144 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Papers

  1. Shayna

    Jesus H, that’s a terrible tragedy in North Cork. I’d have thought it was Na Gardaí’s responsibility to confiscate all the fire-arms, given there was a history of violent dispute within the farm and family? Perhaps they weren’t registered – 2 rifles and a shotgun – a feuding family – a recipe for ultimately disaster. D’fhéadfadh siad scíth a ligean i síocháin.

    1. Junkface

      Really tragic. Fighting over inheritance is such a big problem in Ireland. It can really tear families apart or worse. Too much financial pressure in society and the pace of change in the digital world has made people more miserable with comparing their lives to others.

    1. GiggidyGoo

      But are you saying that it’s over now? Have you defeated the virus? Or will you be locked down again? If you’re going to be locked down again, then it hasn’t worked.

      1. SOQ

        Although while Dr. Sunetra Gupta does not mention Australia, in her interviews she does talk about New Zealand. Her opinion is that the strategy adopted by New Zealand might work because they are so isolated and that they have a very low annual rate of respiratory diseases in the first place.

        I don’t know if there has been any analysis done on the repository infection patterns of either of these countries as it is different for each temperate zone but, given that SARS-Cov-2 follows such patterns in others, the same is likely. And, as Australia is heading into its summer months- infection rates or at least sickness, was bound to be low anyways.

        So the story of SARS-Cov-2 and Australia or New Zealand is far from over and the true picture will only emerge after their next winter months. In the meantime, like elsewhere, the collateral damage is huge, with the likes of news.com.au reporting a 25% increase in suicides alone.

          1. Johnny

            …they both practically Chinese colonies instead British,may as well compare Hong Kong to Ireland.

        1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

          I’m glad you brought up the suicides, every time I do it’s met with stoney silence, a reflection on lack of understanding of mental health issues in this country ? Do we somehow think these people do it to themselves so so what ? Is the collateral damage just that acceptable ?

          1. scottser

            the fact that men don’t talk to each other about suicidal ideation and poor mental health is because they don’t have the tools or skills to do so. once they do, you’ll find that they’ll be more than eager to provide solutions and remedies in exactly the same way if a bunch of lads get together and one of them wants advice on wiring a kitchen or mixing cement.
            picture the 5 lads around a ditch with one lad digging the metaphorical hole of depression. they’ll be all going ‘now, lads in their forties need to exercise in order to get the horn’… ‘yeah, but the diet lads, them glycerides’ll kill ya..’bollix lads, get mindfulness into yeh and f**k anyone who says different.’
            lads need to treat their mental health like a project.

        2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

          @SOQ – Please talk all the rubbish you want but do not quote news.com.au. That is the most vile garbage around. There is a feeling in Melbourne similar to that in Liverpool about the Sun. News.com.au aka Murdoch aka the phone hacker of dead children is campaigning against a popular Labor leader. Suicides are not up 25% I saw 466 for this year, compared with 468 last year. Yes, there are more mental health issues. However, I will take Melbourne’s situation over most of the World’s.

          “And, as Australia is heading into its summer months- infection rates or at least sickness, was bound to be low anyways. ” – Just like Florida and California were when they had big numbers. The reason the numbers are low are because of a lockdown and masks. They will stay low because of forced quarantine of all arrivals. Track and trace of any new infections is important. With low numbers, that is possible.

          Ireland is different to NZ and OZ but some countries do show what is possible.

          1. SOQ

            @formely- Can you not have a civilised conversation without resorting to insults?

            Given the time period it takes for suicide incidents to be processed and published, just like Ireland, there is no accurate stats for this year in Australia yet.

            But, The Brain and Mind Centre at The University of Sydney stated even last May that “suicides triggered by Covid-19 lockdowns is expected to exceed deaths from the actual virus by a factor of 10”. Now you can stick your head in the sand all you want but the collateral damage cause by lockdowns will take take its toll- just like everywhere else.

            Australia is not comparable to Florida and California because their seasonal schedules are different- which is why I used the term ‘temperate zone’. It is a seasonal virus- just like the other coronas in circulation.

          2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @SOQ – Apologies. I am tired of repeating the same facts to you, every day.

            “Brain and Mind Centre (BMC) modelling last week showed suicides could spike by between 750 and 1500 deaths per year, as reported by 7.30 and The Australian.”

            – That is not 10 times more than the actual deaths from Covid. It might be double but that is because Aus has had a good run with the virus


            “The Victorian coroners court published data from the Victorian Suicide Register on Thursday showing that 466 people have died from suicide in the state so far this year, compared to 468 people in the same period last year.”

            Are you suggesting that if the virus runs rampant, that people will not have mental health issues? I think more Aussies are in better nick with it gone, than with a situation like Ireland and Europe.

            Please provide the links to the studies that show it is seasonal. It is a novel virus.

          3. SOQ

            I assume Sydney University based their estimates against what was projected elsewhere using the Ferguson model- which was way off in the first place.

            “The Victorian coroners court published data from the Victorian Suicide Register on Thursday showing that 466 people have died from suicide in the state so far this year, compared to 468 people in the same period last year.”

            SO FAR- those can only be where a coroners report has been published and unless Australia counts such deaths in a very different way to UK and Ireland- which I doubt- it cannot be the full picture.

            Being a seasonal virus and being a novel virus is not exclusive? There is plenty of graphs out there which show European country and country with the exact same pattern of peaks in March and April- followed by a slow tape off.

            It IS seasonal and besides, it is not even novel because cross immunity is now a known factor.

        3. Kdoc

          Do you know whether the suicide rates are estimates or actual deaths? I know here that rates for the current year are not available until the following year and even then they are only provisional until all procedures are complete i.e. Garda inquiries and coroner’s court investigation.

          1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

            I know of three personally in the last month, I can tell you it’s not usual ( previously I have known three suicide victims in the last twenty years ) and worries me a lot, I know a lot of people in the arts, music, hospitality, tourism, theater not so much the IT types working from home.

          2. SOQ

            And that Janet is back to Sunetra Gupta point about how lockdowns affect some people way more than others. She defines it along class lines but it is basically about those who can continue to work with minor inconveniences- while others have had lives absolutely ruined.

            And, I am pretty certain that if everyone who has strong views on this subject one way or another were to state their income status right now- you’d find that for the most part, they match accordingly.

            Its easy to play down the sacrifices being made- when it is not you making them.

          3. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @SOQ “while others have had lives absolutely ruined. ”

            — Lockdowns don’t ruin people’s lives, the virus does. If there is no lockdown and the virus keeps going, do you think people are going to go to the pub/cinema/theatre? No, they will stay at home to be safe. The lockdowns are to stop the hospital system being overwhelmed. Why? Because once it is overwhelmed, a lot more people die, not just those with the virus. If people did the right thing, there might be no need for a lockdown. I know in Melbourne, stupid people wouldn’t do the right thing, so forced quarantine and lockdowns resulted. The lockdown worked. Extra funds were made available to help with mental health. It is not going to be perfect but lots of people dying from a nasty virus is not good for anyone’s mental health.

          4. f_lawless

            “Lockdowns don’t ruin people’s lives, the virus does”

            That’s a completely irrational statement. You’re not thinking clearly

      2. Formerly known as @ireland.com


        – It isn’t over but we have won this battle. We should not be locked down again. It does rely on everyone staying alert and getting tested if they feel unwell. Then, we are relying on contact tracers to identify and isolate all contacts. International arrivals are quarantines for 14 days, tested regularly. The rest of Australia is already living a pretty good Covid-normal life. Smaller numbers at restaurants and bars, footy games, etc.

        1. GiggidyGoo

          I hope you’re right.
          But as you say, this is only a battle. You haven’t got rid of it out there, and as soon as you come out of lockdown, this will start to spread once again.

        2. E'Matty

          If you look at Australia’s case and death rate, they have just gone through the equivalent of our March/April peak and now dramatic drop. This has coincided with their move from Spring into the summer months in the southern hemisphere. Just like us, and every other country, they are now experiencing a massive decline in rates. Of course, this identical pattern is being sold as the success of lockdowns, despite countries that didn’t engage in such measures or to the same extent at least, also experiencing the very same statistical pattern. This is an attempt to present correlation as causation, without the evidentiary or logical connection. Now that Australia is heading itno the summer, I think they will likely see the ssame 4-5 month period with very low cases and negligible deaths we saw from May to September.

          1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @E’Matty – The difference is that Australia has closed borders. If the borders were open I would have a view closer to yours. However, all international arrivals are forced into supervised quarantine. So, small outbreaks are possible. But we do not have thousands arriving every week from hot spots. If the island of Ireland controlled arrivals in the same way, there would be some hope of controlling it. Having lockdowns and allowing the virus to keep arriving is not a strategy.

    2. Pat Mustard

      “Protecting the vulnerable and herd immunity do not work.”

      Formerly known as Ireland, currently known as a doctor/immunology expert.

        1. f_lawless

          Sweden seems to be doing ok. No lockdown. No masks. According to Sweden’s national statistics authority, September was the 2nd least deadliest month in Swedish history.

          Apart from a higher than usual spike in the month of April, the year 2020 is now on course to be very much on the lower end of the scale – from January to September 2020, Sweden experienced 687 deaths per 100,000 population. The last time Sweden had a deadlier year was 2015. There was no pandemic in 2015.

          Swedish ER doctor Sebastian Rushworth, believes the explanation lies with herd immunity: https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/10/24/how-deadly-is-covid-19/

          1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @F_lawless – thanks for the stats but the official death rates show that Sweden has not done well. But you know that. They admit they did not successfully protect their vulnerable.

            Your herd immunity is debunked by most – See the Daily Telegraph headline above.

    3. E'Matty

      If herd immunity isn’t possible, how will a vaccine work? Surely it just replicates in a controlled way the same immune system response? What immunity would then be possible?

      1. alickdouglas

        Some vaccines are perhaps more potent than ‘natural’ immunity. One example I can think of is the adjuvanted shingles vaccine, there might be an argument also for some of the other adjuvanted vaccines (adjuvanted Hep B for example), early vaccines with a very high impurity content (also I’ve seen some hints that *some* of the candidates in development might be very potent, even without an adjuvant). The reasons for this are not specifically understood, but it’s probably to do with eliciting a very strong antibody response, along with a strong t-cell response. In that case, individuals who are fully vaccinated and respond well (so I’d be guessing 2 doses, possibly a boost) might be protected. Worst-case scenario might be no fun at all; consider acellular pertussis, where kids need 4 shots, and then in theory you need shots every 10 years (not a perfect example since it’s a bacterium, but I think the concept holds, sort of). Don’t get me wrong, the indications of waning natural immunity are not good news. It’s not necessarily a block to vaccines, but it is suggestive that you want to get a potent one, and one which boosts well.

        1. E'Matty

          when you say a potent one, how would it be more potent in inducing an immune sytem response than if one were to actually contract the full blown virus itself? Genuinely interested to learn. I’d find it hard to believe a vaccine which only uses a small “dose” of a virus to elicit an immune response against it, would be more potent than the full on virus being contracted but perhaps it can. Can you please clarify how this works?

          We are being told that even those who had the virus itself have not experienced an immune response sufficient to protect against contracting it again despite having a t-cell and antibody response, and we’ve only less than a year in which this has occurred. So, how would it be more potent, and if so, what kind of time frame would we looking at for immunity? Would one have to get the vaccine every 6-12 months (and two shots each time for many of the vaccines in the works) to maintain protection againts the virus? Are we now looking at a future where everyone needs to get a regular Covid vaccine for ever more?

          You say that the vaccine might behave as such by “eliciting a very strong antibody response, along with a strong t-cell response.” If the vaccine is eliciting an antibody response, what does this matter if we are told an antibody and t-cell response provides very little immunity? Isn’t that like saying “We have loads of parachutes” as your boat goes down?

          Also, on another note, if the vaccine must necessarily be a “boosted” one as you say, are there increased risks associated with such vaccine “boosting”? Might a stronger vaccine be more prone to inducing the kind of neurological disorders we discussed last week?

          1. alickdouglas

            So a bit of a disclaimer first: vaccine trials are usually anchored in pretty simple readouts: antibody response, reactogenicity, safety and ‘efficacy’, usually against some kind of expert-agreed clinical symptoms. However, there’s usually a load of other small studies done that give hints as to what’s going on in the immune system: and sometimes a limited look at non-antibody responses in (usually) a small number of non human and human subjects. What this means is that the antibody data and the ‘efficacy’ data is usally robust from a statistical perspective (gathered from thousands of datapoints), but the rest of it is not (tens or hundreds). Once you enter into it, you slip into a world of opinion, politics and mythology…

            So with that out of the way… You are correct that some vaccines are simply a broken up virus; classic inactivated flu is that. These vaccines are highly purified (in theory containing ‘only’ broken up flu virus) and experts love to argue their real world impact and how to improve them. Purified inactivated vaccines probably only elicit responses against the epitopes (effectively the antigens) that are present. Importantly, data usually refers to antibody responses, but this is because of what the studies have typically measured: they also elicit t-cell responses, they are just less commonly measured. At the extreme other end of the scale are the original smallpox and BCG vaccines. Slightly exaggerating, but the old smallpox vaccine was, in effect, non pathogenic smallpox virus floating in calf lymph, strained through a cloth, and with antibiotics added. It was jampacked with other micoroganisms and calf cellular debris. It has been postulated that one of the reasons these smallpox vaccines were so incredibly impactful was that when introduced into the body, there was a massive local immune reaction, caused in part by all the crap in the vaccine. These and other similar vaccines have been explored deeply–but in small studies which don’t stand up to statistical scrutiny, so don’t feature heavily in general discussions on vaccination licensure.

            Modern standards also imply that we want to know more about what’s in the vaccine, so we have tended to move away from the live-attenuated vaccines, and more towards products that contain well-characterised (or at least characterisable) components.

            Studies in non-human primates suggest that adjuvantation is (for reasons that the last time I checked, were poorly understood) capable of driving immune responses against antigens not present in the purified inactivated vaccine. Likewise, and again not well understood, some of the ‘vectored vaccines’ drive more broad targeted responses than expected: I don’t know them all, but if I remember right, the (chimp) adenovirus-vectored vaccines only contain less than 50 base pairs of genetic material from the target pathogen, that’s really not very much; if you introduced that much genetic material without the adenovirus you wouldn’t elicit an immune response.

            Duration of response is hard to understand; if you look at Hep B responses for example, you typically have high titers (100->1000 units) for a few months, but for some people they drop (I think 10 was the lower limit when I last worked on them). However, Hep B vaccines typically trigger an ‘anamnestic’ response; a massive, rapid response from low circulating antibodies. HepB is *typically* a life long protection from a couple of shots. The need to revaccinate flu is I believe principally driven by the drift and shift of the virus, but the need to revaccinate against pertussis (again not a great example cos it’s a bacterium) is because it’s covered in goop, and the immune system cannot ‘see’ the antigens

          2. alickdouglas

            oh sorry, another disclaimer: you might be absolutely right E’matty, we might not have a vaccine that works, I’m just trying to fish out indicators for how it might happen that we do get one.

            I didn’t get to your point on risks of boosting. Some vaccines are known to have a higher risk with subsequent doses: yellow fever being the classic, but it is a formidably potent attenuated vaccine, and they now only recommend a single shot. Acellular pertussis is rarely associated with very strong local reactions from the fourth shot onward, but these appear to be generally local and clear up within a few days. The association with neurological disorders (usually bundled as ‘guillain barre syndrome’) is very poorly understood; the principal reason is that GBS type responses are associated with viruses and are very rare. To the best of my knowledge, when neurological symptoms cause concern in a vaccine trial, its typically only in very large trials and with low numbers–this makes determining the root cause of the neurological issue very difficult. As the numbers are very low I don’t believe a difference in incidence of GBS between first shot and boost has been recorded.

            Whatever about all these things, as I probably said on here before, if the vaccine doesn’t hurt it perhaps doesn’t work. The ‘hurting’ is usually an indication of an inflammatory response, and that’s an indication that your body has seen the components of the vaccine. I hope we will not be in an awkward position where potency of response ends up with people avoiding the second shot if that were needed, but I can also see that as a potential issue. Sigh.

          3. E'Matty

            @alickdouglas – as always, thank you for your considered response. Plenty of good information there. I may not be picking up on something here but, whilst you detail the many different means/methods applied for the various vaccines, I am still unclear as to the precise immune reactions at play? You say in respect of the old small pox vaccine ” there was a massive local immune reaction”. What kind of immune reaction, do you know? Beyond the antibody and t-cell reaction, what are the other immune responses a vaccine might elicit to protect a recipient? Also, would a person who contracts the virus itself always develop both antibodies and t-cells, and to what extent might this occur, or not occur as the case may be?

            I am just curious given we are being told that people with antibodies do not retain an immunity. I am unsure whether t-cells have been addressed in the same manner. Therefore, if both were to not provide any effective immune reponse, what other immune response could be activated by a vaccine that would make it effective where the natural antibody and T-cell response has not been?

            I have to say I am not too concerned with people suffering the mild side effects like rash, swelling, headache etc.. for a couple of days in respect of your ” if the vaccine doesn’t hurt it perhaps doesn’t work” philosophy and can appreciate the logic there. My concern is primarily the possibility of neurological disorders (even if just 1 in 50,000 or 1 in 100,000) in the under 18 cohort. Young people are not threatened to any great degree by this virus, so the question is whether we are willing to impose on a million under 18’s the potential risk of a life destroying neurological order to protect against a virus they are not at particular risk from? This is a risk to reward calculation that all should be free to make of their own accord in my opinion. I am pretty sure my parents (both over 70 and my mother at particular risk) whilst perhaps being willing to take the vaccine themselves, would be aghast to think that such a quickly developed vaccine, with its imcumbent risks, would be imposed on their 2 year old grandchild for their sake.

            Beyond the individual vaccine’s safety, there is also the biometric digital identity aspect being linked to this vaccine roll-out which I take serious issue with, though I feel that may be a discussion for another thread.

          4. alickdouglas

            E’Matty; all fair questions, not easy to answer.

            At the heart of the matter for me is that we don’t really know the immune system that well; the world is full of people who try to pretend that they understand it, and that the different arms of it are categorisable. The fact of the matter is that more often than not, we are left scratching our heads as to what’s really happening.Periodically, someone does a *really* in depth study on something, and we gain an amazing glimpse into the functioning of the system, but they are just glimpses. The Irish historian Garret Fagan suggested that history is like looking at Versailles through the keyholes, all you get is an essence, and I think that’s where we stand with vaccine immunology. We know some bits reasonably well, but the rest is very murky.

            High antibodies have been linked to high ‘impact’ (potency? efficacy? effectiveness?) since before Salk, and his 1954 IPV trial in a million kids (extremely importantly, done during an epidemic) have paved the way for vaccine impact measurement ever since. Salk’s IPV was found to be protective above a certain threshold of antibodies, and that’s set the scene for how vaccines have been evaluated since; but tsomewhere the story has been lost. Despite some propaganda subsequently by Sabin, Salk was a very smart guy, as were the people who evaluated his vaccine. They fully understood that antibodies were a proxy for something else. From everything I’ve read, I don’t think that any of the core developers or evaluators thought that antibodies themselves were doing the job of protection; but, the antibodies could be easily *quantified* and so could be used as a proxy measure for vaccine ‘potency’.

            Our measurement tools have improved, but as many here are now aware, they take time to develop. A key issue, as I’ve mentioned here before is that while we *can* measure the strength of antibody response and t-cells and b-cells, the best of these tools require a skilled operator. They are therefore useful in limited settings, such as a vaccine trial, but not applicable at a population level. Also, while one *could* investigate any number of types of immune response, it’s most useful to evaluate immune responses that are well-characterised and associated with protection in licensed vaccines.

          5. alickdouglas

            For the rare events, I have no disagreement with you. I was indoctrinated into the vaccine industry with the mantra ‘you are injecting something that cannot be taken out; this is not a drug, it doesn’t wash out, make sure it’s perfect’. I know that many of my current and ex-colleagues are very unhappy with the rush to market. Unfortunately some corners of government/governance have decided that vaccination is less complex than it is in reality and are selling us fairytales like immunity passports and mandatory vaccination. I do belive that COVID is an issue that will require mass vaccination to resolve, but there is not nearly enough effort being made to treat the general public (ugh, awful term) like grown ups. As you say, our parents also struggled with these questions.

        2. SOQ

          But is waning natural immunity not a feature of the other Corona viruses in circulation Alex- likewise rhino viruses?

          1. alickdouglas

            The data on human immunity vs. other coronas is somewhat rubbish tbh from a statistical perspective. The pool of humand infected with MERS and SARS was very small, and nobody has been in a position to really do impressive studies yet; contrast for example with polio OPV where 10 million children were enrolled in clinical trials, and silly billions of doses subsequently administered. There is comparatively so little data for coronas that I would perhaps controversially suggest that there isn’t really any data.

          2. SOQ

            Thanks alick- but severity aside- do we not have a number of other viruses from the Corona family in circulation at any given time?

          3. alickdouglas

            yes, there are probably (I’m guessing) some labs that are monitoring respiratory virus circulation: I assume they do this with nose swabs in a few hundred volunteers a year; however this would give you an indication of what coronaviruses are in the upper respiratory tract, it wouldn’t give you any indication of immunity or duration thereof. I don’t believe that anyone is doing regular serosurveys for coronaviruses (although, perhaps they have started now…). It would require a specific antibody test for each corona, and capable of measuring the response. I don’t know who would fund that.

    4. Johnnythree

      Two days. What a trend. Sure we were down to 7 cases in the summer and look how that worked out.

      1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

        @Johnnythree – the difference is that Australia has a plan. All international arrivals are quarantined, under police supervision, for 14 days. They are kept in until they test negative. Ireland has not done that. There may be outbreaks but they will be small. It does rely on a lot of compliance. The rest of Australia is already living well. We are about to join them.

        1. E'Matty

          “The rest of Australia is already living well. We are about to join them.” When do you think this will be? In May, when the rates naturally decline again going into the summer months, as we saw this year (and Australia is experiencing now as they head into their summer)? Or, do you think we will see a reduction in rates by a certain date prior that will allow us to exit lockdown? If so, what rate do you think that should be?

          1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            For Ireland, it is tough. I don’t see lockdowns on their own being a good strategy. The virus will just keep coming back into the country. Once in, it circulates and spreads. You end up back in a bad place. If it was possible to control the borders and force people into supervised quarantine, then the virus could be kept under control. That is probably too hard. Without that, any opening will only be temporary. Full time mask wearing outside the home will help reduce spread. All those Asian countries aren’t wasting time wearing them. I think Ireland will open up after 6 weeks, as the pressure from people will be a lot higher than in Australia.

    5. Micko

      Good stuff @formerly. But you had to give up a ton of rights to achieve that.

      And according to this article you still have to follow a ton of restrictions? That true?


      Like: Mask wearing outdoors for anyone over 12, restrictions on household visit numbers, 2mtr distancing, restrictions on the amount of times you can visit a house, keeping a record of who visits your house, gatherings of over 10 people banned outdoors and more.

      No offence, but if this is correct, I don’t know what you’re celebrating.

      1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

        Thanks @Micko

        Yes, we have modified our normal lifestyle to beat the virus. I now have the “freedom” to live without fear of the virus, without worrying about my vulnerable family and friends here. Those restrictions are there now. They will be eased in the coming weeks. I compare this to lots of the World, including Ireland. We are not letting people fly in, willynilly. All international arrivals are quarantined for two weeks, under police supervision. They have to test negative before they are released. We will keep it under control. I don’t see the point in the Irish situation. Unless you stop it coming in, it will keep coming back.

        Please, do not use the HeraldSun for anything other than toilet paper. It is the most vile Murdoch rag.
        As stated to SOQ: That is the most vile garbage around. There is a feeling in Melbourne similar to that in Liverpool about the Sun. News.com.au aka Murdoch aka the phone hacker of dead children is campaigning against a popular Labor leader. They have published lies and have encouraged discontent. They are part of the reason people are depressed.

        1. Janet, dreams of warm feet

          our lockdown is futile (worse it is only punitive ) because the north is basically handling it in a polar opposite way and last time I checked viruses don’t give a damn about political borders + travel

        2. Micko

          @formerly I hope you’re right and that things get back to normal for you and us all.

          But, from where I’m standing it looks to me that you guys have been subject to some of the harshest restrictions in the world and now you are celebrating even the tiniest return to normality. Your “normality- meters” are broken. Sorry :(

          Also, never heard of the HeraldSun. Was the first article that popped up when I searched.

          Would seem that Murdoch’s SEO guys are pretty good ;-)

          1. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @Micko – I hope it works out well in Ireland. I think it is a lot harder for Ireland to achieve a good outcome. People expect to be able to travel to/from Europe all the time. The DUP don’t help, either. The cycles of lockdown are not a good long term plan.

          2. Formerly known as @ireland.com

            @Micko – Retail is opening, pubs and restaurants are opening with reduced numbers. Groups of 10 can meet out doors. There is a 25km limit, which is going in two weeks. The kids are in school. Out door kids sports will be back in two weeks. Things are not that bad. If we keep getting zero cases, it will get better. I don’t see anywhere in Europe or North America I would prefer to be. Other parts of OZ are doing better but we will join them, soon.

      1. MME

        It depends. The new ultra-conservative Supreme Court will likely bide its time if Dems win back all branches of government. There will a slight rightward shift unless the GOP hold at least one of the executive branches, as CJ Roberts won’t want to give Dems any excuse to reform the court. They can still chip away at all progressive rulings, values and statutes rendering them useless without a full declaration of unconstitutionality. Of course, if the GOP retain the Senate, gloves are off and the Robert’s Court can go fully to the right to embrace Barrett’s extreme brand of “conservatism”

        Legal eagles predict Obergefell (same-sex marriage ruling) is the most likely to be reversed in the next two years as at least two judges have been vocal of late urging another challenge and Barrett notoriously hostile but the conservative judges will undo Roe (abortion) and Obamacare gradually as these are more sensitive to a greater amount of people.

        Obviously, if the Supreme Court disenfranchise voters and somehow hand the election to Trump, you’ll see a Supreme Court like nothing previously seen in terms of unchecked judicial power.

        You’ll keep your guns alright!

      2. Gerry

        Looking at fivethirtyeight the forecast is for a landslide for Biden, not much scope for a swindle if that happens

        1. Charger Salmons

          It’ll be much,much closer than people think.
          But strange times when so many Americans are putting their faith in an elderly man in the early stages of dementia.
          And the media, both mainstream and social, deliberately thwart any serious investigation into the Ukraine allegations.
          I can’t wait to get back there though to see my old chums when C-19 has abated.
          Great country.

          1. Charlie

            It’s faith in a man in the early stages of dementia or faith in a man in the latter stages of madness. I’ll take the sleepy guy please.

          2. Nigel

            His early stage dementia is as real as the Ukraine allegations. Right wing ratfeckers mad their bait isn’t being taken this time, but hopeful they can still cheat a win.

          3. Charger Salmons

            The FBI investigation into the Ukraine allegations is very real no matter what your Ork overlords have been telling you via telepathetic communications directed through that pointy ‘antenna’ on your homemade tinfoil hat.
            Nanu nanu.

          4. Johnny

            All he had do was keep it close in a few places,can’t even do that.
            Bloomberg is just pounding him with ad buys in Texas,Trump campaign has no response.
            He’s broke,his campaign is out cash,his task force has outbreak,there’s just a stink of desperate about it all.
            The manic campaigning,the infighting,the infections its a big hot mess,people are broke and tired,they want their lives back.
            Most people are not expecting it be close,watch Texas it changes everything.

          5. Joe F

            Hopefully you get to America and hopefully they’ll keep you clown man.
            The more I read your predictable comments the more convinced I am that you are a Daily Express subscriber i.e. a Little Englander.
            It’s very hard to take anyone seriously when they have a 100% black and white attitude to the likes of Bozo and Donald Trump.
            You also said a couple of months ago Tommy, sorry I keep saying that I meant old boy of course, that you were heading back to the North of England, where you claim to be originally from (that’s quite funny actually) to go to the pubs that were still open there. So you were spouting on about how unnecessary all this was. Now look at the North of England. Would you like to comment on that? Of course not old boy, as long as Bozo is 1% ahead in the polls, that is much more important to tell people about.
            Anyway, keep reporting on every time an English person does well at sport, I think the tiddlywinks European Championships are up soon, so I’m sure you’ll be on about that clown man. Don’t hear any other nationalities doing that funny enough.
            I’m no Sigmund Freud but a blind person could see your inferiority complex. You’re a very insecure person.

          6. Charger Salmons

            Sleepy Joe said in the last debate he wants to phase out oil production.
            Texans employed in the oil & gas industry – 428k
            Contribution of oil & gas industry to Texas economy – $162 billion.
            I think Texas is safely Republican for the foreseeable future.

          7. Joe F

            Also clown man, you seem to forget that Mr Trump called Namibia “Nambia” twice in a speech in the recent past. He said that he knew more about South Korea than most people and then said that the population of Seoul was 38 million when it actually is around 9 – 10 million. But then again why let the true facts come in the way of trying to convince people of things he knows himself aren’t true. I won’t go on and on with endless more examples of Trump. He’s a bit like yourself old boy, good for a laugh but impossible to take seriously. Marvellous.

          8. Nigel

            What FBI investigation? The ones that were going to blow Obamagate wide open, which have mostly been quietly closed with no findings? The one into the Giuliani/Bannon laptop to see if it’s part of a Russian disinformation campaign? Maybe the DOJ is too busy acting as Trump’s personal legal defence team in assorted rape and fraud cases to go after his political enemies effectively. Will there be emails?

            Well done on Biden’s strong stance on phasing out fossel fuels. He is, at least, a candidate that actually cares about the future.

          1. Nigel

            Why do you think so? I feel he has a real chance to win but only by a narrow margin and democracy-wrecking shenanigans.

          2. Nigel

            If that’s the case you can pretty much write the headstone for our current civilisation, because four more years of of the richest country in the world reversing every single piece of action on climate change is going to destroy us.

          3. Charger Salmons

            It’s why I chanced a few bob at 15/8 last week.
            A lorra lorra money going on Trump in the past week or so.
            Remember, the average turnout for presidential elections is 55%. There are a lot of people out there who don’t normally vote who could be persuaded to – and the Republicans have been quietly doing a lot of work on this behind the scenes in key areas like Florida.
            Well worth a Trump punt but I wouldn’t put all of Lady Charger’s Brown Thomas account money on it …

      3. dav

        I’m not going to stay up that night, I’ll go to sleep and when I way up, either the world will be a better place or it will be the same.

  2. SOQ

    Habemus Corpus? Where are the bodies?

    Excellent piece in Gript- and before the usuals start screaming far right or youth defence or whatever- play the ball not the man and leave the student union politics where they belong. As evidenced by the types of people involved in the protests in London and Belin, and eminent scientists like Dr. Sunetra Gupta- this is NOT a left /right issue.

    “The costs of the simple-minded dichotomy that was forced on us – a choice to protect either health or wealth – are coming home to roost, and we will be paying this bill for years to come.”


      1. Joe F

        Talk about cherry picking old boy! I’m off work today so have time to examine your ‘thoughts’! Why did you pick September exactly? It just happened to be when the number of deaths had reached a low point, now they’re increasing again.
        Here’s a stat for you old boy – Figure 7: Mortality rates for 2020 to date in England are statistically significantly higher than all years since 2009.
        Taken from https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/monthlymortalityanalysisenglandandwales/september2020

      1. bisted

        …Grift have provided the best example of ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ when they cited atheist Ireland in the campaign to stop foreign donations to NGOs…

        1. MME

          Grifters gotta grift!

          I would have thought Yoof Defence would be very much in favour of foreign donations. Niamh Ui Bhriain of wife-swopping sodomite heritage and surprise surprise Grift head-honcho certainly had past run-ins with SIPO about YD funding and need to register.

          1. SOQ

            AND off you two go- like two bitchy fishwives on speed- not once even discussing the topic at hand let alone arguing a single point made.

            Jersey wearing is clearly way more important than having a grown up discussion about the most serious crisis of our lifetimes- priorities eh?

          2. MME

            Lol. “Fishwives”.

            From anyone else!

            You don’t set the comment agenda SOQ, trying to airbrush the very obvious agenda and nature of Grift.

            Grift Media ain’t in the business of a “grown up discussion”.

            Soz hun.

    1. ian-oh

      Work away there SOQ, when you are referencing a blog run by a clown like McGuirk (Nurse Noel anyone? Lol) there is no ‘ball’ to play, just a man with a blog and his opinions.

      I can have those too and if I write a certain way I will be lauded, if I write another way, lambasted, but nowhere in the process will there be anything approaching proper diligence to the subject at hand.

      So no thanks.

      1. SOQ

        So what is he saying that you think is wrong?

        Or is it that your dislike of his politics prevents you from having an opinion?

  3. Charlie

    Saturday afternoon, I walked down O’Connell St to see if there was any life. Sure enough, there was the usual gang of anti-mask, anti-everything campaigners outside the GPO. It was nasty. People in turn took the mic to scream/shout/attempt make a point about how their country was being taken etc(which they couldn’t). One even referred to the “1913 Easter rising”. It was a frenzy of shouting, cursing and scrote language that turned the street blue. They looked like a bunch of scruffy work dodgers. On the periphery of the crowd, the junkies and drunks roared their approval.
    Yesterday afternoon. I did the same walk. Same people, same wasters, same agro, same smell. At one point they chanted “Gemma O’Doherty, Gemma O’Doherty….”
    O’Connell St is a dump at the best of times but it’s now on a new level. It’s dangerous, it’s intimidating. Even the junkies are being entertained.

    1. Charger Salmons

      Who in their right mind would want to visit Dumpland at any time never mind under current circumstances.
      Dublin has all the charm of an open wound from a slash hook.
      Slightly better than Belfast admittedly but still an unflushed toilet.

      1. Charlie

        There are some nice spots south side of the river. Its so sad to see how the main st of the capital has just got incrementally more and more appalling.
        Having said that, I’ve worked in Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle. Kips, one and all.

      2. Joe F

        Says the clown who, allegedly, relocated from the North of England to Ireland. Every city has its good and bad areas. Of course London is the exception, it’s the perfect city. No crime there whatsoever either, thanks to Bozo.

    2. Kdoc

      They are truly a disgusting bunch. They have been allowed to commandeer our main thoroughfare every Saturday for many months. Now it looks like it’s going to be Sundays as well. There are a number of far right factions involved and their heavies are very intimidating. It’s clearly growing and needs to be stopped if we are to have any pride at all in our city.

    1. Joe F

      Will you stop digging you clown! All that matters to you is Bozo ahead in the polls. Doesn’t matter if children go hungry under his watch. Marvellous.

    2. Nigel

      ‘The UK electorate approves of poor children being left to go hungry’ does not reflect well on the UK as a country, tbh.

        1. Nigel

          Not making the headlines because it’s being discontinued to free up more money to give to Tory cronies for failed startups that were supposed to provide vital public services. (Not but that I don’t doubt FG/FF look on in envy at the sheer scale of scumminess that Tory scum openly get away with.)

          1. Charger Salmons

            Not quite the answer I was looking for.
            Why not have another go without having to rely on the tired old tropes like scum ?
            How is the free school meals programme doing in Ireland ?
            Take your time now petal.

          2. Papi

            Did Mr.Tired Old Tropes just accuse someone of using tired old tropes?
            And all it took was calling tories scum, well, well, well


          3. Charger Salmons

            Aw, go on Nigel. You normally have an opinion on everything under the sun but somehow you’re unusually reticent about the FSM programme in Ireland.

            Heh x pwned.

          4. Nigel

            I just gave you my opinion on what you posted – Toru Scum letting children go hungry is popular in the UK, and reflects poorly on that country. Congrats. You pwned yourself.

            Irish free school meals are an excellent idea, in my opinion, and I suport any government initiative to expand them wherever possible and feasible.

        2. Joe F

          Ah hello, since it was you who brought up Bozo, would you mind answering a question with an answer. Not answering a question with another question, clown man.
          You are a great debater old boy.

        3. Vanessanelle

          Hey Charage

          we’ve had Breakfast Clubs and Homework clubs running fully, in Schools, here for decades

          We get on with it locally
          Same for the Meals on Wheels services
          Well supported, albeit very discreet

          One of the most damaging impacts during the Schools C-19 closures, was the loss of these hot meals and support groups for the many children, teens and young adults for whom School is their safe place

          If you spare a moment somewhere out of your need to out-gout yourself one post at time Charage
          maybe think about that for a moment

          1. Charger Salmons

            Hi V,
            Guess what – Britain’s school meals programme is aimed at providing a substantial hot lunch for any child who qualifies.
            Where schools do not have kitchens ( do any in Ireland ? ) a voucher system is provided.
            It is the responsibility of local councils not central government to provide this service.
            This idea that there is overwhelming anger at the Tories over their FSM programme is nonsense – there is considerable anger at the usual deadbeat families gaming the voucher system and appearing unable complete the simple task of providing a meal for their kids during school holidays.It’s why it has no effect whatsover on the Tory polling figues.
            The wokes need to make their mind up – are poor people obese idiots who must stop stuffing their faces with turkey twizzlers, or half-starved creatures who need the government to feed them
            People are also not taken in by the Marcus Rashford ‘ deprived childhood ‘ nonsense – he was on the books of Manchester United when he was 8 years of age.
            I know you’re gullible but do try to see beyond the headlines of newspapers politically opposed to the current government.

          2. Vanessanelle

            You condescending ignorant mickey
            I made no reference to the UK’s school meals provisions
            or to anyone involved there

            Of course our schools that provide these meals and support groups have f’ing kitchens and facilities

            Seriously lads, I’m the last person around to have been taken in by a windy egotistical chancer
            Think that’s been proved

          3. Nigel

            “gaming the voucher system’ – good god, those vouchers need to be rightly used for rich incompetent deadbeats’ fake government-funded tech startups!

  4. millie

    I tell yis what, I’m fierce bored of the caucus race that goes on here in the comments section daily.

    It’s like reading a migraine.

    1. Nigel

      I’ve been trying to keep it down a bit, mostly avoiding the Corona ding-dongs, but I can make no promises as the election heaves its scaly bulk into view. Mind you, there’s been a distinct avoidance of US-election related posts for the most part. Why ever could that be?

  5. Johnny

    Great overview some excellent links,my main interest in 5G,is in Caribbean to trash what’s left O’Brien’s crumbling empire of debt,built on bs and ripping off the poorest people on the planet.
    Bring it on Declan.

    “Rivada’s EVP Brian Carney told Fierce a couple of weeks ago that the company isn’t interested in participating in any free government give-away or a nationalized 5G network. The company did, however, respond to the DoD’s Request for Information (RFI) and peddled its idea for a wholesale business model. In an excerpt describing its response, Rivada said a wholesale network would not compete with any existing retail carrier business in any geographical area.“


    1. GiggidyGoo

      It’s an inferiority complex with him. Coupled with a not-so-nice personality. A quick search for him will throw up a peoplesrepublicofcork link that opened many people’s eyes here last week.

      1. Joe F

        It’s actually quite amusing writing about him! He has some issues, we all do, but his are on a different level completely. No doubt he will be pontificating again soon.

  6. Charger Salmons

    A quick heads-up for an intriguing doco on BBC 2 tonight 9pm.
    Two brothers from the Wuhan research centre which Trump suspects was the source of the C-19 virus were due to get on Flight MH370 that disappeared without trace.
    The documentary explores the theory that the two brothers came up with the new virus strain and were intending to use it for extortion purposes – someone got wind of this and the flight was brought down.
    Bizarrely the two brothers never actually got on the plane.
    Should be worth a watch.
    It’s called Two Wongs Don’t Make A Flight.

    1. Joe F

      Might watch that old sport. Thanks for the heads-up old boy. If Trump suspects it then it must be true. Or is he being sarcastic? Am I being sarcastic?

  7. Charger Salmons

    Some interesting stats out of Blighty on travel and Covid-19 in the Telegraph.

    ‘ There is now no difference between Covid-19 infections among Britons who have been on holiday and those who have not, newly released statistics show.

    Data from between September 25 and October 8 showed a difference of just 0.09 per cent in positivity rate between the groups, according to figures produced by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

    Only 0.58 per cent of those who had travelled abroad in the most recent 30 days had tested positive for the virus, compared to 0.49 per cent who remained in the UK.

    “Analysis now shows that, unlike before, there is no longer a difference in the rate of infections between those who have travelled abroad and those who haven’t,” said Katherine Kent, co-head of the ONS’ Infection Survey.

  8. Charger Salmons

    The Brexit talks have gone very quiet with no leaking or grandstanding from either side.
    That generally means progress is being made.
    Boris’ threat to end the negotiations have had the desired effect – just waiting for Merkel to order Macron back into line and it’ll all be over soon.

      1. Charger Salmons

        We’ve discussed this before old sport.
        I’ve always thought a mutally-beneficial trade deal is better than no deal but that it shouldn’t come at any cost.
        My understanding is that the EU has finally and belatedly woken up to the fact that Boris actually means what he says about walking away.
        The problem in the EU as it is everywhere is that bureaucrats only talk to other like-minded bureaucrats and journalists – it has taken them a long time to realise that the political landscape in the UK has changed considerably since the days of Theresa May.
        There’ll be a last-minute deal.
        I’ve always said it.

        1. Joe F

          You always said the closing of pubs etc. made no sense and now look at the situation you clown. You went over to the North of England a few weeks ago, allegedly, to have a few pints of bitter you said. Don’t think your track record on predictions is anything to compare with Nostradamus or Old Moore you absolute clown of a person.

  9. bisted

    …it still has to be agreed with the remaining EU members…they won’t want to give the English anything and won’t settle for less than a shameful capitulation by Albion…

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