The Bower & Collier Family History

Research by Colin Bower

Discussion Group

Debate 8C What main lessons (up to 6) have been learnt from the pandemic and our response to it?

As with Debate 7, do reply to one or more of the questions by Friday.

I list your replies on a no names basis in my website, so you can always look at what others are saying before you reply.


1.The main lesson learned by our government must be the need for proactive management.

They saw the train coming a mile away but they still didn’t step off the track! A month’s delayed action meant that everything else has consequently been reactive.

Also, the need to listen to, and observe the actions of, other countries, regardless of our desire to be outside of the EU, is essential.

Both the government and the public have learned who they can really rely on when the chips are down;

not greedy CEO’s and billionaire businessmen, now begging for tax payers’ money to prop up their lifestyles,

but the NHS and key workers throughout the country who are taken for granted, but not rewarded.

2. Only 6!

Would have liked to have said that the media etc became fixated as to when the lockdown was to end, when hundreds of people were becoming seriously ill and/or dying

Any way my 6.

- With Boris and others it was a classic case of do as I say not as I do, and they finished up with the virus

- The Government were right to follow a small selection of scientific and medical advisors, as the "experts" have argued amongst themselves and worried & confused the public

- In a fast-moving situation there were bound to be successes & failures. The daily briefings and the mantra were a good idea in theory but more emphasis should have been placed on going out and coming back in again.

- It was an early mistake to suggest that young people would get mild symptoms only.

- The Government should have come clean on stocks of equipment etc. The media have kept hunting them down which could have been avoided.

- We have all re-learnt that you cannot trust the people. e.g. the people engaged in panic-buying even though they were told there were plentiful supplies and the people were asked to stay home but eventually  had to be instructed and the instructions enforced by the police.

3-4 - One advantage of the virus is that people have been able to step back and reassess their lives,

- become better acquainted with their neighbours and

- develop more community spirit.

- Feel that the way to approach it was either all or nothing, ie introduce draconian measures or simply allow it to run its course.

5. All the public have to follow the rules or else it will just keep spreading.

No good such as ourselves staying in and not seeing friends & family etc, when 100s of others congregate together on such as Westminster bridge and a funeral pictures of which were in the paper last week.

6. How much we rely on our selfless NHS and Keyworkers

7. - That the WHO is not fit for purpose. - That the NHS is valuable and - British people have turned out in large numbers as volunteers. - Hopefully the population will be healthier in the future as more people are cooking with fresh food.

8. (1) Slower pace of life has been a blessing as we can focus and learn to appreciate what id truly important in life, eg family, friends, enjoying our hobbies

(2) A stitch in time... prevention is better than the cure. Pre-emptive measures (lock down and self isolation) should have been introduced earlier.

66 deaths per million population in Germany compared to 282 in UK, which does not include nursing home figures.

(3) Political words and deeds are not always congruent.

It's laughable government ministers clapping and applauding the NHS workers

when the procurement of PPE was drastically curtailed as a result of austerity and the NHS being underfunded by £13.4 billion since 2010 and

to witness government ministers and conservative benches clapping and cheering, when a motion introduced in parliament in 2017, to lift the freeze on NHS pay, was defeated.

(4) this demolishes the argument that the free market has the solution to everything..

This is the second time within a decade that socialism has ridden to capitalism's rescue with massive state intervention to firstly bail out the banks and now today.

Proves that unfettered capitalism has as many deficits as unfettered socialism.and that we need to extract the best of both systems.

Ironic that one of the nation's treasures, the NHS, which provides free health treatment for everyone at point of delivery comes from the socialist school of thought.

(5) Demonstrates that government borrowing is not dependent on taxation receipts.

(6) That the ordinary Joe public will pay for all this borrowing (which will be used to justify austerity in the future)

instead of the powerful and rich who have access to advice on how to circumvent tax.

This borrowing should have been funded by closing tax loopholes exploited by the multinationals

such as Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, Richard Branson who hasn't paid income tax in the UK for 14 years and

Jacob Rees Mogg,whose company derives all its income from clients in the UK but operates out of Dublin and is registered in the Cayman islands and

Joe Lewis the owner of Tottenham Hotspur (sorry Val) who lives on a £112,000,000 yacht in the Bahamas and runs his club through a company Enic, also registered in the Bahama and Manchester United which is not listed on the UK stock market, only Wall street.

Lewis can afford to pay his football stars thousand of pounds a week but puts his non-playing staff on furlough. Enough is enough.

9. It’s a bit early yet to draw conclusions to unprecedented events.

How Can you prepare for an event so serious that has bought the worlds economy to its knees,

the government has undoubtedly made mistakes and will continue to do so, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I don’t think that they could have done any more!

10. Change legislation to ensure companies and wealthy individuals pay taxes. Needs Global cooperation.

Recognise financially those who are important to the fabric of society.

Importance of future planning.

Being proactive rather than reactive.

If you treat the population like adults the majority will respond well.

11. This pandemic could be chemical warfare.

In future, the military should be in charge and responsible for the provision of all equipment.

Politicians should act as the liaison between the military and the public.

The Army should provide specialised UK recruits, trained and ready for future disasters.

We have ignored developing them for chemical warfare.

12. Too early to make an informed assessment.

As far as isolating the vast majority of us see the sense and are abiding by the rules.

A minority are so self-centred and lacking in a sense of community, they couldn’t care less.

Very sadly this is ruining friendships and relationships.

13. You need your friends

Technology has come into its own

Govt should have acted earlier

Value what you have and

life is quieter.

Review of Week

13 responses which was a record last week.

The question gave a good opportunity for digression for which a number of you took advantage!

Some of the main lessons:
- it was a national disaster, the type of which was predicted, for which there should have been a planned response
- the impression throughout was that there wasn't a strategy and plan and the Government were never on the front foot
- every Tom, Dick & Harry have given us endless "expert" advice and criticism which hasn't helped
- how much we need the NHS and the armed forces
- how we don't need great levels of bureaucracy at times like this
- wouldn't it have been nice to have transparency but
- the media hanging on/over every Government word and deed like vultures
- meaning that spokesmen became guarded and defensive and information, that might have put our minds at rest, was not shared
- the majority followed the Government's instructions but
- a minority put suffering & deaths and achievement of the Government's plans at risk
- when it is over, we will need assurance that stockpiles and action plans are in place should we ever face this predicament again
- at the moment the Government are going to continue to get a pasting over deaths in care homes, where they appear not to have got a grip

Colin Bower
30 April 2020

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