Political

Keep masks mandatory on public transport a little while longer – Lib Dems

A party press release brings the news:

The Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government to keep masks mandatory on public transport after 19th July.

Munira Wilson MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Health, believes it would be a small price worth paying to protect others:

“Many people, especially the vulnerable, do not yet feel confident enough to travel on crowded public transport. There are millions who have still not been double jabbed, and are therefore at greater risk of both becoming ill themselves and spreading the virus to others.

“Keeping masks mandatory on public transport which can often become overcrowded is the right thing to do.

“We have all made tough sacrifices throughout this pandemic, and asking people to wear masks on public transport a little while longer to protect others, is a small price worth paying.

“I fear that the Government’s desire to remove all restrictions on the 19th July is driven more by internal battles within the Conservative party rather than sound scientific advice.

“The Health Secretary is too busy trying to appease members of his own party who have been determined to put an early end to restrictions no matter the costs to the public’s health. He should stop prioritising politics over science.”

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7 responses to “Keep masks mandatory on public transport a little while longer – Lib Dems”

  1. Why? Ssuch a policy must be evidence based, a cornerstone principle for Lib Dems until now. What changed? ‘Millions of people’ is not concrete, verified data. Where is it from? If people are worried why not allay their fears instead?

    If we produce a policy every time ‘some people are worried’ we’d have no cars, cycling, alcohol, butter, exams, …….

  2. Very good idea. I’d be in favourr. I don’t like masks because they hide people’s faces and therefore are somewhat dehumanising. But if they inhibit the spread of this disease, which is still serious and could still evolve more ‘variants of concern’ if not kept strictly in check, then I’m in favour. Remember: the more ‘variants of concern’ that emerge, the greater the likelihood that, sooner or later, we’ll get one that evades the vaccines entirely. Then we’re back to square one.

    Even so, BoJo’s government won’t, will they? Too busy chasing easy populism. I don’t want to rain on parades but if I were a bookmaker I’d be tempted to offer odds on another lockdown this autumn or winter. Because, YET AGAIN, this stupid Government won’t have been firm enough.

    Interesting fact about the new Health Secretary which should maybe ring alarm bells: He is an admirer of US novelist Ayn Rand – or at least of her novels. And one central plank of Objectivist faith (which Ms Rand founded) is that ‘socialised medicine’, i.e. an NHS, is total anathema. And we all know about the quality of non-public health ‘care’ in the USA. I believe that extortionate medical bills are the commonest reason for personal bankruptcy in the US. Foxes in charge of hen-coops spring to mind.

  3. Thank you for speaking up for the majority again and talking sense instead of keeping a few right wingers happy in parliament. A government voted in by 46% of the people should listen to the public. We like millions of others will be restricted in our freedoms again. I shall be joining the libdems.

    • Not sure about American “ill-informed” views not gaining traction here. They do. It’s just that political mood swings surface more quickly in the US while they tend to move as undercurrents here until a critical mass is reached.

      The NHS’ future will depend on its results. Americans have longer cancer and all other killer diseases survival rates than the UK. As cost of private medical treatment in the UK continues to go down and more employers offer private medical insurance to their staff, the NHS are increasingly “one of the options” and that is exposing the faults in their system. Of which there are many. Diagnostic procedures within the NHS need urgent attention. The consultant-led hospital investigative approach, with ever-narrowing field of medical expertise at the consultant level, prolongs diagnosis as patients are send from one consultant to another. GPs, who have to manage their patients’ investigations between different consultants can get overwhelmed with the task, particularly as the NHS administration is not fit for purpose. This can mean delayed diagnosis. So desperately worried patients will spend their holiday money on private treatment, at the very least until the diagnosis. Having followed that route for one of my children after a year of fruitless NHS investigations (and compromised lab reports, lost scans, cancelled appointments, toing and froing between hospitals and the GP in an increasing desperation that enveloped our family life), like so many people we know, we went private and the speed with which a full diagnosis was established in a private hospital has made me re-evaluate my support for the NHS. It is now conditional on its delivery to my family and me.

  4. I agree 100 % with Humphrey Reader’s well-written comments – Humphrey, it would be so good if you could expand the piece slightly for Lib Dem Voice, since it deserves a wider audience.

    On US ideas of “socialised medicine”, be in no doubt that a lot of influential Americans’ views are ill-informed and heavily influenced by their strange conflation of “state support” with a “threat to fundamental freedom”. Ayn Rand would probably never have gained the same traction in the UK that she has in the US.

  5. We know that Covid-19 is spread as small droplets travelling through the air and that the number of cases is increasing and will continue to increase until the vaccination programme covers the majority of the population. It would therefore be sensible to keep those things which help stop the spread of the virus in place until such time as the critical mass of the population has been vaccinated. Unfortunately this Government does not do sensible.

  6. As for evidence, there is solid evidence that Covid infects mainly in closed spaces, especially when they’re crowded and especially when air is circulated by ventilation systems. There was a Chinese study that found workplaces were much worse in this respect than public transport, but I’m not sure if that’s been reproduced elsewhere. There is solid evidence that masks reduce infection, but mainly (for non-medical ones) by stopping infection getting out from an infected person; so an infected person without a mark can still infect someone wearing a mask, which is why if you wear a mask on a train or in an office and other people aren’t, you’re not safe. Then there is the still-evolving evidence of how effective two doses of vaccine are in stopping someone falling ill – maybe around 90%, but that still leaves the 10% and those not ill may still have an asymptomatic infection. The basic question, though, is what scientific advice Johnson received, if any, and what notice he took of it, if any. As for giving priority to allaying people’s fears, so they’re content till they fall ill and die, that sounds just great to me.

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