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EVERY DAY’S A CRAZY DAY NOW

By Pete Moore On March 23rd, 2020

The British government effectively nationalised the railways today. It barely registers. Boris will speak to the country this evening. Substantial announcements are coming.

National Guard deployments are coming to New York, Washington and California as total confirmed cases go above 35,000.

It’s still appalling in Spain and Italy.

55 Responses to “EVERY DAY’S A CRAZY DAY NOW”

  1. What is the point of nationalizing the railways?

  2. “What is the point of nationalizing the railways?”

    It was probably going in that direction anyway (the franchise model has failed in the UK). Ultimately it is the government stepping in to protect the private rail companies. Rail travel is going to decline massively during the crisis. And most rail companies couldn’t afford that. So the government is stepping in, will collect all fees and fares etc… but will pay the companies a stipend.

  3. Ah

  4. Ah

  5. Ultimately it is the government stepping in to protect the private rail companies.

    Which, according to this, sizeable chunks are owned by other countries’ governments:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvagsSOlAy4

  6. Indeed. I wrote this a few months ago (the numbers are likely a little out of date but broadly still accurate):

    Seamus, on December 17th, 2019 at 12:44 PM Said:

    There are effectively 12 companies who hold the Rail franchises in Britain (some hold them together, some separate etc…). Those companies are (ranked by passenger numbers):

    1. 19.3% – First, a private company based in Britain
    2. 17.7% – Keolis, which is 70%-owned by France’s state owned railway company, 30% owned by the government of Quebec
    3. 16.6% – Go-Ahead, a private company based in Britain
    4. 16.5% – Abellio, which is owned by the Netherland’s state owned railway company
    5. 10.7% – Arriva, which is owned by Germany’s state owned railway company
    6. 7.3% – MTR, which is 75% owned by the Hong Kong government
    7. 3.8% – Trenitalia, which is owned by Italy’s state owned railway company
    8. 2.9% – Mitsui, a Japanese conglomerate
    9. 2.% – Serco, private company based in Britain
    10. 1.4% – Operator of Last Resort, the British government (when they can’t get any one to run the franchise)
    11. 1.1% – Amey, a private company based in Britain, but owned by a Spanish company
    12. 0.7% – JR East, a Japanese company, that started out as state owned but is now privatised.

    So the fact is that nearly 49% of British rail passengers travel on rail services owned by the French, Dutch, German, and Italian governments. And another 7% travel on rail services owned by the Hong Kong government. Subsidies for those companies are de facto the UK taxpayer subsidising those governments, or those state owned railway companies.

  7. wish the germans owned our railways, they’d run on time 🙂

  8. Boris Johnson has just officially put Britain on the same sort of lockdown as other European countries.

  9. Boris has spoken.

    All non-essential shops to close.

    People are allowed to leave home only:

    1. to shop for essentials
    2. for one exercise session per day
    3. for a medical need
    4. to travel to work

    Groups larger than two people not allowed. Police to have the powers to break them up.

  10. I’ve just noticed I need a haircut. I’ll look like something from Game of Thrones by the summer.

  11. Well that’s one thing that won’t worry me. For many years now I have shaved my head myself. I have always hated my hair so I keep it as skinhead as possible.

  12. I’ve just noticed I need a haircut. I’ll look like something from Game of Thrones by the summer.

    I’ve a pair of clippers at home and give myself a no1 every fortnight.

  13. Colm

    I’ve never imagined you with a balled head. Balled, yes, but not yer head!

  14. Charles

    Not bald, my hair is too thick for that. I’m a fuzz head 😉

  15. I suspect Colm’s had a few balled heads Charles.

  16. //The British government effectively nationalised the railways today. It barely registers. //

    Indeed. Only a Conservative govt could get away with such a piece of socialism.

  17. 🙂

  18. Privatizing The passenger railways in the UK never made any sense to me. Maybe renationalizing them is the right way to go.

    From the Washington Post

    As Spanish soldiers help disinfect retirement homes hit hard by the new coronavirus, they have made some particularly gruesome discoveries: the dead — or dying — bodies of elderly residents.

    “The military has found older people absolutely abandoned, if not dead, in their beds,” Margarita Robles, the Spanish defense minister, told the Telecinco TV news channel late Monday.

    She added that authorities would be “strict and inflexible” in ensuring that senior homes treated their residents humanely. Public prosecutors announced a probe Tuesday into these allegations, as several facilities around Spain come under severe scrutiny for huge upticks in cases

    .

  19. In all fairness Phantom the BBC gives a partial explanation as to why that might have been the case:

    The defence ministry said that staff at some care homes had left after the coronavirus was detected.

    Health officials have said that in normal circumstances the bodies of deceased residents are put in cold storage until they are collected by the funeral services.

    But when the cause of death is suspected to be linked to coronavirus they are left in their beds until they can be retrieved by properly equipped funeral staff. In the capital Madrid, which has seen the highest number of cases and deaths, that could take up to 24 hours, officials said

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52014023

  20. But if the Washington Post report is correct, There were some residents who were still alive who were abandoned?

    I would have a hard time justifying that…

  21. Again, most of our western countries have a lot to learn From the Asian countries that have more successfully dealt with this

    It sounds like the Spanish responders / home staff were not talking to one another

    I could absolutely see such a thing happening in the United States..

  22. This is what happens when the system becomes overwhelmed. It could happen here in a few weeks if we don’t take lessons learned from our European brothers. No pointing fingers, just lessons learned.

    I’m up this morning, all showered and shaved, ready to hit the grocery store by 7am with the family, if I can get them moving in the same direction.

  23. Words fail me…

    Crucial food delivery trucks TORCHED – fury as coronavirus ‘lifeline’ cut for vulnerable

    TWO food delivery trucks were attacked in Bristol last night, sparking fury and concern for vulnerable people relying on the service during the coronavirus crisis.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1259467/coronavirus-latest-news-uk-food-delivery-iceland-bristol-southmead

  24. There were some residents who were still alive who were abandoned?

    It’s my understanding that care workers didn’t abandon the care homes en masse. Some left and subsequently the remaining workers were completely overwhelmed.

    This is what happens when the system becomes overwhelmed. It could happen here in a few weeks if we don’t take lessons learned from our European brothers. No pointing fingers, just lessons learned.

    Charles, in 24 hours from Sat to Sun Spain’s Corona death toll was 514. Now, just sit for a moment and let 514 dead in 24 hours sink in.

  25. Paul

    Is the rate of new infections being diagnosed slowing at all in Spain ?

  26. That’s an astounding number Paul.

    This morning the grocery story was jam packed at 7 am. Must have been 300 people in there. No chicken, eggs, TP, until further notice. Many wearing masks.

    We’re saving 2 eggs for our granddaughter’s birthday cake. Saving eggs! What is this, WWII?

  27. We’re saving 2 eggs for our granddaughter’s birthday cake. Saving eggs! What is this, WWII?

    Charles.

    If this is not bought under control, this virus will be far worse than WWII.

    I note that scientists are now delving a bit deeper into the virus and have gone from “it’s definitely “ not a lab made virus, to “ its improbable “

    Time will catch up with some monster somewhere or other.

  28. Paul
    Is the rate of new infections being diagnosed slowing at all in Spain ?

    Colm.

    Paul is in better position than most on ATW to answer that question.

    But from what I have read, it’s escalating.

  29. Unfortunately not that I’ve heard Colm. I have a terrible feeling that we’re not over the worst of this yet.

  30. Harri

    I think it’s time in our countries to have a talk about what acceptable losses would look like. I’m 61 and in mediocre health. I would be willing to risk death so that the country that I love is handed over to my grandchildren in good shape. Right now, the cure seems worse than the disease.

    I’m talking about 30% unemployment and 30% drop in GDP. Unacceptable in my view. I don’t want to live in Venezuala or gift that to my kids.

  31. Escalating in NY metro also, but …US testing really only started very recently.

    Except for known severe cases, its hard to compare what we see now to anything from before?

    But there is grounds for much concern.

  32. are

  33. steady on charles, venezual is home to the Angel Falls, highest in the world and one of the largest exporters of oil, what’s not to like 😉

    laundrettes ? are they essentials
    on the gov list they are, but the locals round here are shutting them
    don’t add up .. alot of people going to be affected .. !

  34. Everything seems so depressing. When will we start seeing even a twinkle of light at the end of the Corona tunnel ☹️

  35. I’m 61 and in mediocre health. I would be willing to risk death so that the country that I love is handed over to my grandchildren in good shape.

    Commendable. However the virus can’t be negotiated with.

  36. Colm, on March 24th, 2020 at 4:37 PM Said:
    Everything seems so depressing. When will we start seeing even a twinkle of light at the end of the Corona tunnel ☹️

    Sadly, the only light presently at the end of the tunnel is what the Chinese government are telling us..

    And we know full well, we can trust them about as far as we can throw them?

    Why the Chinese who eat anything with a pulse are not on their knees begging the world for forgiveness is a mystery?

    The Chinese, and the Chinese government at this moment in history have absolutely nothing to crow about.

  37. Speaking on behalf of the younger (if not so much the young) I personally don’t want to live in a country where at a sign of difficulty we just let the old suffer and die. I’d take a GDP and living standards drop to avoid that.

  38. Seamus

    Thank you for that vote of reassurance. I just hate to see what the young are going through being out of work right now while I draw a retirement paycheck. I’m feeling a bit guilty I guess.

  39. Harri

    What purpose does your demand for Chinese repentance serve. That is all irrelevant at the moment . It won’t save a single life. This is a global emergency and everyone should be working together to try and minimise it’s spread and work to alleviate all sorts of suffering and hopefully find medical answers to the potency of this pandemic.

  40. The Chinese will never apologize for anything.

    They would die a thousand times before doing that

  41. Colm.

    Against the virus?

    Nothing.

    But humility and at least being slightly humble would be a start.

  42. Hit them in the Chinese government communist pockets.

    They will soon show some form of repentance.

  43. Harri

    That’s for the future, not for now.

  44. Colm is right

    And they’ll starve in the millions before they apologize to the west for anything

    They’re always the victim doncha know

  45. And they’ll starve in the millions before they apologize to the west for anything

    They will never starve as long there are plenty of bats alive to eat.

  46. And anything else with a pulse..

  47. Difficult to argue with that.

    How many more gifts of deadly viruses do the rest of the world need?

    David Vance
    @DVATW
    ·
    2m
    It’s not just that we need self isolated from #COVIDー19 – we need isolated from Communist China.

  48. It started over a bowl of bats soup my arse, which the Chinese have been doing for centuries..

    https://patents.google.com/patent/EP3172319B1/en

  49. Charles –

    I’m talking about 30% unemployment and 30% drop in GDP. Unacceptable in my view. I don’t want to live in Venezuala or gift that to my kids.

    This is not like 2008. It’s a conscious decision to drop off the cliff this time. But we know it’s temporary, most people will have a job to go back to. Contracts, logistics and supply will still be there, along with enormous demand.

    The bounceback will be spectacular.

  50. David Vance
    @DVATW
    ·
    2m
    It’s not just that we need self isolated from #COVIDー19 – we need isolated from Communist China

    If Corona ever brokE out in the virtual ATW barroom David would be well socially isolated from it.

    I agree with Pete above, (that’s twice this week!!). There’ll be a short term hit but the bounceBack will be like a tsunami.

  51. Paul.

    I truly hope so.

    I have 45 years worth of company and private pension pot building payments and investment relying on it. I’m only a year away from planned retirement, and an agreed contract extra 5 years away from enjoying the fruits of my long arduous labour over a very long time, the thought of it all ending up blown against some fence in the financial wilderness of bankers is terrifying to be honest, I lost a whole chunk at the last financial crash..this one Could possibly make the last financial crash look like a picnic.

    My only hope is, company pensions in blues chip are possibly more protected?

    As I said, my anxiety is at stratospheric levels.

  52. Getting anxious over unknowns is bad for your health Harri and certainly won’t change anything.

  53. Pete

    If we successfully deal with this the bounceback could well be good

    And you’re not the only one I hear saying that

  54. Paul

    The known safe.

    The bankers won’t lose a single brass cent.

    That’s just for us little people.

  55. *the knowns are

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