back to article Dido 'Queen of Carnage' Harding to lead UK's Institute for Health Protection because Test and Trace went so well

Baroness Dido Harding, head of the UK's COVID-19 Test and Trace organisation and former CEO of TalkTalk, is set to lead the National Institute for Health Protection, the agency being created by the government to replace Public Health England. The appointment appears to be a ringing endorsement of Harding's track record leading …

  1. sanmigueelbeer

    What else could go wrong, right?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge


      Her husband just happens to be an MP and had called for the NHS to be replaced by insurance, and for PHE to be scrapped. Stage 1 complete?

      Not entirely sure what Penrose's new NHS would be given it's already (part) funded by National Insurance. Somehow, I suspect it'd be modelled on the US system, with many of the same players. And of course problems..

      1. Youngone Silver badge

        Re: well..

        There are no problems with the US health system.

        If you get sick, your insurance company takes all of your money. It's a simple system and easy to understand.

        Oh, don't get sick twice.

        1. Slef

          Re: well..

          You forgot to add in lose your house (biggest cause of homelessness in the states is peeps houses being repossessed to pay for medical bills!)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: well..

        @Jellied Eel

        You haven't a clue have you. National insurance was merged about 12 years ago with income tax by Gordon Brown.The national insurance name is only kept because if it was all bracketed under "income tax"??? Imagine the problems if the true income tax percentage was revealed. Bet you still think "road tax" is a thing for roads…

        Cheers… Ishy

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: well..

          Yes, Vehicle Excise Duty aka "road tax" does pay directly for roads since April:

          RIS 2 began operating on 1 April 2020 and will run until 31 March 2025. It is funded directly from motoring taxes – Vehicle Excise Duty – via a roads fund. The RIS 2 budget is £27.4 billion. RIS 2 was published alongside the 2020 Budget, which highlighted three schemes that are part of RIS 2: dualling the A66 Trans-Pennine route, upgrading the A46 Newark bypass, and building the Lower Thames Crossing. HE has also been asked to make £2.3 billion of additional savings on operating and capital expenditure during RIS 2.

          1. rcw88

            Re: well..

            Except in Scotland where it pays for free university education, except for the English.

        2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: well..

          Imagine the problems if the true income tax percentage was revealed. Bet you still think "road tax" is a thing for roads…

          Nope, but I do think VAT is to pay for the government adding value to the things we buy. Or perhaps I should have added a /sarc tag. Perception is we already fund the NHS via an insurance premium... So if the NHS were changed to a US-style 'private' insurance model, do you think the government would scrap NI(C)s so we could pay insurers instead?

      3. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: well..

        and for PHE to be scrapped. Stage 1 complete?

        It's the usual Whitehall bait and switch. What was left out of the announcement was that the very people at PHE who messed up the Covid response (doubtless spurred on by the utter lack of comprehension, resources and assistance provided by Whitehall) were slid sideways into the new agency..

        So the names have changed but the people in charge are the same. And I doubt very much that Whitehall will let them off the leash to actually, you know, do something effective..

    2. Flywheel

      She could appoint Chris Grayling as Head of Strategy, or maybe Purchasing.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge


        I fear that Mr Grayling will shortly take over from the current runaway success at Education that is Gavin Williamson...

        after all he has the complete confidence of the currently holidaying in Scotland PM ...

        <End sarcasm alert>

        <Umm, do I come across as a bit cynical?>

        1. Slef

          "after all he has the complete confidence of the currently holidaying in Scotland PM" Is Dominic North of the Border?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      From Putin's perspective, everything is going along spiffingly.

      1. Hollerithevo

        Why bring in Putin?

        I would have said the sharks that swim int he Tory pond, and who are already enriching themselves with no-bid contracts, and who have many warm ties with financial interests in the USA, who want nothing better than the door held open for them (for a small fee) in order to ransack the UK. Although I suspect that the Tory sharks will end up being eaten, as compared to a corrupt and greedy Tory, American 'business leaders' are megalodons.

        1. Gordon 10

          Re: Why bring in Putin?

          Just as many warm ties with Russian oligarchs these days... just sayin'

        2. Oldgroaner

          Re: Why bring in Putin?

          Harding - Jockey Club - Paterson - Randox. Join the dots.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Who thumbs this down? Own up and explain yourself please.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        More like they're following his script.

    4. macjules

      Ave! Duci Novo, similis duci seneca!

      1. Mooseman Silver badge

        Nos mos non adepto fraudatur iterum ?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It also works if you remove the extra words...

      What could go right?

      This is the sort of person that cynical people (who are themselves miserable failures) put in charge of a sinking ship. So they don't have to be seen on it as it sinks. No experience in healthcare or science but a long record of tending dumpster fires isn't a safe, reasonable, or responsible choice.

      I wish we could offer you all an avenue of escape, but between brexit and the US administration, you are looking at tough times unless you can sneak into Canada.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Or maybe I'm getting her confused with Fido Dido

        > This is the sort of person that cynical people [..] put in charge of a sinking ship

        Hardly surprising; Dido is already on record as having promised...

        "I will go down with this ship

        And I won't put my hands up and surrender

        There will be no white flag above my door

        I'm in-competent and always will be."

        1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: Or maybe I'm getting her confused with Fido Dido

          Dido Armstrong has talent.

          Dido Harding has friends in Government.

  2. nsld

    Failing upwards

    Was ever thus it seems........

    Local Authority public health teams have done a far better job than the outsourced Tory backers on test and trace, primarily because they have extensive experience and local knowledge.

    Harding's husband believes the NHS should be insurance based and not for the masses so inserting a completely unqualified amateur with no recruitment process is not unsurprising in Cummings brave new world.

    1. First Light

      Re: Failing upwards

      The usual way a government to privatizes a previously public service is to run it into the ground and then act as if they have no option but to sell it off.

      1. ToddRundgrensUtopia

        Re: Failing upwards

        So you think the NHS is a well run, value for money, entity

        1. martinusher Silver badge

          Re: Failing upwards

          >So you think the NHS is a well run, value for money, entity

          It used to be one of the most efficient health systems in the world. That's before governments started trying to improve things.

          You've got to think long term. You can't get rid of the NHS overnight; you degrade it, wait a generation or so for people to forget what it was really like and to get more or less used to the new system.

          As someone who's spent half their life suffering under the 'old' NHS and the other half in the warm embrace of the US health system I'd strongly recommend you to look after even the somewhat dysfuctional setup you've got at the moment. I have a pretty good idea what the government's got in store for the NHS based on the various types of health insurance avaialabe in the US -- if you know the jargon it'll be a low rent HMO for the poor and unprofitable and variosu PPOs for the better off. Expect to pay a lot more for health care, as well as existing taxes -- you're blissfully unaware of terms like 'deductable', 'co-payment', 'annual cap' and I recommend staying that way.

          1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

            Re: Failing upwards

            >It used to be one of the most efficient health systems in the world.

            Can you substantiate that with actual (reliable) data?

            Preferably, data from comparable countries (i.e. compared against efficiency / performance of other Western European countries), since I suspect that it was and remains better than most of the health services in 'less developed' nations.

            Also, in what year did it stop being "one of the most efficient"? Again, what metric are you using to make that claim?

            1. EnviableOne

              Re: Failing upwards

              changes happend in about 2014 when the grand plan of Andrew lansley's Health and social care act came into force.

              The NHS as a whole was breaking even, and evn had reserves to deal with a crisis. Once the HSCA kicked in the entire system fragmented, costs went up and outcomes went down.

              1. EvilDrSmith Silver badge

                Re: Failing upwards

                Which may be true, but is a description of changes in the NHS's performance with time.

                It says nothing about the relative performance of the NHS to the rest of the world.

                Or are you claiming that prior to 2014, the NHS was one of the most efficient health services in the world?

                In which case, my original question still stands - do you have the data to back that up?

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Failing upwards

                  This may be the nearest thing you'll get in terms of comparison:

                  Depends what criteria you are looking at: The UK does pretty well here in terms of criteria like efficiency, equity and access, less so for clinical outcomes (still ahead of the US). This is based on 2014, 15, 16 data without longitudinal comparisons (other than spend as % of GDP up to 2014) but does provide some insights on the "efficiency" question.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failing upwards

      PHE is being scrapped in favour of more local support for these types of things.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Failing upwards

      Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons by throwing money at the private sector to start from scratch rather than doing the right and obvious thing in the situation - namely to scale up the existing public sector departments who have years of experience doing exactly what was needed?

      1. Jedit Silver badge

        "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

        No, for two reasons. First, they aren't gambling; they know people are going to die because of their actions. And second, it's not for ideology, not any more. They're just out to get rich. There is not one of them who, if told that they could have a million pounds or save a million lives, would not choose the money.

        1. Cederic Silver badge

          Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

          You'd prefer the millionaire Sir Keir Starmer running things? Or perhaps the less ambitious version of the BNP, the SNP? I won't insult you by suggesting you'd want the Lib Dems involved.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

            You mean the ex-Director of Public Prosecutions and the ex-Head of Crown Prosecution Service, surely? Someone who might actually hold a government to be accountable, rather than lining their nest with friends?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

            You mean as opposed to "The Millionaire Boris Johnson" or "The Millionaire Dido Harding"...

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

            Starmer is a true self made millionaire who was a product of our once great public education system. His skill and ability as a barrister allowed him to climb the ladder. His parents were a nurse and a toolmaker, neither of which will make you rich. I'm not even a labour supporter and I would prefer him to be in charge, what has the world come to?

            1. Cederic Silver badge

              Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

              You'll have to forgive me if I have a particular dislike for a DPP that chose not to prosecute child rape gangs for fear of offending them.

              1. Weylin

                Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

                That is quite simply untrue.

                1. Cederic Silver badge

                  Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

                  Remind me again, who was DPP when a CPS lawyer chose not to prosecute two of the men eventually found guilty of child rape in Rochdale?

                  Although I agree that he certainly wasn't trying to protect the men because of their gender; he initiated the grotesque change in approach that led to a quarter of rape convictions being declared a likely miscarriage of justice.

                  Perhaps you feel that's all in the past and that we should judge him by his actions and policies. Sadly all he ever tells us about those is what he'd have done three months ago, never what he'd do now let alone his plans for the future.

                  But then, this is the clown that knelt in obeisance to the baying mob in support of marxist racism. No, I'm not a fan of the millionaire Sir Keir Starmer.

                  1. Mooseman Silver badge

                    Re: "Are you suggesting the Tories gambled with our lives for ideological reasons "

                    "marxist racism"? What *are* you on about?

    4. macjules

      Re: Failing upwards

      Yeah, strange that: her husband for years has been calling for an end to PHE. Then all of a sudden his missus gets a top job in the NHS and look what happens.

  3. DenonDJ DN-2500F

    Yet more Tory cronyism. Contract your mates to do a job ( badly) Appoint the least qualified with no recruitment process. Give those who have fscked up the most a job at the top table. Seat in the Lords - yours for a bung. The list of Tories and their corrupt, sycophantic or idiotic pals who will be first against the wall when the revolution comes is now getting so long we'll need some sort of algorithm to sort it out

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think Ofqual might have an algorithm or two going spare ...

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge

        Depends if they get shut down over A-Levels before PHE does over Coronavirus.

        No need for any investigation once you've blamed an arm's length body for your own failiures and shut it down, you see.

        1. teknopaul

          Worked with the WHO, Mr T hopes.

    2. ridley

      And a mobius strip for a wall

    3. DavCrav

      "Seat in the Lords - yours for a bung."

      That's utterly ridiculous. You don't need to give a donation to the Tory party to get a lordship. You could also ermploy BoJo on a juicy contract, or pay for his holidays, or be related to him.

      1. DavCrav

        "1 thumb down"

        Hi Boris.

        I was not making those up. The new honours list includes Charles Moore (who employed BoJo) Michael Spencer (who gave £2m to the Tories), Jo Johnson (BJ's brother) and Evgeny Lebedev (paid for BJ's holidays in Italy).

        1. NeilPost

          ... and Labour Brexit loon Kate Hoey.

    4. TireIron


      Doesn't matter which political party is in power, cronyism happens. Its what happens when you have top decision makers who don't have a clue so reach out to their mates who they believe may have a better idea of whats going on than they do.

      Trouble is their mates don't always have any better idea of a situation either...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Cronyism

        The small difference being that under old skool labour, none of the politicians had mates in business they could give contracts to. Not many union leaders desperate to get their software consultancy sideline a juicy government contract.

        Still plenty of cronyism, not denying that but probably less harmful than BJ's brand.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Am I the only one

    That thinks "Dildo" whenever I hear her name?

    1. Stumpy

      Re: Am I the only one

      Who? You mean Dildo Hardon?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. LeahroyNake

        Re: Am I the only one

        Dildo Harness so she can been you over, obviously.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Am I the only one

      Yes, but quite different.

      A dildo will satisfy (at least) one person. A Dido is totally unsatisfactory.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Am I the only one

        A dildo will satisfy (at least) one person.

        But at the same time, someone and/or something is going to end up getting totally fucked ...

    3. Tom 7

      Re: Am I the only one

      Cho! Its spelt Dee Eye Dee Zero.

    4. monty75

      Re: Am I the only one

      She does seem to be popular with c**ts

    5. LeahroyNake

      Re: Am I the only one

      She does seem good at fuc£ing things up.

  5. tiggity Silver badge

    Talk Talk carrying on Dido tradition

    Total loss of service for a lot of Talk Talk business (not residential) customers today, been going on for about 8 hours so far

    1. AxelF

      Re: Talk Talk carrying on Dido tradition

      Anything to do with the Gamma outage here:

      One of our sites has had it's primary link down since 0430 this morning.

      1. 6491wm

        Re: Talk Talk carrying on Dido tradition

        That would be Equinix at LD8 having problems

  6. seven of five


    I do get the impression your government wants to see you dead.

    1. ciaran

      Re: Hmmmm.

      The dead don't vote. I suspect that fact has occurred to Trump - no point counting the number of dead if they won't vote for him.

      Nah, maybe that's too subtle for him.

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: Hmmmm.

        "The dead don't vote."

        They do in Chicago. And Baltimore. And Kansas City. As long as they were white when alive, that is.

        For those who doubt, look up Mayor Daley in Chicago (there were two of them; one got helped LBJ out steal Tricky Dick Nixon and get JFK elected; the Trickster couldn't, quite, overcome Landslide Lyndon an Boss Daley at the same time) and how Truman got elected to Congress, before he was picked as FDR's VP, and how Nancy Pelosi's father got to be the God-King of Baltimore.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Hmmmm.

          I believe that Obama was well in with the Chicago set too?

          1. WolfFan

            Re: Hmmmm.

            Pish. The Chicago Machine is a shadow of its former glory, and has been since Calamity Jane Byrne rode a snowplow into glory. (Look up ‘snowplow’ and ‘Jane Byrne’, there’s pictures of her literally riding the damn thing...) That’s 40 years ago, now. A _woman_ as mayor... Worse, ‘ethnics’ with lots of consonants and funny letters in their names, holding actual political power. Even worse, an actual black or two or more in power... Boss Daley is still rotating in his grave.

      2. Tom 7

        Re: Hmmmm.

        You are a assuming there will be another free election. I somehow feel with the electoral services privatised the chances of a fair election are long gone,

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Hmmmm.

          On the basis that in the USA Gerrymandering is perfectly legal in most states, I would have thought there has yet to be a genuinely fair election in the USA. Of course, the UK has a (ig)noble tradition of rotten boroughs, a Police Force created to protect private wealth from the unlanded masses, and a privilege system that allows a rich public schoolboy whose belief is that the first job of a politician is to be noticed gets to be Prime Minister.

  7. TKW

    Has DH taken Arcuri's place? I can think of literally no other reason why she is in charge.

    1. Fred Dibnah

      She's in pole position for the job.

    2. monty75

      Arcuri. Now there’s a name I’ve not heard in a long time. Wasn’t there supposed to be an inquiry? Maybe Dido can run that too

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Take a look over the pond

    This is Florida, the blue line is testing and the red line is daily cases.

    They've cut testing to make the case numbers look lower. If you test less, you get fewer positives, says Trump, and Florida is doing exactly that.

    The change corresponds with the switch from CDC receiving the States data to the HHS receiving the data. Presumably they didn't want Fauci pointing out that they were cutting testing to bring the numbers down. Their deception intentionally kills people, infected people go undetected and spread the virus killing others. That's Ron DeSantis killing those people, but its not just a single Republican. It's an organized strategy.

    It's not just Florida, its all the way through Republican states:

    Utah, Republican, again see the correlation

    Mississippi, Republican, see the correlation:

    Texas Republican, see the correlation:

    Ohio Republican, see the correlation:

    Vermont, Democrat for comparison. In Vermont they *increase* the testing even as the cases fall.

    This is why the apparent fall in daily cases was dramatically more in red states than blue states. It's not real, its a Republican political dirty trick. Who cares if Red state voters die, as long as the numbers look better in red states! They think.

    The 'Wave 2' USA peak is a fake, it's still rising. Let's suppose that the peak was actually real, at 70,000 cases a day, it would be approximately 2x the wave 1 peak. There were 140,000 deaths from Wave 1, which implies 280,000 deaths minimum from wave 2. i.e. a total of 420,000 deaths, but it will be more, because they're hiding the infections.

    So what about the dead? With all the bodies piling up, how will they hide the dead?

    Well Florida again, they're undercounting Covid 19 deaths and classifying them as Pneumonia, heart attack or other symptom.

    The current outcomes for Corona virus are 6% dead and 5.6 million cases.

    If you let them intentionally spread it, through schools to families, spread it through churches to worshippers, spread it through stadiums to sports fans, then you can potentially infect 50 or 100 million Americans, 3 million to 6 million dead Americans.

    So turn off Fox News, and its quacks, and liars and anti-vaxxers, unsubscribe from your Russian propaganda Facebook Karen groups, wear your masks, sanitize your hands, and hope these Republicans don't try to profiteer from the vaccine.

    1. Hollerithevo

      Re: Take a look over the pond

      Republicans not profiteering from th vaccine? You say that at the end? Did you not just now live through your own post?

    2. PTW

      Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

      Once again, COVID-19 MASSIVELY and disproportional affects the over 60s, er, you know, the vast majority of Republican voters! So of course it's just the thing Republicans would want to introduce/not suppress.

      And once again, children are unaffected and have been proven to NOT transmit the virus to members of the same household.

      Christ on a ruddy bike, it really isn't rocket science.

      1. PTW

        Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

        Down vote away, cos the facts are obviously so very different in the US, and it's really killing children there. I'm reminded of another post somewhere here on el reg, paraphrasing, "imagine how stupid the average person is, now remember, half the population are more stupid then them"

        1. Spacedinvader

          Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

          Immortal words of George Carlin

        2. DJV Silver badge

          stupid then them


        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

          You said that children are unaffected, and don't pass on the virus to others.

          Both those comments are dangerously and provably untrue.

          To then get all triggered because of downvotes, and blaming it on your other comment that the "old are affected more" - which no-one disputed, and that "children die less" - which your original post never even mentioned, is a blatant strawman.

          Yes, indeed, you've reminded us that 50% of people are stupider than average... And it wasn't by actually mentioning it that you did that!

      2. Fogcat

        Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

        "children are unaffected and have been proven to NOT transmit the virus to members of the same household."

        I can't find any PROOF of that, the most generous statements I can find are that there's just not enough evidence yet.

        1. stiine Silver badge

          Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

          You don't know any teachers, do you.

        2. RM Myers

          Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

          Actually, the not enough evidence statement seems to be the current consensus. According to a recent news article on the Science magazine website, there are conflicting results from small studies, and more definitive studies are still in progress. They know children can transmit SAR-COV-2, but whether it is common enough to be significant in the spread of COVID-19 is uncertain.

          Please note that this does NOT mean you should not isolate a child with COVID-19. This is more concerned with the question of the relative significance of the spread by children and whether schools can safely be reopened with appropriate safety measures.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oh! God! It's you again isn't it!?

            90 children in the USA have died of covid. Many had no previous underlying health conditions.

            The numbers are way lower than adults, but they aren't zero.

            They can also pass it on.


    3. John Jennings

      Re: Take a look over the pond

      3 weeks ago, Florida was posting every test from 450 of their testing centres as a positive...

      'a bug in uploading the data', it was claimed..... The actual rate of positive tests are around 5%

      You can still get a test in Florida - fewer people are going for them - the queues have basically disappeared, and most nursing homes are done now. The actual testing centers have not gone away.

      You can twist stats any way you like - but so can anyone. Its not always some Trumpian campaign, and not everything is red or blue (or red or yellow)

      1. Anonymous Coward
      2. DavCrav

        Re: Take a look over the pond

        "You can twist stats any way you like - but so can anyone. Its not always some Trumpian campaign, and not everything is red or blue (or red or yellow)"

        Sorry, but that's likely bollocks. If testing goes down but the percentage of positive tests stays the same, that means there's a large pool of undiagnosed positives lying around. You should expect the percentage of positives to drop faster than tests if the actual incidence of Covid were actually going down.

        1. John Jennings

          Re: Take a look over the pond

          Whoha, Dav- I never said that the R number or inicidents were going down - you are extrapolating more than I said. I said that there was less pressure on testing - nursing homes and queues, and was only referring to Florida.

          Had you followed the link I provided to the Florida News article - the numbers of positives from 450 testing labs reported in Florida (and possibly elsewhere) was 100% rates for several weeks- the fact was that they mis-uploaded the numbers.

          The actual positive rate at the time was approximately 5% positive in the US as a whole - of the tests actually done.

          The actual article was rather about Dame Dido, queen of Chaos - rather than a political anti trumpian thing anyway...

    4. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Take a look over the pond

      Check out Montana from the same site:

      The same number of positive tests from significantly reduced testing.

      But Montana has a Democratic governor, and the number of confirmed cases per day is around 120.

      1. DavCrav

        Re: Take a look over the pond

        "Check out Montana from the same site:"

        I cannot tell whether you are supporting or rejecting the OP. To be clear, if positive cases track tests done very closely, that means there's a large pool of undiagnosed cases.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: Take a look over the pond


          I'm merely pointing out that Montana is an interesting case of a Democratic governor in a state where testing is reducing, and that the situation is more complicated than 'Republican Governors bad, Democratic Governors good'.

          I am personally keen that as many people should get tested as possible, provided they get the results in a reasonable time, to ascertain the actual spread of the virus in the population and to inform the public health response.

          Sorry for any confusion.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't be fooled. P.H.E. is not just about Covid it is the part of the NHS that covers many other preventative measures to keep everyone healthy. Stop smoking services, weight loss, cancer screening etc... This shitty government is just cutting costs by removing it ready for the great privatisation. Private healthcare does not want you to be healthy they want you to spend money on treatment.

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Reminds me of a line in an episode of 'The Big Bang Theory'

      Bernadette: "Today my company both invented and cured a new disease".

    2. Diogenes

      And that is the problem! Like here in Oz, the Chief Medical Officers (phe eqovaents) were focused on lifestyle and, unlike Singapore and Taiwan, had no plans for when an epidemic hit. It is if we hadnt had some close shaves in the last 20 years - SARS, MERS, Ebola, Swine Flu etc etc

  10. Potemkine! Silver badge

    Such a shame

    The older ones here should get this lame joke I guess

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge

      Re: Such a shame

      Oh my foolish friend, the poor dumb dumb girl.

      Icon - Now which pocket did I leave my knitted hat in?

  11. EnviableOne

    Complete Farce

    Just like all the decisions of this Johnson government, and everything since and including Cameron's resignation.

    If this is suposed to rival the german or any other set-up, it needs to be run by emenent Scientists and or public health experts.

    Germany's Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is run by Prof. Dr. Lothar H. Wieler one of the worlds foremost experts on zoonotic diseases (infections that are passed between animals and humans, like SARS-CoV-2) and Prof. Dr. med. Lars Schaade and expert in microbiology and epidemiology

    Korea's CDCP is run by Dr. Jung Eun-kyeong who is qualifed in both preventative medicine and Public Health

    Taiwan;s CDC is run Dr. JIH-HAW CHOU who is qualified in Public health and Epidemiolgy (and also a dentist)

    Danemark's Statens Serum Institut (SSI) is run by a board of highly qualified Scientists and Public Health professionals

    Putting Dame Dido Of CantTalk in charge and expecting similar results is ludacrus

  12. williamsth

    Dido fucking Harding. What a perfect example of success by failure. Shit truly does float to the top.

  13. TrumpSlurp the Troll

    Key plank?

    I couldn't possibly comment.

  14. macjules

    National Institute for Health Protection will be operational from next spring.

    A lot of people could die before then. Wonder if Dido even cares.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: National Institute for Health Protection will be operational from next spring.

      "Typhoid Dido", as she is known elsewhere. No care, no clue.

  15. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    National Institute for Health Propaganda

    I think I'm in with a chance of securing a contract -

    printf("Testing: Lots\n");

    printf("Tracing: Most\n");

    printf("Cases: Some\n");

    printf("Deaths: Almost none\n");

  16. williamsth

    As quoted by

    As quoted by Have I got News for you:

    BREAKING: Test and Trace chief Dido Harding to lead replacement for Public Health England

    UPDATE: Dido Harding can't find her new office


    It's harder to tell apart satirical and real news these days.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As quoted by

      > It's harder to tell apart satirical and real news these days.

      Government's exam results U-turn upgraded to an F-turn

  17. Tilda Rice

    Lancet stopped being "respected" a long time ago. Another Woke entity

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Since you seem to have an amazing ability to see things no-one else can, doesn't that make you the woke entity?

      1. Tilda Rice

        Some notes for you to read. Also, care on deforestation, as there are more trees in the Northern Hemisphere now than 30 years ago. Don't believe everything agenda invoked humans tell you.


        The latest example is The Lancet's decision to publish a review of a theatrical performance called Lungs, which is about climate change. (Why a biomedical journal is publishing theatrical reviews at all is a legitimate question in itself.) The very first paragraph is already full of misinformation:

        "With industrialisation, deforestation, and large-scale agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions have risen to record levels." [Emphasis added]

        No, large-scale agriculture reduces greenhouse gas emissions. (It also uses less water and causes less soil erosion.) While an individual organic farm produces fewer emissions than a conventional farm, organic farms are less efficient. That means more land has to be converted to agriculture, which means that organic causes a net increase in emissions. Here is the conclusion of a recent paper in Nature:

        "Here we assess the consequences for net GHG emissions of a 100% shift to organic food production in England and Wales using life-cycle assessment. We predict major shortfalls in production of most agricultural products against a conventional baseline. Direct GHG emissions are reduced with organic farming, but when increased overseas land use to compensate for shortfalls in domestic supply are factored in, net emissions are greater. [Emphasis added]

        1. Stuart Moore

          Depends what you're comparing the large scale agriculture to. You've chosen to compare to organic farming; you could alternatively compare it to what the land would be doing if it wasn't farmed at all, which is a valid comparison of you're comparing where we are now globally to decades ago.

          Likewise you've carefully chosen the northern hemisphere for your deforestation stat, rather than globally, despite the atmosphere being global... could that be because looking globally doesn't match the outcome you want?

        2. parlei

          There may be more trees, but a huge shortage in forests. And at least around here a seedling counts the same as a mature tree...

  18. Captain Hogwash

    It bears repeating

  19. TheProf

    How Dare You Criticise........

    I expect there'll be a complete vindication of Ms Harding in the feminist press weekend Guardian.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: How Dare You Criticise........

      Not a Graun reader, then.

      Everything I've seen here, I've seen there, plus some wild speculation about what she has on the Bullingdon set from her Oxford days that keeps getting her these cushy posts.

      1. TheProf

        Re: How Dare You Criticise........

        I read the online version and yes, they do a healthy line in criticising the Government. They also have a number of partisan feminist writers who come out to play at the weekend.

        I expect to read several articles about our favourite Baroness (and that's surely a 'sexist' title these days) defending her from the brickbats thrown by males commentators.

        1. Tom 7

          Re: How Dare You Criticise........

          Nope, no-one in the Gruniad has a decent word to say about DidZero. I think most feminists can see through the tories promoting her far beyond her abilities as an anti-feminist act to make women look utterly stupid and incompetent.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  20. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Why do we need a replacement for Public Health England anyway, everything it does is the NHS's remit.

    1. Tom 7

      PHE was introduced by the tories, presumably to provide some form of interference to make life difficult for the NHS only they found some useful things to do,

  21. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    How on earth would you sell off the NHS?

    Tory: Roll up, roll up, buy this nice juicy health service!

    Yank: How much money does it make?

    Tory: Make? It *COSTS* 250 billion a year.

    1. Val Halla

      You can't buy your health.

      But, you can sell it.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Yank: How much money does it make?"

      "Tory: Make? It *COSTS* 250 billion a year."

      No, Tory: It costs the taxpayer 250bn/y, how much do you want?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh. I could get quite tired of "journalists" complaining about how "it's all gone wrong".

    Maybe put some journalists in charge of organising something for a change instead of sitting on their arses all day and let the Politicians do the complaining about it.

    1. Warm Braw

      We have a government of journalists and spouses of journalists: it's precisely because they're only interested in the news agenda of the moment that there is no actual implementation to back up the attention-grabbing headline.

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Well, yes, we do have a cabinet of ex-journalists, but remember, David Cameron was a publicity person, not a journalist, and his premiership went, well, he was successful at, umm ...

        OH! I Know, Gay Marriage :o)

        (I knew he got something right.)

  23. hoola Silver badge


    Everything about this Government, the SPADs (Cummins) and the current batch of utterly spinless MPs is a total disaster for the average person.

    As others have already pointed out this appointment has all the hallmarks of moving to a US based healthcare system, sold to US providers with many in the UK completely left with no affordable healthcare. The NHS may not be perfect but in terms access to care, particularly critical and emergency care it is excellent. All the problems have been caused by political interference and then the PFI debacle.

    The same applies to Ofqual. When you look at who is on the board and particularly the Standards Advisory Group the fiasco of the exams results simply should not have happened.

    There needs to be sackings, not resignations and the entire Standards Group should be sacked for incompetence. Resignations are too good, these people are all highly qualified in the areas of exams, statistics and modelling. The chaos and damaged caused is just too much for them to continue.

    It won's happen and we will be lucky if Williamson goes.

    Again, this has all the hall marks of Cummins "sod them" attitude.

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Grrrrr

      When I 'took' voluntary redundancy two years ago I enquired about maintaining my company health insurance. It seemed that a benefit rated at a mere few hundred pounds a year would cost me about £2k per year to keep.

      I do hope I do not regret deciding to rely on the NHS.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No imagination

    It even has the same name as an American organisation with similar aims.

  25. VulcanV5

    The Truth about Dido Harding

    I am getting seriously tired of all the criticism of Baroness Harding, and especially the utterly unfounded criticism that she knows nothing about healthcare and, at this time of a global pandemic, is as much use as a chocolate ashtray.

    Truth is, Harding studied PPE at Oxford alongside that other NHS loyalist, David Cameron.

    With so strong background, it was absolutely right that Hancock, floundering desperately as he was about the lack of PPE in the NHS, recruited her (at Johnson's bidding) to demonstrate that here, at least, the Government knew what it was doing.

    Bravo Dido, is wot I say. If more people had been as expert in PPE as she was, none of this pandemic would've happened. Well, certainly not in Wigan where I am.

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