Sunday 24 January 2021

Shifting the goalposts


Blog favourite Lewis Goodall has, as ever, been in the thick of the Twitter action today.

It all began with John Stevens of the Daily Mail tweeting (following the Andrew Marr show): 

Hancock: UK has vaccinated more people in past three days than France has in total.

Enter Lewis, stage left:

Lewis Goodall, Newsnight: No doubt the UK is doing well on the vaccines front but long term we probably need to realise that the “World Cup of Vaccines” prism isn’t very helpful. Our biggest neighbour not vaccinating people quickly isn’t just their problem, it’s ours too.

That goes for the whole world. If we can see anything at the moment it’s the danger of variants arising where prevalence is high. Those variants may prove resistant or semi-resistant to vaccines. We’re not truly out of this until the planet is, or at least has it under control.

Moreover we might need to revisit how we’re talking about this and say “given one dose” rather than “vaccinated”. Behavioural scientists I’ve spoken to are concerned that the word “vaccinated” while we’re primarily giving one dose risks giving people a false sense of security.

Here's what happened next - with a special callout to Mr Whelk for spotting a particularly sly move by Lewis:


Iain Lees: Ffs grow up, you whiny little man.


redfeathers: Given the flack they took for not participating in the EU procurement scheme, can't really blame them for comparisons with EU.

Lewis Goodall: Think entirely fair for them to point out NHS is doing very well at rolling out and to praise the Vaccine Task Force which has done a great job. But as I say, long term this isn’t going to be solved through one or even several national roll outs. It’s got to global action.

Billy Whelk: Going well... it’s the NHS wot done it. Going badly it’s Boris personally at fault. Is that how journalism works now? This is very poor analysis.


Jill: Why is it? Can’t you for once acknowledge how well we’re doing. Husband had his jab this morning and hasn’t stopped praising the slickness, speed and competence of the people involved. Take a day off from running our country down there’s a good boy.

LGB: He really is an overpaid activist.


Emma Lercy: True. But can you imagine the storm of criticism from press and public if France was doing so many more jabs than UK?  It’s all pretty unproductive commentary but when the media bang on about “worst this, slowest that”, with little analysis and context, it’s inevitable.


David Woodley: So it is no competition? Why then do you in the MSM keep comparing death rates?

Phil: Very much doubt you will get an answer - really does show the underlying narrative that is being pushed.


And my favourite:

Chris Merchant: From the reporter who last year reveled in the "World Cup of PPE" and the "World Cup of Ventilators" and this year is "helpfully" giving us the "World Cup of Cases" and the "World Cup of Deaths".

Lewis is certainly one for shifting the goalposts, when it suits.

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