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Coronavirus: Fake news that an elderly lockdown is remainer revenge could spread

Coronavirus: Fake news that an elderly lockdown is remainer revenge could spread

The attention of policy makers has been focused on the science of how viruses either spread or are contained in social networks. Just as crucial in the current circumstances is the spread of beliefs and behaviour. Will people continue to observe social distancing once the lockdown is

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Coronavirus: NHS staff are let down by bureaucracy

Coronavirus: NHS staff are let down by bureaucracy

The praise for health workers dealing with Covid-19 is universal. From cleaners and porters to the most distinguished consultant, all have played their part. But they are working in an administrative system almost Kafka-esque in its lunacy. An early example was when NHS workers turned up to

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Coronavirus: Economists have a role to play in recovery

Coronavirus: Economists have a role to play in recovery

Lockdowns are starting to be eased in Europe. Austria, Denmark, Italy and Spain are all moving back towards normality. At some point during May, the UK will follow. We can reflect on what the government has got right and wrong so far in the opening phase of

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Coronavirus: A traffic light loosening gives the economy hope

Coronavirus: A traffic light loosening gives the economy hope

The strategy of exiting from the lockdown is far too important to be left in the hands of health professionals. The government’s advisors have played very valuable roles in helping to avert the sort of crisis which overwhelmed the health services in Northern Italy. Many who were

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Once we reach a social distancing tipping point, more restrictions won’t help at all

Once we reach a social distancing tipping point, more restrictions won’t help at all

How long should the lockdown last? Should it be tightened or relaxed? An abstract concept from both epidemiology and network theory can give a powerful insight into these highly practical problems. This is the concept known as the “threshold”, sometimes called the critical point or the tipping

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This pandemic may lead to more trade barriers, but is that such a bad thing?

This pandemic may lead to more trade barriers, but is that such a bad thing?

The current crisis dominates everything, from trade to everyday life. But, within a relatively short space of time, it will pass. What next? What will be the “new normal” after coronavirus? A key policy aim across the west for many decades since the Second World War was

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To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

To pay for this crisis, the government must keep in mind Ricardian equivalence

John Maynard Keynes could certainly craft a neat phrase. In the Second World War, he wrote in his pamphlet How to Pay for the War: “It is only in a free community that the task of government is complicated by the cause of social justice.” The impact

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How mathematical models attempt to predict the spread of disease

How mathematical models attempt to predict the spread of disease

The various pronouncements on coronavirus are a source of puzzlement to many. On the one hand there are lurid predictions of millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths. On the other, while the actual numbers are growing, they seem tiny so far compared to the

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Priti Patel vs. Philip Rutnam: It’s in Britain’s interest that bureaucracy does not win

Priti Patel vs. Philip Rutnam: It’s in Britain’s interest that bureaucracy does not win

The reverberations around the resignation of Sir Philip Rutnam, the top civil servant at the Home Office, continue. Priti Patel, the home secretary, is receiving a barrage of abuse. Labour’s John McDonnell has pronounced that he cannot see how Patel could carry on. He raised the possibility

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Citizens assemblies are no solution to the climate challenge — we need innovation

Citizens assemblies are no solution to the climate challenge — we need innovation

At first sight, long-term swings in individual seats in Australian elections are a definite niche interest, one for the real trainspotter. But during a visit to Sydney University’s Complex Systems Institute, I noticed a fascinating piece in The Australian newspaper. The Australian Labor Party had a good

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