back to article Spending watchdog doubts UK is capable of managing Brexit and coronavirus info campaigns at the same time

The government that spaffed £46m on an ineffective "Get Ready For Brexit" campaign is ill-prepared for managing public information about COVID-19 and the UK's departure from the EU at the same time, according to a committee of MPs. The Public Accounts Committee (PAC), an influential public spending watchdog made up of a cross- …

  1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Not a very surprising conclusion given that they've proved themselves incapable of managing even one thing at a time.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      @Doctor Syntax

      "Not a very surprising conclusion given that they've proved themselves incapable of managing even one thing at a time."

      I would say either information campaign, one at a time. Not very clear guidance for either issue

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Devil

      Very capable

      You just misunderstand the campaign.

      1) Deny

      2) Minimize

      3) Blame someone else for any negatives

      4) Take credit for any positives

      It's the basic Boris (and Donald) script.

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Very capable

        >It's the basic Dom (and Steve) script.

        FTFY

  2. Dr_N Silver badge
    Trollface

    Naysayers

    Big Dom will see you right:

    Big red bus.

    Catchphrase.

    Images of unicorns and rainbows.

    Job done.

    Next!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Naysayers

      As long as it's 3 words, it's golden.

      Visit-your-inlaws

      Visit-a-castle

      retro-edit-blog

      tell-more-lies

      spin-more-bullshit

      sack-the-capable

      own-the-PM

      1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Naysayers

        Visit-a-poledancer.

      2. Cynical Pie

        Re: Naysayers

        You forgot ' Check-Out-eyes'

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Naysayers

        "Retrospective Planning Permission"?

  3. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    It's obvious....

    In coronavirus, Boris has the perfect excuse to delay brexit. Cummings could quite easily spin that even to their most xenophobic followers.

    With these huge mitigating circumastances, no member of the public would think of it as a broken promise (even though he's broken many)

    But of course, the people behind brexit, the big donors, and the ERG don't give a crap about the chaos.. They just want to avoid the EU tax-loophole fixes, and want to strip workers of their rights (oh, and related, they want to abandon ECHR too)

    In fact, some of them are planning on using brexit to short british companies, and make lots of money.. For them, the chaos will make them even richer! If you want to join them, read the "how to" books by Jacob Rees Moggs father. (obviously a coincidence (!))

    And besides, many of them have already bought their own EU citizenship from Cyprus, so they're covered there too.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: It's obvious....

      I can't imagine why Boris & Dom would want to delay. They, and their backers, are gagging for Brexit chaos because it'll provide cover for no end of "adjustments" to laws to suit themselves. Tweak to tax legislation here, little snip to employment rights there.. .. Just temporary, you understand, until everything is stable again. It's very important that millionaire investors are confident they can still make money, and equally important that workers work harder. Sacrifices have to be made for the good of the country.

      However, you are right about Dom spinning it to their followers. If they'll buy "checking my eyesight", they'll buy any old bullshit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's obvious....

        The making money part may be adversely affected if the second Coronavirus spike means more workers are infected/ill/dying/dead.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: It's obvious....

        "I can't imagine why Boris & Dom would want to delay. They, and their backers, are gagging for Brexit chaos because it'll provide cover for no end of "adjustments" to laws to suit themselves."

        That's exactly what I said! I said they had the excuse now, if they wanted one, but of course, they don't!

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: It's obvious....

      @Jamie Jones

      "In coronavirus, Boris has the perfect excuse to delay brexit. Cummings could quite easily spin that even to their most xenophobic followers."

      I doubt any leaver would be happy with another pathetic excuse to stall. The desperation to remain has infected decision making for too long and getting out has been shown to be necessary otherwise we will be tied to that sinking ship all the way down.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: It's obvious....

        So what worries you?

        Wanting to make a killing as the economy crashes?

        Money abroad so not wanting EU inspection?

        Getting out of CFP but then we can hand all the fishing to EU for trade?

        Getting out of CAP but then we have to accept Chloronation Chicken?

        No one has yet to convince me it is anything but stupid.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: It's obvious....

          So down voter is too scared to say why?

          Is it because the reason is bogus?

          1. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: It's obvious....

            Given you're replying to someone that's had 10 downvotes to your one, you probably shouldn't worry too much. (I don't vote up or down on here, I'm just replying to you anyway).

            I voted to leave the EU. I'm not going to make money out of that, I expect to be financially worse off as a result. I just don't want to be part of an EU superstate.

            I do now however desperately want us to complete our exit on 31st December. The EU is now incurring debts that the German courts are declaring illegal, so Germany won't be paying them, Italy wants to leave, the Eastern Europeans are being asked to spend money they don't have to prop up West Europe and this is all before they try and deal with the loss of British funds.

            Getting caught up in that mess would be very bad for the UK and far more damaging to our economy than choosing to leave the EU ever was.

            Pre-Coronavirus the arguments for leaving the EU were political and based on sovereign autonomy. Coronavirus has now turned the economic arguments too.

            Meg Hillier is hardly an impartial observer on this either. She wanted to overthrow the democratic result of the referendum last year, so she hates the UK and democracy. Sadly El Reg comment guidelines prevent me sharing my real views on this woman.

            1. MJI Silver badge

              Re: It's obvious....

              Cederic thanks for the reply

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: It's obvious....

          @MJI

          "Wanting to make a killing as the economy crashes?"

          Like Germany did with Greece? No

          "Money abroad so not wanting EU inspection?"

          Nope. And no money in Ireland nor Luxembourg nor the Netherlands

          "Getting out of CFP but then we can hand all the fishing to EU for trade?"

          Nope. EU handling of fisheries causing reduced fishing stocks isnt working. But if we are willing to 'rent' the waters to the EU we do get an income from it.

          "Getting out of CAP but then we have to accept Chloronation Chicken?"

          Actually yes. Salad is already chlorinated in the EU. The European Food Safety Authority deems it safe. It is cheaper than the expensive chicken we are FORCED to buy from the EU. Allowing food prices to fall due to buying at correct market price is not a bad thing. It makes the country richer.

          "No one has yet to convince me it is anything but stupid."

          That is a valid position that it is your opinion and nobody has managed to sway you yet. I have the same issue of not being persuaded of remain.

          "So what worries you?"

          A currency literally designed not to work without federalisation. A political pipe dream being more important than the populations it is to rule over. A body that wishes to inflict consensus on varying countries and economies yet cant even agree where it holds its meetings. Overreach and micromanaging while being incapable of dealing with actual real challenges of a large scale. Certainly not nimble nor capable of keeping up with a changing world while being designed on an old 'cold war' model. Rules and laws being 'flexible' or 'inflexible' at a whim. Protectionism of 27 countries inflicted on 27 countries. Severe removal of the people from the political rulers.

          I am sure there is more if I thought about it.

          *I am the second downvoter. If the first would like to pile on feel free to join in

          1. Mongrel

            Re: It's obvious....

            Actually yes. Salad is already chlorinated in the EU. The European Food Safety Authority deems it safe. It is cheaper than the expensive chicken we are FORCED to buy from the EU. Allowing food prices to fall due to buying at correct market price is not a bad thing. It makes the country richer.

            Because salad and chicken are so alike...

            Dunking chicken in a bleach bath is not a replacement for a clean and hygienic slaughtering process as a bleach bath can hide an unhygienic process. (See https://www.soilassociation.org/our-campaigns/top-10-risks-from-a-uk-us-trade-deal/what-is-chlorinated-chicken/)

            I'm all for cheaper food but not if the trade-off is an increased risk of food poisoning.

            1. codejunky Silver badge

              Re: It's obvious....

              @Mongrel

              "Because salad and chicken are so alike..."

              The issue with chlorine has been a moving target. First it was because it is chlorine, which is deemed safe and used on EU salad. Now the issue seems to be the hygiene of the process, which is surely determined by the output and the output is clean chicken ready for consumption to the standards of the developed world.

              "I'm all for cheaper food but not if the trade-off is an increased risk of food poisoning."

              This is interesting. Since such a comparison is not easy to make and both are acceptable to the developed world standard then as a baseline they are both fine. So if you are for cheaper food then you are for the chicken being sold here in the UK should people in the UK be willing to buy it? That requires no new regulation or protectionism, only to put it on the shelves for people to buy what they want.

              1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                Re: It's obvious....

                The issue with chlorine has been a moving target. First it was because it is chlorine, which is deemed safe and used on EU salad. Now the issue seems to be the hygiene of the process, which is surely determined by the output and the output is clean chicken ready for consumption to the standards of the developed world.

                To anyone who has actually bothered to follow this line of concern, the issue has always been US food safety standards, one of which is the use of chlorination to make unsanitary chicken "safe". The underlying concern, of course, being that meat production in the US doesn't meet EU food safety standards (many of which have been put in place largely due to UK standards). Concerns don't start and end with chicken. Hormone-fed beef is another concern, as is the industrial use of antibiotics in animal husbandry, which whilst not a food safety issue, is a major concern in the fight against the evolution of antibiotic resistance in disease-causing organisms (such as multi drug-resistant TB). Some of these issues are not limited to food production in the US, and the antibiotic one is a worldwide problem. The EU is tackling this by banning the use of "human-reserve" antibiotics for veterinary use. You'd probably spin this as "unelected Eurocrats" telling us what to do, rather than being a sensible, and measured regulation designed to protect human health.

                It is the press who have dumbed this down to "chlorinated chicken", as you no doubt well know. As an arch-brexiter, I'm sure you are well versed in the moving-target argument. I've seen you use that tactic yourself. If I could be bothered to read all your comments on this thread, I'd probably find at least one instance of it here. The fact is, I can't be bothered to read any more of them because experience tells me that they are tripe. If this means you think you have won an Argument On The Internet, well done treat yourself to a biscuit. But not one of those nasty foreign ones, like Bourbons or Nice Biscuits, or $deity forbid, Garibaldis, obviously.

                Ironically, the far-right have long perfected the art of accusing their opponent of doing exactly what they do themselves in order to deflect attention and criticism from their own flaws. That, and repeating a lie until it becomes accepted fact, are basically rules 1 and 2 from the Goebbels play book.

                1. codejunky Silver badge

                  Re: It's obvious....

                  @Loyal Commenter

                  "To anyone who has actually bothered to follow this line of concern, the issue has always been US food safety standards"

                  Yes. First that it was washed in Chlorine and people were worried about it. I had this discussion so many times and kept posting the link to the European Health Agency stating it was safe because some people were so misinformed and worried. Then they found out the salad they eat was Chlorine washed and the goalposts shifted.

                  "one of which is the use of chlorination to make unsanitary chicken "safe""

                  Therefore the output deemed safe and so no realistic argument is there to say it isnt. It is the output that matters as that is what we consume. And its acceptable to developed world standards in the US and Europe.

                  "The underlying concern, of course, being that meat production in the US doesn't meet EU food safety standards"

                  Because the French farmers would be up in arms. They would be the next riot in France. We cant have choice because the French cant compete.

                  "Concerns don't start and end with chicken."

                  Chase the next goalpost.

                  "It is the press who have dumbed this down to "chlorinated chicken", as you no doubt well know."

                  Yes. It was very easy to rally remainers around something so wrong and misinformed which is why the goalposts moved once the dumbed down version was not only defused as an issue but shown to be hypocrisy.

                  "But not one of those nasty foreign ones, like Bourbons or Nice Biscuits, or $deity forbid, Garibaldis, obviously."

                  Why? Are you racist or just have a passion for UK biscuits? Your entire comment is centred around being against foreign meat and now you try to claim I have a problem with foreign sourced food? Are you an idiot?

                  "Ironically, the far-right have long perfected the art of accusing their opponent of doing exactly what they do themselves"

                  Its also known as a skill of the far left but hang on, what is this to do with chicken? Bring back the goalposts.

        3. Mongrel

          Re: It's obvious....

          Getting out of CAP but then we have to accept Chloronation Chicken?

          Door's already opened wide on that one.

          https://www.foodmanufacture.co.uk/Article/2020/05/13/Agriculture-Bill-MPs-don-t-back-import-standards-call

        4. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: It's obvious....

          No one has yet to convince me it is anything but stupid.

          Nobody has to convince you. You lost the referendum. Then you lost the next 5 votes and elections. It's not our job to convince you, but it is your job to accept that you have lost. Leavers have been extraordinarily patient with bitter remainers to date but that patience is running out.

          And, no, to answer your questions I won't make a killing when the economy crashes, which is and will be because of Covid, not Brexit, but I will make a killing when it recovers. To benefit all you have to do is buy and hold some good quality shares. Or, you know, don't and just continue moaning about it from the sidelines.

          No, I don't have money abroad or any of that stuff. I'd far rather eat chicken from an abattoir that has been cleaned with chlorine than beef from France where the cows get fed on their own entrails and shit. But hey, you go eat whatever you like. You'll still be able to order chicken from the EU, it's just going to cost you more to do it.

          Nobody has ever been able to convince me that staying in the EU was anything but subservient fiscally illiterate idiocy. Fortunately, nobody has to now, because we're out, and as of Jan 1st 2021, free. It does make you wonder though doesn't it, why if the EU were such a good thing, remainers spent their entire campaign lying about the economic benefits when that case was self evidently marginal at best - very very quiet on social benefits.

          We can't afford an extension because we'd have to give them about 300 billion further investment into their bailout fund from which we'd derive less than zero possible benefits, at a time when their bank is telling us it's going to take them decades to pay back a tenth of that sum it already owes.

          No, the EU had a chance to listen, to Cameron's frankly trivial requests, and instead they chose to flush themselves down the toilet of history. Oh well, no loss really.

      2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

        Re: It's obvious....

        "Pathetic excuse"?

        Have you been living under a rock? You must want a hard brexit, because no way any negotiations will be successful during this pandemic...

        Forget the little-englander delusions - the EU has more important things to deal with at the moment.

        So, whilst in shock from the virus, you think you the country can cope with more shortages of food, companies leaving, gridlock at cusroms etc.etc. ?

        If you're planning on shorting the country to make money, that's disgusting - however there is no other rational explanation for that view.

        1. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: It's obvious....

          You must want a hard brexit

          You'll find the economically correct way to look at it is a clean break. Yes, that is what most of the country want, such that we can move forward.

          Remainers have had plenty of chances to vote for a soft brexit since the referendum, but rejected every effort at compromise, so you have brought us here. You. The little Europhiles. There's a whole world out there to trade and work with beyond this little historic backwater that is globally less relevant by the minute.

          It's not because most of the rest of the world aren't white, that you're so scared of working with them, is it? Racism is tiring at the best of times.

          Lets just get out. If the EU want a deal we offer them a fair deal and then leave it on the table when we walk away. They'll be back soon enough, once WTO terms apply, and be begging to sign it, because in reality, they have no economic choice. They need us far more than we need them. T'was ever thus and thus it will ever be.

        2. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: It's obvious....

          @Jamie Jones

          "You must want a hard brexit"

          Yes, that is what I voted for and what I want. I am not sure how anyone is still confused at the idea of leaving the EU, it means leaving the EU.

          "because no way any negotiations will be successful during this pandemic..." and "Forget the little-englander delusions"

          Hard brexit requires no delusion. The negotiations have been going great, the EU is unwilling to negotiate until the last second and we are sick of it and just gonna leave. Its great. Through incompetence and stupidity on both sides throughout the whole process we are now more likely to hard brexit because the EU aint great leaders and our gov is backed into the corner by continued public voting to leave the EU.

          "So, whilst in shock from the virus, you think you the country can cope with more shortages of food, companies leaving, gridlock at cusroms"

          You seem confused, why is there a shortage of food? The virus hit and the supermarkets adapted really quickly (much faster than the NHS). The EU order of equipment we didnt join in with is about ready to be delivered in 3 - 14 days. The world isnt out of food. The markets aint out of food. As far as I am aware the EU isnt out of food unless that is your claim?

          "If you're planning on shorting the country to make money, that's disgusting - however there is no other rational explanation for that view."

          So you assume thats my reason and condemn me for it? Idiot. No I am not shorting anything. And if you are unable to see any rational explanation to my view of wanting to leave the EU after leaving it has already been extended multiple times for pathetic excuses, that is not my deficiency. Using this virus as the latest pathetic excuse is just scaremongering or being a victim of scaremongering.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: It's obvious....

      In coronavirus, Boris has the perfect excuse to delay brexit.

      That's the part Remainers never seem to grasp though isn't it? The country doesn't want another excuse for delaying Brexit, we just want it over and done with. We're tired of the endless excuses, the interminable delays. Just get Brexit done so we can all move on - the very last thing Brexiteers want is to hear any more excuses.

      They just want to avoid the EU tax-loophole fixes, and want to strip workers of their rights (oh, and related, they want to abandon ECHR too)

      The EU doesn't have a single law proposed, drafted, enacted or otherwise that does any such thing as close down tax-loopholes. This I do for a living, and we already have avoidance plans that run years ahead of anything the EU might dream up. Frankly, the EU is powerless when you consider the ability to act globally is well within the reach of even your local coffee shop (mine does).

      Nobody is proposing to strip any worker of any rights. Almost all rights enjoyed by British workers predate in their entirety our membership of the EU. This is a smoke screen, an excuse, and a lie; what it is not is a reason to remain.

      In fact, some of them are planning on using brexit to short british companies, and make lots of money.

      It's almost like you didn't know hedge funds were a thing. They've been making money shorting one thing or another for decades.... presumably you've heard of George Soro, one of your European buddies who cleaned house shorting Sterling and led directly to black wednesday.

      If you want to join them, read the "how to" books by Jacob Rees Moggs father.

      There's much better books than this, but if you really want to learn structured finance then come work in the City and learn it properly - it'll save you losing a fortune and you'll earn decent money too. Long hours mind, with an outcomes based culture.

      And besides, many of them have already bought their own EU citizenship from Cyprus, so they're covered there too.

      The value you seem to ascribe to an individuals membership of the EU is fascinating. 99% of Brits haven't invoked their rights to live in another European nation, so aren't losing a damn thing there. I'm eligible by marriage for European citizenship should I choose to move there, but I really don't foresee any need to go and get it. For most people, free movement in the commonwealth would make far more sense, if such a thing could be agreed.

      I want a free trade deal with the EU as it is in both parties interest. What is not in our interest is what the EU are now offering, having backtracked on their written commitment in the withdrawal declaration, to remain bound to their policies, procedures, and whims. We're an independent and free nation that no longer kneels before Brussels, and they're going to have to wake up to that or trade with us on WTO terms. Only 7% of our pre-Covid economy relies on exports to the EU, so it would hardly be devastating to pay tariffs on that while netting a huge surplus income from applying tariffs on their exports to us, including a EUR denominated financial transactions tax, which would seem them paying us 0.25% of any bonds they want to get away (a tax on their indebtedness).

      I know as a Remainer you are probably still terrified by the prospect of leaving the EU behind us, but the rest of us aren't, we're looking outward beyond our continent to the rest of the world, and forward to the future, rather than staring back at little old Europe. We're not frightened in the least, we're excited and engaged with the wider world.

  4. Just Enough

    Combined

    The information campaigns will be combined. because COVID19 will provide the perfect cover for all Brexit related disasters.

    Things going badly - blame COVID19 regardless.

    Things not going badly - credit Brexit regardless.

    1. Smooth Newt Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Combined

      You can't have two sets of slogans at the same time. That just confuses people. They will have to combine them - e.g.

      Plan for Covid

      Plan for Brexit

      Buy a coffin before the price goes up

      1. Dr_N Silver badge

        Re: Combined

        >They will have to combine them

        Brovid?

        Covexit?

        1. lglethal Silver badge

          Re: Combined

          Covexit? Is that like Covfefe?

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Combined

            Covfefe19?

  5. DJO Silver badge

    And?

    What I don't understand is why is anybody surprised.

    Boris has always been a self-serving incompetent fool, not stupid but nowhere near as clever as he thinks he is and now he's so far out of his depth he needs a life-guard, which is why Cummings won't be sacked.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: And?

      Typical thick persons idea of an intelligent person.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: And?

        Typical thick persons idea of an intelligent person.

        Entertaining as he is, you'll find that definition was first applied to Stephen Fry. Still true now. And still very entertaining.

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: And?

          Stephen Fry may be a thick persons idea of a clever person, but clever people also appreciate him for his wit.

    2. Roger Kynaston Bronze badge

      Re: And?

      I think you overestimate the plummy accented Trumpy junior's intelligence. Whenever he is confronted with proper questions he flounders and falls back on petulance and sulks.

      A few latin phrases don't a genius make. I think that the same goes for his evil side kick who is not a svengali genius either but a lazy ideologue who pads out a paucity of ideas with 20000 bullshit words instead.

      Both of them lack any capacity for true critical thought and to weigh up the evidence before deciding on a course of action.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: And?

        I think "So you can spout out a few words in Latin"

        "But how is your C, or your (name language of choice?"

        Works every time.

        I bet Borris has not written software running businesses and the like!

  6. MJI Silver badge
    Devil

    The Liars from the bus

    The liars from the bus hide in a fridge, hide in a fridge, hide in a fridge.

    The liars from the bus hide in a fridge.

    All day long.

    Well the icon is red there is no bus so car will do.

  7. MJI Silver badge

    And they wonder why we take the piss.

    The amount of Borris worshipping is ridiculous.

    People supporting cummings simply due to leaving EU.

    Dare to suggest incompetence and you get "we won you lost get over it" back.

    Just so they can have their own little brexigasms.

    1. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: And they wonder why we take the piss.

      The amount of Borris worshipping is ridiculous.

      Ooooh Jeremy Corbyn!!!!

      People supporting cummings simply due to leaving EU.

      People support Cummings because he winds up the usual suspects on the far left oh so much and its genuinely funny watching you tie yourself in knots over him.

      The most amazing thing is the complaints about Cummings would all, all have been better leveled at the liar Blairs spin doctor Campbell, but instead he was glorified and put on a pedestal by the left. Amazing what a red rosette will do, no?

      5 million dead Muslim civilians would prefer Cummings over Campbell and you have the nerve to come on here and play politics like this? Clearly you have no shame.

      Just so they can have their own little brexigasms.

      I don't care half as much about Brexit as I do the preservation of our democracy. Referenda must be honored or abolished. There is no middle ground. "Advisory referendum" is an idiots chant.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: And they wonder why we take the piss.

        I don't care half as much about Brexit as I do the preservation of our democracy

        You think it's safe in the hands of a pair of incompetent bumbling fools like Boris and Cummings? Dream on boyo.

        Any more than it's safe in Trumps tiny little paws.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: And they wonder why we take the piss.

          @CrazyOldCatMan

          "You think it's safe in the hands of a pair of incompetent bumbling fools like Boris and Cummings? Dream on boyo."

          Nor in the hands of those varied idiots in the EU

      2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

        Re: And they wonder why we take the piss.

        "Advisory referendum" is an idiots chant.

        Presumably then, the idiots here are the ones who explicitly voted for an advisory referendum in the Enabling Act? (It's there in black-and white in the pre-amble for the bill on Hansard if you don't believe me).

        Or are the idiots the ones who believed Cameron when he said, "whatever you vote for this government will enact"? (I paraphrase, but that was the gist)

        Or perhaps the idiots are the ones in parliament who then failed to stand up and point out this lie?

        Or maybe, just maybe, it's not helpful to your argument to try to win it by calling those who disagree idiots. That's known as an ad hominem argument (as any fule kno) and is a classic logical fallacy.

      3. MJI Silver badge

        Re: And they wonder why we take the piss.

        Usual trick of assuming because someone realises that Borris is a tool that they must be a Corbyn worshipper.

        You do realise that people can decide that both major parties at the last election were useless.

        You also assume I must be a Cambell fan - nope.

        Cummings is also someone with a higher regard of their own abilities than in reality, that garden thing showed up what a bloody tool he is!

  8. Dr. G. Freeman

    I doubt very much the government could run two information campaigns at once.

    Not because they're incompetent (they are)- either by design or just naturally - but rather, the general population.

    We've had, for however long it's been now, the slogan "Stay Home" thrown at us incessantly, and still people of all intellects from World-renown writers (Neil Gaiman),down to the village idiots, and as far down as Prime Ministerial advisers have ignored it- it couldn't have been simpler, even my dog understands it.

    So, going by the lowest common denominator, they'd be throwing too much information out there.

    Executive Summary- people too thick for two bits of information.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Stay at home

      Since a week before to now.

      Supermarket click and collect 4 times FOOD

      Visit another quiet supermarket 3 times FOOD

      Work 3 times on own. SAFE (only me in and only I have touched my desk since early March)

      Chemist 2 times. ESSENTIAL

      Builders C&C 3 times. Stuff left in piles for me to load.

      And yes done C&C and chemists same trip

      Since mid March been in house except for the above, mainly food, rest mix of essential, checking the office and getting building supplies.

      Our biggest risk is son still going into work to set up computers for doctors

  9. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Judging by the anti-sovereignty posts above it seems The Register has succeeded in its move from reality into leftism and storage.

    1. Cederic Silver badge

      I wouldn't fret about it. The media narrative since 2016 just hasn't been remotely connected to the national mood, as the referendum, the 2017 general election, the 2019 european elections and the 2019 general election have all quite superbly demonstrated.

      If The Register keeps accurately reporting tech news then the comments will be dominated by certain viewpoints but the site will remain worth visiting. The intelligent people just withdraw from the debate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Pint

        Debate time is over. It's now all about pointing and laughing as the world burns. Savour the sweet smell of victory and success while enjoying a few pints. I can't chat right now as I need to go "inspect" my bunker.

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        To think, this site used to employ Tim Worstall for economics and the commenters were majority adults. It wasn't that many years ago either.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge
          Meh

          Worst-all was a one trick pony who had the same answer to every question.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Worst-all was a one trick pony who had the same answer to every question."

            "There's no such thing as austerity, you've never had it so good." ?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Good old totally unbiased UKIP Press Officer Tim? He's missed by many. At least the Daily Express is still there to fill the gap.

        3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Is that Tim Worstall the climate change denier, or is there another person who (unfortunately for them) has the same name?

          I wonder if he's doing a nifty line in flat-earthism these days?

    2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

      Yes, there's always been intelligent discussions on The Register, and still are.

      However, it is true that lately a few irrational people post here.

      Fortunately, though, the Register doesn't have the type of people who comment in the Mail and Express (you know, the type to call any factual reports they don't like "leftism" and such like)

      Some of them even think than criticising a government illegally prorogue parliament, or calling out a government run by an unelected citizen who doesn't think the rules apply to him, is somehow "anti-sovereign"

      They are the sort of people who think that England exceptionalism is patriotic, and that cutting all ties to the rest of the continent in the times of a pandemic is somehow sovereign.

      They ignore reports of companies leaving the UK; they brush aside the reports of rich people relocating to the EU.

      Of course, they'all always be right - everytime things go wrong, they'll blame lefties or the EU anyway (whilst not realising that they have just made the case that we're not as strong alone as they keep saying)

      Anyway, if those types ever come here, and there is no Register "ignore" function added, I'll probably end up greasemonkeying up my own, so I can stick to Reg artciles on tech and storage.

      A shame, I like a good debate - my best friend is a brexitter, but when you are facing people who are blindly cultlike in their responses, it's just a waste of time. At least flat-earthers are (unintentionally) amusing.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        They ignore reports of companies leaving the UK; they brush aside the reports of rich people relocating to the EU.

        And yet Nissan just torched the EU to stay in Britain. The lie that "there's no new jobs as a result" misses the point that the car industry has to massively downsize and all the lost jobs are in the EU, which is a massive net gain in employment here.

        The words you're looking for are "Thank You Brexiteers, I Was Wrong."

        Facts man, use facts to form an opinion not just left-wing dogma!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Facts man, use facts to form an opinion not just left-wing dogma!"

          Exactly!

          Paywall, but just to quote a proBrexit source:

          https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/06/03/nissan-warns-sunderland-plant-cant-survive-no-deal-brexit/

          Ooops.

          1. LucreLout Silver badge

            Paywall, but just to quote a proBrexit source:

            https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2020/06/03/nissan-warns-sunderland-plant-cant-survive-no-deal-brexit/

            You're mistaking the PR begging bowl for facts.

            If Nissan had the slightest doubt at all that the Sunderland plant wouldn't survive Brexit then they wouldn't be shuttering their other plants in Europe to move the work here. They would have waited until the end of June to see what happens with an extension, or until September to see if Boris walks away. What they wouldn't do is shutter Spain and have Renault lined up to shutter France. Renault. France.

            Sorry, but you're going to need to think this through a lot better before posting your Britain hating little europhile nonsense here. Its not some guardian style marxist echo chamber just yet. Try having a little faith in our great country instead of being so keen, so hopeful, to see us fail.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              "Sorry, but you're going to need to think this through a lot better before posting your Britain hating little europhile"

              I'm past caring to be frank. As long as we can clap something it'll all turn out great.

              And if it doesn't we'll just find excuses and blame others. It's what England is good at.

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                It's what England is good at.

                Standing up for ourselves, overcoming obstacles and challenges, invention, world beating execution and delivery, and winning. That, you will find when you look, is what England is good at.

                1. Dan 55 Silver badge

                  "If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through."

                  1. sed gawk Silver badge

                    Impervious to evidence with my cloak of credulity

                    It's really a super power.

                    I with my daughter once watched someone, attempt and fail the same task, nailing two bits of wood together, repeatedly in exactly the same manner for nearly five minutes. (I am not Mr DIY by any stretch of the imagination, I hasten to add)

                    I nearly wet myself. It didn't work when attempted initially, nor then nth time, so why the n+1th time would be the charm, I couldn't understand.

                    But the sheer ability to disregard that inconvenient truth by dint of will both tickled my funny bone, and somewhat frightened me. This person is impervious to reason and wielding a hammer..

                2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Standing up for ourselves

                  Massacring the natives, looting a third of the world to keep ourselves afloat. Yeah, glorious..

                  world beating execution and delivery

                  You obviously don't work in IT or the public sector.

                  1. LucreLout Silver badge

                    Massacring the natives, looting a third of the world to keep ourselves afloat. Yeah, glorious..

                    Abolition of slavery, trouncing the socialists in 2 world wars to the great benefit of the rest of the world and at heavy cost to ourselves.

                    You obviously don't work in IT or the public sector.

                    IT yes, public sector no. I tried it once and it was unbearably awful, so I left.

                    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                      Abolition of slavery, trouncing the socialists in 2 world wars to the great benefit of the rest of the world and at heavy cost to ourselves.

                      For those who study history, those who successfully campaigned for an end to slavery in this country sat decidedly to the left of the political spectrum (The Whig party). You know, those socialists you (falsely) criticise in the very same sentence.

                      It's worth noting as well, that those we were fighting in the first world war were not socialists (and it was in large part a socialist rebellion within Germany that brought them defeat), and in the second world war, the National Socialist Party were not socialists, using the word in their party name in much the same way that the D in DPRK stands for Democratic. This is not in any way a disputed fact. We were also not the only combatants fighting the Nazis in WW2, and their defeat was arguably more down to the Soviet forces, people who originally actually did practise a form of socialism, but by that point had been mutated into Stalinism. Let us also not forget the millions of people from continental Europe who fought against fascism, and paid with their lives, after British forces were routed and sent packing at Dunkirk.

                      Basically, your historical revisionism displays not only your own ignorance, but a stunning lack of respect for those people who fought and died in those wars. You should be ashamed.

                      1. Anonymous Coward
                        Anonymous Coward

                        "and in the second world war, the National Socialist Party were not socialists, "

                        Unfortunately this is all part of the new Extreme Right's gaslighting campaign to hoodwink people into believing that genocidal rightwing fascists were actually libcuc snowflakes. It would be laughably pathetic, but sadly it has started to gain traction with the credulous brexit voting, let's-go-for-a-drive-eyetest, 5G-spreads-corona-virus British public.

                3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

                  You spelled Scotland wrong.

            2. Dan 55 Silver badge

              Nissan wants to wind down the whole of their European operations, the only question is will they wind down Sunderland last or will they wind down France last. As Brexit is supposedly next year we will find out fairly soon.

              1. MJI Silver badge

                Nissan

                Rebadged Renaults now.

                But French buy French branded cars.

                UK market is Nissans biggest CURRENTLY.

                But I expect Sunderland to downgrade by 2025, possibly close.

            3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              posting your Britain hating little europhile nonsense

              Y'know, it's not an either/or situation - which doubtless you would realise if you applied your surely-gigantic ego^w brain to the problem.

              Y'see, there are those of us who appreciate both things. And don't buy into the fascist pap that UKIP and others have sold to a largely-credulous electorate..

              1. LucreLout Silver badge

                Y'see, there are those of us who appreciate both things. And don't buy into the fascist pap that UKIP and others have sold to a largely-credulous electorate..

                Yawn. Go on then, pretend for a second the referendum hasn't happened.

                Put economics aside because you lost every one of those arguments and it was transparently obvious you were going to from day 1. I'll let you put aside the immediate dismantling of Shengen at the first sign of trouble, and I'll let you overlook the total sacrifice made of Italy during Covid, and I'll even let you put aside their wholly disgusting treatment of our country since the vote, because they hadn't happened yet.

                Convince me to want to stay in the EU. What possible value do you think you derive from membership of it?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          And yet Nissan just torched the EU to stay in Britain

          This is the same Nissan that said "without a tarriff-free EU deal, the future of the Sunderland plant is highly in doubt"?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    why dont people think ?

    An interesting paper to cheer us all up...

    "On the Perpetuation of Ignorance: System Dependence, System Justification, and the Motivated Avoidance of Sociopolitical Information"

    https://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-102-2-264.pdf

  11. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    Didn't that happen already?

    I think that many of the people who voted to leave the EU (they understood "leave" but that was about it) were satisfied with the situation on 1st February and the last thing they want a campaign about is Brexit. If only there was some way to get an extension to the temporary arrangement without the humiliation of having to ask for one.

    At some point the money will run out. The Bank of England has already started monetising government debt, so far with no apparent risk. Though anyone who thinks this is sustainable might want to review British finanances in the 1970s.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Didn't that happen already?

      If only there was some way to get an extension to the temporary arrangement without the humiliation of having to ask for one.

      If only there was a way to have Brexit without any Brexit?

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Didn't that happen already?

      @Charlie Clark

      "At some point the money will run out. The Bank of England has already started monetising government debt, so far with no apparent risk."

      Its damning isnt it? Doom for the country? Go on please tell me how bad it is and in painful detail!

      The reason..... the EU is in this exact argument with Germany and Germany has determined the money has run out! Germany's courts have decided they are not willing to allow Germany to pay to keep the Euro currency alive!

      I am no fan of the governments spending habits (I hoped we had got rid of new labour big gov) but the EU is further along that path than we are. And if we remember the UK bounced out of the global recession but the EZ stewed in it and never really recovered.

      Now this brings us to the interesting question of what got us out of the 1970's situation.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: Didn't that happen already?

        The EC?

        1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

          Re: Didn't that happen already?

          Funny but no. Thatcher is the answer you're looking for.

          1. Dan 55 Silver badge

            Re: Didn't that happen already?

            Indeed.

            Our national failure to make the most of the opportunities when we joined the Community was part of a much more general failure.

            In those days, Britain was in the forefront of those resisting change, in fighting to preserve the barriers.

            Some in Britain still see it that way, but they are getting fewer and fewer.

            But then they managed to convince 37% of the voting population that all their ills could be blamed on the EU. Oh well, let's rejoice as the barriers go up again.

            1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

              Re: Didn't that happen already?

              That 37% is convinced that what needed to be done has been done: we've already left, haven't we? It's going to make it more difficult for the government in the future, once the pandemic recedes.

          2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: Didn't that happen already?

            To be honest, most of the budgetary work had already been done by Wilson and Callaghan as a result of the IMF bailout. Labour reform was inevitable, but Callaghan was unable to convince the unions to work constructively despite warning them, that Thatcher – with the drooling Keith Joseph in the background – would impose far more restrictive changes. Which is exactly what happened. Maggie financed tax cuts through a mix of buoyant revenues from ther North Sea and privatisation, but the deficit was growing when she left.

      2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Didn't that happen already?

        Germany's courts have decided they are not willing to allow Germany to pay to keep the Euro currency alive!

        That's not what the German constitutional court decided at all: it said the ECB had to demonstrate that the bond-buying was proportionate. In the meantime the German government has provided around 10 % GDP as fiscal stimulus, which, because of recent budget surpluses, it's in a position to do. The UK may well find it difficult to finance similar measures.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: Didn't that happen already?

          @Charlie Clark

          to buy proportionately the ECB needs to buy German sovereign bonds and Germany therefore controls the supply-

          https://www.continentaltelegraph.com/2020/05/germanys-constitutional-court-puts-the-boot-into-the-euro/

          I dont like the UK blasting the cash but we are still in a better place than the Eurozone because we control our currency.

  12. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "The government [...] spaffed £46m on an ineffective "Get Ready For Brexit" campaign"

    Primarily ineffective because it explained nothing. A list of "things you should consider" is not sufficient guidance. Businesses have never been told so far with the pros, cons and implications will be of the various alternative courses of action.

  13. Conkers

    Get Covid Cured!

    I am surprised no 3 word slogan such as "Get Covid Cured" has been created by our super duo in Downing Street to hide the Corona Virus disaster we are currently experiencing (OK, only 61K extra deaths so far this year). The UK's success in managing the Covid crisis, if only partially replicated with the Brexit negotiations, would produce another world beating disaster that this little island can be proud of.

    The title includes the words "capable", "managing" and "info" - these words describe activities and actions not really understood by the UK Government currently.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All you brexiters, be assured Boris, reece Mogg etc will be OK ...Oh, you, the poor working person, ...Oh screw you no JSA after 2 years, housing benefit stops then, cant pay council rent or pay the mortgage, Boris and his cronies will be OK they have paid for thier houses and will be OK. Oh, you, well as they say screw you. I may also add we are OK also, we, like other of the more intelligent that saw the bankrupt UK sorry splitting up of the UK and got out . It is going to be very serious for England as Scotland will almost certainly leave the UK and push for remaining or rather rejoining the EU and her economics will improve, but England. Suggest that you move rapidly you have about 5 months!

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