Hope in the Dark

In all honesty, Monday was a real low. Sure, we knew we were going to lose given the parliamentary maths, but it still hurt watching Tory after Tory vote our amendments down. I mean, why wouldn’t you want to stop the NHS being part of any future trade deal? Or keep chlorinated chicken off our tables? No, don’t answer that.

I know what you’re going to say. Why even bother. Because, mate, we’re playing a long game. We forced them to show their hand, and now their votes are on public record. Ammunition for when the election comes round.

Aside from this fine glass of Belgian beer, there’s a Rebecca Solnit quote that’s keeping me going. ‘Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you can’t win. But hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.’

Amen and cheers to that.

Pillar 2

25 June 2020. Stan ‘Stats’ Robinson works in the bowels of a government building. He’s been number crunching for years, but this pandemic’s something else. Now he gets how data can mean the difference between life and death.

Leicester thinks it might have a new outbreak. It’s been pleading for updates for days. But he’s been under strict instructions to withhold Pillar 2 — the results of testing outsourced to firms like Deloitte. Some half-baked crap about ‘data ownership’. And that means the city’s been in the dark about 90% of its new cases.

Stan was finally allowed to send the info this morning, but he hates that he was part of this shameful delay.

Scrolling on Twitter, he sees the latest Covid figures from the Financial Times. It’s got a stats team after his own heart, using data to tell it like it is.

He leaves the office early, whistling a little tune. Then he calls the FT.