Local is actually best

I have to say I agree with this slightly unconventional point of view – evidence based as it is:

I’m not at all suggesting herd immunity is correct for even the ‘Economist’ submits:

It is not clear that this high death rate bought Sweden any immediate economic advantage. Its GDP dropped in the second quarter in much the same way as GDPs did elsewhere.

What I find especially calamitous is the current government’s inability to use and build up the local authority test, trace and isolate service purely on the basis of their own ideological lack of control.

I agree with Adam Lent of the Local Government Chronicle that:

In truth, the last few months have simply revealed in stark and accelerated form how Westminster and Whitehall have spent decades weakening the country and dissolving trust in democracy in the name of central control.

The concept that centralisation is best, when what evidence there is – and indeed British history, which as the world’s first industrial economy, has much experience of pandemics, and which were usually caused by disastrous living conditions – suggests that local is best.

Perhaps it is unwise to think our government has any knowledge of history.

So I suggest data is key. And testing is key.

As we progress into autumn and winter, we are likely to be in flu’ territory if not actually now then very shortly – when every flu’ symptom is potentially, without proper testing, confused for Covid-19. We will then be indeed probably now are, in a state of complete disorientation.

The Tories want to preserve their precious economy – but ironically for them – and disastrously for us – their neoliberal and privatised measures to endeavour to control the virus are actually self defeating.

They need to hone in on the result required not the ideological method of delivering it.

And now we seem to have the ideology and yet no money for local authorities.


  1. Samuel Johnson -

    Two of the most useful unofficial sources on Irish Twitter are

    David Higgins @higginsdavidw (not a scientist but a numerical geek who is aggregating, tracking and presenting official data in a useful form)

    Danny Boy @Care2much18 (biologically qualified guy who has shredded BS of @FatEmperor and a few other cranks but prefers pseudonymity)

    @FatEmperor may or may not be right about any individual claim he makes but he is both unqualified in either medicine or public health and already sufficiently discredited in my opinion as to discount him entirely. Disappointed to see him amplified in a place that has so far valued expertise. He’s a chemical engineer who became a quack dietician and is now using Covid to raise his profile (YouTube channel, book sales etc).

    For a non-fringe debate involving a medic and a public health (infectious disease) expert in Ireland this is worthwhile


    Ireland’s handling of Covid hasn’t been perfect but bright spots include the massively successful deployment of a contact tracing app which has subsequently been adopted and implemented by Northern Ireland, Scotland, Gibraltar, Malta, and, so far, the US states of Pennsylvania, Delaware and New York. It was open sourced. Meanwhile, the UK and the US govt are looking to monetize NHS health data via Palantir.

    1. Peter May -

      I agree entirely about the NHS app – why I’d never download it!
      I’ll look out your links, So far, I do think Cummins has a point.
      The stupidity is that without a test trace and isolate system that works a life of anything like normal is not going to be possible because we actually have no idea if we are overreacting or not.
      At the moment for example there are no excess deaths:

  2. Michael G -

    Hypothesis: You can predict the number of daily deaths from coronavirus from the number of new cases 2 weeks earlier. I have plotted data for September, but I don’t see how to put a graph in a comment. (Numbers taken from ourworldindata, with difficulty). I used 7 day rolling averages for deaths and 3 day rolling average for new cases. On 30th September the average of deaths was 35.29 corresponding to 3128 new cases 2 weeks earlier. The current average of new cases is just under 7,000, giving a prediction of an average of about 80 cases per day in 1-2 weeks. If there is no major event or shift in policy, one should also be able to predict the number of cases in 2 weeks, and hence the number of deaths in 4 weeks (about 180 per day in 3-4 weeks). It looks as if the numbers of deaths may be slightly higher than I predict. One would have expected the university debacle to give more cases but fewer deaths.

  3. Danny Bolton -

    Care2much18 is not biologically qualified. He’s an unemployed wannabe who actually scams women to fund his gambling addiction Fact
    You are giving an internet scammer legitimacy

    1. Peter May -

      Do hope you can justify that comment

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