitely recommend a video just produced by Mumford & Sons and Diplo.

Jay Harris
188 Posted 22/04/2020 at 17:23:04
Link for the video:

Chris Williams
189 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:04:58
Alan and Mike,

I've had a chance to listen to Iris DeMent, and also to the Green Day track Warning.

Alan, what a set of pipes she has, tremendous. I've downloaded a few more tracks to have a listen to.

Mike the Green Day track I knew, because it is my 6-year-old grandson's second favourite song by them after Minority. He listens to his dad play it in the car.

That's not all he listens to in his Dad's car either. He called me a Bellend recently, and it seemed it was something his Dad called other drivers. I tried not to laugh, honest.

Tried to give all this Covid-19 stuff a miss for most of today, and did a Tony A, and listened to some music instead.

It hath powers to soothe the savage breast seemingly. It did for me anyway.

Take care.

Mike Gaynes
190 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:31:39
Christine #182, condolences on what you've been through -- the ultimate travel hell. With Wuhan now open but the China-to-US air link still all but closed (except for one weekly Shanghai-NY flight), Sarah and I have been trying to figure a way to fly her out of fucking Wuhan and get her home through a third country. But your account supports what we've heard, that she'd have to sit out a 14-day quarantine in whatever country she passed through, and then again in the US.

Chris #189 - It hath indeed. With my choir shut down for the rest of the year (we won't reassemble until January), I've been downloading new music from iTunes and singing at least a few minutes a day, just to keep my pipes from freezing up with inactivity. It does make me feel better.

Mike Gaynes
191 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:36:58
Jamie #181, it's not true that "Covid-19 affects mostly the elderly and those with preexisting conditions."

The virus is equally contagious to people of all ages and health categories. The risk of complications and death from Covid-19 does increase with age, excess weight and infirmity, but not the risk of infection.

Alan McGuffog
192 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:37:49
Chris, at the age of almost 67, I am still a pillock. I doubt things will change.

One of the few things that I have grown into over the years, however, is a desire to listen to music that means something to me. So I really liked Gram Parsons (cool). Which got me enjoying Merle Haggard (square). His version of Pancho and Lefty (with Willie Nelson ) got me into Townes Van Zandt. Hearing him duet with Iris got me into her stuff.

Life is good. There is just so much good audio out there; my only advice to anyone would be to open yourself up to all music. Otherwise, we'd never have listened to little Jimmy Osmond.

Eric Paul
193 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:38:10
Didn't Piers Morgan start out as a gossip columnist in The Sun... or am I thinking of another twat?
Paul Tran
194 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:53:15
He did start out doing gossipy trash in The Sun, then ended up as Editor at The Mirror, where he was implicated in the phone-hacking scandal. Lovely man.

And I'll second Mike's detail regarding coronavirus.

Chris Williams
195 Posted 22/04/2020 at 18:58:48

I'm 72, and had a similar journey I suppose. American music where I could get in the 50s, mainly black plus Elvis. Then skiffle was massive. Ledbelly followed, Woody, Dylan and in that order.

The sixties was the usual stuff then Folk through Jansch etc, Davy Graham, Dylan inventing Rock, Stax and Muscle Shoals, West Coast Bands, American and British Blues into Sebastian, Band, Paul Butterfield etc. Similar to you, but my entry was via the Eagles into Country, and Gene Clark, Gram etc. My route to Townes was via Guy Clark who I think is more of an unsung hero than Dennis Stevens..

And so it remains. Folk, Blues, Country, Rock. Except it's Martin Simpson, Ben Harper, Felice Brothers, James McMurtry – to name but a few.

And on it goes.

Paul Tran
196 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:05:31
Got some Martin Simpson on right now, Chris.
Mike Gaynes
197 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:08:02
Alan #192, I had to look up the word "pillock". I don't know anyone here who less fits the description than you.

What you described is precisely my primary path for discovering artists and music I didn't previously know -- discovering their versions of songs I already liked. One example: "Early Morning Rain" has always been a folk favorite of mine -- I even had the mind-spinning honor of singing it with Noel Paul Stookey of Peter Paul & Mary at a benefit concert 30 years ago. But I discovered an even better version done by the bluegrass duo of Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott, which in turn introduced me to some old Hot Rize and a whole new line of string-based "fun" bluegrass.

And it was Paul Simon's "That Was Your Mother" that introduced me to The Twisters and eventually pulled me in to Zydeco, which I still enjoy.

Funny where those musical side roads can lead you.

Alan McGuffog
198 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:19:27
Cheers, Mike and Chris... music is such a funny old thing. On another thread there is a conversation going on about fashions (if that's the correct expression).

People are talking about Doc Marten's, white kecks and the like. The uniform of the rather violent skinheads of the late 60s. (I was a weekend hippy... all lank hair and posing with King Crimson albums.)

The skinheads with their supposed racist leanings were responsible for exposing Bluebeat, Ska and Reggae to a white audience in those years.

All comes down to the music in the end. Keep listening. Keep supping. Keep safe. And, if you're an angler... Keep net.

Chris Williams
199 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:21:43

Zydeco and Cajun is a whole different topic. I got into it through Rocking Dopsie and Buckwheat Zydeco who was a bit more commercial, but it's fantastic dance music. I liked stuff like Diggy Liggy Lo, but I got into that via the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. I've still got about 2000 vinyl albums around the house and lots of stuff like that in there.

I think I'll leave the kids to sort that out in time. Maybe a few collectors items in there for them.

Alan, I saw what you did there!

Paul the man is a virtuoso!

Tony Abrahams
200 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:42:44
Seriously back to the football and Gareth Bale, has donated £500,000 to a Welsh hospital which is absolutely brilliant. It's a staggering amount of money!

I'm being genuine, but it doesn't even take him two weeks to earn it. Incredible, but well done, Gareth Bale👏👏

Mike Gaynes
201 Posted 22/04/2020 at 19:51:10
Chris, yep, that was Rockin' Dopsie on the Simon song! Loved it. He was a true accordion artist, which is sort of an oxymoron if you think about it.

I learned something about Cajun music from a chef I worked with. Through him I found the somewhat-less-commercial Geno Delafose, who was pretty obscure back then. Check out Chickens On The Run and Watch That Dog. Very entertaining stuff.

2000 albums? Damn. I finally threw away my turntable last year. Respects for a man who has kept the vinyl faith!

Christine Foster
202 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:00:36
Okay, woken up... Part 2 of my earlier post:

So, here in New Zealand, it's like I have entered the paradise section of the Twilight Zone. Surreal.

Finally arrived in Nelson at the top of the South Island to find a ghost town. Empty. Not a soul. Beautiful sunshine and beach, empty.

Over the first week of my venturing out for my daily walk, I encountered a few other walkers who, to a man, kept their distance, crossed the road as they saw you coming, but every dammed one smiled and said "Good morning". The Kiwis took on board their Prime Minister's advice to the letter, accepted it for the good of themselves and their neighbour, it was the right thing to do.

Jacinda Adherns understands and clearly tells it how it is in here daily press conferences but her message is clear: be kind to each other. It gave the country a sense of purpose, focus and solidarity that has all but wiped this thing from this island.

New Zealand is lucky to have such a good leader, lucky to be an island, lucky not to have an ultra-right buffoon leading them or a hopeless government with a one-trick pony (Brexit) as their mantra.

I remember my last walk along New Brighton promenade, was it only a month ago? No social distancing, no thought for others – just directionless focus and fear.

All New Zealand has done is press the pause button and stopped travel. (All?) For a vaccine to be found, the world needs time, space and good leadership. Sadly, too many countries have incompetence and lies, with mounting tolls daily; their trust is broken and anger seeps in with realisation and fear.

Jamie, from the outside looking in, all I can say to you is look around you... Yes, people are suffering, some more so than others with the economic fallout, but they are still alive. As a society, I want to live in a place I know will do what's best for its people, for each other, rather than focus on self-interest. I understand completely the rationale that the economic cost to undertake the solution is horrifying, but then so is the cost of ignoring it.

Every country has its own strategy; some good... others not. But, at the end of the day, any solution needs to be driven and accepted by the people to make it work. In the US, you have an egotistical leader who wants to make political capital through division. It will lead to blame and more death, but also countries will close their borders to the US.

Final point: air travel. I said at the beginning that air travel around the world has brought the virus to our doors at the speed of sound. Spend a moment or two and have a look at Flight Tracker, it tracks every flight in the world live. Have a look at UK, Europe.. a handful of flights, you can even see its origins and destination. Then have a look at the US. Thousands of flights, planes still flying. All of a sudden, you see why the US is in trouble and why this thing will continue to spread there.

Governments don't have a monopoly on making the right decisions but common sense tells you without clear information, focus and the will, the outcome will be poor. We have a responsibility to take care of ourselves and other people who, without that consideration, would suffer or be lost. Sadly when you have incompetence at the top, confusion and blame follows. Then it's every man for himself.

To the outside world, people are looking in at the demonstrations in the US against the lockdowns, people with military arms, confederate flags, Liberty or Covid-19 placards and frankly think the place is either full of nutters or self-centered morons who cannot see the wood for the trees. Of course it's not but, while the rest of the world fights this thing as best they can (using actually the same principles that were used in the 1600s for plague: isolate and lock down...) there are others who have chosen to blame.

I understand every economic argument but, once you are dead, you are dead. For those left, the world may not be the same, but you would still have the chance to live, and to live with the understanding that you have a debt to those around you for making that happen. You may be in financial ruin, but you are alive to make the most of what you do have. Remember, you cannot be financially secure or rich when you are dead.

Look after each other, stay well, and remember all those around the world who are giving their lives so that others can be safe.

Sean Kelly
203 Posted 22/04/2020 at 22:44:32
Hi Christine, excellent post.

While reading your post, I was rating the leaders of various nations in how they were handling this crisis and how they were relating and communicating with their countries citizens. Jacinda Adhern comes across as a caring and genuine person. This is indeed a rare attribute for a politician.

On both sides of the big pond and here in Ireland, leadership with honesty and true compassion is as scarce as hen's teeth. I don't care for politics but, if more people with the qualities of Jacinda Adhern were guiding us, we would be in a much better place.

In my earlier posts, I referred to governments not giving a truthful number of unfortunate deaths from Covid-19. This is done to make them look as though they are in control. Shameless sods. I'm in my 60s and now live in hope that my adult family and grandchildren will see a better world where leadership is earned through honesty and respect for others. I may be an auld fool but live in hope. The current crop of leaders on both sides of the pond exude contempt for all voters, even those that voted them in.

Thanks for your post and stay safe in New Zealand. I could think of many worse places to be in lockdown.

Paul Tran
204 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:03:34
Great post, Christine. The death tolls are high in UK & US; both countries have daft populist regimes. Populist politicians are brilliant until they have to do something, then they're useless.

Stay safe in New Zealand. They've got a good leader there.

Laurie Hartley
205 Posted 22/04/2020 at 23:22:11
Christine # 202 – that is a great post.

Chris and Alan – here is my favourite Iris DeMent song.

Walking Home

This song means a lot to me – I hope you enjoy it.

Mike Gaynes
206 Posted 23/04/2020 at 01:22:35
One thing that I think may not be fully understood is the emotional impact that this crisis is having on all of us. It's beyond anything most of us have ever dealt with. And the feelings just come flooding out.

Christine's post is like that. So are some of the phone conversations I've had with friends who have lost people. We're all feeling these pent-up emotions. And we'll all have to deal with them long after the virus itself is gone.

Christine, thank you for sharing.

Derek Thomas
207 Posted 23/04/2020 at 02:59:49
Christine @ 202; great words. If Jacinda pulls a hammy and has to be subbed off, they could do worse than bring you off the bench.

I lived there for 15 years and that's how they think. They see themselves as one big team... 15 All Blacks on the pitch and 4.5M people on the bench... all part of the same team. Team New Zealand.

Here in Australia, we have what at first glance appeared to be a contradiction – an unpopular, populist right-wing buffoon who seemed to also have some of the 'perceived bad things' associated with the word 'Christian' too.

To his and some people's great surprise... but mainly due to the even more unpopular left-wing buffoon of a labour party leader (Bill Shorten; 'The Bill' Australia can't afford) he got a right-wing government re-elected.

On foreign policy, he talks to Trump... but I think that has something to do with the deep-seated fear of the massive neighbour in the Northwest Pacific area. (Can you even say 'yellow peril' nowadays?)

But here at home, on the virus front, he seems to be doing a decent job... letting passengers walk off infected cruise ships aside... not as good as New Zealand – different scale and he did shut down air travel as much as he could, to be honest – but not bad.

Keep up with your Alastair Cook-esque Letter from New Zealand.

Eric Myles
208 Posted 23/04/2020 at 06:20:25
Viet Nam has become virus-free for the second time and released the lockdown, allowing life to go back to normal.

First time they became virus-free, they still had inbound flights from UK with incoming tourists, including an airline pilot spreading it around, and returning Vietnamese.

Their solution was to round up everyone that had been in contact with the infected person and quarantine them. Secondary contacts were given 14 days at home, including everyone that lived in the same building, even if there'd been no contact.

They are not making the same mistake as the first time and are keeping their borders closed. So maybe an experiment to watch regarding second waves and immunity.

Chris Williams
209 Posted 23/04/2020 at 06:48:09

"Be kind to each other" isn't a bad guiding principle for anyone, let alone a political leader.

It was what our local Catholic priest used to say to couples he married. Nothing else, ‘because nobody wants to listen to an old celibate banging on about things he knows feck all about'

He was a man of great humanity and humility with huge faith, underpinned by a fierce intellect. Greatly loved, and badly affected by the things he saw as a young seminarian in Ireland.

He gave me back my faith. Influenced thousands over the years with simple goodness and above all, kindness.

Greatly missed.

Chris Williams
210 Posted 23/04/2020 at 06:59:14

That’s lovely thanks. I’ve gone from not knowing anything about her, to having a dozen tracks on my lockdown playlist, now including this one.

Darren Hind
211 Posted 23/04/2020 at 08:21:06
Sean @203,

I too started taking an interest on how various leaders around the world are dealing with this horrible virus. I had to stop. I was scaring the fucking living daylights out of myself.

When I read what the Brazilian premier said about this plague a couple of weeks ago, I was so horrified, I had to read it 2-3 times to ensure I had got it right.

I have since realised that, when he shrugged his shoulders and said "It's raining, some will get wet and some will drown" he was only saying what most of the fucking rest of them were thinking.

Tony Abrahams
212 Posted 23/04/2020 at 09:11:24
So much sense in your post Christine, with the only contradiction being that travel definitely broadens the mind! (It does for real people.)

The Kiwis are a simple race, lovely people: no airs, no graces. Derek has described them perfectly, and I hope you enjoy the rest of your days around such easy-going people, Christine.

Mike G, I've been following your posts on this thread with great interest, simply because you have been invested in this horrible virus from the beginning, and you speak with a lot of compassion and intelligence on this horrible subject; thanks, mate!

I can understand Jamie C, he's just taken out a big loan to keep his company afloat, so if things don't get started, where is that going to leave him financially? But life is definitely the most important thing; Christine is right once again.

The sad thing is that Darren is right, the Brazilian is just saying what many other leaders are probably thinking... But, when it's all over, then hopefully we will have learned something because these people are just not fit enough to lead. I see them drowning on the television on a daily basis; the only thing getting ramped-up is the grim realisation that the bastards are completely out of their depth.

Stay safe, everyone, keep listening to the music and learning!

Sean Kelly
213 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:13:46
Hi Darren, these so-called leaders scare the bejaysus out of me more than any virus. It's easy to lead a mob. Just tell them what they want to hear and they will vote for you.

My hope is that, when this is all over, sane people will get things sorted by voting these gobshites out. I think after this, the young generation might have more interest in people-politics rather than the 'tweedle dreams, tweedle dum' party politics as we know it.

Eric Myles
214 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:18:03
Darren #221, that's why I said on a previous post that the politicians don't care about the deaths, their actions are all about votes in the next election. And thus has it ever been, and always will be.
Dave Abrahams
215 Posted 23/04/2020 at 10:24:21
Christine (202) and Chris (208), very sensible to mention the phrase “Be kind to each other”.

I was always impressed by the Dalia Lama who said “The only religion is kindness” – a bit like Jesus Christ. If everybody lived by that principle, it would be a very different and better world.

I hope you settle into your new life in New Zealand and enjoy the rest of your time there. I think you will make many new friends there, good luck and good health.

Jay Wood

216 Posted 23/04/2020 at 13:58:34
I've been off TW for a couple of days, so thank you once again for the supportive comments towards my wife and the many millions like her.

Christine makes a valid point about air travel and the need for closed, or at least, monitored borders. The more mobile people are, the more Covid-19 spreads.

To follow up Darren's fascination with world 'leaders' and what they are coming out with, just stick to Brazil. We've got some right beauts.

Bolsonaro's Foreign Minister posted a rambling blog describing Covid-19 'Comunavirus' and beats up the WHO. Why? Because they are clearly facilitating Communist China in their 'globalist project... a first step in the construction of the planetary communist society.'

It's barking. Brazil's Foreign Minister, FFS! But even that pales into insignificance to the 60-second ramblings of a Brazilian entrepreneur whose politics are right of Hitler.

Her 'solution'? Mike Gaynes who I believe is of the Jewish faith and other fellow Jews may want to look away now. A summary:

'For those of you who value life over generating money (titter...), why don't we do the following? If you want to self-isolate and not work, paint your doors red. If you want to go out, pin on a red ribbon so supermarkets and pharmacies don't serve you as food and medicine will be reserved for those who work for it.'

It's worth watching this Botox-Barbie even though it's in Portuguese just to identify her.


Thankfully she is getting slaughtered by many. One post I particularly liked turned her opinion on its head.

'How about an alternative 'final solution'? How about those who ignore social distancing and isolation have THEIR doors marked and that they wear a red ribbon so when they arrive at a hospital, struggling to breath with Covid-19, they are turned away and told 'But it's only a little flu'. As your President said, 'It's the survival of the fittest and the weakest of you are going to die'.

Derek Moore
217 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:11:41
I signed up just to post on this thread.

Regarding New Zealand, if anyone paid attention to Kiwi politics, they'd have known that Saint Jacinda was actually heading to electoral defeat until the pandemic. It might have been also worth posting that she didn't even really win the election that put her into power... she instead had to rely on an opportunistic very minor party to make up a coalition for the narrowest of majorities. It was suggested that her proposal to have a vote on the legalization of cannabis at the same time as the next general election there was a ploy to increase young voter turnout and get her over the line.

Many Kiwis are very unhappy with the insane house prices and broken promises on the construction of properties by the government. The business community is aghast at her frankly insane decision to drastically increase the minimum wage, a decision allied with the pandemic-related downturn, will likely have a catastrophic effect on an economy attempting to rebound quickly.

Saint Jacinda is the anti-Trump person really respected around the world but not really getting much done at home. The pandemic came at a good time for her politically, she's virtually guaranteed to win a second term in September. For the opposition, I suspect they'll be happy to let her have the incredibly difficult task of repairing an economy that is almost wholly dependent on services, the sector most likely to struggle after the pandemic ends.

Regarding debt, I know ToffeeWeb is not representative of the population as a whole, with an extreme concentration of largely older white men as the userbase. That said, it is still disappointing that nobody here seems to know how monetary policy at the national level actually operates.

The countries in the deepest shit at the end of this thing are of course those in the Eurozone, because they don't control or print their own currency. Most ToffeeWebbers probably know or care very little about the economic difficulties that the most-affected countries on the continent are going through due to their use of the Euro.

In the most basic terms, if you control and print your own currency in a reasonably balanced economy, then government deficits do not matter in the least. It does not matter how big or small they are because Governments are not households. Governments can't go broke, and they can create as much of their money as they like.

This is a trick that the Republicans in the States have used and kept close to their chests because they understand the science behind it. Since Nixon took the US off the gold standard, deficits have ceased to be of any real importance. This is why Trump was able to spend $2 trillion on tax cuts without a care in the world, and then spend further trillions on the recently enacted CARES Act.

It's why the British Government was able to pay all the wages of those who have been furloughed; it's why the Australian government is handing out free money to the unemployed, has doubled unemployment benefit and agreed to spend around £65 billion on wages of people in the private sector.

If you're one of those naive people that believe that taxes fund the Government, or somehow money must be found by Government before it can be spent, then you really need to wake yourself up and do some research into how central banks and monetary policy actually operate. Taxes pay for nothing, and they never will. Deficits are fine, no matter the size, as long as they don't lead to inflationary pressure in the economy.

Taxes are an important way to encourage or discourage behaviors – like smoking for example – to take money out of the economy to combat inflationary pressure and to compel people to use the national currency (as they must pay their taxes in it). But they serve no real other purposes than those.

It's a great shame that Bernie Sanders campaign fell short, as his Green New Deal and Healthcare For All plans were eminently affordable. He seemed to me to be the first and only Democrat who actually understands the potential of monetary policy and was actually going to use it to make ordinary peoples lives better instead of just giving money to those at the top to further entrench their position and widen the equality gap.

During World War II, the US temporarily suspended the gold standard and used deficit spending to fund the war effort. By the end of the war in 1945, the deficit was an eye watering 112% of GDP, the highest number before or since. Did that "debt" affect or hold the country back in any way? Of course not, the deficit was used to defeat Nazism and the following 15 years saw some of the best economic conditions in US history. The country went from tiptoeing out of a depression to the mightiest consumer economy in the world in a decade.

A huge part of that is the war bonds people had bought off the government during the war – so the "debt" – had created a massive pool of savings spread across the US population that funded some of the fastest increases in real living standards the world has ever seen.

I know it's an Everton forum, but I do urge everyone here to use this time to do things they wouldn't ordinarily have time to do, whether that be researching New Zealand politics, educating oneself on how monetary theory really operates, or learning to play the banjo. And I do urge you all to stay safe also.

Jamie Crowley
218 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:25:51
Mike @191,


The virus is equally contagious to people of all ages and health categories. The risk of complications and death from COVID-19 does increase with age, excess weight and infirmity, but not the risk of infection.

I should have said the majority of people adversely affected. It absolutely can infect anyone. It hits, very hard, people who have pre-existing health conditions, are overweight, or are elderly.

The large majority of persons acquiring the virus that are not over 65, aren't over weight, and don't have a pre-existing condition recover. I think you'd agree with that? Lemme know.

Our state here is getting back to normal – a bit. The streets have much more traffic today. Other Southern states are "going back". Florida's new infection numbers are now down to March 27th levels. We're fortunate. Time will tell if we "went back" too early or not. I'd guess in my state by May 4th we'll see restaurants reopening, hair salons, and business back to usual with the exception of social distancing measures.

Jamie Crowley
219 Posted 23/04/2020 at 19:51:10
Christine @ 202 -

I hope you, and every single person on TW understands, my viewpoint is not one of self-interest. Never has been. My little company is going to make it through this, and frankly as long as I can pay my bills, I don't give a flying you-know-what if we're in the red (deep, deep red) for 3-4 months.

You can't take money with you when God rings the bell.

What I will say is not popular, and people will draw their own conclusions. The economic fallout from this is real, and it will have real, devastating effects on real human beings. I have maintained we should have done exactly what we did – isolate. I would also maintain, popular or not, that the data does not add up to following the same course of action in the future. We need to find an alternative.

That may seem cold-hearted to some, but I can assure you it is not a self-absorbed stance. I can assure you my family and I have respected every second of social distancing, to every human being.

The part you don't want to probably hear is that I can assure you there are many parts of the world that can safely reintroduce "normal" ways and get the world's economy back up and running.

As I've said to Mike, I personally am on a course for a return to normalcy in a week or so. I'd about guarantee that Florida will resume business with social distancing in a week or two. If we are wrong about our downward trend and the far-reaching affects of Covid-19, we'll all know about it by the end of May because we'll have an unprecedented outbreak here.

Insofar as other areas of the world, for me they all need to make up their own minds as to when it's safe to return. What happens in New York isn't the same as what happens in Liverpool, or what happens in Florida, or what happens in New Zealand.

None of the above is written without realizing this virus is deadly, that people will indeed die of it, and that there will be real loss felt by human beings due to that. I don't want to see any of that. But I've been through death of loved ones multiple times before, and will see it again, as it's a part of life. And it's unavoidable. It can be mitigated in circumstances and should be as in this one. It's the right thing to do. But the argument that business should shelter and 26 million Americans should remain unemployed with that number growing until there's a cure, or numbers are 10%, 20%, 30% – pick a percentage of any other major cause of death?

I'm sorry but I can't agree with that. I firmly believe the economic fallout of an extended isolation will do more damage than Covid-19.

This site is built on valuing opposing opinions. Seems I'm in the minority. I can live with that.

What I can't abide is the thought that my opinion isn't for what I see as the "greater good" but rather a self-absorbed stance.

I think the greater good would be to keep the economy up and running while combating this virus in Round 2, and I know you're smart enough to realize what those reasons for keeping the economy going are – whether you agree with them or not. If that seems cold-hearted to some, then so be it.

Cheers. Be well. Wash your hands.

John Keating
220 Posted 23/04/2020 at 20:33:57
Now why can't our team do something like this?

Hibs unveil new strip with 'Thank You NHS' message as sponsor

Christine Foster
221 Posted 23/04/2020 at 20:59:20
Jamie, first off, my post was not aimed at you personally; it was my observation or perspective on the approaches taken. I said quite openly what works here in New Zealand works for New Zealand and each country needs to find a solution of what works for them; there is no one size fits all.

Indeed some parts of the world are hit more badly than others but it is pure conjecture to believe that without isolation the results would have been the same. Secondly, to allow the world to get back to "normal" means to get the world's major manufacturers and suppliers up and running; however, they are all sitting in highly populated and highly infected areas mostly where the virus thrives and where isolation has been the only weapon of choice. Getting back to normal is not going to happen anytime soon.

Simply put, where there are concentrations of mobile populations, there is high risk. Without a vaccine or preventative drugs, isolation is the only alternative.

This virus kills. To accept that it's just part of a life-and-death cycle, a survival of the fittest, for the greater good, is not in my make up. Lives are being lost, economies are being ruined and solutions must be found, but right now, right at this minute; it's all we have and it's hitting a nut with a bloody big hammer but it's the only hammer that works.

I totally agree that lessons have to be learnt for next time, that some areas need various degrees but, to stop the spread, you have to stop movement. That is the only way to control it. Once a vaccine is found, then it's a different ball game.
People can accuse governments of overkill (sic) with their controls but, faced with the options, what other rational choice could have been made? Look at New York, high-density population with mass infection... What alternatives could have made a difference there?

Leaving decisions to town councils or mayors is just plain wrong. It's a throwback to the days of the plague and we all know how that turned out.

So Jamie, I fully understand as I said before, the personal economic effects that government have created in taking decisions and the effect on the future wellbeing of people but, left unchecked, the virus would decimate the economy anyway, a real Hobson's Choice, do nothing and your dead, do something and you may cripple and hurt a lot too...

My humanity believes every life is sacred, should be fought for, and is worth more than any asset I own. If it left me in ruin to ensure my family lived, then so be it. That's the decision this country has made, as Derek pointed out with his great analogy, Team New Zealand, 15 All Black's and 4.5 million on the bench.

Jamie, I have close family living and working on the medical front line in Dallas, l hear weekly their days and fears in a country that can be fabulous and heartless at the same time. That is a price they pay for being there, like the Curate's Egg, good and bad in equal measure. But that's not the way others live or view the world and that's not wrong to have that view, it's just a different view. Until a cure is found, keep you and yours safe, Jamie... and, as a footnote, this is not intended as a rebuke, but as a different perspective I have too much respect for you to view it any other way.

Christine Foster
222 Posted 23/04/2020 at 21:21:35
Just had to post this from The Guardian in Australia...

Here are the 2020 awards for the very worst people of coronavirus

Eric Myles
223 Posted 23/04/2020 at 23:56:59
Jamie #218, the high risk indicator for those infected at any age is having respiratory conditions.

My mate, 65 years old and fit as a fiddle, contracted Covid-19 on a skiing trip in France last month. Only had cough and fever, didn't need a ventilator, and made a full recovery.

Terry White
224 Posted 23/04/2020 at 00:07:05
Thank you, Christine (#221 and 222 and many others). You speak so much sense when there are so many others in the world now espousing "getting back to normal" in the interest of economics when there are still many healthy problems.

Yes, we do need to get economies back up and running but not at the expense of our health. Mike Gaines has all the right ideas and comments to what Jamie is suggesting. And I say this as a fellow Floridian to Jamie – our Governor is a Trumpian idiot.

Jamie Crowley
225 Posted 24/04/2020 at 01:15:02
Terry, or anyone for that matter,

Are the people of Sweden doing it correctly or no? Should they have shut down their society and business in the interest of "health", or have they approached this more sensibly than the rest of the world?

Curious as to the opinion of that. I don't ask as a, "See what they did, they did it right!" comment. Not at all. I'm genuinely curious as to the opinions of the majority as to how Sweden has handled the pandemic.

Derek Thomas
226 Posted 24/04/2020 at 02:04:42
Mike @ 219; Well said, I didn't agree with some of it, but take the Voltaire stance on that.

As this is a whole new ballgame; nobody actually knows what the best response is. Yours might be right, it might be wrong... or somewhere in between and, as it's a very big world out there, what works for you mightn't work for me where I am.

Just look at the many responses of how to perform the mundane task of staging a game of football and how they vary with the number of responders.

Things will get back to 'normal' but, like post Hiroshima 1945, it will be a 'New Normal'... and that normal will evolve.

The best we can hope for is to be here to see it in say 5 years – then discuss it.

Derek Thomas
227 Posted 24/04/2020 at 02:14:23
Sorry, Mike. I meant Jamie and timed out on the edit button.
Christine Foster
228 Posted 24/04/2020 at 03:40:33
Jamie, re Sweden.. see below, taken from the article I posted above from the Guardian:

WINNER, the Tiger Woods Award for Making Us Feel We Hardly Know You: Sweden

Think Sweden, think Scandinavian social democracy; cradle-to-grave welfare and generous social support systems. But Sweden’s response to the pandemic has not been universal self-sacrifice, New Zealand-style.

On the recommendation of an epidemiologist at the independent Public Health Agency, the Social Democrats/Greens coalition government have instead pursued a herd immunity strategy they’re calling a “trust-based” approach to the virus. Social distancing is voluntary. Schools for under-16s, gyms, restaurants, bars and Sweden’s borders remain open.

As a result, it now has one of the highest proportional death rates from the virus in the world – nine times higher than next-door neighbour Finland, larger even than the United States.

Since half of the country’s aged care facilities found themselves struck by coronavirus, Sweden has quietly started moving towards greater gathering restrictions. Like any apology, it doesn’t count for much when people have been left for dead.

Terry White
229 Posted 24/04/2020 at 04:16:56
Looks like Sweden and their open approach got it wrong.

Jamie, living in Florida, I am more concerned with residents of this country having permits to carry concealed weapons and going out during our lockdown to buy more "essential" guns now. In fact, I am much more frightened of people here with guns and shooting and killing someone for no reason at all, as happened a day or so ago 10 miles from where I live, than I am of being confirmed to have the virus.

"Politely" frightened.

Alan J Thompson
230 Posted 24/04/2020 at 06:44:24
"I may disagree with what you say but I will defend unto death your right to say it."

Just as a matter of interest, Voltaire said no such thing and didn't intend that meaning. They were, I believe, the words of somebody, who may have been translating some of his works, when asked for an abridged opinion.

Should have said something along the lines of Gordon Strachan's, "Velocity". Next, we'll be saying Drake defeated the Spanish Armada and Wellington won at Waterloo. Still, to the victors, the pen, VAR permitting.

Paul Tran
231 Posted 24/04/2020 at 08:25:15
Who's got this right? How can we answer that right now? And what is 'right' anyway – who's deciding that?

Jamie C and I clearly disagree on lots of things politically, but I completely agree with him on one issue: we have to have a discussion on when we all go back to work.

I'm saying this from a position of (relative, so far) strength. I'm still trading, getting some virtual work that will cover the bills for a while. We live in a lovely, quiet part of the world with plenty of space.
But I'm talking to people all over the UK, stuck in the house with no outdoor space, with bored kids. Not knowing what to do, spending far too much time worrying about what might/might not happen. And that's before their first furlough payment doesn't arrive or arrives late.

Normal's going to change. Work patterns will be different, social habits will be different. We're all going to have to make decisions about how we live and interact with others.

Some people want to get back to 'normality' because they're scared. Scared of change, scared of a lack of control and/or trust in others or themselves.

We're going to make a new normal, hopefully with real bravery. That's talking with, understanding and showing interest in others. Being good to others – and ourselves.

Ultimately, that's what's going to keep us fit and well when we go back to work.

Alan McGuffog
232 Posted 24/04/2020 at 08:30:29
Alan 230... to quote "Slattery's Mounted Fut"

Now you've heard of Julius Caesar
And the great Napolean too
And how the Cork Militia
Beat the Turks at Waterloo

Great song..check it out

Darren Hind
233 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:05:35
Sales of alcohol in the UK up 37%.

It would appear this lock down lark is a little bit like watching Everton.

Most people are struggling to do it without alcohol.

Chris Williams
234 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:10:29
I saw that, Darren. I can testify to it in fact. I nearly have a hernia taking the empties recycling box to the front gate.

As the old joke goes, I'm on a whisky diet. I lost 3 days last week.

It's all part of growing up, I guess.

Tony Shelby
235 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:14:51
Genuine question:

Putting to one side what the right thing to do is in relation to Covid-19, how many blues hope the 2019-20 season doesn't restart just to stop the RS from winning the league?

I've spoken to a lot of people, not just Evertonians, who have an "official stance" which is that the season should be concluded but when pushed just spill their guts and confess that if the 2019-20 season was voided and no team declared Champions, then they would be delighted!

Answers on a postcard...

Tony Abrahams
236 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:15:52
Eric, I'm glad your friend mate a full recovery, but I'm even gladder that he had symptoms, if that makes sense, mate

Terry W, frightening that, very frightening to be living in such a Catch-22 society, mate, but maybe some bored and pent-up Americano might be able to pull the “Trump trigger” although I'm sure a little injection of disinfectant would do.

I want the league to finish because I worry for a lot of football clubs if it's not finished, Tony. We slag the players for not doing enough, but most clubs will probably struggle badly for years if they don't receive this TV money, and it is definitely the only reason we are talking about a league that should already have been cancelled imo.

Charles Barrow
237 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:32:25
This is a great thread – it's like the conversations in the pub (but a bit more sophisticated) we are all missing. Glad to see it's not getting too arsey.

For my penny worth, Hancock and all the other ministers are in a holding pattern (and day by day are looking more foolish) waiting for Johnson to return so he can announce the end of the lockdown or the beginning of the end of the lockdown. Johnson is reluctant to come back to work because the weather is fabulous and they have a great open-air swimming poll at Chequers and a private tennis court and his girlfriend much prefers it there than 'beastly' No 10.

Trump is out of his depth (cue eye-rolling understatement). His suggestion we all inject disinfectant into our bodies is beyond bizarre but will no doubt kill a number of Americans who believe every word he utters.

The lockdown is going to destroy the economy and have very serious indirect and direct health implications for the poorer sections of society. This must be considered in the balance; in that I have sympathy for some of Jamie's comments. And I speak as an active Labour member.

It is sort of obvious that the whole thing could have been handled so much better without such enormous disruption. When the very first recorded carrier came back from the French ski resort, and when the students came back from Wuhan, there was intense media scrutiny of how they were tested, their contacts traced and they were all put into quarantine. Then... nothing.

As the numbers grew as people piled into the country unchecked (including me flying in from Italy), the government abandoned contact tracing before it even got started. Now, they are saying that's what needs to be done!

If it had been rigorously applied when the numbers were small, combined with checking all passengers at airports and ports, the level of the outbreak would have been like in Asia, ie, manageable. So, sheer incompetence, as usual, has meant that thousands have died unnecessarily.

Why did they abandon contact tracing? Because the government (ie, Johnson at the time) did not want to disrupt the economy and inconvenience people. Of course we all know that the disruption is 100 times worse than if they had the balls to act much earlier.


Paul Tran
238 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:33:03
Nobody wants to make a proper decision, because nobody wants to be liable. The lawyers will be like Usain Bolt in the starting blocks.
Tony Abrahams
239 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:44:14
The old sayings that carried a lot of truth have been getting thrown away for years, Charles, with the one coming to my mind right now, after reading another very good common-sense post from your good self, being that “prevention is better than cure” — especially for something without a cure, being the most obvious reply.
Chris Williams
240 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:51:51

Already, the tone has started to shift out of Downing Street, with some of the anonymous anti-Hancock briefing pretty strong, to say the least.

The line-by-line rebuttals of some of the articles, notably in the Sunday Times, is definitely a change in tone, as is their position on the EU PPE procurement nonsense being a political decision. Watching those contortions and EU responses tells you something which hopefully will come out eventually.

Actually their constant mantra of being science-led and "we're following the scientific advice" gives you some idea of who the ultimate fall guys may be.

On a another subject, I see the Premier League are now considering some sort of play-offs behind closed doors, but free to view, to settle final placing.

Oh yes, the lawyers will be having a fine old time, wherever you look.

Rob Halligan
241 Posted 24/04/2020 at 09:55:03
Tony # 235. I have this week, started watching the "Sunderland Till I Die" series on Netflix. I'm up to Episode 5 in Series 1.

Watching the passion Sunderland fans have for their club (just my opinion but I think Mackems are much friendlier and passionate than Geordies), makes me realise how much I, and many of us, are missing going the match. Sometimes not just for the game itself, but the meeting of mates in the pub before and after the game, the banter with opposition fans at away games.

So, while it would give me no greater pleasure than seeing this season null and void, or cancelled just to stop the RS winning the league (which won't happen anyway), I can't wait to get back to the matchday experience.

A mate of mine that I go the game with, was struck down with the virus, and told me he was really ill for a week and was literally shitting himself. He lost over 2 stone in weight, but is now thankfully well on the way to recovery. So, while we all miss the football, people's health is far more important, and if it means this season is over to help fight the virus, then good.

Stay safe, everyone!

Tony Shelby
242 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:01:02
Rob #241,

I know what you're saying...

But what if it was a coin-flip between starting the 2020-21 season as soon as possible, say in October, or recommencing the 2019-20 season on the same date?

(BTW – Of course health is the most important consideration but some lighthearted debate is good for us too!) ;)

Darren Hind
243 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:25:36
Somebody posted the story about Davey Moyes doing a bit of driving for the elderly community on here yesterday. I thought it was a joke. What a pleasant surprise to see it wasn't.

I always feel if you hammer somebody for what you believe is wrong, You have a kind of moral obligation to give them credit when it's due too.

I've slaughtered Moyes down the years but, if I had a cap, I would most definitely have it doffed to him this morning. The people at the supermarket say he tried hard to keep the story under wraps and, let's face it, nobody would have noticed if he just sat in his garden.

He's got red hair but I don't care. Davey, Davey Moyes.

Brian Harrison
244 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:31:20
So Trump reckons strong UV light or injecting disinfectant might be the answer to defeating the virus. 3 weeks ago he said it will be gone before Easter, if this had been Kim Jong Un saying this it would be a great source of amusement, although not for his people. Nobody knows at this point what is the best strategy to defeat the spread of the virus, until an effective vaccine has been produced.

But what we do know is that Countries who went into lockdown early, and those who didnt lock everywhere down but had massive testing and trace in place seems to have been the most successful in keeping their death rate fairly low. So surely you would think seeing most of these countries were many weeks ahead of us and seeing the success they have had all countries should have followed this pattern.

I watched the Swedish Prime Minister being interviewed yesterday, and they are following the herd immunity that was favoured at the beginning by Johnson and Cummings. Which thankfully they have now abandoned, but Sweden despite having much higher death rates than there Scandinavian neighbours are still pursuing this herd immunity. When the interviewer asked him what if he had got this strategy horribly wrong he just shrugged his shoulders.

These are world leaders supposed to be trying to protect their countries inhabitants. Why would you go completely against what has worked and is working in other countries? I am at a complete loss. I can only conclude that some politicians believe that, to save the economy from nosediving, then they are prepared to accept a higher death rate than some other countries.

Dave Abrahams
245 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:33:15
Rob (241),

You are spot on about Sunderland supporters and their passion for football. They were famous for ‘The Roker Roar' – louder than the Kop at Anfield which was fully covered by a roof to keep the sound in. Roker Park had no cover but the sound was awesome.

The Sunderland supporters were more discerning, like us Bluenoses, in what they watch. They will not (or would not) put up with watching any old shite, whereas Newcastle fans would watch eleven monkeys in black-and-white striped shirts.

Brian Harrison
246 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:34:31

I posted the story about Davey Moyes, and some were skeptical about its authenticity, but it has been confirmed by many press outlets.

Tony Shelby
247 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:35:28
Brian #244 - Trump literally makes it up as he goes along and really doesn't care what he says.

I think this just about sums the guy and his government up:

Trump Accidentally Tells Truth

Tony Everan
248 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:43:46
Hopefully Mr Trump would like to be first in the queue when trails begin for his disinfectant injection master plan.
Clive Rogers
249 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:49:41
Would injecting Mr Muscle before a training session help our squad?
Paul Tran
250 Posted 24/04/2020 at 10:51:25

Dead right about Moyes. Top gesture from a good man. I believe Mourinho's been doing some delivery work too – I'd love to be a fly on the wall in his performance review!

Eric Myles
251 Posted 24/04/2020 at 11:24:48
Tony #247, try again with that link mate.
Michael Kenrick
Editorial Team
252 Posted 24/04/2020 at 11:32:50
Try it now, Eric. I fixed it.
Brian Harrison
253 Posted 24/04/2020 at 11:39:16
Dave @245,

I totally agree with your point about the Sunderland supporters being a lot more discerning than Newcastle fans. All my wife's relatives live in Houghton Le Spring in Sunderland, and they are all Sunderland supporters. Despite their fall from the top tier, they still care deeply about their team and the style of football they want to watch.

My wife's uncle played in the same Bishop Auckland side who won the FA Amateur Cup as Bob Paisley, and they were good friends. Every year when Sunderland played Liverpool, Bob Paisley would invite Jim to the hotel the night before the game for a meal. He even carried this tradition on when he became manager.

Conor McCourt
254 Posted 24/04/2020 at 11:59:11
Brian @244,

It is much too early to be holding up Sweden as a disaster story and attributing clear answers where there are as yet none.

Don't forget, the British media are only interested in one version of events. They are presenting Sweden as a failure to ensure compliance by projecting scaremongering and fear.

If you look at Sweden, they made the mistake early of not looking after their care homes as the herd immunity model relies on the success of protecting the vulnerable, so this was a key failure.

The statistics have also been skewed as Sweden have been reporting honestly and non-politically. Apparently some of their neighbours are only reporting deaths 'of' Coronavirus whereby Sweden are 'with' and 'of' which is a huge difference.

Also, the numbers who die in care homes is getting reported, where most other countries are only reporting from hospital deaths. Though they test less than many of their European counterparts.

All Cause Mortality should also be considered as Sweden haven't closed down their hospitals etc, so many more in countries which have lockdown will see increased death numbers from patients unable to get care, increased waiting lists, neglect, suicides etc.

In addition, Sweden will be suffering for just over a month or so until herd immunity is complete. They won't get a 2nd, 3rd or 4th wave which may be possible for those under lockdown. Will those under lockdown have to close their economies in September or this time next year? And again, how many extra deaths would there be then???

It maybe a year or two before anyone can accurately record which course of action worked best.

Despite all the factors I highlighted above in terms of deaths per million of each country's population, Sweden is performing better than many of the countries in Europe, including the UK, with Sweden sitting at 200 per million and UK at 276 per million.

Alan McGuffog
255 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:04:01
Dave 245...

I agree with you in the main about the Mackems. Very much prefer Sunderland to Newcastle and have a number of good friends who go to the Stadium of Light. They are realistic and accept that they have a long ways to go. Unlike the Geordies who, in terms of delusion and entitlement, remind me of a shower closer to home.

I would have to say, though, that, over the last 30 years, there have been times when I would have welcomed 11 monkeys playing in blue and white.

Tom Bowers
257 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:05:28
Trump is a disaster and will continue to blurt out his egotistic BS until he is finally removed. At the moment he is the World's greatest man and greatest president (in his own mind).
Brian Harrison
258 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:11:48

Yes, I agree, it is to early to say which method is most successful, and only when this virus is defeated will we have a clearer picture of what worked and what didn't.

What I was pointing out was Sweden's herd immunity with no large-scale testing and tracing as against other countries pursuing a different method. But at present, the figures are showing early lockdown or massive testing and tracing seems to be working better than the herd immunity at the moment.

But, as I said at the beginning, only time will tell which method was best.

Michael Kenrick
259 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:29:22
Derek Moore (#217), quite an interesting post, challenging our ignorance of macroeconomic monetary matters. After reading, I was curious about how I might start down the long path to become as educated as your good self on such important things.

But, after a quick scan, I realized what an enormously complex area this is, where so many voices over the many years have competed to be the definitive experts... but yet so few agree, even looking back and placing their own interpretations on the key episodes in history that shaped our current world. So I wondered if perhaps you are merely advocating one of the host of alternate views of history that are unfortunately so prevalent and so confounding to any student seeking greater knowledge and understanding, especially if it would lead us forward to a better world?

And there's the rub, methinks. What possible difference could such knowledge make to my mundane life, scratching out a living in the fiscal realities of this modern world? I don't mean to piss on your chips but please give us a little more to follow up on, than merely telling us "that nobody here seems to know how monetary policy at the national level actually operates."

Sean Kelly
260 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:42:53
I see Trump reckons a good gulp of Domestos or a dose of UV light will make the bugger go away. If he believes in this so strongly, why doesn't he be the first one to try it?

Sorry, too late... that explains the tangoed look and fried brain cells. 🤪

Paul Tran
261 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:48:51
Trump and Johnson aren't the problem. People vote for them and continue to support them. That's the problem.
Sean Kelly
262 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:49:30
He also says he “no doctor” True. But he “does have a good you know what”. Not true judging by the long fizzier on Melania. He should’ve on live at the Apollo.
Peter Mills
263 Posted 24/04/2020 at 12:50:10
I've just come back to this thread after a few days.

Thanks very much for the pointer towards the music of Iris DeMent – I can't believe I have previously missed someone who has sung duets with the great, recently late, John Prine, and the writer of that wonderful song My Town, which once concluded a series of “Northern Exposure”.

I downloaded a collection of her songs to listen to on my walk this morning. Part of my trip out was to stand on the main road through Crosby, along with many others, to applaud the funeral cortège of Brian Boggild, the attendant at Blundellsands and Crosby railway station, who died as a result of the virus. He was a Blue, an ordinary man, in an ordinary town, yet extraordinary in his own way.

There has been a huge outpouring of affection and respect for him because of his good humour, friendliness and helpfulness. As I walked away, listening to My Town, I don't mind admitting I shed a few tears behind my shades.

A lesson for us all perhaps – to quote another song, “It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it”.

Peace, enlightenment and good health all round.

Dave Brierley
264 Posted 24/04/2020 at 13:04:10
Charles Barrow @237.

I've read some ridiculous posts on here but yours deserves a prize: "(cue eye-rolling understatement)."

Patrick McFarlane
265 Posted 24/04/2020 at 13:12:36
MK #259,

I too was curious about Derek's post but, like most people, my understanding of the subject could be written in the very small corner of a very small postage stamp.

In order to seek information, I found this website Economicshelp which may be very simplistic but could be of help to those of us who have little or no idea about how the economy works.

Dave Abrahams
266 Posted 24/04/2020 at 14:06:21
Peter (263), nice post, and lovely that you were able to pay your respects to a man who you obviously liked a lot, along with many more people who felt the same way.

You never, ever forget nice people, and they reap as they sow, as today's turnout proved.

Michael Kenrick
267 Posted 24/04/2020 at 14:51:05
Wow, Patrick @265, that's a great link. It's really straight-forward, with lost of graphs and charts, which I like a lot. And very little esoteric jargon.

Thanks for posting that.

Chris Hockenhull
268 Posted 24/04/2020 at 15:02:30
Peter Mill (263). Great taste. I perform quite a few John Prine songs in my sets. Check out Mary Chapin Carpenter's daily songs from her home as she's in lockdown in Virginia with her cat and dog. Nice songs with heart.
Jamie Crowley
269 Posted 24/04/2020 at 15:04:24
Christine @228,

I literally just watched an NBC Nightly News report about Sweden like 2-3 days ago, lauding how they've largely been able to carry on "as you were" without horrific numbers.

Now I read your report from The Guardian. To be honest, I'm getting to the point that I don't know what to think. I'll go later today to the CDC website and find the numbers on Sweden, then Google it's official population to obtain a percentage.

Remember the days when we could actually read something and trust in it's accuracy? Nostalgia!

Terry @229 and Fellow Floridian,

Don't be scared mate. Just drive to my house, I'll protect you. We actually had an active shooter situation literally across the street on Wednesday. The St Johns County Police instructed everyone to stay indoors, lock their doors, and shelter in place (not hard at the moment). Didn't worry me for even a second. We're well stocked here at the Crowley house. If you get scared, just swing on over. I promise you we'll have your back. 😜 'Merica Terry, 'Merica.

Rob @241,

My family and I knocked out Sunderland Till I Die in about 3 nights. Fantastic documentary. Also gave us a new chant – the "Will Grigg on Fire" chant is simply hilarious and fantastic.

Steve Brown
270 Posted 24/04/2020 at 15:09:13
Dave @ 264, the post by Charles @ 237 makes perfect sense. Let me summarise the gist of what he is saying – since you are evidently struggling. If the UK, European and North American countries had rigorously followed through with contact tracing, testing, a ban on short-term visitors and mandatory 14-day quarantines for those residents returning to the country, the Covid-19 crisis could have been contained.

Equally, the countries with collectivist cultures like Denmark, where people have the discipline to follow rules that benefit society rather than just themselves, have now begun to the process to slowly release the lockdown.

And countries with individualist cultures like the UK, US, France and Italy where people decide which guidelines they fancy following and which they'll decide to ignore are suffering the results. Johnson and his government wasted February through a mix of arrogance, stupidity, incompetence and insularity and they are only now being held to account for their failures.

To really see those factors in all their glory, take a bow UK Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam, whose justification for why the UK is still not conducting temperature screening at airports was the biggest load of incomprehensible nonsense I have heard in a long time.

Mike Gwyer
271 Posted 24/04/2020 at 15:35:20
Steve Brown,

Why are you so critical of the UK? Individualist cultures? Where? Everyone who lives near me is obeying all Government requests to the letter. Additionally, where do you get "now being held to account" – who is holding who to account?

All I hear from the new Labour party leader is moan, moan fucking moan. I think in these chaotic times, that no other European or world leader has ever had to deal with, we should thank the gods for our NHS system.

Dave Brierley
272 Posted 24/04/2020 at 15:45:23
Steve @270, Thanks for your explanation. It's always good to have an expert on the forum. You are an expert aren't you?

The part of Charle's post I 'struggled with' most was:

"Johnson is reluctant to come back to work because the weather is fabulous and they have a great open-air swimming poll at Chequers and a private tennis court and his girlfriend much prefers it there than 'beastly' No 10."

"Trump is out of his depth (cue eye-rolling understatement). His suggestion we all inject disinfectant into our bodies is beyond bizarre but will no doubt kill a number of Americans who believe every word he utters."

Hate to say it, Steve, but even after your detailed and qualified explanation, I must refer you to my earlier comment.

Phil Greenough
273 Posted 24/04/2020 at 16:05:45
The best thread I've read on a long time, thanks every one, it's very educational. Could I indulge myself by expressing my personal opinion as a NHS nurse?

It's not heroic what health care staff are doing; in my opinion, we're not heroes. We've been labelled that by a careless government who's been caught with their pants down and, to redirect attention, they've deflected adulent attention onto doctors and nurses in the NHS.

I get embarrassed when I see all of the different ways people think of to thank health care staff, particularly the NHS. When this pandemic hit, what were we supposed to do – sit on our thumbs and leave our patients to their own devices, or to die?

Yes, I could have gone "sick" like some of my colleagues have done to avoid the risk, but it's their choice, just not one I would make. They've still got to face the music when they eventually return to work.

Don't get me wrong, I know it is genuine care and appreciation from the public, just not from a government, which cheered in the House of Commons when their motion not to pay NHS staff a wage rise in 2017 was carried through.

At the end of the day, we are just doing a job we were trained to do. In much the same way the binmen, lorry drivers, or shop staff do theirs. Yes, we are at risk more than the average citizen, but the reason for that has been well documented.

I hope I am not being cynical or ungrateful, just being honest.

Terry White
274 Posted 24/04/2020 at 16:22:13
Thanks for the invite, Jamie (#269). i'll gladly pass. And stay clear of your part of the state.

I will happily discuss face-to-face your "right", and all Americans' "rights", to own a gun as outlined by the Second Amendment. But would also discuss the original intent of that Amendment at the time it was written and compare with its use by people now to justify owning Weapons of Mass Destruction, i.e. automatic weapons of no use to anybody outside warfare but to shoot and kill as many people as possible. For hunting purposes? You are joking!

Don't I have a "right" to feel safe in this country without having to resort to guns to protect me and my family?

There are many reasons why I will not support Trump, and his total backing for the NRA is just one of them.

Alan J Thompson
275 Posted 24/04/2020 at 16:59:12
Alan (#232); I'll check that out but it's not the one that goes on:

Now Augustus was a Pommie
Who came from Pommieland
And every time you saw him
He had a lemonade in his hand

Mike Gaynes
276 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:03:39
Catching up on yesterday's posts and answering en masse:

Eric #223, not quite. Existing respiratory issues are a risk factor, but not the risk factor. Overweight and Type 2 diabetes are another category. A third is cancer, past or present. A 4th is Type 1 diabetes and other autoimmune issues. Cheers to your friend for his recovery -- that's how 90% of 65-year-olds make out. But lots of really fit people of all ages have died from this.

Conor #254 and Brian #258, nothing has been scientifically confirmed about herd immunity for this pestilence. It's assumed there will be some, but nothing is yet known about its incidence, degree or durability. Wuhan doctors have seen many hundreds of reinfections in fully recovered patients who should have been immune. Sweden has taken a gamble on it. We'll see if it works out.

Tony #212, cheers, my friend.

Chris #268, you a performer?

Jamie, why aren't they ever passive shooter situations?

Darren #233, for medicinal purposes only. Kills the virus. Tastes better than bleach.

Peter Mills
277 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:09:52
Dave #266, I look forward to buying you and Tony a pint when this is over.

Chris #268, thanks for the tip, I shall do as you suggest. And try to get to one of your gigs when you are back up and running.

Jamie Crowley
278 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:14:57
Mike -

Jamie, why aren't they ever passive shooter situations?

Because they have a gun and intend to do harm?

Hope that clears it up. 😂

Terry -

You're on. I'll buy you a beer and we can chat about the 2nd Amendment. You'll be surprised, I'll probably agree with much of what you have to say. Cheers.

Darren Hind
279 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:38:58

Over there too? Thats a load off.

I had visions of all those crazies who support Trump, no matter how often he disrespects them, curling up in front the fire with a book and a large glass of Domestos.

Tony Abrahams
280 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:43:25
Dave @272, I hope you're right, because after watching some of these Trump videos on my phone, it's not inconceivable that some of them will do what Trump suggests.

Darren Hind
281 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:49:50
Funny really...

When Alexander Lukashenko told his people that driving tractors and drinking plenty of Vodka (but not at work) would keep the virus away, I thought he had raised the bar of absurdity to a level even Trump couldn't reach.

Very naive of me to think Donald was not going to come firing back. I'll never overestimate him again!

Terry White
282 Posted 24/04/2020 at 17:57:02
Cheers, Jamie (#278), our daughter and son-in-law are the majority owners of a brewery and brasserie in Raleigh. - delighted to have you buy me a beer or two there when all this is over (I can probably get us a discounted price) and we can chew the cud. No guns allowed. And very little surprises me these days in my advanced age.
Mike Gaynes
283 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:06:38
Jamie, I was kidding. You gotta admit it's an odd turn of phrase.

Terry #274, of course you have that right. It's not in the Constitution, but it's certainly covered by "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." However, it does require a modicum of faith in the goodness of your fellow man. I learned as a kid to use a gun for home defense -- and have extensively trained in the use of hands, feet and blades -- because that faith isn't universal.

The problem is not with the Second Amendment, but the way it's been perverted. I've actually spoken with gun advocates who don't know or care that the words "keep and bear arms" are preceded by, and in fact dependent on, the words "well-regulated." People who own AKs aren't about hunting or defending their homes, because they're not going to be have entire street gangs beating down their doors at 4am. They're about a paranoiac view of the government coming to take away their rights. NRA people who carry in public aren't keeping themselves or society safe -- they're about showing the world they can do what they want. And they're about a certain sick worldview as well -- the most likely place remaining to find and buy widely-banned Nazi memorabilia is at an NRA gun show.

Happy to chat more with you and Jamie on this, since my views are likely somewhere in the middle between you.

Eric Paul
284 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:14:13
Does the Second amendment mention ammunition?
Patrick McFarlane
285 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:25:07
Trump never said *ingest disinfectant* – if he did say it, it was said sarcastically and that's that! This is what 1984 looks like.
Peter Mills
286 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:29:57
Mike #283. I've reached the age of 64 without actually attacking someone or defending myself with hands, feet or blades.

I've used my head a few times, but with the stuff inside it rather than the thick outer shell.

Mike Gaynes
287 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:49:52
Pete, yep, but you are a much, much nicer and more peaceable fellow than I am, and you have far more useful stuff inside your skull than I ever will!

I was targeted a few times in my younger years for my religious background, which incentivized me to learn what I learned. Fortunately the accumulated knowledge has very rarely been required, but when it was I was glad to have it.

Chris Williams
288 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:53:09

As a new Iris DeMent fan, she's been an eye-opener to me too. Amazed I missed her, delighted I was introduced on here.

Glad your friend had a great send-off. Simple kindness and decency is an underrated virtue. I hope his family took some comfort in the demonstration of respect and affection.

Love is All Around, in the words of the great Reg Balls!

Mike Gaynes
289 Posted 24/04/2020 at 18:55:01
Patrick #285,

I watched it live. He said it, and trust me, it was not sarcastic at all -- he meant every word.

"Then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. Is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning?"

Today, after the blowback, he claimed it was sarcasm. That's what he does.

Jamie Crowley
290 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:01:40
Eric @284,

No it doesn't. And shockingly I don't disagree (much) with Mike's take on it all. There's two issues: ballistics and round capacity. The first is a very, very murky thing not worthy of discussion here. The second, I agree wholeheartedly with Mike. In America, you can buy 200-round "barrels" for your AR15. That's insane in my opinion. Don't tell most of my Florida buddies, they may shoot me.

Terry @282,

You're on. I will also check out the brewery online. I'll leave the piece at home. Your roof, your rules.

Chris Williams
291 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:02:28
Mike and Peter,

I was taught to box as a young boy, for self defence, by my dad and my uncle Billy, who was a decent amateur boxer in his day, around Liverpool. I kept it up for a while.

Like Mike, I've had to use it sparingly, and never because of religious bigotry, but I was glad to be able to fall back on it, on maybe 3 or 4 occasions.

That was enough thankfully.

Brian Williams
292 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:03:46

Oh yes, he did say it, in fact he was asking if it could be done and would it work.

The face on his medical expert as he spoke tells it all.

The man is a complete fuckin' dumpty!

Jamie Crowley
293 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:06:36

Tell your daughter to check her email. I just asked if I can buy their beer and they can ship it.

Very nice looking establishment. Shrimp and grits God thank you for shrimp and grits.

Trevor Peers
294 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:11:54
Mike #289.

I attach no credibility to anything Trump has to say, it's better if you just don't listen to him.

If the new order of politics is to just lie, and it is, all faith and belief in the system has gone. Why pay any attention to Trump or Johnson? The world has truly gone mad.

Mike Gaynes
295 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:16:56
Terry and Jamie, save me a chair and a serving of the roast chicken with the garlic mash. Google Maps says I can drive it in 46 hours.
Eric Paul
296 Posted 24/04/2020 at 19:36:41
Cheers, Jamie, it's an interesting subject.
Peter Mills
297 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:01:51
Mike #287. Kind, but nonsensical words. You are clearly looking for a roof over your head sometime. It will always be here.

Chris #288. The great thing was that this man was not a friend. Just a guy one would meet very occasionally, and he would make you feel like a friend. A marvellous gift.

Jamie #293. I've known Terry most of my life. He posts some nonsense on here, but he's okay. Pull me up a chair too, but I'll pass on the grits.

Dave Abrahams
298 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:42:47
Peter (277), the pleasure will be mine and Tony's but you will have to wait to get the ale in, we're before you!!
Mike Gaynes
299 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:43:15
Thanks, Pete. Given the length of time my business is likely to be shut down, I might just need to take you up on that. Tell Sheila I'm good at washing dishes and vacuuming, and I'll make a daily run to that pastie shop for us.
Dave Brierley
300 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:45:34
Jesus Christ, what's happening on here?

I'm kinder than you
I hate the Tories more than you
I'm harder than you, I've got guns and I'm trained in martial arts
I've got a sadder story than you
I care about everyone, I'm a socialist
I've got family/friends who've had more tragic stories than you
I can use a scouse accent better than you "arl fella and all that shit"
I know every pub in Liverpool and I can give you a story about every one.
I'm a fuckin expert on all things Coronavirus.
I love John Prine (never heard of him before last week)
I love the NHS and have always supported them. (Not sure how)
I know so much about what's going wrong right now that I could sort it in hours.
I'm a a fully qualified epidemiologist. Well I'm not but I've looked at a couple of blogs.
Johnson and Trump are cunts. Corbyn could have done so much better.
The UK's shit. Other countries are so much better.

What a load of bollocks.

Paul Tran
301 Posted 24/04/2020 at 20:53:41
Cheer up, Dave!
Chris Hockenhull
302 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:00:55
Peter 277. Cheers. I live in Waterloo. I was just about to do one at the wonderful 4 Ashes micro pub (by the Plaza). Then this all came down on us.

As soon as it's over, I'm on (they don't normally have acts on so that's a tradition I'll probably maintain!!!). Be nice to meet you.

Stay Mighty!!! (When you watch Mary CC you'll know what I mean). Cheers. Chris

Tony Hill
303 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:01:11
I agree that Johnson and Trump are absurd but the Left persists in the error of thinking that it is enough to agree about this on social media and to chortle away, as though that will create an elected majority.

Paul @261 has it nearly right. It isn't, though, a "problem" that people keep supporting this wretched duo, it's a democratic fact. For so long as we all sit here congratulating ourselves on our superior moral awareness and ignoring the reasons why people vote against us then we will continue to be pointless bleaters.

What is required is a recovery of communal integrity, a proper valuation of the worth of individuals and human groupings set against the soul-destroying capitalist machine. We need to stop sneering and we need to rediscover a compelling case for socialism: it is about the fulfilment which will be the consequence of sharing our wisdom, craft and ingenuity, for the benefit of us all. New Trades Unions – Guilds even – with pride in ourselves; and a confident restatement of Clause 4.

Let's stop indulging ourselves to no effect.

Peter Mills
304 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:13:09
Dave #300. You are quite right, I apologise for having become caught up in a thoughtful thread in strange times.

Enough of this. Clive Thomas is a gobshite.

Tony Abrahams
305 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:14:44
He doesn't want cheering up, Paul, he just wants everyone else to stop depressing him.
Paul Tran
306 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:21:42
Tony, of course it's a democratic fact. I can stomach people I don't like being elected, I find it hard to stomach the lack of reason:

Johnson is good because he is. He just is. And if you don't support him, you're a leftie, remoaner metropolitan elite, blah blah.

I could see why people supported Thatcher. I couldn't stand her, but she had an agenda, she had rigour, she surrounded herself with able people. Johnson's a lying chancer, surrounding himself with lying incompetent chancers strong on cliche, very weak on policy. And I can't believe people can't see that, especially when two years ago, the Conservative Party said the same.

Tony Shelby
307 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:24:51
Don’t drink bleach.

Leads to Domestos violence...

Tony Hill
308 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:31:42
Derek @217, as you know, money depends upon trust in value. We have an unpredictable global economic freeze (as opposed to recession/depression), set to extinguish significant parts of the supply side. That is unprecedented in modern times and it is a recipe for the debauching of currencies insofar as quantitative easing, or variants of it, are presented as the solution. It is also a recipe for a massive grab of power by the state as Grand Creditor. It is deeply worrying.
Andy Crooks
309 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:35:20
Dave, @ 300, I have read your stuff on here for quite a while and that post is not like you.
Tony Hill
310 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:36:07
Agreed, Paul @306.

My point, is that, if we want to win, we need to tell our own story rather than taking the piss out of theirs.

Patrick McFarlane
311 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:41:33
Guys, I knew that Trump uttered the words last night and retracted it tonight as I watched both press briefings live on TV, hence my reference to 1984.

As for Dave, a liar is a liar – no matter what side of the political divide he/she occupies. Recognising an issue is the first part of addressing the issue and hopefully those that voted for liars last time round will reconsider their decision and elect those who tend to tell the truth next time – and personally I'm not fussed which party they belong to.

Paul Tran
312 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:41:41
Agreed, Tony. The other problem is getting a shared story, in England at least.
Tony Hill
313 Posted 24/04/2020 at 21:50:32
Yes, England must shape up, Paul. The frustration is that the deprived and vulnerable are aching for rescue and the Left has lost its nerve. But we must never give up hope, of course. There are still multiple reasons to be cheerful and your home city is a beacon.
John Pierce
314 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:02:09

You couldn't be more right for my money. The ‘left' for sake of argument has done nothing but decry and whinge most of my life, and yes most of the time they've been right. However, where has it got them other than gasping for breath at altitude atop the moral mountain?!

People need a singular, hope filled message, not the denigration of the other lot. The ‘right' have managed it consistently even the idiot across the pond did it.

It's not enough to point out the others side's failings, that might stop people voting for them but it won't make them vote for you. Even at this rate, the left won't win the next election; the right will have lost it.

Tony Abrahams
315 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:07:18
50.000 Americans have died and the president is using sarcasm, I'm just hoping that Boris Johnson, getting out of the departure lounge, gives the man a bit more empathy when he returns to head office.

Stay safe everyone, this lockdown is hard, but we will all get through it hopefully.

Dave Brierley
316 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:14:22
Paul @261

"Trump and Johnson aren't the problem. People vote for them and continue to support them. That's the problem."
You mean the voting majority are the problem, Paul? Really? I'll cheer up when you stop writing shite like that.

Peter @304, No apology required. And he's not the only gobshite.

Saint Tony @305, You're almost certainly right. As always.

Andy @309, Noted. But there is a semblance of truth in what I said, don't you think, Andy?

Paul Tran
317 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:21:49
Cheers, Dave. The majority didn't vote Conservative, which backs up my point about the divided opposition.

You're welcome.

Dave Brierley
318 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:25:21
Do you labour supporters really believe that Jezza and his slimey crew would've done a better job in these dreadful times? Really?

Would you have seriously been more confident with John Mc and Dozy Di at the wheel? Really?

For what it's worth, I believe they're all liars. However, the Tories are far more professional at what they do. Sad but true, comrades.

Dave Brierley
319 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:28:01
Sorry, Paul, who actually won the election?
Dave Brierley
320 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:37:31
Look, a lot of you guys can't deal with Brexit or the massive Tory election victory.

It happened, boys. The majority voted that way. You're out of step.

Labour are finished.

Deal with it and move on.

Patrick McFarlane
321 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:44:16
Dominic Cummings and people like him are the problem; unelected and unaccountable to the public but they dominate the policy makers, allegedly Cummings even sat with the 'independent' SAGE committee. Which may explain the lack of testing, PPE and tracing.
Paul Tran
322 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:45:02
Dave. I don't support Labour and can't stand Corbyn and his dreadful outriders. I tend to criticise people in power rather than those who'll never get it.

If I want to know people's politics, I tend to ask them rather than tell them.

I'd have equipped the NHS in line with the 2016 pandemic report, for the same reason that I buy car, house and pet insurance that I hope I never need to use. Recent events have proved we had the money and it's always cheaper to pay in advance.

I also think they're all liars, so we've got plenty in common, eh?

Jay Wood

323 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:47:26
@ 300.

Hmmm... revealing, Dave. Your take on the very broad range of topics and diverse opinions across any sort of divide you wish to attribute to them.

My take is that, once again thanks to the tolerance of the editors in these football-free times, that TW has really stepped up to the plate in recent weeks.

It has been educational, informative, entertaining, compassionate, side-splittingly funny and – unlike when football is being played – largely lacking in rancour or petty insults.

I include Charles's post @ 237 and Steve's @ 270 that you seemingly take particular umbrage at.

Both describe pretty accurately recent events. Charles gently parodies two national leaders whose public appearances and utterances frequently revert to parody.

As for 'humphing' about (presumed) political leanings, I confess at different times, issues and situations to being an anarchist, capitalist, despot, communist, conservative, democrat, environmentalist, fascist, feudalist, liberal, militarist, monarchist, nationalist, oligarch, republican, tribalist, and probably a few more besides. Often simultaneously.

I fancy I'm probably not alone in that.

Patrick McFarlane
324 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:50:37
Dave, whether we like it or not, Boris and company are in charge and Brexit has happened and we have accepted it. I seem to remember that the Conservative Party were written off more than once in relatively recent history and here they are, 10 years into a 15-year period of governance. Nothing lasts forever.
Mike Gaynes
325 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:53:04
Dave B, whatever the hell you had for dinner tonight, don't have it again.
Paul Tran
326 Posted 24/04/2020 at 22:54:38
Dave, I am aware that they won Brexit and the election. I'm fine with that. I'm also aware that they can't make Brexit work and they're making a mess of this health crisis. It's because they lack the rigour and ability to make policy - that's why I pointed out the contrast with Thatcher, in a clearly unnoticed attempt to be even-handed.

Cliches win campaigns, policy-making makes good government. They're brilliant at the first, poor at the second.

Chris Williams
327 Posted 24/04/2020 at 23:36:17
Even Trolls love Rock and Roll

Tony Joe White

Dave Brierley
328 Posted 24/04/2020 at 23:49:44
Working backwards.

Paul. You're not fine with it. That's the problem. You cannot accept democracy.

Mike. A strange and disappointing response from you.

You're right Patrick.
Another Tony Blair will come along soon. God help us.

Jay, you think the posts I took 'umbrage at' were pretty accurate. I didn't. We'll agree to differ.

Paul again. You're really comparing buying pet insurance to what's happened here. Wow.

Nite all.

Jay Wood

329 Posted 25/04/2020 at 00:11:47

"Jay, you think the posts I took 'umbrage at' were pretty accurate. I didn't. We'll agree to differ."

Exactly Dave. You're catching on.

Derek Thomas
330 Posted 25/04/2020 at 02:31:47
Jamie @ 293; sorry for asking about what might seem to you the 'bleedin obvious'. Silly I know, but since the days of Jed Clampett I've always wondered wtf are 'Grits' and for that matter, in relation to dinner, 'Biscuits'?

My first impression is shrimp and the rock salt mixture they spread on roads in the winter. My second is a nice chocolate hob-nob with my carrots and potatoes... two quick recipes / lists of ingredients will do to clarify matters.

Two Countries separated by a common language indeed.

Eric Myles
331 Posted 25/04/2020 at 03:11:05
Dave #318 isn't what you meant to say:

'For what it's worth, I believe they're all liars. However, the Tories are far more professional liars. Sad but true, comrades.'

Eric Myles
332 Posted 25/04/2020 at 03:15:55
Dave #328, UK does not work on a Democratic electoral system, it's a Parliamentary system.
Mike Gaynes
333 Posted 25/04/2020 at 04:13:41
Just thinking of your digestion, Dave. Whatever it was made you seriously dyspeptic. Trust me, toss the leftovers.
Laurie Hartley
334 Posted 25/04/2020 at 04:26:25
Jay # 323 - you are most definitely not alone.

Christine Foster
335 Posted 25/04/2020 at 06:44:50
Down Under... Part 3:

Today is Anzac Day; it is a day of remembrance for all the New Zealand and Australian services who lost their lives in the defence of not just their nations but the motherland, the UK.

Normally there are commemorative services held all over the country that are packed; in the small communities and the large cities, lots of people remember. This year, the churches are empty, but take a walk down an ordinary street and poppies are painted on fences, on letterboxes and placards on the doors and windows.

This is a special day in the calendar most years but today there is the added poignancy of respect for the front line services as well, those who put their lives on the line, not just in New Zealand or in the UK and Australia, but around the world.

It's done with a good grace, empathy and respect and a genuine understanding that it's part of who they are. It's my second time round here; after so long away I had forgotten. How could I have done that? People used to laugh at me when I first went to live in New Zealand, said it was like going back in time 50 years. I realise now, it's not the trappings of life that make that so, but the attitude of the people.

These people are so determined, it's scary – not in a macho way, but in a common and united way. It's how they are built. It's why they excel and punch above their weight; it's why they believe they are winning. They are.

Oh, and I didn't miss that sarcasm from Derek, and as much as I could sit down and pen a detailed and honest view than he portrayed of its leader and its issues, I am not going to. It's Anzac Day. A day for thanking those who fought for all of us, who fight in front line services and have given their lives unselfishly. Respect to each and every Kiwi and Aussie... Thank you.

Alan J Thompson
336 Posted 25/04/2020 at 07:09:25
OK, the "Take Your Mind Off It" competition;

Q1; Who isn't handling self-isolation very well?

Nominations on a piece of paper with an 'X' and we'll count them up later and announce the correct response.

"There's a bright golden haze in the meadow..."

Tony Abrahams
337 Posted 25/04/2020 at 07:37:11
Christine, what a brilliant line you put in the middle of that post, about it being the attitude of the people and not the trappings of life, which is something only age has made me both realise and also appreciate about the very simplistic life of the average Kiwi.

Dave B, I had to look up Saint Anthony, and realised he was the Patron Saint of the illiterate. I realised how much the press play a major part in deciding elections, just like the media play such an important part in helping to look after certain clubs in the Premier League, especially for people who can't think for themselves.

Jay W, I must be getting old because 'environmentalist' jumped right out in your very long list!

Conor McCourt
338 Posted 25/04/2020 at 08:50:27
Darren 281- perhaps drinking vodka and driving tractors isn't as absurd as you think. Belarus is one of the success stories of Europe with a really low mortality rate and 63 deaths in total so perhaps he's on to something after all!!!!

The Nicaraguan President actually celebrated Corona Virus and has totally flouted the rule book and said it was a 'sign from God' against Militarism and hegemony.
His people has only suffered 2 deaths.

There is also research being done in France on nicotine as in China,USA and many other countries the number of covid suffers who are smokers and former smokers is apparently overwhelmingly disproportionate especially when you consider the disease is a respiratory one. They are guessing that smokers are four times less likely to contract it based on the numbers so far and are testing nicotine patches on health workers.

Unfortunately though before we all start championing all bad habits it is estimated that 2/3 of those who have sadly succumbed to this were overweight

It's a strange world we live in!!!

Billy Roberts
339 Posted 25/04/2020 at 08:56:53
Can I just say amongst many excellent posts on this crazy meandering thread that Phil @273 seems to have been overlooked.
I feel like someone tidying up the living room afterToffewebs party got very lively last night, but if anyone is scanning over this again this Morning give some time to post 273.
It is a very honest, but underrepresented opinion, particularly the point of the NHS pay rise being rejected and cheered.
Thanks Phil.
Martin Nicholls
340 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:15:52
Billy #339 – you beat me to it. On a thread as diverse as this, Phil's is the best post of the lot.

Phil, the word "hero" is used far too often and bizarrely, used many times in relation to multi-millionaires who kick a football for a living. You might not think so Phil, but anyone who knowingly puts themself at risk for the benefit of others every time they go to work is undoubtedly a hero in most people's eyes.

We may never meet, Phil, but I'll be raising my glass to you and your colleagues later today. I thank you all on behalf of all of us.

Paul Tran
341 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:45:36
Just for the record:

I don't support Labour, Corbyn or any political party.

I do vote, I have strong views and I'm prepared to listen to any coherent argument that challenges them.

I passionately believe in democracy. That includes supporting all our institutions that scrutinise elected politicians and hold them to account.

I'll stand by my insurance analogy. I was asked 'What would you do?' My response was that I would have noted the government's own report and taken out the 'insurance' it recommended. This government chose not to do so. They were willfully negligent. The peace of mind insurance brings is always worth the money, regardless of whether it is needed, as it clearly was in this case.

Disagree with me by all means, but please disagree with what I actually say and think, not what suits your argument.

And thank you, Phil, for all your bravery, hard work and care. I appreciated your honest view from the front line.

Christine Foster
342 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:46:23
Dad always said I should have gone into politics, he always said the world is filled with injustice, that self-interest had no part to play in any government. Dad was a socialist, he was an initial Director of the Eldonian housing project determined to give Vauxhall decent housing.

He was proud of that, but he despised Thatcher, and if he was alive today he would be writing to The Times and Echo about the disgraceful handling of the NHS over austerity, and the shame the country has to bare for electing those who seek to dismantle the NHS (Hunt) and those who lied to gain the power of government the UK now has.

But his ire would be for the Labour Party most of all for allowing it to happen. I speak regularly to my daughter in law who works in Shropshire at one of the hospitals, who has had to make do with minimal PPE and is working long hours because it's what she signed up for and she joys helping people. Like Phil, she does her job and has pride in it. Thank god for the thousands like her and Phil because, without them, it really would be the end of days.

A final point: many doctors and nurses and other front line staff work for a pittance, minimum wage in some cases. Many like my daughter in law come from overseas (New Zealand in fact) but changes to the visa regulations mean she has just been told she doesn't earn enough to stay and has to leave when her visa ends... she can apply for permanent residency but, without earning more money, she has to leave. It's the same story for thousands in the NHS, yet still, she goes to work only too well aware of the dangers she puts herself and her family into.

That's courage. Real courage. How do we reward it? By telling them they have a year's visa extension, while all this is going on of course... then they can go... booted out.

Yes, they cheered in parliament, shame on them.

Dave Abrahams
343 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:54:11
Christine (342), sorry to tell you, but your dad was wrong, you'd never make a politician in a million years and the reason why is obvious to everyone on ToffeeWeb: you're too honest, girl, to ever remotely becoming one of them.
Christine Foster
344 Posted 25/04/2020 at 09:56:57
Shucks Dave, I always thought it would help...ah well.. just as well I didn't then!
Brian Harrison
345 Posted 25/04/2020 at 10:50:36

To quote Billy Connoly if someone says they want to be a politician that should be reason enough to preclude them ever being a politician.
Mind the likes of Dominic Cummings is proving you don't have to be elected to wield power in political circles. Strange really as he was the architect for the saying take back control from the unelected bureaucrats in the European council. We now find that he and Palmer another Johnson crony is sitting in on the Sage committee meetings, which are supposed to be made up of medical and scientific people. So when at every press conference each minister says we are being led by the science, maybe they should add if Cummings agrees with it we do. I see England's chief medical officer Chris Witty has said he would like the government to say who attends Sage meetings. Maybe he would like it to be known that maybe all their advice isn't being followed, and he wants everybody to know just who maybe influencing these Sage decisions.

I here this morning that different press sources are saying the government is considering ways that football could start again, really???. So they are asking people to please keep your social distance, but quite happy to see footballers pulling and shoving and banging their heads together while competing for a ball in the air. There were some ideas that all the players could have tests to make sure they didnt have the virus, as well as the officials and others who would come into contact with the players. So its OK to test footballers but we havent got enough tests to test all NHS and care workers. Do they really think that the British people would accept that, when hundreds are dying every day and the government want to restart football matches. Again this has Cummings hands all over this give the public a distraction like football it will take their minds off the dying.

Dave Abrahams
346 Posted 25/04/2020 at 11:00:41
Brian (345), Most of us know who Dominic Cummings is, but I’ve asked before, on ToffeeWeb, has anybody ever heard him speak on TV or anywhere else, because you can usually get an idea of what sort person people are by listening and watching them. I have never seen him speak, ever, on TV, how does he have such control over Johnson, and how do the rest of the Tory party feel about this unusual combination?
Patrick McFarlane
347 Posted 25/04/2020 at 11:11:29
Dave#346 It's quite a long video, but it gives some inkling to his thinking.

Hollow Men(2014)

Chris Williams
348 Posted 25/04/2020 at 11:18:46

Yup, Bread and Circuses!

The Guardian, who broke the Cummings story has published a list of the Sage attendees too.

Dave Abrahams
349 Posted 25/04/2020 at 12:11:00
Patrick (347),yes Patrick it was a very long video and I listened to quite a lot of it, but he kept switching and twitching his sentences,I found him bewildering and hard to understand, I kept looking at the man who introduced him onto the stage, and sat down listening to him, he was scratching his face, folding his fingers together and unfolding them and looking like he was trying to understand him but couldn’t really grasp the speech, like me.

It looks like he was trying to blind the audience with science or maybe hypnotise them but didn’t seem to have any sort of personality that would hold your interest or make you want to listen to him again, or maybe he was just too clever for me.Bored me stiff to be honest, but thanks very much for the link Patrick.

Patrick McFarlane
350 Posted 25/04/2020 at 12:13:50
Dave #349 There are very much shorter clips with him talking to select committees on youtube.
Steve Brown
351 Posted 25/04/2020 at 13:37:17
Haha Dave Brierley @ 272, I knew you were a Tory from how you responded to Charles's post. Your post was sufficiently cynical and dim to smell it.

As usual with someone like you, I don't really need to respond as you predictably made an absolute arse of yourself in subsequent posts. Give em enough rope eh?

Dave Abrahams
352 Posted 25/04/2020 at 13:46:09
Patrick (350), yes I noticed that from your link, I may go back and have a look later, but at the moment I'm in no rush to watch him again, thanks anyway.
Mike Gaynes
353 Posted 25/04/2020 at 15:48:10
Christine, thanks again for your splendid contributions to this thread.

Phil #273, I've been pondering for almost a day my response to your post and its matter-of-fact modesty. I do truly understand your point about it not being heroic to just show up and do the job you signed up for, and my niece treating Covid-19 patients in Tel Aviv would agree, as would most of the doctors and nurses at the Ground Zeroes in Wuhan and New York.

But I hope you can understand why the rest of us may see things from a somewhat different perspective. Yes, you signed up to do a job, but you didn't sign up to risk your life to do it, or to have that risk increased by the unavailability of proper masks and protective gear, a shortage that is quite literally killing medical professionals in Brooklyn today. The mortality rate for doctors in Wuhan was staggering -- the one who first reported the virus eventually died of it, as did the director of the first hospital to take in mass numbers of virus patients. Yet their colleagues kept clocking in for 20-hour days and separating from their families for weeks at a time, as thousands of health providers have been doing this month in NYC.

I'm afraid you'll have to excuse the rest of us for seeing heroism in that. And for thanking you for it.

Stay safe.

Dave Brierley
354 Posted 25/04/2020 at 16:33:25
It appears one or two of my comments last night didn't go down that well and re-reading my post at #300 and one or two others, I can appreciate the slightly hostile responses.

It's probably of little interest to most but let me try and explain my current thinking, scrupulously attempting to avoid sarcasm and personal insults.

I believe a lot of you guys are missing the mood of the country. We don't want blame, we don't want argument as if this were a General Election, we want a contribution to the national effort to get us out of this crisis. We want hope optimism and faith in our country. We need less negativity.

There are people I usually enjoy reading who frequently make interesting points but who are, in my view, doing themselves little justice simply because of their hostility to the Government because they voted for someone else at the last election or because they voted Remain in 2016.

Too many keyboard enthusiasts who skim a few medical journals and blogs and then think they are qualified to tell the rest of us what should be done. They go from one extreme to another and pretend to have a knowledge that they don't.

I think some are influenced by 24-hour news programmes full of relentless negativity. They pick up on one issue, such as ventilators, go with that for a few days... and then obsess about Personal Protective Equipment. Next, we get comparisons between countries. This country has more deaths than that country as if it is some sort of Olympic medal table.

Why can't you get PPE? Because everyone else in the world wants it too. But shouldn't you have prepared? Would you like to apologise for your failure?

Worst of all are the daily press briefings. We listen to some of the best minds in the country explaining to us what is being done and why, only to have a series of ignorant childish questions from journalists trying to score political points and trip up a minister. I don't know about you but I have to switch off when we get to that point.

One of the first things I learnt in history is that people make mistakes. Faced with unprecedented situations they make lots of mistakes.

But no allowance is given by the mainstream media. I'm convinced that, If we had had the modern journalist profession in 1940, we would have lost the war. They would have complained about the Government's disastrous mistakes at Narvik. It should have known that the Maginot Line wouldn't work.

Journalists would have demanded that Churchill should have been immediately sacked for the defeat at Dunkirk. They would have described our situation as hopeless and would have ridiculed our ability to fight them on the beaches and would have said it was mere arrogance to suppose that our pathetic little country could have a finest hour. After all the Germans do everything so much more efficiently than we do.

They would have listed all the mistakes our country had made and called it 'insight'. The majority of the British people, however, would not have listened to them then, just as most don't read them now. Newspapers are going out of business. They deserve to.

There's so much good stuff on here. So many passionate articulate correspondents. In my opinion, just as a small sample, Mike Gaynes, Jamie Crowley and Jay Wood BRZ are all modern-day Alastair Cookes and the Abrahams boys are scouse nuggets. (And that isn't what I had for dinner last night, Mike; if you're genuinely interested it was fresh cod with triple cooked chips and no, I tossed none of it.)

Eric Paul
355 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:03:42

Your post @300 makes perfect sense to me. I'm not a Tory – far from it – but I agree with everything thing you say. My favourite being “The UK's shit. Other countries are so much better”.

Mike Gaynes
356 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:09:19
Dave, gotta admit that sounds really good. I had fresh salmon and hash browns, so we were on the exact same page of the menu.
Tony Abrahams
357 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:22:59
I've never lived during a war, where this country has been bombarded by missiles, but I would imagine that it could be the only thing that might just pull everyone together in this social media modern world.

The more we stay at home, the more we are inclined to go on news channels, either on TV or on the internet. The problem with this is that there is absolutely no good news anywhere, and this is leading to so much negativity, imo, Dave.

I rarely listen to the news anymore, but it's on now and Carragher has just been talking about finishing the Premier League. Fair enough, until he uses the word 'integrity'... how dare he use such a word at a time like now for justification?

Does integrity = money, or does money = integrity? Especially when the owners showed a complete lack of integrity until they listened to the fans!

Listen to Chris Williams, simply because he knows how to lighten the mood with music!

Darren Hind
358 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:31:37
I'd be surprised if you managed to get anyone feeling hostile, Dave @354.

However, you may want to consider asking people what their political views are rather than telling them. You may also want to consider the very clear difference between looking for accountability and relentless negativity... analogy and comparison... hostility and incredulity.

Give your own opinion by all means. Counter other posters' points to your heart's content, but please, ditch the strawman arguments. There`s enough genuine debate on this thread without anybody feeling the need to invent more.

Patrick McFarlane
359 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:33:58
Dave #354,

Whilst I welcome your less abrasive approach in this response, I do feel that you are advocating that only one perspective shoud be taken, ie, Support the Government – regardless of their decisions; suppress the press – because it can't be trusted; and keep your mouths shut – keep calm and carry on. This to me is the very antithesis of being a free country.

I have seen nothing but deserved praise offered to those trying to save lives whilst risking their own, whether they be Doctors, Nurses, Drivers, Shopworkers etc etc. None of the posts on the various threads claim to have the required knowledge to 'solve' the pandemic, rather many of us are merely articulating our fears and trying to understand what is happening to our fellow citizens and how best to keep ourselves and our families safe.

The adherence to this new way of living is testimony to the fact that the country is together – regardless of political persuasion or any other aspect that usually divides us, that to me offers some hope for the future.

I'm an Evertonian and wouldn't want anybody to persuade me to support any other club, I don't see politics that way or indeed any other aspect of my life, therefore I'm open to persuasion and argument but I don't want people to dictate to me what and who I should favour.

If you want to have a go at those undermining 'Britain' have a word with the farmers who seem to see the British worker as lazy and unproductive – despite thousands of them applying to do the jobs that need doing, very few of them have been taken on.

Brian Williams
360 Posted 25/04/2020 at 17:52:01
Dave #354.

Thing is you have your opinion and outlook and other have theirs. Nobody enjoys being told theirs is wrong and they haven't got a clue, which is more or less what you did with your earlier posts.

Everybody feels strongly in one direction or another, respect the ones that don't align with yours and try'n not to talk down to people. Nobody likes that, least of all Scousers (and before you jump in Mr Abrahams, I know, I know). Baaaaah.

Mike Gaynes
361 Posted 25/04/2020 at 18:03:49
Tony #357, there's good news out there, my friend... lots of great people doing great things during this difficult time. You just gotta look for it a bit more than usual.
Dave Brierley
362 Posted 25/04/2020 at 18:18:38
Darren: Patrick: Brian.

Just voicing my thoughts boys. As have you. Not forcing it on anyone.

Oh and Brian, don't tell me about Scousers. Toxteth born and raised.

Tony Abrahams
363 Posted 25/04/2020 at 18:24:47
There is always more good than bad, Mike, but this is the first time I've had the news on all week, I think, other than breakfast television on a weekday.

It's great looking at clips of people coming back out of critical care, and when you Americans, do something properly, you're up there with the best. I loved the hospital in New York, blasting “Here Comes The Sun” over the tannoy every time somebody pulls through because it's beautiful that, especially with so much bad news around.

My biggest fear is Trump, and my biggest disappointment is how the fuck-n-hell we ended up with Boris Johnson in charge of our country, and that was before this virus was anywhere near us.

I've met some idiots in my life, I've been an idiot myself at times, but Boris Johnson... Boris Fiucking Johnson, is a cringeworthy fucking idiot, and I've seen more common sense in a rocking horse.

Never been a cure for a Coronavirus, Mike? That's the spirit mate, keep saying it... because somebody is going to win the biggest race of them all soon –hopefully mate!

Dave Brierley
364 Posted 25/04/2020 at 18:42:07
Eric @355,

Contrary to some opinion, I'm not a Tory either. Thanks for your support pal.

Tony @363,

Where do you stand on Gove? And don't say on his head.

Gavin McGarvey
365 Posted 25/04/2020 at 19:13:47
Dave @354,

I read the exact same argument on a Facebook repost of a right-wing blogger. You can come on here and talk about Dunkirk and how we should support the government if you want but I can't agree with you. If I haven't done my job, I get in trouble. The government haven't done their job and now they are in trouble.

You can tell people to ignore the death toll. You can tell people that it's not the government's fault nurses don't have PPE. You can tell people that it's the press's job to support the government and catch the mood of the people and not ask questions about why so many people are dying here.

Would you tell that to the families and friends of the people who've died? If so, carry on. If not, wind your neck in.

Tony Abrahams
366 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:00:41
Dave, I honestly am not aware of any of these conservatives, mate. I remember when Johnson was Mayor of London, and his name was mentioned as a potential Prime Minister, and I was laughing, thinking imagine that!

It's happened... I can't believe how! This is the man who told the Italians that they would sell less Prosecco after Brexit, and they said we know – but only to one country; you'll be selling less fish & chips to loads of us!

Nothing to do with conservatives, Dave. If he had an ounce of true leadership, I'd be delighted to have him in charge in this hour of need but I don't think he has.

I said before he got Coronavirus that I wished it was Andy Shack whose hand he'd tried to shake, because I couldn't believe how ridiculous it was for a prime minister to be walking round shaking everyone's hand when the message was already: "Keep washing your hands." Although I'm glad that Boris never succumbed to this horrible virus, like so many unlucky people have.

Brian Williams
367 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:01:34
Dave #362.

There's ways to voice your opinion, mate, and the way you did it obviosuly didn't go well with a fair few. That should tell you something. None of your posts personally bothered me but I can easily understand why they would others.

If you can't see that, that's your problem – not theirs. 👍

Dave Brierley
368 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:24:04
Brian, you're a teacher, aren't you? Let me deal with some of your 'points':

"Thing is you have your opinion and outlook and others have theirs." — Bit obvious, Brian. That's what forums are all about.

"Nobody enjoys being told theirs is wrong and they haven't got a clue which is more or less what you did with your earlier posts." — As you are doing with me, Brian.

"Everybody feels strongly in one direction or another, respect the one's that don't align with yours and try'n not to talk down to people."— Hmmm... As you are doing with me Brian.

"Nobody likes that, least of all Scousers (and before you jump in, Mr Abrahams, I know, I know). Baaaaah." — I've done the scouser thing earlier so let's leave that.

Brian, I imagine you're a really nice guy and I appreciate you think you're giving me sound advice. But sadly I'm not 12.

Don Alexander
369 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:28:38
Good thread this but right now there's a Trade Bill being presented in the Commons by the Tory party in which no protection at all is being guaranteed to the NHS from yet more privatisation, despite the weasel words of BoJo thanking his Portuguese and Kiwi nurses.

There's a petition on the go via 38 Degrees, a not for profit campaign group, seeking to enshrine protection for NHS in law. I've signed and hope other TWers will also do so.

Just Google 38 Degrees, go to the petition, and sign.


Dave Brierley
371 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:56:20
Tony @366,

Boris was not a bad London Mayor (helluva lot better than the present incumbent, I would suggest).

During his 8 years in charge of the British capital, he cut crime, exceeded house-building targets, and was at the centre of the London 2012 Olympics.

There were negatives but, for me, they were outweighed by the positives. Livingstone was mediocre at best and Khan is bordering on useless.

But I guess we have this Tory/Labour thing in everything Liverpool. It's a mirror of EFC v LFC.

Jay Wood

372 Posted 25/04/2020 at 20:57:26
Dave @ 354. Congratulations.

It took you 9 posts, but you finally got there. All your previous posts in this thread contributed nothing to the many diverse sub-themes other than to petulantly ridicule, mock and make presumptions about others political affiliations.

I think you flatter yourself if you think you were the recipient of a hostile response as a result of your bleating post @ 300.

Rather, you got off lightly. You were indulged in and gently mocked rather than taken seriously.

You justified your bleat @ 300 to Andy Crooks as 'having a semblance of truth'.

That 'truth' is yours, Dave. It amounts to opinion and is not universal.

You now say 'Just voicing my thoughts boys. As have you. Not forcing it on anyone.'

Repeating a phrase I used earlier: Exactly Dave. You're catching on. Others are doing exactly the same. They are just not in sync with your world view.

As for your post @ 354, thanks for the rallying cry to get behind the country, government, party, prime minister, whoever or whatever. But I prefer to put my trust in having an inquisitive nature to research and check news reports and claims by elected politicians rather than take their headlines or soundbites at face value. I value posters who do likewise, rather than those given to telling us 'youse is all wrong – think like me!'

Brian Williams
373 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:14:48
No, a 12-year-old would be more self-aware.
Dave Brierley
374 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:15:40
Jay (why would I use one word when a hundred will do) Wood Brz.

Thanks for your patronising comments.

I am currently baking sausage rolls but will return later and attempt to earn your 'congratulations.'

Dave Brierley
375 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:18:38
Sorry Brian.

I'll do detention.

Tony Abrahams
376 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:21:51
I'm surprised Boris managed to cut crime in London, Dave, because I imagined it had been on an upward scale for years. (Maybe being in charge around the time of the Olympic games must have really helped?)

When I lived in New Zealand, a lot of the Kiwis who had been to Liverpool told me they thought it was a strange place and I used to be really baffled and bemused by people saying that about my home town.

I grew up in “Thatcher's Britain” and always felt that the reason she hated Liverpool was not because of Hatton's Labour, but because of the backing scousers gave to the Yorkshire Miners.

Family Snapshot, the song about the assassination of Kennedy, and sung by Peter Gabriel, has a line that says, “If you don't get given, you learn to take” and that's how it was for scousers during the Thatcher years, imo.

I'm going round the world to say the Kiwis were wrong, Liverpool isn't a strange place, but it was, during that era, a very tense fucking place. Although I stopped going to inner city London years ago, it was before Boris Johnson became Mayor of London and I had already begun to feel that same tension in our wonderful capital city that I'd felt was normal when I was a child growing up in Liverpool.

So, if Boris reduced crime, I'd say well done, but I'd also say he was just delaying the inevitable because, “with too many people and not enough stuff to go round” (who sang those lyrics? Land of confusion maybe?) I always felt London, was going to eventually explode.

Seriously, Dave, do you reckon Boris would last long around serious scousers? Because I don't think he'd last over an hour if the gloves were really off and he had to really stand up and prove himself away from the comforts of his very sheltered middle/upper class upbringing.

What's a serious scouser? Someone you don't get away with telling lies or talking bollocks to, people who see you coming from Birkenhead!

Jay Wood

377 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:29:32
Relieved to see no apostrophes were harmed in the writing of your last post, Dave.

'Thanks for your patronising comments.'

A Scouser without a sense of irony.

Who would've thunk it?

Dave Brierley
378 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:37:28
Tony, if I'm honest, I think Boris is a bit of a buffoon. But I think his heart is in the right place. The National leader to me is a figurehead. But to be successful he must surround himself with the brightest, innovative, minds. They're the ones who create and hopefully implement policy.

Jezza was surrounded by numbskulls and I had little faith in his ability to organise anything.

I'm not into this Labour/Tory hatred thing that seems prevalent in Liverpool. I have little faith in most politicians but if ever there was a time for a solid leader to emerge, God knows it's now.

Dave Brierley
379 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:40:15

Still on me sausage rolls.

Jay Wood

380 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:45:15
Too late, too distracted Dave.

Them's sausage rolls I can smell burning.

Dave Brierley
381 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:47:58
Not mine, Jay, must be yours.
Tony Abrahams
382 Posted 25/04/2020 at 21:55:31
Not sending them to Boris, are you Dave? Get well soon, not everyone in Liverpool thinks you are an idiotic buffoon!

I've seen his health and care ministers being absolutely destroyed by Piers Morgan, so I hope his other ministers are better, otherwise he's learned not a thing off Jezza?

If scousers hate and distrust the Tories, then it's not without good reason, but maybe things are about to change because they actually gave Merseyside something recently, the suspected Coronavirus patients were sent to be quarantined at Arrow Park Hospital, and probably only because the new Royal Hospital is only about three years behind with its opening date!

Tony Abrahams
383 Posted 25/04/2020 at 22:12:11
Reports saying Kim Jong Un, is dead, but they're coming from the Daily Express!
Mike Gaynes
384 Posted 25/04/2020 at 23:47:35
Japanese media says the malignant little gerbil is in a coma.
Tony Shelby
385 Posted 25/04/2020 at 23:58:58
Dave Brierley - The Tories strongly considered the “managed decline” of Liverpool.

This is fact and is confirmed in official papers from the 80s.

A good summary:

Your glorious leader, Mr Johnson, was also at least partly responsible for a hatchet job on the city (in The Spectator, if I remember correctly).

Are your prejudices so great that you're prepared to embrace the party that genuinely doesn't give two shiny shites about this fantastic city or its people?

Bill Gall
386 Posted 26/04/2020 at 00:27:39
Dave #378,

Agree with your comment. If ever there was a time for a solid leader to emerge, God knows it is now. Problem is England don't have one. They have a Trump clone with unruly hair if that is who you mean.

Alan J Thompson
387 Posted 26/04/2020 at 07:39:19
If the Press at the time and now hadn't been owned by those who saw themselves as part of the ruling classes or wanting the ability to affect who governs, then they may have persuaded the Austrian Archduke not to go on tour or Governments not to sign defence pacts (Mutual Assured Destruction of their day?) then there might not have been a World War to lose, a Treaty of Versailles, which would have given no reason to appoint or sack Churchill, which the people did anyway, and may be have been properly prepared for such forecast pandemics.

I suppose we could, as advocated by some, use the war option and train people for three weeks, give them guns and send them off to kill people while the crime rate at home went through the roof.

Oh, and I vote Green as they seem to see something as more important than Big Business and the Economy. Can anyone tell me if it is still the case that if Britain's spending on Education and Health was added together and multiplied by five then you would have what is spent on Defence?

Meanwhile, back at the Rumour Mill...

Paul Tran
388 Posted 26/04/2020 at 08:58:41
Missed this thread yesterday, as I was working.

Dave's right about Johnson cutting crime as London Mayor – but it fell everywhere else too. I'd argue that Johnson was politically different to the current model, but that's by the by, and might change after his illness.

Johnson's strength is his positivity. Most people have little or no interest in politics and will generally respond better to the positive person than the negative one. That's why Attlee, Wilson & Blair are the only post-war Labour winners.

History tells us that, in times of crisis, most people are more likely to support, rather than question their leaders. That comes later when the dust settles and people make a more factual judgement on all sides. So I'd agree with Dave that right now, Johnson has the mood of England with him. Let's see if it lasts.

I'm not convinced all of this is a left-right issue. I have Tory friends appalled by this iteration of their party and the Corbynite left largely supported Brexit.

Dave, you didn't offend me at all, I actually respect you for standing your ground. Like most of us, you talk some sense and bollocks and I'd argue we agree on plenty, especially 24-hour news! It's a shame some call you a Tory and 'not a proper Scouser' – that doesn't help anyone.

We need more thought and nuance in the world, Things aren't always completely right or wrong. Let's disagree well!

Chris Williams
389 Posted 26/04/2020 at 09:07:58
Just a quick interjection.

New, previously unreleased Dylan track on YouTube: Don't Fall Apart On Me Tonight.

Mark Knopfler in the backing band, and maybe at Muscle Shoals.

For those who like Townes Van Zandt, interesting version of Pancho and Lefty by Dylan and Willie Nelson... Dylan speaks!

I was only looking for a song by Hamish Imlach, called Cod Liver Oil and the Orange Juice, for my playlist. Very funny and for those of a certain age.

Back to the serious stuff now, and I see Boris is back tomorrow to lead us all to the promised land, according to the puppet press. I bet he doesn't take a chance on a Piers Morgan interview, and he'll resume his game show host role, or do a Trump and take a back seat.

Exercise Cygnus is getting a bit of an airing. This was an exercise in 2016 involving members of the public and public services etc simulating an Influenza pandemic and how we would cope which had disastrous results and was so bad the outcome was never released... doctors threatening legal action unless those results are released.

This is in the non-puppet press, or The Observer as it's sometimes called, at least on Sundays. Also in the Telegraph apparently. The Barclay Brothers must be too engrossed in suing each other to notice. Twins eh?

It's all bubbling under.

Alan McGuffog
390 Posted 26/04/2020 at 09:12:08
Chris... Hamish Imlach – wasn't he a coach / trainer here at Goodison?

I'll get me coat...

Chris Williams
391 Posted 26/04/2020 at 09:16:05

Judging by the look of him in the video, he might have fitted in nicely.

Great song, though, and a very good guitarist, as well as Scrabble genius.

Eric Myles
392 Posted 26/04/2020 at 11:15:26
Does anyone remember what this thread was originally about?

Does anyone even care???

Sean Kelly
393 Posted 26/04/2020 at 11:24:56
Has Kim Jung Un taken Trump's advice and drank the Domestos?
Paul Tran
394 Posted 26/04/2020 at 11:33:09
Eric, I think it was about football and how it copes financially. If you want a real footy story, look up here in Scotland. We've got votegate – it's a wonderful shambles for us neutrals!
Dave Brierley
395 Posted 26/04/2020 at 13:04:59
Thanks for your comments, Paul, much appreciated. You're right about the mixture of 'sense and bollocks' and I guess the trick is to try a lot harder to do a little bit more of the former.

The jury is out on BoJo but what happens in the next few weeks will determine if he took the right advice. For what it's worth, I think/hope he did.

The Tory/Scouse thing rolls right off my back although I left Liverpool some 35 years ago and, although my heart's still there, I guess you could call me an ex-pat. To my shame, this is the first year since I left that I haven't got back for at least one game at Goodison and sadly it looks likely that will be the case for this year at least.

Whichever way, thanks again and stay positive and safe.

Paul Tran
396 Posted 26/04/2020 at 13:09:30
Cheers, Dave!
Jamie Crowley
397 Posted 26/04/2020 at 13:49:39
Derek Thomas,

Shrimp and Grits – it's a southern dish with "prawns" and, er, grits.
Shrimp, grits, garlic, green onions, sometimes sausage in there, cajun spices.


They are absolutely wonderful. Must be eaten in moderation, the food has a tendency of "sticking to you."

I've kept checking for news on Sweden as well. Interesting and fairly neutral story here:


Without rehashing everything, I think their approach was a calculated risk that has worked well, despite a higher death rate than their Nordic neighbors. There is where I think the difference of opinion lies.

Wash your hands. Don't "pull a Moise Kean".

Eric Myles
398 Posted 26/04/2020 at 14:21:54
I was just thinking about globalisation and the effects this pandemic would have on industry manufacturing abroad.

Could there be pressure / incentives on companies to return to making their products in local factories given that the local economy would have high unemployment? Rather that outsourcing their production to other countries?

I read there has been some criticism of farmers importing foreign workers while there are Brits in need of income. So I was thinking maybe countries will become more insular in the short- to medium-term in order to get their core business back on track? Either morally inspired or government incentivised?

Paul Tran
399 Posted 26/04/2020 at 14:24:18
Thanks for the Sweden link, Jamie. There was an article over here a month ago where the Swedish Prime Minister held a strong view that, in the long run, Sweden would have 'just as many' proportionate deaths as the UK, without the disruption to life and business. Time will tell.

I suspect their health service is pretty well stocked & funded – you 'Mericans would pass out at the tax rates there!

Paul Tran
400 Posted 26/04/2020 at 14:40:33
Eric #398, this might prove an opportunity for us to rebuild our manufacturing base again. It will probably be at least part-govt funded, it would mean dearer products and it will reintroduce the debate in the UK around wages, benefits and migrant workers.

The agriculture recruiters went back to their existing pool of experienced, skilled Romanian workers for starters, but also reported that only around 10% of the Brits that showed initial interest actually applied for the work.

Derek Moore
401 Posted 26/04/2020 at 16:57:16
Thanks, Michael Kenrick and Patrick MacFarlane, for your interest. I've always been curious about how money actually works. What is a Government deficit? Where does the Government get its money? How does it all work?

If you're genuinely curious about how and what the Government can do with money, then you need to understand how modern central banking works. How does Trump or Boris Johnson just spend a few trillion when they really need to? Where does it come from and when and how will it be paid back?

Why do places like Venezuela, Argentina and Greece run out of money and why do places like Japan and the US seem to have an infinite credit card?

Without doing an economics degree, the quickest and simplest way to understand how macroeconomics works is to just get on YouTube and watch someone who understands it explain it. When you've watched enough of it that it starts to make sense, then you've arrived.

I'd recommend watching some lectures from Stephanie Kelton who explains how Modern Monetary Theory actually works and why it can pay for stuff we haven't budgeted for – like defeating Nazism or fighting a pandemic.

As for Ms Foster, I merely shake my head. I'm a New Zealander, born and bred. Your romanticized view of the nation is yours to have and to hold, but the reality is very very different.

Sarcasm? Well, when someone travels the breadth of the Earth then writes "The ability for this aggressive spread has its routes in airline travel, globalisation" it's hard for me to take them seriously at all.

It's similarly hard for me to believe that the Anzacs were charging the Turkish snipers so that, one day, a middle-aged ex-scouser could wander around Nelson and exhort it as a utopia.

You do you, Ms Foster, is my advice. Pretending your reality is also everybody else is a great way to rationalize things. But it won't get you much further than yourself.

Dave Brierley
402 Posted 26/04/2020 at 19:59:21
Derek Moore @217. Just caught up on your post, Derek.
Really interesting and delighted you've signed up. How'd you become a blue?

Realistic to hear from a native of New Zealand that all is not sunshine and roses and you confirmed what I've previously read about the Premier situation there.

The grass is not always greener.

Christine Foster
403 Posted 26/04/2020 at 22:32:05
Derek, life is about perspective and reality. One man's meat and all that. Shame you chose to characterise me in such a way, you are right though, pretending this reality is my own, because it is; you have your view and I will take mine.

The bitterness seeps out of every word you write. Your reality is not mine, I too have travelled the world, lived in many countries... while every country has its good, bad and ugly bits, on the whole, I am more than happy to return here.

Life is what you make it. I have learnt to appreciate nowhere is Utopia, but some places are as good as you can get. But nastiness such as yours is borderless, you may not like my view of life in New Zealand but it does not give you the licence to ridicule in such an offensive manner. Wow..

Christine Foster
404 Posted 26/04/2020 at 22:53:20
By the way, there is no such thing as an ex-scouser... but I'll live with middle aged. The former is offensive, the latter is flattery!
Eric Myles
405 Posted 27/04/2020 at 04:51:28
Paul #400, just what I was thinking, although there'll be some manufacturing we can't rebuild, cotton and textiles as an example.

But what appetite will the Japanese car makers have for keeping factories open in UK? Maybe they will mothball them until better times, or consolidate European production in one country? It's a pity UK doesn't have it's own car makers any more. Or most other manufacturing industries that fuelled the building of the nation.

Laurie Hartley
406 Posted 27/04/2020 at 07:28:54
Derek Moore # 217, I was going to take up your advice to explore how international monetary policy works, but then I remembered something I had learned from a book my dad gave me to read when I was about 13. “The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists” Link

In that book the poverty-stricken but self-educated socialist house painter Owen explained

The Great Money Trick - Link

The other character in the book that sticks in my memory is “the man with the scar on his face” in chapter 48. Perhaps because he reminds me a little bit of myself.

My dad (God rest his soul) was like Christine's dad – they would have gotten on really well I suspect. I love and miss my father very much because although he was far from perfect, he was an intrinsically good man and he really would have given you his "second coat" if he had two and you needed one.

However, my view is that at this point in history, men like him and Christine's dad have been betrayed by the so-called leaders of the "socialist movement" around the world. I have lived in Australia since 1973 and haven't seen one I trust here since Bob Hawke. Having said that, Michael Albanese has promise.

However I digress. Back to “The Great Money Trick”. For it to work, you will need 4 key ingredients:

The raw materials
The means of production
And, last but not least, mone

In the light of this, rather than look at New Zealand politics I would prefer to take stock of the current situation in my adopted country (which I love and am proud to be a part of even though somewhere deep down inside of me I am still a "wacker" from Birkenhead).

Raw materials – we have got them coming out of our ears, what would you like? Iron ore, Uranium, Coal, etc we have got loads of the stuff.

Means of production – our car, clothing, timber, rail and tram manufacture industries have been decimated. Heavy steel and ship-building industries are under severe pressure.
Labour – we have people who need (and want) to work but the people with “the money” would rather spend it where they can get “more bang for their buck”.
Money – the greatest threat to this and every other country, the Chinese Communist Party, have cottoned on to how the trick works.

Deceive, Infiltrate, Dominate

Get ready:

Foreign Investment in Australia

And this wasn't a very good idea was it?

And also, they are surrounding us, and they are using money to do it.

Wake up Australia! - and the rest of the world because we have got loads of (with apologies for the capitals) RAW MATERIALS.

Laurie Hartley
407 Posted 27/04/2020 at 07:41:44
Faulty Link to the "wasn't a very good idea" in my post. Here is a new one:

Eric Myles
408 Posted 27/04/2020 at 11:05:13
Laurie, I haven't read your links yet but from their titles I'm guessing they're about the growing Chinese hegemony around the world.

I knew about their influence in developing countries in Africa, India, Sri Lanka and saw it first hand in Maldives. I didn't know they had a foothold in developed countries that should know better though.

Jay Wood

409 Posted 27/04/2020 at 12:13:41
Laurie, my savior!

Daily, I've been sitting out in the backyard throughout all this to get my Vitamin D dose, indulging in reading paper-based books.

But I am close to exhausting my stock and was already thinking of turning to Kindle digital books (which don't offer the same reading pleasure of the printed word on paper and the turning of a page).

Robert Tressel's 'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' is DEFINITELY going to get re-visited by me this week, thanks to your link.

Good on yer Laurie!


Laurie Hartley
410 Posted 27/04/2020 at 12:19:34
Eric # 408 - I thought quite a lot before hitting the submit button for that post.

They are on the move - the same thing is happening in South America.

Fortunately I think our government are on to them. Our treasurer has just made it compulsory that no foreign investment from $0 up will be allowed unless he signs off on it.

We are in for some fireworks when they start easing off then ending the lockdowns around the world.

Dave Abrahams
411 Posted 27/04/2020 at 12:31:26
Jay (409), a great book, I've read it at least twice. I mentioned it to a fella I worked with... "Very depressing book that, Dave," he said to me, "Well," I said, "He was writing about very depressing times."

What Robert Tressel wrote about all those years ago still applies today. He was buried in a paupers grave facing Walton gaol until a few years ago when a Liverpool Labour group buried him in a proper grave, with a very fitting headstone, along with a few more people, whose names are all engraved on the gravestone.

Enjoy the book, Jay, having read the book you will see again quite a few people you have met in your life, good and bad, with the percentage of them bad.

Laurie Hartley
412 Posted 27/04/2020 at 12:40:09
Jay your welcome. I have actually got a bedraggled hardback copy which was loaned to me in 1977 but much to my shame was never returned to its owner. Don’t know how I am going to make amends for that.

It will be coming off the bookshelf tomorrow.

Jay Wood

413 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:17:25
Dave, I know the book and its characters very well. It's just a good 20-30 years since I last read it. It's going to be interesting, given the contemporary times we are living through, to revisit it.

Along with Khalil Gibran's 'The Prophet', Tressel's tome is probably the most gifted book I have given others as a present. Neither book has ever left the recipient of my gift unmoved or indifferent.

I knew he was buried in Liverpool, but I wasn't aware of the Labour Party's initiative in giving him a much deserved decent burial, so thanks for that, Dave.

Tony Abrahams
414 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:20:46
Three fellas, all with more knowledge than me, are praising a book I couldn't finish. It was depressing Dave, because the reason I put it down was because the working classes ere never ever united.

That's how I was reading it at the time, with “divide and conquer” definitely the greatest trick, but maybe I was wrong and I never gave the book enough time?

Jay Wood

415 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:25:12
Give it another try, Tony. You've got the time! (Disclaimer: twins allowing).

Like all good reads, it has some positive outcomes at the end and no little serving of something we are all in need of, now and always.


Tony Abrahams
416 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:36:31
I will always have hope Jay, I’m an Evertonian after-all!

Laurie’s link, to the foreign investment, go left, one of the top fella’s saying he won’t be downloading the government Coronavirus app, onto his phone, because he doesn’t trust them enough?

Scary to think in these testing times, maybe not the greatest, but possibly the latest trick?

What a song, der reh reh reh der reh der reh reh reh der Reh!

Jay Wood

417 Posted 27/04/2020 at 13:50:33
'I will always have hope Jay, I'm an Evertonian after-all!'

Exactly, Tony!

That's why I believe (as George would say) that Tressel was a Blue!

Tony Abrahams
418 Posted 27/04/2020 at 14:07:16
I live right next door to where Tressel is buried, Jay. He's buried in Walton, so that definitely makes him a toffee in my book!
Chris Williams
419 Posted 27/04/2020 at 14:34:02

Have a look at The Plot Against America, by Philip Roth. He’s been one of my favourite writers since the 60s but I missed this one. I read it near the end of last year, and written years ago, so way before Trump.

It’s chilling.

I think I read they’re making a TV series out of it, showing later this year.

George McKane
420 Posted 27/04/2020 at 14:49:24
Was involved in a smallish way in the discovery of Robert Tressel's Grave, he died in the flu epidemic, I think, and was buried initially in a mass grave in Walton. I also did a one-man show about Tressel on his Anniversary, and spoke about him to Local TV (Granada) some time ago.

I am still running Yellow House (Link) on a daily basis, 7 days per week, online stuff and today at 12:00 with our group we held an online debate about "universal basic income". Fascinating to hear young people's views... working-class kids who still firmly believe in the "system". Would anybody be interested in a Zoom Meeting so that we can say "Hello" to each other? I could, I think, make the arrangements.

Cosmic Blue Grooves All The Way! George

Eric Myles
421 Posted 27/04/2020 at 15:23:29
Chris #419, I bet you became a fan of Roth after reading Portnoy's complaint ! ;-)
Chris Williams
422 Posted 27/04/2020 at 15:59:31

Spot on.

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